Location : Kerry Park, Seattle, WA | USA
Location : Gasworks Park, Seattle, WA | USA
A hot day in Washington during the summer time? Want to get out and cool down. Head right on over to Snoqualmie Tunnel. There is plenty of parking and the tunnel is quite cold. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight or headlamp with good batteries because this tunnel is dark! This 2.3 miles of tunnel is a fun hike. If you are claustrophobic or/and crept of the dark; this is not a hike for you. This tunnel is dark and damp. At the end of the tunnel there is a restroom and park benches to have a picnic. You can ride you bicycle through the tunnel if you want. Remember to be courteous to the hikers.
Over all this is a great place. Don’t hesitate to go because it might go away soon. The tunnel is old and decaying. I except this tunnel to be closed soon because of lack of funding to maintain such great historical tunnel.
The Break Down
The tunnel now serves as part of a rail trail in Iron Horse State Park. The trail is called the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, but sometimes also called the Iron Horse Trail. It closed January 30, 2009 and reopened July 5, 2011 after renovations to the walls, ceiling, and path were completed. Wikipedia
Location: Snoqualmie Tunnel is located at Coordinates 47°23.718′N 121°26.677′W
History : The tunnel was constructed from 1912-1914 by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Road, as part of its line from Chicago to Seattle. Electrification in 1917 eliminated smoke dissipation issues.
In 1980 the Milwaukee Road received approval from the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon its western lines. On March 15, 1980, the final Milwaukee Road train passed through the tunnel. Later, Washington state acquired the right-of-way for recreational use.
Today the tunnel is part of the Iron Horse State Park rails-to-trails project. It is usually closed between November 1 through early May due to ice formations inside the tunnel. On July 5, 2011 the tunnel re-opened after 11 months of renovations. The $700,000 renovation added a 4-inch layer of concrete to the walls and ceiling, a reinforced structure, and a new and improved walking surface of crushed rock
Points of interest: Dark and cold tunnel. Great way to get out of the heat in the Summer time.
Since the Winter of 2011 I wanted to go to the ghost town of Lester Washington. Getting there is pretty tricky and I only recommend going the summer time due to the snow fall. So on July 28th, 2012 I packed up my gear and went to Lester. This was my first true hike to a ghost town. Not sure what to expect, I brought my normal summer hiking gear, a head lamp and a point and shoot camera. Once arriving at the bridge, I parked the car and started on foot. No cars are allowed passed the bridge, also the heavy gauge gate will prevent you from continuing on by automobile.
On the way to Lester you will see concrete pads that look like some sort of structure was on them. Continuing on you will be able to see Green River and train tracks. Across the train tracks there are a few building that still stand. On the north side there is a building that once held the school bus. You will also see a weather station and some equipment for trains.
Over all it was a flat hike with allot of nature taking back the land. I saw a stampede of Elk running in front of me across the road past Lester. My camera was slow to start and could not take any pictures of them running across. I have since upgraded to a camera with fast start time and gps built in. This should make things easier to follow where the photo was taken and also take more pictures of wild life.
The Break Down
Lester was a small town near Stampede Pass, just south of Snoqualmie Pass in King County, founded in 1892 by the Northern Pacific Railway (now the BNSF Railway). Lester is located along what is currently National Forest Development Road 54.. Wikipedia
Location: Lester is located at Coordinates 47°12.55′N 121°29.64′W
Elevation: 1,634 feet (498 m) above sea level
Population: 0 (2011); 250 (1908)
Town Closure: 1978
More information about Lester:
Points of interest: Wildlife, a few houses and buildings, rail road tracks and a ton of rail road spikes.
Leavenworth is my go to town when I want to take a break from city life. Is it too touristy? Only if you think enjoying good food in a beautiful landscape is. People here are friendly and always helpful. When visiting In the winter time don’t forget to grab your snow sled and head down to Front Street Park (it the one that has a Gazebo and Maibaum) for some sledding. Its nothing crazy like going down a double black diamond run with a bota bag filled with schnapps crazy, but is great fun for kids and adults alike.
For lunch we headed upstairs to Café Christa for some hot German food and drinks. My personal favorite is their Jäger Schnitzel (Tender pork cutlet, breaded and pan-fried. Served with a hunter mushroom sauce, spätzle, and red cabbage). I am not much of a fan of pickled cabbage but their stuff is delicious. The service is great. Never interrupted our conversations with needless how everything going or is the food okay every 5 minutes like so many places I have been. The servers at Café Christa have a knack for timing and ask or even add to the conversation at the right moment. A must if you visit Leavenworth.
Next stop The Gingerbread Factory. This is our fist time we actually been inside. Every time we are up here they were closed, but not this time. Walking in, we were greeted by the friendly Baker slash Barista. The atmosphere was bright and fun. All the baked goods looked good and scrumptious. I picked out a Raspberry Scone with Raspberry Butter and a cup of Joe. Both were good, especially the Raspberry Scone. Next time in town I am definitely coming back for another.
A mentionable shop that we did not make it on this trip was The Cheesemonger’s Shop. The couple that owns and run the shop are friendly and very knowledgeable about cheese and wine. This is my go to shop to pick up some picnic good eats. Want to try something new? Ask them, they offer samples. They introduced me to Drunken Goat Cheese and was instantly added to my top five must have cheeses before you die list.
The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum was another place we didn’t have time to visit. I have never been there but heard that you should check out when you are in town. Maybe next time.
The Break Down
Leavenworth is a city in Chelan County, Washington, United States. It is part of the Wenatchee–East Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,965 at the 2010 census. Wikipedia
Area: 1.3 sq miles (3.367 km²)
Population: 1,993 (2011)
Official City Site: http://www.cityofleavenworth.com/
Points of interest:
This is a sneak peek of my weekend trip to Leavenworth. Here are some of the pictures of the journey there.
Nason Creek Safety Rest Area
Taking a break at Stevens Pass parking lot.
I will be restarting the site shortly. We have quite a bit of location to write and post from last year. Will post as fast as I can.
It’s not a big surprise that I love to go hiking, especially in the Great Northwest. With the incredible views and the incredible challenges, it gives you the satisfaction of accomplishment. Plus you have cool gear to play with on the way. This trip was no exception; it was the most beautiful hike I have done in Washington State yet. The hike was quite difficult, but was well worth journey. Next time I will probably leave my tripod behind and opt for caring more water or a water filter.
There is something about hiking across glaciers and glissading down permanent snow covered hills in the summertime is exhilarating. With the crisp cool breeze and the warmth of the sun shining on you, it is hard to relate it to any other feeling. It’s one of those things you have to experience yourself. Here are some pictures and a video of the trip.
Mt. Rainier — NE – Sunrise / White River
Mt. Rainier National Park
|Elevation Gain||1950 ft|
|Highest Point||5900 ft|
Location : Grand Coulee Dam, WA | USA
Temperature : 23C / 73F
Score : 9
Location : Seattle, WA | USA
Temperature : 19C / 66F
Score : 7