Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sunny Snoqualmie Saturday

Today, Lance and I celebrate 5 years of marriage. The original plan was to go on a weekend trip to Victoria, British Columbia via one of the Victoria Clipper's packages, but having to buy new windows and a dishwasher meant that we had a bit of a cash flow crunch.

So...we decided to do a day trip close to home. And my choice of where to go was pretty easy. We haven't been to Snoqualmie Falls yet, and I heard great things about it, and the surrounding area.

Turns out, it was a perfect destination. Lance and I had an amazing time.

Our first stop was Snoqualmie Falls. It's an extremely popular tourist destination, and it was crowded today. But we found a parking space and we dealt with the crowds. From the parking lot, we took a footbridge across the street over to Salish Lodge, and then walked to the observation deck. From there, we had stunning views of the falls, but we could also walk down to a lower observation deck.

So that's what we did. The walk was a bit tough...steep and damp and a bit treacherous in places. But we went through this amazing forest that was like something primeval. It was so cool.

We spent about an hour and 15 minutes there total, and then drove into downtown Snoqualmie. We wanted to see the Northwest Railway Museum. The admission is free, and most of the museum is visible from the main drag through town. Many old, derelict, rusty train cars are sitting on the tracks, and there is a walking path going alongside them so you can get a close look. Signs are posted, telling you about the history of these trains.

The museum also offers scenic train rides on the weekends. The locomotive is cobbled together from passenger cars of several eras. Lance and I bought tickets and went all the way to the back of the train, which was a coach car circa 1940's. It was all decked out for Halloween. The train goes to the neighboring town of North Bend, back to Snoqualmie, and then to Snoqualmie Falls.

(Adult admission is $10, by the way, and they do have a Halloween train and a Santa train).

In my opinion, it was really worth it. The views from the train were really pretty. And we went past an old train workshop that had train parts and old abandoned cars scattered around. Even if you've already visited the falls, the train gives you a totally different viewpoint of it.

The train ride was a little over an hour. After we finished that, we poked around some of Snoqualmie's little shops. They have a delightful used bookstore/cafe called Isadora's. We bought homemade (absolutely delicious) fudge at the Snoqualmie Falls Candy Factory. They had a lunch counter in there, like one you'd find at drugstores in the 1950's. It was amazing. Lance and I want to go back there to eat sometime. They were making homemade caramel corn at the time, so the entire shop smelled phenomenal.

Our dinner plan was to eat at Woodman Lodge Steakhouse and Saloon, which is located in a 19th century building next to the train depot. This restaurant was once a saloon for the loggers who worked in the town in the early 20th century. The restaurant still has that sort of vibe.

But this is where things got awkward. Lance and I perused their menu online ahead of time, so we already knew that we were both ordering pasta. Their steak is very spendy. So we went in, were seated, and our waiter went through his whole lecture about their steaks and the different ways we can order them, and then I ended up ordering ravioli and Lance ordered fettuccine alfredo. I felt bad, actually.

But their pasta was really good. My ravioli was stuffed with gargonzola and walnuts, smothered in a basil cream sauce. Amazing. It came with garlic cheese toast. I ordered a house salad. Believe me, there was more than enough. Lance didn't finish his fettuccine either.

So...they do other things well besides their steaks.

After dinner, we left and came back home. Snoqualmie was about half a day or so...well worth it. But we had to pick up the poochie, and we spent some time hanging out with our friends who were dogsitting her for the day.

I have to say, Snoqualmie is the most ridiculously cute town I have ever seen. The fall colors were breathtaking. The weather was perfection. We couldn't have asked for more.

Anyway, pictures.

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