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Spanel Planetarium in Bellingham

Sick of the rain?  Getting out doesn’t always have to be going out doors.  Last weekend we took our niece to the Spanel Planetarium located on Western Washington University’s campus.  The Planetarium is located in the library, but don’t forget to stop at the PAC before hand to purchase your tickets. Planetarium shows are on…

Cap Sante

Cap Sante in Anacortes offers scenic panoramic views of Fidalgo Bay and the Cascade Mountains. We found this gem on a rare Pacific Northwest sunny winter day. We had stopped for lunch in Anacortes at the Brown Lantern Tavern. Our waiter recommended we take a walk to Cap Sante. He gave us some directions and…

Hazel Trailhead

There’s a little gravel pull-off along the side of Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington, Wa. You wouldn’t think from just driving by that there is plenty to explore here as well as richness in history of a town long forgotten. From the parking area you have the choice to let your eyes feast upriver…

Ocean Shores

This small Washington beach town has six miles of sandy Pacific Ocean beach. One of the unique things about this beach is that you can drive on it. Do take care though, every time I have visited Ocean Shores I have watched at least one vehicle get pulled from the soft sand. If you pass…

Nordic Museum

This PNW Adventure Sister is going to Iceland in the spring. In preparations for this epic trip I decided to visit the Nordic Museum in Ballard, Wa. This brand new facility houses art, history, and cultural artifacts from the Nordic Countries. The museum covers the Nordic countries of: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The…

Monte Cristo Townsite

From 1899 to 1907 Monte Cristo was a mining town. Harvesting mainly gold and Silver. Later on it became a resort town and now a well preserved ghost town. Something we don’t see enough of in the dampness of the great PNW. The hike out to the townsite is an adventure in its own. You…

Dry Falls

Dry Falls is located near Soap Lake in the Columbia Basin. These once massive waterfalls were created about a million years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch. This was a period of cooling and great ice sheets and glaciers were formed across the Eastern Washington. The ice grew to be over a mile thick. As the…

Hidden Lake Lookout

In the back country of Marblemount, Wa is a long, steep trail that leads you on an a painstaking adventure you will never forget. Like every hike there is a beginning a middle and an end, but this one has well defined chapters. The first leg of your journey gets you to work right away…

Lake Lenore Caves

The Lake Lenore Caves are located just outside of Soap Lake in Washington. These caves were formed around 12,000 years ago. They were created by the melting and freezing of water. These conditions gradually wore away the basalts that made up the canyon walls and left what can be seen to be shallow caves high…

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Cemetery

Way out past Darrington, WA is an Indian reservation and beyond that is a quiet, secluded place where they have laid their people to rest for over a century now. The Sauk-Suiattle Cemetery is sacred ground and you can sense it just being there. Several miles through dense, pristine wilderness on the Suiattle River Road…

Thornton A. Sullivan Park

This park is located on Silver Lake in Everett. It’s right next to Camp Patterson which offers some fun summer day camps for kids. The Park has a dock, picnic shelters, swimming area, showers, a playground, and an outdoor ping pong table. It’s a great place for summertime hang outs and BBQs. The history behind…

White Chuck Boat Launch

Launch your boats, cast your lines, skip some rocks or go for a nature walk at the White Chuck boat launch. I spent the day here combing the beach and hiking the fishing trail that hugs the riverside. This is a scenic spot where the White Chuck River and the Sauk River join forces. The…

Carkeek Park

Carkeek Park is located in Seattle. The Park has an award winning Environmental Learning Center that offers a variety of nature programs. You can find the learning center near the park entrance. You will also find a beautiful flower garden there. If you are a bird watcher check out this informational brochure before you visit….

Elliot Creek and Goat Lake

I had a day to myself and decided to go on a solo hike to one my favorite local hikes. The Elliot Creek & Goat Lake Trail is situated along the Mountain Loop Highway between Granite Falls and Darrington, Wa. It’s a long 10.4 miles roundtrip with a 1400 foot elevation gain. Not too far…

Paulina Falls

Paulina Falls located in La Pine, Oregon can be a quick stop to look at some beautiful falls or a longer stroll along Paulina Creek. The Falls themselves are about 60 feet in height. The Creek forks right before the falls making them a double falls. These Falls are part of the Newberry National Volcanic…

Buck Creek Campground

Buck Creek Campground is way out on the Suiattle River Road outside of Darrington, WA. It’s one of the more rustic campgrounds I’ve seen. If you like the conveniences of a reserved camping spot and access to at least a vault toilet, but want to be in the thick of nature, then you are in…

Howard Miller Steelhead Park

Howard Miller Steelhead Park is located in the very small and charming town of Rockport, Wa. Howard Miller was a Skagit County Commissioner and helped facilitate the initial purchase of the first 15 acres of this park in 1966. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the park was dedicated in his honor and 88 more…

Drake Park

While we were on a recent trip to Eastern Oregon we stayed in Bend, Oregon. This town is a great place to stop and play or just relax. The town has some great shopping and dining. You will find some fantastic breweries. While staying in Bend we discovered Drake Park. The Park is located on…

Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood

“Redrum!” Who can forget Steven King’s iconic thriller The Shining? The Timberline lodge is where this iconic movie was filmed in 1980. The interior of the lodge was shot in studio, but the exterior portions of the movie were filmed at the Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood. As we drove up the famously curving forest…

Lower Baker Dam

Operated by Puget Sound Energy, the Lower Baker Dam is located just a mile above the confluence of the Baker and Skagit Rivers. Spanning Eden Canyon at 550 feet wide and 285 feet high. With the holding capacity of around 160,000 acres of water from the massive Lake Shannon above. This arch dam, designed for…

James Cant Ranch

The James and Elizabeth Cant began ranching on this riverside farm in 1910. The Cants were Scottish immigrants. Elizabeth’s cup and saucer brought from her homeland sit on display in the farmhouse. This treasured cup and saucer from the homeland must have brought great comfort to Elizabeth. I have to think that the John Day…

Washington Portland Cement Plant

In 1905 the apparent surplus of limestone in the Skagit Valley area and New York money brought the Washington Portland Cement Company to the Eastern banks of the Baker River. The area was then appropriately named Cement City”. This particular plant was first, but not the only. Just across river, in the town of Baker,…

Painted Hills

One of the many jewels of Oregon, the Painted Hills is a masterpiece of nature. The colors that run through the rock formations often seem out of this world as you tour the park. The contrasting colors represent different periods of paleo environments. Yellows indicate cooler arid era, while reds indicate warmer, wet, sometimes swampy…

Backman County Park

Backman County Park in Darrington, WA is your best bet for getting your watercraft launched onto the blue waters of the Sauk River if you’re coming from the Mountain Loop Highway. There’s a decent amount of parking and a single honey bucket on site, but not much else. Just easy access to one of the…

Thomas Condon Paleontology Center

Thomas Condon was an immigrant from Irish arriving in New York in 1833. He was a minister, geologists, and paleontologist. He often held geology lectures in his church. Thomas Condon was the first scientist to recognize the significance of the the John Day Fossil Beds and the impact it would have on Paleontology. He was…

Lake Shannon

Lake Shannon outside of Concrete, Wa is a recreational paradise. This massive reservoir of the Baker River stretches 7.5 miles long and over a half mile wide when it is full. All this water is held back by an arch dam built in the 1920s for Puget Sound Energy’s Baker River Hydroelectric Project. There’s a…

Sam Hill – Washington’s Stonehenge

Ever wonder where this phrase came from, “what in the Sam Hill?” Sam Hill was an American entrepreneur and a Quaker who made his fortune designing and building roads. He decided to spend his fortune building a town on the Columbia River named Maryhill. His dream was to build a Utopian Quaker community. Although, he…

Henry Thompson Bridge

The Henry Thompson Bridge in Concrete, Wa was built in 1916-18 and at the time was the largest single span cement bridge in the world. Henry was a Skagit County Commissioner who lobbied for its construction. Linking both sides of town together while continuing Highway 20 through the scenic Cascade Mountains. This antique bridge spans…

Crater Lake

When the mighty Mount Mazama blew some 7,700 years ago she forever changed the landscape and eco system of Eastern Oregon. This mountain loomed over 12,000 feet high and lost a mile off it height in the eruption. Ash clouds covered the sky and fell as far as Alberta, Canada. The eruption sent 12 cubic…

Frog Lake

Frog Lake in Darrington, WA is well named because it is actually full of frogs. Visit here in Spring and Summer and I bet you will spot a few. At 1.5 acres it’s just a tiny little lake with a quiet, Northwest setting. There’s just enough room from the bank to cast a line or…

Heritage Park

Heritage Park is located in Lynnwood. You will find Lynwood’s visitors center, Sno-Isle Genealogical Society Research Library, Heritage Resource Center, and Interurban Car 55 at this park. It’s a small park, but has some picnic tables and shaded areas on the lawn. The visitors center is located in the Wickers Building. This Tudor style building…

Forest Trail Park

Located in the fancy pants neighborhood of Gleneagle Estates in Arlington, Wa is Forest Trail Park. I had high expectations for this park due to its distinguished location, but found myself a little underwhelmed. There is off-street parking, a basketball hoop, small playground and a “forest trail” that ends abruptly at the saddle of a…

Whatcom Falls

Whatcom Falls in Bellingham is a gorgeous park! You will not be disappointed with a stop here. The park boasts many trails throughout, but also has trails that branch out to Bloedel Donavan Park, St. Clair Park, Railroad Trail, and Bayview Cemetery. The trail to the Falls is easy going. A beautiful stone bridge built…

Trail at Marblemount Boat Launch

If there’s something I’ve learned while collecting adventures in this modern world is that not all the beautiful places are listed on the internet. This trail I took today didn’t really seem to have a name, just a well defined trail into the great beyond. Some folks chase rainbows, but for me, I know that…