Whale Watching with Puget Sound Express

By Cara Patten

Video By Emily Deering

Photos by Emily Deering and Bret Wirta

May 22nd 2012.

Bret, Capt Korie, Cara, Becca and Emily

Bret, Capt Korie, Cara, Becca and Emily

I arrived in Port Townsend for a day of whale watching with two friends and my friend’s dad. We had booked our trip with an experienced company, Puget Sound Express. After browsing through the whale-themed paraphernalia in their gift shop, we were led by Carly, a smiling mate, down the dock and into the boat. I entered the window-lined the boat, surprised and relieved for the warm cabin and comfortable seating. Adding to my delight was the supply of coffee, tea and renowned Blueberry Buckle coffeecake. The four of us headed towards the bow where we could all fit together, not realizing that this would be the most bumpy part of the boat.

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Marymere Falls and Lake Crescent Lodge

Story by Cara Patten

Photos by Emily Deering and Bret Wirta, Video by Emily Deering

Hike Distance: 1.5 miles – Time out: 1 hour

Degree of Difficulty: 1 – Pet Friendly: No

May 22nd 2012

Marymere Falls and Lake Crescent Lodge

We drove to Lake Crescent and pulled up to the Marymere trail parking lot, slightly tired from rising early and ready for a leisurely hike and lunch at Lake Crescent Lodge. This was the perfect road trip for me and my friends Becca and Emily. College classes had just ended and the summer just beginning.

The Marymere Falls trail is about 1.5 miles, beginning at the Storm King Ranger Station and ending up at the beautifully flowing Marymere Falls, with a trail branching off to the Lake Crescent Lodge. Its easy pace and location just off the highway makes the hike a great break.
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White Water Rafting on the Elwha River


By Cara Patten

White Water Rafting on the Elwha River Pt1

I arrived at Olympic Raft and Kayak with three of my best friends for a day of whitewater rafting on the Elwha River. My nerves concentrated with anxiety and excitement. As the weather of Western Washington so often disappoints, we donned wet suits, rain coats and water shoes to combat the cold and windy, yet beautifully sunny day. After being fitted for life jackets and taking pictures of our ridiculously insulated selves, we were given instructions on rafting etiquette and set off for the river.

After a short drive, we pulled over and boarded the rafts, commencing the journey with our tour guide, Heather, taking up the steering at the back of the raft. After realizing that the Class II+ rapids which we were riding were not nearly the thrashing, murderous waves I imagined, I began to relax and enjoy the scenery. We were surrounded by forests of dense, green trees set against a background of snowcapped peaks of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Carrie appearing prominent and picturesque. The Mount Carrie glacier is responsible for the icy, yet clear and strikingly turquoise water of the Elwha River.

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