We have been reminded on this trip, especially in recent days, of the many reasons we love to travel. We met interesting and like-minded people, we saw some amazing sights, and we ate some really good food. That in itself is reason enough, but we had a number of odd connections with parts of our past lives that make you wonder if there isn’t some higher order.
Our newest travel friends are Brenda and Steve, a couple from Columbus, Ohio, who we met at the Salish. The Ohio connection is part of the serendipity, as that is where my brother lives and where I spent significant time as a student. That Brenda originally hails from Pittsburgh, my mother’s birthplace and where I still have family, only adds to the coincidences. Rounding out the oddities was the fellow we met at dinner the night before.
We didn’t get his name, but this individual was visiting from Philadelphia, where he resides in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, which is where we have an apartment. Or as he put it, from which we gaze down on Northern Liberties. I can see us running into each other on the street at some future date and wondering how we might be aquatinted with one another. We have made similar connections over the years while on small-ship cruises. Salish is a relatively small resort hotel, so you keep running into the same people.
As for the travel component, our last day was devoted to visiting locations associated with 90s TV shows, and going on a hike. Our first stop was the Twede diner (pronounced “tweedy”) in North Bend. It was the inspiration for the Double R diner in “Twin Peaks.” The breakfast was very tasty, but the coffee unfortunately wasn’t a “damned fine cup of joe.” It was actually kind of weak. And like every other meal we have had in the area, kind of pricey at $40 including tip.
Next we went to hike the Snow Lake trail, which is popular with people in the region. It’s labeled as being of moderate difficulty but it had aspects that were technically difficult, namely it was very rocky. We were fine with trudging uphill but the clamoring over rocks and boulders got to be a bit too much at some point. It was a reminder that we are both East Coast desk jockeys and not regular hikers. We didn’t complete the entire circuit but we did log about five miles, and the scenery was impressive. You definitely need sturdy hiking shoes. I wouldn’t recommend doing it in a sneaker type of shoe. But there were plenty of people heading up the trail with their dogs. We were there on a Friday and it was busy enough. On weekends it’s reported to be very crowded. The park is near a ski slope about a 45 minute drive from Seattle without traffic.
Following the two-hour hike we drove further east on I-90 through the mountain pass to stop in the old coal-mining town of Roslyn. It’s not large, but a couple of blocks in the town center still look much like they did in the 1800s. The facades were used as the backdrop for the Alaskan town in the TV show “Northern Exposure.” We made the obligatory stop at “The Brick,” which claims to be the oldest continuously operated tavern in the state of Washington.
After a 50-minute drive back to Salish we took advantage of the hotel spa’s soaking pools and finished the trip with dinner overlooking the gorge at the hotel. Food again was good, but pricey. We had local specialties of roasted wild salmon and halibut. I like salmon, but I have to say the extra cost for the local product at a menu price of $53 didn’t blow me away. I can be happy with good quality farmed Atlantic salmon. The evening ended with a night viewing of the falls. This region is definitely worth a visit.