Five Fun Facts About White Pass in Washington

White Pass, Washington

Travelers crossing the Central Cascade Mountains of Washington may drive on Highway 12 and eventually crest the range at White Pass. White Pass is south of Mt. Rainier, north of Goat Rocks, and located between the communities of Packwood and Yakima. It’s a very popular route for travelers and has a number of scenic sights to see on both sides. Here is a look at five fun facts about scenic White Pass.

Touched By Two Counties

White Pass not only separates Eastern Washington from Western Washington in the central part of the state, it also serves as the border for two counties. Yakima County in the east and Lewis County in the west meet at the top of White Pass.

Ski White Pass

The White Pass Ski Area, a popular Washington recreation site, was opened in January of 1953.

Highway 5?

Most drivers going over White Pass today, are driving on Highway 12 all the way from where it meets Interstate 5 in the west to where it meets Interstate 82 in the east, near Yakima. When this route across the Cascade Mountains was first established though in 1931, it was named State Road 5.

A Long And Winding Road

While locals think of Highway 12 as White Pass or even a major east-west route across the Cascade Mountains, it is so much more than that. Yes, it does cross the Cascades at White Pass, but it also starts at Aberdeen in the west and goes for almost 2,500 miles to the city of Detroit, Michigan in the east.

Twin Medalists

Twins Phil and Steve Mahre grew up skiing at White Pass and would go on to become Olympic medalists. Their father, Dave, was for many years the mountain manager of the White Pass Ski Area.

Five Fun Facts About Sumner, Washington

Sumner WA Bridge

Sumner, Washington is a city of about 10,000 people. It’s a suburb of Tacoma, located just east of Puyallup. It’s also right on the way to Mount Rainier which makes it a great place to stop for a meal, snack, or picnic.

Here is a look at five fun facts about Sumner, Washington.

The Southern Border

The Puyallup River is 45 miles long and gets its start from Mount Rainier and empties into Commencement Bay. Along the way, it forms the southern border of the city of Sumner.

What’s In A Name

Sumner was first platted in 1883 and was named for U.S. Senator Charles Sumner. Sumner was known for his staunch position against slavery during the Civil War era.

In The Path

Should nearby Mount Rainier erupt again, scientists predict a catastrophic lahar (mud flow) will hit Sumner, just after hitting the small town of Orting and just before hitting nearby Puyallup. This fact is featured in an episode of the television series Modern Marvels.

Original Names

When the area was first settled, what is now Sumner was originally known as Stuck Junction. It was then later renamed Franklin. The United States Postal Service was one of the driving factors in then changing it again to Sumner.

Yearly Festival

The big yearly get together in Sumner is the Daffodil Festival. The first Daffodil Festival was held on April 6, 1926.

Interested in more information about Sumner, Washington?
City of Sumner

Bar Rescue Comes To Sumner, Washington

Bar Rescue

Okay, when not out on a road trip, one of my guilty pleasures is the show Bar Rescue. It’s an interesting “reality” show where expert Jon Taffer comes in to “save” a bar that’s in danger of going out of business. Now, you can tell a lot of it is scripted, but it’s usually still entertaining.

Episode 7 from Season 5 of Bar Rescue featured a local establishment called Schafer’s Bar & Grill in Sumner, Washington. It’s always interesting when one of these types of shows comes to our region.

Bar Rescue – Season 5 Episode 7

The show opens up with the biggest drama being the former owner hanging around after he’d sold it to the new owners. He’s supposedly helping, but the new owners have begun to think that he’s trying to sabotage their business in the hopes of getting the bar back.


-The burger and steak ordered in the beginning took over 35 minutes and were cooked wrong.

-The 6 oz. sirloin steak sells for $6.99 but the nachos are almost fourteen bucks.

-Taffer tells the owner that running after a mediocre bartender was a mistake.

-An emotional meeting between owner and former owner, with a twist!

-It was a sports bar… is it after the remodel?

-A new name!

-But did they like the changes?

Sumner, Washington is a suburb of Tacoma, located just east of Puyallup. In honor of this small city having one of its businesses profiled on Bar Rescue, we’ve worked up a fun little article:

Five Fun Facts About Sumner, Washington

Five Fun Facts About Dry Falls In Eastern Washington

Dry Falls Washington

Dry Falls is one of the most impressive natural sights to see in Eastern Washington, if not the entire Northwest. This is the site of an ancient waterfall that roared at the end of the last ice area, plummeting over 400 feet, and stretching for up to five times as long as Niagara Falls.

Here are five fun facts about this impressive and scenic natural wonder.

Kept Dry By A Dam

The Upper Grand Coulee is home to Banks Lake which is a man-made lake filled with water pumped up from Grand Coulee Dam. The southern end of Banks Lake is sealed off by a long earthen dam, Dry Falls Dam. This dam keeps the from the lake from continuing down and falling over the edge of Dry Falls.

No Speed Limit Signs

When Dry Falls was active at the end of the last ice age, it’s estimated that the water rushing down the Grand Coulee and spilling over the edge of the waterfall was traveling at approximately 65 miles per hour.

Lots o’ Lakes

Within the Dry Falls area, there are actually several small lakes. Some of the smallest may completely go dry during the end of summer. Some of these lakes include Dry Falls Lake, Green Lake, Park Lake, Red Alkali Lake, Perch Lake, Meadow Lake, Mirror Lake, Deep Lake, and Vic Meyers Lake.

15.5 Miles!

While the rim of the fomer waterfall that makes up the most dramatic scenery of Dry Falls is three and a half miles long, once you descend into the canyon floor area you will find 15.5 miles worth of hiking trails there to explore!

There’s Fish Down There!

In spite of it being located in a very dry area and surrounded by sagebrush and rock, the many lakes at Dry Falls not only contain fish but are popular local fishing destinations. Some of the many different types of fish caught there include Rainbow Trount, Brown Trout, Sunfish, Perch, Kokanee, Lake Trout, and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout.

Spend The Night At The Hampton Inn – Richland / Tri-Cities!

Hampton Inn - Richland

When it comes to Eastern Washington road trip destinations, it’s hard to top the Tri-Cities. When you visit there you can expose yourself to the Tri-City Americans hockey team, the Columbia Center mall, the scenic Columbia River, several local and state parks, some nearby hydroelectric dams, and a nice selection of shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. It’s one of those rare destinations that really does offer something for everyone.

On one of our recent visits to the Tri-Cities, we also had the luxury of spending the night at the Hampton Inn – Richland / Tri-Cities.

This is a very nice hotel that makes it difficult to get out and explore the surrounding area because it’s so comfortable and has so much to do right there. The lobby and hallways are very welcoming, as is the staff. When we entered we caught a glimpse of where the free breakfast would be served in the morning and that looked very promising.

Our room was also comfortable and welcoming, as well as clean. The decor and the television were very modern and the free wireless internet was used and approved of by every member of the family. I enjoyed the fitness center as it had a nice selection of equipment. The kids loved the pool. If there’s one thing a hotel needs to make my kids happy it’s a good pool and the one at the Hampton Inn – Richland / Tri-Cities definitely lived up to the test. That breakfast the next morning? Just what we all needed to start the day off right.

Two things that we didn’t expect to find adjacent to our lodging when we came to the Tri-Cities that we all loved was the Riverfront Trail and also Howard Amon Park which was right next door. From the hotel, the Riverfront Trail leads downriver to more hotels, parks, and a golf course. Upriver, you can follow the Riverfront Trail through parks and near residential areas. All along the Columbia River, you can take some great scenic photos right from the Riverfront Trail. Howard Amon Park is just a short stroll from the hotel and features wide open spaces, boat docks and launches, playground toys, tennis courts, and more. Combined, we spent more than a few hours just enjoying some fresh air and we didn’t even have to drive away from the hotel.

The Tri-Cities is a great destination with a lot to do and see. If you go there, stay at the Hampton Inn – Richland and assure yourself of the best stay possible.

Check them out online:
Hampton Inn – Richland / Tri-Cities

One Photo: A Close-Up Of The Concrete, WA Mural

Concrete, WA Mural

Not too long ago we featured the very cool and very memorable North Cascades mural in Concrete, WA. This is a very cool small town worth visiting on the Cascade Loop. In today’s “One Photo”, we take another look at this mural, or at least a very small part of it.

The Concrete, WA mural is huge and very detailed, but what I liked about the part pictured above is that this is the spot in the mural that actually shows the building I’m standing in front of as I take the photo. This is the building that the mural is actually painted on. Wrapping my head around that, to me, gave the entire project a fun vibe. Thinking about it as you stand in front of the large painting, that you’re looking at a painting showing an aerial view of the building you’re looking at gets confusing in an illogical way. I found myself wishing there was a small person standing in front of the building looking up at it so I could say: hey, that’s me! Just one of the many things to love about such a great piece of public artwork.

Roadside Attraction: Old Number Six in Newhalem, WA

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

The small town of Newhalem is located high in the North Cascade Mountains, on the west side of the crest that separates Western Washington from Eastern Washington. Newhalem saw its birth as a company town, it being a big part of Seattle City Light’s long plan of buildin gthree hydroelectric dams in the upper Skagit River Valley.

Today, you can visit Newhalem and see a lot of interesting attractions, many of them quite historic. One of the top attractions though for kids and adults alike, especially those interested in railroad history, is Old Number Six.

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

Old Number Six is the name given to a historic locomotive that sits right next to the highway at Newhalem, surrounded by a large playground, a nice picnic area, and even some playground toys for the little ones. Those playground toys aren’t the only thing to climb on though. If you’re stopping there with kids, make sure they get a chance to climb around on the historic locomotive engine too. For parents, this is a great photo taking opportunity too. Snap photos of your kids posing on the front of the engine, climbing up to where the engineer operated it, or even climbing up onto the coal car in the back. If they can find there way to it, they can even ring the train engine’s bell.

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

Since you stopped to check out this cool historic train engine anyway, you should take the time to look around the rest of Newhalem. Check out the general store, it’s been operating there continuously for decades. You can also check out the water tower, the Skagit Information Center, and the grounds there. Get out in the outdoors a little more by taking the short hikes, one to Ladder Creek Falls and the other along the Trail of the Cedars. There’s a lot to see at Newhalem, but it all starts with Old Number Six.

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

Stay At The Silver Sands Resort In Rockaway Beach, Oregon

Silver Sands Resort - Rockaway Beach OR

One of our favorite road trips shouldn’t surprise most people who live in the Pacific Northwest. Highway 101 up and down the Oregon Coast offers some of the best scenery in the region. Stopping at the many public beaches, state parks and recreation sites, and small beach towns can turn any drive into a full day event. There really is so much to see that it makes it hard to stay penned up in the car too long.

A great place to stop for a few hours, overnight, or even for a stay of a few days or more is Rockaway Beach. If you’re looking for a place to spend the night while you’re there, you can’t go wrong with choosing the Silver Sands Resort.

Silver Sands Resort - Rockaway Beach OR

When you stay at Silver Sands Resort you’re staying at a true beachfront hotel. Your room is going to give you a wonderful view of the beach and the Pacific Ocean. There are even trails that lead right fron the grassy area out in front of the hotel down to the soft sand and the surf beyond it. High tide, low tide, and all times in between; you’re conveniently located in a spot where you can access the beach at a moment’s notice.

The staff at the Silver Sands is very friendly and extremely helpful. This is an older hotel but has been modernized and updated in some important ways. We found the microwave and mini fridge to be very helpful and convenient. This is the perfect place to go for that classic small beach town vacation experience.

While, like us, you’re probably considering an Oregon Coast vacation because you want to be near the ocean, there are still some things you’ll want back at your hotel. The Silver Sands Resort has a lot to offer in that regard too, including a pool, hot tub, and spa. You’ll also find flat screen televisions and free wireless internet too. A nice homey touch is the board games available to borrow from the office.

One of the best things about the Silver Sands Resort is its location in Rockaway Beach. It’s right in the center of this small vacation getaway and there are several shops and restaurants in all directions. Rockaway Beach is a nice little town and getting out and exploring it on foot can be a lot of fun.

Silver Sands Resort - Rockaway Beach OR

The Oregon Coast is as awesome as they say and Rockaway Beach is a top notch place to stop. If you want to spend the night there, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the Silver Sands Resort.

Check them out online:
Silver Sands Resort