Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Seattle Christmas Ships

The Seattle Christmas Ships at Edmonds, WA

The Seattle Christmas Ship festival will be starting again the weekend after Thanksgiving.  This is one of my favorite things to do during the holiday season.  The colorful parade of boats decorated with Christmas lights is led by the Argosy Spirit of Seattle which has a choir on board singing Christmas Carols.  Each night for about a month they travel to a specific destination around the Seattle area People can purchase a ticket from Argosy to cruise on board the Spirit of Seattle or on one of the "follow" boats.  Private boat owners are also invited to decorate their boats and join in the parade. On any given night the procession may include large vessels like tugboats and large luxury yachts to kayaks and everything in between.  Spectators on the shore gather around bonfires in numerous parks to watch one of the best free holiday light displays pass by.  Visit my Seattle Christmas Ships page on Squidoo for more photos, details and the 2011 Christmas Ship Schedule.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Marymoor Off Leash Dog Park

It has been called Doggie Heaven and Doggie Disneyland - perhaps those are overstatements, but the 40 acre Marymoor Offleash dog area is definitely a great place for dogs and their people.  We try to beat the crowds that can sometimes make it a little too congested and chaotic for our easily overstimulated border collies, so we got there just after the crack of dawn on a not-so-nice Saturday morning.  It was pleasantly uncrowded and the dogs had a great time - no rain and they came home tired and ready for a nap.  Meanwhile we humans enjoyed the beautiful fall colors on a pleasant walk through the trails and along the river.  See more about our adventure......

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Skagit River Bald Eagles - They're Back!

The arrival of November in the Pacific Northwest means shorter, dreary days and noticeably colder weather, but it also signals the return of the Bald Eagles to the Skagit River.  The Skagit River is the largest bald eagle winter resort area in North America.  The eagles come south from Alaska and northern Canada for the warmer weather, large trees to lounge in and the all-you-can-eat salmon and steelhead buffet served up on the Skagit and its numerous tributaries.

Skagit River Bald Eagle in Winter
Fortunately for residents and visitors to the Pacific Northwest the Skagit River eagle wintering area is only about 2 hours from the Seattle area.  A trip to the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area makes a great day trip.  It is possible to see the amazing spectacle of sometimes more than 100 eagles in a few short hours along a 10 mile stretch of the river.  Eagles can be viewed from several turn-outs along highway 20, but one of the most enjoyable ways to see the largest number of eagles up close is to take a float trip down the river with one of the professional river rafting companies.   The eagles start arriving in November and reach their peak numbers in late November and December.  They start to depart in January with most being gone by the end of February.  If your goal is to see the maximum number of bald eagles, the best time to see the most is by taking a trip to the Skagit in the next 2 months.  For more details see my Skagit River Bald Eagle Float Trip.