How We Spent Labor Day 2011 [Video]

Ethan takes a peek down below on the boat to Jetty Island.

What a great weekend to be out and about in the Seattle area. The weather was just splendid and the kids (and parents) in excellent moods!

On Saturday we headed north to meet up with my coworker Bryan and his family Annie, Lucy, and Luke for a visit to Jetty Island. Jetty Island is a little island located just  a few hundred yards from Everett. The Island is part of the City’s Park System and boat rides are free, though they can fill up pretty quick on the weekend. We took the 10am boat ride. We found a nice spot on the beach that looked towards Whidbey and Camano Islands. The kids enjoyed playing in the sand while the parents conversed…well as much as we could when you have four little ones. After a couple hours we headed back to mainland where we headed back home. It was a great visit to Jetty Island and with Bryan’s family. Continue reading “How We Spent Labor Day 2011 [Video]”

“That banana slug has antlers!”: A walk through St. Edward State Park

St. Edward State Park

“That banana slug has antlers!” Our little naturalist has a great view of the natural world and he calls it as he sees it. It’s our job to encourage his curiosity and his sense of wonder and if that means he sees antlers, then they’re…well, we’ll help him out and let him know that they’re actually antennae (or tentacles) and used to watch television. We just can’t lead him astray.

We spent last Sunday morning at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore. It’s a short drive from our house which made it convenient. We’d been traveling all week and didn’t feel like spending a lot of time in the car. The State Park is a former Catholic seminary and became a park in 1977. It’s primarily wooded and offers great hiking and mountain biking. Continue reading ““That banana slug has antlers!”: A walk through St. Edward State Park”

Heather Lake Hike in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Yum Yum Yum
Yum! Yum! Yum!

Did you grab the camera? Shoot, forgot it. Did you bring our iPod for the drive? Nope. Boy those kids are eating a lot on this drive to the trailhead. Do we have extra food? No. Ugh, my pants are too tight. Why didn’t I wear others?!? Hey, did you grab the Northwest Forest Pass before we left?  Uhhhhhhhhh, no. If this is how the drive was going, I couldn’t wait to see how the hike would turn out!

After a quick stop at the ranger station to see if we needed to buy a day pass (we didn’t), we made our way up the road to the Heather Lake Trailhead. We arrived at 10:15am and the lot was almost full. This is definitely a popular hike. Continue reading “Heather Lake Hike in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest”

Father’s Day at Cowiche Canyon

Cowiche Canyon Trail
Cowiche Canyon Trail

A quick 6am stop by Countryside Donut House (our favorite) and we were heading east to Yakima to visit our good friends Phil, Jessica, and Evan. We made good time arriving in Yakima around 9am. A quick bathroom break for everyone and off to Cowiche Canyon for a Father’s Day morning hike.

Before we go on, I want to give a little background about Phil and Jessica. We’ve known Phil since 2002 and Jessica a few years later. Phil and I use to fight fire together while at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Living in the small town of Mineral we often hung out together. Of course that was at our house because he always kept his house so dang cold. During the winter months Phil, Laura, and I would do evening runs in the forest and challenge each other to put in a good run. Phil was a returned Peace Corps volunteer that served in the Dominican Republic in the late 90’s. He often spoke highly of his service and encouraged us to try it someday. Well, as you know, we did try the Peace Corps and Phil was a major player in it. Every since leaving Lassen in 2004 we kept in touch via email and phone calls and a visit every so often. When we moved to the Seattle area he had just accepted a job in the Yakima area and he and Jessica moved from Seattle within a couple months of us arriving. We’ve always enjoyed their company and looked forward to this visit, especially to see their 1.5 year old son Evan who was now out and about like Autumn. Continue reading “Father’s Day at Cowiche Canyon”

Barclay Lake Hike on the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest

Fallen Tree
Fallen tree on our hike to Barclay Lake

We rarely hike without Ethan. Actually, this was only our second time hiking without him since he was born. Ethan is with his Grandma and Grandpa in Oregon this weekend. But it was our first time hiking with just Autumn and we did our best to engage her fully while making good time (something we rarely do with Ethan since we encourage him to stop and explore).

We headed to eastern Snohomish County this morning to hike on the Barlcay Lake Trail. We were not disappointed. Here are the highlights of this 4-mile roundtrip hike.

  • 1 hour 15 minutes from our home
  • 500ft elevation gain (great for families)
  • 2 miles, 2 miles out (We didn’t spend our entire day on the trail)
  • Beautiful hike through a mature forest (really beautiful and serene setting)
  • Mostly parallels Barclay Creek (we love hikes along moving water)
  • Beautiful destination at Barclay Lake with a great view of Mt. Baring Continue reading “Barclay Lake Hike on the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest”