Fabulous Spring Nature Walks and Hikes

  • Sugarloaf Mountain

  • Kubota Garden

  • Catherine Creek

  • Wild Horse Wind Farm

  • McLane Creek

  • Bellevue Botanical Garden

  • Whistle Lake

  • Hoh River

  • Brightwater

  • Goose Rock

  • Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden

  • Columbia Hills State Park

  • Lewis Creek Park

  • Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

  • Lord Hill & Soaring Eagle Regional Parks

  • Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary

  • Paradise Valley Conservation Area

  • Washington Park, Anacortes

  • Rockport State Park

  • Old Sauk River

  • Boulder River Waterfalls

Recent Blog Posts

First and Second Burroughs, Mt. Rainier, Aug. 20, 2015

First and Second Burroughs, Mt. Rainier, Aug. 20, 2015

Usually I go to Sunrise during the peak of the flower season, which is also the peak bug season. But this year we didn’t make it up there until recently. The flowers are mostly gone, except for a few intrepid late bloomers, and much of the herbal foliage is dry and crispy. Everything looked faded…Continue Reading

New Tools Can Light a Spark

New Tools Can Light a Spark

The summer is winding down, and the new school year is only a few weeks away. I find my thoughts turning more to planning and organizing, even as we try to soak in the last weeks of summer. Yesterday, Annika and I visited our local homeschooling curriculum store, Homeschool Potpourri. This place lacks glamor, but…Continue Reading

Day Hiking: Mount St. Helens, Book Review and Interview

Day Hiking: Mount St. Helens, Book Review and Interview

Mount St. Helens has held a special place in the soul of the Pacific Northwest since its eruptions in the 1980s. Many of us parents are old enough to remember following the saga on the news, and remember where we were on the day of the big eruption. We find it fascinating to visit this…Continue Reading

Teanaway Camping

Teanaway Camping

Last week Gabe was at camp, so I took Annika camping for one night. With the weather taking a turn, I chose the sunny Teanaway for our excursion. We set up at Beverly Campground. This Forest Service campground has less than 20 spots, and felt kind of scruffy, but we got an awesome spot right…Continue Reading

Coal and Independence Lakes Trip Report – 7/15/15

Coal and Independence Lakes Trip Report – 7/15/15

Some friends joined us today for our hike. We’ve been on the search for a good swimming lake, and a friend suggested Independence Lake on the Mountain Loop Highway. On the road up, we stopped at Coal Lake. It’s a pretty little lake that sits right next to the road, with a short path up…Continue Reading

Metolius Camping and Newberry Volcanic Monument

Metolius Camping and Newberry Volcanic Monument

Back in June we had our almost-annual camping trip on the Metolius River near Sisters. We had a smaller family group this time, but we had perfect weather and lots of fun. We took a hike one day along the river trail, from the Gorge Campground up to Camp Sherman. There we all got ice…Continue Reading

Twin Lakes, Cold Creek Trail, 7/8/15

Twin Lakes, Cold Creek Trail, 7/8/15

I had this idea about getting the kids out to a lake to swim and getting away from the heat. I remembered a hike we did several years ago, to Twin Lakes (actually, it’s only one lake…), and thought we’d give it a try. We found the trailhead with little trouble, though the road signs…Continue Reading

Faraway Rock and Reflection Lakes Loop, Mt. Rainier, Trip Report

Faraway Rock and Reflection Lakes Loop, Mt. Rainier, Trip Report

Last week we felt we needed to get out for another big trip to take advantage of abundant sunshine and mountain flowers. We chose Rainier, and I gave the kids a choice about the region to visit. Gabe really wanted to get up to Paradise, so that’s the direction we headed. We stopped for lunch…Continue Reading

Old Sauk River Trail Hike

Old Sauk River Trail Hike

Some trails hold a fond place in our hearts, as we have pleasant memories. Or perhaps the trails are unique and make us feel something special. For me, Old Sauk is like that. Meandering along the Sauk River, this gentle trail leads through mature forest. It feels a lot like old growth, even though it…Continue Reading

Interview with Author Joan Burton

Interview with Author Joan Burton

Whenever people are new to hiking and wonder how to get started or which trails to go on with young children, I recommend the book Best Hikes With Kids: Western Washington and the Cascades by Joan Burton, with photos by Ira Spring. I recently had the fortune to sit down with Joan Burton and hear…Continue Reading

Birding

Othello Sandhill Crane Festival and Columbia NWR

Othello Sandhill Crane Festival and Columbia NWR

The kids and I did our first big road trip adventure of the season on the last weekend in March.  We heard about a bird festival over in Central Washington, we had some free time, and we decided to go.  The kids had been requesting a trip to the desert, too, and no snowshoeing, please,…Continue Reading

Leavenworth Spring Bird Festival

Leavenworth Spring Bird Festival

Birds, sunshine, picturesque mountains in a charming small town – this is what drew me to the Leavenworth Spring Bird Festival earlier in May. I ended up having Annika to myself, as Gabe had plans with a friend for the day. We got an early start and made it to Leavenworth just after 9am for…Continue Reading

Winter Camping – Salt Creek Recreation Area and Dungeness Spit

Winter Camping – Salt Creek Recreation Area and Dungeness Spit

Camping in February? This was a first for my family. I don’t think I’ve ever braved late winter/early spring camping before, but the weather was looking so nice, and we had two bonus days off from classes, so I thought we’d give it a try. We had heard good things about the camping at the…Continue Reading