When I decide it is a day to take a jaunt around Sky Valley , I like to start out at the Chamber of Commerce. Here I find locals with a wealth of knowledge and passion for what is currently happening in the valley. Depending on the season I may bird watch, take photographs and/or hike. One of my favorite activities is to photograph the weather systems moving through the valley and winter offers me frequent choices.
My preferred place in the valley for lunch is the Wallace Falls Café in Gold Bar. Billy, the nicest waiter, greets you with a contagious smile. Since I come here frequently, one of the matriarchs will always offer me a warm hug as I am being seated. The meals here are outstanding. The food is authentic, healthy and balanced. My favorite is #14 the vermicelli bowl. It has a blend of flavors and I like that I can chose the option with or without meat. Here is a place to start feeding your soul. Not just with great food but with a nurturing energy for your day.
After lunch, I may meander up Highway 2 on a gradual climb up into the mountains. I am always looking for the perfect photo, checking on the fog and cloud levels for the day. Depending on what they are like I may turn onto Reiter Road to take pictures of Mt Persis enshrouded in clouds or I may continue up Highway 2 for a hike.
A favorite hike is Heybrook LookOut [trailhead is on Highway 2, just past mile marker 37] where a climb through the forest is meditative and the viewpoint offers spectacular vistas of the cold mountaintops of the Central Cascades.
If I decide to take Reiter Road [approx mile marker 30] it’s a winding lane where one tight curve was named by the early settlers as ‘devil’s elbow’. With that warning I remember to take it slow and absorb the beauty of nature around me. The evergreen trees contrast with the bluish foothills behind as a cloud hangs in the valley. After a few turns, there she is, Mount Persis, with peaks at 5500 feet, snowcapped in winter. Persis looks great at sunrise, mid-day or sunset; with unobstructed light to view her beauty.
When possible, I end my route in the town of Index, at the Outdoor Adventure Center. Here I can warm up with a coffee and jot a poem inspired by my day in the Skykomish valley.
Light and Color
watching the clouds slowly drift down the curves of the valley,
gracefully playing with the sunlight between the mountain tops and river,
the air is pristine from places far and unknown,
here my senses awaken and mind becomes complacent,
detached from anything but the shining light illuminating the deepest to the lightest shades of a moody jade river.
Here are the places Kristin mentioned
Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce Information Center-320 Main Street, Sultan WA 9829, Wallace Falls Café-429 Croft Avenue, Gold Bar WA 98251, Reiter Road [between Gold Bar & Index], Heybrook Lookout #1070 – follow Highway 2 to the trailhead just past mile marker 37, Outdoor Adventure Center-444 Avenue A, Index WA 98256