When the sun calls you outside in the Pacific Northwest, you answer. After days of being cooped inside, it's a welcome pleasure to venture out on a daycation. With so much to choose from it is fun to explore and find new hidden gems. Today's call was a drive north from Skagit Valley to Whatcom County. Just an hour north of Anacortes, Bellingham and Whatcom County has a diverse offering of beaches to mountains. Today it was the foothills that beckoned us for our drive. First stop, something to curb our hunger and sweet tooth, a favorite espresso stop...Wake n' Bakery in Glacier, WA for coffee and their most delicious cardamom cookies. This popular coffee shop is must-stop place for skiers coming back from the Mt Baker Ski Resort.
Hunger abated, sweet tooth satisfied, it was time for our next stop, a park hidden amongst the foothills of the cascade mountains–Silver Lake Park.
Just north of Maple Falls, off HWY 542, is a gem of a park and campgrounds, shrouded by mountains and sitting on the edge of a lake. Silver Lake Park is close to the border of Canada and hidden amongst the trees where you can relax and commune with mother nature. Trails, bridges, wildlife, playground, picnic tables, cabins, and boating on a quiet lake, all you need to enjoy the great outdoors and relax in fresh mountain air.
When you leave the park, instead of turning left and returning the way you came, turn right out of the park and follow Silver Lake Road as it travels through Peaceful Valley. Logging and farmlands scatter through the landscape as the road leads you back to Hwy 547 where you can turn right and continue your journey north, or left to Hwy 542 and return to Bellingham.
To end a lovely day driving through the countryside we had dinner at Fiamma Pizza in Bellingham and no trip to Bellingham is complete without stopping at Trader Joe.
Peaceful Valley, Silver Lake, and Cardamom Cookies…A great answer to the call of a sunny day in the Pacific Northwest.
What a dandy way to spend a spring day, bicycling through the valley wearing tweed and stopping for a picnic and a game of croquet. The look and the feel of yesteryear, when families dressed up and ventured forth on their bicycles through the countryside than stopped for a picnic amongst the beauty of mother nature, was the inspiration for this event. For four years, to celebrate the arrival of Spring, folks have signed up for the Dandy Daffodil Tweed Ride. Dressed in their Tweed finest, a picnic basket full of goodies, they mount their bicycles and off they go. Their route takes them from the lovely town of LaConner, WA, through the Skagit Valley fields where daffodils sprinkle the landscape in yellow. They meet at Rexville Grocery where they enjoy a picnic and a game of croquet. The ride ends back at LaConner where they raise a glass of wine and salute the arrival of Spring and a day to remember.
For those living in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the west side of the Cascade Mountains, winter tends to be a long, continuous season of dark, rainy, cloudy, windy and depressing weather. The color of the season is gray, gray, and well, more gray. By January, any spot of sunshine is a welcome relief from the dullness of winter. By February, we are desperate for sun or even a hint of blue skies.
Then it happens—a Spring day. Birds chirp, bees buzz, the sky is painted in various hues of blue, and the sun spreads light and warmth. We emerge from our winter hibernation and venture outside, shedding our winter gear and ready to hike, bike, walk, or simply sit outside soaking up the long awaited sunshine.
Surrounded by beauty and some of mother nature's best landscapes we are offered some of the most scenic spots to visit, and all right here in our backyard. Mountains, beaches, islands, wildlife, seascapes, trails, forests, it calls to us and we answer with a roaring—yes.
It is days like these that remind us why we live here. Suddenly we go from dull gray to a visual explosion of color and beauty...a true work of art. Trees are blooming, flowers blossom, sunlight shines on the water, the mountains shine in all their glory, and life feels alive again. Out of the darkness of winter comes spring and a blast of light.
Life is full of beauty, gratitude, fresh air, sunshine, and color. Enjoy it, we deserve it after months of gray, dark dullness.
The announcer, “The Seattle Boat Show is now open.” It’s day one of the Seattle Boat Show.
The doors opened to a crowd filled with anticipation and excitement. It reminded me of the races when they yell, “and they are off.”
The boats gleamed under the bright lights, inviting visitors in for a closer look. Exhibitors stood tall, greeting the visitors with a welcome smile. It’s opening day and all were ready to explore what is new and exciting in the boating world.
This was my first year ‘working’ the Seattle Boat Show. It’s a different view as an exhibitor in a booth versus just attending the Seattle Boat Show. I work for the Waggoner Cruising Guide and Fine Edge Publishing and each year we provide a staff person to work in Captain’s Nautical Supply’s booth, answering questions about our wide selection of cruising books and maps and helping customers with their selections. I wasn’t sure what to expect and day one was a crash course in exhibiting at the Seattle Boat Show.
It’s Day two, Saturday, the busiest day. The doors opened and the crowd swelled throughout the day. Vendors hustled to greet the crowds. Families, small children, young boaters, experienced boaters, all of which enjoyed a day of exploration in boats. Working the Captain's Nautical Supply booth I observed inspired boaters who were ready to visit new destinations or revisit previous haunts.
Day Three, Sunday normally a day of rest. But not for boat show goers, they were on a different mission. Not quite as busy as Saturday, but still packed with enthusiastic boat show visitors.
Day Four, Monday, the first day of the workweek. Also known as women’s day at the Seattle Boat Show. Classes on everything from cruising to an all day class on Dock, Diesel, Navigate, Crew Overboard and more with Captains, Margaret Pommert and Linda Lewis. After a full day of education from these two amazing women, the Captain's Nautical Supply booth filled with women on a mission, looking for specific books, which would help continue what they learned.
Tuesday, Day Five. The crowd waned down a bit. It was quieter and the tone of the show was more serious. Exhibitors were able to slow down a bit and attendees experienced more one-on-one and had time for lengthy conversations and Q&A periods.
Wednesday, Day Six. For me, it was my last day working at the booth. Quiet, like Tuesday, the atmosphere was less hectic with a steady flow of visitors.
Six days flew by. I met so many boaters and soon-to-be-boaters. Heard great stories. Learned more about the Waggoner Cruising Guide’s customers. Sold a lot of books. And my poor feet recovered faster than expected.
The plus two days were set-up and tear down. If everything is well organized, these two events can happen quickly and this year that is exactly what happened.
Sales were high at the Seattle Boat Show this year. Fine Edge Publishing sold lots of cruising books through Captain's Nautical Supply, and close to a thousand Waggoner Cruising Guides will help boaters find their way during the cruising months. Six, plus two days working the Seattle Boat Show was worth every moment.
Here are some good reasons to shop local in Anacortes, WA for the Holiday season. When we spend locally with small businesses we are supporting our community, creating jobs, protecting our environment, and investing in our future. Downtown Anacortes and Anacortes businesses provide shoppers with a diverse and unique selection of gift ideas. Support local businesses, they keep Anacortes thriving.
For Book Lovers
The Waggoner Bookstore
902 8th St
Books for boaters, children's books, cookbooks, and nautical maps
Unique, Fun, and Creative Gift Ideas
The Good Stuff
Gifts for artists, unique gifts, ornaments, holiday cards, and great gift ideas under $20.00
501 Commercial Ave
Cards, fun and unusual gifts
Jewelry, Clothes, and Accessories
Great Food Gift Ideas
Give the Gift of an Experience
Short Stories of passion, of life, of people.