Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 8, 2011

Bonney Lake, Pierce County, Washington

This is on the top of Elhi Hill as you enter into my town on Highway 410 east.  We are about 20 miles (32k) east of Tacoma, 35 (56k) miles south of Seattle and 45 miles (72k) west of Mt. Rainier.  Elevation is about 700 feet, as East Pierce County is the start of the Cascade Foothills.

The town motto is "Bonney Lake:  Where Dreams Soar" or something like that.  Thanks to all of the unchecked development and significant population increase, I always say, "Bonney Lake: Where Dreams Go To Die A Slow Death."  

Looking down Hwy 410 west

And up the hill, 410 east.

Elhi Hill towers above the Sumner/Puyallup Valleys down below.

I loved this mossy old quonset hut.

Where I do my grocery shopping.

Best tire shop ever.

Pretty hot pink rhodie.

My Mecca.

Where I get gas at Chevron.  $3.89 a gallon for regular unleaded; $4.35 a gallon for diesel.
Overall, Bonney Lake lacks any kind of charm or quaintness.  It was fairly quiet when I moved here in 1999 but there was a construction boom the likes of which I'd never seen before and the town's population doubled over the course of a few short years.  Strip malls started going in everywhere too.  They try to build them with interesting-looking store fronts, but it's still just another strip mall full of nail salons & teriyaki takeout.  All the old forests started falling to make room for giant developments.  More and more traffic lights went in on 410 through town and traffic has started to become a huge problem.  And the constant, year-round road construction doesn't help the situation either.  I rue the day I moved to this town, but on the other hand, my neighborhood is located in a great place so I don't have to deal with most of the traffic mess crawling it's way east through town because I live on the western edge of Bonney Lake.  

This wasn't my first choice of where to live.  I wanted to live closer to Canada, in the Bellingham/Ferndale/Blaine area, but there wasn't any work.  Then I considered Olympia but again, no work. It had to be the Seattle/Tacoma metro area.  Bonney Lake seemed quiet. In retrospect I wish I had looked more in the Sumner or Puyallup area for a house.  Still, I have enjoyed my time here, even if the town grew too quickly.  


  1. I find it sad that you lucky US citizens still have Safeway (and Canada too) but we lost them in the UK. Same with Woolworths. I loved Woolworths.

    You are taking a long farewell look, you'll have lots of great photos to look back on.

  2. The name of this lake sounds vaguely familiar, which makes me wonder if I've passed by/near at some point in the past.

    We rarely end up where we're supposed to be. I should have emigrated to the States 25 years ago for a start....but then think of all the lovely V-friends I'd've missed.

  3. But Diane, you might have met Vincent and married him!