Life With Yuna - 7 Month Update: Winter PNW Adventures

Before we bid goodbye to winter for good, here’s one last post summarizing all our winter PNW adventures!

April 1st, 2019

The Pacific Northwest has long been known for its breathtaking natural landscapes.

Having spent a full winter here in Seattle, I am so grateful to have experienced all the outdoor adventures of the past few months.

The snowy hikes, ski trips, road trips, city exploring, and even the snowstorm that rendered Seattle useless… all these were highlights of my first winter here.

The funny thing is, I probably wouldn’t have gone out and seen half the things I did had it not been for Yuna.

I am not a super big nature person myself, but I do like getting Yuna out of the house. At home she literally just sleeps the day away. Going outside immediately puts a grin on her face and keeps her active.

Before we bid goodbye to winter for good, here’s one last post summarizing all our winter PNW adventures!

Snoqualmie Pass – Gold Creek Trail (January 5th, 2019)

Our intro to the wonders of the PNW, and the first time Yuna saw snow! We’ve written about this experience before, and there are loads of photos out there for proof.

Yuna spent the day awestruck, running around and doing circles in the snow. There were plenty of doggy friends to meet as well.

We didn’t really plan much in advance for this trip–we just picked a trail and went with it. I am glad that Gold Creek ended up being a very beginner friendly snowshoe trail, since it was my first time.

A dog sitting on the snow, looking up at her human on snowshoes.
Credit to Pexels: Tookapic

I learned two main things on this first snow trip: a four feet leash is way too short for an excited Yuna, and we would have to get out there a lot more because Yuna just loved it so much.

Alton Baker Park – Eugene, OR (January 11th, 2019)

Shortly after, Yuna and I embarked on a road trip from Seattle down to Northern California. There were plenty of snowy sights on the way down, but since I was hard-pressed for vacation time (we started this road trip on a Thursday night), we unfortunately didn’t have the luxury to stop and enjoy the scenery.

We stayed the night at Eugene, OR just adjacent from the University of Oregon campus. I discovered a nice little off-leash dog area just across from the Autzen football stadium where Yuna surprised me by rolling in the stones. Right after a bath too.

California itself was just a short weekend to visit family and friends, and was the first time my family had to deal with a Labrador shedding all over the house.

Alki Beach – Seattle, WA (January 19th, 2019)

We were back in Seattle by Tuesday the following week. It was a lot of driving so we wanted to just take a peaceful walk, and headed to one of our favorite spots.

Alki Beach and Magnuson Park (you’ll see later) are perhaps my two favorite places to bring Yuna for a longer than usual walk.

There are always so many dogs around and people stopping to greet them. I think it’s a shame that Alki Beach itself is not a dog friendly beach, otherwise it’d be perfect (note: to remedy this, we do visit a dog friendly beach soon enough!)

Heather Lake – WA (January 26th, 2019)

A week later and we are ready for another hike. The day started early. Crawling out of bed at 6:30 AM, frankly, was not super enjoyable.

Heather Lake is not the most popular hike near Seattle but I wanted to get there early nevertheless. We pulled in just after 8AM and it was a pretty empty hike up.

I was extremely unprepared for this hike. My shoes (sneakers) got soaked in mud (Yuna was having a field day). Surprisingly, we got some decent photos where Yuna doesn’t look dirty at all!

The scenery with the frozen Heather Lake was just brilliant. For some reason whenever things in nature are coated in snow, it just makes for such a photogenic look.

Seattle Snowstorm (February 7th – February 12th, 2019)

Around a week later is when Seattle posted historic snowfall numbers. As a non-Seattleite who has never lived in an area known for snow, I was looking very forward to this and was definitely encouraging the snow to fall as much as possible.

I learned firsthand just how debilitating snow is for Seattle. We were all advised to work at home–streets were mostly empty and stores were all closed. And the stores that were open didn’t have much on the shelves.

But despite the snow, we still had to walk Yuna regularly. That’s good news for her, she loves the stuff!

Little Si Hike – North Bend, WA (February 9th, 2019)

This weekend, we took a short ski trip. While Yuna wasn’t invited to that, we did bring her along and she got to accompany us on a hike the following morning.

Since we are still relative hiking noobs (Yuna is probably the better hiker), I picked another short to moderate trail–the Little Si hike. It’s about a 4.7 mile roundtrip hike.

Again, I failed to learn the lesson from my previous hike. I had again brought inadequate shoes and this time, it really came back to bite me because the trail was covered entirely in snow.

Needless to say, Yuna was not slipping and sliding. She was probably wondering why the humans were having so much trouble keeping up with her!

Luckily, we made it to the top in one piece.

And I bought hiking boots shortly after this trip.

Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Park – Seattle, WA (March 3rd, 2019)

The past few adventures were pretty exhausting so we laid low and relaxed for a couple weeks. However, I’d still frequent Magnuson Park because of it’s amazing off-leash area. I haven’t been able to find anything quite like it.

However, today’s trip there had a purpose. It just happened to be Yuna’s 3rd birthday, and Magnuson Park has a local dog food truck parked there on the weekends. I ordered a special cake for her special day and I had to go pick it up.

Someone was happy to have received such a big treat!

Portland, OR (March 7th – March 8th, 2019)

Perhaps the biggest trip of the season! My main motivation to go to Portland on the 7th was to watch a Trail Blazers game, but I brought Yuna along so we could properly explore Oregon and take a short excursion to the Pacific Coast.

Granted, the basketball games were only fun for me, not for Yuna who sadly had to stay in the motel room. However, Portland is a pretty nice place to just take a stroll with your dog and we did get to do plenty of that.

Even better though, was the trip to the coast. That was all about Yuna.

Haystack Rock & Cannon Beach, OR (March 9th, 2019)

If you haven’t been to Cannon Beach and you live in the PNW with a dog, I don’t know excuse you could possibly have. This place has been described to me by multiple people as the “closest thing to heaven on Earth,” and for dog lovers this could not be more true.

We wanted to save the best for last, so we made a stop first at Ecola State Park. There were hikes to do there, but I didn’t want that to take up the bulk of the day so we just stopped and enjoyed our first look at the view of the Pacific Ocean. It was windy!

Then we reached the main attraction–Cannon Beach. I thought Cannon Beach was… well, just a beach. It actually is a small town with nice little shops, beach resorts, and a lot of dog-friendly restaurants. It seems like the ultimate vacation getaway for people and their dogs.

The beach strip is completely dog-friendly. As long as your dog has reliable recall, they can be off-leash. “Finally!” Yuna must have been thinking. She got to meet so many dogs.

Of course, we had to get a proper shot of the famous Haystack Rock itself, but Yuna wasn’t entire cooperative…

And that trip pretty much wrapped up all of our winter adventures.

What’s next? Well, there are still so many hikes left to do and places to see–and I’m sure many of the places we’ve already been to look different in the spring and summer.

We are not really sure where to go next (although will definitely plan better next time), but I’m thinking the Washington Park Arboretum and the University of Washington in general are must stops while the cherry blossoms are out!

Be sure to follow Yuna’s Instagram for continued daily updates!

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