Saturday, November 26, 2011

Can I Call This a Hike?

It's winter in Washington...which can mean so much rain you don't want to even step out of your doorway, much less do any sort of outdoor activity.  We've had our exchange student come back for a visit this month...poor thing forgot how miserable the weather is around here.  (thankfully, it didn't dampen her shopping abilities ;)  So, I was pretty excited when, despite the weatherman's row of gray clouds stretching on for days, there were blue sky's on Lisa's last day before returning to Germany.  When she was here last time, she missed seeing one of our state's major tourist attractions (Deception Pass Bridge)--but, today was the day.

There are tons of trails all around the area; why not throw in a hike and make the most of the opportunity?  Looking online, I found "Goose Rock", and concluded it was ideal for our needs--right next to the bridge and not too difficult.  Deception Pass Bridge is always fun to show people for the first time, because most people have at least a little fear of heights...and it's high. (180 feet or so, depending on the tide)  Lisa didn't disappoint; she was freaked walking across--but got used to it pretty quickly.  (unlike the lady we had to carefully walk around because she was frozen in her tracks; not easy to do considering the walkways are only about three feet wide with big trucks whizzing by.  That's what freaks me out)

The best part, for me at least, is the possibility of seeing seals, whales, or otters...which has happened on occasion.  And being our lucky day, sure enough, an otter poked his head out of the water for a bit. (unfortunately, I don't have a very good camera, so I didn't even try knowing the pictures would have just looked like a dot in the water)  Once we were off the bridge, it was time to hike. (so I could justify writing about this little adventure)  But how far constitutes 'hiking', really?  When my youngest saw the sign for a .4 mile route (one way), she insisted that was as much as she was willing to do.

I understood she was still traumatized from last time, when I tricked everyone into doing an eight mile hike.  (You can read about it on the 'Family Hiking Day' post, but I must say despite it being so difficult, she did awesome.  I credit that to letting her use my ipod, which wasn't charged this time. So, if she only wanted to hike a mile, I wasn't going to argue)

It was over pretty quickly; nevertheless, Lisa seemed to enjoy it and took a ton of pictures.  She always says the forests around here remind her of "Twilight"...the Northwest's claim to fame.  (although, as most people know, it wasn't even filmed here)

Because it was still so early in the day, we decided to drive on to one of my very favorite places ever; Deception Pass State Park.  This is a hot day place, with the ocean on one side and a swimming lake on the other.  I don't know if I've ever gone in the winter, and so I wasn't expecting much.  But when your 11, it doesn't matter if it's run into the water anyway. 

Oops Mom, I didn't know the waves would come up so fast.  Yeah, right.

Captains of the washed up shipwreck

We all 'hiked' a little farther down the path to what Summer calls 'the family tree', because whenever we are there everyone has to get in the branches and take a picture.  It brought back a lot of really is a special place. 

Being as it was Lisa's last day, we thought we should hit one more place of interest that she missed last time.  I don't think our pitiful mile of hiking justified the dozen doughnuts we bought...but they were hot and delicious and we didn't care.  And so, auf wiedersehen to you, Lisa;  I hope your memories of our beautiful Northwest last a lifetime, but your extra pounds of American fat and sugar do not. :)