North Cascades Highway Biking

NOCA Bike Trip Report & Access Update

Rainy Day Greetings Fellow MBC Members,

A group of six members, previous members & guest set off behind the gated North Cascades Highway yesterday and enjoyed a beautiful warm blue-sky cloud-free day.  The sunny warmth released delightful spring scents and the budding deciduous foliage still allowed unique views along the way.  By common agreement we all had lunch at Canyon Creek Trailhead.  Despite the enjoyable rushing waters beside us, we could hear various bird calls in the cool open forests and even from the other side of the stream.  We discussed hiking the trail to see how the two nearby cabin ruins were after yet another winter but decided that the biking was reward enough on this day.  On the leisurely return we discovered several new points of interest as well as lingering at those viewpoints providing dramatic mountain and lake views.   On the drive home we once again had to wait at the long construction zone between Newhalem and Marblemount but thankfully it was much shorter than our morning experience.

Special thanks to Steve and Jennie our official Sasquatch Trackers who found not one but two crossing locations.  Now experienced with what to look for we found a THIRD crossing.  I wonder how many more there might be?  Steve has generously uploaded photos on our club’s flickr page which will give you some idea about the ride and photo evidence of the Sasquatch Crossings.

Further down valley, as we approached Sedro-Woolley on the homeward drive, we saw dense clouds spilling over the foothills to the south.  By the time we passed through Sedro, less than 20 minutes later, they had continued expanding all the way to the north skyline, filling the sky with roiling dense clouds, some tearing themselves apart as they sped over the mountain peaks.  It made us appreciate the beautiful calm day we had been fortunate to enjoy.

Latest report from Wa Dept of Transportation is that the warm weather has brought down much of the snow in the loaded avalanche chutes that have been preventing highway clearing.  The work crews had to retreat several times and set off explosive charges to allow for safe re-entry to these locations where they expect to have to clear the same stretches of road two or more times before it will be safe to allow public travel.  With the variable weather we are experiencing they are still not officially committing to an opening date.

Best Wishes to you all,

Bud