June 17-19: Scenic Hot Springs. While we were in Oregon, we found a serious love for hot springs. We went to a hot spring in Colorado, but, Oregon was the state that really sold it to us. Umpqua Hot Springs in Oregon. I will never forget that magical multi-tiered springs. We were determined to find and do at least one hot springs while we were in Washington. Scenic Hot Springs really caught our eyes while we were doing some research. This enchanted spring is on private property and requires a reservation to get to it. Alec and I don’t really seem to plan ahead. We really like to wing things, but, this is a place where you really should plan ahead for. The owners only allow 10 people per day and those spaces fill up very quickly. We did our reservations a month in advance and there were only two days in the month of June that was still available. It’s the place to be and people are planning for it. The fee is $10/person. Once you are approved, the owner will give you a thorough yet slightly confusing description of the location of the springs. The roads and paths aren’t marked on a map, so you really have to rely on the instructions to get there. It was quite confusing, but, we will have to revisit that story in a minute. First I want to tell you about the hike we did right before we visited the Scenic Hot Springs. Alec and I really wanted to get one good hike in before soaking. Alec wanted to show me this beautiful hike called the Bridal Veil Falls Trail. It was on the way to the springs anyways, so it worked out. This was a beautiful 3.7 mile out and back trail with a 1,000 foot elevation increase. Your legs feel that elevation gain. What I loved about this trail is that is was challenging and had different pathways throughout the trail. At first you are on flat gravel which then turns into climbing over boulder rocks which then turns to stairs. Like I said, your legs will be feeling this hike. If you wanting a free snack throughout that elevation gain, this trail has a ton of salmon berries lining the trails. Thank you trail!
At first I was hesitant to try these berries. In Florida, I just assumed that every wild berry wasn’t edible. These salmon berries are just delicious. I made it into a hunt for the most delicious berry throughout this hike. This hike was worth it. The end of the trail leads you to the stunning Bridal Veils waterfall. Holy moly. There was a wonderful breeze as the cold water bounced back towards you.
It felt so refreshing especially after the amount of sweat we produced trying to get there. Worth it. We were ready after that hike to go soak. We now had to closely follow the instructions on how to get to the Scenic Hot Springs. Turn down this dirt road, walk a little, go through shortcut. The hike to the springs was no joke.
There were times where Alec and I thought that we were lost. It wasn’t easy to get to by any means. We both felt like this hike was more strenuous than the Bridal Veils Trail. It was roughly 1.8 miles of straight elevation gain. It was a beautiful hike (even though strenuous).
We were in an open valley that overlooked Stevens Pass. If you are going to this hot spring, don’t do a big hike beforehand. We were feeling the burn the entire way up. Finally after many twists and turns, we made it to the spring. It was beautiful. There were three plastic tubs with the hot springs water running into it. The springs overlooked the mountains. Alec and I were so hot from the hike that we decided to cool off before even stepping foot into it. You can get overheated and dehydrated so quickly in a hot spring. Once we were ready, the soaking began. It was just gorgeous. The water was nice and relaxing on our aching muscles. All of the hiking/climbing didn’t matter the moment my foot went into that water. Ahhhhhh. Such relief.
I really loved that hot spring. It was nice that the owner only allowed 10 people per day. It wasn’t overcrowded at all. There were people there, but, we could all enjoy a corner of the tubs and truly relax. We met some amazing people while being there. A girl who does traveling nursing and has an assignment in WA, two Australians, and a guy who cliff jumps. I love hanging out, relaxing, and having genuine conversations with complete strangers. It was just lovely.
June 19-21: Family in town. I was soo excited because my aunt and uncle came into town from California. I love them so much. My uncle Ron is one of my favorites. I call him UBM: uncle by marriage. He calls me NBM: niece by marriage. We have this long joke that he isn’t blood and that we don’t want to directly associate with each other. So I will be calling uncle Ron UBM throughout this blog post. UBM and I have been close for many years. We chat throughout the year of the phone. He is always very interested in what I have been up to. He was so incredibly jealous of our trip and really wanted to get apart of it. “ I promise I will meet you somewhere.” I was so pumped that I could spend some time with him. We haven’t seen each other since Alec and I got married. It is just a big treat for me.
We had a lot we wanted to go do and not a whole lot of time. They were only here in WA for a full day. We decided to go do Vancouver, BC. Alec and I went there last year while visiting, but, it poured the entire time. We were both ready for a redo. I’m so glad that we decided to go there because the weather was just perfect. The sun was shining, the mountains were out, and the sky was blue. It was just lovely. To start the day off in Vancouver, we had to go to the Public Market downtown.
This market puts Pikes Place to shame. Row after row after row of fresh produce, walk-up restaurants, pop-up shops, and flowers.
It’s honestly difficult to decide on what you want to buy for lunch. The market has a lot of seating areas right next to the water. It was nice enjoying our food in the breeze overlooking the water. Be sure to check it out. Next up for the day was exploring Stanley Park. We all didn’t realize how big Stanley Park was. It was huge. There are so many sections of it: rose garden, kids playground, beach walks, the Lions Gate bridge views. It seemed endless.
The weather was just lovely as we walked along the beach. It was a beautiful park. If you are going to Vancouver, BC and want to do a suspension bridge, be sure to check out Lynn Canyon Park. This free park included many trails and a nice sized suspension bridge. I know if you google search Vancouver suspension bridge, the Capilano Suspension Bridge pops up. I have never been to that bridge before only because it is about $43 per person to get on it. The great thing about the Lynn Canyon Park is that is it free. Not only do you get some amazing trails, but, you can walk over a suspension bridge. Win, win.
The day was getting to an end and all we wanted to do was have a beer. We went to the Gastown in the eastern downtown area to see what we could find. If you ever go to Vancouver, be sure to check out Gastown.
It is FULL of trendy bars, restaurants, and shops. The Lamplighter Public House was our pub for the night. It had a delicious selection of beers, cocktails, and simple foods.
We ended our night in a fancy hotel. UBM has points for hotels because of traveling for business. They blessed us with our own fancy room that included a king-sized mattress, great view, big shower, and even robes.
Fancy stuff. It was a nice break from sleeping in Callie. Very refreshing. Alec and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the sunset over Vancouver. It was just gorgeous with the vibrant oranges and pinks. Alec and I just melted into the bed that night. Let’s just say that we slept extremely well under the fluffy covers.
The next day we were ready for another adventure. UBM and Claudia were leaving back for Cali that day and we had a lot to do. Our adventure on the way to the airport was through Whidbey Island. They have a family friend who lives over there and they wanted to see the island. We went over Deceptions Pass, walked Ebbey’s Landing, and went to Langley for lunch with their friend.
It was very bittersweet dropping them off at the airport. It was so good to have that side of my family back. Whenever my aunt laughs, I hear my mom. It made me really homesick. It definitely was a lovely visit with my crazy UBM and Aunt Claudia.
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