Skagit Valley Eagles

Every January I venture up past Concrete along the Skagit River to see the eagles.  A few years ago it wasn’t uncommon to see dozens of eagles sitting in the trees or swooping down to steal a salmon out of the river. So impressive to see such a majestic bird in flight so close. Over the years, the numbers have dwindled significantly.  Now you might see a handful off in the distance.  The eagles seem fewer in number and maybe have moved north up to the Nooksack river. I might have to venture up there next time.

We are experiencing an unusually snowy winter this year in Western Washington.  Normally we only get a day or two of snow in the winter. This year it seems like we have a snow storm every other week!  On the positive side, the snowpack is full!  This means great runoff for the rivers and lakes in spring and summer. It also provides for the great beauty of our rolling hillsides and Cascade mountains.  Set against a beautiful blue sky it reminds us of what a beautiful state in which we live and play.

Leque Island levee trail

Although this really isn’t a hike, I heard this was a great place to see owls and I’ve always wanted to try to photograph owls.  Although I did find one sitting in a tree, I quickly discovered I need to buy a new camera. I’ve had my DSLR for a number of years and it’s time to upgrade! Add that to the bucket list!  We were lucky enough to see several blue herons and an eagle when we first arrived.

Teneriffe Falls (Kamikaze Falls)

A friend and I ventured out on this hike with a group of Seattle Seahawks fans who are a hiking club. The parking lot is a bit small so several people had to part at Mt. Si and walk up to this hike so the group was pretty spread out but we are all proudly wearing our Seahawks gear!  This is a beautiful hike up a rocky hillside which a couple miles of switchbacks. You get several views of the waterfall along with way and the view at the top is spectacular!

Seattle Seahawks!!

I’d be remiss if I did not include photos of my favorite football team!! I am a 12 for life!! I’ve watched this team for years, through the many less positive years to when we became Super Bowl 48 Champions!!  I stood out in the freezing cold with another million fans to celebrate our team in the championship parade!!  The VMAC (Seahawks Training Facility) is located along Lake Washington and is a fun time watching training camp from either the lawn or out on the boat on the lake!  We all know we have a few more championships awaiting our team and city!  Go Hawks!!

Frozen Franklin Falls

What normally is a 2 mile roundtrip hike in the summer, became a nearly 8 mile roundtrip in the winter because of all the snow! Nestled along I-90 near Denny Creek, Franklin Falls is well worth the hike.    The trail takes you meandering through the calm forest and along with river.  It is so peaceful!  Dotting the riverbank are several small summer cabins that are currently covered in snow!  Now that I’ve seen the falls in the winter, I do want to come back and see it in the summer!

Tiptoe through the Tulips

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival brings visitors from around the world.  Massive field full of daffodils, followed by ribbons of color and the sea of tulips takes over the valley.  Having grown up in Washington I’ve seen the downsizing of the fields as more and more fields were lost to the sod/turf business or just left vacant.  The center strip between the highways used to be filled with wild daffodils when I was a kid but now just a few holdovers have survived.  Still this is a beautiful sight to see. Every year we all await the news that the daffodils and then tulips are in bloom and make the trip up to Mt. Vernon.

Fall in the Snoqualmie Valley

You don’t have to go far to see the  beautiful fall colors in the PNW. Although we are known as the evergreen state, we still have a wide variety of deciduous trees that are spectacular in changing seasons. This year we experienced a lengthy time of yellows and orange colors before the leaves fell. This river leads into Snoqualmie Falls, which is probably one of the most photographed falls on the west coast.

Magestic Mount Rainier

Hard to believe that even though I have lived here my entire life, I actually don’t recall ever visiting Mt. Rainier. I see its beauty every day on my way to work but never took the opportunity to explore some of the trails.  That changed in November 2016 when I made up my mind to go explore! Snow had already started falling up on the mountain so the top of the ridge-line was covered in snow.  The views are breathtaking. Even more so I bet on a clear day! Hundreds of hungry birds greeted us at the top, anxious to partake in some plain nuts we brought. The trail we took was roughly 11 miles roundtrip. Probably a bit too far without my training but we made it!  I’ve heard about reflection lake and quickly learned how it earned that name!  Although our day was cloudy and a bit windy, you could still see the reflection of Mt. Rainier perfectly in the lake. I’m definitely headed back there in the summertime as I know that will be a picture worth framing!!

Little known Bulson Falls

Tucked away in Conway, Washington is a small falls that seems to come out of nowhere.  The falls are surrounded by houses on the upper ridge.  I’ve heard this falls dries up in the summertime, so I’m thinking it comes to life thanks to excess water in the winter.  It’s a short 1/4 mile jaunt through the trees to this little beauty.

I ventured up to Wallace Falls in Gold Bar, Washington with a friend in late February 2017. I’ve heard about this hike before and aw some beautiful pictures posted, but I had not yet ventured out for the hike. We have experience a higher than normal amount of snow this year in the area, but we had a great break in the weather to head out for the day.  We reached the parking lot, to find several other people had the same idea! The hike starts as a beautiful stroll through the forest and along with river.  The trees are tall and covered in a lush, green moss.  The falls is broken into three sections–lower fall, middle falls and top falls.   While hiking you are able to get a glance at the lower and middle falls in the distance. It is a spectacular sight!  The hike is about 2.75 miles to the top, and it is a good workout!  The scenery is beautiful and keeps you occupied along with way. This is definitely a hike for the bucket list in Washington!

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