Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma, Washington is a city that nobody really gives enough credit. Overlooked by outsiders, due to most people wanting to explore the big cities (Seattle, Bellevue). Tacoma has all kinds of potential and we are starting to see the city grow. Known for the Tacoma Dome and it’s various museums (Museum of Glass, LeMay – America’s Car Museum), Tacoma has it’s fair share of attractions. Point Defiance is another park that puts Seattle to shame in comparison! Tacoma is definitely on the rise and I am interested to see how it develops over the next few decades.

(Narrows Bridge, photo captured 6/21/20)

Ancient Lakes (Quincy, Washington)

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Ancient Lake is a pretty awesome hike in Central Washington. This hike takes you to a Desert Oasis of sorts once you reach the lakes at the end of the hike. Getting there is a bit of an adventure with the the temperature elements and wind. Be aware that rattlesnakes are in the area, and bugs are everywhere (especially beatles). This trail is very popular for locals, so you won’t be alone.

The best part about this hike, as is the case with many hikes, is it’s location. Ancient Lake is positioned between two sharp extensive cliff sides which make for an incredible scene! There are waterfalls at points along the trail, but the best one is by the lakes at the end. Also, you have the option of hiking Highmans Bluff at the end for an elevated view of the lakes and desert landscape.

Overall, a great experience and would definitely recommend this hike to others!

Kayak Point (Stanwood, WA)

Kayak Point is a well maintained beach front with all kinds of amenities available for visitors. The park is named Kayak Point because its a popular location to drop in kayaks in the usually calm waters. However, the day I visited the water was rather unsettled. There was one fisherman fishing from the Pier.

On the beach, there are trees to hang hammocks, fire pits for fires, picnic tables for having breakfast, lunch, dinner. There is also an open field to fly kites or play yard games. It’s a very nice place to spend the day. Admission into the park is $10 so make sure you get your money’s worth when you visit.

Definitely worth checking out!

Diablo Lake, WA

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(Diablo Lake Vista Point, photo captured on 5/31/20)

Diablo Lake definitely lived up to the hype! I had heard a lot of great things about this location, and sure enough it didn’t disappoint the day I visited. It was nice having friends tag along for this adventure, they added to the experience and made the long drive more enjoyable! The weather wasn’t prime, but it still made for an awesome scene. I will definitely have to make another visit and check out some of the trails in that area.

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(Pyramid Creek, photo captured on 5/31/20)

We didn’t have time to do any hikes during this trip, but it was cool seeing some creeks, waterfalls, rock formations along the highway. It’s a very scenic drive on the North Cascades Highway! Highly recommend visiting for those that haven’t made the trip yet.

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(Gorge Creek and Lake, photo captured on 5/31/20)

Gorge Creek and Lake was another quick stop on our descent into the valley. This location has several waterfalls to view on both sides of the roadway. You also have the option of taking a nature trail (roughly 0.5 mile) to get some better views of Gorge Lake. It’s a good spot to stop and get some fresh air before the long drive back down into the metro area.

Mukilteo, WA

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Sure when it comes to Washington State most probably don’t think of Mukilteo being a town worth visiting, but if you are big into seeing lighthouses this is the place for you! I haven’t seen every lighthouse in Washington state, but the one in Mukilteo is very well kept and maintained. So if your adventures take you through the small town of Mukilteo be sure to stop into the Lighthouse Park to check out the beach, lighthouse and ferry terminal. You have to pay to park which is a little annoying, but it definitely seems like the money goes towards maintenance and upkeep so it’s worth it!

Sports and Social Injustice: Embrace the Activism

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Over the past few years, there have been players across the sports landscape that have brought light to the struggles that face this nation when it comes to Social Injustice. Whether it’s Megan Rapinoe and the US Women’s National Soccer team fighting for fair pay or Colin Kaepernick kneeling the National Anthem for social injustice after acts of Police brutality. Everyone in this nation has the right to voice/express their opinions and fight for what they believe. It’s our duty as Americans to listen to these individuals, understand their stories and positions, and help bring about change to the system we have in place because it definitely isn’t perfect! It blows my mind how these acts of patriotism get viewed negatively in a country that takes pride in being the “The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave”.

The fact of the matter is the US Women’s National Soccer team is the best soccer team in the world in their respective sport, and they probably would give the US Men’s National team a run for their money in a match. It would definitely be competitive on the field, so why aren’t these women getting paid competitive wages!? It’s tough to really pinpoint the real reason for this difference, but it sure doesn’t make any sense! It’s not just women in sports that are being profiled for wages, it’s all over the business landscape as well.

In more recent news, the death of George Floyd has brought back questions/concerns regarding ‘Racism in America’. There is no doubt that racism is still a real problem in the United States. The U.S.A is home to one of the most diversified populations in the world because of the freedoms that we “say” to provide people from other countries. For some Americans, it only takes one bad action from a specific group for people to start labeling and viewing them in a negative light and that doesn’t take long to escalate into hate crimes. If we don’t have the resources in place to manage the people of this country, then why keep allowing people to enter this country!? By doing this, our country is putting its people and system in a position to fail!

There is so much talent already in America, yet business owners still go after the cheapest, most affordable labor – which comes from other countries. Yes, slavery is still alive and well in this country, although it doesn’t get the attention it deserves either. It’s incredibly sad that some Americans are just okay with watching these events unfold and don’t care to address these problems in the system. I know most of us have it “good” and haven’t had to deal with the hardships that others have had to endure, but for God sake America it’s time to rise up and show some heart! Every life matters and it’s time to start treating everyone with the equality and respect they deserve.

I certainly hope sports get up and running here soon! Because some of the realest leaders this country has to offer make their livings on the pitch/field, ice, court and diamond. It will be interesting to see how the recent events play into sports getting back up and running. I’m sure a lot of players are starting to get the feel that this world needs them to take the stage!

Thunderstorms thrash Central/Eastern Washington

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(Thunderstorms roll across Central Washington. Photo captured 5/30/20 in Vantage, WA)

One of the most beautiful things about this planet is seeing the power of Mother Nature in live action. Some fear storms, while others find beauty in it! For me it’s all about being cognizant of the power and respecting the force, but not being afraid to confront the storms you face!

 

Bellevue, Washington

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(Photo of Downtown Park, captured 5/3/20)

Sure when it comes to tourist attractions, Seattle is the place to visit if you’re looking for famous landmarks, etc. However, Bellevue is really starting to put Seattle to shame when it comes to safety and quality of life. Microsoft surely has had an influence on this, but now even Amazon is flocking to Bellevue for business. Like I stated in my Seattle post, the city has really gone south with the criminal acts and homeless populations taking over the city. Bellevue is a very high class area, but the city does an exceptional job keeping their people safe and protected. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when this new light rail transit system gets up and running in a few years, whether they will be able to sustain it or not.

Although Bellevue doesn’t have the attractions like Seattle has, there is still plenty to do within the city itself. You have the Downtown Park (pictured above) to take in amazing views of the city skyline. Also, there is the Bellevue Square Mall Collection for those avid shoppers out there, along with many high end restaurants. Another cool thing that Bellevue offers is Snowflake Lane. Each night leading up to Christmas (starting in Late November), Bellevue closes the streets by the mall at 7 PM and puts on a massive display for people to come out and get themselves in the holiday spirit. It’s a giant holiday parade and I would recommend people to check it out, especially if you live outside the area. During this time, Downtown Park puts up a skating rink for those interested in ice skating.

Cle Elum, WA (Middle Fork Teanaway River Trail)

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My best friend and I wanted an adventure so we decided to head east where we knew sunny weather was going to be present. Cle Elum is a town that I have an extreme interest in, such a cool country landscape with all kinds of outdoorsy things to do in and around the area. We decided to take a hike in the Teanaway Forest on the Middle Fork Teanaway River Trail. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really a trail and was more of a road for ATV’s and dirt bikes which was a little disappointing, so one mile up the trail we decided to head back to the river where it seemed like the best views were available.

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This area is very remote and takes a little while to get to from Cle Elum with the country back roads, but once you get there it’s a very cool place to hang out! It’s a pretty popular spot for camping, fishing, dirt biking and trail running. We saw a bunch of people visiting for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. It’s definitely a place I would go and spend more time!

(Photos of Teanaway River, captured on 5/23/20)

Lake Crescent, WA (Marymere Falls)

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My brother and I took a day adventure out to Lake Crescent with hopes of hiking up Mount Storm King, however the nimbostratus clouds rolled in and it began drizzling so we decided half way up to head back down and explore Marymere Falls instead. Marymere Falls is a very short hike which takes you through thick rain forest and takes you alongside and over Falls creek. This hike is great for all ages, it’s flat and straight forward until the end where you have to climb stairs to access the falls. It’s a bit of a drive out to this location from the metro, but it’s definitely a great area to take in the lush nature views.

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(Photos of Marymere Falls and Falls Creek above, captured on 5/22/20)