Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Carnation, Wshington

June 19 -24, 2016:

It’s time to leave the Ahanapecosh Campground and it’s nothing but bright sunshine, first time all week, that figures !  On the ride north, on route 123, through the park there are spectacular views of a cloudless Mt. Rainer, but no place to pull over.  When this happens and no one is behind me, I sometimes do a quick stop and go.  

A parting shot at Mt. Rainer

The driving conditions were great today, the navigation was a bit shaky, but somehow I made it without a wrong turn.  Our destination, Tolt-MacDonald County Park is in Carnation, Washington in a beautiful farm valley.  The town of Carnation gets its name from a local dairy farm started in 1899, "Carnation Farm” that became the “Carnation Milk Company".  Originally the town was named Tolt after the Tolt River which runs through it.  There was considerable controversy over the name change and it was reversed for a while then changed again.  It has a nice downtown and will be a good spot for us to get cleaned up and recharged after ten straight days of dry camping. We stop for a beer at the “Pete’s Club and Grill”, (part of our recharge process) with a nice outside patio, it sure feels good to sit in the sun.  We like it enough to return later for dinner which was very good although the service was slow and weird.

Pete's Club in Carnation

Was hoping for more than Pizza at the Lazy K 

Segis Pietertje Prospect - World Champion Milk Cow
from 1913 - 1925 at Carnation Farm

The Tolt-MacDonald Park is a very large and well manicured County park bisected by the fast flowing Tolt River.  The RV area has paved roads, grassy campsites, fire pits, picnic tables and electric and water hookups.  There is a scenic walking suspension bridge over the river to a tent camping area on the other side.  There are also walking trails along the river and a short trail to downtown Carnation.

The suspension bridge over the Tolt River
The quality of life seems pretty high in this area with several very nice nearby towns.  We explored the towns of Fall City, Snoqualmie and Duval which all have vibrant downtowns and not a Walmart or MacDonald’s in sight.  They are all river towns along the Snoqualmie River and Tolt Rivers with a lumbering heritage.  Every town has a very modern, large state of the art, library.  It is only about a half hour ride to get to the Seattle area from here making it an attractive place to live.

Totem Pole in Snoqualmie

The most interesting hangout in Snoqualmie

With a most interesting mural on the outside patio

Lumber trucks roll through town regularly

Nice stone work in park area along the river

The Snoqualmie Train Depot

Massive trees like this one are long gone 

Interesting wood signs along main street in Duvall

Duvall Coffee House looked good

Liked the sign

The Snoqualmie Falls at 268 feet high is the second highest falls in North America and big tourist draw.  Pugent Sound Energy operates the Hydro-Electric Power Plant on the Falls which was built in 1899 which sort of set the design standard for future hydro-electric power plants.  It has been enlarged and upgraded with new technology for increased output and remains fully operational supplying power to the Pugent Sound metropolitan area.   Pugent Sound Energy has done an excellent public relations job with the park areas, the falls viewing areas, the excellent interpretive signs, the nature trail to the river and a fully outfitted souvenir shop.

View of the Falls

Interesting plant along the nature trail

This fern like plant is very unusual

New tree growing from an old giant

At the river next to the lower power plant

The Falls from the river

The Falls are a sacred ground and figure prominently into the creation story of the Snoqualmie Tribe.  The tribe relinquished this land to the US government in an 1855 treaty, they probably didn’t have much choice, either give it up or die.  The US has recently deemed the Falls area to be “Traditional cultural property” and have listed it on the National register of historic places, over the objections of Pugent Sound Energy.

I return to Snoqualmie, to take some photos of the remarkable bone yard of old Steam Locomotives at the “Northwest Railway Museum”.  This museum is in the building stage, their main thing at present is a weekend train ride to North Bend.  They have a Train Shed exhibit building but you need a two weeks in advance reservation to see it.  They also have a shop area, but it is not open to the public and a Railway Education Center that is in the planning stage.  All you can see at present is the Depot which is the original structure built in 1890 by the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway.  It was completely restored in 1981 and is the oldest continuously operating train depot in Washington.  This should be a great museum when fully completed.

US Plywood Corp Mallet Locomotive next to Depot

Old Train control board

Advertisement for Milwaukee Road coach seats

Door of wood stove in Depot museum

Famous photo of Engineer George Longworth
and daughter in 1919

The restored Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Train Depot

Old Steam Locomotive on storage track

Massive 1907 Northern Pacific Rotary Snow Plow

Shaw Locomotive in storage

Baldwin Locomotive in storage

After an oil change and wash job on the Jeep, I return to Fall City stopping for a bowl of chili at the Fall City Roadhouse and Inn.  I was attracted here by their classic neon sign and the original appearance of the Inn.  This was originally the Riverside Tavern and Colonial Inn built in 1916.  In 2008 the building was totally remodeled and the upstairs rooms converted back to vintage 1920’s appearance.  Bottom line, the place is clean and beautiful and one of the best bowls of Chili ever.

Fall City Roadhouse is a classic

  Another interesting attraction is the Snoqualmie Valley Trail which is a 31.5 mile former Milwaukee Road rail line now converted into a biking and hiking trail.  I wanted to walk the trail section that goes over the historic wooden 100 year old “Tokul Creek Trestle” that was recently reopened after undergoing structural repairs.  The Trestle spans a 400 feet wide gorge, 120 feet above Tokul Creek.  I was able to find a trailhead about a mile from the Trestle, after considerable research, it was a nice walk and the Trestle was very cool.

The trail to the Trestle

Couldn't pass these snapdragons along the trail

The Trestle was as impressive as expected

Nice husband that I am, I drive Twinkles to a quilt shop in the town of Issaquah about 15 miles away.  This is a larger town and definitely a higher rent district.  While she is in the shop, I slip away to the old downtown about a mile away.  The train used to run through town, the track are still there and they have resurrected the old Train Depot.  They have a small rail museum there along with a Caboose and a Trolley car.  They still operate a tourist Trolley ride on weekends and for special occasions .  It another cute downtown, good stuff and has the huge impressive new Library that seems to be common all over King County.

Logging mural in downtown Issaquah

Darigold Dairy plant mural

We return to the “Fall City Roadhouse” for a breakfast, Twinkles has fantastic looking order of French Toast and I have a bacon, tomato and cheese Omelet.  It was a great breakfast, one of the best !

I return to Duvall to the “Match Wine and Coffee”  to see local musician Jim Marcotte play.  I’m not real comfortable hanging out in these more upscale places, but it turned out to be a most sociable evening for me talking about traveling with a nice local couple sitting next to me.  He lived in Weed, California as a youth where we were earlier this year and as I explained our travels, they were familiar with about all the places. She said she was in New Jersey for business and couldn’t believe how beautiful it was with the rolling green hills, that’s not what you usually hear. I didn’t really hear much of Jim Marcotte with all the conversation, until near the end when it was just me, the restaurant owners and Jim’s girlfriend left.  I did like him, so I bought a CD, sadly probably his only sale of the night.

The next stop will be a one nighter at the Tulalip Casino in Marysville, Washington and then onward to Sedro-Woolley, Washington:

Twinkles and Slick

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