Noon Thursday, May 8 is now the projected opening time for the State Route 20 section through the North Cascades from Ross Lake to Early Winters.
As of Monday, May 5 Washington State Department of Transportation east and west crews had just 3.5 miles of snow-shrouded highway between them in the vicinity of Rainy Pass.
With weather conditions (mild and cool) cooperating they expect to link up and widen the cleared swathe in three days. Avalanches plagued the effort late last week forcing snow-clearing machines to revisit sections of the highway on the lower flanks of Cutthroat Ridge to remove fresh blocking snow slides.
Both trout and turkeys await outdoors enthusiasts as the fishing season just started and the spring turkey hunt enters its second calendar month.
Though it has not been announced yet, the annual informal 12 p.m. gate opening ceremony for early arriving west side motorists at Happy Flats above Ross Lake includes a serving of Tootsie Clark's cinnamon rolls and coffee (Marblemount's Eatery Restaurant). Stay tuned...