A Day with the Eagles in Skagit Valley, Washington

It’s quite entertaining when I think about how my friend, Sydney, and I make our decision on where we should go for our weekend adventures. This past week was no different; we were watching the Lord of the Rings and reading a book about the 1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You DieQuite the combination if I do say so myself. While  reading, we came across “Upper Skagit River, Washington, USA” and bald eagles; we were intrigued.  I knew it was somewhere I JUST HAD to go see. So we made the decision that for our first adventure of the New Year, we would drive 3.5 hours and visit the Nation’s bird in it’s natural habitat.

Waking up on a non-work day at 6AM, isn’t something I do weekly, but I knew it’d be worth it. The book told us that prime time for the eagles runs from December to Mid January and cloudy days are usually the best days. Lucky for us, the forecast was just that: cold, cloudy and chances of rain (okay, it was raining). We didn’t really know what to expect so first thing we did was head to the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center to find some more information. They told us the eagles are best seen in four different locations located along highway 20: the center, mile marker 100, a county park, and a fish hatchery. Since this was an adventure, we decided it was our best bet to visit each site to try our luck (we did 3 of 4).

Each location was a bit different and the eagles we did see at each site, were so high up in the trees, it was hard to tell a mature bird (the ones with a white head and gold beak) from a juvenile bird (brown). At a few points on the way up the river, we managed to capture a few great views of bald eagles on the opposite bank of the river and we learned it was just have fun seeing them as it was searching for them. Sydney had the eye to spot them and luckily for her, I managed to snatch a few photographs.

Nothing could have prepare us for our way back down the river. A bald eagle sitting no more than 150 feet away from the river bank we were standing. Perching on a log pile, almost as if he knew people had come to capture such an image. I was blown away we the majestic composure this bird was giving us, almost as if he was saying, “this is me, your nation’s bird”. It was breath-taking and well worth the 3.5 hour commute. We saw a few more birds perched in the trees above the highway before heading out of river valley.

We knew our day was not up when we drove past an apple orchard/winery and knew we had to make a pit stop. I don’t think in my time here I’ve seen an apple orchard/winery combo, so I was hoping for something delicious. I wasn’t wrong, they had APPLE WINE and boy oh boy, was I in heaven. It was so sweet and tasty and overall a perfect way to end our journey to the Skagit River Valley. Eagles and wine tasting, who could go wrong with that duo!

Click Here for Pictures

A Hiking Adventure: Mt Rainier National Park

Only one word can describe my weekend…EPIC! After meeting up with my friend Dallas from high school last week for dinner, we begin collaborating on different adventures each of us have been on after moving to the northwest. He is an avid climber and spends many weekends camping, climbing and hiking. I mentioned to him that I hadn’t yet been camping and really wanted to go, so that is exactly what we did. We chose to explore Mount Rainier National Park where we stayed at Cougar Rock Campground, which is located just down the road from Paradise, a base camp for Mount Rainier.

During our drive, I was getting a little nervous because the weather app on my phone read sunny, but the drizzling was saying otherwise. Finally arriving at the campground, we were greeted with a warm camp fire, followed by hot cocoa (we forgot the s’mores supplies).  Not a bad start to the weekend. It was, however, interrupted by a 5 second downpour in the middle of the night.

By Saturday morning, the rain had subsided but the clouds remained. After a delicious breakfast, we headed up towards Paradise, WA to begin our hike upwards for a better view of Mt. Rainier. The trail we took begins paved, which sounds easy but it is actually more difficult than a natural trail.  Upwards we went for three hours, where the views continued to become more and more breathtaking and more camera worthy than I could have expected. Don’t believe me…Check out the pictures! Finally on our decent, we re-entered the fog and cold, which I have decided was just as beautiful as the crystal clear view of the mountain. We even saw a few marmots AKA huge rodents. Ending our amazing journey with a foil wrapped dinner of steak and veggies!

Sunday rolled around with the sun shining and temperature perfect! This time, we decided to head south on the Lakes Trail, which lead us away from the mountain to Reflection Lake. I was a little sad when we arrived to Reflection Lake only to be met with wind, causing the lake to have a not to reflection of the mountain. I can’t complain to much though because on our walk back, we heard a bear (well I think we heard a bear). I could continue to go on and on and on about Mt. Rainier National Park, but I’m telling you that you need to go and look at the pictures, because pictures are worth a thousand words!!!!

A Hiking Adventure: Hoh Rain Forest, La Push Indian Reservation, Rialto Beach

This weekend was honestly one of my favorite weekend I have had since moving here. To start Saturday was Cinco De Mayo and I went out with a few people that I met at the YMCA playing volleyball. The couple times I’ve gone out with them, I’ve noticed, and am surprised to say, that Aberdeen has quite the fun nightlife! I was planning on hiking with a co-worker Sunday early, so I knew to take it easy! But I had a great time out on the town and   Read more

A Hiking Adventure: Lake Quinault Rain Forest

I cannot tell a lie…I have be extremely bad about utilizing my surroundings here in Washington. Well, things have finally changed about that. I live 45 minutes from the south entrance of Olympic National Forest (ONF) and Olympic National Park (ONP) and I have been told that I HAVE TO go hike it. So I did.

Lake Quinault Rain Forest is simply amazing. It had everything Read more