recently i have come to really appreciate the fact that, between our house and a hour down the mountain loop highway is about the most gorgeous nature that washington has to offer. there are a handful of amazing hikes (most easy enough for kids!), the stillguamish river as it follows you down the highway, and many more gorgeous scenes as your drive.
last weekend on a whim we packed the kids and a picnic into the car and set out to find the perfect spot along the river to dip our toes and enjoy the day. after circling back and forth through crowded parking lots and picnic areas, we pulled off on the side of the road and made a little hike down a bank to the most perfect and private spot. there were a few still and deep spots in the river and everywhere else was shallow enough for the kids to wade and collect perfectly smooth and flat rocks. i took up residence with my chair in the water keeping my core nice and cool in the hot sun and rowan made camp next to the snack bag as usual while robin continuously untied and ate the strings to her suit.
this spot had the perfect mound of sand on the shore and a big tree for jumping off of into the deep spots. later the kids even discovered a huge pit of river clay and spent the last hour making sculptures and writng on rocks with their dirty fingers. the water was fridged but we got used to it fast and robin didn't even make a peep when him and tim would venture out and dip in. i wagered with all of the kids that they could have a ice cream cone if they dove in and got all the way wet.
it was the perfect day! horseflies aside we had tons of fun and are already plotting a trip up with tubes to float in next time. the best family trips don't have to be about museums or downtown or spending a lot of money. sometimes they are rght in your back yard.