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Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Overnighting in the roadside parking area was quite convenient. The "area" was also a wildlife viewing area...just no wildlife when we happened to be there.

As the viewing area was a bit short of the village of Rockport, Washington, we drove to a wide spot on US 20 a bit beyond Rockport (West), where SPIA was parked while I walked further West on US 20 for 4 hours - about 14 miles.

Residential homes along US 20 near Rockport, Washington.

The mountains have been left behind...we are now in pastureland as we descend the Skagit Valley towards I-5 (Interstate Highway 5), only 40 or so miles distant.

Even so, the scenery is still spectacular.

This hill was about 5% and about 2 miles long.

Washington State Wine Grape "Vineyards" are beginning to show up. Few grapes are actually grown in these valleys on the West side of the Cascade Mountains. Vintners often blend their local grapes with grapes purchased from the Mega-Wineries located in the Yakima / Prosser valleys in the South East part of Washington State.

Regret I do not have photographs of the town of Concrete as it was 50 + years ago. Concrete was a major producer of cement raw materials mined and processed from the hill right in town. As one drove Old US 20 through Concrete, the entire "down wind" countryside would be snuggled under a White Blanket of powdered the days before OSHA.

Today, only the old crushing plants and silos remain. (Did not take those pics also...shame on me).

SPIA moved to Concrete, where she parked as I again walked West on US 20 for another 3 hours - about 10 miles.

Now days, the hills are covered with extensive vines from local Black Berries...a favorite for jams and cobblers.

Please look closely at the distant hillside. Here is a great example of the type forestry being practiced in the North West...CLEAR CUT FORESTRY.

The different colors sectioned off on the hillside are actually areas of prior / present tree cutting.

Clear Cutting mean an entire section is denuded of ALL trees; the branches and refuse previously left behind to rot are cleaned up, leaving a clearing in which new seedling trees are hand seedling at a time - Reforestation !

Dark areas are "Old Growth" trees which have not yet been harvested.

Lighter areas are "new seedlings" - some planted many years ago, but not yet mature.

Lightest areas are recently harvested with cleanup in process...or just planted with seedlings.

This method of Clear Cut Forestation is controversial. Many folks object to clear cutting.

From the above photograph can be seen the real effect...a "garden" in various stages of growth and harvesting.

Returning to SPIA, we again moved West on US 20, parking for the night in the town of Hamilton, Washington.

Hamilton is not actually seen as vehicles drive past on US 20. Hamilton is about 1/4 mile off the highway, but worth a visit...there is an excellent "country" cafe located in Hamilton, the only "business" except for the local Post Office.

Looks to be a great place for young folks to grow up.

After SPIA was settled in, I walked - this time BACK East on US 20 for another 3 hours.

Please say HELLO to Rebecca and Dennis.

Rebecca and Dennis are avid fishermen (no offense, Rebecca). When not working, they are off to a nearby lake with their canoe and fishing gear. Today, in the pond behind them, they caught only a 9 inch trout - where last year Dennis caught a nearly 24 inch trout. The pond has become overgrown with bottom weed, says Dennis, making fishing difficult.

Yesterday, Rebecca caught a 19 inch trout in a lake near Ross Dam - guess I walked right by them.

Residential streets of Hamilton.

Skate Board Park.

Walking / Horseback riding trail...this trail is an old railroad right of way converted into a first class hiking trail which extends for long distances up the Skagit Valley.

A frisky pony reluctant to have me take his photograph...he continually snorted and turned from me...caught this image as he trotted to get out of range.

After a fish 'n chip dinner at the local Cafe, returned to SPIA where I repaired the front / bottom tip of another pair of walking shoes. The road surface of US 20 is mostly sharp washed gravel which has cut my shoe sole - this while only getting about 100 miles since the last re-soling.

In the morning, will leave SPIA while I walk again West on US 20 toward the town of Sedro Woolley, Washington, about 12 miles distant. At Sedro Woolley, we turn North on Highway 9.

Our final destination, The Peace Arch, lies only 70 miles distant from Sedro Woolley.

Next up: China ??

1 comment:

Tree Service New York said...

Wow, the view from the road showing the scenery and landscaping of the forests on the side is absolutely captivating (if you look far off into the distance!)

-Carlos Hernandez