A beautiful, snowy week in Montana with my oldest daughter – finally, a little cold and a lot of snow! We toured Yellowstone by snow coach, hiked the geysers on snowshoe, spotted bison, trumpeter swans, and coyotes, did a lot of nordic skiing, and spent even more time in our cozy cabin in front of the wood stove. We stayed at Lone Mountain Ranch and had a fabulous time, thanks to their friendly staff and wonderful meals. Hopefully, we’ll make this an annual trip!
Commencement Bay, Tacoma in December
Fall 2018 along the Clackamas River
Aspens along the Poudre la Cache River Canyon in Fort Collins, Colorado
Late fall at Clackamette Cove, Oregon
Morning light on Camden Harbor and Curtis Island
Lincolnville General Store
Wild Maine blueberries at the Camden Farmer’s Market
Afternoon sail out of Camden
Curtis Island Light
Owl’s Head Lighthouse
Mitchell Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde
Sunrise over Camden Harbor
Traveling through Nova Scotia in September is truly one of the most spectacular trips I’ve ever taken 🙂
The view from the deck of our cottage on the cliffs of Cape Breton Island
Looking back at the Cabot Trail roadway, Cape Brenton Island Highlands, and the Northumberland Strait from the end of the Skyline Trail
The view from the kitchen sink in our cottage – it looks like a painting hung on the wall 🙂
Along Nova Scotia’s South Shore
Blue Rocks sunset
We recently traveled to Banff National Park for our summer family vacation, and stayed at the Fairmont on Lake Louise – it was every bit as stunningly beautiful as I’ve heard! Most of our time was spent hiking around Lake Louise (and photographing it at all times of day, because each time you see it, it seems more beautiful than before 🙂
This short hike took us up to a viewpoint above Peyto Lake, along the Icefields Parkway. The turquoise blue color, from glacial run-off, is so stunning, it struck me anew every time I saw it and I could have sat here for hours.
You can see the Victoria Glacier, which feeds the lake and causes its bright turquoise color.
A lone canoe out at dusk
The Fairmont, seen from the far end of the lake
Canoeing on the lake at sunset
The view from the top of the Lake Louise Gondola, looking down at the Fairmont and Lake Louise
The top of the Agnes Lake hike
This past week, I had the chance to travel all around the Puget Sound region of western Washington for interviews and photographs of the makers who will be featured in By Hand Serial’s upcoming Lookbook No. 4. As always, I was in awe of the natural beauty in this part of the world. The theme of the trip was definitely “water” – in just about every form you can imagine! Below is a visual tour of some of the wonderful places we stopped in our travels:
Salish Lodge, perched on the edge of Snoqualmie Falls, was our first stop of the trip.
We took a down day to photograph the natural beauty of the region – and escape the triple-digit temperatures – by hiking to Twin Falls, on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River.
The next day, we drove to the small town of Carnation, along the Tolt River – the local park and campgrounds included this iconic big red barn, outfitted as a community gathering spot and sporting the most gorgeous array of wooden rafters and beams.
I took an early morning run in Snoqualmie before we headed out for the day and was rewarded with the absolute stillness of Mill Pond (above) and a chance to run along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and cross this retrofitted railroad trestle (below).
The Salish Lodge puts on an amazing farm breakfast, including this picture-perfect (and tasty!) coffee service.
Our next stop was Bellingham – we loved eating and shopping in the small Fairhaven district, and the path along Bellingham Bay, including this overwater boardwalk, was picture perfect.
Sunset on Bellingham Bay 🙂
We ended the next day in the small village of Langley, on Whidbey Island. These are both view from our deck – looking one direction to the sunset, and the other direction to the Olympics.
Early morning stillness made the waters off the coast of Whidbey Island as flat as a sheet of glass.
Langley is a lovely little town, complete with wonderful dining and shops – including the early risers at Useless Bay Coffee Company.
Before hopping the ferry to Port Townsend, we grabbed breakfast at Knead & Feed in Coupeville, where the best cinnamon rolls in the entire world are served!
We finished our whirlwind tour on the Seattle waterfront, where we arrived just in time to see the Thursday evening parade of sailboats.
Our window at Inn at the Market gave us a birds eye view of sunset over the Olympics.
Just a few snapshots from my recent trip to Michigan for By Hand Serial Lookbook No. 5 . . . the really beautiful photos will be in the book! Issue #5 will be published in late January 2018 (byhandserial.com).
Best breakfast in the trip at Red Spire – unbelievably located in what used to be an institutional hospital in Traverse City, now renovated to house restaurants and shops.
Sunset on the beach in Leland on the northern peninsula – we watched several intrepid souls surfing (they were wearing full body wetsuits, understandably!)
Early morning mist rises over one of the thousands of lakes in Michigan – this little one, which we had all to ourselves, is located halfway between Leland and Traverse City.
Perfect afternoon knitting on Mackinaw Island, on the patio of the Hotel Iroquois.
Sunset from Mackinaw Island – at this time of year, we could see both the sunrise and the sunset over the water! You can see the Mackinac Bridge in the background – an almost five-mile wide suspension bridge, the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the western hemisphere.
A glorious climbing hydrangea creates an entrance to one of the beautiful Victorian mansions on Mackinaw Island (once you got out of the touristy town center, that is).
Just one of the amazing meals we had at the Hotel Iroquois.
Lake Michigan was unbelievably clear and turquoise blue along its shores.
I think that the coast of Maine is just about the most perfect place to spend the summer . . . I even love the fog that rolls in over the ocean most mornings 🙂
A sunny afternoon in Belfast, where the Passagassawakeag River (no, I did not make that up!) meets Belfast Bay:
Kayaking on a small pond in the evening light:
Dice Head Lighthouse in Castine:
Foggy morning views at Fort Point State Park:
Grindle Point Lighthouse on Islesboro:
A foggy afternoon in Camden Harbor:
After an epic evening thunder and lightening storm, the next morning all of the fog was washed away and the Camden hills looked beautiful in the sunrise:
Curtis Island, in the mouth of Camden Harbor:
Curtis Island lighthouse at sunrise:
One of my favorite treats, available only in Maine!
Footbridge in Belfast during a foggy early morning run:
Foggy early morning kayak on the pond:
Afternoon sail on the Sloop Anjaca out of Camden:
Views during an early morning run in Camden:
My family just returned from a quick summer trip to southeast Alaska – just a few days up and back. While I have to admit that I wasn’t thrilled with Wrangell, the town we stayed in, we did go on two great excursions: to see the LeConte glacier, and to the Anan Bear Observatory. It felt very big, and beautiful, and there were amazingly few people around, even during prime tourist season. I’m sure it helped that we avoided Ketchikan and anywhere else where cruise ships come into port . . .
In some ways, it felt like we didn’t see much wildlife – I had been hoping for moose, sea otters, and humpback whales, but the passages we traveled in were too shallow (for the whales, that is), and this part of the country is so big, it’s hard to predict where wildlife might be found at any given moment in time. We did see salmon headed upstream to spawn and the bears that were eating them at the Observatory, as well as so many bald eagles that I lost count, and there were multitudes of harbor seals out on the ice floes at the glacier.
I traveled through Seattle this weekend on my way to Bainbridge Island for the Knitting with Company retreat at Islandwood. As always, the Puget Sound scenery was stunning!
The view from my room at Inn at the Market – a perfect vantage point to watch the ferries go by Park Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium, and the waterfront ferris wheel.
My favorite boutique hotel, right in the heart of downtown Seattle – and they leave Seattle Chocolates on your pillow!
Tulip season in the Skagit Valley was in full swing, and Pike Place Market was full of them.
Fresh fish at Pike Place Market . . . and fresh squid?!
Dinner at Etta’s Seafood was delicious, particularly the sour cherry and almond crisp with cheesecake ice cream.
The rain held off until nighttime, when it was lovely to watch it from my hotel window.
In the morning, I took the ferry to Bainbridge Island – 35 minutes of pure bliss on the water 🙂
The views from the south end of Bainbridge are absolutely incredible – one morning at sunrise, Mt. Rainier was big as life and there was a steady stream of sea lions porpoising by (you can see one in this photo – the dark squiggly line in the foreground).
Sunrise during my morning run through Ft. Ward state park and the south beach of Bainbridge.
Local wildlife – the indigenous banana slug, Islandwood’s official mascot.
During my run the next morning, a bald eagle flew RIGHT OVER my head and landed in the tree right in front of me – he (or she?) was huge, and even 50-75 feet up, could be seen clear as day.
The next morning, the Olympics made a stunning appearance, as viewed from the beach on the southern end of Bainbridge.
We spent spring break this week “small boat cruising” with Uncruise Adventures in the Sea of Cortez. The weather was perfect and the water was beautiful 🙂
One morning, we got to snorkel with friendly sea lions – the juveniles loved to play, they chewed on our fins, mouthed at our hands, and even tried to swallow our Go Pro 🙂
View of Isolation Rock (home to many birds, including Blue Footed Boobies) from the deck of our boat.
Sea kayaking was wonderful in water so clear you could look down and see the fish swimming below – and the geography of the shore was fascinating.
A beautiful and serene week spent on North Haven Island, off of mid-coast Maine . . . is there ever a more beautiful time than mid-September??
The small village at North Haven’s ferry docking.
We rented a beautiful home on a 52-acre peninsula at the end of Crabtree Point.
Crabtree Cottage was a beautiful home-away-from-home.
Our home included a beautiful infinity pool, patio, poolhouse, and fire pit.
Kayaking on one of the many sunny afternoons.
Moonrise above Crabtree Cottage.
The view on the ferry ride to North Haven Island.
Holy Donuts in Portland was a worthwhile stop on our way up the coast.
This historic building was transformed into a community pizza parlor on the weekends, and a gourmet market during the week.
The outdoor fireplace was perfect for marshmallow roasting.
We took a day-trip to explore mid-coast Maine, including a visit to Bowdoin College in the town of Brunswick.
I always make sure to drink plenty of blueberry soda when in Maine 🙂
A long dock to the kayak launch.
Late in the day on Mile Long beach at Reid State Park, all to ourselves.
A tomato bar – better than a candy bar! – at Portland farmer’s market.
North Haven Island is very quiet, especially after Labor Day.
We always take a full day to drive home, stopping for an epic breakfast in Coupeville, two ferry rides, and an afternoon of shopping and eating on Bainbridge Island.
Cinnamon rolls are a favorite part of the breakfast stop in Coupeville, on Whidbey Island.
Mora Ice Creamery on Bainbridge Island – the best ice cream in the whole world!
Churchmouse is a true destination for fiber lovers like me.
Salt House Mercantile has a beautiful selection of curated home goods.
This day trip includes a ferry ride from Friday Harbor to Anacortes, and another from Coupeville to Port Townsend.
Driving from the mainland onto Whidbey Island, over the bridge that spans Deception Pass.
The view from main street in Coupeville.
Knead and Feed is right on the water, and a must-stop for breakfast each time we pass through Coupeville.
Photos from our morning out on the water in kayaks:
Every time we vacation in the San Juans, we take a boat ride to Stuart Island and then hike the seven-mile round trip to Turnpoint Lighthouse, the westernmost point in the continental United States.
Looking for orcas on the boat ride over to Stuart Island.
Turnpoint Lighthouse, looking west toward Canada.
Stuart Island’s old schoolhouse, now turned into a community library and a small museum.
The view from one of the bluffs on Stuart Island.
Stopping at the rope swing is always one of the highlights of the hike.
A photo essay of our annual foray through the sculpture garden at Roche Harbor:
The restaurant at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, overlooking the marina.
Beautiful ride on the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor – the ferry landing on San Juan Island.
Biking to San Juan County State Park.
The small resort town of Roche Harbor was originally settled in 1886 as a company town for McMillan’s lime kiln business.
Ferry tracks through Haro Strait.
To kick off summer vacation, we spent a week on the Oregon coast, basing out of Arch Cape and exploring a new beach town each day: Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Seaside, Gearhart, and Astoria.
The beach in front of our house at Arch Cape
Hiking at Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach
We found innumerable unbroken sand dollars on an isolated beach near
our house that was accessible only at low tide
Indian Beach as seen from a hiking trail in Ecola State Park
A foggy day in Astoria where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean –
one of the most dangerous crossing bars in the world
Each year around this time, we pick a sunny weekend day to hike Portland’s 4T Trail:
This year, we started by parking downtown and catching MAX (that’s the “Train” – the 1st “T”) to the Oregon Zoo station. From there, we walked a short distance to the start of the Marquam Nature Park trail (the 2nd “T”).
The trail runs mostly uphill for the first 1.3 miles, and gave us an opportunity to spot local wildlife – namely, banana slugs and surprisingly large snails:
The trail comes to the top at Council Crest, which on a sunny day provides an extraordinary view of downtown Portland and four mountains: Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and – only when it’s exceptionally clear (as it was on our day), Mt. Rainier:
We explored some of the interesting historical markers at the top of Council Crest, and then headed back onto the trail:
From this point, the trail continues for another 1.7 miles, almost exclusively downhill – sometimes rather steeply, and oftentimes very rocky. We saw trillium, sweet woodruff, Oregon grape, sword and licorice ferns, and many other native plants:
At the bottom of the trail, we rested at the Marquam Shelter, which has a lot of great information about the history and wildlife of the area, as well as a truly beautiful community-created mosaic:
From there, we hiked the final .6 miles up to Oregon Health Sciences University, to catch the tram. OHSU has a beautiful, sprawling campus, with a hodgepodge of buildings and some pretty garden areas, as well:
While we were able to enjoy the extraordinary view from the top of the tram (the 3rd “T”), unfortunately we weren’t able to ride it because it was closed for the holiday (which seems very shortsighted of the operator, given how many tourists were visiting and were vocally unhappy to find the tram not running!)
Undeterred, we used our iPhone’s handy map app and walked down to the south waterfront – which was accomplished in only 30 minutes, adding only an extra 1.5 (downhill) miles our so to our journey. Once there, we stopped at Lovejoy Bakery for a much-needed lunch break:
Refreshed, we caught the Portland streetcar (or trolley – the 4th “T”) back up to SW Portland, where we had begun:
Because it was my oldest daughter’s 16th birthday, we ended our outing at St. Cupcake to celebrate: