Issaquah, Washington (and why!) July 10-14, 2011

Reminders: 1. Posts are in chronological order with most recent on top. 2. Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them and then using the back button (not close) to return to the text.

During our stay in Astoria, we reevaluated the next few months. Our planned route took us up the Washington coast, across the state to Glacier NP, all the way across Montana, south to Gillette, Wyoming and thence to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. To accomplish all of this took numerous short stays, with each stop involving set up, take down and puppy readjustment. Our original intention was to have our most common stay a week or more long.

So we reworked our schedule. Both Dot and I had had prior opportunities to visit the Washington coast. The campgrounds there were expensive and pet rules stringent, so we decided to pass. I wanted to see Snoqualmie Falls again and enjoy it with Dot. While we had interfaced with the Lewis & Clark Trail several times, there was plenty more to see.

One of the purposes for going to east Montana — Custer’s Last Stand – was severely compromised. While the site exists, of course, the story is not. Because the visitors center and museum have been condemned as no longer able to safely house this history, NPS has shipped all of the relics, artifacts and mementos to their warehouse in Arizona until further notice.

So we revised the schedule with a slew of week-long visits – though we started off with two short-stops.

Issaquah was the first of those short stops. We spent three nights, but there was only one reason for stopping there: the abovementioned Snoqualmie Falls. Descending 268 feet — 100 feet more than Niagara — Snoqualmie Falls attracts well over a million visitors a year. Adjacent to The Falls are two hydroelectric plants owned by Puget Sound Energy. One was built in 1898 completely underground at the base of The Falls. The second was opened in 1910 and upgraded since. Between them, they output 42 megawatts of electricity.

In 1992, the site was to be placed on the National Register, but PSE objected. They later withdrew their objection because of the major cultural and religious significance of The Falls to the Snoqualmie tribes.

My hopes of repeating my visit of 1070 were dashed. At that time, there was a bridge across The Falls and a quaint lodge adjacent to them. Breakfast at The Lodge meant that your waitress would stand on her tippy-toes and replicate The Falls by pouring maple syrup on your pancakes or waffles from her upstretched arm. It hit dead center and didn’t splash. The bridge is gone; at the top of the falls is a collection of heavy equipment doing who knows what. Twenty five years ago, PSE replaced the little lodge with a toney 89 room hotel, with $250-$650 room rates and commensurate food prices. We didn’t bite! PSE is also doing so much restoration on the site that the trail is closed until 2013.

The Falls, however, were still very dramatic; they were running strong because of the late snow melt. P.S. this was the set for the Twin Peaks TV show in the nineties!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *