the more things stay the same, the more i want them to change

Snohomish, WA

I spent most of this weekend in the town of Snohomish.

The drive out there by myself on Saturday was great. About halfway to the exit on I-5, I started feeling tired and wondering if I should turn back. But I told myself to look at this amazing day and the easy traffic, together making a great day to be out for a drive. Once I was off the highway, I quickly became convinced I had to be going the wrong way - how could all these miles of residential areas dotted with strip malls possibly lead to a quaint little historic town hugging a river?

Once you start descending down this steep hill with lots of switchbacks, you get glimpses of the valley below - mountains surrounding farmland stretched out in front of you to the horizon. I was very excited then. I had no idea this pocket of green pastures and crops had been happily nestled into this valley all this time. I didn't even know there was a valley!

Something about lazily driving along the corn fields, spotting the occasional cow pasture and kicking up dust that's spilled into the road, put me at ease despite wondering where this road to nowhere could possibly be leading me. I drove past these cute, tiny red barns - perfect replicas of the stereotypical red barn, but the size of a pretty large shed. There was a sign, showing it was a development for what looked like they were selling tiny plots of land for you to place a little barn and some crops on, rather than a new sub-division signs showing all the duplexes you can move into. A big P-Patch with cute little structures to putter around in and house your equipment during the week when you're busy at your little hide-y-hole cube trying to impress your boss.

I was so damned excited about those little barns, but I couldn't find a place to stop that was both safe and had a good view. Snohomish, once I got there, didn't hold all of the photographic opportunities I was looking for either. Mostly because I'm focusing on nature right now and for the life of me, I couldn't find an appealing spot to photograph the river.

So yes, I made it to the town. And it was small and charming. I had an edible lunch at a pub, checked out the shops, and picked up a little Kodak Brownie camera from the 50's. The best part was this quite plain looking public gazebo tucked away between the buildings on the water. Stepping under its shade and looking out over the river, the temperature lowered at least 5 degrees. I wished I could have sat there for an hour and just write and write, but it was not to be.

So today I took Eric out there to see what I'd seen. We walked around, had some ice cream, looked over antiques, and took the long way back through some winding roads. We ended up in Maltby where we stumbled across the Snoqualmie Ice Cream "factory". It was more like a barn next to a cafe offering sandwiches and coffee with their ice cream.

It really was a lovely weekend.


KB said...

I used to go to Snohomish with my grandma the summer I lived with her in Monroe. I think I was 11 or 12 that year. Beautiful area. We buy the Snoqualmie Gourmet ice cream all the time. My fave flavor is the caramel gingersnap. Not really caramel-y at all, but just plain yummy. Never been out to the Maltby store, though...I keep meaning to because my friend Vickie lives out there. Anyway, glad you had a good day trip (s) and I hope E. has a very happy birthday.


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