Flowers and the North Cascades – Washington

North Cascades Mountains

Note: if you have anthophobia (the fear of flowers), skip this blog post.

We went to a flower farm that had mostly tulips.  We went when the tulips were starting to die, because that’s when it was free and uncrowded.

After, we explored around North Cascades National Park.  The day was sunny, and we went to see mountains, rapids, and a trail called Happy Creek Nature Trail, which we hiked.  The trail was mostly boardwalk.  It was 0.15 miles and super easy, leading through trees and over a stream.

San Juan Island – Washington

On Saturday, we went to San Juan Island by taking a ferry.  We waited in line in our truck for a while before driving onto the ferry, then we got out of our vehicle and explored the different decks and rooms of the ferry.

When we got off the ferry, we went to San Juan Island National Historical Park, an alpaca farm, a lavender farm, and a beach.

Alpaca Farm

Beach

Ebey’s Landing – Washington

Aunty Lorraine and Cousin Kirk
us, Aunty Lorraine and her son, Kirk

Here are pictures of when we went to Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve with Aunty Lorraine, as well as to some other parks.  Ebey’s Landing is on Whidbey Island, and is where the Ebey family lived in the 1800’s.  We walked Bluff Trail to get to their house and blockhouse, which was build to defend themselves against Indians, with whom they had conflict.  The day was warm and windy, and the island had forests, prairies, woods, and coastal shores, and we had a fun time with Aunty Lorraine.

We did some sightseeing in the area and went to Fort Casey, which was constructed to defend the Puget Sound.

Seattle – Washington

La Conner RV Park

On Monday we moved to a beautiful Thousand Trails RV park in La Conner, Washington.  During our stay, we met up with another RVing family at Larrabee State Park.

Downtown Seattle

A few days later, we drove to downtown Seattle and went to Klondike Gold Rush – Seattle Unit National Historical Park.  Seattle was an important part of the Klondike Gold Rush, because it was where gold seekers stopped to get supplies for the journey to the gold fields.  It was also where ships could be taken to get to the gold fields quickly, and where merchants flocked to sell their supplies.  In the museum, displays explained the different ways people traveled to find gold, and how most merchants got richer off of the Klondike Gold Rush than the miners.

After, we went to a science museum which taught about sound, animals, energy, light, and more.

Then, we went to go look around downtown.  We saw things like the iconic Space Needle, sculptures, and a statue of Sadako, who folded 1 thousand paper cranes before dying from cancer from the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima.

Mount Saint Helens – Washington

Mount Saint Helens

On a sunny, cool, clear day, we visited the Mount Saint Helens visitor center, which was really far away from the actual mountain.  Mount Saint Helens is famous for its eruption in 1980 which killed over fifty people and destroyed homes, bridges, roads, railway, highway, and land.  We walked outside on a boardwalk trail.  Some of the plants we saw were lily pads and skunk cabbages.

After, we went to a science museum in Portland, Oregon.

Mount Rainier – Washington

Mount Rainier

We moved to Silver Creek, Washington.    The next day, we went to Mount Rainier National Park with Opa, Oma, and other family.  We started at the visitor center, where it was cool and everything was green.  We hiked Trail of the Shadows (by the Longmire Museum), which was 0.7 miles long.  It led through a forest, marshy ground, and by mineral springs and a cabin.  At that time, there was no precipitation.

Later, we started going up the mountain to see places and trails.  The farther up we ascended, the colder the weather got.  First, it started as sleet, then there was snow.

There were lots of pine trees, and we saw robins, a Stellar’s Jay, a duck, a chipmunk, and a very cute fox.  Although we were at Mount Rainier NP, we never actually saw Mount Rainier because it was foggy.

Fort Worden – Washington

On Thursday, we went to Fort Worden, a United States Army Coast Artillery Corps base constructed in 1920 to protect Puget Sound from invasion.  Now, it is a historic state park.  We looked at one of the historic (but maintained) houses which was being rented out and the beach.  At the beach, we collected some glass and shells that were on the ground.  We also saw a cute sea otter.

Clams, Crabs, and Beaches – Washington

We went to Olympic National Park on a slightly cold day which warmed up as it got to afternoon.  We went to the visitor center first and walked a short trail, then went to Rialto Beach.  Daddy, my brothers, and I walked down the beach.  Near the end, there were lots of logs then boulders covering the ground, and it was fun to climb over these.

Later in the week, we went to a beach and went clamming.  Spouts of water, some many feet high shot from the sand, alerting us as to where the calms were.  Then, Aiden would dig them out of the sand.  We got a few geoduck clams, some small ones, and one crab.  Unfortunately, when we tried to cook them, they still had sand in them, and we had to throw them away.  Aiden and Mason ate the crab, however, because it was still good.

Enjoying Nature with Family – Washington

Evergreen Coho SKP RV ParkOn Friday, we moved to Chimacum, Washington.  We stayed in another SKP RV park called Evergreen Coho.  The next day, we met up with Opa and Oma (German for “Grandfather” and “Grandmother”) and visited Point Defiance Park and Fort Nisqually.  Point Disappointment began as a military reservation, while Fort Nisqually used to be an important fur trading post.

Fort Nisqually

We also went on 5 Mile Drive and saw lots of beautiful scenery.

Washington is one of my favorite states so far because of the waterfalls, mountains, and lush vegetation of some areas.

Point Defiance and Scenery

Manhattan Project – Washington

Manhattan Project

We went to the Manhattan Project B Reactor in Hanford, Washington on a cold, cloudy, windy day.  We went to the visitor center, and a bus picked us up there.  Then, we drove about 45 minutes away to the actual site through security.  The bus was very nice.  It had super soft seats, lights, adjustable air conditioner vents, and overhead baggage compartments.

The Manhattan Project is where the US made plutonium for atomic bombs, two of which were dropped on Japan and helped to end World War II.  We got to see the factory that they used to make the plutonium, and learned how they would’ve shut off the machinery in case of emergency.  To build the place and keep it secret, the US had to force the farmers and families off of their land and out of the area.  Here are some pictures of the factory, displays, and really cool control room.

My First Time Skiing – Washington

Bluewood skiing
Bluewood skiing
dressed for skiing

Me and my brothers’ first time skiing was in Washington, at a place called Bluewood, on a rainy/snowing/sleeting day.  It was the last day of the ski season there.  We started out by learning how to ski.  The only person who currently knew how to was Daddy (he lived in Washington at one point of his life).  Then, we skied in the beginner area.  It was really fun, and we got soaked from the rain.  The upside of the weather was that the ski resort wasn’t crowded like a nice winter day would’ve been.  I learned how to turn, stop, walk uphill, and speed down the slope.

Bluewood skiing
finding our boot and ski sizes
Bluewood skiing
taking a skiing lesson

National Historic Sites and Idaho – Washington

Nez Perce NHS

The next week, we moved to Horn Rapids RV Park in Richland, Washington.  The weather was cloudy and chilly.  We went to Whitman Mission NHS, where the Native Americans and white people fought.

The Whitmans started a mission along the Oregon Trail and tried to convert the Native Americans to Christianity.  The Whitmans, trappers, explorers, and missionaries unintentionally brought death to the tribe with sickness, killing nearly half of them.  The Native Americans decided that they needed to save themselves, but would have to kill the Whitmans who were living among them.

After, we visited two places nearby, right across the Idaho border.  First, we went to Hell’s Gate State Park, then we went to Nez Perce National Historic Site.  The first was more of a recreational area, and at the second, we learned about the Nez Perce Native Americans (what they ate, what they wore, and how they used tools).