Olympic National Park

Well we have been spending the last few days in Olympic National park in Washington and although we saw beautiful things , we decided to leave two days early. We did hike up Hurricane Hill and headed to the coast at Riolta beach where the huge rocks off the coast where impressive and picked up beautiful colored rocks from the beach. We even got to the naval yard to check out a boat like the one Brants dad served on as well as strolled around the charming town of Port Townsend But I have to say , I was very disappointed in Port Angeles. It’s a run down town that has closed stores and a lot of homeless. We just were missing the big mountains and cute towns in the Cascades so decided to head over towards Mt Rainer two days early. Glad we saw Olympic, but can check it off our list

Port Angeles

Mt Baker and Brian😁

Wow! What a week. Picked up Brian and headed to Glacier, Washington to explore Mt Baker up close. Not only did we love having Brian , but he took us places we would never have tried. The Heliotrope trail was just one of the highlights !! Accomplishing my first river crossing and getting what felt like feet from the most incredible glacier. The colors you can’t even describe. What an experience. Along with revisiting my favorite lake , Lake Baker, and checking out some waterfalls on a gloomy day, we hiked the famous Ptarmigan trail not just once… but twice. A four and a half mile trail with over 1500 ft elevation that takes you on some ledges as well as makes you go way down before you go way up to the most spectacular views ever!! One of my all time fav hikes. Yes and the second time we had camping packs on. Brian picked out the most incredible spot at the base of Mt Baker! The view was like a painting and we listened to the glaciers crack throughout the night. We had perfect weather and although every little sound made me think a bear was near by, I did manage to get some sleep. I am totally loving the whole backpacking and camping experience! That night, along with one other , we got to star gaze in a sky I’ve never seen. So clear you could spot the milky way with no effort. Brian and brant made meals and explored a little further on the trails. One exciting event was the morning we were packing up our tents , when I spotted something across the fields. Once we got the binoculars out we realized it was a mountain lion. Later locals confirmed they were in the area. Just glad we saw it the morning we were leaving and not when we were setting up our tent! The whole week was just one incredible experience after another. Thanks to Brant and Brian , I did and saw things I never thought possible !!! We will hate to see Brian leave and will definitely be back to revisit Mt Baker !

Bowman Bay Washington

We spent our last day in the Concrete area driving to the coast since the weather was iffy. We headed to Bowman Bay next to Deception Point. Even though we were out of the mountains , we still managed hike over 5 miles and elevation 700 ft! Spectacular views and the water was a blueish green I did not expect. We even got to see a group of sea otters playing. Stopping at the Fish Shack was definitely a plus for brant. Best seafood!!! Tomorrow we head to Mt Baker and pick up Brian. Very excited!!!

Baker Lake

Today we hit the road to another beautiful lake!! We saw Mt Baker in all her glory and hiked around Baker Lake before getting on the kayak again. Did not disappoint!! The emerald green water surrounded by beautiful mountains just never grows old. I could have done without the paddle back against strong winds but I more than made up for it by swimming in the lake. Just love the lakes here in Washington and looking forward to getting up on Mt Baker to do some hiking and camping soon with my son.

Mt Baker
Love this mountain 😍
Lunch spot
Made a new friend 🤣
Nice walk in the woods
Fall is here 😍😍

Diablo Lake and so much more !!

Arrived in Concrete, Washington and hit the door running. Headed up to Diablo lake and hiked up Thunder Knob for some spectacular views. Then we put the Kayak in Colonial Creek Campground for one of the most amazing big kayak adventures ever! Surrounded by beautiful mountains that had some glaciers and the water was a crystal clear green water. Of course I had to get in as well. If that wasn’t enough… we drove up the famous rt 2 hwy which words and pictures cannot do it justice!! Our final destination was stopping at Washington Pass for the mother of all views. What a day. We just love everything about Washington!!

Diablo lake early morning
Thunder knob trail overlooking Diablo
Washington pass on rt 2
This is called the Liberty Bell

Leavenworth, Washington

Today was our last day in Leavenworth and we will most definitely miss this area. After doing our tough hike to Colchuck, we decided to visit the Bavarian town yesterday as well as visits it’s streams. Today we hiked the Icicle trail which rain along the most clear, beautiful water. Staying in Leavenworth feels like we went back in time to when we stayed in Fussen, Germany. The town, the water , and the mountains. Just very , very special !! Tomorrow we head to Concrete, Washington to kayak on some of the most beautiful lakes in Washington

Got to go in local river ❤️
Always looking for his rocks
Unfortunately too cold out to swim
Trees were so beautiful!!!
I’ve turned into a tree hugger
We will miss this view 😍

Leavenworth, Washington

Back in Washington 😁We drove through Idaho on the way back from Washington and stopped at Sandpoint where we were three weeks ago. How different it looked and felt now that the smoke was gone as well as the 105 temps. At the local park there stood the Statue of Liberty!!! As we drove from Idaho to Washington we were stunned to go through an incredible gorge surrounded by huge cliffs. We felt like we were in Utah!! Just an hour east of Leavenworth too. Well we made it to Leavenworth in the North Cascades. It’s a quaint town taken after a Bavarian village. Can’t wait to walk around tomorrow. But today we completed a trail that has been on my bucket list for a while. Colchuck Lake is definitely one of the most beautiful lakes. It goes in my all time top ten! As the sun rose, since we got in trail by 6:30, the color of the water would change. The mountains surrounding it had several glaciers and the colors were magical. We even had our friends the chipmunks climbing all over us and in our bags. What a glorious day… blue skies, cool air, magnificent mountains, incredible lake, and of course my companion, Brant, who keeps making this all possible!!

At Sandpoint park in Idaho
The gorge just outside of Leavenworth
Best kind of nap
Love the chipmunk
Early morning shot before sun hit it
Love this guy 😍😍

Goodbye Montana and Diane and Dave

We are sad to say goodbye to glacier as well as Diane and Dave. We have had an amazing time and can’t wait to see them all again! Our last days did not disappoint. We stayed in the most amazing yurt that was surrounded by beautiful golden wheat overlooking the flathead lake and mountains. We felt like we were in a five star hotel with all the amenities the yurt offered including the porch with chairs to sit in and admire the view. Since we had a cloudy and rainy day , we headed to the famous town of Poleridge for its famous huckleberry bear claws. On the way we caught three HUGE grizzly bears right off the road !! Nothing cute and cuddly about them!! The pastry was as amazing as proclaimed and then headed down a 7 mile dirt holey road to lake bowman. Just spectacular even on a cloudy day. Will definitely return one day to kayak. Our day ended yet again with the most amazing hand made meal from Dave. We will definitely be going on a diet and needing some major hiking to burn off Some of that amazing food !! Today was our last day and what a day. Spent the day at parks around Flathead lake. Just spectacular!!! Unfortunately too windy to take a boat ride but none less incredible. Finishing the day at outside restaurant looking at beautiful mountains and lake listening and even dancing to some great country music. But best yet was the company of Diane and Dave who leave tomorrow…we will miss them !!! Saying goodbye to Montana for now knowing we will most definitely be back and headed back to Washington for some more beautiful lakes and mountains. Let the adventures continue …
On a more serious note, when we first arrived over two weeks ago, we knew there were bad fires to the north and south of us. The highway in the east side of Flathead lake was closed. Today on our drive, we witnessed first hand the damage. Entire homes burned to their foundation and cars as well. No pictures were taken out of respect for the people who lost everything! We continue to pray for all those in danger of fires as well as floods , heat waves, hurricanes, and Covid. We are aware of how lucky to be given this time and are thankful for every second. Life is precious and tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Three grizzlies
Town of Polebridge
Loving Bowman Lake
Flathead Lake
Will miss these two😢

Many Glacier,West Glacier, and Diane and Dave😁

Where do I even begin. It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve posted due to lousy wifi. That’s the sacrifice one has to make when going to a great national park! Brant and I finished out time at Two Medicine in glacier with an incredible hike to Cobalt Lake. It’s the closest we have come to the Dolomites in Italy. Beautiful rock everywhere in addition to waterfalls ending with a spectacular lake. The hike had the whole package. Oh I forgot we also started with a short boat ride. We were sad to leave our tiny home we stayed in ,which showed us how little space one really needs to live in , and beautiful Two Medicine.However, our next leg to Many Glacier area was to include picking up my sister , Diane and her husband Dave!!!We were extremely excited to have them join us but also missing out our other sister Rosanne as well as the rest of the family. That may have to be a future trip. After settling in to our new Airbnb on Duck Lake, which had gorgeous views of the mountains and water , we headed straight for the hills. I’m not going to bore you with the hiking details like all the moose, big horn sheep , bears both black and grizzly, we saw or the incredible colored water and mountains as well as all the wildflowers and waterfalls. Yes we walked tons of miles and some of them were hot and hard and even filled with horse shit at times! Diane and Dave took to hiking quickly and filled our days and nights with stories, laughter, and amazing dinners made by Dave every night !!So nice to share the beautiful nature with those that you love. Not to mention that most of these incredible pictures were taken by Diane. We hike Grinnell, Bullhead (where I lost my sandals trying to get away from a huge bull moose 😢), Ptarmigan tunnel trail, Cracker Lake, St Mary and Virginia Falls, Avalanche Lake, and Red Rock waterfalls. wow!!! And we still have a few more days. Such a great time we have had!! Getting up by 5:00am to get to parking lots by 6:30 has not been easy and sharing one bathroom with four adults also a challenge but all along we have made it work all the whole having an incredible time !!! We are on the west side now staying in a yurt which is an experience in itself. So here are just a few pictures of a beautiful place where pictures just don’t do it service. Yes we had smoke at time but it never stopped us or took away from the beauty and the rain was welcomed to put out the fires and clear the air. Nothing stopped us from getting out and seeing some of the most beautiful things I have seen on any of our trips. Glacier is truly a magical place!!!

Ptarmigan tunnel
Lake McDonald
Just a little close
Swimming in Two Medicine
Cracker lake
Avalanche lake
Red rock falls
Our yurt !!!

Finally…Two Medicine in Glacier!!

We finally arrived in East Glacier, Two Medicine area to be exact. Drive through hours of smoke. Just so unreal. It’s better where we are, just hazy ,and really no smell. Yesterday, we thought we would test out our hiking legs again after taking several days off. Intended on doing an east couple miles around Two Medicine. Well, 9 hours later, over 15 miles , and boy did we see some beautiful things. It was still hazy but we did see blue sky every now and then. The trails here are so nice and didn’t have to do a whole lot of elevation to see beautiful things. Right in the parking lot of the trail head was a bunch of sheep. Caught a glimpse of a big horn sheep on trail but too quick for a picture. The rock is is the prettiest red and purple ever. I can’t take my eyes off these mountains. I’d forgotten how much I love this place !! Not sure about hiking next day or two. Expecting 20-40mph winds and snow in upper elevations so it should be interesting Today was a down day and went to walking eagle waterfall and back to hike around two medicine lake. Again the pictures never do it justice. The mountains truly are purple out here thus the words “the purple mountains majesty” no words can describe the colors in these rocks and who knew Two Medicine could be as beautiful as the other parts of Glacier.. and not as crowded!!! Tonight we found out the upper elevation areas may get snow. Doesn’t get any better than this !!

Just love eating all the berries here !
Our tiny house… love it
No name lake
No name lake
Eating huckleberries along the way