Hiking in the North Cascades and sleeping in a tipi

Leaving a place by ferry feels very definite like you don’t know when you’re coming back there. For a moment I wonder if I should have spend more time in the Olympic area, but knowing that I’ve one two hikes there I feel like I’ve gotten a great experience there. I don’t want to skip Seattle though and so I drive to Space Needle where there also is a monorail station. I think Seattle is one of the few places where you can still find a monorail. It’s only a short ride of less than 10 minutes, but I enjoy it. It takes me to downtown where I walk to the famous Pike farmers market and the first Starbucks. Since it’s already the end of the day, the market people are clearing up their stands and the Starbucks is already closed. I don’t mind it, because I’ve been here before and it’s nice to see it again. I take the monorail back and drive a bit up north where I decide to stay in a hotel. After a lot of hiking and camping in the past days I want a bit of comfort and mainly a shower again. What’s more is that I’ve planned a really big hike for tomorrow so I want to make sure I’m well rested for that.
The next morning I drive to North Cascades, a beautiful nature area east of Seattle with a lot of high mountains. There is a hike here that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. To get there is a challenge in itself since there is only a gravel road to get to the trail head. After about half an hour of slow driving to avoid the put holes I arrive at the parking place. There are a few groups of well equipped people, I think they’re gonna do a multi day hike. I just fill the bladder in my backpack with a lot of water and take a snack with me since I plan come back in a few hours.
The hike is quite challenging as it is a lot of climbing, but I really enjoy it. Except from a few people I pass by, I’m just by myself in nature most of the time. Closer to the end of the trail the mountains come in view. I’m surprised by how much snow there is on top of them. Finally after just over two hours of hiking I see the goal of this hike: Park Butte Lookout. It’s a lookout point on top of one of the mountains. Long time ago I had seen pictures of this place and decided that I want to hike here some day. I’m really happy that I finally did.
There are a few people up at the lookout, who came here earlier today and who plan to camp up here for the night. There is a bed and space for a few sleeping bags in the lookout, so who comes first can stay there for the night. I knew about this, but didn’t feel like carrying sleeping stuff with me. I found the hike challenging enough as it is. I talk with the other hikers for a while, take some pictures and enjoy the view. When I tell my hiking time to get up here, they tell me I did it quite fast and I take pride in that. Fast hiking is my style. The way back is even a bit faster since it’s all downhill. Back at the car I’m thinking for a moment on where to go. I was planning on going to Mount Rainier, but somehow I feel like going east further into the North Cascades. I drive about two hours to a little old miners town called Winthrop. I’ve been here years ago and when I saw the familiar name on the map, I wanted to see it again. Winthrop is a small town with a lot of wooden buildings like you see in western movies. Walking around there feels a bit like going back in time. I find a campsite right next to the town center where they also have tipi’s to rent. It costs a bit more than a place to set your own tent, but I think it’s a fun experience and I rent a tipi for tonight. It’s really cozy inside and since it’s raining a bit, I’m happy that I don’t have to set up my own tent. I walk around town for a bit, but most places are already closed so I plan to do a bit more exploring in the morning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *