Puget Sound Journals

Whale Watching and Searching for Mt. Baker

A September 2008 trip to Puget Sound by gowest youngman

Rialto Beach Photo, Olympic National Park, Washington More Photos
Quote: Although this vacation included a lot of driving, I got to see so much of what Washington State has to offer. Travelled from cool Rialto Beach to sun-baked Wenatchee, then back to the moist air around Puget Sound.

Mount Baker Park

Attraction | "Mt Baker Still is Eluding Me"

Mount Baker Park Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
On my first trip to Washington state, I was on the Olympic peninsula going up to Hurricane Ridge when I first saw Mt. Baker. Yep, it was miles and miles away but it was soundly on the horizon. It was my first and only glimpse of the giant.On my second trip to the area, I decided to try to get closer to Mt. Baker. So I drove the winding road and ended up at Artist Point. Here lies a small lake with the most photographed views from this spot on the globe. I didn't see Mt. Baker, but I got to see it's equally handsome brother Mt. Shuksan. And I took the obligatory photo with the small lake in the foreground. It was late September, and the fall hues were beginning to show.Further up the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

Mount Baker Park
2521Lake Park Drive South
Seattle, Washington 98144
+1 206 684 4075 (Se

Hampton Inn & Suites Burlington

Hotel | "Hampton Inn - Burlington, WA"

Hampton Inn & Suites Burlington Photo, Burlington, Washington
Quote:
There are many ways to define "posh", but this hotel was exactly that in my opinion. Maybe it's because I've had back and neck problems for several years, but the pillow-top mattress on the king bed at this hotel was as "posh" as I can remember it. It was like sleeping on top of a really big Q-tip. Okay, maybe THATs my definition of "posh".
The staff was very friendly and the hotel's location couldn't be better. Located a stone's throw from I-5, but far enough away and built solid enough that you won't hear the interstate traffic. Also, its location was only 15 minutes away from Anacortes and the Puget Sound.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

Hampton Inn & Suites Burlington
1860 South Burlington Boulevard
Burlington, Washington 98233
(360) 757-7100

San Juan Excursions

Attraction | "Whale Watching"

San Juan Excursions Photo, Friday Harbor, Washington
Quote:
I took the ferry from Anacortes, WA to Friday Harbor, WA to catch the Odyssey to do some more sailing on Puget Sound. Since seeing whales is not a guarantee (especially late September through winter) I was expecting to enjoy a boat ride and maybe see a seal or other wildlife. The crew was very helpful in explaining what to look for and where, and the boat was plenty spacious (although very loud toward the rear of the vessel).We ended up on the west side of San Juan Island, when we spotted our first whale breach. Then another, then so many I lost count! The orca were jumping out of the water and gliding along the surface about a football field or more away. My focus was on that when suddenly...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

San Juan Excursions
PO Box 2508
Friday Harbor, Washington
(800) 809-4253

North Cascades National Park

Attraction | "North Cascades Are a Divine Drive"

North Cascades National Park Photo, Sedro Woolley, Washington
Quote:
After leaving Wenatchee, I drove north toward the North Cascades National Park. It's a haul, but definitely worth it! I chose to take Rt 153 which followed the Methow River, it was very hilly and curvy but offered gorgeous views. After turning onto Rt. 20 the mountains changed from bald to tree covered. A pretty steep ascent peaked at Washington Pass. The mountains are incredible as you wind between them down to Rainy Pass. If time allows, the Rainy Pass Lake trail is short and easy, and the destination is divine. I felt as if the Creator spent his vacations on Rainy Lake since it is almost like a natural cathedral without the ceiling. The lake is defined on one side by a mountain and the othe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

North Cascades National Park
810 State Route 20
Sedro Woolley, Washington 98284
(360) 854-7200

Wenatchee National Forest

Attraction | "Wonderous Wenatchee"

Wenatchee National Forest Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
Settled on the dry side of the Cascade Mountains is a city which is considered the apple capital of the world. But who would suspect such a supple fruit to grow in such arid conditions? The key to Wenatchee Valley's success is the high volume of sunny days equalled by the high volume of water available from the Columbia River.Speaking of the big river, I checked-out Rocky Reach dam just north of town. Inside I toured a dam museum (pun intended) and really enjoyed washing the fish swim through the fish ladder. The fish can be viewed from inside the dam in a room with glass windows, as a fisherman I found it very interesting to watch. Best of all, it was FREE entertainment!Back in town,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

Wenatchee National Forest
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, Washington 98801
+1 509 662 4396

Space Needle

Attraction | "Awesome Views, but Still Searching for Mt. Baker"

Space Needle Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
Travelling alone has its disadvantages, especially when trying to navigate a city with so many one way streets as Seattle. But I did manage to see lots of coffee shops and the Market on the way to the Space Needle. I couldn't find any available parking near it, so I did the valet parking. The valets were very courteous and helpful, and it only cost $12. The Space Needle trip to O deck was an additional $16.
The views were worth the price of admission. The Space Needle easily allowed views of Puget Sound, the ferries, lots of downtown Seattle, even a sea plane making a landing on Lake Washington. But just enough clouds hid Mt. Baker and Mt. Ranier from this trip.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

Space Needle
400 Broad Street (seattle Center)
Seattle, Washington 98109
(206) 905-2111

Ferry Across Puget Sound

Attraction | "A Short Cruise that Fits my Attention Span"

Ferry Across Puget Sound Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
I don't think I could handle a week long cruise, so taking the ferry from Bainbridge Island across Puget Sound to downtown Seattle was the perfect fit. In September, it was a sunny and cool morning, but nothing was going to keep me from walking to the front of the ferry to get spectacular photos of the Space Needle and surrounding sky scrapers of Seattle. The price is right too...only $14.95 provided me with a memory I won't soon forget, and transported my rental car as well.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

Ferry Across Puget Sound
Pier 52
Seattle, Washington 98121

Marymere Falls/Marymere Falls Trail

Attraction | "Marymere Falls Trail"

Marymere Falls/Marymere Falls Trail Photo, Olympic National Park, Washington
Quote:
I parked at the Storm King Ranger Station along Hwy 20 to access the Marymere Falls trail. Although I have seen more spectacular waterfalls, this trail is very enjoyable for its flora and fauna. Beautiful, large ferns and moss-covered trees are along along the trail. In total, the trail is 1.5 miles roundtrip.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

Marymere Falls/Marymere Falls Trail
Lake Crescent
Olympic National Park, Washington

Rialto Beach

Attraction | "Ocean Wildlife at your Fingertips"

Rialto Beach Photo, Olympic National Park, Washington
Quote:
Rialto Beach is easy to access from Port Angeles, albeit about a 2 hour drive. The parking lot adjacent to the beach has accessible bathrooms and picnic opportunities.Be ready, this part of the Pacific is anything but calm. Large waves are crashing onto a small-stone beach constantly. In the distance are sea stacks, large rocks/small islands in the ocean, many of them with trees growing in impossible places.In my opinion the best destination is just a mile hike north on the beach to Hole In the Wall. This area is a great place to see wildlife in its natural state. Many tidal pools are filled with sea anemone, hermit crabs, shrimp, and starfish of all colors.Be sure to wear sturd...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2010

Rialto Beach
Olympic Peninsula
Olympic Peninsula, Washington
(877) 456-8372