Ebey’s Landing Hike

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“Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth. We walk through it, yell into it, rake leaves, wash the dog, and drive cars in it. We breathe it deep within us. With every breath, we inhale millions of molecules of sky, heat them briefly, and then exhale them back into the world.” -Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses Continue reading

Chuckanut Drive

Another adventure we went on when my dad came to visit was the Chuckanut Drive, which is a beautiful drive starting about an hour outside of Seattle. We had planned on taking him to Mount Rainier but since the government shut down and the National Parks are all closed we had to make a quick Plan B!

Our lunch stop along the way was the Rhododendron Cafe in Bow, WA. We were hungry when we pulled in and ready to eat almost anything, but had a nice surprise when we sat down to find a gourmet menu of all locally sourced foods. I would definitely stop there again.

We also stopped at Taylor Shellfish Farms. They have tables and grills out by the water and plenty of shellfish of all kinds for sale, so that’s on our list to return during the warm summer months and grill up some super fresh seafood.

Bellingham, WA was the end of the drive. In Bellingham, we grabbed coffee and walked around in Boulevard Park, thanks to a recommendation from my co-worker Julie. I loved watching the boats, including the ferry to Alaska. I feel like the ferry to Alaska should be the start of a travel book (and probably is).

I’m glad we finally did this drive and hope to visit all these places again. It was fun to show my dad some of the area outside the city. One of our favorite things about Seattle is how quickly you can drive to beautiful farm country or mountains. It’s always nice to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle.

 

Paddling All Day Long

Sea Kayaking in the San Juan Islands

“Come, my friends,/’Tis not too late to seek a newer world./Push off, and sitting well in order smite/The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds/To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths/Of all the western stars, until I die./It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:/It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles.” —Tennyson, “Ulysses”

On Friday we went sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands. Ben and I have never been kayaking before, so in true adventurous spirit we jumped in headfirst with a 6-hour adventure battling wind and waves and the strong current of the cold Pacific Ocean as we circumnavigated an island in orca whale habitat.

**Wildlife spotted but not pictured included an orca pod, jellyfish, seals, bald eagles, and a variety of other birds and fish.**

My initial fears were mostly about the kayak flipping…I had visions of falling into the cold Pacific ocean and catching hypothermia, but after about 30 minutes and some work on my paddling technique I felt more comfortable on the water.

By the end of the day I thought my arms would fall off and when I least wanted to keep moving I had to paddle even harder and faster to fight the current until we reached the dock. There was no other way home; I was never so glad to see the end of a journey—in this case the dock at Snug Harbor. For about 10 minutes when I Ben and I were fighting that current together I swore I’d never kayak again (and told him so in the grumpiest way. ha), but of course I changed my mind after we got through the roughest patch 😉

^^our kayak group sticking close together as we watched the orca pod swim close by, as part of our Be Whale Wise guidelines 🙂 we saw three big orcas and one baby jump out of the water! ^^

^^Ben and I practicing good two-person kayaking teamwork!^^

^^with our friend Elisabeth^^

^^lunch spot on Henry Island^^

^^sunset at Friday Harbor^^

^^on the ferry ride back to Anacortes^^

This all-day kayak trip was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done—and one of the most rewarding. I’d say kayaking with the orca whales was a great way to start the summer!

Happy Memorial Day!

P.S. In case you’re curious, we went with Crystal Seas Kayaking