Kyle Kotajarvi

Day 4: Snoqualmie Falls + Rattlesnake Lake

I had the privilege of sleeping in until about 7:45 today and it felt amazing! The only item on the agenda today is to visit Snoqualmie Falls! Since it’s Christmas Eve, and my first Christmas Eve ever away from my family, I’m truly thankful that I get to spend with good friends.

The route out to Snoqualmie Falls was short, but gorgeous.  It’s really amazing how quickly the transition is from cityscape to mountain range. We arrived at the falls within half an hour and parked the car near the lodge.   We crossed over a wooden walking bridge and came upon the upper part of the Falls. 

Since it had poured the majority of Tuesday, Snoqualmie River was swelling, and it was blasting its waters over the falls.   Both Jenny and Madison said they had never seen falls as teeming as they were today.  As I inched closer to edge of the observation deck to begin taking photos, I was immediately hit it with the blow back of wind and mist the falls were generating.  It was like sticking your head out of a car going full speed down a freeway. 

After taking a few photos from the upper part of the falls we walked back to the car and drove down to the lower falls parking lot.   It was a bit of a change being able to park so close to the location we wanted to reach.  The past few days have been filled with some really amazing hikes, and that aspect was really missed at Snoqualmie.  The boardwalk leading towards the falls clung to the side of the gorge and appeared fairly new.  Apparently, fencing add been recently added to the end of the boardwalk, which would prevent any non-tree-climbing individual from getting any closer to the falls. 

The Snoqualmie Falls area itself was very built up and touristy, which was different from all of the other places I’ve visited so far.  It’s not as if the falls weren’t beautiful, it was just so easy to get there that it didn’t feel like we earned it, or actually explored.  We walked back up to the car, but not before wandering down to the waterfront to snap some photos.  The river was honestly my favorite part of the trip. 

After shooting some photos at the river, we left for Rattlesnake Lake, but missed our exit and  went way farther east then we needed to.   It was actually a happy accident, because we got to see some of the biggest parts of the region. 

We eventually arrived at Rattlesnake Lake and it was absolutely gorgeous.  The wind was  blowing in off the lake was freezing, but it was such an incredible experience.  Apparently, Rattlesnake Lake was created accidentally by flooding from a nearby Chester Morse Lake, a newly created reservoir.  The town of Moncton, which was one located on the north end of the lake, was completely destroyed by the catastrophe.   

We departed Rattlesnake Lake to eat some breakfast at a cafe called "The Egg and Us"  in Issoquah.  That might be the worst name for a restaurant I’ve heard in a while, but we had an undeniably incredible breakfast.  I had ham and cheese eggs, hash browns, sourdough toast with raspberry jam and four massive strips of bacon.  It. Was. The. Best. 

After devouring our weight in breakfast wood, we headed back to Seattle and I said goodbye to Jenny and Madison for the last time and headed back to Wiley’s, where I began packing my bags.  Since it was Chrismas Eve, Wiley was going over to his uncle’s place for dinner and the plan was for me to hang out at a restaurant until about 10, when Kassidy would come pick me and we would spend the night at her sister’s apartment.  Fortunately, Wiley invited me to his family’s Christmas Eve party with him and Kelly.

Before we headed to Wiley’s uncle’s, we rushed to a hill close to his house to try and capture one last sunset Seattle sunset together over Seattle.  We then headed to Wiley’s uncles down in Sammamish/Issoquah and had a really lovely time.  We had steak, shrimp, croissants, and salad for dinner and had some really great talks with his family.  We headed back to Wiley’s place around 9:30 and Kassidy came and picked me up at 10:30.  We then drove out to Chelsea’s (Kassidy’s sister) mansion studio apartment out in Carnation and crashed.