Chuckanut Drive

To start off Bae’s month of working in Seattle, we decided we would spend the first Sunday going for a day adventure we’d read quite bit about and needed to go on. Per our M.O., we were up and on the road before sunrise. After a pit stop for coffee, we were on our way North to checkout the locally famous Chuckanut Drive.

Located just off of Interstate 5 around Burlington, Chuckanut Drive is located on Highway 11 and is a 2o mile drive curving through the cliff of Chuckanut Mountain. It is known for it’s breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and leads you on an alternate route to Bellingham. It’s highly recommended if you have some spare time, or are making the drive around sunset.

As I mentioned earlier, Bae and I like to get an early start on our day, 1) because we both wake up pretty early anyway, and 2) we don’t always have the most time together, so there’s no point in spending it sleeping! We got our iced coffees courtesy of Big Foot Java and we were on our way! Our first stop was the Oyster Dome hike. Located around mile marker 10, the hike is about 6.5 miles. It contains more switchbacks and elevation than the alternate entrance off of I5. Bae was a bit skeptical that this was the proper entrance because it wasn’t too well marked, but I did my job to assure her that we were in the right spot (after quickly double checking with our good friends at wta.org).

Since we were already on the trail before 7:30 am, it wasn’t quite sunny out yet and not hot either (which was actually not a totally bad thing). We saw yellow, brown, and black slugs on our way and that was pretty cool if you’re into those slimy guys. Other than that, there wasn’t much to see on the trail. Regardless, it was nice to get out and enjoy some crisp morning air. At the top the fog was rolling quite a bit so we didn’t get to take in the view of Samish Bay and the Olympics Mountains as we had hoped, but getting to the top and taking time to relax and eat our protein bars was still nice. On our way down, Bae took off running and so naturally I followed. We made it down in world record time. They will be etching our names in that stone at the trailhead in the near future!

 

Our next stop was Bellingham! We continued up Chuckanut Drive and found ourselves in Bellingham. We contemplated and ultimately decided to stop for some coffee and doughnuts at Rocket Donuts and Acme Ice Cream. It ended up being a great decision. We ordered their daily special which had berries and icing and a regular maple. We also had Moka Joe’s cold brew coffee which was new to both us of and not too bad. Overall, it was a great decision to stop in and grab some fuel to give us a little boost after our morning hike!

On our way back home, we decided to stop at Larrabee State Park. It wasn’t part of the original plan, but because the fog from our hike subsided and sun was shining, we had to stop at the beach for some rays and whatever else it had to offer.

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Larrabee State Park

We got there, walked down the walkway toward the beach, and we got to the beach and Bae started going bananas! She couldn’t even speak just pointing and ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing.’ I thought there was a whale or something. Turns out it was even better… A little family of sea otters! They were perched on some drift wood and were taking turns diving in, very  majestic and smooth! I’ve never seen her so excited! PC knows the way to Bae’s heart, and it includes a pet sea otter in the future!

After the excitement died down, we combed the beach and found a handful of starfish clinging to rocks, crab shells, and various other marine life (namely hermit crabs) in the tide pools. I highly recommend taking the time to check out tide pools if you’ve got the free time and beach accessibility, you never know what you’re going to find!

Our last big stop on the way home was the village of Bow, WA. We drove down a small little one lane road that looped through the main shops, parked our car and got out ready to explore. We saved room from our stop at Rocket Donuts for an actual meal, so we decided now was the perfect time to eat! We heard quite a bit about Breadfarm. Breadfarm is a local bakery that is known for it’s decadent treats. We went with a handful of shortbread and fig cookies and a loaf of their Sour Cherry Lemon bread (that was delicious!).

Baked goods in hand, we went next door to Slough Food. Slough Food is an extremely cool little spot that you need to check out. The owner is passionate about wine and cheese and a real cool dude. We went out back and sat at a nice picnic table and got to eat in solitude. We ordered a meat and cheese plate that was frickin delicious! We brought our bread and cookies with us and had quite the meal. It was our own charcuterie plate with dessert! Bow was a 10/10 and a must stop for anybody who is in the area, or even not in the area, but looking for some good food and good people!

Our final stop was Samish Bay Cheese. Samish Bay does a lot of organic cheeses and has 100% grass fed beef as well. The folks in there are very kind and are willing to let you try whatever you’d like to make sure you enjoy the cheese. Being a smaller operation, they are also the ones who make the cheese and are very knowledgeable with any questions you may have. Bae and I went with the Aged Ladysmith, a Gouda, and the Mount Blanchard Cheddar. You really can’t go wrong with any of their cheeses (except maybe the Aged Ladysmith), and they have so many options, they have something for everyone. They can also be found at local Farmer’s Markets ranging from Lake Forest Park to West Seattle if you’re not able to make it all the way up north.

Overall, Bae and I had a great Sunday day trip exploring Chuckanut drive. We may have gotten a bit too early of a start and experienced more fog than we would have liked, but all in all a great day.

Overall Grade: Bae: B-, PC: B

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