Everett school teacher writes guidebook for the N. Cascades Highway

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By Marina Rockinger

An Everett school teacher writes the ultimate guidebook for travelers of what's been called "the most beautiful mountain highway in the state of Washington."

Cascade High School science teacher Jack McLeod just wanted to help a friend. She told him she drove the North Cascades Highway regularly, but didn't know the names of the peaks,  so he decided to help.

"The whole thing started as a photo project," he said.

McLeod figured he would shoot a photo, then simply label the peaks.

"That led to thinking, well there's story behind these peaks," he said. "Maybe I'll make a little, like, six page flip book for friends, saying when the peaks were first climbed and other little tidbits of information."

McLeod admits it became what he describes as an 'obsession.'

"I kept taking pictures and finding out more about gold miners and geology and natural history. It just grew and grew and grew until finally some suggested. 'you know you should actually make this into a book.' "

He titled it simply "The North Cascades Highway: A Roadside Guide"

McLeod describes the book as a 'road log' that begins in Rockport and winds its way to Mazama.

"As you drive across the highway, there are these amazing sights. You go around curves, and there are some fantastic peaks sitting in front of you," he said.

Along with pictures of breathtaking scenery, McLeod includes geological history of the peaks, roadside parking areas and detailed maps.

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