Winter on the Cascade Loop

Whidbey Island is part of Washington’s Cascade Loop, and a drive through part of the Loop as nature plays “gently” is thought-provoking and enchanting.

by Jack Penland

Whidbey and Camano are beautiful places to visit and work, and yet they’re part of a larger beauty, where a state, indeed a region, teases with new beauty around each turn.

I headed this week into the Cascades along the Cascade Loop where nature rewards winter travelers with more space and special views.

Sun Mountain Lodge DSC_6206

This spectacular sunrise left me running in circles. “Which way to shoot?” “The rising sun in the east?” “The light off the mountain tops to the west?”

I’m sure I provided amusement to the regulars at Sun Mountain Lodge as Camera and I raced back and forth, Tripod acting as a balance against falling.

I had arrived at the lodge after dark and was unaware of my surroundings. Threats of snow should have kept me driving, but the Wenatchee River next to US Route 2 just kept teasing me to stop and shoot it in its new winter outfit.

Then, a few miles later a new view teases me again, until I was behind schedule and driving unfamiliar roads, giving me an early morning surprise.

Somehow it seems it was all just part of the plan.

Skykomish River DSC_6161

Skykomish River DSC_6197_01



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