Where I live in Australia, heat and humidity are normal in the lead-up to Christmas. But in the year of 2019, I was after something different. So, I hatched an escape plan and flew to Seattle. My desire to experience winter in the Pacific Northwest and see real evergreen fir trees laden with fresh ‘real’ snow not fake firs coated with artificial spray-on snow. I wanted to hear carolers singing Christmas songs while wearing layers of warm clothing with scarves and woollen beanies, not t-shirts and shorts.
A friend who lives in Seattle suggested after ticking off the usual highlights, I visit the town of Leavenworth, a few hours’ drive east from the Emerald City and visit the town of Leavenworth, Washington.
“It’s a unique town,” she said.
She wasn’t wrong.
The journey from Seattle to Leavenworth
If driving to Leavenworth there are a few options. One is via Highway I-90 a journey of 190 kilometres (118 miles.) Or there’s a high mountain route through Stevens Pass on US Highway Two. But this road is subject to road closures after heavy snowfall. With snow predicted the day we leave Seattle and neither me nor my Seattle friend who was accompanying me, possessing any snow-driving experience, we select the I-90 route.
Suburban Seattle is soon replaced by snow-laden evergreen trees on either side of the double-lane highway. My friend who’s driving (oh yeah, Jen conveniently left her Aus driver’s licence in Australia – oops!) laughs at the ‘tourist’ in the passenger seat incessantly snapping images of the scenery and repeatedly exclaiming, “Oh wow!”
Along the highway, snow laden evergreen trees stand upright like an army of stationary soldiers. I swoon as Seattle slips away, slowly replaced by the snowy suburbs. As we switch from the double-lane highway to a single lane, I want to reach out my passenger window and touch the fir trees just to confirm that they’re real.
To read the rest of the story I wrote about this trip for Road Trippers.com follow this link to Leavenworth’s Bavarian winter wonderland ignites the holiday spirit with nutcrackers, reindeer, and 500,000 lights