Posts In The “Washington State” Category

Thursday Night Football

Thursday Night Football

We had a busy two weeks before our Antarctic cruise, where James was away on business for three days and we attended a Seattle Kraken hockey game and two Seattle Seahawks football games. The second football game, two days before we departed for Argentina, was even more exciting than normal. Amazon Prime Video has exclusive…

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Georgetown Steam Plant

Georgetown Steam Plant

The Georgetown Steam Plant was built in 1906 along the Duwamish River to power Seattle’s streetcars. The advent of hydropower soon made the plant noncompetitive, and it was used only as an emergency backup starting in the 1920s. Decommissioned in 1977 and declared a National Historic Monument in 1984, the plant houses the only two…

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Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor is the only incorporated town in the San Juan Islands and the main transportation hub, with frequent ferry, float plane and small craft traffic. The many restaurants, bars, and other attractions, plus a wonderful waterfront setting, make the town an exceedingly popular summer tourist destination, and accommodations, flights and ferry reservations book up…

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Point Ruston

Point Ruston

Point Ruston in Tacoma, the inspiration for Frank Herbert’s epic science-fiction novel Dune, was once one of the most polluted superfund sites in the world. In writing the first best-selling science-fiction novel with an environmental theme, Tacoma-born Herbert was influenced by the foul-smelling smoke that spewed from the ASARCO copper smelter at Point Ruston. After…

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Fresh Hop Ale Festival

Fresh Hop Ale Festival

We enjoyed our Ballard fresh hop beer tasting tour so much that we decided to go all out and attend the Fresh Hop Ale Festival in Yakima, WA the following weekend. Yakima is a 2:20 drive east from Seattle on I-90, but we instead took a slightly longer route south through Mt. Rainier National Park…

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Ballard Fresh Hop Beer Tasting Tour

Ballard Fresh Hop Beer Tasting Tour

Autumn is fresh hop beer season in the Pacific Northwest. Most beer is made from dried hops, while fresh hop beers are made from hops that have never been dried. The beer must be brewed very soon after the hops are ripe, so can’t be made very far from the fields. Since over 77% of…

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Summer During Fall

Summer During Fall

September was warmer than usual for Seattle, with the temperature frequently above 80°F (27° C) even late in the month, more than 10 degrees above average. The warm, clear, and dry weather was ideal for camping and we made two multi-night trips. The first was a three-night stop in Gifford Pinchot National Forest with a…

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Kachees Lake

Kachees Lake

In what would turn out to be our final camping trip of the year, we found a fabulous site at the end of a road with a sweeping view southeast across Kachees Lake. We’d been improving our skills in pre-scouting online for a campsite, and drove straight to this one without investigating any other potential…

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Seahawks vs Broncos

Seahawks vs Broncos

The Seattle Seahawks opened their season with a Monday Night Football home game against the Denver Broncos. Making the game even more exciting, this was the first where quarterback Russell Wilson was playing against the Seahawks rather than for them. The Seahawks won in an exciting and closely-contested match that we were expected to lose,…

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Seattle to Portland

Seattle to Portland

Portland, Oregon is a major craft beer center full of many excellent pubs. We’d last visited in 2012 on our Columbia River trip in Dirona and recently decided to make a quick overnight trip by train from Seattle. We booked a cabin on the Starlight Express train, a 35-hour overnight train from Seattle to Los…

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Heading Home

Heading Home

We finished our four-day Labor Day weekend camping trip with a tour through the area near our site in search of other campsites and found several good possibilities. Our plan after that was to have lunch at the Packwood Brewing Co. But the road into town was jammed for the annual Packwood Flea Market, one…

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Day Three at Camp

Day Three at Camp

Our initial plan for the Labor Day long weekend camping trip was to camp at two or three different sites. But we couldn’t imagine finding a better site than the one along Forest Road 8430, so we stayed put. After two days at camp though, it was time for a real test of our Kradl…

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Forest Road 8430

Forest Road 8430

Mt. Rainier, and pretty much everything in between, was obscured by low clouds when we got up on our first morning at camp in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Over the course of the day, however, the clouds cleared and our wonderful mountain view returned. We were camped along Forest Road 8430, that extends several miles…

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Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Gifford Pinchot National Forest

In September, we went on our longest wilderness camping trip to date, of three nights over the Labor Day weekend. Since we had a more time than usual, we ranged a little farther near Mt. Rainier. We started out at Elbe Hills State Forest, one of two state forests in the area. Unfortunately the State…

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Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking

With generally clear skies, warm weather, and wildflowers in bloom, August is an excellent month to hike in the Cascade Mountains. And hike we did. Early in the month, we returned to Mt. Rainier for three fabulous days of summer hiking. The trails were bursting in color during the short wildflower season and “The Mountain”…

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Granite Mountain

Granite Mountain

The hike to Granite Mountain Lookout is not far at just under four miles (6.2 km) one-way. But with an altitude gain of 3,738 ft (1,139 m), a maximum grade of 39%, and an average grade of 18%, the hike is considered challenging. The trail is very popular though, with wonderful scenery along the way….

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Camp Grill

Camp Grill

We’d been really wanting to grill at camp, but an entire barbecue is more extra gear than we want to carry. So we instead tried an All-Clad non-stick grill pan. In a first test on our apartment stove top, the grill pan distributed heat well and reached an impressive 346°F (174°C) . The next test…

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Offroading

Offroading

Over the course of the summer, we’d become progressively more daring on the terrain we would tackle in our little SUV. Jennifer often was out of the vehicle to direct us through areas with deep ruts and large rocks, to ensure our front bumper or spoiler didn’t catch. The most challenging conditions we’ve taken on…

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