Yesterday was my birthday! I like birthdays. Cake. Presents. My own special day. Which usually spans multiple special days because that’s how I roll.
A few weeks ago the husband asked what I would like to do for my birthday. I could choose between a gift or an overnight trip. Considering that I had my eye on a rather expensive tripod (which I got!!! So excited!! Low shutterspeed, here I come!!!), I chose gift. However, since my birthday landed on a Saturday that meant a day adventure of some sort.
What I really wanted to do was hike to Tolmie Peak, which is up the Carbonado entrance of Mt. Rainier. It’s a relatively easy hike up to an old fire tower with beautiful views of Eunice Lake below and the mountain in front of you. I had visions of sitting on the peak on my birthday eating a cupcake.
It can happen! The weather we experienced on Wednesday is living proof that Pac NW can occasionally spit out beautiful days in the winter. So, I was hopeful.
Then, a couple of weeks ago a notice of winter road closures was posted on the Mt. Rainier FB site. Included in the closures? Mowich Lake road. The trailhead to Tolmie sits 17 miles up Mowich Lake road.
Okay, then, perhaps another hike. And then I started watching the weather report. Not looking good. Not looking good at all. I don’t know how much rain we got yesterday. The forecast called for 1.5 to 2 inches. We got a lot the day before, too. And the day before that. So, yesterday, my birthday, brought with it flood warnings. And landslide warnings. Very festive.
Which brings us to the whine of the winter child. Not to be mistaken for the wine of the winter child. That’s red and rich and she’s happy with her winter wine. I’m referring to the whine of the weather variety.
Here’s the lay of the birthday land in my immediate family: Mom, August 17. Dad, August 18. Brother, August 20. Daughter, November 14. For real. When I was a kid that was tough. Not just because of the luxury of having a summer birthday, but because everyone got a party except for me. And I do love me a party.
Now that I’m grown I appreciate being the non-August birthday. And when I was a kid I could write a birthday list and whatever I didn’t get for my birthday automatically got converted to the Christmas list. But, kids with summer birthdays don’t hear things like, “I’d better get your cake made in case we lose power.”
The husband, unfortunately, is also a winter baby: January. We’ve gnashed our teeth a bit about our mutual winter birthdays. Why couldn’t one of us be a summer? We dream of outdoor parties with the grill smoking in the background. Not torrential rain with landslide warnings.
So, we have to be a bit more creative.
Which is what led us to Snoqualmie Falls yesterday.
Snoqualmie Falls is a 268 foot waterfall. Most of the river is diverted into two power plants, but when the water is high there’s enough for everyone. In other words, the falls turn into a gusher. Such was yesterday.
Power plant 1 was built back in 1899 and operates at the base of the falls, embedded in the rock 270 feet below the surface. Plant 2 was built in 1910 and further expanded in 1957. It sits a short distance downstream from the falls. Perched on the edge of the falls is Salish Lodge. The lodge was originally an 8-room inn built back in 1916 as a rest stop for travelers. In 1988 it was completely renovated into the 89 room lodge and spa that we know today.
After taking in the falls (which didn’t take long because the combination of the rain and the spray coming off of the falls made for mother nature’s very own waterfall showerhead) we went into the lodge and enjoyed hot toddies and a wood fired pizza in The Attic lounge.
There were other bits and pieces of the day, too. Willy Wonka has a slot machine and he took my money at Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn. We ate too many cupcakes from Hello, Cupcake in Tacoma. And I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 because that’s, apparently, what happens when you’re over 40 and closer to 45 than 40 but still closer to 40 than 50.