Zipping west on US 12, the mountain route, passing Rainer and St. Helens, came into Packwood, just at lunch time, approaching the signs said “heavy traffic ahead – slow”, and slow it was. We were unaware that two times per year, Memorial Day and Labor Day, little Packwood’s population swells by 25,000 plus for the NW’s largest flea market.
We paid $5 to an 8 year old entrepreneur to park, and wandered the booths and lanes taking in all manner of crafts and boutique foodstuffs, plus the raft of businesses that always occupy these kind of events – window replacement, home water services, and the like.
There were some fairly interesting things one doesn’t see usually, like little sculptures made out of Mt. St. Helen’s lava and the like.
But my toleration for these types of events only exists because of the presence of the carny type food vendors, and Pckwood had ’em all, from corn dogs to fresh squeezed lemonade, and everything in between.
The “Chipstick” was new to me, spiral cut potato deep fried with your choice of about 10 different seasonings, except the three we chose, which they were out of. We went with salt and vinegar, ultimately, a good choice, an interesting presentation, but I think the chips could have been fried hotter, and served crispier. Just my opinion.
For an entree, I went with the giant polish sausage, and although I know you all love the pix of Mrs. BDB eating these, we were out of the range of the paps, so no pix from this event! It was a tasty sausage, however.
If you’re looking for something to do on Labor Day weekend, within shouting distance of Mt. Rainer, and a very pretty drive along US 12, the Packwood Flea Market might be the place for you.
Find the Chipstick location nearest you.