Fort Cascades in Skamania County

Nestled just a stone’s throw beneath the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington lies an unassuming National Historic Site filled with stories worth telling. On a recent work trip to the south end of Skamania County, I stumbled upon this great heritage destination. If you’re looking to escape a bustling city without traveling too far into the void of central Washington, Skamania County is an excellent choice. I happened to be attending the annual Washington

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Vacation destination… Moses Lake?

Not only is Moses Lake a great vacation destination, but it’s loaded with history as well. Let’s begin with the most obvious question…who is Moses Lake named for? The answer is not who you might think.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

Any Washingtonian worth their basalt has – at one time or another – driven through Vantage during the long drive from Seattle to Spokane. Most of us breeze across the bridge and don’t look back as we climb the hills on the opposite side, dodging crawling semis and hoping our radiators don’t overheat. But if you’re more interested in your journey than your destination, you may have taken the time to visit one of the most unique state parks in

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35 years since the mountain woke up

It was at this exact moment, 35 years ago, that the deadliest and most economically-destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States occurred just 60 miles from where I now live. Fifty-seven people were killed. 250 homes were wiped out. 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway…gone. An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale triggered an eruption and caused a massive debris avalanche that reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 feet

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It’s never too late to remember

Almost everyone has a connection to World War II, and chances are good that you’re holding on to photos of someone from our Greatest Generation. Washington’s Secretary of State wants to help you share that story this year through their Legacy Washington campaign called “Washington Remembers.” From the beaches of Normandy to Buchenwald concentration camp, Washington veterans recall their experiences during World War II. Learn more and pay tribute to Washington’s heroes who changed the course of our history and made us who we

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LeRoy Tipton’s take on local lodge history

I introduced myself and my wife to our Lake Quinault coach tour guide, LeRoy Tipton. He said our names twice and quipped, “I have a really good memory. But my recall does not work very well. In fact, I have a very good memory except for names…faces, places, events, dates…stuff like that.” During the twenty-minute introduction where LeRoy (pronounced “luh-ROY” not “LEE-roy”) eloquently set the stage for our three-hour tour of the Olympic National Park, we would find that

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Remembering Bud Holland. He flew B-52s.

Today is June 24, 2014. It was on this date twenty years ago that my next-door neighbor crashed one of the biggest, most powerful aircraft ever built into a nuclear storage facility, leaving his kids fatherless and his wife a widow. With more than 5,000 flight hours under his belt, U.S. Air Force Colonel Bud Holland took his last flight on this day in 1994.

Northwest Trek: Experience Washington’s wildlife in the outdoors

In a split second, I knew it was a bald eagle as it shot by about ten feet overhead. I had never been that close to one in flight before. The unmistakable white markings, yellow beak and talons and gargantuan wingspan that easily distinguished it from the more common ravens and falcons in Ocean Shores were clearly visible just before it disappeared over the roofline as quickly as it had materialized. On the third-floor balcony of the house that borders

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Seahawks win! Seahawks win! Seahawks win!

It’s now been a full week since I got to watch Washington State sports history play out on a national stage. With my wife, son and daughter by my side, we watched the Seattle Seahawks easily outmatch the Denver Broncos to win the franchise’s first ever Lombardi trophy. Although I didn’t have a chance to watch a single pre-, regular- or post-season game (since we canceled cable all those years ago), I did get to watch the Super Bowl

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Mariners Caravan kicks off in Lacey!

The 2014 Seattle Mariners Caravan will hit the road on Tuesday, January 7th, visiting communities across the Pacific Northwest to increase excitement for the upcoming season. Select members of the 2014 Seattle Mariners will visit elementary schools and Boys & Girls Clubs to deliver the DREAM Team message and host complimentary autograph and photo sessions for the public. The Mariner Moose and members of the Mariners broadcast team will also join the players to take pictures and provide entertainment

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Charter fishing the waters off Westport

For Fathers’ Day 2013, my dad had gotten the two of us a fishing excursion on Westport Charters in Westport, WA. Father’s Day is in June, but we had to take our trip in early August thanks to the Legislature being unable to complete its business in three consecutive sessions (yes, it still smarts). I had been looking forward to this trip for two reasons: I was anxious for some vacation time spent fishing, and I hadn’t been ocean

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Mud and muck around Millersylvania State Park

Almost every year I pack up the family and head ten miles south of our Lacey home to go camping at Millersylvania State Park, and every time we make plans to take advantage of the miles of woodland trails skirting its edges. Unfortunately, for a multitude of reasons, we’ve never been able to actually hike those trails. But this weekend I was determined to spend some long-overdue and much-needed quality time in the Washington outdoors, so – since we

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Encourage family and friends to wear hearing protection

By John O’Connor, Guest Blogger bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com Hunting is a very popular sport and hobby for many people these days. It is also a favorite activity that many families engage in together as well. When picking a family hunting trip, a great destination to check out could be Washington State. Washington State is a great place to pick for a hunting trip because it is such a diverse area, not just when talking about different types of game but also

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The rains have returned

Fall in Western Washington always brings the wet weather. Sometimes it starts in late August, and sometimes it holds off until October. This year appears to be one of the late years, as we had lots of nice days in September and early October. But make no mistake, fall has finally descended on us. Grey skies, whipping winds, falling leaves, and rain-soaked sidewalks are a dead giveaway. And speaking of dead, Halloween is just around the corner.

Ascending Saint Helens, Part 4 of 4: The gear that got me there

I sincerely hope anyone reading this is inspired to climb a mountain of their own. I hope it’s one of the beloved mountains of Washington State, but any mountain that strikes a chord in your heart will suffice. It’s not just something other people talk about. You can do it too. Just make sure you have the right training, the right gear and the right attitude and you’d be surprised how high you can climb.

Ascending Saint Helens, Part 3 of 4: More than a mountain

I was almost five years old when I rode on my father’s back during a hike on Mt. Rainier one sunny Saturday afternoon. During that walk, he paused for a moment while viewing the distant, lofty, snow-capped peak to the southwest, speculating aloud on the possibility of one of the 18 volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain Range ever erupting. It was May 17th, 1980, and the next morning the world would forever be deprived of the last view my

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Ascending Saint Helens, Part 2 of 4: Rock-hopping at the jetty

After deciding to climb Mt. Saint Helens in early 2012 and committing myself by actually purchasing the permits back in February, Dad and I had been training for the climb for months as the ascent date approached. It wasn’t until August finally arrived that we fully realized the gravity of the task we were about to undertake and upon reevaluation, found ourselves lacking in several training areas. When deciding to climb a mountain (and having never attempted anything like

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Ascending Saint Helens, Part 1 of 4: Gaining in elevation

It was early February of this year when I decided I was going to climb Washington State’s Mt. Saint Helens and peer into the mile-wide crater of the active volcano. As a native Washingtonian, summiting every snowcapped peak in the state had been on my bucket list for longer than I can remember. Years ago, I asked my father – another native Washingtonian with a love for the outdoors – to join me in climbing Mt. Rainier. At 63,

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Don’t mess with park rangers. Seriously.

They’ll kick you out. In the nicest, most passive-aggressive way, they’ll politely ask you to leave. Let me go back and explain what happened. As anyone from Washington State knows, the drive from Seattle to Spokane (or vice-versa) can be riddled with boredom unless you’re playing traffic games with other drivers or looking for something in particular (like totaling up the different crops with names posted on the fence lines to see if it turns out to be a

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Easy week in eastern Washington, Part 2: Be nice or leave

One of the nicest things about going on a fishing trip is that you don’t have to get up early to do it. In fact, you can sleep in as long as you like – which is exactly what we did the morning our adventure began. After all, we weren’t on a schedule, the fish weren’t going anywhere and Linda Hartman makes some of the best hearty breakfasts I’ve ever had. Dad and Lyn have been doing this for

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Easy week in eastern Washington, Part 1: The roads less traveled

My father, Walt Ebel, and I began our second annual trip to the Colville Indian Reservation on a Monday in early June. Dad’s been doing this for decades; he visits his best friend, Lyn, and they spend a week on Twin Lakes at Hartman’s Log Cabin Resort near Inchelium. Last year I decided to finally accept their invitation and had such a good time I wanted to make it an annual part of my summer as well. I even

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Flag Day parade in Ocean Shores

You don’t see a whole lot of Flag Day parades anymore these days. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find half a dozen people who even know what Flag Day is. For those still wondering, Flag Day is a United States commemorative day (not yet an official holiday) that falls every year on June 14, commemorating the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. The reason I remember that date

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Spending National Trails Day at Sahara Creek/Nicholson Horse Trail System

Several weeks ago, I spotted a Facebook post from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources which invited any and all participants to volunteer with trail repair and maintenance. Being that I was in need of some good, old-fashioned dirty, wet and muddy outdoor time I decided to sign up. I checked out the various locations in which DNR needed volunteers and decide that Sahara Creek/Nicholson Horse Trail System would be a great place for me to volunteer. I

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Remembering St. Helens 30 years later

These were my comments printed in the Vancouver Columbian for their 30-year anniversary special on the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. You can read them on the website here: http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/apr/14/lifelong-interest-started-boom/ I’ll be the first to admit that my memory as described below is slightly inaccurate, as I found out from my father after discussing this article with him, however it is still worth posting due to the special occasion. Enjoy! Lifelong interest started with a boom By Erich Ebel

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