On Saturday, January 17, 2009, we drove the length of Highway 18, from Federal Way to Snoqualmie (more or less). It's nice to drive the road I drove as a teenager (sorry, Mom!) and see all the changes WSDOT has made since then.
State route No. 18:
A state highway to be known as state route number 18 is established as follows:
Beginning at a junction with state route number 99 in the vicinity of northeast Tacoma, thence northeasterly by way of Auburn to a junction with state route number 90 west of North Bend.
At a busy intersection in Federal Way, Highway 18 begins. SR 99 is the federal highway that the city is named after, you know.
A hundred yards later, Highway 18 has a junction with SR 161. Looks about the same.
And another hundred yards or so later, 18 gets going and has a proper junction with I-5.
Down a steep, windy hill, we arrive at the bottom of the Green River/White River valley, aka Auburn. Here we find SR 167, the aptly named Valley Freeway.
A short way across town, the junction with SR 164. Heading to Enumclaw?
Up the Green River, hang a left at Soos Creek, up over a little hill just past Green River Community College (The old stop light is long gone. . .), and we get a glorious view of the junction of Highway 18 and Kent-Kangley Road, aka SR 516. Here we stopped for a brief visit to my parents. Home sweet home.
A bit late, we left my parents and continued northeast. The freeway section of Highway 18 ends seven miles short of I-90, but we managed to make it through the fog and over Tiger Mountain in time to get to I-90 just after sunset. Hence the pink sky.
And so old, familiar Highway 18 is at an end.