I found out a year ago that two days wasn’t long enough to do this loop justice, but I found out this time that three days isn’t long enough to do it justice, either. Of course, I was in a bit of a rush knowing that my new iPhone 3Gs was waiting to be picked up before 7:00 PM. So after I spent as much time as I wanted in Toppenish, I headed across the mountains for home.
I should have taken Chinook Pass, but White Pass is much faster and has less traffic, so I took that route home. It is still an absolutely breathtaking drive, one that deserves much larger photos than these to convey the sense of height and depth of the pass.
Here’ a look back at Yakima just as I neared the pass:
Unfortunately, the haze from the fire that had burned over hundreds of acres for three days makes it difficult to appreciate the layer after layer of mountains that make up the Cascades.
And while this photo offers a glimpse of Clear Creek Falls, it cannot capture the remarkable height of the waterfall:
Of course, the constant highlight of the drive is the ever-present Mt. Rainier, seen here from the south-east.
This may not be heaven, but it’s as close as I expect to get in this lifetime.