Happy Groundhog Day! Today marks the 135th Anniversary of this Holiday being celebrated in the United States.  The tradition of Groundhog Day in America started with Pennsylvania Germans. The custom of the groundhog predicting weather goes back to ancient Europe where a badger was actually used for the prediction. There are very few badgers in…

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What better time to hike in one of our region’s coastal rainforests than during the rainy season?! Don rain gear and an adventurous spirit and check out these three hikes ranging from kid-friendly strolls to wilderness wanderings. And during the rainy season you can expect quieter trails, more frequent wildlife sightings, and a whole better…

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Fair weather hikers rejoice! You don’t need to hang up your hiking boots during the rainy season thanks to our rain shadows. What’s a rainshadow? It’s an effect caused by mountains capturing rain clouds on their windward slopes; then wringing them out leaving the leeward slopes dry. It can be quite dramatic like on the…

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Consider lighthouses the coastal equivalent of fire lookout towers. Utilitarian in their function and design, yet they possess a simple and eloquent beauty as well. Guiding lights through rough and stormy waters, we oft forget about their purpose and become more enamored by their settings. And like their fire spotting brethren, many a lighthouse has…

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I love rail trails and some of my favorite running and hiking routes throughout Washington are on rail trails. Rail trails offer safe traffic free running routes. They’re gently graded. They can be found all over the state from major urban areas to the state’s remotest regions. Many rail trails begin, end and connect excellent…

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Quick! Name non-native invasive species in the Olympic Mountains; species that have altered the natural environment. Man, obviously! How about Scotch Broom, purple loosestrife, Robert’s geranium and mountain goats? Mountains goats? Yes, mountain goats, those furry lovable alpinists and members of the cattle family (Bovidae). They don’t belong here. The mountain goat, indigenous to the…

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Here we go again. Summer has arrived and hikers are hitting their favorite trails in full force. Unfortunately it appears that smash-and-grab car prowling low-lives are out in full force hitting their vehicles—and the Olympic Peninsula is seeing a rash of car break-ins this year. Reports have been coming in of car break-ins at Graves…

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It’s nice when we can reach our favorite trailheads via nice paved roads—or at least wide, well-graded and regularly maintained gravel roads. But unfortunately that’s not usually the case—and we are often faced with the dilemma of having to drive a harrowing road to get to the trail. While some of us drive pickups and…

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I hit the trails for inspiration, redemption, and rejuvenation. A primeval forest grove, placid lakeshore, flowering alpine meadow, and a summit view of a sea of serrated summits can have quite an effect on a restless and anxious soul. The natural world is my opiate, my muse, and my motivator. It has never failed me.…

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Image hiking for 22.5 miles—all but one of those miles on maintained trails—in one of the country’s most popular national parks—and encountering only 2 people—and that was at the beginning of the trip. My intrepid Olympic exploring friend Evan and I just finished an incredible one day journey across some of the park’s loneliest terrain—and…

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