wildflowers on gothic mountain

Happy Hiking: Gothic Mountain

I’ve always wanted to visit Crested Butte during the Wildflower Festival.  I finally did just that and for my first hike to Gothic Mountain via Trail 403 from Washington Gulch Road, they did not disappoint!

Happy Hiking!
selfie on second creek trail

Happy Hiking: Second Creek Trail

I arrived in Colorado on Jun 30th after basically two months on the road.  After Wanderful Wheels replaced my defective stove, whose top shattered while I was cooking, I headed to Estabrook, our family property near Bailey.

I didn’t leave the property for an entire week!  I woke up every morning to the Platte River and took cover from the rain every afternoon.  In the middle I relaxed, blogged, and took Annie on walks all over the old logging roads.


A Weekend in Mendocino

After our 3.5 weeks in Washington, Annie and I met some friends for the weekend in Mendocino at their vacation cabin.  Annie and I took a leisurely two-day drive, mostly along the coast to get there. Aside from some long construction delays, it was uneventful.  

I drove Highway 1 ten years ago while on my road trip across the USA, and it was weird to see all the RV’s and homeless camps!  I remembered it being much quieter, though I wasn’t there on a summer weekend either.


State Sign Challenge: Washington

I didn’t have any trouble finding the state sign in Washington.  As soon as I crossed the border between Lewiston and Clarkston on Hwy 12 over the Snake River, there it was.  I did, however, have trouble finding a costume at first. 

I wanted to be a cherry pie and have Annie be a cherry, but each time I tried ordering the costume it either took too long to arrive at a place where I would be stationary, or they wanted to charge me $56 for shipping, four times the amount of the costume.  Seriously?!?

As a result, I had to come up with something handmade. This is when I really wished my nephew Michael was around.  He is an incredible artist.  Check out the shoes he does on Instagram @kick_me_art.

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

My final stop on my three-and-a-half-week road trip around the State of Washington, was at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.  I didn’t have any intention of visiting the monument when I first arrived in Washington, but when I realized it was sort of on the way to Mendocino, my next destination to see friends, I jumped on the chance to see it.

Mount St. Helens erupted in May of 1980.  I was seven years old.  My mom’s hairdresser, Bill Cotton, went to see it and collected ashes.  I don’t know if he went right after the eruption or much later.  All I can say is I envisioned him walking on the mountain collecting them and thought it was so cool!  For all I know, he bought the ashes, but at the time, it made a big impression on me when he gave me a tiny vile of them.


Things to do in Elbe

After a weekend in Lummi Island, I headed south to Elbe, a gateway town to Rainier.  I’m not exactly sure how I selected Elbe, Washington.  Perhaps the train cars on the main highway caught my attention as I drove through it on my way to the Olympic Peninsula the week prior.

I just knew I needed to head south for my journey back to Colorado for July and August, and it seemed like there was some hiking around.  Additionally, since I’ve wanted to see Mt. St. Helen’s and that National Monument was sort of on the way to Mendocino where I planned to visit some friends for the weekend.


A Weekend in Lummi Island

I’d be lying if I said there was a lot to do in Lummi Island.  In fact, its allure is its quiet charm!  As a result, each time I mentioned to the locals I was visiting friends in Lummi Island, they all replied, “Oh Lummi is great!”

The island features two restaurants, a country store, a couple public beaches, a few preserves, some Air BnB rentals, and a couple of Inns.


In and Around Fairhaven, Washington

Fairhaven is a federally designated historic district in the southern section of Bellingham.  It is known for its Victorian era architecture and features many restaurants, pubs and galleries.  It was definitely the hip place to be when I visited on a Thursday night.


A Day on Whidbey Island

After my time on the Olympic Peninsula, I made my way slowly to Lummi Island to visit friends.  On the way, I spent a day on Whidbey Island.

Getting to Whidbey Island

In order to reach Whidbey Island from the Olympic Peninsula, I took the Port Townsend-Coupeville Ferry.  Having only ridden the Washington ferry system one time ten years ago, I popped online for a refresher.

Fortunately, I did.  Apparently, this is an extremely popular ferry route and reservations are recommended.  I had to get the 6:30am ferry because the others were sold out!  It costs around $15 for a car and person which is paid at the toll booth.

The ferry was enormous!  Somehow, I lucked out and got to park on the very front next to a semi-truck.  I enjoyed a lovely view on calm seas as we spent 30 minutes crossing the Puget Sound.


Six Waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula is known for its rainy weather.  Rain coupled with snow melt in the spring provides ample opportunity to admire several gushing waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula.  A good way for cascade lovers to maximize their waterfall experiences is to download the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail brochure which can be found at OlympicPeninsula.org.

The brochure highlights 24 waterfalls in seven distinct areas on the Peninsula.  In this post, I focus on some of the most easily accessible waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula.  After all, not everyone can hike miles.

As the Olympic Peninsula is so large, I have concentrated on waterfalls located on the North and East sides including the areas of Sol Duc & Northwest, Elwha & Lake Crescent, and Hood Canal.  Some of the falls are located in the Olympic National Park, which requires a fee, and some are located in the Olympic National Forest.