The Palouse provides stress free wandering

July 22, 2014

This Weekend Wanderer heads for Palouse Falls State Park, but as all true wanderers know, it is not the destination, but the wandering that counts.

On the way, you need to cruise the back roads and small farm towns of Palouse country to melt away your stress, so load the kids in the minivan or SUV and get going.

To get to Palouse country from Issaquah, of course you’re stuck on Interstate 90 to Moses Lake. I-90 is a familiar run; even so, there are a couple of things to note: The snow shed you always looked for as a kid so you could tell dad to “honk the horn, honk the horn,” near Lake Keechelus, has disappeared to make way for highway improvements.

By Joe Grove Above, Palouse Falls is the star attraction at the Palouse Falls State Park.

By Joe Grove
Above, Palouse Falls is the star attraction at the Palouse Falls State Park.

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In Woodinville Wine Country, vino, veritas

July 8, 2014

Does winding through Woodinville’s wine country sound like a fantastic way to spend a day? You’re right — it is.

A number of wineries have bloomed in the bursting local industry along the northwestern tip of Lake Washington. When world-famous Chateau Ste. Michelle winery settled in the area in 1976, it brought with it a gradual wave of other wineries and, of course, wine lovers.

Currently, more than 100 wineries call the Woodinville area home. Now, you can experience those on the Woodinville Wine Country shuttle, every first and third Saturday from July 5 to Sept. 20.

By Peter Clark Above, John Bigelow, JM Cellars co-owner, stands on the bocce ball court that doubles as a wedding venue.

By Peter Clark
John Bigelow, JM Cellars co-owner, stands on the bocce ball court that doubles as a wedding venue.

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Tulip festival offers fun daytime getaway

May 6, 2014

WEEKEND WANDERER

I’m not a gardener.

You most certainly won’t find me in the yard cutting grass, or crouched near a patch of soil pulling weeds and planting flowers.

Imagine my parents’ surprise then, when I suggested we head north for the final weekend of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

By Christina Corrales-Toy A line of still-blooming purple tulips is bordered by the stems of now fallen blooms of the Tulip Town garden during the last weekend of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on April 26.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
A line of still-blooming purple tulips is bordered by the stems of now fallen blooms of the Tulip Town garden during the last weekend of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on April 26.

Flowers have never really been my thing, but after my April 26 exploration of the blooming tulip fields, I certainly have a new appreciation for the beauty of all things flora.

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Get blown away at Wild Horse

November 5, 2013

WEEKEND WANDERER

Vantage visitors center educates about energy

On a cloudy but pleasant day, the weekend wanderer headed out to visit the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center in Vantage. The wind mill farm, owned by Puget Sound Energy, has a visitors center featuring educational displays by PSE and Central Washington University to educate visitors about wind and solar technology and the area’s unique natural history.

By Joe Grove Windmills at the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center near Vantage are a natural fit for that windy part of the state. Puget Sound Energy owns the wind farm, which has a visitor center featuring educational displays about wind and solar technology.

By Joe Grove
Windmills at the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center near Vantage are a natural fit for that windy part of the state. Puget Sound Energy owns the wind farm, which has a visitor center featuring educational displays about wind and solar technology.

The center, at 25905 Vantage Highway, is only a two hour drive from Issaquah. Read more

Weekend Wanderer visits Sun Lakes and Dry Falls / May 2013

May 15, 2013

Follow the sun to Sun Lakes/Dry Falls

May 14, 2013

WEEKEND WANDERER

Weekend Wanderer set out mid-April for Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park, about a 200-mile drive from Issaquah. The clouds hung low over the mountains on Snoqualmie Pass, barely shielding their beauty, like the sheer nightgown of a bashful bride.

Somewhere near Easton, the sun began its struggle with the clouds to dominate the sky. It won east of Ellensburg.

The Soap Lake sculpture ‘Calling the Healing Waters’ is the center piece of the world’s largest human figure sundial.

The Soap Lake sculpture ‘Calling the Healing Waters’ is the center piece of the world’s largest human figure sundial.

Why Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park? Start with the name, sun, and add camping, swimming, fishing, golfing, sightseeing and a place to research your kid’s science project on Washington archeology.

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Awash in wonders

April 9, 2013

WEEKEND WANDERER

Denizens of the depths surface at Seattle Aquarium

Somehow, I made it my entire life so far without visiting an aquarium.

By Peter Clark One of the most interesting features in the aquarium is the underwater dome, around which many different species, such as the fellow pictured above, swim around spectators.

By Peter Clark
One of the most interesting features in the aquarium is the underwater dome, around which many different species, such as the fellow pictured above, swim around spectators.

I suppose some blame can rest on growing up in the Midwest, but more than anything, the opportunity just never presented itself. I consider that a real shame because I am fascinated by all things aquatic. “Moby Dick” is one of my favorite books, I have watched more nature shows on the deep sea than any other kind of nature show and I should have visited an aquarium sooner.

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Explore a national park and ‘Twilight’ mysteries on the Olympic Peninsula

August 3, 2010

A tree in the Hoh Rainforest forms an arch over a walking trail in the woods. Photo by Kristi Feder

WEEKEND WANDERER

Summer is road-trip time and a great weekend adventure is making a loop through the Olympic Peninsula, home to Olympic National Park, the fifth most-visited national park in the country.

Since one of our travel goals is to stay in all of the lodges featured in the PBS series, “Great Lodges of the National Parks,” this weekend jaunt was the perfect way to check two more off our list.

We headed out early on a gray and misty Friday afternoon to take the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. A lot of other people obviously had the same idea, so there was a lengthy wait. The ferry to Bainbridge might be a better option, as the boats are larger and can accommodate more cars. Once we got to Sequim, however, the sun was out, which definitely reinforced the nickname the area has acquired as the “Banana Belt” due to its low rainfall and sunny weather.

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