Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stories from the Road -- Snoqualmie, WA

On vacations with me, you need to take the term down day with a grain of salt. Previous to the Snoqualmie Day on my Northwest US vacation in 2008, Mom and I visited Yellowstone National Park, Twin Falls and Boise, ID, Columbia River Gorge and The Dalles, OR, the Oregon Coast, and Seattle, WA. Mind you, all of this in about six days.

Snoqualmie was just a little drive from Seattle, as a way to rest our weary bodies from the pain and suffering of riding in a Honda Civic for hours each of the past six days. Of course, we ended up doing two things that day, the other being a much longer drive to Puget Sound and Deception Pass. Nonetheless, I have a very fond place in my traveling heart for Snoqualmie, a down-to-earth town in a thoroughly beautiful setting.

Snoqualmie is home to an absolutely stunning waterfall. In fact, if you search for waterfalls and the state of Washington, Snoqualmie is likely to be your top hit. And for good reason -- the waterfall is gorgeous.

There is more to Snoqualmie than the waterfall, however. It has a beautiful downtown, too, and is home to a train museum. This turned out to be a popular spot for Mom, as the pictures below may indicate.

The museum features the obligatory train tracks, with the "show cars". A walk up and down the tracks is unforgettable, with the thick forests and rolling hills looking down on the innocent town. Why can't I live in a place like this?

The townsfolk had decorated the sidewalks and outdoor parks with flowers. Lots of them, colorful as can be. Mom had grown fond of the flowers in Washington. She took many pictures of them on the sides of roads and the intersections of various towns. One of her friends told her to look for them here. She was right -- the flowers were a highlight of this state. Flower shops and garden stores dotted the landscape, and Mom automatically veered her car toward these -- instinct.

I like Snoqualmie for its "small town" qualities. No rushing cars, no honking horns. The homes look innocent and well-constructed. The businesses were family shops. The train museum was full of history, with brown-stained newspapers and rust-laden tools. Everything had a distinct characteristic of genuineness.

Also in the middle of town was a huge "statue" of a log. A reminder of why this town exists. This is a town that lives off the forest. It is a town that respects the forest.

Snoqualmie was a much needed reality check on my Northwest US trip. It reminded me that people actually live here and get to cherish this beautiful place on a daily basis.

Welcome to Snoqualmie, WA, and the Northwest Railway Museum.