Anacortes, WA

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We parked here at the Swinomish Lodge and Casino RV park which is located a bit east of Anacortes and Whidbey Island.  During our car road trip in 2014 we spent a few days in nearby Oak Harbor.

Diablo Lake - North Cascades National Park

We took a day trip from here, heading east to North Cascades National Park.  This park contains some of America’s most beautiful mountain scenery.  The mountains are not the tallest but with jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, glaciers and sheer-walled cliffs there is ample dramatic beauty.  We hiked the Thunder Knob Trail which afforded awesome views of Diablo Lake and the peaks beyond.

Coupeville, WA

On another day we drove out to Whidbey Island and re-visited Oak Harbor and Coupeville.  We had to treat ourselves to the steamed mussels at Toby’s Tavern in Coupeville.  These are Penn Cove mussels which are grown right here in Coupeville.

Next stop:  Hope, British Columbia

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Lake Charles, LA

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We made this brief stop near Lake Charles on our way east from Galveston, TX.  Lake Charles is only about 30 miles east of the Texas-Louisiana border.  It has the interesting distinction of being one of the most humid cities in the contiguous United States.  It has an average humidity of 90% in the morning and 72% in the afternoon.  Lake Charles is also the largest casino market in the state of Louisiana.

Alligators

While we were here we celebrated Valerie’s birthday.  We had a nice lunch at Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp in downtown Lake Charles.  We had grilled catfish with grilled vegetables and rice along with their seafood gumbo.  Very tasty.

Next stop:  New Iberia, LA

Lake Tahoe–July 2015

Lake Tahoe (pics) is a special place, perhaps not one of a kind but it’s on a short list.  First, there’s the deep lake with a surface elevation of 6,225 feet and 72 miles of shoreline.  In the summer this provides for all manner of water sports.  In addition, the lake is surrounded by dramatic Sierra Nevada mountain ranges that not only provide dramatic and breathtaking vistas but almost unlimited hiking, biking, backpacking and camping opportunities.

Fallen Leaf Lake in the foreground, Lake Tahoe beyond

Then in the winter, these mountains usually get a generous amount of snowfall which provides world class skiing opportunities at numerous ski resorts in the mountains that ring the lake.  Skiing (downhill and cross country), snowboarding, snowmobiling and other winter alpine activities draw visitors from around the world.  If the outdoors get to be too much, you can find a great restaurant, do some shopping or, since a portion of the lakeshore is in Nevada, visit one of the casinos.

Once again we feel privileged and lucky to have had the opportunity to spend two weeks here.  Mostly due to the hospitality and generosity of our friends we were able to come here in July and to hike, bike, go the beach, spend time with friends and be awed by the natural beauty of this place.  It’s really difficult to choose the best time of year to be in Tahoe, winter or summer.  They’re both special.