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.


Things to Do on the Olympic Peninsula

After a week in Eastern Washington, I headed to the Olympic Peninsula along US-97, the Yakama Scenic.  Yes, Yakama not Yakima, so named for the Yakama Confederated Tribe of Indians.  I will have to add this stretch of beautiful scenery to my next visit in Washington. 

I already had plans to meet my friend, Tina, in the Olympic Peninsula, otherwise I might have spent a day poking around.  That said, it was absolutely pouring rain for a portion of the drive, so today wasn’t the day for sightseeing.


Dog Friendly Hikes on the Olympic Peninsula

With the Olympic National Park encompassing much of the Olympic Peninsula, one may be inclined to think there are not many dog friendly hikes in the area.  Fortunately, there are many state parks on the Olympic Peninsula as well as National Forest where dogs are allowed to roam.

In order to let Annie off-leash and to have more solitude, Tina and I leaned toward hiking in the Olympic National Forest.  Lucky for us, several trailheads lined the Hamma Hamma Road where we camped.

Below is a list of dog-friendly trails we hiked on the Olympic Peninsula.


Things to Do in Dayton

History of Dayton

The City of Dayton was founded in the 1860’s by Elizabeth and Jesse Day.  Today it is the County Seat of Columbia County and has the oldest train depot and continuously operating courthouse in the State of Washington, both dating back to the late 1880’s.

The population remains at about 2,500, though in previous years there were more seasonal migrant workers that cut asparagus for Green Gian,t and who built the Little Goose Lock and Dam northeast of Starbuck.

sunset near dayton

Hikes Near Dayton

Eastern Washington has interesting terrain with rolling hills of canola and garbanzo beans tucked beneath the snowy Blue Mountains.  I experienced a short heat wave while in Dayton with three days of near 90 degree weather in town and snow so deep in some areas of the mountains that the trails were inaccessible.

That said, I still managed to knock out a handful of hikes during the week I visited.  They ranged from easy to hard, and I can’t claim any were spectacular after my recent hikes in Idaho.

idaho state sign challenge

State Sign Challenge: Idaho

State Sign of Idaho

After spending two weeks in Arizona, I never found the state sign.  I think the only one might be at the four corners.  Upon entering Idaho, however, I stumbled across it’s state sign after passing through Jackpot, Nevada.  Annie and I dressed up as ketchup and French fries, because of the Idaho potato, the state vegetable.  I probably should have worn my red parka to make my costume better.

camas lilites on bear basin grand traverse loop

Five Hikes Near MccAll

McCall is a ski town located two hours North of Boise. Surrounded by national forest, it also offers many outdoor activities in the summer, including hiking. Below is a short list of hikes near McCall.

on the way to brundage reservoir

Things to Do in McCall

McCall is a ski resort town two hours north of Boise.  The town of 3,000 is situated on the southern shore of Payette Lake in the Payette National Forest.  Previously a logging town, McCall now quietly caters to tourists providing ample outdoor activities.

Where to Stay in McCall


When I visited McCall on my road trip, I camped in VANgo. While there are many campgrounds and RV Parks, dispersed camping is a little more difficult to find.  There is only one spot on Payette Lake on Eastside Drive.  It is next to a waterfall and a short trail out to a view, so sightseers might join you.


Ponderosa State Park

Dom, Sue and I took the “scenic” drive through Ponderosa State Park one evening while visiting McCall, Idaho.  I put “scenic” in quotes because while the park is located on a peninsula in Payette Lake, all we could see were trees.  There was nothing scenic about it except the plethora of deer.