Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: WA 20 or US 2 across the Cascades summer 2020?
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 > WA 20 or US 2 across the Cascades summer 2020?

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Posted: 11/18/19 10:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

July is, I think, a little early for blackberries. Some of the native ones might be that early, but the invasive Himalayan Blackberry that dominates the lowlands is more of an August/September berry (these are the ones with major thorns). Salmon berry is earlier, as is salal.

In the mountains I'd expect to find more huckleberry - higher bushes in the lowlands, scrubby ones near the treeline.

From the WTA site:


Southern California

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Posted: 11/18/19 10:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So there we were, many years ago, driving down a two lane highway in Washington, with berry bushes six feet high on either side of the road. Loaded with berries. Looked great. But no one was picking them -- uh oh. Poisonous?

We stopped at a ranger station and asked the ranger why nobody was eating the berries.

She said, "Yes, everyone eats the berries. But the reason you didn't see anyone picking that particular bunch on that particular day is that there are so many berries everywhere that the pickers are thin on the ground -- the chance of actually seeing someone picking is very small."

Being foolish young people, we promptly started picking and eating and were sick for days. Nothing wrong with the berries -- they were amazing. But only in moderation.

Don't eat more than a pint a day!!

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Camano Island, WA

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Posted: 11/23/19 06:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Washington blackberries taste wonderful, and they are prolific and grow just about anywhere in Western Washington. In our yards they are weeds and we cut them down or pull them out by the roots. I have spent many a day trying to control the huge patch on my neighbor’s side of the fence that climb and take over the side of my garage and onto the roof. My neighbor doesn’t care; I do. Left to its own devices such blackberry patches try to rule the neighborhood. Goats love them and are great blackberry patch “mowers”.

Blackberry season is short: usually late August until around Labor Day.

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Beautiful Pacific Northwest

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Posted: 11/28/19 10:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4runnerguy wrote:

Thanks all for your input. Sounds like WA 20 may be our choice.

profdant139 wrote:

Try to spend as much time as you can along 20 -- many, many world-class day hikes in North Cascades NP. Great backpacking, too, although I have never done it.
Nice blog post. It's interesting that you did some of the same hikes I have put in our list of things to do.

Part of our trip planning is to mix days of mountain biking and days of hiking. I found this amazing website on hikes in Washington:

Washington Hike Map

The trouble is we only have maybe 10 days in WA so trying to narrow the right hikes down is pretty tough with all the choices.

I do wish I could find a similarly high quality resource like the Washington Hiking Map for other states too. Well done site.

For the real deal on Washington hiking, check out

I've done a lot of hiking in the North Cascades, and can help you out. What kind of hiking do you like and what kind of rig will you have?

Camping is nice at Newhalem. Colonial Creek is more central but I find it's loud because of how the sound echoes on the highway and off the reservoir.

Cascade Pass is not on 20 but trailhead two hours from Newhalem. Probably the most popular hike in the North Cascades, well worth it - a top ten hike in the lower 48 (I've hiked all over the Northwest, Glacier, Yellowstone, the Sierras, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, etc). Other top hikes on this route are Hidden Lake, Maple Pass/Lake Ann, Thunder Creek, Cutthroat Pass, Grasshopper Pass. You'll be on various sections of the PCT throughout. You could also rent a canoe from the Ross Lake Reservoir to do a paddle and hike excursion.

Agree you need to check out Sheri's Sweet Shoppe in Winthrop, as well as Blue Star coffee in Twisp.

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