This week we got a treat from the Washington State Department of Transportation when they released drone footage taken from some of the last efforts in the reopening of the very scenic North Cascades Highway. The North Cascades Highway is a popular scenic byway that connects Western Washington and Eastern Washington in the northernmost part of the state. Vacationers taking that route get the opportunity to see the high mountain peaks, incredible scenic views, and the interesting sites and communities like Winthrop, Mazama, Washington Pass, Rainy Pass, Diablo Dam, Ross Lake, Newhalem, and more. The pass is closed during the winter months though because of heavy snow and avalanche danger. This means each spring, the WSDOT has to commence reopening operations. Those operations go a little something like this:
That’s hard and dangerous work up there and those crews do a great job. If you haven’t had the opportunity to take that trip, we can’t recommend it more highly. Drive the North Cascades Highway this summer, for sure!
During a recent drive through Pateros that included a stop off at a very tasty bakery, I noticed an interesting banner hanging on the nearby fence.
I followed up and checked on the gofundme specifics and it looks like a very worthwhile local cause.
Alta Lake is located near Pateros and Alta Lake State Park, which barely survived the Carlton Complex fire in 2014, sits right on its shores. There are a lot of activities you can participate in right there, on the water and on the shore, like swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, jet skiing, paddle boarding, and more.
About 50 years ago, the snowpack that feeds Alta Lake started to become insufficient to keep the lake level high enough for the campers, recreational users, and local residents. A pump was installed in the 1970s to bring water up from the Columbia River behind Wells Dam to add to the water volume in Alta Lake. This solution was later discontinued in the 1980s. Since 2006, local residents and Washington State Parks have partnered to resume the pumping.
With all of the cutbacks in state government budgets in recent years, state parks was unable to continue this effort. Now, without help, the water level of Alta Lake could decrease over the coming years to the point where it would no longer be a usable asset.
So if you or anyone you can think of might be interested:
Rocky Reach Dam has been a popular North Central Washington attraction for years. No matter how often you go there, you can always find something fun or interesting. There’s the wide open grassy areas, the beautiful landscaping, the multiple viewpoints to check out the dam from, the visitor’s center, fish viewing windows, the opportunity to view the powerhouse, the Museum of the Columbia, and so much more.
Youngsters know that going to Rocky Reach Dam also means going crazy outside on the playground toys.
Good news in that regard as Rocky Reach Dam has recently installed BRAND NEW playground toys… and the kids are LOVING them. The slides are some of the tallest in the area for playground toys and there’s all sorts of other interesting contraptions to explore and climb too. There’s even a very cool and unique swing to ride on too.
Upgrading the playground toys at the dam is sure to continue to help make it one of the more popular attractions in the region. Perfect as a destination and also as a place to stop off while driving through the area.
At the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee today is the memorial service for the three brave firefighters who passed away recently in the firefighting efforts in Okanogan County. Prior to that, a very impressive procession of emergency responders made its way from the north end of town through the city streets. All along the way, people turned out to show their support and it was very impressive to say the least.
Travis Tritt burst onto the scene in 1989 with his first single, Country Club. This was followed by the album of the same name and it immediately announced to the world that country music had a new voice. Since that time, Tritt has put out an amazing catalog of songs, some of them becoming signature songs of the 1990s and 2000s.
On April 16, 2015, country music fans in North Central Washington will get the chance to see and hear this gifted entertainer in person. He will be appearing at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee and is sure to put on one of his legendary shows.
If you go, expect to hear classic Travis Tritt songs like Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares), Where Corn Don’t Grow, Best of Intentions, The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’, Tell Me I Was Dreaming, Foolish Pride, and of course T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Travis Tritt is a one of a kind artist and puts on a show that you’ll never forget.
In the late 1980s, Sheryl Crow was touring with Michael Jackson and singing background vocals for names like Don Henley and Stevie Wonder. It wouldn’t be long though for this talented singer-songwriter to become a headliner in her own right.
With her debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, in 1993, Sheryl Crow was on the map. She would go on to write tons of memorable songs, sell millions of albums, and take part in tours that took her and her music all around the world.
That same Sheryl Crow is coming to Wenatchee on April 12th, 2015. She’ll take the stage at the Town Toyota Center and is sure to put on the kind of show she has become known for. North Central Washington residents will be able to sing along on songs like All I Wanna Do, Everyday is a Winding Road, Soak Up the Sun, If It Makes You Happy, A Change Would Do You Good, and more. It’s sure to be a great show by a great artist.
With the drawdown of Lake Wanapum behind Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, thanks to a huge crack found in the dam, some of North Central Washington’s scenery has taken on a different look. The river looks narrower, there’s a “bathtub ring” visible on the rock walls, and there is quite a bit of exposed river bed. Here are a few photos from the popular Crescent Bar area.
(Click to enlarge)
Just north of Crescent Bar, the waterline is very recognizable on the rock walls and there are several rocks exposed that usually sit below the water.
As we dropped down into Crescent Bar, I found the odd look of that exposed riverbed a bit surprising. It resembles an ocean beach at low tide in a lot of ways.
Like most of us, I’m used to seeing the marina at Crescent Bar as one of the social hot spots with boats and jet skis coming in and out at all hours. The look of it now is more than just a little unusual.
Youth Day is always inevitable the more looked forward to events during Apple Blossom, especially by the kids. There is if course food and drinks, but there are also inflatable slides and bounce houses, stickers, games, and lots of freebies. Plenty for everyone!
One of the best parts of the Apple Blossom festivities in Wenatchee is the Youth Parade. For over an hour today, little ones from all over the area marched, walked, and rode down the parade route through town. With inflatable toys and cotton candy, fun was had by all. The big parade is next week and that will be all kinds of fun too. But today was all about the kids!
It’s really cool when neat attractions and events come to North Central Washington.
On October 20th, Wenatchee welcomes the Piccadilly Circus to town. This unique circus has been entertaining adults and children both for 25 years. The sound everyone wants to hear at a circus is laughter and there will be plenty of that to go around as those who go to the circus will be treated to what will seem like a near endless string of great performances.
What kind of stuff will be seen?
An ‘Elephant Extravaganza’!
The ‘White Tiger Spectacular’!
…and who can forget the clowns and other performers?
Two of the most interesting performances that I’m looking forward to are the Motorcycle Madness attraction which features daredevils on motorcycles doing some incredible stunts including riding, jumping, and spinning inside what they describe as a Globe of Doom! The other one that I think my kids will love is Rocky the Boxing Kangaroo. This is a 250 pound kangaroo who takes on all comers, including it sounds like even some audience members.
Sounds like a great show and I know my kids will love it.
When: Thursday, October 20th with two shows, the first at 4:30pm and the second at 7:30pm.
Where: The Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, 1300 Walla Walla Avenue, right next to Lowe’s and right across the street from Walla Walla Park.