Washington State Route 530 ‘Pioneer Highway’

Pioneer Highway. A nice curvy specimen of roadcraft and an apt name as well, since the road curves here and there all over the Stillaguamish River valley.

The pavement is a little rough and appears to be surprisingly light-duty for what is a state highway, after all. There’s significant bumps along the road and small narrow bridges traverse the many creeks and sloughs that criss-cross these lowlands.

Abandoned Barn along SR530 in the Stillaguamish River valley

To someone who grew up as a Midwestern farmboy and got transplanted to Upstate NY for a decade, this scenery is quite nice. It’s not Cascadian with its rough tree-covered ridges, but rather the soft and not-quite flat topography that I once called home.

It seems that I only get up into this part of Washington in the autumn, and as in other autumnal visits, the geese were all over the fields. On the rare early spring forays into this area, you can see the green shoots poking up through the dark, silty loam with all their promise of spring. Plus, if you’re a fan of abandoned barns, you’ll find many of them here.

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