Day 6: Over the Pass to Kent

Our butts were in seats by 9:15 AM and we were off to Kent, WA, with a few stops in between.  The weather was very gray and overcast and then we hit rain.  Aaahhh, we were back in Washington. 

Eastern Washington is very agricultural, with miles and miles of farm fields surrounding I-90.  Normally this would make for eye-numbing views after a couple hours, but some kind and knowing group spiced things up a bit by labeling a bunch of the farm fields to tell you what they were.  We tried to even make a game of it by guessing what the field was before we saw the label, but as it is so late in the season (and after a severe drought, I understand) the fields were already plowed down, making the Guess What I Was game significantly more challenging.

That famous shot from Northern Exposure

In spite of the downpour, we decided to continue on with our planned stop #1, which was to whiz through Roslyn, WA, so Jim could see the site of the town made famous by the TV show Northern Exposure.  The Brick Tavern is still there, along with Village Pizza and, of course, the famous Roslyn Café sign.  We took a couple of pictures especially for the benefit of a dear friend of ours who is a huge Northern Exposure fan.  I think this town needs to hope and pray the show gets new life on cable re-runs, because their 15 minutes is going to be up soon due to lack of, well, exposure, especially to younger generations.

Downtown Roslyn

Roslyn was a very brief stop, mainly because there was talk of snow at higher altitudes and we still had to travel over the pass to get to the western side of the state.  And sure enough, as soon as we started climbing in altitude the pouring rain turned to a rain/snow mix and eventually to just snow.  Thankfully, it wasn’t sticking to the roads and we were able to go up and over with much ease.  Well, I say much ease because I wasn’t the one driving and it was no sweat off my back.  Jim, you did a great job as usual.

The one and only The Big Log

Our planned stop #2 was also a brief one because we were still getting rained on and we were anxious to get to our destination.  This stop was the site of The Big Log in Snoqualmie.  Now, it wasn’t advertised as the World’s Largest or even Washington’s Largest but it was the largest Big Log we’d seen so that counts for something.  OK, in the spirit of full disclosure, a few years ago my parents took us to see the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce tree in Oregon and it was one helluva Sitka Spruce.  A couple years ago it was blown over in a monster storm so now it is the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce Tree Trunk.  Since we only saw the spruce as a whole tree and not the log that was carted off after the storm I can firmly aver The Big Log in Snoqualmie was indeed the biggest log we’ve seen.  Glad I got that off my chest.

This was a very brief stop and we soon found ourselves checking into our beloved Best Western Plaza by the Green in Kent.  If you ever find yourself in Kent, do yourself a favor and stay here.  It is Four Seasons service at a Best Western price.  At any rate, we dropped off our stuff, freshened up, and girded our loins, I mean, excitedly got ready to go see the family.  This was actually going to be an extra special evening, because not only were we getting to see the family tonight but my mother had made our family risotto recipe that can be labor intensive.

Dinner was delicious (thanks, Ma!) and we had a great time and there were only a handful of pictures taken.  My mother can be a bit, how shall we say, overenthusiastic with the camera and quite the shutterbug.  We did have a funny instance, however, when it came time for birthday cake.  She decided as the cake was coming out that we should all gather behind the birthday boys for a photo.  We dutifully complied just as the singing round of Happy Birthday commenced.  So there we all were, trying to sing Happy Birthday and pose for the camera at the same time, unsure of when the flash would go off.  The picture was finally taken and we looked like a convention of ventriloquists.

The evening ended on a high note and we made our way back to the hotel absolutely pooped.

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