Home from Nisqually: Silver Lake and Ridgefield

After our day at Nisqually, we left Centralia the next morning and raced the rain back to Portland, with two stops along the way: Seaquest (WA) State Park at Silver Lake, and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The Wetland Haven trail at the Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center (across the highway from the state park camping area) provides up close views of the mountain, and a boardwalk through the wetlands. At Ridgefield, for the second time this winter we drove the Auto Tour in the rain. Always worthwhile, despite the weather challenges. I have many photos of in-focus raindrops with blurry birds in the background, a tribute to the camera’s autofocus capabilities, but otherwise not very interesting. The Pacific Northwest is going to force me to build up my manual focus chops.

More about this trip on Nancy’s blog.

(Click on an image to visit the full gallery.)

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, February 2022

At the end of February we finally made it to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, outside of Olympia, Washington. This amazing sanctuary has been on our to-go list for a long time, encouraged by the photos and descriptions on our online friend Bonnie Rae’s blog, and it did not disappoint. It wasn’t exactly a “winter warmth” getaway from a weather standpoint, leaving Portland in the snow, arriving at the Visitor Center the next morning with the temperature inching into the 30s, keeping our balance on the crust of ice on the trail and boardwalk. But there was a different warmth in spending long slow hours exploring a beautiful place, encountering creatures we’d never seen, and getting to know new friends. Thanks for hosting us, Gretchen Staebler!

More about this trip on Nancy’s blog.

(Click on an image to visit the full gallery.)