Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but I knew Kimberly was not looking at Washington through "hiker eyes"; so I was determined to give her a different perspective.
I would have preferred to get way up in the wilderness (maybe not "14er" up...like that's so special ;)) but in May the really good stuff is still covered in snow. I had been seeing a flux of pictures coming through my news feed from the Diablo Lake area (this is due to Hwy 20 opening it's winter gate for the season, and the fact there are some fantastic photographers on the "Washington Hikers and Climbers" FB group) and decided it would have to do for the Washington vs Colorado face off.
A drive on the North Cascades Hwy will fill your scenery tank even if you don't plan on hiking, but if you have time to hike, you will find many options. Even though it's a bit of a drive to get to there, the good news is you won't have to worry about heading up miles of forest roads. As far as I know, all the trailheads in this area are pretty much pull off the highway and you're there close. You do have to drive a few minutes to get to the Diablo trailhead; but the drive over the particularly beautiful dam is well worth it.
The easy access and large parking lot, complete with obvious signage, gives you the impression everything about this hike is going to be totally straight forward. I definitely did not want anything complicated, because I needed some redemption with Kimberly.
You see, this was actually my second hike with Kimberly. We both attended a work sponsored hike at Sharpe's Park last November, where we tried to be the cool kids and brake away form the group to do our own (far superior, of course) hike.
|Sharpe's Park Map; not helpful if your phone goes dead|
|Shape's park. "Maybe this is where we will be spending the night?"|
The above sign was obviously placed here to help alleviate any confusion as to which direction to go...apparently the arrow on the trail marker pointing right was not clear enough. The problem is the word LEFT in bold letters and the fact most people tend to skim when reading directions. (blah, blah, blah, LEFT, blah blah blah)
|This is as close as you're getting to Ross Dam|
|Kimberly demonstrating what not to do|
|I still love you, Kimberly; Colorado lover and all!|