Effects of Nature

The simple beauty of nature has always been captivating.  I can sit and watch a waterfall, waves, fire for hours.  Natural beauty is so enthralling.  Man has spent so much money time and effort in trying to entertain.  Yet even the best movies and Theme parks get boring after a while.  However, Nature is always different.  Even the same place can be unique every time we visit.

2018 Yearly Trip to the Northwest Part 2

Ahh feels like home again.  We made stops at Cottage Lake, Farrell Mcwhirter Park and our other local favorites.  We also took a nice Long Memorial drive through Seattle and retraced the adventure of Stanley and Stary.   We of course had to stop at the Salmon Slide Park – also known  as Carkeek Park, 


Chittenden Locks in Ballard,  The Fremont Troll  Lake Union to see the Sea Planes at Kenmore Air, Seattle Center and the Space Needle.  Seattle & the Puget Sound. 

Yes, we drove over I90, through the tunnels and right up to the Stadium.  We took 520 back to the East side.  Incredible!

We also make it to Mount St Helens, the Lava tubes and the Columbia River Gorge.


Ad Designed by Grant, age 11

Here’s a Stowaway Ad our son Grant (11 yrs old) designed to promote Stowaway Starfish.  I especially like the 5 starfish rating!

Grant's Ad

As a family we’ve always loved exploring tide pools, and we’ve been fascinated be sea creatures like starfish, anemones & crabs.  The Stowaway story began as a bedtime story to our 4 kids when we lived in the Northwest and imagined what it would be like for a Starfish to explore our world out of the sea. Cover

Together we came up with other fun Stowaway stories including “Doug the Supersonic Slug”, “The Tree-frog from Tallahassee”, “Lester the Lazy Lizard” and “Bumper Crabs”, among others, all relating the tales of critter characters riding on family cars.  We hope to publish some of those stories and others along with their magnetic ride-along characters in the near future.

IMG_2531As a travel companion to the Stowaway Sea Star story, we developed our own magnetic ride-along Sea Stars to ride on outside of the car. At first this was just for our own amusement and we started with a more realistic looking Starfish made by hand at home. We used Latex Rubber on the outside with disk magnets inside.  They looked so realistic people asked if that was a real starfish on our car and how it got there?

IMG_1931This became more fun and we tested different materials & magnets to ensure they would stay on the car for long drives; (they never did come off on a trip).  The first few were near salmon-colored, but we tried purple & magenta trying new materials like silicone & urethane.
The designs began to evolve as we wanted to include a face with some character & personality. 

Evolution of Stowawy CharactersFinally, we turned to the Product Design experts @ Klugonyx in Salt Lake who helped us develop our latest design, featuring an adventuresome character with personality & charm.  They created a beautiful design and helped identify the best materials that balance the need for durability and kid/family friendly design.

klugonyx logo yellowblack (1) (2)

Sea Star ColorWe road tested (& kid tested) various materials, colors & powerful magnets till we settled on a very durable, UV resistant, yet fun & bendy translucent urethane rubber with embedded neodymium magnets and 4 color choices. Two colors are translucent red a purple and the other two Florescent Yellow and ‘Florange’ (both of which glow brilliantly under UV light!).   Our Sea Stars have traveled thousands of miles under all weather conditions and stood up to the most rigorous abuse, we proudly offer the world’s first and best Stowaway Explorers designed to ride on your family car.

Stowaway ComboThese character toys are not only charming and vibrant, but easy to see on your car and start great conversations about this emerging Stowaway movement.  Plus they make it easier to find your car in the parking lot. 😉

Sign up today to pre-order yours.



We had a great time seeing the wild Mustangs in the West Desert this weekend.

While the horses were somewhat elusive, we took some time to visit the old target site where the “Enola Gay” practiced during WWII.   There remains an old observation tower standing and one crumbled as well as the target itself with visible target lines, bomb craters & fragments.

The horses could be seen in small bands, and it was interesting to see how the stallions defended their band of mares.  We avoided getting too close, as we don’t want to harass the beautiful animals, but through binoculars you could clearly see their bulging scarred muscles.

 2018 Trip back to the Washington Coast, So much to tell and so little time while preparing for our KICK STARTER!! 

We made a great circle and made time for our favorite spots along with a few new discoveries. We visited our secret sand dollar spot, Ocean Shores Coastal Museum,   Hoh Rain forest,   Rialto BeachCrescent Lake,  Olympic Game ParkSan Juan’s,

Hidden Find

Mom is in heaven when she gets to walk along the beach and collect sand dollars.

Ocean Shores Damon Point

Gathering “special rocks”

Lake Crescent

Stopped for Lunch and found a adventure at Crescent Lake. I always try and plan lunch somewhere that will also provide a little activity. Today we were going to like to a waterfall, however we saw the lake. It was such a fun spontaneous activity. Rented two Canoes for an hours and everyone had a turn around the lake. The water was so clear you say the reflection of the canoe in 50 foot deep water. After our Canoe trip we did some swimming and skipped our sand dollars. Someone might just find a few sand dollars on their canoe trip.

Hole in the Rock

Early Morning walk on Rialto Beach to Hole in the rock. We love the Northwest and especially the cool coastal weather.


Making a Fairy House at #Seabrook   Another Accidental/planned find.  As usual before the trip I had reviewed all the Geo Caches in the area.  This one looked fun so one day while driving to Ocean Shores we stopped.  We loved exploring the old forest the stumps, caves and crevasse.  Everyone enjoyed using the natural material around to create a beautiful fairy house, complete with a garden and well.


Fairy House at #Seabrook


The Olympic Game Farm in Sequim was a rather expensive (for us) stop. but ended up being worth it. First, plan plenty of time, you can drive through again and again. In the summer there is a small petting zoo but for us the best part was seeing the animals.  We loved feeding them! But also liked observing their behavior and talking about the differences.  It was really exciting to have the Elk and Buffalo eating right out of your hand and sticking their snouts in the van.












Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


Got off the beaten path a bid, almost got ourselves in trouble, but saw some majestic views!

The four corners of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet together. We spent a week down there and had endless adventures. We visited Bluff Fort and learned about early settlers. We hiked and explored Indian ruins in the area. I chose geo cashes that would ask the kids questions about the Indians or the geography of the area. We just wander with a curious mind and have so many questions that promote learning. How did the Indians get there? What do they eat. Why would they choose this canyon? How were these canyons made. Then of course there are all the fun walks along any stream that we can find. Exploring trails on feet and with our trusty pathfinder.

We found the best oasis by wandering. We were up of the cliffs looking down, down, down at the river and notices a dirt road down there. I studied the map and found the way there. Pretty soon we were driving on the narrow dirt road along the canyon wall. We talked about how the canyon was created, why some rocks eroded and others did not. We wandered and wandered and pretty soon found a stream running through the red rock. We all got out and started exploring again, erosion, plant life, minerals, so much fun.

One of our summer trips took up in the tent trailer to Cape Disappointment WA. It is located at the mouth of the mighty Columbia river.

WWII Remains




While there we visited several WWII armaments. It was a great chance for the kids to explore and learn about history and how the country all pulled together.





Another spot was that we visited was the spot where Lewis and Clark spent the winter. It is a great spot, beautiful woods, nice visitor center, junior ranger books and cool reproductions. The whole fort has been rebuilt. You can walk through and see how they lived. There were also fun educational presentations.

Lewis and Clark

A favorite fascinating spot was the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria. We learned about the graveyard of the Pacific. Just as you enter there is a huge map with all the shipwreck’s on it. They have full size boats, life boats, fishing boats, and so much. Outside there is a boat that you get to walk around. It explained why the Columbia river was such an important shipping highway and why it was so dangerous. It was neat to understand the history of the mighty river. We also were able to learn about the Bar and every time we drove over the bridge back to WA we could observe and talk about what we learned.


Out front is a spot for the local train. We were all excited to get a ride. Again my husband was wonderful because the kids and I got a train ride and he tried to follow along in the car and guess where the stops would be.



There is a tall Column in Astoria OR it tells the history of the town and why it was build. This stop was a highlight because we climbed the stairs and flew paper airplanes off the top, up and down up and down. great exercise. From that vantage point we were able to see the whole area, we could see the river and all the huge ocean going ships.

We could also see the bridge over the Columbia river. It was really fun to see the coastal fog. Inland it was a clear and nice day but we could distinctly see the fog right along the coast. This again lead to another great discussion about weather. There was also a huge grass hill that we ran and rolled down.

Again dad was willing to forgo the fun and drive the van down so we did not have to climb back up.

Yellowstone has a great junior ranger program they also have a young scientist kit that you can reserve.  The kids had a great time running around pointing the heat gun into all the hot pools and geysers to find out the temperatures. Then we could figure out why some were hotter than others and observe the colors and depth.  The kids entertained themselves by running in the woods by the campsite pretending to be buffalo.

Another favorite source of good dirty entertainment has been our sand box.

Everywhere we have moved we have built a sand box. Hours of building together and playing has been done in the sand box. The kids work together to make cities, ovens and food, rivers and mountains. My youngest one loves to recreate places we have visited.

Grandpa uses his tractor to till his sandbox and create a huge hill. The sand hill is always a favorite during every reunion. We finally have a sand box big enough, the house we bought in Utah had a sand volley ball court!! We have not yet volleyball in it but many, many hours have been spent in the sand.



Sand under the shade of the WA trees


Sand on Vacation

%d bloggers like this: