Olympic Peninsula: Cape Flattery

After hiking the Ozette Loop, we headed to Cape Flattery. Located at the western tip of Washington state, Cape Flattery is where the Pacific Ocean meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca and is the most northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States (Cape Alava being the most western point by a mere 360 additional feet). Cape Flattery was named by Captain James Cook on March 22, 1778 while searching for a harbour (he made the wise decision to not approach the cape any further, as this would have meant certain disaster).

Unlike Cape Alava, Cape Flattery is not a part of Olympic National Park, but rather located on the Makah Indian Reservation. Upon entering the reservation you are asked to purchase a recreation pass. The pass costs $10 and is valid for a year. You can’t purchase the pass by the Cape Flattery trailhead, so be sure to stop at the mini-mart in Neah Bay (or there are a few other places in town) and purchase it prior to driving all the way out to the cape.

Once you arrive at the Cape Flattery parking lot, there is a short 3/4 mile hike over boardwalk that leads to viewing platforms and these views:

Tatoosh Island, home of the Cape Flattery Light

More photos here.

Silver Falls State Park

Earlier this month we drove down to Salem, Oregon to visit my friend Erin (a classmate at the LSE) and her husband, David. We took a break from eating delicious food and drinking beer to visit Silver Falls State Park. As you might have guessed from the name, this park has a lot of waterfalls. If you are ever in the area, it is definitely worth stopping here. Just make sure you bring some rain gear!

More photos here.

Snowshoeing at the Snoqualmie Summit Nordic Center

A few weekends ago we went snowshoeing at the Summit at Snoqualmie Nordic Center located about an hour’s drive from Seattle. It was our first time snowshoeing and we loved it; the snow-covered Cascades were incredibly beautiful and it was nice to get out and exercise despite the sub-optimal weather. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we ordered snowshoes shortly after returning from our trip.

Here are a few photos from that trip…

At the start of the black diamond section of the trail. It was pretty tiring.

The snow was a bit deep 🙂

Keechelus Lake

After snowshoeing for six miles we were pretty tired and hungry, despite consuming a bunch of Clif bars, so we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls Brewing to replace all those burned calories with beer and “super” nachos:

The rest of the photos are here.

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive

Every fall, thousands of Washingtonians hop in their cars and drive the two hours to Shenandoah National Park to view the colorful trees that envelope Skyline Drive, the 105 mile road that runs the entire length of the park. Most of these visitors rarely venture out of their cars, only stopping to snap the occasional photo, so the park’s trails remain relatively quiet. We arrived at the park one Saturday afternoon in October, and since we only had a few hours left until sunset, we settled on hiking the Snead Farm Trail, an easy 3.2 miles that loops through the forest and abandoned farmland. Below are some photos from the hike as well as Skyline Drive.

American pose 😉

The barn on Snead farm

More photos of Skyline Drive.