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“Traction Tires Advised”…?

April 2, 2011

Despite this warning on my approach to Snoqualmie Pass today (mind you, I do not have ‘traction tires’), and that snow was falling steadily when I reached the summit, the road was merely slushy and Day 1 went off without a hitch!

As soon as I began my descent, the sun began to shine. As I reached for my sunglasses I had a distinct sense of deja vu, and then it dawned on me: going from wet western Washington to sunny eastern Washington is much like going from foggy San Francisco to sunny Marin; in one case you cross a mountain range, and in the other you cross a big red bridge. But both work, most of the time. The two photos below show the change in weather I witnessed in the span of about 20 minutes today.

snow atop the pass

sun in the valley

sun in the valley

Even with less-than-ideal pass conditions, I reached Yakima from Seattle in approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. As is my custom, Tasting Room Yakima was my first stop. I enjoy the Tasting Room because it is in an old farmhouse (home to 4 wineries), set in a vineyard, and welcomes the wine country visitor with a great view of the valley. It is a perfect place to stretch your legs, have your first glass of wine and a snack, and unwind from the drive (snow or no snow). You have arrived.

After my visit to an old haunt, I discovered a new gem in Yakima: Geppetto’s Italian Bistro. My friend Laurie, who lives in Yakima, left me a message a couple weeks ago that said something like: “Go! Go! Go!” Chef Lindsay Park trained in Seattle, making stops at Harvest Vine and Purple along the way. Her food is well worth the 5 minute drive from downtown. Perhaps my favorite dish was the evening special: pulled pork tacos with a pineapple slaw (she apologized that it was not in keeping with the restaurant’s Italian theme – I did not mind at all!). Funny enough, as I was ogling my neighbor’s more traditional charcuterie and cheese tray, the couple across the way presented the chef with a challenge: vegan only. No problem. Lindsay and the staff handled the vegans, and everyone else in the dining room (many regulars clearly among them), as if they were dear friends deserving of nothing but the best. Geppetto’s, it was nice to meet you!

Deegan at the Tasting Room Yakima

The sunset in Yakima was beautiful tonight, but it is dark now and time to settle in. While the trip was easy, preparing for 9 days on the road was, well, not. I am beat. I do owe it to Deegan to let you know that he is my travel companion on this trip; he didn’t appreciate being left out of the promotional pieces.

More from the Yakima Valley tomorrow…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol permalink
    April 2, 2011 10:58 pm

    Driving through snow, with doggie! Sounds familiar! Be safe!

  2. Mom permalink
    April 3, 2011 2:33 pm

    So glad you made it there safely and glad I didn’t know ahead of time about the snowy conditions on the Pass. I wish I was enjoying the sunshine with you….too many clouds in Seattle. Looking forward to reading your daily updates.


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