Thursday, July 31, 2014

Road Trip 2014 {North Cascades National Park}

Road Trip 2014 {North Cascades National Park}

In my road trip recommendations, I suggest people allow for downtime and unplanned adventures.  We had one of those spontaneous adventures on June 13th when we ended up at North Cascades National Park. We'd done a lot of sightseeing the day before in Seattle, and we didn't have many things left on our list to see in the city.  Since we had a free day, Mark and I  thought we might drive to Olympic National Park.  The only thing that we were hesitant about is that it was going to be a long drive with a lot of traffic.  Kayreen made a great recommendation since she knew we wanted to avoid traffic, and she suggested that we go to North Cascades instead.  It was much easier to get to since it was north of the city.

We experienced true Pacific Northwest weather that day.  It was cool and rainy.
We LOVED it!

I try my best to get a photo of the entrance signs at all of the National Parks we visit.  North Cascades had one of my favorite signs of any we've seen.

My boys were happiest when they are free to roam and hike.  They liked climbing all over the rocks at the sign.  You can see in the foreground the big rock with a place for you to put your camera.  I love it when they have that!  I set the timer and we're good to go.  I should do a blog post about funny outtakes when the timer goes off before we are all ready.

It was a rainy day, and we didn't go on any long hikes.  Instead we spent time in the visitors center.  It was the least crowded park we visited, and their visitors center was really nice.  I have a lot of photos of the boys checking out all of the exhibits.  

This was an interactive model of the mountain range.

Push buttons light up specific areas

Will learned all about different kinds of rocks in 1st grade, and we thought this display of rocks from the Cascade Range was really cool.

Ben had fun looking at all the different wildlife in the museum.

You know we are all about getting our National Park passports stamped.

Another thing the boys have really gotten into is completing all the junior ranger programs for the National Parks we've visited on this trip.  They complete a workbook and then receive a patch or badge.  Those workbooks have been better than any structured, planned school work I could have ever of come up with for them this summer.  They really have learned so much about the environment and the National Parks we've visited.  You can see that the park ranger has their full attention while he's explaining the program.

My favorite photo of Ben on our short hike.

My favorite photo of Will.

On a clear day you should be able to see Picket Range in the distance, but it was cloudy and rainy so no visibility.

I took this photo as we were leaving the park. Mark stopped and from my car window I snapped this.  I've never read the Twilight books or watched the movies, but I have many friends who have.  When they saw this photo, they said it reminded them of it.

Just outside of the park, we stopped at a Cascadian Farm roadside stand.  I'm sure you've seen the brand before.  We all got organic ice cream cones, and I bought some strawberries.

Look at these itty bitty strawberries.  They were perfectly ripe and sweet.  They sure don't look like the overgrown strawberries I buy at the grocery store, or as I like to call them "strawberries on steroids".  

One more photo of the PNW.

If you are interested in my advice on taking a road trip with young children, check out my suggestions at Unexpected Elegance {here}.


  1. Thanks for another post that inspires me to take a road trip and visit national parks! Those strawberries look delicious! The strawberries in the UK were small and juicy like that. When I went to Costco in England, they had the cartons of Driscolls strawberries from the US. Those would last at least a week in the fridge, while the local British strawberries went bad in just a few days. Kinda makes you wonder what's on/in the American jumbo strawberries.

    1. Isn't that crazy about the strawberries? It does make you wonder, for sure! I hope you get to take some road trip adventures to national parks in the future now that you're back in the states.

  2. Embarrassing tidbit *I didn't even know this existed* but now I want to go visit. It is so beautiful! Green and lush! And that camera thing…genius!

    1. That's not embarrassing at all. It's very obscure, and I didn't know about it until we visited the area. I'm glad we visited. I don't know if we'll ever get the opportunity again. It was gorgeous!


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