Sunday, October 13, 2013

Centenial Trail in Spokane Valley, WA

The Spokane River Centennial Trail is a 37 mile paved recreational trail for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. The trail stretches from Sontag Park in Nine Mile Falls, Washington to the Washington / Idaho state line. It continues another 24 miles beyond the Washington state border into Idaho as the North Idaho Centennial trial through Post Falls and into Coeur d'Alene.
We surprised by all of the trails so close to Spokane for bike riding once we arrived.
Mirabel Springs on the edge of Mirabel Park east of Spokane. The falls colors beautiful and so much to explore. Mike got to ride with the local cycle club a few time and I did once. It is a great way to learn new areas for a bike ride.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dishman Hills and Mt Spokane Hikes

Dishman Hills Natural Area, adjacent to Camp Caro Community Park, is 530 acres of dramatically sculpted rocky hills and ponds with areas of grasses mixed pine and fir forest, aspen groves, views, and a profusion of wildflowers every spring. Dishman Hills has been protected as a natural area for over 30 years, serving as habitat for wildlife and as a passive recreational resource with miles of designated trails.
Another hike we decided to try was up Mt Spokane. There were quite a few trails. I think we picked the up trail.
The cabin was built and used by the CCC. Pass though both forest and meadow on the way to this heritage site on the aptly named Beauty Mountain within Mount Spokane State Park. During the Great Depression, this was the summer spike camp of Company 949 of the Civilian Conservation Corps, voted the best of the nation's CCC camps.
Sometimes you have to find a way to get where you want to get. It was worth it once we got to our destination.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

Harrison is nestled at the mouth of the Coeur d'Alene River at the southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. It offers a beautiful view of the lake and the mountains. Visitors may arrive by boat, car, Motorcycle, or bicycle. Running through town is the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, a 72 mile trail paved from Mullan to Plummer. Kootenai County docks are open and you can leave your boat docked for up to 72 hours in the local Marina. Harrison also offers a waterfront RV park with 20 spaces with water and electric hook-ups, an on-site dump station, showers and bathroom facilities, and a tent camping area. Don't forget about our beautiful city park with gazebo, barbecue/ kitchen area and a children's playground.
The full hookup sites had a fire ring along the lake. We happened to be there during the Bass fish off and The bars at the marina and in town just a block from us played on all weekend. We just turned on the air conditioner to block out the music after a few hours and all was good. They have lots of festivals since this is the end of the road.
The rides along the trail were peaceful with wildlife.
We steered clear of the moose but enjoyed watching them.
The oldest building in Idaho is also among its most impressive. The Jesuit mission at Cataldo, built between 1850 and 1853 for the Coeur d’Alene tribe, has survived the ages magnificently. This is 24 miles east of Coure dAlene along the trail

Saturday, July 27, 2013

North Cascades

We camped at Newhalem Campground and were glad to be in the park and not have to drive in.
Many believe the Easy Pass and Fisher Basin area to be one of the most superb places in the North Cascades. Extensive meadows are crowned by glacial peaks. The short, steep trail to the pass is anything but "easy." The views, however, are your reward: panoramic vistas of Fisher Basin and Mounts Logan, Fisher, and Arriva

Monday, July 22, 2013

Leaving Bremerton to kayak Anacortes

We always enjoy getting on the Washington State Ferry to go somewhere. It is sad to leave the Kitsap Peninsula. But more to be seen
Deception Pass State Park is a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with 77,000-feet of saltwater shoreline, and 33,900-feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. Rugged cliffs drop to meet the turbulent waters of Deception Pass. The park features breath-taking views, old-growth forests, abundant wildlife, and sand dunes. The park is well-loved for its spectacular views of shoreline, mountains, islands, and sunsets. It was a foggy day that we were there but the campground looks great.
Anacortes is homeport to the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest. Located on Fidalgo Island, it is conveniently situated halfway between Seattle and Vancouver BC and is the destination point for the San Juans and International ferry runs for Washington State.
We took the full day kayak trip out to Burrows Island to see the lighthouse and caught the tide on the wrong way on the way back. 2 hours would have been good. We were tired puppies when we got back to our little WA state campground on the edge of town.
Mt Baker peeking out in the background.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Olympic Discovery Adventure Trail & Salt Creek

The Adventure portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail runs from the west side of the Elwha River (west of Port Angeles) to the east end of Lake Crescent, where it connects with the Spruce Railroad Trail, and then continues west toward Forks and La Push.
This trail is primarily for Mountain biking and horses. We only saw a couple of other bikers the day we were here.
It is a pretty good climb out of the trailhead but rolls once you reach the top. What a great day.
Salt Creek Recreation Area County Park has national park aesthetics, with County Park amenities. The 196-acre Park includes upland forests, rocky bluffs, rocky tide pools, sand beach, Salt Creek access, campsites, and panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Crescent Bay, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sequim, WA

Sequim is a great place to spend the weekend since it’s the driest spot in western Washington, getting just 18” of rain each year. (You can thank the Olympic Rain Shadow for the dry weather.) We would walk Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to more than 250 species of endangered birds, fish, and mammals.
There is a great campground just above the spit without hookups but a great place to watch the ships pass by.
We happened to be here for the Lavender Festival and enjoyed a bike ride along the water and found a great farmer's market with lots to take back with us.
We could return here and spend much more time. When we rode our bikes along the Discovery Trail and ended up In town with a flat tire, so many people would stop and visit with us. We met several couple at a downtown coffee shop that had moved from Colorado.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mt Rainier

An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. So we decided to take a hike even if it is raining.
We stayed on the south part of the park this time.
There were more people from Asia on this trail today than we had seen before. Hardy hikers.
Once we got up the hill, it was good to wander and let you mind take you away.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Seabeck, WA

Located on the western shores of the Kitsap Peninsula, Seabeck is a charming, historic waterfront community with scenic water and mountains views, beach access year-round.
Living on the water makes a person aware of the tides and the affects on the wildlife. When there is a big tide, the eagles come out to feed. We drove the short distance to Seabeck as the tide was expected to be very negative. And the Bald Eagles were out.
Between the starfish and eagles the clams don't have a chance, which the local residents of Seabeck really don't appreciate. Lots of clammering for the clams.

Cuenca, Ecuador

An Expat Destination The morning after returning to Quito we boarded an hour-long flight to Cuenca. Driving up the winding roads would have ...