Day Tripping

Okay, the kids have gone back to school, so let’s take advantage of the day. If you took a day off and rode out of the city for lunch and could get back in time to beat the school bus, here are some suggestions. (Be sure you have alternate contact information for the kids in case of emergency.) .

This little jaunt takes you east, and barely touches on the sights, activities, and restaurant venues you can find. Head for Yelm, Washington and make a stop at Stewart’s Meats. It’s an old-fashioned butcher shop, founded in 1929. The fourth generation is working there now, and grandma Dorothy’s recipes make some of the best sausage you’ll ever eat. You could get the makings for some great picnic sandwiches here.

And for a picnic spot: not far from Yelm is the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve, a National Natural Landmark. Check out the interpretive center to get an idea of what to look for. You can take a short walk on the interpretive trail to see the mima mounds and Puget prairie grassland. No one is sure how the mounds were formed. Some say earthquakes shook the ground and it mounded naturally. Others blame the wind, and still others attribute the mounds to aliens from outer space. The most recent, and most plausible, theory is that gophers carried dirt from their tunnels, year after year, generation after generation, and piled it up to form the mounds. What’s your theory? .

Don’t want to picnic? Then try pizza at an Italian restaurant like Pizzeria la Gitana or Casa Mia or go Asian at Pho Yelm, Young’s Teriyaki, Red Lantern, Kinja Sushi, Ichiban Teriyaki. You’ll find great barbecue at Jim Bob’s Chuckwagon BBQ, American bar food at Uptown, or brunch at Mr. Doug’s Restaurant.

If time permits, take the short run to Tenino and check out the historic downtown, quarries, and depot. If you have time, hike along the Chehalis Western Trail to the Monarch Art Center and Sculpture Park founded by Myrna Orsini. You’ll see works of art by artists from all over the world in a natural woodland setting. Or, if your thoughts turn to the wilderness, visit Wolf Haven International where rescued wolves have found a safe home. It’s one of the few places that raises Mexican gray wolves for reintroduction to the wild. You’ll also see gray wolves, red wolves, wolfdogs, and a couple of coyotes.

Tenino’s has some great food too. You can enjoy Mexican cuisine at Don Juan’s or Los Compadres or American bar food at The Lady of the Lake. The Sandstone Café has a great burger and so does Scotty B’s.

Now, that’s just a couple of places east of Lakeview. Try plotting a jaunt south along the coast to Steilacoom or visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Maybe you already have a favorite quick trip. Let us know about your adventure on the Eagle Leather Facebook page. .

The weather is fine and the road beckons.

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