This rainy autumn morning out between the marina and the North Cascades Lodge at Stehekin (in the state of Washington, USA) beside Lake Chelan is coming alive with the rising sun. It also reminds us that down-lake is in a more southeasterly direction, with Stehekin at the northwest end, 55 miles uplake from the city of Chelan. It seems several hikers had come down from the Pacific Crest Trail (not far from here), some to prepare for the next snowy leg of the trail north to Canada, and a few have headed down-lake for the season, leaving a quiet few autumn visitors and the year 'round local folks.
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.