Yesterday, a lovely autumn day; cold, crisp, bright sunlight low on the horizon. With my wife fighting some virus, thus wanting nothing more than to sleep, it seemed a perfect day for a road trip. My son and I headed east for the mountains (specifically Steven’s Pass) after word of first snow. My son shares with me a dislike (perhaps distain) for freeways. Nothing seems so wrong as this conveyance with speed as the only purpose. Get there sooner, quicker, with less human interaction. To be fair, my day-to-day existence relies upon just that to cram all I want within my day. But I digress. Those days I shed the need for speed and can focus on the journey, I loathe freeways. Said son, bless him, asked that we avoid the freeway. Thus, backroads; no debate needed. We journeyed east upon Seattle Hill Road from Lynnwood, After breaking free of traffic, we were able to make our way east along the Snohomish and Skykomish river valleys. Lovely fall foliage interspersed with the evergreens added to the bright sunshine, making a perfect fall day. We briefly stopped at Zeke’s for lunch, and to move; 7-year-olds have a need for regular motion. Then non-stop the rest of the way up, and most of the way back. A brief stop in Skykomish, looking for gum (I failed at teaching the boy how to pop his ears during our mountain descent). Then we came upon a Hwy 2/North West icon (of sorts): the Reptile Zoo. When I think of herpetological destinations, especially ones featuring highly venomous snakes, Monroe, WA doesn’t come to mind. After staring at snakes and lizards, petting tortoises (tortoisi?), and emphatically stating that, regardless of lack-of-price, I’m not buying a reptile for a pet, we headed west for a cold, breezy picnic dinner upon the Edmonds waterfront. A cold enough evening ensuring we promptly left for home after eating dessert.