The Light at Newhalem

Trip Start Jul 08, 2006
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Trip End Sep 03, 2006


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Saturday, July 8, 2006

Newhalem is the main pit stop between Sedro Wooley and, well, the crossover of the North Cascades into the dry side of the state. Newhalem is tucked in, tight, mountains left, mountains right, and the Skagit River whooshing alongside. Making generators turn. Seattle City Light is a big presence, because they own the dams, they swoop up the power of the river, they even live here, in tidy little houses on pleasant tree-lined streets.

Newhalem also has the main Visitor Center for the North Cascades National Park. Me and Andrew stopped there first. Big demo going on outside, volunteers, talking about the firefighters of this forest land. A chunk of aluminum foil caught our eye. "It's the last resort," we were told. "If the firefighter is surrounded by fire and can't get out, they lie down on the ground and pull this fireproof cover over themselves." We both shuddered at the thought. We learned about how fire is used to PREVENT fire, it is a useful tool itself. What causes fires? Lightning and carelessness, pretty much it.

Inside, lots of interesting displays, the flora, the fauna, the geology, the climate. This park fascinates me. I'd like to stay right here for at least a week, just looking.
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