Snowing up high at 2,726 ft through Snoqualmie Pass

Snoqualmie Pass did not disappoint with snow over the recent Christmas weekend.

This popular Washington State mountainous area was a treat to help make up for a very quiet and otherwise dulled outlook to this holiday season peak. A spontaneous adventure was due, traveling with an old friend who worked in the area. With no New Years plans, ruined by the rising Omicron, I needed this. I never been to the Snoqualmie Pass, therefore it interests me, especially with its famed winter snowfall.

Snoqualmie Pass is a mountain passage in the Cascade Range deep in the Snoqualmie Forest, west of the Snoqualmie Valley, with an elevation of 2,726 ft (831 m). The area is named after the local indigenous Native American tribe, part of the Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Snoqualmie Pass was well-known and utilized by indigenous natives long before U.S settlers set foot in the early 19th century. Over time, the area was planned for a large railroad line expansion, then eventually abandoned.

The Interstate 90 is now the main highway in and out of the area, and 54 miles east of Seattle. The famed Pacific Crest Trail also crosses through the area, a long hiking route that stresses far to the south through California, almost to the Mexico border. The Snoqualmie Pass remains small, but very significant in the Pacific Northwest with a very small population, 311 according to the 2010 U.S. census. The main draw for tourists is now the cluster of four ski areas with resorts stationed throughout: Alpental, Summit West, Summit Central, and Summit East.

After a serene and slow morning drive (about an hour and a half from Seattle), I set foot on some deep and plentiful snow. There was little purpose after, other than to escape the stressful city and explore the snowy landscapes a little, work on a writing project while my driver friend does some skiing. I did some observations of skiing sport and local activity, thinking of future plans to return and gain more from the area. Someday, I would like to partake in the sport of skiing and also do some snowshoe hiking.

Here are some pics, with notes!

This snow is deep and high there, so watch your step! Roughly 3 inches of snow were added overnight. By Monday, 44 inches fell, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation,

The lifts at the Summit at Snoqualmie, early in the morning during a light snowpour. Activity greatly rose around the noontime, for where I was inside sipping on local beer and working on a project.

The view from outside the window. Many large icicles to accompany the weather high of 30 degrees, low of 21 degrees.
Skiing looks difficult, challenging, yet fun. My friend gave me some pointers to think about, regarding balance and momentum.
I will eventually buy some good snowshoes, find some safe hiking terrains, and have some awesome winter wonderland hikes.
No sun in sight that day. The snow coming down was constant, yet not too enduring.
The roads are maintained very well here, but still must be careful and slow when driving through.
That’s me, Traveling Orion!

Well, that’s all for now. But, I will definitely return to the Snoqualmie Pass, hopefully with ski gear!

– Orion T

Living the hottest day in Seattle

108 F degrees happened in Seattle today, breaking an all-time record for hottest day in this city. Portland also broke its all-time heat record at 115 F degrees. This heat wave in the Pacific Northwest is excessive!

Yet, I kept myself cool for most of the day. I went out for a few errands around noon, finding that lemonade was a sold-out commodity in the downtown area. No lemonade seen on any shelves of some local stores I checked, nor at any Starbucks or popular eating areas (or, so I was told by a few local venders). I was craving lemonade, and settled on just making my own later.

For the rest of the day, I stayed indoors blocking out the sunlight through all my windows, and keep my oscillating fan on setting 3 and very loud. I devoured four popsicles.

I hope everyone else stuck with this weather made it through, maybe found a fun way to keep cool. I think today is the height of the rough weather, and hope we can back to usual unpredictable mix of clouds and sun at 70-85 F soon.

– Orion T

The above is picture is of Westlake Avenue, through the top of an clear sippy cup of iced water.

Foggy Seattle Weather Predictions

The good news is that Seattle is back to normal…with the weather.

Unpredictable, beautiful in own way through every condition. The other day it was sunny, but with low level fog giving moments of surreal blue haze. The next day, a spooky fog through the day, hiding the Space Needle from viewers afar. Then the next day, we got some needed rain.

The forecast today will be partly cloudy, partly sunny, higher humidity, maybe rain. We will see. For those living local and around, enjoy the moment when the Seattle weather can just be itself.

– Orion T

Blossoms in the wind

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“And so the spring buds burst, and so I gaze,
And so the blossoms fall, and so my days …”

– Uejima Onitsura, Japanese haiku poet of the Edo period, 1660-1738)

The above picture was during a recent rush to work in downtown Seattle. This flurry of loosened cherry blossoms, as I admired the surreality. They would almost fall to the ground, then scatter down the street in random directions, never to be seen again.

– Orion T

 

This Seattle Ice Age Cometh and Gone

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What a cold, snowy, slushy, wet week it so far in the Pacific Northwest…

The snow is thick and still ongoing in many areas. I hear the snowstorms have more recently hit Vancouver, Canada pretty hard. Portland also got a lot. It’s all pretty much everywhere now. But here in Central Seattle, the snowfall stopped, for now. Then we have some rain coming forward, melting much of the snow to wet, mucky slush. More snow may yet come, but for the next few days. we get a break from the sky, maybe.

I walked around a bit yesterday and the day before to examine the results of this Seattle Snowmageddon 2019, so far. We got covered pretty good. The above picture is from the Pacific Science Center by the Space Needle, where even the dinosaurs must freeze for this temporary ice age.

I also surveyed a few other local spots and took some pictures. Here are some around the Seattle Center and Denny Park…

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That’s all for now. Be careful, don’t run, and look out.

– Orion T

Seattle’s Snowpocalypse at UW

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It’s snowing in Seattle now, with more to come.

I’m enjoying it, for bringing a rare and peaceful beauty to this busy city. Though, many have to make adjustments to their lives, especially for those driving on the roads. It’s not as cold as the snowy areas of the east coast but definitely can feel an icy chill in the air.

Here are some pics recent from the Univerisity of Washington, in North Seattle. If in the area, do enjoy and explore, but be careful.

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The Revolving Winter

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I feel there is a little confusion in recent weather changes.

In the Seattle area, we had a little snow in the recent days. Depending on what part, which can range from one zip code to another, can be very little or a lot of a little. Before the snow, there was a mix of sunshine and light rain, which helped push forward some early blooms. Now the air is chill, with predictions of slight temperature raises in the coming days. The snow in and around my area has become a memory, though may return. The blooms meanwhile, seem hesitant.

Just wait and see.

– Orion T