Around 3 p.m. on December 31st, we made the decision to get out and play in the snow. Actually, I decided to track down an airbnb rental in the Cascade Mountains so we could have a mini getaway amongst the winter weather. The pickings were thin, but I managed to find a small apartment in the town of Ellensburg, Washington. Early New Year’s Day, we packed up the car for a winter road trip (including shovel and kitty litter… I know) and took off to Steven’s Pass. Long story short, there is no way we were hiking without snowshoes, the “ghost town” we visited was pretty disappointing, and the apartment we’d rented started with frozen pipes, then flooded. The good news the owner notified us before we showed up and she did offer to find us another rental; we declined. Instead we drove a few remote roads, took some pictures, and stopped at Snoqualmie Casino on the way home. We were way over-packed for a day trip and it was a lot of driving for one day, but we enjoyed seeing just how beautiful this state is… even if the dead of winter. Did I mention it was 7°?
Truth be told, Melissa and I wasted our first several years here. I mean, we made a good use of the music and nightlife, but we flat out wasted the outdoors here. You know, that thing we said was one of the reasons we wanted to live here? Come to find out, exploring nightlife does not play well with waking up early to play in the woods. So, yeah… Melissa and I have made a concerted effort this year to enjoy it.
The pictures and map here are from our Thanksgiving weekend hike. It weather had been relatively clear for at least a week and, although chilly, we had to make use of it. We’d never really hiked close to home and only wanted to get out for a few hours, so a quick 45 minute drive got us to the trail headed up Little Si. About 90 minutes later, we were at the top and enjoying the view. My GPS battery died (rookie) at the top, but you get the point. The hike itself was quite approachable and I’d do it again if out of town guests wanted a short day hike. In all, a good way to work off the gluttony of Thanksgiving Day.
On the way home, we made a quick stop at Snoqualmie Falls. This is a local landmark that you always see on TV, but another we had yet to see. There’s no matching the waterfalls of Iceland, but it’s cool to have something like that so close to home.