Port Townsend, Washington

Recently my husband and I decided to do a road trip to explore Port Townsend, Washington.  Port Townsend is located on the Quimper Peninsula which extends out of the extreme northeastern end of the Olympic Peninsula. For more facts about this town visit https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Townsend,_Washington

Between the breathtaking views, the food, and exploring different wineries and shops. This was an experience of a life time.  We took the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry to Port Townsend, which is a 30min ferry ride across the sound.  Then once we arrived at Kingston it was a 40min drive to the town of Port Townsend.  We stayed at a beach front hotel called the Tides Inn & Suites.  The hotel was built in the 40s.  Lots of old school seaside decor which gave the hotel lots of character.  My husband and I stayed in one of their suites.  Due to the old nature of this building we weren’t allowed to use our balcony because it was under construction.  However, the big jacuzzi tub in our room made up for it.  We woke up in the morning to the sound of seagulls and looked out our window to find a bunch of seals swimming right off our beach.


Later that afternoon we set off onto an adventure to seek out some wine tasting at the Port Townsend Vineyards. Which was one of the best wineries we had ever been to. They had a nice selection of their own house blends.  They grow their grapes in the Columbia Valley and down in Oregon in the Willamette Valley.  They also have a unique restaurant called the Vintage Wine Bar & Plaza located along the waterfront on Water St. The employees and staff were very outgoing and friendly.  Greeted everyone with a smile. Educated us about their wines and how they got started.  Relaxing atmosphere and definitely worth visiting again.




After wine tasting we decided to tour Water St. Which is the main street along the water front with all sort of shopping and food. My two favorites of course! As we were shopping, we stumbled upon an ice cream shop known as the Elevated Ice Cream. Which had homemade ice cream, fine chocolates, and gourmet coffees…Yep we were going in to investigate more. However, when you have a dairy allergy you don’t get too excited.  But I was pleasantly surprised to find they had a whole selection of non-dairy ice cream.  I was ecstatic and overwhelmed with joy. 8 different non-dairy flavors to choose from. Oh yes. I was doing my happy dance.  So, for those who cannot have dairy this is a place for you to visit.



Here are the 8 different flavors


Before we ended our journey we stopped at The Old Whiskey Mill which is an amazing restaurant with large portions of food.  You will not be disappointed. Highly recommend visiting this place while your here.  Its located on Water Street with in walking distance of all the shops and our hotel.  My husband had their bloody marry with bacon flavored vodka.


Port Townsend has lots of places to explore and eat.  Here are some more scenic photographs from our trip.


Photographs taken by Erin Hogan

North cascades Big four ice caves

Recently my friend Debbie Troxler and I decided to do a spontaneous hike to the Big Four Ice Caves.  Luckily for us its just a short little drive up the Mountain Loop Highway.  We almost get that feeling like we’re playing in our back yard.  Some times I forget how spectacular and beautiful Mother Nature can be and how breathtaking the fall colors are this time of year.  Absolutely stunning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Four_Ice_Caves Of course I had to do some research on one of my favorite hikes .  The link above states some very interesting facts.   The ice caves are located 21 miles east of Granite Falls, WA.  Along the Mountain Loop Highway in the North Cascades.  It is one of the most popular hikes in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest attracting over 50,000 visitors per year. 

This beautiful hike is a 2.2 mile round trip mostly flat with a few hills. Easy for hikers of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

Granite Falls, Washington is also known as the Gateway To The Mountain Loop.   Here are some facts about the Big Four Ice Caves that I found on the Washington Trails Association or for a quick link go to  wta.org – Washington Trails Association https://www.wta.org/

Important reminders for your own safety.  The Ice Caves are very dangerous. Due to avalanches in the spring and collapsing snow bridges in the summer DO NOT go into the ice caves or climb on them.   There are several warning signs posted throughout the hiking trail.  They are there for a reason and not to be ignored.  Every year people have died from those avalanches and going into those caves. 

There is a plaque at the end of the trail in memory of Grace Tam, an 11-year old girl who was killed in 2011. It serves as a reminder of the ever-changing nature of this area, and the potential for danger that the melting ice holds. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/big-four-ice-caves

Here are some more beautiful pictures from our hike.

To see more of Debbie Troxler’s photographs go to her link at http://debbietroxersphotograph.wordpress.com/

Desert 100

“Traditions Touch Us, They Connect Us, And They Expand Us.” By Rita Barreto Craig

Check out this cool video I found on YouTube about Stump Jumpers Motorcross 

This YouTube video that I found of SJMC is exactly what its like every year we go.   Desert 100 is one of our family’s biggest traditions.  There is  a small town in Eastern Washington called Odessa.  Out in the middle of no where.  Literally no where!  People from all over come here to participate in the biggest race that happens  once a year.  This year will be the 50th Anniversary of Desert 100, its expected to be even bigger than years past. 

Now I have been doing this since I was a little girl, when the event was held in a small town called Mattawa, WA. before it got moved to Odessa, WA.    I remember camping with my family and close friends.  This was a time when all of my family came up from Nevada to join in.  It felt like a big family reunion for me.  My Grandfather, Norm Burns, who is now 84yrs old just finally decided to end his racing career last year.  Norm Burns was a legend in the motocross world.  So much so  that the folks from Wheaties Cereal met up with Norm at Desert 100 to do a special interview with him.  My grandfather was one of the oldest rider out there.   He inspired so many people within the racing community because it doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you have been doing this sport.  We are out here to have fun and to enjoy the comradery of other fellow riders.  Its amazing how one event can draw so many people together.    

About ME


“Sometimes you will never know the VALUE of a moment, until it becomes a MEMORY.”  Dr. Seuss 


My name is Erin Hogan. I am a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, and outdoor enthusiasts who loves to hike, and camp around the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately I am lucky enough to live in a small town nestled along the foothills of Mt. Pilchuck and the Gateway of the Mt. Loop, where there are many hiking trails and places to explore. Our community is unique in a sense of how we take care of our own when people are in need or fall on hard times. Its still some what of a small town where we know most everyone, however its starting to grow rapidly these days. This town draws in many visitors especially in the summer months due to all of our hiking opportunities up the Mt. Loop such as the Big Four Ice Caves, Monte Cristo, Mt. Pilchuck, Green Mountain and the Fish Ladder at the Falls.

Throughout my blog you may find me reminiscing the past of what it was like as a teenager growing up in a small town. Sharing small town traditions and passing them down to my children. Exploring the Pacific Northwest with favorite places to explore and eat. Parenting teenage boys and most importantly giving back to our community that we love. My hope is to inspire and encourage others in my blog. Never be afarid of trying new thing. And when an opportunity presents itself for you to grab the torch of leadership, don’t be afarid to run with it. You’ll never know who you might be inspiring along the way. Lead in such a way that you leave a trail of love behind you.

Continue reading About ME

Living the good life-PNW style.

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