Jul 15, 2023

Olympic National Park Road Trip

 Last spring my husband and I took a road trip to the Olympic National Park. 

This is the route we drove from Boise, Idaho.

We spent our first night at Cascade Locks in the Columbia Gorge.

Our next stop was the Quinalt Lake Lodge in the park where we stayed for two nights.

Our room had a beautiful view of the lake and a cozy fireplace.

The lodge lobby has lots of comfy sofas and chairs in which to curl up and read in front of a big fire.

The lodge restaurant has wonderful service and delicious food. The ambience is intimate and romantic with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. 

We spent our days there exploring the surrounding rain forest. This was our first time in a rain forest, and it was truly a magical and mystical experience.

We left Quinalt Lake and drove north along the coast. We loved the stormy skies and huge waves.

The Tree of Life.

Ruby Beach

Leaving the coast, we drove inland to the Hoh Rain Forest. This was the most incredible of the forests we visited. It's completely different than any other ecosystem we've ever seen. The sense of present time fell away, and we could easily imagine dinosaurs here munching on the giant ferns.

We continued driving north through the small town of Forks to our resort accommodation on the Quillayute River. The view of the river from our suite was spectacular, and we watched bald eagles fishing from the tall surrounding trees from our window.

We spent two nights here and visited nearby La Push Beach and Rialto Beach. The stormy skies, misting waves, twisted driftwood, incredible rock formations, and tree covered islands were highlights. 

We left Quillayute and drove towards Port Angeles. We turned off into the park and drove up the beautiful Sol Duc Road. We stopped for short hikes at the uncrowded Salmon Cascades and the Ancient Grove, but passed by the hot springs and falls when we saw all the people. 

We continued on our way driving along lovely Lake Crescent. 

Another cozy lodge awaited us in Port Angeles.  This was our home base for two more nights. Unfortunately, the nearby Hurricane Ridge Road was closed for road work, but we still had plenty to see and do exploring the port, beaches, parks, and nearby towns.

The Salt Creek Recreation Area was one of our most beautiful unplanned stops with a gorgeous beach and shell covered tide pools. 

From Port Angeles, we headed south towards Olympia, stopping for a picnic lunch at Lake Cushman.

We spent one day sight-seeing in charming Olympia. Though not usually interested in buildings, the imposing Washington State Capital building was definitely worth a quick visit. 

The next day we passed by Mount Rainier on our way to a one night pit stop in Pendleton, Oregon. Then it was back home to Boise.

This was another wonderful road trip for us. We highly recommend visiting the Olympic National Park, especially for the rain forests. These unique ecosystems are truly unusual and  spectacular.

Thanks for coming along!

Dec 24, 2022

Merry Christmas!


Hello Friends!

I didn't think I'd have time for decoration photos this Christmas, but I grabbed my camera while waiting for our Christmas Eve dinner baking in the oven tonight. And here we go! 

If it all looks familiar, it's because I don't add to our decorations anymore - I just rotate and move them around.  

I do get more Christmas tree ornaments, though, and this year I made some super easy dried orange slice ornaments. I love the way the light shines through them.

Can you spot a few things I put out for our three year-old grandson? He loves the electric train winding around the Christmas tree, the red truck, and the reindeer family. 

Happy Holidays to you all!

Nov 20, 2022

Rocky Mountain National Park Road Trip

 Last month we took a road trip from our home in Boise, Idaho to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Visiting this park has been a dream for me ever since I read A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by British explorer Isabella Bird. Her gorgeous description of the landscape that later became America's third most visited national park was published in 1879. 

Our trip took nine days and we drove approximately 2300 miles. 

We drove across Southern Idaho and over the Teton Pass into Jackson, Wyoming.

Teton National Park is another favorite of ours. 

Between Jackson Hole and our next stop, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was a whole bunch of FLATNESS.

Our favorite view of Steamboat Springs was this one from our hotel balcony. We chose Steamboat Springs for an overnight stay because my brother went to college here in the early 70's. He described his memories of the sounds from his dorm window of whistling cowboys herding cows through downtown. Forty years later we found a traffic congested four lane main street surrounded by hillsides covered with posh ski condos. Times do change!

My favorite driving scenery was between Steamboat Springs and Boulder, Colorado.


Boulder was just as charming as we'd heard, and we had a beautiful view from our hotel room.

Our next morning's drive brought us to the little town of Estes Park and into Rocky Mountain National Park. It was spectacular. 

We stayed in Estes Park and drove into the park for two full days of wandering around, watching the wildlife, and picnicking next to this little stream.

On our last evening we were treated to a gorgeous sunset overlooking the park and the Continental Divide from our hotel balcony as the elk bugled below us. It was a dream come true and so hard to leave!

 Our next stop was a day's drive north to Devil's Tower in Wyoming. My husband has always wanted to see this amazing monument ever since he saw it in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We arrived just as the sun was setting and the glowing rock was spectacular.

Our next day's drive took us over the Big Horn Mountains for a short overnight stay in Cody, Wyoming. 

The next day we were up early for the drive into Yellowstone National Park and around a sparkling Yellowstone Lake to our last night in Island Park, Idaho, where we did a little fishing. We've been to all these last spots many times before, and dare I say, we're so used to it I didn't take any photos of these last couple of days to share.

Thanks for coming along on our road trip to what now is my favorite Rocky Mountain National Park. If you'd like to see a bit more, I'll be uploading some video over the next days to my instagram account.