Saturday, September 5, 2015

Our Last Week at Snoqualmie River

Unfortunately with his work schedule, and my poor planning, we didn't get to see Jeff again our last week in the area :-(  The rain was intermittent, keeping us inside more than we had hoped, but the wet is so needed here that we couldn't be upset.

One morning I made a solo run to check out a farm market off Highway 202. Remlinger Farms is much more than a market. Spread out over several acres are the food and crafts store, a small amusement park with animals and a riding train, a theatre, horse ranch, and full working farm. It is quite the place!

While there is lots of this,
there's also some of this,
and also a little of this.
The RV park gets pretty muddy, pretty fast, and we could easily see how it would flood every year. With just the first rainstorm, both rivers were significantly higher than when we arrived. With the water levels up we figured it was a good time to go see the Falls.

If you were a fan of Twin Peaks then you're familiar with Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge, both of which featured significantly in the show. Both the gift shop and the small diner in North Bend still reference the cult classic.

But we wanted to see the big water!  It didn't disappoint and we spent a couple hours reading about, photographing, walking around, and enjoying what we learned was nearly full capacity flow.

Snoqualmie Falls, WA

Covering all their bases......
Beautiful views in all directions
When we made our first drive around the area we had lunch in North Bend, and I fell in love with Mount Si. It is one of those majestic mountains that feels powerful and looks beautiful. Leaving the falls I suggested we see how close to the mountain we could get - it's pretty close to the little town any way.

Along the east side the road is so close to the mountain that you can't see it. Lots of large homes tucked in the trees.

Bill found another road on the northwest side where the properties are deeper, and the views of the mountain are amazing. With the Snoqualmie River running on the other side of the road, this area really grabbed us. In fact we've put North Bend at the top of the list with Tillamook, OR, for places we would want to live. It's colder and wetter here, but we could sure see ourselves spending two or three seasons in this beautiful place.

Mount Si from the baseball field in North Bend

Snoqualmie River
8 miles west of North Bend, historic downtown Snoqualmie is more a section of Highway 202, and a really cute section it is. With a railway museum; the red train depot; an amazing collection of old, rusted train cars along the highway; and several themed businesses; the place is all about the trains. It's a fun spot to stop and walk among the history and grab a bite while a model train runs over your head.

Snoqualmie, WA (loved the fuzzy tree)
1917 passenger car - we had a slightly smaller one under our tree when I was a kid

Complete with bells and whistles at Ray's Dining Car and Bar
In the little town of Carnation with the super clean and modern Laundromat is a sign for Tolt Recreation Area so we thought we'd check it out on our last day. There is a parking lot that provides access to the Ames Lake Plateau and Snoqualmie Valley Trail, and a lovely, small sports park. What there is not a sign for, and what doesn't show up on any search I've done, is a wonderful county RV park! 

All sites have this or similar view

16 pull-through sites with water/electric
The Tolt-MacDonald Memorial Park of King County is a serious gem of a spot. All but a couple sites would fit us, all have good separation, and half of them are along the river. Rate for hookups is $30/night, and the maximum stay is one week. One bathhouse. Call about nearest dump station. Tessa could do zoomies for hours on that big green field in the middle :-) This is where we'll stay when we come back to the area! 

Our "host town" while staying here is Fall City and for our last night we enjoyed the Fall City Roadhouse. Built in 1916 with just a dining room, the upper story was added to provide housing for school teachers in the area. These rooms are now lodging for the small inn. The food is delicious, the service friendly, and the old wood and brick interior is beautiful. It was a perfect spot to say good bye "for now" to this area.

Historic charm with modern coffee
Although not fans of travel on a holiday weekend, we headed out early Friday morning for Lake Moses. But not before calling to confirm that our last minute reservation was in place, and finding out it wasn't. 

Thank goodness for last second reservations.......


  1. The fall is beautiful. We took a day trip to see the area but the fall wasn't flowing like that. You hit the jackpot:)

    1. The sound was just as amazing - it was roaring!

  2. What beautiful places you seem to find all along your trail. We had thought about heading out before the holiday too but opted instead to wait until Tuesday. We were afraid there might not be anyplace to stay along the way. It's still hot and humid where we are. We're definitely ready for some cooler temperatures too.

    1. When we arrived at Sno River we were running both AC units and when we left I was in sweat shirt and heavy socks. There are vacancies in Moses Lake this weekend but I think it may be because of the rain - the locals say it's the "quietest" Labor Day they can remember. We've loved it :-)

  3. Now that park looks like a gem of a find! Nicer than the Auburn Game Farm that we stayed at. Remington Farms looks like my kind of place!

    When we stayed in Red Lodge, MT the forest service office had a map showing sightings of bear and moose in the area...they also had a sasquatch symbol in a remote area on the map. I talked to one guy who was certain he'd seen a sasquatch once...

    1. The farm was really cool, and they were setting things up for the harvest season - lots of pumpkins in the fields :-) They have a lot of fun with sasquatch up here.

  4. Wonderful information about where to stay and eat Jodee thanks!. Love the trains over head and those falls are just fantastic. I can see why you love them and the mountain.

    1. That county park is incredible with the "yards" all having forest and/or river views - you would love it! I'm going to read about Mount Si, I'm sure it must have some spiritual significance.

  5. I knew you would enjoy the area, there is really lots to see and do in the small communities. Steven has spent a lot of time in the fall after the rains documenting the flooding. It's amazing how fast those rivers can rise. And BTW, pretty sure I put Tolt-McDonald park on my list of places that I sent you. :)

    1. Oh man if you did I'm really kicking myself, although maybe I just saw the seven day limit and didn't look any further, knowing we needed twice that - but what a beautiful spot. Not surprised you know about it :-))) The rise in the water level was crazy. Yep, we love your "home town" for sure!!

  6. So you already have two potential places on your list of favorites for sometime-in-the-future settling down! ;-) We have an ever-growing list, too, even though we still love our hometown of Ashland. Thanks for the great tip on the county park -- we've found county parks to be some of the best places to stay in our travels.

    1. We figure we'll have a pretty good list for consideration when we're ready - although the ones closest to family will have some extra points :-) Dungeness Rec Area is a county park too, and I agree they are some of the best!