Christmas took some…unexpected…twists and turns this year. We were supposed to go to visit the husband’s family in Idaho. The fact that there is a pass (Snoqualmie) between us and them proved problematic this year. Last year the mountains of Washington got very little snow. I mean almost none. Like, scary small amounts of snow. At the end of the summer Mt. Rainier looked like a large rock. But, on December 17, 2015 it started snowing like a banshee.
Within 7 short days, Snoqualmie Pass received 110 inches of snow. You read right: 110 inches. Great for our mountains. Not so great for those of us trying to travel. I began obsessively watching the Washington Dept of Transportation mountain pass webcams about the time that it started snowing. Probably not the wisest thing for a coastal kid to do. I mean, I freak out if I wake up to a skiff and have to drive to work. Watching it snow day after day after day? And the pass close for avalanche control, reopen, close due to spin outs and collisions, reopen? Bad news.
On Wednesday evening, around 5 pm, the pass closed again due to extraordinarily dangerous conditions. We made the very difficult call to stay home for Christmas. Turns out that was the right call, as the pass didn’t reopen until 7 pm Christmas Eve.
So, we made the best of it. Which wasn’t half bad. There is a certain draw to being home for Christmas (though we definitely missed the ID family and the events we had planned with them). We went to Christmas Eve service, then came home and had a wonderful meal (I have to pat myself on the back for tossing it together in less than 24 hours). On Christmas morning we sat next to our big, beautiful tree and enjoyed exchanging gifts and laughing at the cat. I made baked eggnog donuts for breakfast, and afterwards we bundled up and headed out to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge for a walk.
It was cold, but not windy. And, at 9:30 on Christmas morning we pretty much had the Refuge to ourselves. The tide was out, much to the husband’s chagrin. He calls it a “desolate wasteland” when the tide is out, leaving mudflats as far as the eye can see. I tell him he’s missing the beauty that’s present no matter the tide level.
I had the 70-200 lens on the camera and am not real happy with the results. Seems like I had some issues with clarity. Not sure if I didn’t have the shutter speed high enough or was just off my game. Oh, well, I’ll try not to dwell on it too much. Still learning.
By the time we headed back on the boardwalk there were more people out-and-about. Quite a few families, which was nice to see. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours before coming home, cleaning up and joining my Aunt, Uncle and cousins for prime rib Christmas dinner.
Christmas may have not turned out how we initially expected, but it was still very nice. We were with each other…which is what’s most important.
Now, who’s going to clean up the house and take down the tree and the decorations for me? Any takers? Anyone?