Category Archives: Washington

Shi Shi Beach and The Enchanted Valley

Before we left Matty’s place in Bellingham, he recommended a couple of his favourite outdoor adventures in the Olympic National Park. We were on a tight schedule and only had a few days to get to Portland for the Pickathon music festival. We thought that doing both Shi Shi Beach and the Enchanted Valley would be a bit of a stretch, but after a bit of tactful adult peer pressure, we committed. We set our alarms for 3:50am and left Bellingham, not so bright but very early. I curled up on the backseat of the van while Mark, in his element, did the hard yards behind the wheel. The early start was an attempt to catch the low tide at Shi Shi Beach to see the awesome tidal pools. It was always going to be a close call. A later ferry than expected and a wrong turn were against us. We eventually got to Shi Shi pretty exhausted and missed the best of the tide pools. However, we still had fun exploring and camping on the beach.

Shi Shi Beach - Walking Towards the Arches

Shi Shi Beach – Walking Towards the Arches

Marky

Marky

Forest Window

Forest Window

Getting pooped on

Getting pooped on

Rock Tower

Rock Tower

Beach Kitchen

Beach Kitchen

Next stop was the 2 night, 3 day Enchanted Valley hike. We hiked for the most part through a beautiful lush green forest. It was a nice change from all the mountain hiking we’ve been doing. We were told that we’d definitely see bears on this hike. Mark was not so secretly hoping that we would. Well…be careful what you wish for. We had our first face to face bear encounters on foot. I have to say that I did pretty well with the “whoa bear” and the “don’t you worry about a thang bear”, in my best American accent so the bears could understand me. I was also much calmer than I expected. Mark was a bit of a stunned mullet. He was more intrigued and just wanted to watch them. When we saw the second bear, it wasn’t until I told him to walk backwards that the bear ran away. It was an amazing experience, although I’d still rather not run into any more bears.

Forest Light

Forest Light

Fungus Tree

Fungi Tree

The Enchanted Valley

The Enchanted Valley

Water Stop - Enchanted Valley

Water Stop – Enchanted Valley

Fallen Tree

Fallen Tree

Big Root

Big Root

Wood Collecting

Wood Collecting

Our Swimming Pool

Our Swimming Pool

Eating all the berries at our campsite so the bears wouldn't  come for a visit

Eating all the berries (and getting caught on the bushes) at our campsite so the bears wouldn’t come for a visit.

Bellingham

We high tailed it back from the island to get down to Bellingham to spend some time with our friends; Matt, Courtney, Sam and Ri. We crossed the border late at night and were in a rush to get to Bellingham.  It didn’t really dawn on us until later that this might be goodbye to Canada for quite some time and we’re really going to miss it.

Matty took all of us hiking around Mt Baker. He also took us for a scenic drive in his FJ Cruiser, which was a fast, smooth and quiet change from the van.

Heading up the Winchester Mountain trail

Heading up the Winchester Mountain trail

Pretty sweet view of the lake below

Pretty sweet view of the lake below

Lunch and whiskey break at the top

Lunch and whiskey break at the top

Winchester cabin, with Mt Baker in the background

Winchester cabin, with Mt Baker in the background

On top of the world

Captain America and Friends

Taking the quick way down

Taking the quick way down

He convinced us to take a dip in the icy cold water of the half melted lake.  Ri led the way and jumped right in, so we had to man up and follow suit.  We all tried to keep a straight face, but we obviously failed.

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Chasing waterfalls

Chasing waterfalls

Matty feeling the power of the waterfall

Matty feeling the power of the waterfall

As always, Matt and Courtney were super welcoming and hospitable.  And this time we got to meet some of their amazing family, including their beautiful new daughter.

Family dinner and lots of laughs

Family dinner and lots of laughs

Finally, Oscar gets a wash

Finally, Oscar gets a wash