Skagit River Valley – Chasing Salmon
Even though it was overcast, we decided to head up into the mountains. Our plans were flexible, but mostly involved following the Skagit River up into the Cascades.
We started on the south side of the river, rather than taking the more crowded Cascades Highway. There were several river overlooks, and occasionally we would stop to look for fish and for eagles. At one location we watched an older fisherman catch a very large salmon, only to lose it as he tried to land it. He fell face forward into the water – a less than graceful pose that I’m sure he wished had not been recorded by my camera.
Our route took us to the town of Concrete, so named as the source of building materials for the large dams upstream. Here we had a decision – continue up the Skagit, or turn toward Baker Lake. We decided on Baker Lake.
The drive up to the lake was beautiful, if not overcast and a bit rainy. We caught occasional views of the lower levels of Mount Baker, but not much more. Most of the campgrounds and picnic areas were already closed, so we were a bit worried about finding a place for our lunch. However, we did find a great place on the banks of the lake with a view of the mountains.
After lunch we drove as far as we could until we reached the lake’s headwaters on the Baker River. The riverbed was very wide and covered with rounded stones. Laura and I had to walk quite a ways just to get to the crystal clear, cold water. On the way back to the car we couldn’t resist picking up a couple more stones for Mrs. Wright’s garden.
It looked like the volcano was going to stay hidden, so we headed on back down, with a brief detour by the dam. We headed up to Rockport to see if we could spot some eagles, then turned back for the trip home.