Stay in the heart of the North Cascades

This weekend, I took a little trip up to the North Cascades. A friend and I stayed at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center.

We were trying out the base camp program. I can highly recommend it. We did not want to leave.

I’m going to write a longer story about it later. For now, though, I wanted to share a few quick highlights.

  • According to the learning center staff, your tongue will go numb if you lick a banana slug. We did not find any banana slugs on our trip. Otherwise I would have tried it to see if they were just messing with me. I’m not sure if that makes me brave or gullible. Maybe both?
  • The food alone is worth the trip. For dinner, we had some fabulous food, nearly all of it from local farmers. The staff at the center gets shipments of whatever is fresh from local farms and then uses their considerable skills to create something delicious out of it. With dinner there were three different desserts featuring fresh raspberries: raspberry cream tarts, raspberry tarts and angel food cake with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. There are not words to describe how delicious they were.
  • Canoeing is fun.
  • The library at the learning center is gorgeous. It’s jammed with books that outdoorsy folk would love. And it has a giant banana slug. (Don’t lick it. It’s just wood.)
  • Diablo Lake is breathtaking. If you’ve been up there, I don’t need to tell you that. I can’t get enough of that incredible green color.
  • Diablo is also literally breathtaking. I jumped in to verify this. My lungs were angry at me.
  • The partnership between Seattle City Light and the learning center is pretty fascinating. Sure, dams have a big environmental effect. But without that dam, the learning center would not be there — Seattle City Light paid for it. The staff mentioned that some people gripe about the power lines disrupting the views. But without the power lines, it’d be a very different place. It’s an interesting story.

If you want to try out base camp for yourself, you can learn more here. In short, it’s a chance to stay at the learning center when they have space in their rooms. You can do whatever you like. The staff is very flexible and will help you find something that matches your interests. Or you can just do your own thing and simply take advantage of the great food and a cozy place to sleep.

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Now is the perfect time to design the garden of your dreams

Find inspiration in gardening magazines, on the internet, in your neighborhood and at nurseries.

Around Thanksgiving, gardeners give thanks for the garden

What are they most thankful for? The pleasure they receive from spending time in their yards.

Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire”… Continue reading

AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

The older brother of bandmate Angus Young was the group’s key writer and leader.

Garden clubs in Snohomish, Island counties

Alderwood Garden Club: Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood;… Continue reading

Home and Garden calendar for Snohomish County and beyond

Printing workshop: with artist and naturalist April Richardson, 1 to 3 p.m.… Continue reading

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Most Read