It's been snowing for days. No let-up. No slowing. Just dumping.
This means the road crews have been more than busy trying to keep the freeway clear and there are precious few plow-miles to spare on recreational roads. So we'll have to wait for Franklin Falls. No way am I going to tack on additional miles even if the waterfall is gorgeous.
Instead, we returned to a spot that we knew would have snow and easy access: Bandera State Airport.
Ok, ok. I'm sure you're questioning the adventureness of going snowshoeing at the airport, but it's not a regular airport. Honest! It's more of a spot where there are no trees and a small plane could land. If it were in the South America it'd be the scene of drug deals, but only 45 miles from Seattle it's a great place to go snowshoeing and one where the kids and I have been before when we didn't have time for much more.
You have to park right at the offramp where there's a gate. It was already crowded, but we lucked into a spot and left the crowd sledding on the small hills behind. By heading due south and down the historical river bank we found untouched powder and left the roar of the freeway behind.
Way finding is a bit dicey trying to get to the river. There are multiple swamps and brushy spots, but by sticking to firm ground (or deep enough snow) we were able to get to the water without any disasters. The South Fork of the Snoqualmie River is pretty here. Trees line both banks so there are no big views. It's a great spot to reflect on the beauty of winter.
We followed the river downstream for a short ways and then turned back into the woods. Had I looked more closely at the map we would definitely have continued downstream further. There's a big sandbar that would be lots of fun to play on when the water is low.
We'd only walked about a mile by the time we got back to the airport access road and decided we'd check out the the landing strip rather than just head home. As much as I loved walking in the woods, the kids loved playing in the deep snow. They built me a snow throne and we threw snowballs for Treen. You can bet she slept well afterward.
For such a short trip so close to home it was a lot of fun. It's a great reminder that kids don't need to see jagged peaks or cross glaciers to have a good time. All we needed was enough snow to make some snow angels and let the dog run.