I started out to look for suggestions on where you could go to get away from the rain this weekend. Eastern Washington, right?
Nope. The National Weather Service says it’ll be raining in Yakima, raining in Chelan, raining in Spokane.
Portland and Vancouver? Rain. (Environment Canada has even issued an official Rainfall Warning, for up to 4 inches of rain in coastal British Columbia.) Go skiing instead? The Cascades are supposed to get rain mixed with snow.
So embrace the Great Northwet. Here are 3 ideas to get you out of the house. Grab your Gore-Tex and go:
1 Snoqualmie Falls at its best
6501 Railroad Ave., Snoqualmie. Scenic route: Follow Northwest Redmond-Fall City Road (Hwy. 202) east from Redmond. At Fall City, cross the Snoqualmie River and turn right on Southeast Fall City-Snoqualmie Road. Signs at the top of the hill point to parking lots for Snoqualmie Falls. Park entry is free.
Snoqualmie Falls is at its most dramatic during heavy rains, when all the more water makes the 268-foot drop to be dashed on rocks below, sending clouds of mist in the air as if hooligans were dynamiting for fish. As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service predicts that the river’s water volume will peak Saturday night. While the volume is high, it won’t be at flood stage, so you’re safe to drive out to the falls. Renovations in recent years improved the falls-side park and a boardwalk trail to the bottom of the falls.
2 Get steamy at Volunteer Park Conservatory
1400 E. Galer St., Seattle. Free admission first Thursday and Saturday of each month. Other days: $2-$4. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Take a walk in the rain around pretty Volunteer Park, then dry off and warm up in the classic, 103-year-old Volunteer Park Conservatory, which reopened in December after a $3.5 million renovation of the rare Victorian glasshouse. It’s all warm and steamy inside, with orchids and palms and more warmth-loving plants than you can shake a mister at. Even better, this Thursday and Saturday are free-admission days (though donations are gladly accepted), and there are free workshops on growing succulents (noon and 1 p.m. Saturday).
3 Embrace the rain forest
Head for the Olympic Peninsula and see the rain forest when it’s really a rain forest.
The Hoh Rain Forest is always an option for a day hike. Waterproof yourself, and keep an eye out for possible high winds in the woods this weekend.
And book a place to stay, preferably with an ocean view and cozy fireplace. Try La Push, where you can also walk on the beach.