I was only three years old when Mount St Helens erupted killing 57 people. It was a few years after the fact, that my child’s mind could process deadliest eruption…
I was only three years old when Mount St Helens erupted killing 57 people. It was a few years after the fact, that my child’s mind could process deadliest eruption in the United States.
Natural disasters are strange mixture of terror and fascination. It was one of the first times I remember learning that nature can be volatile. That there was more to it than baby bunnies and daisies. Not only could the earth open up and swallow or whirring funnels reach down from the sky but the earth could explode and pour hot lava for miles. Mount St Helens was a landmark of my childhood.
Thirty four years later, Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument still bears scars of her volatile and harsh past.
But there are also wildflowers and animals reminding us that following devastation there is rebuilding and rebirth.
It’s a place of education and beauty.
After a few hours of learning and contemplating, we walked back to the car and I couldn’t help but notice the daisies.
The next few days after finding out we were expecting another baby were somewhat of a blur. Between the shock of the news and trying to decide if we were…
The next few days after finding out we were expecting another baby were somewhat of a blur. Between the shock of the news and trying to decide if we were going to keep traveling, taking along our camera was the last thing on my mind. Fortunately, I rarely forget my phone but even then I was too distracted to take many photos.
After leaving Oceana, we make a quick stop at the Long Beach Thousand Trails to meet up with friends, Nikki and Jason from Gone with the Wynns. Like I said, I wasn’t much for documenting pictures but if you are wondering what there is do see and do in Long Beach check out Jason and Nikki’s post and video on the area.
Nearby the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park commemorates the journey of William Clark and Merriwether Lewis and their team of explorers known as the Corps of Discovery. In November of 1805, over a year and a half after leaving Missouri, Lewis and Clark spotted the Pacific Ocean. Early winter they set up a camp, Fort Clatsop, that would be their home for the next three months.
Had my mind not been so preoccupied I would have spent more time researching the area and taken the boys to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center as well as some of the nearby state parks. As it was a visit to the Fort Clatsop replica and a short hike along the river was all we managed to do.
As food truck fans we couldn’t pass up a”food boat”. It was a perfect ending to our day in the funky town of Astoria.
It was a driving day with our final destination a mere 4 hours away. However 4 turned into 12 because… You can’t pass up climbing a tree that looks like…
It was a driving day with our final destination a mere 4 hours away.
However 4 turned into 12 because…
You can’t pass up climbing a tree that looks like it’s from Endor.
Nor could we pass up a quick stop at the Hoh Rain Forest, a part of Olympic National Park and one of the largest temperate rainforests in North America. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know there were any rain forests North America.
Or a stop at Ruby Beach where we stacked rocks and had dinner.
Finally around 10 pm the real adventure began when we arrived at our campground. We try really hard to not get into places after dark because once the sun sets there seems to be holes, poles, fences, guard rails, zombies, you name it, appearing out of nowhere.
We took a turn too tight and the wheels of the trailer got stuck in a ditch that appeared out of nowhere. Thankfully there wasn’t any major damage to the trailer, just a small crack, and a dent on the bed of the truck. However, to prevent further damage we decided to call a tow truck to pull us out backwards. It was 2 am before the trailer was out and we got to bed.
As if that wasn’t adventure enough. The next day we needed to decide if we were going to buy our season passes to go back to Breckenridge for the upcoming winter. We had mixed feelings. On one hand we really wanted to go but on the other we weren’t sure if we should spend the money.
As it turned out the decision was made for us when I decided to take a pregnancy test that afternoon “just in case” because I was a few days late.
Two pink lines.
Guess we wouldn’t going back to Breck. I’m adventurous but snowboarding while pregnant? No thanks.
To say we were surprised would be an understatement but as the news soaked in we got excited. We weren’t the only ones excited. My dad sent me this super sweet text.
And here I am 9 months later on his due date and still waiting for this little guy to arrive!
After a few days of exploring Seattle we were ready for a change of pace. Olympic National Park, located in the Olympic Peninsula, was a perfect place to slow down…
After a few days of exploring Seattle we were ready for a change of pace. Olympic National Park, located in the Olympic Peninsula, was a perfect place to slow down and take in the beauty of God’s creation. The highlight of our visit was hiking the Hurricane Hill Trail. I’m not sure which was more beautiful the views of the ocean and mountains or the fact that our boys hardly complained the entire hike. Perhaps the abundance of wildlife kept them smiling. It’s hard to have a bad attitude when a curious marmot is following you from a distance or when you stumble upon a heard of mountain goats.
Okay so the Boeing Factory tour isn’t exactly in Seattle. It’s about 25 miles north but it’s is SO WORTH the drive and the price of admission. Two years ago we visited Kitty Hawk, the site of the Wright brothers first flight, and seeing the progression of flight from the Wright Flyer (original is located at the National Air and Space Museum ) to the 787 plane at the Boeing Factory was almost overwhelming. So cool.
At the Experience Music Project Museum the boys were schooled in grunge music while Brent and I took a trip down memory lane. (A few days later, we drove through Aberdeen, Kurt Cobain’s hometown, listening to Nirvana and the boys recalled some of what they learned in the museum.) Despite what it may seem like there are actually a lot of thought provoking exhibits pertaining to pop culture.
We always feel torn about going to zoos. On one hand, we love to see the animals and always have a great time. On the other hand, it can be hard to see animals in cages. I suppose that’s how most people feel. Ultimately, we hope that by seeing animals in real life our boys learn to appreciate and love wildlife and value the resources on our planet. Anyway, Woodland Park Zoo was lovely.
Seattle is one of Brent’s and my favorite cities and we couldn’t wait to take the boys there. Our first day started off late at the public market and Brent,…
Seattle is one of Brent’s and my favorite cities and we couldn’t wait to take the boys there.
Our first day started off late at the public market and Brent, being a righteous coffee lover, insisted we made a pilgrimage to the first Starbucks. As we explored the market we came across Beechers Handmade Cheese and couldn’t resist a sampling of the “world’s best macaroni and cheese”. Yes, it was divine. You would think that would be enough decadence for a day but then we passed Cupcake Royale where they serve homemade cupcakes and ice cream?
Clearly, we were running low on will power that day.
Good thing we like to explore by foot so we hoofed it down to the Seattle Center because a trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Space Needle. What better time to to visit Seattle’s most famous landmark than at sunset. The views were incredible. Mount Rainier loomed in the distance, a beautiful contrast to the Seattle skyline and a perfect ending to our first day in Seattle.
While in Washington we made two quick trips across the border into Canada, one to Vancouver and one to Point Roberts which is actually a part of the US but…
While in Washington we made two quick trips across the border into Canada, one to Vancouver and one to Point Roberts which is actually a part of the US but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Despite the weather being perfect and an endless array of possibilities, we only have four decent pictures to show for the day.
Three of the city.
And a one of an angry Sphynx cat outfit.
Why so few pictures when there is so much to do in Vancouver, you ask?
So the morning started off well enough if you don’t mind being questioned like a criminal at the border crossing because your husband forgot about the time he was 21 years old and deported. At the time, he was in a band. They were playing a show in Canada but didn’t realize they weren’t allowed to bring merchandise into the country without a work visa. Anyway, they had to drive out and drive back in with proper documentation. It wasn’t a big deal until 20 years later and someone asks at the border crossing if he had ever been asked to leave Canada and, forgetting, he said no. Oooops.
After a few extra questions we were cleared and on our way. Sort of.
We knew we wouldn’t have data on our cells phones in Canada but we didn’t realize exactly how much we use our phones for travel until we turned them off. I’m surprised we could still breath without an app. Regardless, we made it to the city without too much confusion.
However, things were about to get interesting.
A few minutes after arriving downtown a man ran a stop sign and hit the front of our truck.
After nearly two years of travel and 40,000 miles, we were in our first accident. In another country.
Welcome to Canada.
The man was extremely nice. He was very apologetic and asked if he could just pay cash for the damage. We were feeling overwhelmed in the moment and agreed that would be fine. It didn’t even occur to us to get an accident report.
After the accident, I was ready to turn around head back to the US. The crash and metric system were making me feel incompetent. Brent insisted we enjoy our day.
I did my best. We explored Stanley Park, walked along the harbor to Gastown (which was very cool), and waited almost an hour in line for steamed buns at New Town Bakery and Restaurant.
But into the afternoon, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was consumed with worry about the accident. What if the guy said we ran the stop sign. Why oh why didn’t we just get an accident report? We also realized we should have brought our bikes. It would have been a perfect day to explore the city by bike and I was too shaken up from the accident to drive around so we explored by foot. A lot. By the time we got back to the truck we were exhausted and headed back to the US without incident.
(As it turned out the man who hit us kept his word and paid for the minor damage. People can be so awesome!!!)
Point Roberts is part of the mainland of the United States but, oddly, not connected to it. It lies at the tip of a peninsula accessible by driving through Canada or taking a boat. A woman at the campground we were staying at told us it was “kinda neat” so we decided to find out for ourselves one evening.
We left a few hours later that we should have because by the time we reached the border crossing there was a long line presumably on their way home for the evening. Reaching the entrance, we were questioned but this time we just got a strange look when we said we were going to Point Roberts for “dessert”.
Little did we know that there wasn’t a place to have dessert or anything to eat that we could find. Had we done our research we probably could have guessed that a place that doesn’t even have a dentists might not have a large assortment of dessert places. We drove around looking at nothing and ended up at the beach to watch the sunset.
I’m thinking we need to head to Canada one more time because you know third time’s a charm and I hear those Canadian Rockies are breathtaking.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to raise a family on an island with lots fresh fish, play dates at the beach, and calypso music. Since I don’t…
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to raise a family on an island with lots fresh fish, play dates at the beach, and calypso music. Since I don’t think we will be moving to an island anytime soon, the next best thing is visiting a family who lives on an island.
Family life on Orcas Island was everything I imagined minus the calypso music. Orcas Island is part of the San Jaun Islands off the coast of Washington. It is accessible by boat or sea plane. We took the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes. You can take your car on the ferry but since Brent’s friend, Ryan, was picking us up we left the truck.
It was a gorgeous day spent exploring and learning about life on an island. Brent enjoyed catching up with old friends and the boys and I enjoyed making new ones. Ryan and his brother, Matt, own the Deer Harbor Inn and restaurant. That evening we enjoyed a most delicious meal on the patio with Ryan and his family. (There was fresh seafood just how I imagined island life.) Seriously, the food was amazing!
After dinner Ryan took us back to the ferry with homemade blackberry pie and we watched the sunset from the ferry. A lovely ending to a lovely day.
But simple “backyard” moments built from driftwood, salty air, laughter, and the smell of bbq are the moments that send my soul soaring. I wouldn’t trade these sort of days for a trip to see the Taj Mahal.
While we are searching for a new RV and before we get busy taking on next year’s adventures, I’m going to finish catching up on our travels from over the…
While we are searching for a new RV and before we get busy taking on next year’s adventures, I’m going to finish catching up on our travels from over the summer.
July was a perfect month to spend in Washington. The skies were blue, the weather mild, and the foliage lush. And what better way to take advantage of the spectacular weather than by spending a day exploring North Cascades National Park.
North Cascades is home to over 300 glaciers, approximately 1/3 of all the glaciers in the contiguous 48 states. We were surprised to learn that there are more glaciers in North Cascades National Park than in Glacier National Park. Although many of the glaciers can’t be seen from the parts of the park that are easily accessible.
We spent our day driving the North Cascades Highway with stops at the visitor’s center for a ranger talk, Diablo Lake Overlook to take in the sweeping vistas and to hike Thunder Knob Trail.
It was a beautiful day and to put the cherry, or rather the blueberry, on top, we passed Cascadian Farm on the way home where we picked over 8 pounds of organic blueberries and raspberries as the sun set around us.