When asked, one of the Rangers suggested a hike to Cutthroat Lake. It sounded delightful and just strenuous enough for us. We blithely headed east toward Washington Pass then checked the gas gauge. We revised our plans, did an about face, and instead headed to Marblemount, Washington.  Not only did we find fuel for the truck in a timely fashion, but the store at the Shell Station had a nice selection of groceries too! We revised our plans, did an about face,  and headed to The Gorge Powerhouse at Newhalem to explore the Gardens and Ladder Falls in the daylight. This was the first hydroelectric plant in the Skagit Valley, built in the 1920’s. J.D.Ross, The Father of Seattle Light personally supervised the installation of the gardens and the nightly light show as part of his public relations efforts for the Seattle municipal electric utility. After wandering up and down and all around the gardens, we entered the visitor’s gallery on the upper level of the powerhouse. It’s a very well done history of the Skagit power project as well as explanation of the process of power generation and of dam construction and operation as well as a view of the generators.

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Arctic Circle Ceremony

Arctic Circle Ceremony

After a few days of exploration in the realm of the Arctic Circle, we aboard the Jewel of the Seas celebrated with a Blue Nose Ceremony and will receive Arctic Crossing Certificates!

Magerøya Island

Magerøya Island

We made it to the Top of the World, or at least the northernmost land mass in Europe, Magerøya Island. On our coach tour we learned much about the natural history and the cultures of this starkly beautiful place.