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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Fort Casey

Fort Casey is located on Whidbey Island and operated from 1907-1917 as a military fort. During WWI much of the artillery was shipped over seas for use on the battlefield, but the facility continued to stage soldiers for departure to the front lines in Europe. Today this 999 acre park stands as a monument to…

Yurt Camping

Enjoy camping year round in a yurt. Nomads have been using yurts for hundreds of years as shelter. Their circular design make them easy to heat and a sturdy shelter. Yurts originated in ancient Mongolia with nomadic tribes. They were made from the hides of animals. You can find many places in the PNW that…

Leavenworth City Park

After you’ve eaten all the Wiener schnitzel your heart desires, visited the boutiques, and the arts & crafts booths head towards the river where you will find a hidden gem. Leavenworth City Park has miles of well manicured trails for your enjoyment. This is an impressive park originally built in 1975 and improved upon over…

White Chuck Bench Trail

I showed up to the trailhead to the White Chuck Bench Trail outside of Darrington, Wa and found these signs. “Trail work ahead closed to public use” and “Workers riding motorcycles may be on trail.” Normally the thought of missing out on a trail would bum me out, but I am totally excited about this….

Beach Campfire Spots

Friday nights are great date nights. This last Friday my husband and I decided to have a romantic fire on the beach. We stopped at Arnie’s to indulge in their happy hour menu. After dinner we found an open fire pit at Mukilteo Beach and we brought out the beach blanket and smore fixings. It…

Dot City Park

I have lived in this town for several years now and hadn’t ever stopped at Dot City Park. Even though I drive by it often I’m sure glad I did, as I really could see the work that has gone into this little pocket park in Darrington, Wa. Dorothy “Dot” Larson had donated the land…

Iron Goat Trail

We decided to take a midweek adventure and hike the Iron Goat Trail near Stevens Pass, WA. There are two trailheads for this hike one at milepost 55 and near the summit off the Old Cascades Highway. It was midweek and the trailhead was empty except for two bears about a quarter mile from the…

Golden Gardens Park

Harry W. Treat developed and named Golden Gardens Park in 1907. He developed this park as a place for a Sunday outing for Seattle residents. The park has an off leash dog park, playground, beach, volleyball courts and an event center. It’s located in the Ballard are at 8498 Seaview Pl. NW, Seattle, WA. Golden…

Discovery Park

There is so much to discover at Discovery Park located at 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA. Take the 2.8 mile loop to check things out or zig zag yourself through the park on the nearly 12 miles of hiking trails. First thing to do is stop at the visitors center at the East parking…

Olympic Game Farm

There is just no other experience like visiting the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, Wa. It’s basically a gigantic petting zoo combined with a safari. You can hand feed Tibetan Yaks, llamas, Roosevelt elk, Sika deer, American bison, and Zebras from your car window. Other animals you will see are bears, a lion, tiger, cougar…

Meadowdale Beach

This trailhead to the beach is located at Meadowdale Beach Park at 6026 156th St SW, Edmonds, WA 98026. To get to this beach is a trek. Follow the trail through shady Lund’s Gulch. The trail follows the creek down to the beach. Take care to bring bug spray. Shade and water breed mosquitoes and…

Salsbury Point County Park

Sitting at the South hand of the Hood Canal bridge is Salsbury Point County Park. A nice spot to stretch the legs after some long, cramped road tripping! That’s precisely what my friend Lindsay and I did and we certainly got more than we expected. This is a great access point to a nice, long…

Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary

This Abbey is nestled in the rural community of Mount Angel just outside Silverton, Oregon. The Abbey is both a seminary and a conference center. The campus is beautiful and serene. The seminary has a lot to see, but be sure not to miss the small museum they have on site. On a recent trip…

O.K. Mill Swimming Hole

Over the river and through the woods to our grandmother’s house we used to go. Literally! She lived way out in Machias, Wa and we would pass over the O.K. Mill bridge to get there every time. A landmark that helps me find my way back to my childhood. I spent the first day of…

Silver Falls – Ten Waterfalls in 7.2 Miles

If you are a waterfall aficionado the Silver Falls Oregon State Park (near Salem) is a waterfall lovers paradise. It is often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of Oregon and rightfully so. On the Ten Falls Trail in 7.2 miles you can expect to see 10 amazing waterfalls. When I set it to do…

Paradise Valley Conservation Trail

Paradise Valley Conservation Trail is located near Maltby, Wa. This park is 667 acres in size and has trails open to horses, mountain bicyclists, and hikers. We decided to make this an afternoon workday hike. As soon as we got off work we headed to the trail. We pulled in at about 4:45pm and saw…

Forgotten Creek Natural Area

Everett, Wa has become quite developed over the years and where there was once thriving forests and babbling brooks there now stands a sort of concrete jungle. However, if you look hard enough one can find little gems such as the Forgotten Creek Natural Area. A place that gives respite from the hustle and bustle…

Depot Park

Depot Park in Everett, Wa is a labor of love. Back in 1997 a group of volunteers called Friends of the Olde Everett Station and the BNSF Railroad joined forces in transforming this small strip of abandoned land into a beautiful gathering place for the community. Sitting just South of the former Train station. Once…

Icicle Gorge

The rain drove us East this last Saturday to Icicle Gorge in Leavenworth. It’s amazing how easy it is to escape the rain this time of year by just crossing the Cascades. Although, I do not advise it on a Sunday, traffic is brutal that day. The Icicle Gorge trailhead is located 12.4 miles South…

Maggie’s Park

This is quite possibly the tiniest park I have ever laid eyes on! Maggie’s Park in Everett, Wa is just .15 acres and consists of a single picnic bench and a lone tree. It does, however, have decent views of Puget Sound with the BNSF railway in the foreground. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=pnwadventur0b-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01DFDBXZ4&asins=B01DFDBXZ4&linkId=8f29555c3167bcc44d25bcb3ffb919d5&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffffAfter some research I discovered that…

Heybrook Fire Lookout

Have you ever dreamed about spending the night in fire lookout tower? You can rent the cabin at the top of the Heybrook Fire Lookout for Your legs will be jelly after this short one mile hike. Be prepared to make a steep elevation gain in a short distance to reach the Heybrook Lookout. The…

Tour the Lake Part 3 (North Cove Park)

This tour around Lake Stevens began in a clockwise motion with long ago happenings at Lundeen Park and unusual history from North Lakeshore Swimming Beach. Today, we are visiting North Cove Park on the banks of Lake Stevens in Lake Stevens, Wa. This spot right here is what put this town on the map. Like…

Red Mountain Lookout

The hike to Red Mountain Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness area of Washington is one that will bring you back in time. It’s one of the most remote areas of the state. The trail is swarmed with ancient old growth along with several culturally modified trees from early Native American inhabitants. Being there was…