[Wander Washington] Searching for Swimming Holes along the Skykomish

When we first moved up to the Pacific North West a year and a half ago, one of the first things my husband said to me was: “Now, how do we get to those swimming holes?!” Both of us born and raised in California, myself from the Bay Area and him from the High Desert in Southern California – most of our aquatic adventures had been to the beach, or a community pool, or with water balloons in the backyard on a long, hot afternoon. When we lived in Oregon, we lucked out – our new neighborhood friends told us about a stellar iPhone app, aptly titled Oregon Swimming Holes. Now, there are some fantastic applications for Forests in the Pacific North West, as well those for Wildflower, Plant and Fungi Identification – but so far to date, I haven’t seen any remnants of anything similar up here; which initially felt disheartening – but then, we turned it into an adventure; making notes on maps, dropping pins and doing some research.

It wasn’t until weeks later, wrapped in a vibrant conversation with a local that we were slyly informed of where the getting was good. And now that I understand Washington, and Seattle, more and more, I think I know why there isn’t an app that’s easy-peasy, lemon squeazy: they want you to pioneer your own life, to be a maker of your own moments. Washington and Seattle are rich with a strong craft and small business community, and within that – there are strong notions of being able to do for your self, and make it self sustainable. If being told “It rains a lot!” is enough to deter you from either visiting, or moving, you’re probably not going to have a good time; but here’s a hint: it really doesn’t rain a lot! It’s actually beautiful most days, and if you don’t like the weather – just wait thirty minutes. Anyhow, I digress. So, we took their advice – pack up a picnic basket, grab a swimsuit, and take the 2 East; then, enjoy!

So, we took a Summer drive along the winding Skykomish River and let our wanderlust guide us the rest of the way. All along the freeway, there are hidden nooks and crannies where you can hop out of your car, and into the refreshing, roaring waters. Pro Tip: if you’re unsure where to stop, just look at where the other cars along the way are, then plan accordingly and don’t be afraid to double back! I recommend a solid pair of water shoes, as I managed to slice my foot pretty well on the side of a rock – but besides that, my only other piece of advice is to give yourself a whole day and really enjoy marinating in a magical slice of wilderness.

As we gallivanted along our route, a spotted sky gave way into gradients of bright blue, echoing the vibrancy of the lush forest against the rushing Skykomish. It felt like Fern Gully, or even Avatar – and could make you believe that fairy tales were real. Descending down to the waters edge, you could see to the bottom of the river as the water cascaded over, around and even through some of the ancient pieces of rock that were lodged in the river.

Walk in nature and feel the healing power of the trees.” – Anthony William

From Monroe to Gold Bar, Index, Baring, and the town Skykomish – as you head towards Eastern Washington, it feels like there are an infinite amount of places to get lost for a few hours, so that you can rediscover yourself at your core.

Where do you turn to find your next big adventure? Do you ask around, find an app, research in a magazine or just wing it? Let me know in the comments below!

The Wednesday Watercooler

You’ve been up since 6:30 am and it’s been a long, arduous day.

Maybe you went to the gym before work you little go-getter, you.

Maybe you’re attempting to be frugal and you’re spending your downtime doing daily meal prep so you can save some scrilla.

Maybe you’ve been hitting the snooze button on repeat and have no desire to open your black-out blinds and realize it’s a gorgeous day.

Regardless, the fact of the matter is the world did in fact decide to go on without you; and there’s been some ridiculous stuff going on.  Here are the stories, websites and blogs you should have wasted some time on today….

Education

Too Cool for School: DJ Afrika Bambaataa, one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop, has just accepted a position as a visiting scholar at Cornell.  Fun fact: Cornell has the largest living archives on Hip Hop Culture.  Now that’s something I’d go back to school for.

For-Profit Colleges:  In a recent statement, the Senate has released a dense and critical report on the state of ‘For Profit’ colleges in this country; with the final word being that For Profit Universities have an elevated drop out rate and are far more likely to place a student into debt than a State or Private college.

Entertainment

Checkbook DJs:  We’ve all heard of the “laptop” DJ; they’re great at button pushing and don’t know what beat matching is. Well now, there’s a new breed.  The TOP 100 DJ Poll, once considered the Holy Grail of DJ status, has proven itself to be faulty.  Now, anyone who saw Guetta at the top of the list last year probably has a head start on the sentiment; but consider this new information.  DJ’s are now cheating on their DJ mag poll; buying placement in the magazine and buying votes.

Science + Technology

MarsBeing a science geek growing up wasn’t exactly considered cool; but living in a time where we can go and explore another planet definitely is! Click any of the links below for pictures, articles, etc on the great discoveries happening on the Red Planet.

Obama tells NASA: If Curiosity finds Martians “please let me know.”

Curiosity produces a Panoramic View of Mars

Mars and the Search for Life

Sports

Summer Olympics Roundup: In case you’ve been hiding under a rock these last few weeks, you should be well aware of the Summer Olympics in London.  There was Mean Girl Makayla, and that really gorgeous idiot that can swim; but most of all there were some ridiculous moments during the opening and closing ceremonies for the games.  James Bond and the Queen; Mr. Bean; The Spice Girls; Horrible humor.  It was very, very  British of them. Below you’ll find some of my favorite Olympic inspired blog posts and memes…

The Best of: McKayla is Not Impressed

Peeing in Pools with Ryan Lochte

10 reasons that Ryan Lochte is America’s Sexiest Douchebag

Baseball: The Mariners have pitched a perfect game.  I’m still trying to care about it, but if you like baseball or the Mariners: good for you, Glen Coco.