Trip number 8 was a study in contrasts from my other trips. As this was my first “long-distance” jaunt by myself I chose to spend a quiet afternoon reading in the North Bend and Snoqualmie libraries – reading. . .in the library. . . what a “novel” idea!
I headed out to North Bend first. By distance it’s towards the top of the list of the places far away from Redmond. As I made the drive past Issaquah and hit the 70 mph stretch on I-90, the hustle and bustle of the continuously developed areas began to fade. The mountains are temporarily hidden by the tree-lined freeway and its direction and elevation, until one is at about the Snoqualmie Ridge exit and the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades become regularly visible once again. I love that feeling of “breaking free” on the open road!
The North Bend branch has the neatest sign I’ve seen so far – a large rock affair with the letters etched in (granite, maybe?). As I climbed out of my car, I also heard music! A beautiful strain of classical piped into speakers over the door. Neat! I headed inside, took in the high ceilings and headed to the left to a line of windows and seating to settle in for a bit.
My friend and I run a book club (in conjunction with Hopelink) and we are reading Mari Strachan’s “The Earth Hums in B Flat”. I needed to read about 60 pages to be prepared for the following day’s discussion. While I did really originally intend to read, I also thought that I might look around a little from my perch and observe. . .but I was quickly absorbed in my reading and everything else just faded away. . .
When I finished my selection, I did poke around the stacks a bit before I headed out to Snoqualmie. Since eating is my second favorite thing to do after reading, and it was a beautiful day, my plan was to stop in downtown Snoqualmie and grab an afternoon pick-me-up. There was quite a crowd of people strolling on the sidewalks and through the trains. In a nod to Snoqualmie’s railroad past and present, I stopped into the Chew Chew Cafe and Candy. While a malt or scoop of ice cream was very tempting in the sunny afternoon, I ended up choosing a handmade peanut butter truffle and small chunk of coconut fudge to bring home. On my way back to the car, I also stopped into the Hardware and Variety store to pick up a bag of potting soil – one less errand to run later! The hardware store was of the small-town-all-around-awesome type – unique gift items along with your standard hardware and garden items.
After my pit stop in downtown, I headed up to Snoqualmie Ridge to visit the library. Sitting atop the ridge, the Snoqualmie branch has wonderful large glass walls facing the mountains. As I parked and headed in, I admired the high ceilings and found a quiet corner with a comfy chair with my second book – Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Lacuna”. I was promptly lost in another story, though I did try to make more of an effort to look up at the scenery between chapters!
As I finished the section I wanted to read, I picked up a couple of classics to keep going on my Top 100 List and slipped quietly out of the library into the rest of my afternoon. . .
Dynamic Map Here (I’m still failing on getting the pushpins to show up embedded. . .)