Beyond Our Borders

Concrete, WA

For our first Beyond Our Borders piece, The SnoCo Kid and I couldn’t resist checking out a town that is half ghost town and half not. What exactly do I mean by that? The town is still very much alive with both residents and those just driving through. Its most notable features though, those have to be the abandoned structures found throughout the city. I’m getting ahead of myself though. The town of Concrete is located about an hour and a half from Everett and thirty minutes from Darrington. We opted not to take I5 together there, continuing on somewhat scenic Highway 9 from Arlington through to Sedro Wooley instead. What can I say, I’m a backroads kind of gal.
For our first Beyond Our Borders piece, The SnoCo Kid and I couldn’t resist checking out a town that is half ghost town and half not. What exactly do I mean by that? The town is still very much alive with both residents and those just driving through. Its most notable features though, those have to be the abandoned structures found throughout the city. I’m getting ahead of myself though. The town of Concrete is located about an hour and a half from Everett and thirty minutes from Darrington. We opted not to take I5 together there, continuing on somewhat scenic Highway 9 from Arlington through to Sedro Wooley instead. What can I say, I’m a backroads kind of gal.
Railroad which once came through the city. There is supposedly an engine somewhere as well, but we did not see it on our trip. Moving on amongst the old churches, homes, abandoned school and other buildings, you will come to the city’s historic downtown. If you can ignore the cars parked along it, you will feel almost as if you have transported back in time. The best part of it, has to be the Concrete Theater which was built in 1923 and is still in operation today. I only wish we had time to go in and watch a movie so that we could see the interior.
Alas we didn’t, instead we made our way across the historic Henry Thompson Bridge which was built from 1916-1918, At the time, it was the longest single span cement bridge in the world, yep the entire world. That distinction landed it on the National Historic Register. Take some time to admire it, particularly the light posts then continue back towards the highway where you will find the second concrete factory. We could have spent all day taking in and photographing the old structures (as well as finding others, which there apparently are), but there was other important business to attend to. We had to sample the local food. Sometimes my job can be so hard. I’m not sure how sarcastic you should take that as considering it actually is rather, but it has perks.
Our stops of choice included Cascade Burgers, the local drive-in (as if we would choose anywhere else). They knew the way to my heart with their bacon and cheese covered fries. Could go for some of those right now. We also made a stop at 5b’s Bakery which is a quaint little cafe featuring delicious baked goodies and locally made bread. If you feel like you recognize the name, you may have seen that bread elsewhere, like at Fiddleheads Market in Stanwood. With full bellies we completed our loop, pressing on to Darrington, then back to Arlington and home. With so much still left to see and do, I am sure we will be back before the summer is out.
Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). Monthly and annual subscriptions can be bought HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique,  Artisans Mercantile, and Tried & True Boutique in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Ladders Clothing & Company in Stanwood Island, Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls, and Vintage & Rust in Monroe each month.
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