Well, it’s fall in the Northwest again. You know what that means: Crisp, sunny days. The changing colors of the leaves. Snow in the passes.
Wait. What? Snow? In September? Yep, that’s right. A freak snowstorm hit the North Cascades on Monday, dropping several inches of wet snow on the North Cascades Highway and forcing the closure of the 3-mile road to Artist Point.
Personally, I was hoping for a few more of those balmy 70-degree days. But I guess we’ve been overruled by mother nature.
On Monday, WSDOT crews working on Mount Baker Highway (SR 542) near Artist Point decided to close the last three miles of the road to Artist Point as a safety precaution. It’s a steep, windy road with narrow shoulders and no guardrail – a beautiful drive in good weather, but not for the faint of heart in snowy or icy conditions. Because of that, we typically close the road in mid-October and don’t open it again until mid-July.
Fortunately, the snow didn’t stick around for long, and the road was only closed for one day. Of course, if we get more cool weather – or more snow – anytime soon, we may have to close the road for the season. Here’s hoping for warmer weather.
You can find photos of our snowplows in action – on the first day of fall – by visiting our Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157607451604559/