Moss covered trail walks

Moss and ferns abound on this fantastic and popular tour in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  Over 150 varieties of moss, and somewhere around 10 types ferns live in our nations wettest place in the contiguous United States. The many shades of green entrance you.

The Olympic Peninsula is very large, and has both a National Forest and a National Park. Because of it’s great size, we have designed a number of different tours on the peninsula.  Now you can choose a rain forest trails tour, or a mountain tops and ridges tour, or both!

This tour, our Rain Forest Tour, into our temperate rain forest, involves heavily wooded trails and moss galore. Because many of the largest trees in the world are here, you’ll see old growth forest, massively large trees, and mosses of various textures and colors.

To register for this tour go to:  https://cherylsnorthwesttours.rezdy.com/197828/olympic-peninsula-and-forest-tour

Kalaloch Beach

Kalaloch Beach

Quinault Lodge

Quinault Lodge

Quinault

Quinault

Sword Ferns

Sword Ferns

Fern Trail

Fern Trail

Ice cream and coffee

Ice cream and coffee

Moss and Ferns

Moss and Ferns

Moss tree

Tree

Moss trail

A trail

This is moss

Shades of Green

Moss scene

Wooded scene

Island fun with Forts and Seafood

Spotlight: Whidbey Island – Deception Pass. Another favorite for locals and guests, this island tour has variety and isn’t too far to get to.

Deception Pass is a water-passage at the opening of Puget Sound where the tides come in and out, bringing an abundance of life to the Puget Sound Region. During the day, you’ll visit an historic military fort in Fort Casey State Park, and see the Admiralty Lighthouse. Because you’re on an island, you can see across Puget Sound to other islands too.

You’ll see a mussel farm and enjoy a seafood lunch, unless you don’t like seafood, in which case we’ll have something else!  Later you’ll undoubtedly see colorful sea stars lavishing under the end of the pier in historic Coupeville, and if the tide is out, you can easily see mussels, barnacles, sea stars, seaweed, and more, right on the beach. Great Blue Heron enjoy this area too and I love seeing these blue/gray birds.

You’ll walk across the 180 foot high Deception Pass bridge if you like, as well as walk a trail to the beach in Deception Pass State Park. At the other end of the island, you’ll take a short ferry ride, then return to your hotel. This is a very popular tour!

To book this tour, go to http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com/near-seattle-tours.php

Seafood dish

Seafood dish

Saltwater Driftwood

Saltwater Driftwood

Deception Pass Bridge

Deception Pass Bridge

Fort Casey State Park

Fort Casey State Park

About the Pass Bridge

About the Pass Bridge

Viewpoint

Viewpoint

Admiralty Lighthouse

Admiralty Lighthouse

Historic Coupeville

Historic Coupeville

Mount St Helens Ape Cave

A cave, under Mount Saint Helens! The Ape Cave, created over 1900 years ago and found in the early 1947s is amazing! About 1900 years ago Mount Saint Helens erupted and a gas bubble under the earth traveled over a mile through the earth. It formed a giant tunnel, unknown to humans until it was discovered in 1947 by a logger.  You can walk in it.  In 1951 a youth group explored the cave, and named the cave after a legend of Apes in the area. (There are no apes in the area.) We provide you with lights, and you will walk down the tunnel until it gets too small to pass through. About 40 minutes each way, it’s such an experience you’ll tell stories about it for years. A Natural Wonder.

On the way you’ll learn about the history of the area, and stop for snacks. You’ll visit one Visitor Center to see the 1980 information, and then you’ll proceed to the Ape Cave.

Another stop on this fun Ape Cave tour is the Trail of Two Forests. Not a long walk and on a boardwalk, you see wonderful cement chimney stacks which are really former trees.  Fun for kids to climb in, interesting scenery for adults.

Lunch is included.

 

Ways of Whales Workshop- Whidbey Island Orca Event

Learn about Orca Whales at this one-day-a-year whales workshop. For your information we share this excerpt from Whidbey-Camano Islands website:
Orca Network’s annual Ways of Whales Workshop will be held Saturday, January 20, 2018, 10:00 am until 4:30 pm at the Coupeville Middle School Performing Arts Center, 501 S. Main St, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA.
The 2018 Ways of Whales workshop features presentations on a wide variety of cetaceans, from blue and humpback whales to the endangered Southern Resident Community of orcas and their primary prey Chinook salmon.
You’ll need to take the Mukilteo – Clinton ferry to get on the Island, unless you come from the North, through Deception Pass. Who knows, maybe you see some Orcas on the way!

January 20 @ 10:00 am4:30 pm      $35

 for more information: http://www.orcanetwork.org
Whale book-Grannys Clan

Whale book-Grannys Clan

2 orcas

Orca Whales

Orca Whales

Whales feeding in Alaska-John Weeber

Whales feeding in Alaska-John Weeber

Motor Coach tour to Christmas Town Leavenworth

An annual ritual, our Motor Coach tour to Christmas Town Leavenworth is one of our most popular motor coach tours. We go on Sunday, not Saturday, and avoid the congestion of the masses of people going on Saturday. Really, Sunday you get in to your restaurants in nearly 1/2 the time as it takes on Saturdays. Wait 1.5 hours on Saturday, but maybe just walk in on Sundays.

Sign up at www.cherylsnorthweststours.com You’ll find the tour on the home page, right side. $82.00 plus 10% tax per person. Children $45.00 plus tax.

Our Motor Coach tour to Christmas Town Leavenworth is special: We pick up at 2 or 3 locations before crossing the pass. We play holiday music, do Christmas puzzles and holiday trivia on the way over, and provide free snacks and water for everyone. We even hold a free raffle drawing for a surprise gift. Once in Leavenworth, you’ll have all day to play, and there might even be snow!

Leavenworth building

Leavenworth building

Sleighride

Sleighride

Gazebo

Gazebo

Who is this??

Who is this??

Inside restaurant

Inside restaurant

Mr and Mrs

Mr and Mrs

At night

At night

20161203_155648

Holiday cheer, wine tasting, and brew pubs are hot spots for adults, and young children revel while sledding in toboggans on the mini-hill right in town. There’s plenty of shopping, too, and many many restaurants to choose from for lunch.

After the lighting at

 

 

approximately 4:30pm, take your time, then return to the coach for the second half of your Motor Coach Tour to Christmas Town Leavenworth.  More snacks, and a holiday movie await you, for a relaxing, memorable day you’ll remember always.

Join us December 10 or December 17, 2017, we’d love to meet you and include you in our holiday festivities aboard our Motor Coach tour to Christmas Town Leavenworth.

 

 

Guided Trail Hikes near Seattle

For light hikers and non-hikers who want to see waterfalls, our trail hikes tour, called Waterfalls,  Mountains and Bavaria, is perfect! We took this tour twice on one week. One day it rained, the other day very sunny.

When we meet, I’ll ask you your preferences and your interests about this tour. Do you like the trails? Do you just want to see waterfalls without walking far? Depending on your preferences, we’ll shift our focus for you, to spend more time on the trails, or more in the Bavarian Alpine Village of Leavenworth, with lots of shops and restaurant choices in this European-style town. If you only want the trail hikes, we can take out Leavenworth altogether and add in a 3rd trail instead. Let’s begin!

Deception Falls

Deception Falls

We have 2 versions of this tour, following is the Clockwise version.

Wallace Falls, outside Sultan on US Highway 2, is the perfect trail for an introduction to our State’s beautiful outdoors. Approximately a 2 mile walk, there are 3 falls and a lot of babbling brook -and river viewpoints to mesmerize you along the way. The first falls, Lower Falls, is an easy walk with only a few roots to maneuver. We turn back at this point for the non-hikers, and you feel like you’ve had the full trail because the views are so spectacular. Middle Falls, further on the trail, has a few short switchbacks but worth every step, and Upper Falls at the end is breathtaking. The entire walk is beautiful with mosses and greenery, the river, and many chirping birds.

Bridal Veil Falls, near Mount Index and across the valley from the Bigfoot Espresso Shop, is easy to see through the trees in April while the leaves are just budding out. A huge, tall waterfall, this falls is viewed from a distance on our tour, but very pretty non-the-less. There are several choices for trail hikes on this tour.  Even here, if you want.

Cheryl Deception Falls

Cheryl Deception Falls

Deception Falls

Deception Falls

July Snoqualmie Falls

July Snoqualmie Falls

March Snoqualmie Falls

March Snoqualmie Falls

Deception Falls on Stevens Pass continues our Waterfalls and Mountains Tour in full force.  The flow is so strong it takes you by surprise with it’s roar. We start with a walk over the bridge and river, where the roar of the water makes it impossible to hear each other talk without shouting. We then walk downstream to a lower falls area, where you see interpretive signs and the serene backdrop of the river and the woods. This trail has such beautiful views of the river, the flora, and natures dams of downed trees and rocks. One of the last known White Pine trees in the Pacific Northwest is on this trail.

What about Lunch! Depending on your decisions, we’ll proceed to Leavenworth or another trail. Leavenworth has such great history and large selection of restaurants to choose from, as well as unique shopping opportunities.

Snoqualmie Falls, the grandest of the grand, also has a trail walk. You view the falls at the top, overlooking the canyon where you are humbled by this 268 foot drop falls. The mist of the falls, according to Indian lore, assists the deceased Snoqualmie Indians to meet their maker. Some days you see the peregrine falcons who live across the canyon. Explore the gift shop if you wish. This summer we saw a mother black bear with her two cubs just down the trail.

Join us!  We’d love to show you this trail hikes tour.  www.cherylsnwtours.com  or call 206 353-3330.

Olympic Peninsula Tour

No Elk sightings today on this Olympic Peninsula Tour, but the woods were alive with fresh water from the recent rains. You can feel the peace of the woods after a rain. The whole forest in Hoh, Lake Quinault, and Lake Crescent feel alive and breathing, deep and calm.

We did see 4 black tail deer, cows, horses, an eagle, some hawks, ducks, and a couple of slugs today. I know, cows and horses? Well, we never know when we’ll see actual wild life, so we watch for whatever we can see in the animal kingdom! Oddly, we have to look hard to find slugs. You’d think they’d be everywhere, but no, they hide well. The black ones and the Banana slugs.

The Olympic Peninsula has many rivers, which were higher due to the season. The Hoh river is quite full of glacial til, leaving the river a milky gray/teal color. it was very very pretty.

The Elwah river and the Hoh both have lots of new trees downed in the river bed, and the Hoh river has re-routed itself within the usual wide riverbed boundaries. It’s fun to see the changes each year.

Ruby Beach, on the Pacific Ocean, also has a new look. Every spring we show up to find the massive over-sized driftwood moved and shifted from the winter storms, and we get to find new ways to get to the beach. Today we decided to look at the beach from the cliff, then travel to Kalaloch where access is easier. Grey Whales were just past the breakers!  Kalaloch’s beach has more sand than drift wood. Of course we grabbed an espresso at the Kalaloch grocery before our journey back to Seattle, via Aberdeen and Olympia. Join us on a tour!  www.cherylsnwtours.com or cal

trail sign

trail sign

Halloween rock!

Halloween rock!

Sword Fern

Sword Fern

Kalaloch Beach

Kalaloch Beach

Olympic Mountains

Olympic Mountains

Deception Pass a Tour to Remember

Actually a water “Passage” not a Pass, our Deception Pass Tour is another of our unique Northwest tours, and takes 6-7 hours.

From Seattle, you will travel North to Mount Vernon, and cross the famous Skagit Valley with its highly nutrient soil. This valley provides a plethora of vegetables, berries, and flowers.

Once through the valley, Deception Pass is the next destination, with it’s beautiful Bridge.  The Deception Pass Bridge is a very popular destination in the Northwest. The views are breathtaking, of North Puget Sound and the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The bridge itself has a fun story of its own, which we’ll share, then invite you to walk across the bridge, or ride with us in our comfortable SUV.  The walk is pretty exciting -and beautiful- and so is the drive.

Once across, we suggest taking a .9 mile trail to the beach, where driftwood, sand, and waves greet you at the shore, along with seagulls and other shore birds.  The Naval Air Station nearby sometimes has fly-byes of various military planes, and sometimes it feels like an airshow.  Other times it is very quiet with no airplanes, which is a wonderful and peaceful experience, listening to the waves lap on shore.

Your next stop is in Coupeville, an historic town you will love. We’ve included lunch with this tour to further your local experience along Puget sound.  The view is tranquil, overlooking the pier and Puget Sound.  You’ll find you are fully immersed with the region, just what the doctor ordered! (Actually, no doctors orders needed).

Next, you’ll visit Admiralty Head lighthouse and Fort Casey, the last stops on the island. These are remnants of a military fort built in 1901 and are very interesting with beautiful scenery.  Finally, you’re off to the Clinton Ferry Dock.  The ferry portion of this tour is as fun as all the other experiences, with 30 minutes of water travel before reaching the mainland. From there it’s a short ride back to Seattle.

Come join us on this unique Northwest Tour.  Book today at www.cherylsnwtours.com.

trail sign

trail sign

Madrona shedding

Madrona tree- shedding

Fort stairs

Fort stairs

Fort from parking lot

Fort from parking

on the Cannon

on the Cannon

Bridge view West

Bridge view West

beach and bridge

beach driftwood and bridge

Admiralty Head Lighthous

Admiralty Head Lighthouse

Mount Saint Helens

Yesterday we visited Mount Saint Helens, during that fall storm of 2016. It was beautiful, the deciduous trees in yellow and orange, and the evergreens were green as ever. Our first stop was to the Silver Lake Visitors Center, and it is very worth the stop.  The movie they show of the eruption is actual video from 1980, and shows the amazing destruction of the blast and the aftermath.

the window

Johnston Ridge window

the road view

On the way to Johnston Ridge

colorful trees

colorful trees

some trees

some trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Forest Learning Center was closed, but is a great place to stop in the summer.

Nine miles from Johnston Ridge, we came across many waterfalls, and boy the water was gushing. The 2016 October storm brought so much rain, we were lucky to see the run-off with all its splendor. Once at Johnston Ridge, we got out of the SUV to find the wind much worse than we thought. The wind speed must have been 25-40 miles an hour; it literally blew us around as we walked up to the Visitors Center. Maybe they should put in a meter to measure wind speed when this happens, that would be fun!

Once inside, the winds were unnoticeable. The real tree trunk, photos, and interactive displays were intriguing, and let us get a full understanding of the destruction. This volcano, Mount Saint Helens, is still very active. Here at Johnston Ridge, they also had a movie, and it was more detailed using technology. They enhanced the actual footage from a photographer taken back in 1980, and give the viewer a deeper understanding of the entire landscape changes following the blast. My, it makes one think. Mount Saint Helens today was not visible, but that was okay, the rest was amazing!

The day from start to finish was 9 hours, with a nice relaxing hot lunch included.

I recommend this Mount Saint Helens trip late spring to mid fall, and you can get there with us, at Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC.  We offer private tours, and also group tours in our  SUV. If you have more than 6 guests, we also use a Mercedes Sprinter van or a motor coach, and if you have one arranged, we can simply join you with your group and take the work out of your day!

We offer a large variety of nearby and regional tours.  I invite you to visit our website http://www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com for more wonderful excursions that will enlighten and intrigue.

Oregon Exploration and History

We recently did an Oregon Exploration with a trip from Seattle through Western Oregon. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love this! Our first stop in Oregon City was as historic as I had hoped, and I loved the museums, the river, churches, and yes, breweries too. I just finished the book Bell on the River, written by a nun originally from Canada near the East coast to join/start a mission. She and others persevered to Vancouver, WA in the early-mid 1800’s via boat & land, through the Panama Canal -before it was there- on this journey to the Pacific Northwest. There are only tidbits of information actually about the Pacific Northwest in the book, but enough to get me to Oregon City myself.

Salem City Street

Salem City Street

Oregon City Church

Oregon City Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Washington and Oregon were states, the North half of the Oregon Territory was primarily occupied by Native Americans and Great Britain. The British, now Canadians, along with Spain, Russia and others, mainly used the land to trap for furs.  The United States joined in, and the British and then-called Americans traded with the Native Americans, acquiring furs from them by trading clothes, jewelry, guns, housewares and more.

In 1846 the United States and Great Britain determined the national border would be on the 49th parallel, following the already established northern border for the central and eastern portion of the United States.  The U.S. to ‘lock in’ and hold the land, offered free land to any emigrant in the U.S. who would travel to, and live in, what is now Washington and Oregon. This was to help preserve the national boundary line. Great Britain wanted the border on the Columbia River, where Portland is. Thus, the Oregon Trail and the West was born, and the beginning of Oregon Exploration.  Please refer to history books for more information and details.

Back to our Oregon Exploration story!

Our tour in March, 2017, continued from Oregon City down to Salem Oregon. We spent the first night of our 5 day journey in Salem, a wonderful city. It was a very clean city with lots of beautiful historic buildings and lots of places to eat and shop. We stayed in the Grand Hotel Salem; it was grand indeed and in the center of town. Go see the historic district while you’re there.

We continued on to Ashland, via Jacksonville. Jacksonville had a unique life of its own.  If you like history about the West, You must go there! Jacksonville is definitely a place to visit. Old historic buildings, a brief tour of the city and a lot about the past are for you to find. The individual shops and restaurants are fairly priced and have a wonder selection of foods and goods. I was delighted at what I found in the garden shop, and the food in the Mexican restaurant delicious. I was tempted, though, at the Italian restaurant, the ambiance is fantastically historic, and the smells enticing. The town has the Britt Festival, a music venue that sounds quite similar to that in Chateau Saint Michelle Winery, in Woodinville, WA.

Restaurant Jacksonville

Restaurant Jacksonville

Park bench

Park bench

Oregon City Church

Oregon City Church

McGlothlin House sign

McGlothlin House sign

Country Store

Country Store

Jacksonville

Jacksonville

Ashland Springs

Ashland Springs

Ashland Springs lobby

 

Ashland was our next overnight stay, and the Ashland Springs Hotel in downtown was as historic and beautiful as ever. If being in the heart of things is important, you should stay here. Only a block from the

Shakespeare Festival, it was a great place to stay with a beautiful lobby and restaurant. There were many bed and breakfasts in town too. If you want to be out of town, then stay at the Ashland Hills Hotel, a retro-modern hotel with lots of amenities including pool and hot tub. Only 10 minutes away.  A flashback to the ‘70s for some of us, it was updated, yet still funky and fun, with very comfortable beds!  The city of Ashland itself is a Foody city, and boy did we indulge! All types of menu items, all types of atmospheres, it was a culinary sensation.

Next we headed to the coast, to Coos Bay, where we stayed at the Mill Casino. It’s right next to a lumber mill, and faces East on Coos Bay. The mill was never heard, but it sure smelled good as we drove by. My room was the largest I have ever stayed in, a suite in fact, with lots of windows looking out at the bay. The clear glass walk-in shower and jetted hot tub made the bathroom huge, and really got the ‘relax’ into this trip. A couple of tug boats went by for our viewing pleasure. Go try the beach, too, for more adventure.

The Mill bedroom

The Mill bedroom

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

rocky beach trees

rocky beach trees

Road Scenery mossy trees

Road Scenery mossy trees

Bridge

Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then to Portland. What a hoot. Staying at the McMenamins Crystal Hotel was an ideal location in downtown. My room was $125 per night, which was a room that shared the bathroom with other rooms. You can get rooms with bath, too. The basement had a 20 foot soaking tub, and the restaurant we had breakfast in (same building) was delicious. A little noisy, but for the price, a good stay. We walked through town all evening feeling safe and enjoyed the wonderful old buildings and architecture. The amount of restaurants full of patrons was surprising, and rivals Seattle. Does anyone eat at home anymore?

Cheryls Catering

Cheryls Catering

Powells Books

Powells Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last day was a straight shot back to Seattle.

Our company offers many regional tours across the Pacific northwest like this Oregon Exploration tour. Primarily Washington and Oregon, we also have a tour to visit Volcano’s in all 3 NW states, so includes Idaho. If interested in learning more, visit our website http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com.  Most of our tours are priced as private tours, but we do have several seasonal tours to festivals, mountains, the ocean and more that you can join in on at a lower price.  See our Seasonal Tours page.