In Memory Of Mom

Plaque honoring the woman who taught her six children to love the Columbia River.

I was walking my dog today, on one of the first fully glorious days of spring. We walk to the river, head south along a levee, through a park, past several docks and a couple of hotels. We turn around when we get to Mom’s Bench.

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Washington’s Wild Beaches

Of Washington’s 150-plus miles of Pacific coastline, about 40 percent are accessible by road … including the wild beaches of Washington’s Pacific coast. Along much of Washington’s wild coast lies the 3,310-square-mile Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. These protected waters include many types of crucial habitat and support diverse species of marine mammals (including sea otters and sea lions) and nesting seabirds (including common murres, rhinoceros auklets, tufted puffins, and peregrine falcons). It is truly an amazing place to visit.

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Rainy Day People: Hikin’ The Hoh

Spring rains are a fact of life in most parts of the country, and my native Evergreen State is no exception. So what’s an outdoor girl to do? You can’t fight Mother Nature. I figure it’s better to embrace the wild swings in the weather than fight them. So when it’s rainy, why not go where it’s REALLY rainy? That’s why I’ve spent two of my past three Aprils hiking in one of the wettest places on earth: the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park.

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Washington State’s Wallula Gap

In southeastern Washington State, just north of the Oregon border, the Columbia River cuts a mile-wide gorge through the bedrock, leaving steep-walled
canyons of columnar basalt on either side. Here, the waters of the Columbia, having taken on the vast volumes of the Snake and Walla Walla rivers just
upstream, create a geologic spectacle that remains as impressive today as it was when the Lewis and Clark expedition first saw it in 1805. The formation is
known as Wallula Gap.

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Hiking In Search Of ‘The Point’

I ease my SUV around a snowdrift and past a sign reading “Primitive Road No Warning Signs.” The sign — pockmarked with bullet holes — makes me smile. The
“road” has been little more than a pair of wheel ruts in the dirt, gravel and snow for the past several miles. Can it get any more “primitive”?

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New Boots: Breaking in is Hard to Do

I have this embarrassing tendency to get emotionally attached to inanimate objects such as cars, bicycles and camping gear. It can be hard to let go of something in which I’ve invested hours of emotion. But sometimes, a girl must move on. A recent case in point: replacing my favorite hiking boots.

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It’s A Peach! U-pick Harvest Fun

Nothing says “summer” quite like biting into a fresh, tree-ripened peach.
Whether you prefer the delicate, slightly firmer flesh of the new “donut”-style
peaches or are a traditionalist like my husband (he’s a fan of “lean-over”
peaches — meaning those so juicy you have to “lean over” the sink to eat
them), these sweet treats are perfect for pies, cobblers, ice cream, or just
good eatin’! For an afternoon of summer fun, we took
friends to a U-pick peach orchard.

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