Northwest Destination

A sacred place for tribes, Mount Shasta has become a spiritual draw for people of the Pacific Northwest.

Mount Shasta – Metaphysical Beacon

The spiritual retreat in search of Telos written by James Sinks photography by Discover Siskiyou To some, like meteorologists, the disc-shaped lenticular clouds that frequently form on Northern California’s Mount Shasta are a perfectly natural phenomenon, caused when rising warm air is sandwiched by cooler air above. Yet to others, those actually aren’t clouds at all, but rather flying saucers touching down on the mountain—or maybe they are clouds that are hiding UFOs inside. And that’s just the beginning of otherworldly and magical happenings that are said to happen on or near the 14,179-foot Cascade Range volcano, the second-highest peak in the state. The dual-cone Mount Shasta has long been a centerpiece of spiritual legend, since it was a sacred place for the many indigenous tribes including the Shasta and Modoc who once shared the Siskiyou region, straddling the Oregon and California border. Today, the mountain and unassuming slopeside community…

Flavors of the Far East abound on the Dumpling Trail in Richmond, BC.

Richmond, BC

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture written by James Sinks photography by Tourism Richmond The Canadian city of Richmond, located just south of Vancouver BC, sits a mere three feet above sea level. So, like other major low-lying locales, the place guards against flooding with dikes and pump stations—which here can expel 1.4 million gallons every minute. Yet Richmond has long welcomed a flood of a different sort: The city of 210,000 has attracted waves of migrants from across the Pacific, and today the former farming and fishing community boasts North America’s highest concentration of people who identify as Chinese, at 53 percent. Three quarters of the population is of Asian descent. As a result, just a twenty-five-minute drive from the U.S. border, you can immerse in the vibrant culture and rich flavors of the Far East, from dim sum to spicy hotpots to karaoke. The New York Times in 2018…

Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone is just one spectacle in the spectacular national park.

West Yellowstone

This gateway town is erupting with outdoor experiences written by Tony Camper Old Faithful geyser and its surrounding 2.2 million acres became the United States’ first national park in 1872, when President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law. Largely in Wyoming, its western boundary and gateway is the tiny town in southern Montana, West Yellowstone. Nordic skiers know it for its hospitality during regional races. Naturalists and adventurers know it for its basecamp amenities while they explore the region. Everyone should know West Yellowstone for the opportunities it presents. In late spring and into the summer, snow recedes leaving hearty trails to hike, singletrack to ride and rivers to fish. If you enjoy all of these, you’re in for an experience you won’t soon forget. When it comes to visiting Yellowstone, we recommend beginning with a guide or tour service. There is an overwhelming amount of territory and history…

Seabrook follows the planning tenets of New Urbanism, with its twin goals of environmental sustainability and livability.

Stunning Seabrook

Discover seaside delights at this Washington destination Written by James Sinks If the picture-perfect beach hamlet of Seabrook feels like it is out of a movie, it’s by design. Nestled between Gray’s Harbor and Pacific Beach a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle, the resort town is modeled in part by Seaside, Florida, the tidy community that helped to inspire The Truman Show. In Seabrook, the starring attraction is one of the most striking stretches of coastline in Washington, set against a beachfront community peppered with fire pits, parks, eateries and promenades. Seabrook invites you to do everything on foot. First opened in 2004 and now up to 475 houses—many of them vacation rentals with ocean views—the Cape Cod-evoking development follows the planning tenets of New Urbanism, with its twin goals of environmental sustainability and livability. Instead of navigating oceans of asphalt and strip malls, Seabrook invites visitors to ditch their cars…

Sip carménères and viogniers amid the Blue Mountains at Kinhaven Winery & Vineyard.

Walla Walla Springs Forward

Holiday wine spurs spring wanderlust written by Everett E. Cummings It is this time of year when the brooding dark fruit, the languorous vanilla and the rich earthy notes of a holiday red wine awaken something in your dormant wanderlust and put the small wine warren of Walla Walla on your spring schedule. For most Oregonians, Walla Walla, in the southeastern corner of Washington, is far enough away to feel like a journey yet close enough to make a long weekend trip. Early May each year, Walla Walla buzzes with lovers and wine lovers pouring into the tasting rooms downtown and driving out to the vineyards in the rolling hills as they climb up into the Blue Mountains to the east. The annual Spring Release weekend, May 6 through May 8, is one of the signature events for the town and one of the most intriguing for oenophiles anywhere. In…

Free tours are offered daily at the Parliament Buildings overlooking Victoria, BC’s Inner Harbour.

A Victoria Venture

Traipse back in time and across cultures on Vancouver Island, BC written by John Macdonald Note: At the time of writing in mid-August, Canada began welcoming back fully vaccinated leisure travelers from the United States who have proof of being fully vaccinated. We all have our own reasons for visiting Victoria. My reason was quite narrow. I wanted to walk Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown, also known as Canada’s narrowest street. In the era of social distancing and pandemics, I realize this may not resonate with everyone, but, for me, it was a grounding starting point to explore the history of Vancouver Island and Victoria. Vancouver Island’s largest ethnic groups are British descendants and Chinese, the former because it had been a fur trading outpost and then British colony, the latter population largely streaming in after the 1858 gold rush. Chinatown is Canada’s oldest and second in North America only…

Palouse Falls

Northwest Destination — Palouse Falls and Pullman

Visiting one of Washington’s zen wonders and its collegiate neighbor written by Kevin Max After years of hearing about the natural wonder of Palouse Falls, I finally put it on my schedule. Neither my regular driving nor typical flight routes would ever get me close enough to this remote southeastern Washington site to make it feasible. Starbuck, Washington, where Palouse Falls flows, is at least an hour-and-a-half drive north from Walla Walla, southwest from Spokane and northeast of the Tri-Cities. But, damnit, this was named Washington’s state waterfall in March 2014, and I was determined to see why. Kids from Washtucna Elementary School, 17 miles away, helped write the bill that would designate this as a state gem. I wanted to see what they saw. As a rule, I never overplan. Nothing unexpected ever comes to those who overwrite possibility with assurance. I packed a one-man, one-dog tent, a good…

Northwest Destination — Retreat to Camano Island, a pint-sized nirvana for all manner of play

written by Heather Larson In 1949, a group of 500 locals brought their tools and sweat equity to a beach site at Point Lowell on Camano Island and built a park in one day. Camano Island State Park became the first on the island, a place where residents and visitors could recreate. In 2007, Freedom Park, a 12,000-square-foot wooden playground, was constructed in five days by 1,000 volunteers. Camano Islanders love the outdoors and have developed some remarkable spots for all to enjoy. The island feel remains rural, peaceful and mostly undiscovered, yet there’s enough to do to keep you on-island for however long you stay.   A ninety-minute drive from Seattle—no ferry ride required—the “easy island” stretches to almost 16 miles in length and extends 6 miles at its widest point. Edged by Port Susan on the east and Saratoga Passage on the west, water sports flourish. The ideal…