View from the summit plateau of Slate Peak (elev. 7,440) near the Pasayten Wilderness near Mazama, Washington, formerly a bit higher until the summit was reduced & used as a military post by the US Air Force during the Cold War. Views of the jagged peaks of the North Cascades to the west, including nearby Jack Mountain, Mount Baker, parts of the Picket Range, & a great view of the Neve Glacier (Snowfield Peak). The east side is further into the Pasayten Wilderness w/ Robinson Mountain behind the fire lookout. Directly north is the Pasayten Valley, a classic glacial u-shape valley. Bill & Heather, along w/ their son, are at the base of the lookout & were visiting from Juneau, Alaska, taking in the sites of the fall colors & larches. Bill, an avalanche specialist, tours areas around Alaska & Japan. A fire lookout adorns the top, built in 1956 & now off limits w/ instability. The site formerly housed a cupola fire lookout built in 1924 before being removed by the US Air Force. The ground is indeed a mixture of slate, nearby was a cool fossil sand wave formation.
I had visited this site in September 2013 but had limited foggy views around, plus a freak thunderstorm during the night that almost washed out the road at a narrow sketchy section below, which I barely bypassed. I'm glad I returned four years later on a sunny day, it is quite picturesque & being on the east side away from Seattle population helped make it rather quiet w/ few visitors. The summit has a fantastic view w/ adjacent trails, plus as a perk the road is the highest in Washington state. Driving down I met two guys who had just finished the Pacific Crest Trail after five months, coming back down to Harts Pass from the Canada border. Joey was the name of the first guy, I can't remember the name of the other but he was from Hong Kong. I had given Joey a ride back down to Mazama (Bill & Heather took the other guy down) where they met back up w/ fellow hikers of the trail before taking a bus back down to the Bay Area. From there I refueled up & drove back to Rainy Pass where I would climb up Black Peak the following day.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.