We beat the Memorial Day Weekend crowds to nature by going out for an overnight Wednesday/Thursday of last week. This was a straight up car camping adventure. I booked our spot at the Washington State Park Reservation site. We were lucky to get a spot that had direct beach access which was one of my hopes for this SUP oriented escape…
Where:On the Traditional Land of the Yakama & Wanapum[source: Native Land App]
Weather: Sunny & warm. Did cloud over later in the afternoon. Was CRAZY windy the morning after [We didn’t SUP, but were told by many other campers how windy it had been all week there.]
Beach: A short downhill walk from our campsite [my lucky number 11]. Sandy with a few shells. Rocks as we get into the water. Was essentially a private lil’ beach. Only one person walked by with her dog. May be more populated as summer goes on.
If you aren’t camping – there is also a park right next door that you could launch from. It does require a Discovery Pass.
Amenities: None at the beach. Campsite was great. Check out my upcoming report on the camp here soon. Bathrooms available if peeing in the river isn’t your thing.
New Tools/Tricks: We had a few new things to try out this time!
Water Shoes. Got us each a pair. Cheap off Amazon. But they did the trick! Will keep you updated how long they last… Did have a mild learning curve to adjusting stance on the SUP due to the their traction.
Anchor. Worked great. We used it both to anchor out in the water to fish [and in my case also listen to an audiobook…]. We also anchored right off the beach when we were switching who was on the board or were taking a beach break together. It was so wonderful to not have to bring the board in & out every time we wanted to switch.
Fishing Rod Holder. Well, in usual fashion we didn’t catch any fish. But the holder worked great! Felt like a dream to anchor in the middle of the river, sit back, and fish off the board.
Kayak Seat. Sit back you say? Yes. The kayak seat is a delight. Clips in easily. Adjusts easily. There is a kayak paddle add on as well but I opted out of it. For me and the waters I’ve been using the seat in, the single paddle is enough.
What We Learned: SUP Accessories are fun! So is having a “private” beach to launch from. Also, Truly Extra Peach Mango is not good. Would not buy again. But, I did manage to finish the one we did.
Final Thoughts: This was a great [car] camping + SUP experience. Only 2-ish hours outside of Seattle, and a beautiful drive at that. I love that the SUP is inspiring us to expand our camping radius and find new places to go and explore. Even if it is just for a 24 hour adventure.
As part of my quarantine discovered outdoorsy self, I got us an inflatable stand up paddle board [SUP]. It was one of those things I’d see in instagram photos and think, that could…NO. That should be me! We all think that about a lot of things on instagram I assume… that’s kind of the filtered-FOMO-everyoneislivingtheirbestlife- point of it all right? But after a year of still wanting one, still dreaming of slicing through the morning lake glass, taking pictures of [just the] tip with all sorts of pristine nature surrounding us, I made the decision to do it. And it is hands down the best purchase I have ever made. From the first afternoon I went out, it felt like I had found something that had been missing in my life and I never even knew it. I still haven’t figured out a poetic or logical way to explain it. But I’m working on it…From sharing it with friends to going out solo, my SUP is everything I dreamed it would be and more. It is the ultimate adventure partner. Besides Gavin of course…
Here is my first [of many] write ups of my PNW SUP location experiences!
Accompanied by my BFF Pilar & her inflatable kayak, I had a fun Friday afternoon on the water at Luther Burbank Park, which is quickly becoming one of my go to spots to SUP. We had great luck with the weather and very little boat traffic. We launched from the beach at the tip of the park but I have also launched from the little hidey holes you can find along the path leading to the beach.
Where:On the Traditional Land of the Coast Salish, Stillaguamish, Duwamish, & Muckleshoot [source: Native Land App]
The Weather: Started out cloudy but the sun came out for us! Little to no wind.
The Beach: Smooth pebbles/rocks at water’s edge. Sandy as you move out and away from the water. Then a big grassy area [great for letting your board dry out].
The Water: Water temp was good [for me]. I didn’t go all the way in but it was definitely swimmable [for me]. Murky once you get 15-20 feet from shore. Few boats and almost no wind made for some easy paddling. It’s not always like that but when it is I’d definitely recommend this spot for people starting out their SUP adventures!
Parking: Free. Two lots. They do fill up on a nice summer day but I have always managed to get a spot eventually.
The Amenities: Trails to the beaches. Off leash dog park if you have a buddy! Bathrooms by the playground by the parking lot. A pretty cool playground. Picnic tables. Docks I’ve seen people fishing off of. An amphitheater for when theatre finally returns!!! Seattle Shakespeare has been doing summer shows there for years. I highly recommend taking a picnic to one when they come back!
My New Tools/Tricks: I took a zoom meeting out there! I try to keep it a sacred space but you got to do what you got to do. My phone did overheat so I learned to keep it tucked under my dry bag so it wasn’t in the direct sun. I only felt safe doing this because of my great floaty phone case. I got mine from Eddie Bauer & highly recommend the $11 investment.
Final Thoughts: I’m trying to explore as many beaches as possible this summer but I’m sure I’ll find myself back at Luther Burbank sometime soon just because it is so accessible. Quick drive from Seattle + Free Parking. You’ll get me everytime.
If you’ve been to Luther Burbank and have thoughts – post them in the comments or on my Instagram! If you have any questions about it – post them and I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge!
Welcome to the Outdoor & Artistic Adventures of Rachel & Gavin!
We are a guy who spent a lot of time in the outdoors when he was a kid and a gal who has always loved the outdoors but never quite had the confidence to get out there, and together we are learning & loving our way through the wilds of the PNW and beyond. Our Disclaimer! Any information you find here is from our personal experience and should not be taken as professional camping/hiking/survival advice. Our hope is to provide information we had some difficulty finding online AND inspire others who aren’t quite sure they could go adventuring by sharing our learning stories & experiences. Take this is a sign to get out there and do it – with the proper gear & research into where you’re going! Because if we, a couple of not quite-in-shape theatre kids can do it, you definitely can.
Lilly Lizard Lake Loop was our first backpacking trip of the season! [Our 4th ever together.] It was a great warm up hike to remind our bodies what it is like to work a little harder than lifting holiday cocktails and swiping up on TikTok. There were a few other people on the trail, but we were the only ones who camped that night. As we walked up to the campsites, an eagle flew over the lake and it was magic. We went fishing both that night and the next morning. Gav caught a couple small trout that he threw back. And I caught my very first fish ever the next morning!!! Which was also small and put back – but truly exciting nevertheless. Our hike out we took a different route so we could head up to Oyster Dome [which I learned is where paragliders launch themselves!!!] a beautiful overlook of the San Juan Islands – and that was with a bit of snowfall. I can only imagine what it looks like on a clear day. Keep scrolling for more specific details on the hike and backpacking experience.
Where:On the Traditional Land of the Coast Salish, Stillaguamish, Nuwhaha, Sauk Suiattle [source: Native Land App]
1.5 Hours outside of Seattle. Near Bellingham. Parked at “Samish Overlook”. It’s on the left hand side, pass through the yellow gate (open one hour before sunrise to one hour past sunset) and continues 2.2 miles to the Samish Overlook Area. It says day use only… so we parked outside of the parking lot on the road. We weren’t sure…
When: Went on Thursday, April 8th, spent the night at Lizard Lake, and hiked back out Friday, April 9th.
Weather: Thursday was sunny. I was able to hike with just a sweatshirt on. It got cold fast when the sunset though. The next morning it was snowing – it didn’t stick – but it was snow cold.
Amenities: Parking lot. There is a bathroom at the parking lot. The campsites at both Lizard & Lily lake are great. Very well established, each had their own firepit many of which even had a grill. Great signage on the trails.
The Hike In: Mile 1 & 2 were pretty easy, took our water break at mile 2 then stopped briefly to tie my boot at 2.8ish [where there are some benches] which was good because…
Mile 3 & 4 Took a turn up hill. Not hard, but definitely harder than the first two miles. Around end of mile 4 we spotted some snow on the sides but no snow anywhere on the actual trail.
The Hike Out: Went past Lily lake and up to Oyster Dome, which was quite an incline, but also not too long. Worth it for the view of the San Juan Islands! Then a mostly all downhill return out. We were worried we’d missed a turn, but we hadn’t. The signage on the trail is 100 emoji.
The Camp: Well maintained campsites on both Lizard & Lily Lake. Fire pits with grills. Sites are spaced out but will not give you any isolation, if others are there you will have next door neighbors.
New Tools/Tricks: I got a Kula Cloth – a reusable antimicrobial pee cloth. Which I absolutely love. One side has a design on it and the other is the side you use. It clips to your bag or clips to itself after it’s been used. Easy & sustainable to use & easy to clean. Highly recommend it if you’re over packing out TP or just shaking it off.
Fail Whales: Gavin got a bit wet trying to get one of his lures back… He was wearing jeans so they did not dry well. So, we made a stop at the Eddie Bauer Outlet on our way back to get us both some better hiking pants.
What We Learned: We had originally planned on staying a second night, however it was too wet to get a proper fire going and we didn’t feel like we had quite the right layers to be comfortable for a second now snowy night – especially because Gavin’s pants weren’t drying. So, we learned for these early spring/late winter hikes we need to do a bit more planning regarding our clothes and the potential for pretty drastic weather shifts. Bright side – it was a lot of fun [& v pretty] to fish and hike out in the light snowfall.
Final Thoughts: We highly recommend this hike and camping experience! Considering how well kept the trails & the campsites are, we can only assume they are packed during the summer so if you’re going and want a campsite, head out early! We’re trying to spread the love all over the PNW but we enjoyed this one so much we may try to see what it’s like later this season when it isn’t snowing!
If you take the trek out to the Lizard Lily Lake Loop let us know how it goes in the comments below or on Instagram [where you’ll also find more pictures, tidbits, and day to day adventures!]
When I was 24 years old I had the opportunity to assistant direct, Noël Coward’s A Song at Twilight, at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. It had an incredible cast: David Rogge, Laurie O’Brien, Alley Mills, and Orson Bean.
Working with the director, James Glossman, was great. Being one of those directors who actually asks their AD for their thoughts – not as common as you’d like to think. Especially as a 24 year old woman. Not to mention the privilege [and an every day acting lesson] to be in a room with acting legends like Laurie, Alley, and Orson. I earned my spot in that room but I was also fantastically lucky to be there.
I don’t have a very good memory. I never have. It’s one of the reasons I write as much as I do. But I remember Orson Bean. I remember his laugh and his near constant state of positivity & amusement – which is often written about. It’s real. I remember a preview where he, with another actor, went totally up on lines and the director & I sat together simultaneously sinking into our chairs and leaning forward to see how and if they’d get back on track. They did…eventually… and it was one of the most exciting, alive, amazing moments I’ve ever seen in the theatre. I also remember the day, Orson found out I wasn’t being paid for my job as Assistant Director. The next day he handed me an envelope with $100 cash in it and hugged me and said, “go buy yourself some groceries or something”. Every week after that he did the same thing. When the show opened and the director went back to NYC, Orson asked me if I would come back each week to watch the show and give him and the actors thoughts, to ‘keep them in line” and make sure ‘we don’t go off the rails’ for which he paid me. Of course I said yes.
It wasn’t just the money, which as an artist in LA meant a lot & I was extremely thankful. Not to mention, it was the first time I’d been paid as a director outside of arts education. It was that this amazingly talented, world class actor and artist, SAW ME. Valued me and my ideas & opinions being in his rehearsal and performance space. Encouraged me [most people couldn’t believe I was in LA to do theatre…and he told me that’s what he was there for. He did all the other stuff so he could.]. Believed in me. I still have one of the $20 bills he gave me in a scrap book box at my parents. A beautiful reminder of not only that experience for me – but how I hope I can do that for another artist one day. Lots of artists. I hope. I will.
He was – is – an inspiration to me & my life as an artist and I am truly heartbroken that he’s gone. I will forever regret that I didn’t stay in better touch and let him know that, what I imagine to him was a seemingly small gesture, affected me so tremendously. That it helped to make me the artist I am today and the artist I strive to be in the future.
Don’t miss your chance. Tell your people. Hug your people. Love your people. And for art’s sake, support each other. However, you can.
Participating in the 14/48 Festival is always something special but this weekend, getting to be a part of the band, really reminded me what it was all about… I was challenged, I was excited, I was scared, I got to live out my punk rock princess dreams, surrounded & supported by 5 incredible musicians who made the experience truly unforgettable. It was a beautiful reminder of what is possible. And that doing something I’m terrified of usually works out for the best… and this was THE BEST.
Theatre is my home. It is my home Monday-Sunday. It is how I pay my bills. It is where I spend time with my friends. It is where I spend time with strangers. [Sometimes turned friends.] It is where I build blanket forts and tell stories with flashlights hanging from grids.
You are not alone.
Theatre is my home. Where I go when I am happy, when I am sad, when I need to hear others laugh, when I don’t want to drink alone because I know I’ll find you there [whoever you are, new friend or old.], to escape, to be present, to be.
You are not alone.
Theatre is my home. Where I go to experience stories. To see your story told. To see my story. To see those whose story I never knew existed and am better now for having spent 75 minutes [or 160] learning more about the world and the people with whom I coexist. Their struggles, their successes, their dreams [ours?], that we are the same but different. Different but the same. And sometimes just different. I want to know all of the stories.
You are not alone.
Theatre is community. Momentary and forever. It has always been and will always be. We watch plays 3,000 years old and are connected to those today that existed once and are left only in the DNA of memory. We watch new plays and are connected to today and the melding of moments that brought us all into the same room to experience a story crafted by a cohabitant of our earth. Every moment of time, every choice we each had to make, our parents made, our ancestors, to land us in a theatrical space together to watch a story unfold before us. Together. A gathering of a community that will never replicate exactly like this one. But has happened over and over for always – we, an infinite variation on a theme.
You are not alone.
Theatre is ephemeral. And it isn’t. It may never happen again just like this but it may happen over & over again in someone’s head. They may tell another. Their story of seeing the chandelier crash. The poison drunk. The children sacrificed. The heart broken. The nanny flying away. The gun shot. An outcast defying gravity. Finding the bird of paradise. They may not. I make theatre because of moments I have seen I’ll never forget. That changed me. Taught me. And I know it changes lives. [Because it changed mine.]
You are not alone.
I have written many words. For me. Because it is how I process. But it is also for you. Because you are not alone. I am only one but I am with you. And if you need a place to go, I am offering my home. Theatre is my home and theatre is abundant in Seattle and it *welcomes you. Below I’m going to list [to my knowledge and ability] every place you can go the next few days and find a community & home. IF that is what you are seeking. This may not be your answer and I whatever it may be, I am still with you. You are not alone.
*Yes, theatre often costs money, if cost is an issue please reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can see what I can do. Because theatre is made for you and you get to go.
I see a lot of theatre in Seattle [and occasionally other places]. I see a lot of live performances within a variety of genres. And I have begun to record them – and my thoughts on them – on my Instagram.
[The goal is 100 performances by the end of 2016.]