Lake Valhalla

Lake Valhalla Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

Camping at Lake Valhalla

Central Cascades, Washington State

It’s hard to believe the summer is coming to a close. Ben, Kai and I had one last camping adventure in August, and it turned out to be my favorite camping spot of the whole summer.

We hiked in 3.5 miles to Lake Valhalla, along the Pacific Crest Trail, intending to pick a campsite, drop our packs, and hike up to the summit of nearby Mt. McCausland.  Continue reading

Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Camping Trip

Upper Dungeness River Trail | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

Upper Dungeness River Trail, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

The beginning of this summer seems to be themed “last-minute camping trips.” We haven’t planned much ahead and limit ourselves to walk-in backpacking sites that are dog-friendly and don’t require extra permits or reservations.

Ben and I have made a point to plan ahead a little more for our weekends in August, but for now I’m embracing the spontaneous camping choices we’ve made. I’ve shared some tips for planning a last-minute camping trip at the end of this post.  Continue reading

A Weekend in Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, BC

Victoria is best reached by boat. The Black Ball Ferry that leaves from Port Angeles, Washington is the Victoria Clipper are two of the most popular ways to get there from the Seattle area. (Check out a myriad of options here.) This was the second time Ben and I have been to Victoria, and we took the Clipper again this time. It’s about a three-and-a-half hour trip, the boat leaves from the waterfront near Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.  Continue reading

Hike to Heather Lake

Hike to Heather Lake

I love discovering an alpine lake that isn’t too hard to get to. Heather Lake is off of the Mountain Loop Highway, about an hour and a half from Seattle. I had read about the hike back in March, but at the time it was too snowy to access. Ben and I headed up there for a day hike in mid-June, and there was still snow at the top but none on the road and nothing we couldn’t walk through with normal hiking boots.  Continue reading

Costa Rica 

Finding Paradise in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Last month I met Ben in San José, Costa Rica’s capital city. After staying one night in San José (not much exploring involved), we caught a public bus for Manuel Antonio, a beautiful small beach town with a national park and rainforest on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Continue reading

A Long Weekend in LA


Exploring Los Angeles for the First Time

It may be hard for my West Coast friends to believe, but until this fall I had never been to Los Angeles. (Except through the airport, which we all know doesn’t count.) Earlier this year at a baseball game in Seattle Ben and I got vouchers from Alaska Airlines for 50% off plane tickets. The destination options and travel times were limited, but we aren’t ones to pass up a good deal on plane tickets so we booked a long weekend in LA.  Continue reading