The Herald of Everett, Washington
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March 25  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
The Sultan Basin Road, which provides access to Spada Lake, is open again after two areas were damaged in early January.

Flooding near the Olney Creek Bridge washed out a section of road, taking out about 200 feet of asphalt. That area was repaired in mid-January. Crews used large rocks to help re-create the base for the road and then re-covered it, according the county's Public Works Department.

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March 24  |  By Jessi Loerch
In late April, kayakers will get a rare chance to paddle the Sultan River below Spada Lake.

As part of an agreement during the relicensing of Culmback Dam, the Snohomish County Public Utilities Department agreed to release water a few times each year for kayakers.



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March 24  |  By Jessi Loerch
Sometimes, it's good to suffer on a hike "Why are we doing this again?" my friend Michelle asked as we pulled into the parking lot at Mount Rose.

Michelle is my most-frequent hiking companion and in January, over a glass of wine, we wrote down a bunch of dates for hiking. The idea was to plan hikes well in advance so they didn't get crowded out by other responsibilities. So far, it's working out well.



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March 24  |  Herald staff
With the low snow levels this year, access is opening earlier than normal to some areas at Mount Rainier National Park.

Projected opening dates have been announced for a number of areas. Visitors should note, however, that services and facilities in some areas may be limited until the summer employees begin work and facilities are dewinterized.



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March 23  |  By Jessi Loerch
The state Department of Natural Resources wants to offer more recreation opportunities for hikers, kayakers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and rock climbers in a large area along I-90.



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March 23  |  By Jessi Loerch
See elevated nature trail before it opens to the public The first public walk on the Northwest Stream Center's new elevated nature trail is from 10 a.m. to noon on April 11. The walk will be hosted by zoologist Tom Noland, naturalist Lori Powlas, and stream ecologist Tom Murdoch.

The walk will introduce people to the interconnections between forest, wetland, streams, fish and people.



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March 19  |  
New bike store: Bayside Bikes, 2707 Colby Ave., is holding a grand opening with beverages and giveaways from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. They’re also having a community kickoff featuring community leaders from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on March 25. The shop will offer bike sales, repairs and rentals. Get more info at www.baysidebikeseverett.com.

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March 19  |  By Jessi Loerch, Herald Writer
See gray whales with new trips out of Edmonds marina Each spring, quiet but impressive visitors show up in the waters between Everett and Whidbey Island. The gray whales, about a dozen each year, visit in spring, eat all the ghost shrimp they can, and then depart to continue their long journey to Alaska.

Even though they're huge, larger than a school bus, if you want to really see the whales, you need to get out on the water. On Saturday, a new boat, the Chilkat Express operated by Puget Sound Express, will begin offering...

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March 15  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
Trip on Beaver Lake trail perfect for converting a reluctant hiker "I don't like hiking," my 4-year-old daughter told me recently.

"Oh, really," I said mildly, while trying to contain my horror.

If my own daughter doesn't like hiking, I'm failing as a parent. And it's going to be a long childhood for her. We do a lot of hiking.

So, when I had a free day, I told Hazel we were going on a picnic. She was instantly on board. It turns out 90 percent of parenting is just effective marketing.

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March 13  |  
Mountaineers Books are putting passion and adventure on the stage. This is the second year for their Be Wild series. They hope the talks inspire people to seek adventure, connect with nature and work to protect wild places. The first talk is at 7 p.m. Tuesday with John Roskelley, who is best known for mountain climbing. More recently, he turned his attention to paddling. His new book, “Paddling the Columbia,” is a guidebook to the entire 1,200 miles of the river.

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March 11  |  By Jessi Loerch
Don't feed the bears, they're waking up early this year Perhaps you've noticed what a warm spring we've been having. Well, it turns out, the bears have noticed, too.

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, bears have been spotted earlier than usual this year.

Here's a press release from WDFW, with tips on being a responsible bear neighbor.



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March 11  |  By Jessi Loerch
Crews will begin clearing the North Cascades Highway from the east side on Monday. On March 23, work will begin on the west side as well.

With such a low snowpack, the route could be cleared in less than a month. On a recent check, snow at the summit of Washington Pass was 5 feet, about half of what it was last year.



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March 9  |  By Jessi Loerch
Have your say on grizzly bears this week Do you think grizzly bears should be reintroduced to the North Cascades?

You have two chances this to comment on a proposal to restore the bears to the area. (Read the background in our story here.)



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March 9  |  By Jessi Loerch
On Saturday, a hiker was rescued after a fall near Mount Pilchuck. While his injuries were not severe, he wasn't able to hike out on his own.

The injured hiker called 911 and was quickly picked up by the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team, which happened to be training for the area.



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March 6  |  
Carnivores: March is carnivore month at the Northwest Stream Center. The topics are: Lynx and snowshoe hare, March 12; martens, March 19; and cougars, March 26. All events are at 7 p.m. at the Northwest Stream Center in McCollum Park, 600 128th St. SE, Everett. Classes are $5 for Adopt A Stream members, $7 for nonmembers. Call 425-316-8592 to reserve a spot. More at

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March 8  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
Get to know the wild Cascades with wide range of classes The North Cascades ecosystem is wild and complex.

Wolverines live there. Wolves are returning, and grizzly bears could be next. Yet this wild place is a short drive from big cities.

The North Cascades Institute takes advantage of this proximity. Each year, it offers courses that take people outside and let them experience the wild for themselves. Courses stretch from

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March 6  |  By Jessi Loerch
Mount Rainier snowplay area won't open this season The Paradise area of Mount Rainier usually opens up an area for sledding sometime around Christmas. This year, with the low snow levels, the area won't open at all, the park superintendent decided this week.

There's not enough snow to allow the use of grooming equipment and protect the meadows underneath.



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March 4  |  By Jessi Loerch
Whale watching trips begin Saturday in Everett Island Adventures Whale Watching will begin offering whale watching tours out of Everett on Saturday. A tour is also scheduled for Sunday. Tours will be available through May 8.



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March 4  |  By Jessi Loerch
Captain hopes to bring historic boat back to Whidbey Mark Saia has a passion for sailing and maritime history.

Right now, that passion is directed toward bringing a historic boat to Coupeville. The Suva, a 57-foot schooner, was built for Frank Pratt of Whidbey Island in 1925.



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March 1  |  By Jessi Loerch
The Everett Mountaineers are hosting a gear grab and potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Craig Romano, an expert on hiking in Washington state, will speak about hiking in the San Juans and Gulf Island. Romano recently wrote a book on hikes in the area.



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February 28  |  
Bike show: The final day of the Seattle Bike Show is today. This year it's paired up with the Travel, Trips & Adventures Expo. Both events are at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle. $10, 17 and under free; www.seattlebikeshow.com, www.trailtoadventure.com.

Guided walk: Take a guided walk from Cama Beach State...

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February 27  |  By Jessi Loerch and Herald wire services
President Barack Obama recently launched an "Every Kid in a Park" initiative, an effort that will give fourth-grade students and their families free admission to national parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year.

The program begins in September for the 2015-16 school year, marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service next year.



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February 27  |  By Jessi Loerch
Tips for razor clam digging with kids What a difference daylight makes. The last time I tried razor clam digging, it was an adventure. (Read: Dark, windy, rainy and we managed to lose our car.)

This time, we had daylight and unseasonably warm weather. 

We all ended up with our limit of clams, even my 4-year-old daughter.



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February 23  |  By Jessi Loerch
If octopus evolve to live on land, we may all be in trouble. See video above for proof.

(Advance warning: There is one word of profanity at the end. But, really, she can be excused. If it had been me, I would have dropped the camera and said something a lot worse.)



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February 23  |  By Jessi Loerch
Learn about the health of local salmon and trout streams at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Northwest Stream Center in McCollum Park, 600 128th St. SE, Everett.

Tom Murdoch, co-author of "Streamkeepers Field Guide: Watershed Inventory and Monitoring Methods," will present the event.



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February 20  |  By Jessi Loerch
Adventure sea kayaker Justine Curgenven will speak at 7 p.m. March 3 at the Mountaineers' Seattle Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle.

Curgenven will show parts of her new film "Kayaking the Aleutians" about a 101-day-long paddling trip along the Aleutian islands and the Alaskan peninsula.



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February 15  |  
Free: This weekend, national parks will be free from Saturday to Monday in honor of Presidents Day. Around here that means Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park. North Cascades National Park is always free. On Monday, Forest Service lands won't require a Northwest Forest Service Pass to use Forest Service recreation sites.

Birds: Joe Meche, a writer and photographer, will offer a virtual tour of Camano Island and talk...

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February 15  |  By Jessi Loerch Herald Writer
16 ideas for trails that you can hike right now If you’re a skier or snowboarder, the snow situation this year is pretty dire. If you’re a hiker, however, there’s a silver lining. Many trails that would normally be snow-covered right now are open.

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February 11  |  By Jessi Loerch
This weekend, national parks will be free from Saturday to Monday in honor of Presidents Day. Around here that means Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park. North Cascades National Park is always free.



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February 10  |  By Jessi Loerch
A video posted on YouTube has caught the attention of Bigfoot hunters. According to them, the video show four of the creatures sneaking behind some slow-moving bison. Skip ahead to about 2:55 for the actual action.



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