19 August 2011

{19aug2011: flashback Friday}

Darwin 8months old at the beach near Seaside, Oregon
Darwin 2years and 5months old at the beach in Pacific Beach, Washington

On a completely unrelated topic, I've started wogging (walking + running) with Darwin and am thinking about getting either a water bottle waist pack for me or a back pack that can hold water for Darwin. Anyone have any recommendations? So far we only go 2.5 miles, but I worry about her getting too hot. I plan our wogging route based on water stops we can make for her (pea patches - drink out of the water hose, park bathroom - drink out of the sink, and parks - drink from the water fountain) but that limits how far we go cause I dont want to go too far between water pit stops for her.

18 August 2011

{18aug2011: Olympic Peninsula part 2}

See part 1 of our Olympic Peninsula vacation here.
After a good dinner (grilled steak, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli - yes, Darwin had some too) and a good breakfast (thick butcher bacon, rice and eggs - yes, Darwin had some too) we headed out for a day of hiking. There's a fine line between the Olympic National Forest and the Olympic National Park, and dogs are only allowed in very limited areas in the National Park so to stay safe we went over to the Quinault Rain Forest (about a 45 min drive from Pacific Beach) and found a good 4-5 mile loop hike to start the day.
Along the trail there were a bunch of wild golden raspberries growing so we all sampled a few (yes, Darwin too).

One of Darwin's favorite things about hiking is wooden bridges to cross. Whenever we approach one she loves to run ahead (she usually sticks right behind the leader unless she knows where we're going) and run back and forth over them.
Although it was misty and overcast, it was still beautiful hiking through the forest.
As we were walking out of the forest area and towards Quinault Lake, I made a great find.
A four leaf clover! We were walking along and I was saying, do people actually find four leaf clovers, and all of a sudden I spotted one! I do think it brought me luck because as we were driving around later in the day I was the only one in the car to spot a black bear along the side of the road!
After the trail through the forest ended we connected to a trail that went by the lake edge. You know what that means for Dar.
The Quinault Rain Forest is home to the world's largest Sitka Spruce. As we were driving to see it there was a sudden downpour... like one minute outside of the car and you were soaked down to your socks. The sign said it was only .2 miles to see it so we decided to chance it (we left Darwin in the car for this). Jason and I ran in the downpour, I could not help but laugh hysterically the whole time. I didn't want to chance getting my camera wet so it stayed behind in the car so no pictures. After looking at the tree for a second we ran back. By the time we got back to the car (at the most 6 minutes round trip) the rain had stopped. hahaha.
We headed back to Pacific Beach after driving around for a bit and while Jason's mom and I checked out the few shops in town, Jason and his dad took Darwin back to the beach.
On Sunday morning we cleaned up the place and loaded up the car to go. I took Darwin for one last romp on the beach. She managed to find a dog to play chase with for a little bit (after one loop of chase she was tired and when the other dog came back she walked away - hahaha).
We were planning to make one more stop for a hike on the way home, but all the driving of the weekend (we filled up the tank two times during the three days) and we were all tired and ready to get back to Seattle (it was a 3 hour + drive from Pacific Beach to Seattle). It was a fun weekend and we plan to go back out to the coast soon!

16 August 2011

{16aug2011: Olympic Peninsula part 1}

Man, it's been busy around here! Let's do a little catch up.
Last month after we got back from Hawaii, Jason's parents came out to Seattle and finally got to meet their grand-dog-ter in person! They had planned to spend the weekend out here so we took off Friday from work so we could spend the weekend on the coast and check out theOlympic Peninsula.
We loaded up the car early Friday morning and headed out. We took the ferry over to Bainbridge (30min) then drove a bit toward Port Angeles (1.5hrs) and decided to stop for a hike so we could all stretch our legs. Jason's dad was happy to get out of the car to get a break from Darwin's ear cleanings.
Of course a road trip with Jason has to include (if at all possible) a brewery stop, so we stopped and had lunch at Peaks Brew Pub.

The beers were pretty good... the food was okay. They did have this funny sign up though.
After lunch and a wine tasting at a winery along the way we finally made it to Pacific Beach. We had booked a cute cottage for the weekend and it was perfect for the 5 of us. Pacific Beach is a tiny little town but it's in a great location right on the Pacific Ocean and close to the hiking spots we wanted to check out. As soon as we unloaded the car we headed down to check out the beach.

Darwin had a blast chasing the birds....

And checking out the crab pieces.

Beaches in the Pacific Northwest are so different from the beaches I grew up with in Hawaii. The PNW beaches seem to all be very flat and super wide. It seems like you could walk out for at least a mile before the water reached you waist! 

As we walked along the beach we found a lot of sand dollars! My first time finding these things! We found a bunch and took them back to the cottage to wash off where they went from grey/purple to a dirty white. (I have mine sitting in the windowsill where they are slowly whitening up even more.) It was a pretty busy day just driving out to the coast so Darwin was nice a pooped. She quickly hopped up on the bed (we've learned to bring our own sheet and blanket to cover the bed with first) and was out.

10 August 2011

06 August 2011

{05aug2011: woo hoo}

Thanks for the comments on our last wordless Wednesday post. Many of you asked about the mustached fellow. On all my trips I bring along a new toy to come on our adventure.
My red velvet cupcake came to Peru:

Bert the owl and Paddie the pickle came to Cambodia:

I've had a stuffed corn in Indiana, pineapple Pete in Hawaii, and other friends join us on our trips. This time it was Macho Ninja's turn. 

Anyway, back to the post at hand. When Darwin was under a year old and we went to Marymoor Park, she used to always go in the water on hot summer days. And not just go in, but actually play in the water.
Winter came and went and the next summer she would not go in. No matter if it was HOT HOT HOT out she wouldn't do it. Fair enough to say that the entry into the water at Marymoor isn't ideal. It's not a gradual slope in, but rocks or steps.
Darwin doesn't seem to like going in on the steps. Not being able to really see the next step down freaks her out.
The other weekend I took Dar to the park and it was HOT out. Not rest of the country hot, but  mid 70's Seattle hot. On Saturday my friend Susan came to the park with us and I tried going down into the water (it's shallow enough that it only comes up to mid thigh) and Darwin spent the 15 minutes I was in there trying to lure her in, standing on the steps barking at me. No go.
Sunday Darwin and I went back to the park and it was hotter than the day before. I got in the water again and again she barked at me. Marymoor has 4-5 different entry points into the water so I got out and we walked around and tried what I thought would be and easier spot. I stood there for about 20 minutes, this time two other strangers on the steps with their dog tried to help coax Dar in. She got close at one point as I lured her with treats and she took one step into the water, but then quickly backed out. By then some of our other Dane friends showed up so we did a few laps around the park with them.
We got back to the waterhole and this time all the Danes went straight in the water (Sirus, Georgia, Phoenix and Archimedes) and Darwin stayed on the side. I got back in the water along with Phoenix and Archimedes' mom and the other owners stayed on the step. Darwin barked at first, but I think convinced by all her friends being in the water, built up the courage and got in!
Georgia and Archimedes
Darwin and Georgia
Darwin and Winston
Once in the water Darwin was fine, even happy to be in.
We haven't been back to the park in a couple weekends and it's supposed to be hot again this weekend. I'm hoping Darwin will remember how easy it was to get in last time and do it again without all the drama!