A Stormy Day Up Stevens Pass
My first morning in Seattle, the PNW’s weather live up to all the hype I had heard about… flat gray skies that eventually opened up to torrential downpours. I had planned to wake up real early to drive down to spend the night in Mt Rainier National Park, but the 80-100% chance of rain and low cloud cover wasn’t exactly ideal camping and tall-mountain-viewing/photography weather. So I unfortunately bailed on those plans. Over brunch, my friend told me about Leavenworth, a weird swiss/Disneyworld-like town on the eastern side of Stevens Pass (Route 2) about 2 hours away from Kirkland. The weather looked more promising (at least no rain) heading that way so with nothing else to really do, I hopped in the car and went east in absolute torrential rain… rain so bad, nearly all traffic was pulled over outside Monroe because nobody could see through their windshields.
I took my time heading up the pass, but unlike other road trips I typically do like this, I didn’t pull over and didn’t take one picture until I was on the east side of the pass. Not that it wasn’t beautiful with clearly massive, luscious-green peaks all around, but it just wasn’t overly picturesque due to the dense, thick low-lying clouds. Plus, it was raining and I only had a t-shirt.
After a quick beer on a patio in Leavenworth and a stroll through some arts festival, it was time to turn around and start heading back to get back in time for ‘family dinner.’ Heading back west, right outside town, the clouds magically started to lift as some blue sky emerged. Until the downpours started up again on the west side of the pass by Skykomish, I finally got some intermittent light to play with over about an hour. I really need to plan a three-week road trip up there in the next year…