Monday, June 25, 2012

Washington State Route 202

On Sunday, June 24, 2012, we drove good ol' State Route 202 through some very rural land just outside Seattle, on the old road to Spokane.

RCW 47.17.385
State route No. 202
A state highway to be known as state route number 202 is established as follows:

Beginning at a junction with state route number 522 near Bothell, thence southeasterly to a junction with state route number 90 in the vicinity of North Bend.

SR 202 @ SR 522
SR 202 begins here at junction with SR 522 at the city line between Bothell and Woodinville. Until 1970, SR 202 began in Bothell and headed northeast to Monroe while SR 522 ventured from Seattle to here to North Bend. The state switched them to make SR 522 straighter overall, but they managed to separate SR 202 from its "parent" route, US 2!

SR 202 @ SR 520
After zig-zagging westward in Woodinville to get back on the old road, we head south up the Sammamish Valley, passing the wineries of Woodinville's "Tourist District" (such a bureaucratic name to put on street banners, I think) and many an open field. The road hugs the east side of the valley, climbing rather high on the hill. We enter Redmond. Ooh, buildings! Large, quaint old town. Ignore the Town Center. Ignore where SR 908 used to be. See, though, the interchange with SR 520, the end of that expressway.

SR 202 @ SR 203
Over a little hill, we cross into the Evans Creek valley and are quickly back into heavily trafficked wilderness. The narrow valley skirts the Sammamish Plateau, changing without pause into the Patterson Creek valley. Abruptly the valley widens out, back to expansive farmland. Mt Si makes an appearance in the distance ahead. This is the Snoqualmie Valley. We arrive at Fall City, turn left across the Snoqualmie River, and find a roundabout junction with SR 203.

SR 202 @ I-90
The farmlands end quickly and SR 202 twists and turns up a steep hill just next to the river. And when you have a steep hill and a river together... waterfall! After a relaxing interlude at powerful, 268-foot-high Snoqualmie Falls, we hit the road once more. Highway 202 cruises alongside the old railroad through the city of Snoqualmie and then on across more farmland (under the impressive cliffs of Mt Si) to North Bend. Once in town, SR 202 turns southwest, off the old route. Much traffic, but we can't deviate like others. A few minutes later, we arrive at the end of SR 202 at this junction with I-90. Rattlesnake Ridge obliterates the sky.

And that wraps up this tame two-lane highway which almost has the traffic of an interstate...

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