I have been following Paul’s wonderful blog for a long time. I grew up in AZ and have hiked and traveled around much of the state. He still finds places I haven’t been and some I haven’t heard of. His posts are well written, with great tips, suggestions and directions. He’s publishing a new book highlighting a bucket list of where to hike in AZ. He is also having an upcoming drawing to give away copies of the book. There is still time to enter the drawing. And be sure to check out his blog whether you live in AZ or just visit! Your time will be well spent!
Posts tagged ‘hikes’
I’ve been enjoying exploring more areas this summer. I came upon this great recreational area and campground. It is located about 15 min. east of Newport, WA and 15 min. west of Sandpoint, ID, along the Pend Oreille River. It opened May 11th this year and closes Sept. 28th. Dates are a little different each year.
I took some photos with my Samsung camera.
The campground is on kind of a peninsula, so the water is on both sides of it. It is free to visit for the day, offering many activities. There is a little town close by for any needed supplies.
There are 2 large picnic areas that can be reserved.
There are paved and dirt trails for walking and biking.
There is a playground.
There is an amphitheater for lectures and interpretive programs. Just down below this is one of the fishing docks.
There is a basketball court, a beach volleyball court, horseshoe pits and a large grass field for other sports and games.
There is a swimming area set off in the inlet.
There are boat launches, a check in station with wood for purchase, 67 campsites with picnic benches with a concrete slab, electrical and water hookups and barbecue set ups, a dump station and trash pick up. Campers are allowed to have as many tents as fit in the designated camping spot. So you can see there is lots to do there for a day or months 🙂
Here is the link to directions and more information:
Thanks for joining me on another adventure.
Much love, katelon
A few weeks ago I decided to explore Mirabeau Point Park, Mirabeau Meadows and Mirabeau Springs. The location is in Spokane Valley, WA, 13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway. The park itself is 55.51 acres, Mirabeau meadows is 10 acres, Mirabeau Springs is 7. 5 acres and Discovery playground is 1.5 acres. There are paved, graveled, and natural trails all through the park. The meadows have picnic tables and a covered shelter, parking , a stage and restrooms. The playground has parking, picnic tables, covered shelters, a restroom and an outside classroom. Mirabeau Springs has a 40 foot waterfall and pond, a viewing dock, and a sheltered picnic table.
This is my favorite place here in Spokane, so far, to explore. I love that even though roads and commercial buildings are right next to it, when you are on the trails, it feels like you are out in nature. I hiked on the trails before the snow and after snow. At first I wondered if I’d get lost but the trails intersect so smoothly and you can get your bearings so easily, that it leaves you free to just wander and not be concerned. The area is very clean, too. I’m not a city person, so it is wonderful to have something so close to visit that makes it seem as if I’m out in some forest. Given that it is winter, there were few other people there, too.
It is just across the street from access to the Centennial Trail, a 37.5 mile long trail that stretches from the border of Idaho to west of downtown Spokane. I have walked some on that trail and even though it runs alongside the Spokane River, it feels more manicured to me, and I could hear the sounds of the freeway. Somehow, while hiking around Mirabeau Point park, I couldn’t hear the freeway sounds. But it is nice that you can just cross Mirabeau parkway and access the long trail or go down to the river and enjoy that. Many of the trails are ADA accessible.
Here are some photos. You can click on them to enlarge them. I took all of them on my Samsung Galaxy phone.
Here is a photo of the springs and pond, frozen in the winter.
Here is a view from Centennial Trail:
And a couple more photos of the park:
When I explored on icy/snowy trails, I just stuck to the side of the trails to avoid the ice, and when scrambling up and down the natural trails, I just crouched down to grab hold of rocks along the way so I wouldn’t slide. It’s great fun!
I found this great link where you can download a brochure that shows the walking trails and talks about the geology of the area:
Here is a link that talks about the park. Scroll down and you’ll get to Mirabeau Point park:
And here is a link for the Centennial Trail:
Thanks for joining me on another walk. I hope you are staying warm and dry during this stormy winter weather. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, like it, leave a comment, and follow along on this journey with me!
It’s been quite awhile since I last wrote, so thanks for hanging in there with me. I’ve been putting all my focus into my spiritual work to help bring about a planetary shift into the light. I always take time for walks everyday though, so wanted to share some beauty with you. In spite of all that has gone on around this planet, there is always beauty to be found. And I believe soon, more and more our experience of beauty will grow and the darkness that has held our planet and humanity in its fist will be a vague memory, like a nightmare we have woken up from, dissipated as the days of joy and wonder fill us instead.
So come with me and experience some of what I’ve seen over the last several months.
This is an amazing canyon, Tecalote Canyon, a gem in the midst of the city:
All photos by Katelon T Jeffereys
Here’s a couple pretty yellow gems…one from a bush and one from a tree:
I love how delicate these 2 white flowers are, as they almost seem thinner than paper:
Yards all over the neighborhoods I walk have roses, and this lovely pink one caught my eye:
I grew up with an entire outer side of our carport covered with honeysuckle. I loved having that smell as part of my childhood. So some days my walk destiny is planned so I can pass this bush and get a wonderful whiff of honeysuckle again:
And lastly, there are so many different green plants that I’ve never seen before. It touches my heart to see how much love that some home owners put into their landscaping. This beauty stopped me in my tracks:
I read of a great awareness activity that you can add to your walks. You can pick a color for that walk and see how many things you see in that color. Sometimes I focus on green and I concentrate on seeing how many different shades of green I find on my walk that day. It’s wonderful to open your senses to take in more of what is around you. For me, with my love of nature, it keeps me grounded and nourished.
Thanks for joining me on my gathered photos from walks past. Enjoy your spring! Thanks for reading and following my blog and letting others know about it, too!
Much love, katelon
The last couple weeks I’ve gone over to Tecolote Canyon to hike. There are several places to enter this park and I came in via Tecolote Rd. There is a parking area and a Nature Center there. Inside there are some live snakes, many displays about snakes, vegetation, trees, rocks, the geological make up and history of the canyon and much more. There is a classroom there that offers classes as well as various events that happen there such as birding walks and other activities, and workshops, even yoga classes. It is located at 5180 Tecolote Rd., San Diego, CA, 92110. You can contact the center by calling 858-581-9959. Here is the link to the trails : http://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/pdf/tecolotetrailmap.pdf
It is a narrow coastal canyon, named for the many varieties of Owls that live there. It was dedicated on April 1, 1978. Historically, the Kumeyaay Indians lived there. There are 6.5 miles of trails for jogging, walking, and mountain biking. There is a garden behind the Nature Center, too. There are entrances off of Claremont Mesa Blvd., Genesse Ave. Mt. Etna Dr., Boyd Ave., and Tecolote Rd.
There are 2 main trails, one is mostly flat for quite awhile and is a dirt and gravel road that turns into mostly dirt and sometimes sand. This trail ends up running along next to the Golf course before it heads up and down hills. The other trail is quickly off to the right and called the Battle trail. I preferred this one as it is up and down and windy and more through trees and taller vegetation, closer to the side of the canyon. There are a couple trails that connect the two and a couple access points. The Battle trail joins the main trail as you head more east and north. Along the way there are other trails that lead up to the top of the canyon walls. At times you see houses on the hills and other times, especially on the Battle Trail, it feels like you are more out in nature.
Here are some photos of the main trail:
This is the California Bush Sunflower
This is a Lemonade Berry Bush which can grow up to 10 feet tall. The Natives made a lemonade out of the berries.
Lovely old tree
On the trail side of the fence you’ll see California Sage Brush
This is a tall old Eucalyptus tree
The Immaculta Parish at the University of San Diego is up on the hill.
The Golf Course along side the trail.
Trail that goes up to the Linda Vista area.
On one hike I walked on the main path then turned around and walked back to catch the Battle Trail at its Northeast entrance.
I took this amazing photo where this green light stream showed up in the photo. It didn’t show up in any other photos so I don’t think it has to do with my phone camera, or some reflection, as it goes the entire length of the canyon wall. Here are two photos, one the main photo and a close up, both without any manipulation or touch up from me. So if you have any ideas what it is let me know in the comment below….energy vortex? energy stream? ?????
I forget the name of these rock balancing sculptures.
Not sure what these plants are so if you know, let me know.
Another trail view.
This is the trail head for the Battle Trail that starts just after you pass the beginning part of the gravel/dirt road main trail that goes next to the enclosed garden behind the nature center.
So if you are in the area, come check it out. You can walk for 40 min, or hours, your choice!
I lived in Prescott, AZ in 1978, ended up building a house for myself there, doing labor on it daily, and worked for awhile for Prescott College as their PR and communications person. That ultimately led me to a Findhorn workshop and then my guidance to create a wellness center. That has led me to 34 years of research on resorts and wellness centers around the world, and boxes of research, business plans, etc.
I was led back to Prescott in May, staying only a few blocks from the downtown Plaza. I got to know more about Prescott in the few weeks I was there than I had in the year I lived there before. My parents used to take me to Prescott as a child, to help lessen asthma symptoms,too.. Something about being up higher in elevation was helpful for me. It was great to find out more about this sweet mountain town during this last visit To me, it is the perfect size…big enough to have some stores, culture, movies, music and small enough that you can get anywhere within minutes, and if you live in the town part, you can walk to most everything. It is very community oriented.
I spent quite a bit of time walking, taking the free downtown tour to learn of it’s history, walking to the Sharlott Hall Museum to find out more about her and the pioneer history and walking to the Smoki Museum to find out more about the Native Americans who used to live there. There is a stream and path that goes through the side of town and leads to a small park. There was often farmer’s markets and other vendors and music in the plaza on Sundays, and the last weekend I was in the area I went to a drumming circle held at the library as part of their annual music festival. There is a pretty Inn in town, the Hassayampa Inn, built in 1927 when hundreds of residents came together to fund it, the first hotel purchased in that way in the US. Will Rogers, Georgia O’Keefe, DH Lawrence, Tom Mix, Greta Garbor and Clark Gable stayed there. The lobby ceiling is beautifully tiled.
I drove out Williamson Valley road twice and finally found the house I had built. Whoever bought it has added on to it and put up a fence around it so I couldn’t get very close to see it. My house was 12 miles out Williamson Valley Road.
I did go on a few hikes and will share them here.
The Williamson Valley Road hike starts at a little parking lot. The first time I hiked it, I just walked through the metal gate and took the eastern most path out and back, hiking about 1 1/2 hours. The second time, I turned right after just walking through the gate, taking the #308 trail (I think) , out past chapparal and some mesquite, then turning left to walk up and over the foothills there, and coming out to meet the path I had taken the first time, leading me back. You can see great rock outcroppings and Granite Mountain in the distance. The loop was around 3.7 miles.
The Peavine Trail is an old 1893 railway path. You can access it off of Hwy 89 to Prescott Lake Parkway to Sundog ranch road and park in a parking lot there. There is a $2 fee or free on Wed. There are a couple other ways to access this path, too, as it connects with other paths. It is 4 miles out. I walked about 2.5 miles out and back. You pass by Watson Lake and the beautiful and unique Granite Dells. It is an easy walking or biking path.
I walked the Lynx Lake trail two or three times. It is only 2 miles long and 1/2 of it is paved for access for people in wheelchairs. It goes around Lynx lake, a lake for fishing and boating but no swimming. For some reason, you aren’t allowed to swim in any of the lakes in Prescott. To access this lake, you drive on Hwy 69 east from Prescott, go south on Walker road and follow the signs to Lynx Lake. There are several trails in the area, and a campground. There is a fee to park at the lake.
The Salida Gulch trail is on the way to Lynx Lake, except you turn east off of Walker Road onto Lynx Creek road. On the way to the trailhead you will pass a sign for Lynx Ruins, which is a short hike that takes you out to some old native american ruins. There is a fee for that parking lot but not for the Salida Gulch trail. The Salida Gulch trail is a 4.2 mile loop that takes you pass cactus, willow trees, walnut trees, ponderosa pines, chaparral, an intermittent stream area, and you see glimpses of the Bradshaw mountains. During the hike you are hiking up and then down on the way back.
The Willow Lake area is pretty but part of the trail leads you next to traffic and that is a little disconcerting. There are beautiful Cottonwood trees next to part of the path and Willow Lake also borders the Granite Dells. On the hike back, I had looked up the path and hadn’t seen anything and then all of a sudden there was a long snake stretched across the path. I screamed and it quickly slithered off. I felt disappointed as I love snake energy and would have liked to have seen more what kind of snake it was, but I missed it. When I got back near the beginning to the path, I explored some semi-enclosed buildings and it turns out they were ruins from local tribes.
There are many other trails around Prescott but these are the ones I checked out!
I have lived in Tucson, AZ a few times, graduating from the University of AZ with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Tucson is where I started studying holistic health and spiritual therapies in 1973. Tucson is where I really started studying and playing guitar. Tucson is where I had my profound near death experience in 1987. I used to hike there up to 7 days a week and sometimes I’d do 2 hikes in a day.
One of my favorite hikes and one that I spent a semester going to every day, is Upper Tanque Verde Falls. It is a pass between the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Rincon Mountains, huge granite boulders. You reach it by driving out Tanque Verde road which turns into a dirt road called Reddington Pass Road. You continue past the signs for lower Tanque Verde Falls and look for usually at least a few cars parked on the left hand side of the road. There is a metal sign that marks the main trail head. The trail is only about 1/2 mile down to the beach and falls. You can just park yourself there or scramble up or down stream. The rocks are slippery so be careful. When the water is running it is beautiful and cooling. Even in the winter when there is no water, it is very lovely as the water has carved out these beautiful shaped boulders. It is clothing optional so be ready for nudity. The upper falls are kept cleaner, there are less people and it is an easier hike to it than lower tanque verde falls.
When I came back to Tucson in March and April this year I went back to a few old hiking places but went online and found more options, exploring areas I hadn’t been to before. Some of the hikes I did several times. I was often the only one on the trail, and really pushed myself to go further, doing over 20 hikes in the two months I was there. One of the new hikes I went on was a loop trail combining the Camboh, Panther Peak Wash and Roadrunner trails adding up to 4.6 miles. it is out in the Northern part of the Saguaro Forest West park, my favorite for its plethora of Saguaro Cactus and the beautiful road leading to it. The Camboh trail takes you curving through low desert plants and I passed a rattlesnake sleeping partly underneath a bush. You then turn north, crossing the road and head into Panther Peak wash, walking in the wash north and then west with the Tucson Mountains on the north side. Then you turn south and walk the Roadrunner trail, walking through a forest of cholla cactus. People have often seen roadrunners here. There are a few houses next to this part of the trail but it is still beautiful.
Another new one I discovered in Dec. when I was in Tucson and then returned to in March and April is the Camino de Oesta trail to the Stone house. You drive out Speedway heading West and that turns into Gates Pass Road. As the road curves left to change names, you will intersect with Camino de Oesta. Follow that to the end and park. I liked this trail because it is close to town and so was easy to just head on over to for a quick afternoon hike. I often heard owls here. It is beautiful to see it greening out in the spring and the spring flowers popping up. I usually just took the path along the side of a mountain, back and forth through the washes and desert to the stone house built years ago. Toward the end of my stay though I explored the Resort road trail, which leads to the Marriott Starr Pass resort. You can reach the road there, to the east, walk north past the entrance and catch another trail heading west and then south up and over a mountain, hooking in with the resort loop trail and then coming back on the CDO trail. That is about 3.7 mile trail. This is on the west side of Tucson so you get that wondrous Saguaro forest of the west side.
For the first time I checked out Catalina State State park. There is a fee to enter but worth it. There are camping and RV sites and places for groups to picnic or camp, too. To reach it, you drive north on Oracle Road and you will see the signs. You get a beautiful view of the western and northern sides of the Santa Catalina Mountains. I went on three trails, well, four trails really. I started out on the Canyon Loop trail going counter clockwise (the easier direction), hiking up a short hill and then took a detour to the Montrose Pools. These were sweet pools off the trail leading to Romero Pools. Then I came back on that trail, continued on the Canyon loop trail going counter clockwise, down a long set of steps (hence the benefit in going counter clockwise), through landscape dotted with amazingly old Saguaro cacti with many arms, next to small stream and ending near the parking lot. Then I crossed to the south and took the birding trail through stands of different trees and riparian areas for birding. Then I drove to the trail head for the short trail through the Romero Ruin trail. This trail leads you to the ruins of an old Farm house, and also older Indian ruins. The total for all the hikes was around 5 miles.
Gates Pass is famous as a place to watch sunsets. There are always many people gathered there to watch sunsets, often from other countries. You reach it by driving out Speedway, heading west, and that becomes Gates Pass Road. It is quite a curvy road and often has bicyclists on it so be careful. It is best to get there early to find parking. You then scramble up in any direction and find a place to sit to watch the beauty revealed in another gorgeous desert sunset. My son and I used to come here almost daily when he was young. It was a great ending to our days.
Another new discovery was the Honey Bee Canyon south and north trails. I went out here several times as it was an easy hike. When you combine both hikes it adds up to 4.8 miles. The South hike winds along a trail, through an old dam into the canyon, through a wash, up over a hill and around through a wash and back, passing many old Saguaro Cactus. I found this awesome Saguaro with a large number of arms and another that had all these arms pointed down, like a ballerina’s skirt. The north hike takes you through a wash and you run across some old Anasazi petroglyphs. I often saw bunnies along the trail. There are reports of people seeing cougars.
Another old favorite is Lake Patagonia. When I used to live in Tucson in the mid-late 80’s, I used to go down there alot to hike, canoe, swim and even camped there one night. I challenged myself and swam across the lake and back one time. It is famous for it’s birding and was recently seen in a movie with Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson. One side of the lake is allowed for motored boats and the other non-motors. You drive down like you are going to Nogales, and turn left and follow the signs to Lake Patagonia. A friend went with me in April and we tried out a new hike in the preserve that is north of the lake. At first we lost the trail and ran across a geocache box. That was exciting as I had run into a couple hiking on another hike and they had talked of geocaching. The water was too cold to swim in but my friend and I rented a double kayak and kayaked around the lake. It was very windy, so challenging, but still great to be on the water. The hike was 3 miles long and led us up and down and up and down various hills and past stands of cottonwood trees. The hawks were flying over us.
The Loma Verde Trail is part of an extensive set of trails in Saquaro National Forest east, on the east side of Tucson. I reached it by driving out Speedway until it dead ends. I know I’d hiked out there before but found new trails this time. A friend and I went and hiked for a couple hours just before sunset. The Saguaro cactus aren’t as prolific as on the west side but it is still a very pretty and varied area next to the Rincon mountains.
I never tire of driving to Mt. Lemmon. It takes about an hour to get there and drive to the top but you end up driving through all these different climates. You get there by driving out Tanque Verde Road going east and take the Catalina Hwy left driving up switchbacks to the top. It is so beautiful and different at every turn. There are numerous hikes along the way. I once did a hike starting on the side of the mountain and ending going down the Sabino Canyon 7 Falls trail, an 8 mile trail that my then 4 year old son did with me and two of my friends. I have been on other hikes on the way to Mt. Lemmon but my favorite is the Aspen loop trail. To access it, you drive to the top of the mountain, past the ski resort and town of Sumerhaven until the road dead ends in a parking lot. I took the Marshal Gulch trail going counter clockwise (much easier than going the other direction). The trail gains about 560 in elevation and the loop is 3.9 miles, up along a stream through forests and up a mountain, across and around and then down through an aspen grove. There was a big fire a few years ago so many of the pine trees were burned but there is a sweet crop of newly growing pine and aspen trees.
Pima Canyon is a hike I used to do a lot and I did when I first got back to Tucson in March. It is on the north side of Tuscon up against the south side of the Santa Catalina mountains. The views from it are pretty. It is an uphill hike, reached by driving out 1st. ave north.
Another new hike for me was to go to Saguaro National Park West and combine a few trails. There is a fee to enter this park. i combined the Valley view trail, a gently uphill trail to wonderful views; turning back and following it back to catch the Wild dog trail out and back and then going back to the beginning of the valley view trail to catch the Bajaha wash trail, walking through the wash; then I hiked out to the road and walked back uphill to my car, a 5 mile combo. I got to the park by going out Gates Pass road then following the signs to Saguaro National Park west.
Another new trail in Saquaro National Park East was the Wildhorse trail combined with some other trails to create a loop. It was a challenging hike for me because it was hot and I was tired after 1 mile of going gently uphill and I pushed myself to finish the 5.2 miles of trails up a mountain, around next to a an old dam, down the hill, in and out of various washes, which makes walking a little more challenging. It was quite pretty though, hiking in the foothills of the Rincon mountains.
The Cougar trail was at the edge of the Saguaro National park west, not in the park but next to it. The hike leads you through the foothills of the mountains and to the Desert museum (a wonderful museum). I got started a little late and ran into a wonderful couple on the trail and we ended up chatting for an hour. They told me about geocaching. It was hot and so by the time I got to the end of the trail, I didn’t have the energy to go back the way I had come so chose instead to make my way to the road and walk back that way. It wasn’t the safest way to go as the road is quite windy with very little shoulder, so sometimes I’d have to just step into the desert, off the road when I could hear and see cars coming around the curves towards me, but it was a flatter hiking choice and I made it back to my car safely. I found this great “stegasaurus” looking cactus on my hike and a pretty blooming cactus next to the side of the road.
And lastly, after walking up and down Tucson Blvd. I found the house that my Mom’s father had built for them when she was about 8, around 1928, when Tucson blvd. was the edge of town.
The heat in Tucson gets to be a bit much for me so I haven’t chosen to move back there but it will always hold a place in my heart and a place i will go back to for all it’s beautiful hikes and what an easy town is to get around!
I grew up in AZ, spent some time going to NAU,in Flagstaff, so spent many days hiking around Sedona. One of my favorite hikes is the West Fork of Oak Creek. I used to go to class in the morning, drive down, hike in 1/2 mile, throw down my sleeping bag, hike around and come back later to sleep, then hike out the next morning and go to class. I hiked there this last Dec. and can’t even find the beach that I used to sleep on. It is still a lovely hike, an easy hike crossing the stream several times. There is a fee to park in the parking lot. The trail head is north of Sedona, as you drive north through Oak Creek Canyon on 89A.
A popular hike is to Bell Rock. There is a vortex on this rock. In Dec. I hiked around Bell Rock and Courthouse rock. It was after a snow storm, late afternoon and quite beautiful. I walked a loop trail around both rocks. There are several different trails available to hike here. The trail head starts south of Sedona and north of Village of Oak Creek off of Hwy 179.
Right in West Sedona, you can walk to a Buddhist Stupa site that holds two stupas. The short trail is north of 89A, just off a local neighborhood.
Cathedral Rock is another popular hike and vortex. There is a drumming circle, partly up the trail, each full moon. I walked and scrambled up about 2/3 of the trail and sat for awhile. It IS a scramble and yet I watched young children hiking it with their parents. It is uphill most of the way. The trailhead is on the west side of Hwy 179.
Another one of my favorite magical places to go is Red Mountain. It is 25 miles NW on Hwy 180, outside of Flagstaff, past the Snow Bowl and on the way to the Grand Canyon. It is a cinder cone, with lava hills on the side, and amazing lava sculptures. There is an amphitheater on the side that geologists can’t figure out. Amphitheaters within extinct volcanoes always exist in the inside, and this one is seated on the side, exposed. I used to drive into the trail head, next to the volcano, quite a scary drive with sometimes only two wheels on the ground. Now, you drive past the trail sign, on the south side of the Hwy, and drive to a parking lot and the trail head, then walk the rest of the trail in. I have seen UFO’s here, camped out inside (which you can’t do anymore) and one night, hiking out in the dark, there were blue glowing footprints walking next to the three of us. The energy here is quite powerful.
Another great day trip from Sedona is to go to Tuzigoot National Monument. It is a 2-3 story restored ruin of a pueblo built by the Sinegua people between 1125-1400. There is a simple path to walk through the ruins with many preserved objects displayed in the museum there. It was excavated and restored partially by funds from the WPA. You reach it via 89A on the way to Clarkdale.
Another near by day trip is to Montezuma Castle, the ruins of the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people. It consists of 45-50 rooms occupied between 1125-1400 AD. It has a short trail to walk to view the ruins and the Verde River. The site is off of I-17 north of Camp Verde and south of Flagstaff.
What are your favorite hikes and places to go in and around Sedona, AZ?
I lived in Northern California from Sept. 1988 to June 1992. I ended up living in this magical neighborhood. Across the street was a row of houses, beyond that a bluff, beyond that the Mad River, beyond that sand dunes and beyond that…an ocean. At the end of my block was a forest. I could take one path and it led down to the river. I could take another path and it would lead through a meadow and out to an overlook of the ocean. I used to purposely get lost, exploring various paths and then finding my way back. One time I attempted to walk next to the river, running out of a path, climbing in and out of the branches of trees, attempting to avoid huge banana slugs and finally having to scramble up trees to a yard on the bluff, walking out with debris trailed throughout my long hair. I dared myself to learn to walk the forest path at night, feeling the path underneath my feet, no light, finding my way across the meadow and knowing when to stop at the ocean over-look to avoid going off the edge. I returned in Nov. 2012. The little forest is now more tamed, some paths the same, some re-directed and built up.
Another place I loved to walk was along clam beach. You can camp there, and walk for miles. I used to go out at night and walk for quite awhile and somehow, know where to cut in through the dunes to find my car once again. I found fossils in some of the rocks there. Clam Beach is just north of Mckinleyville. The area is very beautiful with redwood trees, ocean, moose and deer.
I love road trips, especially road trips to places I can hike around. One of the places I went quite often was to the Green River and Flaming Geyser Park. It is SE of Seattle, taking I – 5 south, to Hwy 18 going east, taking the Black Diamond Exit and following the signs to Flaming Geyser park. The road winds past horse farms, and produce farms so it is quite picturesque. The park is 480 acres, day use, with more than 3 miles of shoreline. People go there to walk, picnic and float down the river. I have been there during all seasons, walking through fall leaves, walking in the rain, and sunbathing in the rare sunny days. The park has a few “geysers” (methane leaks), and one of them used to spout a few feet high but now is only a few inches.
Another beautiful trip is to Lake Kachess. It is near the town of Cle Elum, off of I-90 East. There is a river there, the lake, campgrounds, homes near by and places to walk. I went during the fall after the campground had closed and was the only one there. The fall colors were beautiful. I found some tracks and didn’t figure out what kind of animal they belonged to.
My Mom’s last visit to see my son and I in Seattle was for my birthday in 1999. She died that year in Oct. She had wanted to go to Butchart gardens again as she had fond memories of it, but decided not to spend the money on the trip. (tip to ALL people…enjoy your money why you are ALIVE!). So before leaving Seattle in 2012, I took myself up to see the gardens around my birthday time. The Clipper takes travelers from Seattle to Victoria, BC for day trips as well as combining it with stays in local hotels. I just went up for the day, taking the tour to the gardens and then leaving me some time to walk around Victoria. While there, I signed the guest book with my Mom’s name so that she was able to have one more visit there.
Butchart Gardens were created by Robert and Jennie Butchart along with help from master gardeners. Robert had purchased the land to create a quarry for gathering limestone for cement. His wife decided to then create gardens on this land as the quarry was exhausted of it’s limestone. It grew from there. They built their factory and home on the land and even when the gardens went public, they continued to live there. Throughout the years, dignitaries from around the world gave them plants to add to their collection.
Long Beach, Washington is on a peninsula just north of the Columbia River, the border of Oregon and the town, Astoria. There are a few towns along the Peninsula, a few miles from each other. It is SW of Seattle, with several available routes to take to get there. It is known as a great place for kite flying, growing cranberries, and oysters. They have several festivals throughout the year. In 2000 I went in the fall during their Oyster Festival, which is a music festival with various offerings along the peninsula. In Sept. 2012, before I made the decision to leave Seattle, I knew I needed a short vacation. So I found a great RV park in Sea View, south of Long Beach , made reservations and paid for a tenting spot. Unfortunately, the first night there it rained and my tent was filled with water, leading me to spend my first day there doing laundry. I then upgraded to a sweet small RV to spend the next few days. I was arriving during their old car festival so watched several beautiful older cars driving past me on my trip there. while there, I went on long walks every day through town and along the wonderful trail. The paved trail goes from mostly one end of the peninsula to the other end, used by bicyclists and walkers both.
Some of my other favorite day trips from Seattle were to Snoqualmie Falls east of Seattle on I-90, and longer trips to La Push, on the Olympic Peninsula. La Push is on the ocean and west of Forks. The Rain Forest is south of there and a wonderful place to hike.
Please share any of your favorite day trips from Seattle in the comment section below!