Take A Hike! | An interview with A Serial Hiker
Anyone who’s been to the Pacific Northwest (PNW for short) understands that it really is a beautiful place. There’s so much green, so much nature, so many sites to be seen. Because of all this it’s not hard to believe that hiking is a favorite pastime to many who call the PNW home.
Even if you live in the city you’re never more than an hour away from a good hike. With nature being so close to more urban areas, it’s common to see people wearing their outdoor gear (Patagonia, North Face, etc.) even while walking around the streets downtown. There are many avid hikers who are in the city during the work week and in the mountains when the weekend rolls around.
I have a friend I consider a serial hiker who I have interviewed to get her opinion on the best hikes near us. Whether you’ve never hiked before or if you consider yourself a serial hiker as well, hopefully this interview will point you in the direction of your next hike. This rundown should also give you options of hikes both near and far so you can plan for either a quick trip or a weekend away.
(Forewarning, anything in parenthesis is my commentary.)
What is the most difficult hike you’ve been on in the PNW?
Mailbox Peak near Northbend, WA. The original trail is 2.5 miles long with extreme elevation. They’ve since put in a longer trail with more gradual elevation. When coming back down the trail the incline/decline was so steep that if we wanted to stop we needed to brace ourselves with trees to keep us from falling. Although it’s a difficult hike, it’s definitely worth going; the view is great!
Snoqualmie Falls is pretty easy and kid friendly, but it’s still worth the trip because once you get down to the bottom of the falls it’s beautiful. (It’s not too far of a drive and there’s a really nice viewpoint overlooking the waterfall.)
For those of us that love fun hikes, what would you suggest?
Twin Falls near Northbend, WA. There are a couple of viewpoints of the waterfalls, a cool bridge and this hike gives you a workout without being too hard.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen while hiking?
Cute dogs in hiking gear (I imagine hats and cargo vests), old bridges, old overgrown forests and cool looking vegetation on trees that have fallen.
What hike would you suggest for those of us looking for beautiful scenery?
Mount Storm King near Port Angeles, WA. This hike overlooks Lake Crescent, the Strait of Juan De Fuca and parts of Canada. (I’d like to see this view in person.)
What is your favorite hike in all of the PNW?
Cape Flattery near Neah Bay, WA is the northwesternmost point of the contiguous US. There are amazing views at the end of the hike overlooking an island with a lighthouse, cliff sides and where the Strait of Juan De Fuca meets the ocean. (I want to visit here and be on the northwesternmost point of the country, especially with all those views. This is definitely on my bucket-list.)
Why do you love to go hiking?
It’s challenging and it’s rewarding. Hiking sets your mind at ease and reminds you how much there is to see on earth. Would you rather go hiking or be stuck inside a gym? (I’d much rather be free outside than confined to a treadmill.)
Any tips for new hikers or visitors to the PNW?
Mud! Beware of mud. Wear the right shoes and check the weather before going. Once when visiting Shi Shi Beach it was so muddy that I had to jump from twig to twig to avoid getting stuck and losing my shoes in mud puddles.
Be careful not to get lost. Just a few weeks ago I tried to go on De Leo Wall trail for a short afternoon hike and ended up in a loop with no view for 2 hours. (Do your best not to get lost. Amanda was able to laugh while telling this story now, but I’m sure being lost wasn’t very funny at the time.)
Thank you so much for visiting our blog! We hope this interview has inspired you to get outside, plan your next hike or two and add a few adventures to your bucket-list. Let us know what you think about these hikes and any other favorites you have. And be sure to follow us on social media!
The Best Burgers in the Seattle Southside Area
Burgers. Simple. Delicious. Whether you like yours plain or with everything on them, most people would agree a great burger is a necessity every once in a while. Let me kick off this review by stating a few of the reasons I love burgers.Variety; burgers can have so much variety. You can put anything from a fried egg to bacon, fried mac and cheese, hash browns or peanut butter on them. The possibilities are practically endless.
Convenience; how handy is it to be able to eat your entire entree without using a single utensil? (Handy. Get it?)
The sides; I love all the options in sides. To be honest sometimes the sides are my favorite part. Depending on where you go you can get anything from traditional French fries to tempura green beans, onion rings, sweet potato fries or even poutine. There are so many choices when it comes to sides, this should definitely be a factor when picking where to go for your next burger.
I recently visited a new burger joint I have grown quite fond of and revisited a few old favorites. All the photos in this blog post are from Blue Moon Burger. I tried to keep these all fairly local.
Blue Moon Burger – This place is one of my new favorites. I will definitely be going back. They are located on Alki. The only downfall to this place is that Alki can get really busy especially when it’s sunny and it can be difficult to find parking. Other than that, this place was fantastic! They have indoor and outdoor seating with a view of the Sound. It’s directly across from the beach. But most importantly, they have amazing burgers!
I got the Code Blue burger. It had two patties, Cherry wood smoked bacon, cheddar, blue moon sauce and PEANUT BUTTER on a brioche bun. The combination of flavors with the cheddar, peanut butter and bacon was incredible. The fact that the bacon was Cherry wood smoked made it some of the best tasting bacon I’ve ever had. Between the bacon and the peanut butter, it’s my new favorite burger.
With my burger I got Garlic Parmesan fries. Those were also great. I need to go back to try their onion rings, waffle fries, tots and curry fries. Don’t be mistaken, it does not say curly fries, which is what I thought. Much more interesting than that, they have CURRY FRIES.
My husband likes a much simpler burger. He got the Double Cheeseburger Love with regular fries. His burger had two patties, two slices of American cheddar, ketchup, mustard and pickles on a brioche bun. I’m pretty sure he ordered it without pickles though. He loved it, and their fries.
Overall, we love this place!
Dick’s Drive-in – This is definitely a local favorite. Great burgers, I LOVE their fries! (I order tartar sauce with mine.) These guys are inexpensive and they’ve got really good milkshakes. Dick’s used to be cash only, but within the last year or so, they changed that and I am grateful. There are a couple locations to pick from, but my favorite is the one in downtown Seattle near the Seattle Center. You can stop by Dick’s Drive-in and then mosey on over to the Seattle Center to check out the fountain, science center, Space Needle, see an IMAX movie, etc. Dick’s keeps things pretty old school, which is part of what makes them so great. I think one of my favorite things about this place is how simple they keep their menu. It’s pure.
Five Guys – Five Guys is another chain that originated in Arlington, Virginia. But again, I figure I’ll review it based on our locations as it is still a favorite to many in the area. First off, peanuts. Peanuts everywhere. (So if you have a peanut allergy, just stay away from this place.) When you walk into Five Guys there are boxes and boxes of free peanuts shaping their order line. One reason Five Guys is so good is because they cook their fries in pure peanut oil. They grill their burgers and they have lots of topping options. In addition to their regular fries, they also have Cajun fries.
The Habit Burger Grill – This place is so good. The Habit Burger Grill is a chain that originated in Santa Barbara, California. I’m reviewing our local location because chain or not, I love it there. Fun fact, before they opened the location in South Center my husband and I got to go there for free. They were doing this sort of a test run before their grand opening where they let a small group of people eat there for free. That was a great first introduction. Since then, my husband and I have gone back many times.
We love it there. Their main specialty is their Charburger. (Charbroiled goodness.) Whether you stick with the original Charburger or you venture out into other varieties like their Roasted Garlic Portabella Char or their Teriyaki Charburger, the Charburger is the foundation to all of them. My husband usually gets the Double Charburger and I change it up almost every time. I love the Roasted Garlic Portabella Char and the BBQ Bacon Charburger. They also have great sandwiches and salads.
One of my favorite things about this place is their sides. They have French fries, sweet potato fries, side salads and onion rings, all of which are fantastic, but what I find the most interesting is that they have tempura green beans. I’ve had them, and they are definitely good. My favorite thing is still probably their onion rings, but the tempura green beans are definitely worth trying.
Zippy’s – Zippy’s is a small local burger joint located in White Center. They’ve been around for quite some time and they’re a favorite to many in the area. Zippy’s has been recognized by many foodie apps and reviewing sites including Zagat, Urbanspoon, Tastemade, Yelp and more. Their burgers are great. They have multiple options for size and variety. Sometimes I like to go with the Lil Zip so I don’t over-stuff myself. They also have their original size and another giant burger that if you eat all of it, you get a free t-shirt. They have really good onion rings, fries and tots. Their garlic mayo is AMAZING. I could eat that on everything and I practically do. Another fun thing about Zippy’s is that they only have bottled beverages. And they have a few arcade games.
All of these places are worth trying if you haven’t been before. As everyone’s taste in burgers varies, I have heard many different opinions about which of these places is the best. The answer changes based on who I ask. So it’s important that you try them out to see which one is your favorite. When you decide, let us know! Also, make sure to tell us about your favorite local burger joints. You can let us know in the comments below or on social media!