NOLA to Canadian Rockies 2018-Day 8

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 22, 2018/ BMW R1200RT, New Orleans to Canadian Rockies 2018, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Spokane, WA

Time: 07:00

Weather Conditions: 62F and clear

Daily High Temperature: 89

Destination: Seattle, WA

Daily Miles Logged:409

Arrival Time: 18:58

States Visited: Washington

Daily Highlights:

  • North Cascades HighwayFrom our ride plan: The North Cascades Highway is rated by Rides Stop-n-Go as one of the 10 Best Motorcycle Roads in North America. Washington’s state Highway 20 from Burlington on the western edge to the arid heat of Okanagan on the eastern slope has to be one of the hidden treasures in the motorcycle world. We owe local Native American tribes many thanks for using this corridor as a trading route and leaving today’s engineers a challenge that succeeded in making a road made for riders. The North Cascades provided motorcyclists a close-up view of one of the nicest ranges in western North America. With the construction of the Diablo Dam and the ensuing Diablo lake many years ago has provided riders with one of the most beautiful viewpoints anywhere in North America. Not to mention a very well maintained and underutilized road.
  • Diablo DamFrom our ride plan:
      • Nestled in the North Cascade Range along the upper Skagit River, Diablo Dam isn’t the tallest (Mossyrock Dam), longest-operating (Monroe Street Dam) or most powerful (Grand Coulee Dam) hydroelectric dam in Washington. But when it comes to being enveloped by heavenly natural beauty, this 129-megawatt facility has its peers beat.
      • When completed in 1936, Diablo Dam — one of three National Register of Historic Places-listed facilities on the Skagit that provide Seattle with a decent chunk of its electricity needs — was the tallest dam in the world at 389 feet. (Today, that honor goes to China’s 1,001-foot-tall Jinping-1 Dam). While dam construction has gone on to reach more dizzying heights, Diablo’s Dam’s reservoir, Diablo Lake, has gotten no less beautiful. Located 1,200 feet above sea level, Diablo Lake, simply put, looks unreal. Traveling down the historic North Cascade Highway, the brilliant turquoise water of the reservoir is impossible to miss — it positively shines. The crystalline lake’s distinctive jade-green glow comes courtesy of finely ground glacier sentiment suspended in the water. A hiking and kayaking hot spot during the summer months, the reservoir also can be traversed along the crest of the dam itself on a dizzying, lamppost-studded roadway. It’s a short and somewhat panic-inducing drive but one of the most spectacular in the entire state. The dam’s owner, Seattle City Light, also operates boat tours of the lake itself.

Our delayed arrival and evening activities will make this post brief. It was a fantastic day of riding with nearly perfect weather. I will try to fill in the details at another time.  For now… here are some photos from along the way…

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