The sun was shining and City Boy had the day off; it was a perfect day for traveling before the winter rains set in.
“Come on, City Boy! Let’s get Darling out of bed and drive to Winthrop!” So we drug Darling out of her warm, snug bed and loaded ourselves into the car and set out on our journey over the mountains.
The highest point in the drive came a couple hours into our journey at nearly 5500 feet above sea level. Prior to the completion of North Cascades Highway, Native Americans used this corridor as a trading route from the Eastern Plateau country to the Pacific Coast. In 1897 a road was roughed out to Gilbert Landre’s Cabin. I don’t know who Gilbert Landre was, but from the sounds of the Dept of Transportation page I found with that bit of information, it sounds like maybe I should. In any case, it was a slow and laboring task, to be sure, as it wasn’t until 1972, nearly 100 years later, that the highway was officially opened.
Winthrop is a quaint little western town settled in the late 1880s. I’m pretty sure the streets were not paved back then, but they did manage to keep the boardwalks through town. High above the town on a bluff that overlooks the Methow Valley sits a little museum with buildings that were once scattered about the region.
Can you believe six people lived in this tiny thing?
By the time we arrived at the museum, we’d been in the car nearly four hours and had climbed a steep hill. Darling decided she needed a nice long soak in the tub.
Of course, the whole purpose for driving to Winthrop is not the beautiful scenery, the quaint western town nor even the nice, hot bath (although if they’d been so kind as to provide water and bubbles, that may have been more appealing!
No, the real, one true reason for driving over the mountain range is this:
That’s right! My parents drove over for ice cream when I was a kid and now I’m dragging the CityBoy and Darling over for the same reason. City Boy is confused…he wonders if we have ice cream on the left side of the mountains that doesn’t involve and 8 hour round trip? Darling, however, is totally on board and is crowned the new Ice Cream Diva!