Washington Places

Whitewater Rafting the Sauk with Triad River Tours

Earlier today, the Northwest Nomad rafted the Sauk River with Triad River Tours. Short version of my experience: it was awesome. Long version: keep reading. I wasn’t able to get any pictures on this tour because any phone or camera taken on the rafts is basically guaranteed to get destroyed. So ye, my fair readers, shall have to get by with my textual account only. I shall strive to use an inspired pen with which to charm your optical ears.…

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The Tacoma Library Set Me Up on a Blind Date!

For me, reading a new book is no less a thrill than hiking a new mountain trail. In both there is the thrill of discovery and wonder. Luckily, the Pacific Northwest is rich not only in outdoors action, but also in its literary culture. Tacoma, specifically, has an excellent book scene—so much so that I often forget that reading has fallen out of favor in many parts of the country. Whether it’s independent stores like the Tacoma Book Center or any…

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Where to Stay in Ocean Shores, Washington: The Sands

Note: I went to the Sands independently and received nothing from them for my stay or for this article. I didn’t tell them I run a travel blog, and they don’t know I’m writing this. I receive no payment from them or any other place that I endorse. The Sands is a Great Budget Stay in Ocean Shores, Washington Well, I’ve tried nearly every hotel in Ocean Shores now, and I do believe I’ve found my favorite budget stay. Going…

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Forks, Washington: Cycle of the Vampire

I came home from deployment to find that women had overrun the town of Forks, Washington. This was some time around 2008. I’d been going to Forks for years for the hiking and camping in the area, and had always known it as a gritty, hungover little lumberjack burg (no offense intended, Forks, I LOVE gritty, hungover lumberjack burgs). So it was truly surreal to find it suddenly overrun by well-dressed women and teeny boppers. It was like finding out…

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Watching Crows at West Bay Park, Olympia, Washington

Crows at Olympia’s West Bay Park I was at Olympia’s West Bay Park when I caught a couple shots of crows. West Bay Park is a nice little spot in a quieter section of Olympia. I visit it often to read or just look out over the water and think, but today I wanted to make this post specifically to share a couple shots of crows that I got. The crow on the ground was doing some of the strangest things…

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The Mysterious Suspended Bike of Ruston, Washington

Oh, mysterious suspended bike of the Ruston waterfront, who made thee? Who shaped thy strange handlebars? Who bound up thy body in wood and left thee, as though in flight, suspended over the Sound? Where did you come from, you weird artifact? From the depths of someone’s imagination? Or from some place darker? Are you drawing us toward madness, or bliss? And is there a difference, mysterious suspended bike of the Ruston waterfront walk? Oh, your strange character has confounded…

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Granny’s Cafe, Port Angeles, Washington: One of the Best Places to Eat on the 101 Loop

Every time I’m in the Port Angeles area, as I was last week to hike Mount Storm King, I stop at Granny’s. About 10 minutes or so east of the Storm King Ranger Station, and about 20 minutes west of downtown Port Angeles, sits this little cafe just off the highway. It looks a bit modest (or maybe “humble” is the word) there with its dirt parking lot and old-timey facade, but this place is one of the best kept…

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Mean, Mean Mount Storm King: Path to Stunning Views Littered With Bodies of the Broken and Dejected

Mount Storm King is a Cruel and Vengeful King There are few easily accessible hikes I’ve ever seen turn away more would-be climbers than Mount Storm King does. I met the victims, walking wounded, several times on my way down the mountain. “Are we almost to the top?” these strangers asked between labored gasps. They tried to smile, but the desperate glint in their eyes indicated something other than humor. I would answer with something like, “You’re pretty close,” but…

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Man Plays Tuba Atop Mount Si

Just a brief post here to share some pictures of a funny event I witnessed while climbing Mount Si on Saturday. There was a fellow hiking up the same time as me with a full-sized tuba on his back. It wasn’t even stored in any kind of outdoors/sports backpack, but was just jammed into a giant instrument pack. Mount Si is not an easy hike. All respect to this man for carrying his tuba to the top of Mount Si…

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On the Eve of Twin Peaks’ Return, Year’s First Trek up Mount Si

Sun is Out and the Time is Right for Hiking…And Twin Peaks I rarely have a hard time finding an excuse to hike Mount Si, but this year I have a particularly good one. Tomorrow, Twin Peaks will run again. That’s all I needed to know. Mount Si, for those who are unaware, is the actual name of the Twin Peaks mountain, and town of North Bend is the real town in which the series was largely filmed. Mount Si Gets…

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