Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dry side wet

For many of us on the Wet Side of the mountains, going to Eastern Washington is a desirable outing because it gets us some sunshine.

But on Friday, the Dry Side was just about as wet as the Wet Side - and has been really wet all over the region.

But we had fun nonetheless.

My first challenge is joining up with my daytrip companion, Chris, which requires more driving than I normally do - and is a commitment to driving myself back home afterward that for disability reasons is not always an optimal choice.

But I did it, albeit with a "turn around & come back home option" that left things up in the air to a degree that would discourage most folks trying to plan a day.

Even once I was there, we didn't decide right away that we were going to go over the Pass, but after an early lunch, we decided to go for it, with Chris driving.

There was much snow on the approaches and summit to Snoqualmie Pass, but it was a fun drive even with rain coming down.

By about Easton, our dog-like companion, Floyd, was indicating a need for a potty break so we
stopped at West Nelson Siding Road and walked east on the Iron Horse Trail (one of the Best Rail Trails around) a bit, in intermittent light rain.

Still having an urge to travel, we headed east to Thorp, mostly in rain until the very end. But crossing the summit at Elk Heights, East of Cle Elum, puts one in open country that looks very much like The West of film and legend. It seems to be somehow good for my soul.

Thorp was fun & Floyd went wild - it must strongly resemble where he spent his puppyhood
in Northeastern Washington. He very much wanted to get out of the car & go herd cattle. He was so engrossed in the cattle that he missed the sheep on the other side of the car, not to mention a herd of twenty or more mule deer very close to the road in an open field.

Before we found someplace we wanted to walk, we were back in the rain, so decided to head back west on old US 10 toward Cle Elum - great views of the Yakima River in a canyon below with railroad on one side and the Iron Horse Trail passing through old railroad tunnels on the other.

Back on I-90, we drove West through rain again to Golf Course Road exit (formerly East Nelson Siding Road) which didn't quite grab us, so we followed nelson siding road - fun!
- back to the west end and walked West from the same place we had earlier Walked east.

That was also quite nice - at least visually and in nature studies, if not on the ears - it's maybe a bit too close to i-90 traffic noise, though I appreciated the proximity to the active BNSF line. Even if there weren't any trains while we were there, they were at least a possibility - rare on a Rail Trail.

Well satisfied, we headed back over the pass. Back at Chris's, I quickly hopped in my car to try to get home before the traffic got too miserable, but apparently it had gotten miserable without me. But I still made it home okay, and quite pleased with the accomplishment and especially the outing.

Great fun & very good for my head.

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