Washington: Mountains and Islands [#9]

by Ali Filippelli - posted from home in Amagansett

[click HERE to see the full gallery]

Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Margaret Backcountry, Ridge Creek Trail and Campground

After weeks on the coast, we crossed the border into Washington and headed inland towards Mount Saint Helens.

June 11, 2017, SUN.- "Only one campground was open in the Mount Margaret Backcountry, (Ridge Trail) due to weather/snow...etc. It was a 3.1 mi. hike in with 1300ft of elevation gain next to Coldwater Lake, so we stocked up at the grocery store on sausage, veggies and beer...the hike was nice, we passed corroded logging equipment abandoned in 1980 after the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens. The campsite was next to an old caldera. The clouds were lowering and we could camp in the rain...It would continue to rain on and off for the next two days."

June 12, 2017, MON.- "Awoke in the fog. Any plan to go for a hike had to be reconsidered as visibility was on 30ft. I collected snow for coffee and we stayed in the tent all day playing cards, reading and drawing. I did 4 drawings and we listened to "The Moores Murders" podcasts on Casefile. That night we would hear the coyotes whining and the frogs pulsing in the night."

June 13, 2017, TUES. - "Weather had lifted just a bit. On my walk to get snow I went through the log filed caldera. In a clearing there was an orgy of elk and deer prints that hadn't been there the day before. It was as if they came out to play polo or have a raging party. Later as we packed up our tent, I saw our coyote friend. It was as if the whole neighborhood knew we were there and were waiting for us to leave.

Saltwater State Park, WA

June 13, 2017, TUES. - "...Headed towards Seattle to the Saltwater State Park, which despite being so close to the airport had a beautiful view out over the water. We made wild caught sockeye salmon for dinner and watched the sunset."

Bavaria (Leavenworth), WA

We had planned to head to the Olympic Peninsular after passing through Seattle but we were tired of the rain. We flipped out original itinerary and went to go see Kaspar's old college friends (the Fortneys) in Leavenworth for a few days.

June 14/15, 2017, WED./THURS - "...Heading East we took rt 2 into the Bavarian town of Leavenworth. It was great to see Mij, Steve, Sally and Eli. Sally introduced us to the chickens...That night we had the full tourist experience when we went to Andreas Keller for schnitzel and strudel! It was the first day of the Annual International Accordion Festival. So all the best players were in the restaurant jamming...That night we decided rather than stick to our itinerary to head to Port Angeles we would head to Lopez Island with the Fortneys!"

Lopez Island, (San Juan Islands), WA

So on Friday we caught the ferry Samish from Anacortes to Lopez Island. Sally was interested in my camera. After a quick lesson on auto, zoom and focus, she pretty much had it down. Click through below for the SallyCam. I think her eye and perspective is pretty rad.

After a full day biking and heading to the farmer's market we wanted to explore the shore.

June 17, 2017, SAT. - "...I had an espresso and asked the barista where we should go for a walk. She suggested Shark Reef, so we were off. Eli + Sally played in the tide pools scrambling over the rocks like the crabs they were chasing. Maple (their dog) tried her best to join in. Seals bathed on the rocks while Sally moved onto tree climbing."


Two Days in The Studio with Mijanou

Mijanou runs a studio in Leavenworth - she works on her own stuff (everything you see in the pics are done by her - MF Pottery) and teaches classes. She was awesome enough to give us a quick tutorial on how to throw clay. Like most things for Kaspar, he caught on quickly...It took me a little (lot) longer and it took everything in my power to stay calm not to throw the clay (literally)...all in all though it was an awesome and eventually mellowing experience.

Picking strawberries at Gibb's Farm, WA

June 24, SAT. - "We were excited to pick organic strawberries at Gibb's farm for $2 a pint. I've never filled up on strawberries so quickly. It was, sunny and hot, so after a while we explored the farm. We left $8 on the table when we were done, it was the honor system"

NEXT TIME: Tofino - this was a trip we took in between our two visits to Leavenworth - after Lopez Island/before Headed back to Leavenworth to hang one more time. So check back here soon..."Landed in Canada at Sidney Harbor at 12pm, it was a long (5hr) drive out to Tofino in rain/fog..."