Snake River Canyon

Snapshots from the American West: Between Mountain Ranges

Snapshots from the American West Between Mountain Ranges – a Road Trip West of the Mountains The Cascade Mountains divide the states of Oregon and Washington in a way that no national boundary could. On the western side of the Cascade Mountains, one finds lush forests and large, verdant plots of farmland. The western side of the mountains is home to the the cities of Seattle, Olympia, and Portland. East of the Mountains On the[…]

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Seattle Skyline from the Baimbridge Ferry

USA: My Seattle Top 5

My Seattle Top 5   Seattle holds a special place in my heart. I first visited Seattle more than 30 years ago at the tender age of eight. The city became an annual stop for my family and for ten days every summer we learned to love baseball, Seattle-style chowder, and the stagnant smell of the Puget Sound.  Even though Seattle has changed dramatically over the years,  my list of favorite things to do in[…]

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The view from the trail to Gothic Basin in Washington, State

Mountain Loop Hiking: Gothic Basin

Mountain Loop Hiking: Gothic Basin   Designated a National Scenic Byway in 1991, Washington State’s Mountain Loop Highway provides access to some of the finest hiking in the Pacific Northwest. Washington Trails Association lists 137 hikes on the Mountain Loop Highway – enough to hold the interest of even the most avid hiker. It is difficult to overstate how quickly one moves from populated and developed to remote and desolate in this part of the[…]

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Saloon in Easton, Washington

Snapshots of the American West: Easton, WA

Easton, Washington was founded in 1902 as a railroad town. At it’s height, the town had over 2000 residents. As interstate highways made the railroad less relevant in the second half of the 20th century, towns like Easton sank into a slow economic decline.  Their stories and past glories can still be read on the boarded-up facades of main street. Freight trains still pass through Easton but today, most of the relevant businesses sit just[…]

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A Planning Guide to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail

A Planning Guide to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail   Washington State’s John Wayne Pioneer Trail and Iron Horse State Park is just emerging as a premier long-distance multi-use trail. Built along the old “Milwaukee Road” railroad grade the trail stretches from North Bend to the Idaho border, although the further east you go from the Snoqualmie Tunnel, the worse the trail conditions get. The trail is a multi-use trail open to hikers, bicycles, horses,[…]

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Lake Easton State Park

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – Day 5

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail Day 5: Around Lake Easton (5.5 miles) I arrived at Easton State Park a day earlier than I had intended and decided to use the extra day to walk around the Lake Easton. I wanted to use my GPS tracker to double check some distances against my estimates from the walk from Roaring Creek to the Lake Easton State Park. Bonnie, my dog, and I set off from the[…]

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Alice Creek to Cold Creek on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – Day 2

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail Day 2: Alice Creek to Cold Creek (~14 miles)   I got an early start on my second day of walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. My original plan was to overnight at Carter Creek – a pleasantly secluded camping area that sits deep in the thick woods down from the trail and right next to a gushing, rocky cascade. When I arrived at Carter Creek, I discovered that[…]

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