Tag Archives: Index

Coming Home Over The Mountains

My return journey from Chelan brought me over Stevens Pass on a sunny day.  I had a schedule to get back for another meeting so wasn’t able to loiter too much but I still managed to take a few minutes out to stop and grab a couple of shots.  There aren’t many places to stop going over Stevens Pass but, coming down from the summit heading west, there is a pull out and so I made my first use of that.  I also stopped coming in to Index to grab a snack from the coffee hut there which has a nice view of Mount Index.

Misty Morning In Index

During my time off, we made a trip across the Cascades.  It’s not uncommon to find it misty/foggy as we drive from home towards the mountains in the morning.  As you get a little higher, you come out of the mist but the clouds will still be hanging on the sides of the mountains.  We stopped off in the little town of Index for a quick break.  The town sits right under some large cliff faces making it a popular place to climb.

On this morning, climbing would have been a bit of a cold and damp affair but, as the day wore on, it would have been lovely I imagine.  I liked the morning, though, with the clouds swirling around the hillsides.  It looks at first as if the area is still with the mist hanging over everything but, if you pay attention, it is clear just how much the clouds are swirling around with ever changing areas exposed or covered.  It is quite entrancing.

Index Road Bridge

I mentioned the bridge in Index in a previous post and I thought it deserved its own post.  The bridge is relatively new having been built in the late 1990s.  The road to the town in on one side of the river and the town is on the other so the bridge is pretty important!  There is a rail bridge too, but the road is the way for most people since the trains don’t stop anymore.

It is an arch structure.  The roadbed is suspended from the arch by a selection of cables.  These come down in pairs from the arch and into the bed of the bridge.  The structure is steel and, whether it was assembled on site or elsewhere, you can clearly see how the sections were assembled with the bolts through plates at each of the joints.

The arch shape is attractive and the symmetry of the bridge when viewed from the end is also very nice.  Because the area is not too busy, they have not cluttered things up with too much fencing to segregate the pedestrians from the traffic so the whole thing has a simple look to it.  A nice job by some engineers!

Index Sits Below the Mountains

The route across the Cascades via Stevens Pass takes you right past a small town called Index.  It is tucked in amongst the mountains and alongside the river so it is no shock to find it is a popular space for outdoor activities.  The mountains provide plenty of climbing options including Index Wall.  The river is good for rafting and kayaking.

The mountains around the town are the thing you can’t help but notice.  There is an old hotel in the center which, judging by the signage on the outside, is targeting the outdoor adventurers.  It has been there since the late 1800s so I imagine it has changed its clientele over the years.  The railroad also runs through the town so I suspect it once used to have more railroad business.

The river was flowing well but not too high when we were there.  It has some pretty substantial rocks in the river bed so the water must flow with some force – I suspect during the spring when the melt is coming off the mountains in volume.  The bridge into the town across the river is a modern construction and is worthy of its own post so don’t be surprised when that shows up.