One of our online gaming friends from NWN is in town visiting, and since he wanted to see the area around Seattle (i.e. the non-urbanized locale) we went for a long, looping drive yesterday up through Snoqualmie Pass, across Blewett Pass and down thru Stevens Pass. We essentially combined the Mountains to Sound Greenway route with the southern leg of the Cascades Highway loop.
We headed out I-90 to Snoqualmie Falls first. There was a trail down to the riverbed that I'd never taken before, probably because it was advertised as a steep grade. Which it was, although I did all right. (I managed to stay upright, so points for our side.) Really gorgeous, and a view of the falls when you get to the end of the boardwalk that is worth the climb. I have some photos from my phone in a Scrapbook/LJ gallery cleverly titled Nature, but they don't really do it justice.
Then we took Highway 97 North to Leavenworth, the faux-Bavarian tourist town, where we had lunch in an odd basement semi-hippy cafe. I don't even recall the name, as it was our second choice, the first place we tried to go being an evenings only establishment. Odd, I say - the dish I had was called God Food, for example. It was just sitting there on the list with perfectly ordinary sandwiches and soup. It was really good - soba sesame noodles, with lemon-tahini dressing and lots of garlic. Essentially custom designed food for me - a fine intersection of particular favorites. I will have to try and recreate it here at home somehow. Anyway, so while I can't argue with the name, it was still strange to order it.
After lunch we drove back to Seattle via Highway 2, which was quite a bit snowier than I-90 had been, or even Hwy 97 - we'd been driving thru heavy snow on the roadside ground, and banks higher than the vehicle roof, but even when we were driving in snowfall there wasn't any on the road until we were headed back west again. I had the luxury of lounging about in the back seat, though, and spent most of my time looking up and out, so I won't attempt to aver there was absolutely no snow on the road before then.
We got back into town just about dark, so it worked out nicely. I love driving up in the mountains like that, I was delighted to have to opportunity to go along.