Family Camping Trip in the UP

Buckle in, it’s going to be a wild ride. The four of us clip into our seat belt harnesses with growing anticipation for an off-road journey in the Can-Am Side by Side. Craig takes the wheel as we leisurely roll past the neighboring campsites, cross the road, and enter the main passage for ATVs and […]

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Birding the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

At last, we find ourselves on our first visit to an official birding sanctuary in Olympia, Washington. Where the freshwater of the Nisqually River meets the southern edge of the Puget Sound, the estuary habitat is shared by the lands of the Nisqually Indian Tribe, a hunting area by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Service, […]

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Olympia’s Mysterious Mima Mounds

As far as the eye can see, all around us are oddly symmetrical mounds of earth. Now covered in wildflowers, this dimpled landscape of mounds, each measuring about six feet tall and thirty feet wide over several hundred acres, looks like it could be something crafted by science fiction.  According to Washington’s Department of Natural […]

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THE COAST OF OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

Massive driftwood greets us as we climb aboard their logs to enter Rialto Beach. Low tide reveals pools of water and crusty barnacles hugging to the rocks for dear life. Wild, undeveloped coastline stretches for miles with jagged “seastack” islands standing their guard to the waves that crash the shore. Derek rips off his hiking […]

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The Hoh Rainforest

We enter the Hall of Moss where velvety green giants drape over our heads and cover the forest floor with a blanket of sprouts. Now that we’re away from the crowd our steps lighten as we slowly scan the scene for animals among the world of green. Derek takes his time with his binoculars tilted […]

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Lake Crescent

“I’ve seen the most magnificent lake. I can die now.” – Derek Jager It’s been said that the water is so clean that it’s as clear as crystal. Carved from glaciers thousands of years ago, it plummets to over 600 feet with so little nitrogen that algae are unable to grow. The water is home […]

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HIKING HURRICANE RIDGE

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” – John Muir It’s quieter up here. Shades of green and blue recede on the white-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountain Range. My inner voice breaks into song with “the hills are alive… with the Sound of Music” as we gaze into the distance. It feels good […]

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Color and Light in Chihuly’s Garden and Glass

A boat balances on its edge overflowing with irregular forms that reflect the mirror below and cast shadows on the surrounding walls. Inspired by the Japanese art of ikebana flower arrangements, Dale Chihuly’s “Niijima Float Boats” are one of many large-scale installations that both amaze and inspire. Chihuly’s work has been an obsession of mine […]

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Tourists in Seattle

It’s January 2019 and American Airlines notifies us that our reward miles are expiring. We have a manner of days to decide where we might want to travel this year. Somewhere we’ve never been but always wanted to go that could be budgeted for six months down the road? The Pacific Northwest was calling our […]

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Game Changers Eat Seattle

We Jagers assume roles when traveling that we naturally do best. I take on the role of activity planner and navigator while Derek is the food connoisseur. He takes great joy in vetting menus and online reviews for our meals to uncover the gems in the city. Our favorite places are usually Japanese but we […]

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