Monday, August 1, 2011

Back! STS update and WA State, part 1

Hello Everyone Out in Bloggyland!!

I am back from an absolutely terrific trip to Washington State and our youngest son’s wedding. I am going to break the story of our travel into three blog posts. This one will be about our trip to Olympic National Park and Port Townsend, the next post will be about the WEDDING (still have some photos to upload) and the final one will be some ruminations on it all.

Port Townsend, WA: My hubby and I and our son Jacob and his wife Jenn and their three children started our Washington experience by first traveling around the Puget Sound to Port Townsend (where my son has property) and west to Olympic National Park. Our son is a boat builder and is working for the summer as an instructor at a boat school. He and his new wife will eventually make Port Townsend their home. Here are a few pictures of the scenery around PT.
Hubby and our son gazing at the Sound in PT (above).
Another view of PT (below).
Fort Worden Lighthouse (below)
PT at sunset
Olympic National Park: We stayed for four days in the Sol Duc Valley, which is in the northwest corner of the park and features old growth forest, subalpine lakes, and snowy peaks. The Sol Duc River serves as a key highway for coho salmon, running through the valley and ascending to the lakes and headwaters in the surrounding mountains. Sol Duc is also famous for a series of mineral hot springs which were very close to our cabins. Each day we hiked on the well marked trails, starting with a trail that wound up to the Sol Duc Falls.
Sol Duc River below
Sol Duc Falls
More of the trail
Relaxing after our first hike
On the second day, we did our major hike, a 5.2-mile hike to Mink Lake with a 1400 foot elevation gain. We kept a steady, but slow pace with the three kids along. We stopped along the trail for snacks and to view all the wonderful invertebrates. Here is one of the many foot bridges we crossed on this hike.
The kids were really troopers, completing their longest and most difficult hike ever.
Mink Lake in Olympic National Park
Baby came, too!

Here I am walking across a small creek
On our last day, we meandered over to Lake Crescent and down to Hurricane Ridge. The scenery here is just breath taking as you can see from these few photos. Wild lupine is one of my favorite flowers, so you can imagine my delight to see it blooming throughout the mountains. Here is a view of Lake Crescent.
Views from Hurricane Ridge

Wild lupines below!
Olympic National Park is a jewel of a place to visit and a genuine treasure of our national park system. If you have not been there, I would encourage you to put it on your “must see” list. The pictures I included here represent a fraction of the natural beauty of this park.

Slimmer This Summer Challenge update.
I was on vacation last week, plus we had the wedding, but I am happy to report I did really well.

Weight loss:

No weight loss to report. I plan to weigh in again on August 24.

Tracking food: I tracked my food for the first four days. Each tracked day averaged about 1350 calories. Starting on Thursday and through Sunday I stopped tracking because it was the wedding. We hosted a number of events that included food. At each, I was careful to include salads or fruit, however, I also ate in moderation the other wedding event foods. I never once binged or overate on any of these foods. I feel really good about my food choices and feel that I will have no problem getting back to tracking each and every day this week.

Move more: As you read above, I did several hikes in ONP totaling about 10 miles. I believe I was in the best shape ever for the hikes that we did. I was happy with my pace and best of all was only a little sore at the end of the day. While stair climbing is not mountain hiking, I do think it prepared me for some of the switch backs we climbed on hike 2.

What you do not know is that I rented a road bike (!!) from the Broken Spoke in PT once we were settled in at Fort Worden after our ONP excursion. I put about 35 miles on that bike during the 4 days we were in PT for the wedding. There was no odometer on that bike so I am estimating my mileage. PT is hilly!! I had to walk my bike each day up a few of the steepest hills, but each day saw me getting better at them.

Blogger love: Not last week since I was gone. But, I will be checking in on you all soon!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support. Have a great start to your week! TTFN, Michele


  1. Michele, wow-wow-wow-wow-wow! Those are some great pics from ONP and PT. You must be so thankful to be in such great shape right now to enjoy all of that. I can't wait to read about the rest of your trip here!

  2. Wow, you did great this week!!! I love Port Townsend and Fort Warden. I live nearby both, and I really enjoy visiting them. They are so beautiful!

  3. What gorgeous pics! As you know, ALL National Parks are on my list, but can't wait for this one! Also can't wait to see the wedding pics. Glad you had a good and successful trip.

  4. So glad that you had a wonderful time on your trip. The pictures are gorgeous, what a beautiful place to hike and bike! You did really great in staying on track, so proud of you. I can't wait to see you in your wedding duds!

  5. Vacationing and wise eating really can go together. So many really fall off the wagon, give up for a time, and then deal with the weight gain (myself included) - you are a real trooper for not using this trip as an excuse - well done.

  6. Great photos and so glad that you had such a lovely trip. Trips are all what we make them, so kudos to you for how much you enjoy your life.

    FYI: I'm taking a break from blogging. I have to focus on myself instead of the rhetoric out there, which can have it's own repercussions--especially my own rhetoric. Best to you...

  7. Beautiful pictures!! I love the one with your smiling face!!

    Way to go on taking care of yourself on your vacation. So glad you are back safe and sound!!!

    Can't wait to see the wedding pictures and your beautiful dress!

    Keep focused!

  8. Beautiful photos. Sounds like you had a great time.

  9. Oh Joy! What a wonderful break from the everyday life, and how beautiful a place to visit!

    Welcome back!

  10. Hi Michele, welcome back. Glad you had a good time up here in the Pacific Northwest. (I'm just over the border in Vancouver). Your pictures are wonderful, thanks for sharing them with us!!! Have a good Tuesday.

  11. A trip to WA state is one of my final rewards, scheduled for June 2012. Absolutely beautiful, I can't wait!

  12. Great pics. Thanks for sharing. I am glad you had fun and the scale is going to do what you want it to do.

  13. What a great post. You look so happy. I've been to Olympic years ago and remember thinking how different it was from anywhere else I'd seen. Glad you had a great time and that you are doing so well!

  14. After we visited Oregon a few years back, I have always wanted to visit Washington. ONP it particular seems wonderful. Hopefully one day soon.

    Great pics! Thanks for the report.

  15. Your pictures are wonderful! It looks and sounds like the trip was simply amazing!

  16. Awesome picture Michele. I love them all and can't wait to see more.
    You are so strong to be able to stay on plan and be away for so long. I am so proud of all that you've done and are doing.
    You take care and have a blessed and awesome week.

  17. How beautiful, love those pics. Great job sticking to your plan & getting in all the exercise!