18 Favorite Moments From August

1. Kayaking Kachemak Bay

Being out on the water in Kachemak Bay is one of the best ways to get a true feel for Alaska. The trip started from the harbor in Homer, AK and the boat ride across the Bay was beautiful. We arrived in a small cove of one of the many islands in the area and headed out in kayaks to explore. We saw sea otters playing in the water, crazy jellyfish, and even got to hold a starfish. For lunch that day our guide picked wild herbs from Fox Island and prepared a salmon based soup that was amazing.

Crossing Kachemak Bay

Crossing Kachemak Bay

Kayaks docked for lunch

Kayaks docked for lunch

Fresh herbs picked for lunch

Fresh herbs picked for lunch

2. Eating at Two Sisters Bakery in Homer, AK

This little gem is a must try if you are in Homer, AK. We were there during an extremely rainy period. It was fabulous to walk into this warm, cozy bakery filled with delicious smells and tasty food.

Standing outside the bakery, stalling before going back out into the rain

Standing outside the bakery, stalling before going back out into the rain

3. Visiting Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier is the only area you can drive into Kenai Fjords National Park. There is a short trail that takes you from the visitor center parking lot up to the glacier. Along the way there are markers identifying the recession of the glacier over the past 100 years. Over the past 200 years the glacier has receded 1.25 miles. Exit Glacier is still huge, but you can really see how much it has melted in a relatively short period of time.

Classic jump pic at Exit Glacier

Classic jump pic at Exit Glacier

4. Podcasting On Our 44-Hour Drive From Alaska To British Columbia

We decided to hightail it out of Alaska due to the rainy weather (as you have heard us complain about for weeks). Living out of a truck where it is already tough to keep things clean and organized is much more challenging in wet conditions. The rain was starting to get to us so we decided to move on. The drive time was 44 hours (not including breaks/traffic/construction) and we did it in 4 days.

A few of our favorite Podcasts are This American Life, TED Talks, Revisionist History, and Serial. It’s a fantastic way to pass the time and always leads to engaging conversation.

Fact - Michael drove the entire way!

Another fact - Michael is the sole driver of this trip so far - nearly 10,000 miles all driven by Michael. He’s determined to finish the road trip as the only driver which might deserve it’s own post.

Michael = The BEAST. A short break to stretch the legs on our last day driving from Alaska to Whistler, BC

Michael = The BEAST. A short break to stretch the legs on our last day driving from Alaska to Whistler, BC

Pull off before exiting Alaska and entering Yukon, Canada

Pull off before exiting Alaska and entering Yukon, Canada

5. Camping in Whistler and Meeting Our New Friend Chris

We found an incredible campground and casually snagged the best spot in the “house” at 9:30 in the morning (amazing achievement this late in the morning). We stayed at the Nairn Falls campground which is located just south of Pemberton, BC and only 15 minutes north of Whistler. The spot was gorgeous, with a raging opaque-turquoise river running by and many hiking/biking trails to explore directly from the campground.

Our spot was so incredible that we had five other campers ask us when we were leaving and if they could take our site. The first gentleman to approach us was Chris. He turned out to be a super nice guy and a local that gave us loads of tips for the area as well as new areas to explore in Washington. He even offered us his cabin in Glacier, WA to stay at (see more on this below).

Hanging out in the truck at Nairn Falls Campground over looking the insanely beautiful opaque river below

Hanging out in the truck at Nairn Falls Campground over looking the insanely beautiful opaque river below

6. Backpacking to Wedgemount Lake

This was such an epic overnight backpacking trip it has it’s own blog (soon to come!). Check out this photo as a sneek peak into how beautiful it was!

Wait till you see the rest of the photos from this epic location....

Wait till you see the rest of the photos from this epic location....

7. Mountain Biking in Squamish and Whistler

The biking in both Squamish and Whistler is incredible! Many consider this area to the best mountain biking destination in North America. If you are a mountain biker add these two locations to your bucket list. The trails are flowy and full of features and twisty turns throughout.

Hard to see, but Michael riding over the skinny bridge passing by a waterfall

Hard to see, but Michael riding over the skinny bridge passing by a waterfall

8. Making New Friends and Rock Climbing in Squamish

It’s amazing how quickly you can make new friends when traveling. You meet other travelers and somehow you create a bond quickly and before you know it you’re out doing fun activities together. We met Slava and Rhiannon while they were eating a “homemade” dinner on a old dock in Squamish. Slava offered beers and the conversation started flowing. We then bumped into them along with our “old friends”, David & Tracey, in a coffee shop the following day.  Slava was determined to boulder that day and asked if we wanted to join. We packed up in about 60 seconds, piled into a van (the 6 of us), and headed for the climbing spot!

Attempting a tough bouldering problem

Attempting a tough bouldering problem

On Belay

On Belay

9. Swimming in Mountain Lakes

Diving into the icy cold waters in a high alpine lake being fed by a glacier is surreal. It feels especially good on a warm sunny day and is absolutely invigorating! We only last a few minutes in the water at best.

Diving into the icy cold waters of Garibaldi Lakes

Diving into the icy cold waters of Garibaldi Lakes

10. Going BIG in Vancouver

Possibly the best dinner of our lives! This was such a treat and a night to remember it has it’s own blog posting. Check it out here.

Parking the truck before our big dinner at Blue Water Cafe in Vancouver

Parking the truck before our big dinner at Blue Water Cafe in Vancouver

11. Biking Vancouver

The city is gorgeous and best explored on a bicycle. We rode the paved path through Stanley Park and around the perimeter of the city. We made sure to stop for sushi for lunch and gelato for dessert.

Cruising around the perimeter of Vancouver

Cruising around the perimeter of Vancouver

Tasty treat from Bella Gelateria

Tasty treat from Bella Gelateria

Ready to chow down at Kaide Sushi Bar

Ready to chow down at Kaide Sushi Bar

Beaches in Vancouver

Beaches in Vancouver

12. Mountain Biking Galbraith – Bellingham, Wa

Another amazing area for mountain biking. The trails have more twisty tight turns than we have ever done before. Great place to practice your maneuvering skills.

Michael crushing the skinnies in Mount Galbraith

Michael crushing the skinnies in Mount Galbraith

13. Exploring Mount Baker

Thank you to our new friend Chris who recommended we explore the Mount Baker area! We found a true gem in Washington and North America. This area is incredible! It’s gorgeous, full of incredible hikes, and overall not too crowded.

Resting at Heliotrope Galcier

Resting at Heliotrope Galcier

Chain of Lakes hike at the top of Mt. Baker

Chain of Lakes hike at the top of Mt. Baker

An insane view around every corner on the Chain of Lakes trail

An insane view around every corner on the Chain of Lakes trail

14. Staying in Our New Friend’s Cabin

This was a crazy experience that comes with the flexibility of long-term travel. We met a guy in Whistler, Chris, who told us about this area in Washington we had never heard of and offered us his cabin. We showed up and he gave us a key, so we let ourselves in. It was perfect! This awesome little cabin in the tiny town of Glacier allowed us take hot showers and cook a nice meal using a real kitchen! It was great! Thank you Chris!

15. Watching the Sunset Over the Ocean

Now that we are on the coast we try to catch the sunset as many evenings as we can. One of our favorites was a cool spot at Dogfish Point just south of Bellingham, Washington. These are the moments we sit back and appreciate how lucky we are to be on this adventure.

Sunset at Dog Point

Sunset at Dog Point

16. Exploring the North Cascades and Hwy 20 Scenic Drive

Driving the Highway 20 loop in Washington is gorgeous! The loop takes you through the North Cascades National Park, up into the mountains, through the old western town of Winthrop, through miles and miles of fruit orchards, then into the Bavarian style city of Leavenworth, and finally back around to the greater Seattle area. One highlight of this loop is hiking the Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Hammock relaxation time at our campground in the North Cascades

Hammock relaxation time at our campground in the North Cascades

Liberty Bell on Washington Pass

Liberty Bell on Washington Pass

Sunset in Leavenworth, Wa while enjoying a beer at Icicle Brewery

Sunset in Leavenworth, Wa while enjoying a beer at Icicle Brewery

Hike to Colchuck Lake in the Enchantments

Hike to Colchuck Lake in the Enchantments

17. Eating Fresh Fruit in Washington

We had been driving through miles and miles of fruit filled orchards when we came to a roadside fruit stand. We pulled over and stocked up on apples, plums, pears, peaches, and nectarines. All the fresh produce came directly from the farms surrounding us and were literally the best pieces of produce we have ever eaten, especially the pears!

This is before we realized how tasty the fruit even was. The best!

This is before we realized how tasty the fruit even was. The best!

18. Exploring Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is enormous! We arrived at the visitor center and instantly were overwhelmed by all the places we wanted to visit. During our visit we were able to squeeze in a sunrise in the high alpine, a backpacking trip along the coast, and a hike in the rain forest. All spectacular and unique!

Sunrise on Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Sunrise on Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Hiking through the forest headed to the ocean from the Ozette Trail Head

Hiking through the forest headed to the ocean from the Ozette Trail Head

Struggling to get by the enormous drift wood along the coast in Olympic National Park

Struggling to get by the enormous drift wood along the coast in Olympic National Park

Campsite with a beachfront view (Sand Point, Olympic National Park)

Campsite with a beachfront view (Sand Point, Olympic National Park)

Hiking along the coast, gorgeous, but a lot harder than walking on a trail

Hiking along the coast, gorgeous, but a lot harder than walking on a trail

One big lesson we have learned from this trip is that you just can’t see and do everything in every location. There is seriously too much! We both get excited about exploring a new area and wish we could stay and do it all, but with our vague timeline we simply don’t have time. We could easily spend multiple days, weeks, probably even months in many of the places we visited during the month of August. We hit some highlights and kept moving. We know we only got a taste of each of these areas but hope to return to many of them in the future.