Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Day On The Rails…


On another gorgeous Sunday, we decided to take the car on another practice trip for the big road trip coming up at the end of July. We didn’t have a particular destination this time, so we just hopped on Highway 2 and started heading east. As we drove, we passed the small towns of Sultan and Gold Bar before ending up in the little town of Index for a quick snack stop. After checking out the little town, which is obviously a favorite for the outdoors-type (think rafting, fishing and hiking,) we moved onward to the east to find our next stop.


After cruising through Index, we came up on Skykomish, and the Great Northern Railroad Museum. This once thriving railroad town is now a shell of what it once was. That said, the people of Skykomish are doing a magnificent job of bringing people back to their little town. The defunct rail station is now a museum. They run small model trains, and when I say small, I mean big enough for people to ride on, but not be in. They have a great candy store, a few places to grab lunch and some of the most picturesque views around.


Of course, even with all the amazing photo opportunities around Skykomish, the biggest attraction for the little ones is the train museum. Today, we were even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the steam engine they had in for a visit. We had the chance to ride the diesel/electric that had been up previously, but never the steam engine. Of course, there’s something special about this little guy…


It’s only about 6 feet long. Yes, this is a real steam engine with a ton of power. It’s also baby sized. The engine runs off a small, yet very hot fire, just like a real steam engine would. I tried to sneak around back while he was stoking the fire for an image, but there was just no real chance to get in tight to see it.


As you can see in the image above, the tiny locomotive really is a miniature version of a real steam powered train. The part I found amazing about it was the amount of force it generated. The straight away speeds and the acceleration was almost double that of the other engine.


We finished up at the Rail Road Museum with another ride and decided it was a good time to head where ever we were heading. What ensued was a road trip of epic food, gorgeous weather, and strangely stopped traffic…. Of course, our ultimate destination was the candy shop just shy of Leavenworth, so we just powered through the short jaunt over and stopped in for some taffy and general fun. After that, it was time for some lunch, so we back tracked to the 59er Diner.


About the time we reached the 59er Diner, it was definitely lunch time. They advertised their shakes on the wall, so of course I had to snag one. I also grabbed their twist on the Philly Cheesesteak. I’ll start with this – yes, the shakes are worth the wait. Next up, the food was amazingly delicious and not what I expected from a road side diner in the middle of virtually no where. After watching the kiddo hula-hoop for a bit, jamming out to the oldies on their sound system and enjoying a perfect afternoon in the North West sun, we realized how late it had become and we started for home.


The drive was insanely gorgeous. The majestic trees, rapid filled river and sunshine just made for a perfect scenic drive. I can see why so many trip guides recommend this drive to people from out of state. Then, just about back to Index is where the traffic got nasty. With a need for a potty break, we pulled in to another popular roadside attraction – Zeke’s Drive-In.


Zeke’s was a rather quick stop for us before getting back on the road and heading back to Monroe, but they had some good shakes – I splurged on the Green River one. Not as good as the 59er Diner, but pretty decent none the less. After a cool down and a snack, we jumped back in the car to wait out the traffic mess that was headed west back to our home. Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a much better road trip.

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