Wednesday, October 12, 2011

North Cascades, and beyond.

Welcome to the visitor from the Birmingham area of the U.K.!  Hope you are enjoying reading all the previous posts!

I managed to get through the edge of Seattle on the 405, with only a brief stop at the gigantic Fry’s Electronics store, where I picked up a couple of new 1 and 2 TB hard drives for the home desktop.  As soon as possible,

I-5 was left behind in an easterly direction towards North Cascades NP on 530 through Arlington and Darrington.  From there it was north on 530 towards Rockport.  A Skagit county park along the Sauk river provided a quiet spot to spend the night.

In the morning, highway 20 led through Marblemount, and into North Cascades NP.  The weather was somewhat drab as we stopped at the park visitor center for maps and information.  The route follows the edge of Gorge Lake, Diablo Lake, then Ruby arm of Ross Lake, which stretches all the way to the Canadian border.  It was hard to get a good view of the Gorge dam, but I hiked the viewpoint trail, and took some photos looking straight down from the highway bridge over a side channel.

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A view of Thunder arm of Diablo lake.CIMG6934-1CIMG6936-1

After exiting the National park, we ended up in Omak, where a few supplies were replenished, before heading out to look for a quiet spot of the night.  A few miles north and a few back west, Fish Lake and Sinlahekin Wildlife Recreation area provided that spot, which we shared with a number of fishermen and elk hunters.

 

The next day, we could have been back in Canada right away by heading north from Tonasket into Osoyoos, BC, or north from Republic to Grand Forks.  But I have driven those roads quite a bit in the past, and not wanting to take on the higher Canadian fuel prices, I opted to delay my return for another day at least.  Therefore we ended that day on the shores of Roosevelt Lake (not the one in Tonto National forest, AZ!)

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Recent posts seem to have been very long and infrequent, so I think we’ll end this post with an interesting observation, and try for another post very soon, with an update from around home.

 

I’ll have to tread lightly here, as I don’t want to start a controversy.  I think I can speak for most Canadians when I say that we like our one and two dollar coins, the ‘Loonie’ and the ‘Toonie’.  We used to have one and even two dollar paper bills, but the new coins are far easier to use and carry.  For example, it is far easier to put one two dollar coin into a vending machine, or coin washing machine or coin car wash, rather than juggling 8 quarters.  Similarly, it is a pain to have a wallet bursting at the seams with paper money – only to discover that it is all 1’s Winking smile

So, I was very surprised at an Oregon car wash last year when I put a $5. bill into a machine to get change.  I had expected to have a huge pocketful of 20 quarters, but out came 5 –$1 coins!  I was not sure that they were not ‘tokens’ at first, but took one to a store later and confirmed that they were legal tender.  OK, so the US has $1 coins – why don’t they start to USE them?

Last month, I came across this article in a Washington newspaper.  Got to admit, I just can’t believe it!

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No nasty comments please, it’s only my opinion- from someone who has been there and done it!

Next month – the metric system primer.

Just kidding!

6 comments:

  1. Ivan,

    HA! You're on to something there. The US dollar is such an iconic piece of American life that most US citizens are simply unwilling to part with it. In fact, we have a hard time understanding that a coin is anything other than worthless. Right now I live in Europe and figuring out the value of a pocket full of change is arduous. I was surprised to find 20EUR in my change bin after a couple of weeks of life here. 20!

    Brady
    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life
    www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ivan,

    HA! You're on to something there. The US dollar is such an iconic piece of American life that most US citizens are simply unwilling to part with it. In fact, we have a hard time understanding that a coin is anything other than worthless. Right now I live in Europe and figuring out the value of a pocket full of change is arduous. I was surprised to find 20EUR in my change bin after a couple of weeks of life here. 20!

    Brady
    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life
    www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ivan, I agree with you wholeheartedly! When we were in Canada this past summer I grew to really like those Canadian coins. I still wonder why our government insists on wasting $ on paper one dollar bills. I haven't seen a $1 coin in a long time--there aren't enough, I suppose, and someone must be hoarding them.

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  4. You better get home or you'll not get south before the snow hits this year.

    I read that the US would save 5.5 B$ over 30 years by changing to a coin but I guess that is pocket change in their budget.

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  5. You better get home or you'll not get south before the snow hits this year.

    I read that the US would save 5.5 B$ over 30 years by changing to a coin but I guess that is pocket change in their budget.

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  6. OUR US dollar coin is really COOL IF you go to the banks they DONT dispurse them unless you ask for them--and since we are so used to paper money we may accidentally use them in place of a quarter..but I agree much easier to use.

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