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Kick off your vacation in the one-of-a-kind Paine Field Aviation District. Paine Field, which is located in both Mukilteo and Everett, is home to five unique aviation attractions. Explore the only publicly available opportunity to tour a commercial jet assembly plant in North America and one of the region’s most popular attractions, the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, an anchor destination of the Paine Field Aviation District. The District is home to numerous stops for aviation and adventure enthusiasts. Check out Paul G. Allen’s collection of vintage military aircraft and land vehicles at the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum, set within an expansive, working hangar. At the Museum of Flight Restoration Center. Watch volunteers busily restoring engines, repainting bodies and fixing up other aviation treasures. The Historic Flight Foundation provides visitors with an opportunity to get up-close and personal to a collection of the most important aircraft produced between 1927 and 1957, the “Golden Age of Aviation,” all restored and airborne again. Feeling like a little adrenaline is needed? Stop at High Trek Adventures, also part of the Paine Field Aviation District, and take in a hair-raising obstacle course or zip line adventure! Paine Field Airport is scheduled to start booking commercial flights through Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines this fall so stay tuned for more info. (You will be able to fly in straight to Paine Field Regional Airport to kick off your next Cascade Loop adventure!) After a full day of aviation adventures it's time to discover the Mukilteo waterfront. You’ll want to explore the shops and restaurants, as well as the waterfront park and the beautifully restored 1906 lighthouse. Next, travel north to visit the Cascade Loop’s largest metropolitan area – Everett. 

Resting on the tranquil shores of Port Gardner Bay, Everett boasts brilliant westerly views of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains, and easterly views of the Cascade mountains. The Everett waterfront is home to the second-largest marina on the West Coast. Enjoy the invigorating scent of salt and sea, the rhythmic sounds of lapping waves and ferries shuttling to and from Jetty Island in the summer. Wiggle your toes in the sandy beaches and warm shallow waters of Jetty Island while you watch dozens of kiteboarders race across the water. Everett is home to one of the nation’s best children’s museums, the Imagine Children’s Museum, a must-see for the kids! 

Your next stop is just east along Highway 2 in historic Snohomish, listed on both the State and National Registries of Historic Places. Snohomish is known as the “Antique Capital of the Northwest” and is a shopping treasure trove with hundreds of antique dealers and boutiques in a six-block section of town. The city’s historic district also boasts beautiful Victorian and Arts and Crafts era homes built around the turn of the 20th century. 

Continuing 10 miles east, you’ll come to Monroe, located near the junction of the Skykomish and Snohomish rivers. Monroe provides abundant opportunities for rafting, fishing, and other water sports. It is home to the Evergreen State Fair, an 11-day event running in late August through Labor Day, delivering serious thrills with everything from car races to exciting equestrian shows and carnival rides. The fairgrounds house the Evergreen Speedway and the Western Heritage Center.

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Lumber mill

The Snohomish River flows northwest, beginning at the confluence of the Sultan and Skykomish rivers, near present-day Monroe, and ends about 12 miles downstream where it empties into Port Gardner Bay, north of Everett. The river valley was created over thousands of years by glacial movement and flowing melt-water. 

Native American tribes lived here for thousands of years and enjoyed readily available seafood and a temperate climate. The name Snohomish honors native people who lived in this area prior to Euro-American settlement. The Snohomish people moved north to the mouth of the Snohomish River, where they built the village of Hibulb. The Tulalip Tribes are successors in interest to the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied tribes and bands signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. The current tribal population is over 4,600 with about 2,600 members residing on the 22,000 acre Tulalip Indian Reservation located north of Everett and the Snohomish River and west of Marysville, Washington. Learn about Tulalip cultural assets, gaming and lodging opportunities by viewing their online brochure at

Settlers came to the area in response to government-granted homesteads, with the hope of establishing industries to extract natural resources, such as timber and ore.

Taste Leavenworth 2019
Leavenworth Ale Fest
Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest
American Masters Concert
Bird of the Week: Red Winged Blackbird
According to the Seattle Audubon Society, Red-winged Blackbirds are widespread and abundant breeders throughout Washington's lowlands. In winter they are often less widespread, but can be abundant along the Columbia River. Many birds in Washington are migratory, and others move to lowlands forming large winter flocks.Red-winged Blackbirds display marked sexual dimorphism. Males in breeding plumage are very familiar birds to many people. They are solid black, with red wing patches. Each patch has a light yellow stripe below, and can be displayed in varying amounts. Female Red winged Blackbirds are… Read More >>>>
North Cascades Photography: Skagit Valley Sunrise
Photographing sunrise requires a bit of luck. You have to decide where to be for the sunrise, and so you go, in the dark, hoping for nice light...Once you're there and the sunrise starts, its usually too late to change locations. Today was one of those exceptions!There are many wonderful vantage points along the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway from which to photograph the Skagit Valley. One of my favorites is Sauk Mountain. The Skagit River loops in broad curves to the west... But this is only a hike for the summer months, access… Read More >>>>
North Cascades Photography: Johnson/Debay Swan Reserve
Skagit Valley is the winter home for Trumpeter and Tundra Swans.  The Johnson'/Debay Swan Reserve, located along Francis Road in Clearlake, is a wonderful place to visit them.The Johnson/DeBay Swan Reserve (JDSR), near Mt. Vernon, Washington, is America’s only swan reserve. Owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Reserve was dedicated in 2001 for the public to view wintering Trumpeter and Tundra Swans.There is a parking area and a bench. In the summer it’s quite green!The winter months are not as colorful, but the migrating waterfowl bring the place alive!It’s a… Read More >>>>
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