Five Fun Facts About Idaho’s Fourth of July Pass

4th of July Pass

4th of July Pass

Fourth of July Summit sits right on Interstate 90 in northern Idaho, just over 10 miles east of the Coeur d’Alene area. East-west travelers going from Montana to Washington, or into Idaho, all have to pass over what is either the first or the last mountain pass they’ll encounter, depending on their direction of travel, in the Rocky Mountains.

Here are five fun facts about Fourth of July Pass.

How High?

Fourth of July Pass has an elevation of 3,173 feet above sea level.

Holiday Name

Fourth of July Pass gets its name from the fact that during the building of the famous Mullan road, the first wagon road to cross the Rocky Mountains into the northwest, the workers under Captain Mullan stopped at the summit of the mountain on the 4th of July in 1861 to take a break from their work and to celebrate the holiday.

See Before You Go!

In spite of its somewhat remote location, there is a webcam available, courtesy of the Idaho Department of Transportation, that you can view online. Find it here: Fourth of July Pass webcam.

Which Mountains?

Fourth of July Pass is located in the Bitterroot Mountains of the Rocky Mountains.

Mining Country

The Silver Valley Mining District extends from Lookout Pass in the east at the Idaho-Montana border to Fourth of July Pass in the west, approximately a dozen miles from Coeur d’Alene.

One Photo: A Picnic And A View Above Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington is an extremely popular vacation destination in the Cascade Mountains. It’s famous for its great food, incredible shopping opportunities, and numerous festivals. It’s also well known for being so close to some of the best scenery and outdoor recreation in Washington State.

This lone picnic table sits high above Leavenworth on a dirt and gravel road and offers a quiet place to get out and enjoy the surroundings. It’s just asking to share a meal or a snack with you. It was asking me to take its picture.

Vacation In Westport And Stay At Mandala Sands

Westport - Mandala Sands View

A road trip along the central coastline of Washington State can often be just the thing. When you go there you can explore the peninsulas, bays, forests, and beaches of some of the most beautiful parts of the state. You’ll be treated to historic sites, state parks, museums, tourist attractions, rock formations, and sandy stretches of beach. You’ll also be treated to some truly fun communities. One of those communities is Westport, right on the mouth of Grays Harbor.

When you head out to take a road trip in the Westport area you’ll be able to head down Highway 105 to the north coast of Willapa Bay. You’ll also be able to explore all sides of Grays Harbor too. You can even take the famous Highway 101 further south to Long Beach, the mouth of the Columbia River, and even the impressive Astoria-Megler Bridge that crosses the Columbia into Oregon. You can also go north and take Highway 109 up the coast from Ocean Shores to some more remote sections of the coast with community names like Moclips and Pacific Beach. Westport has a lot to offer in terms of what you can find when you head out from there on a road trip.

Westport has a lot to see if you want to stick around there too, including the local lighthouse, the active marina, the fun shops and eating establishments, and more. When you go there, you’ll need a great place to stay too. There’s a great vacation rental available too and it goes by the name of Mandala Sands.

Westport - Mandala Sands Living Room House

Mandala Sands is a lovely rental home that features three bedrooms and sleeps up to six people. The house is very comfortable and has been designed specifically to make sure that anyone going there can have a great beach vacation getaway. You can walk right out of the house, down a path through the tall beach grass, and be on the sandy beach with the waves lapping at your feet in a matter of minutes. You can also step outside, both at the ground floor and the upper level, and enjoy some amazing views of the local scenery.

Westport - Mandala Sands Living Room Living Area

Mandala Sands features a fully equipped kitchen that is perfect for any home cooked meal which is always a nice touch for a family vacation. The living area is comfortable and very warmly decorated. When it’s time to crash for the night, you’ll love the bedrooms at Mandala Sands too. Falling asleep within earshot of the crashing waves is always a treat.

Westport - Mandala Sands View

When you stay at Mandala Sands you’ll also be within walking distance of several interesting parts of Westport, including the downtown area itself. Head to town, have some fun along the marina, grab a bite to eat, and then walk back on the beach almost all the way to your home away from home.

You can’t beat Mandala Sands when it comes to a vacation spot in the Westport area!

Mandala Sands
Westport, Washington

21 Great Museums On The Oregon Coast – Part One

21 Great Museums On The Oregon Coast - Part One

21 Great Museums On The Oregon Coast - Part One

One of the best road trip opportunities in the entire Pacific Northwest has got to be the Oregon Coast Highway. This amazing road trip starts in the north at the Columbia River and goes all the way to the border with California in the south. Along the way you’ll pass by some incredible scenery, some fun things to do and some great communities.

If you’re a history lover, you’ve come to the right place too. Many of the communities along the Oregon coast have some great museums that are worth seeing. Some of these museums Focus on the local area, some on the water and some on more general topics.

Here’s part one of our three-part series.

When you’re finished, check out: Part Two or Part Three after they’re posted. 🙂

21 Great Museums On the Oregon Coast (#’s 1-7)

The Coos History Museum is located in Coos Bay and does a great job of presenting not only the history of this community but also all of the Southern Oregon coastline. A visit here will open your eyes to some of the interesting things that have happened in the area in the past.

The International Police Museum is a small museum in Rockaway Beach, a popular vacation destination. Though small in size, this great local museum does a wonderful job of promoting the good works and history of law enforcement officers, not just in Oregon, but around the world. This is well worth the stop!

The Seaside Historical Society Museum will lead you on a journey not just of recent history, which is very interesting, but also through the ancient history of this part of the Oregon Coast. This museum is very well equipped to tell the story of Seaside, Oregon and the surrounding area.

Located in Newport, the Burrows House Museum does a great job of showing off what life was like in the early days of the community. This small house is related to the nearby Pacific Maritime and Heritage Center. It’s a nice snapshot of a given point in history and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful.

If you have an interest in the history of newspapers or journalism, you’ll love a stop at the Marshfield Sun Printing Museum in Coos Bay. This small museum is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, closed Mondays, and tours are available by appointment. With all of our modern conveniences, this is a great look back at the challenges newspaper editors and publishers had to surmount to get the news out.

PREHISTORIC – Lincoln City
Prehistoric is a combination of a museum and shopping experience where you and your kids can learn all you can about dinosaurs and the prehistoric world. Check out a wide array of dinosaur bones here! It can be real eyeopening.

The Little Log Church & Museum is a very small historic church in the community of Yachats. Inside there are some great historical items and displays on the history of the area. The building is built from local logs and is in the shape of a cross. The unique architecture of this quaint little church is something you’ll want to capture with your camera.

Check Out!

One of the things I love to stop at every time I’m out on the road trip is a good hydroelectric dam. Okay, that may sound weird. But I’ve always just love dams. Maybe it’s admiring the engineering skill. Maybe it’s the fact that most of them are located in areas where they are surrounded by a great scenery. Or maybe it’s an example of man versus nature that I’m admiring so much.

Luckily for us here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve got loads of great dams to go look at. They’re huge runs along the Columbia River and small ones tucked away on smaller rivers.

It’s great to also learn a few more things about the dams we have here in the northwest. A good source for information about a lot of the dams we have here is

Check them out today and see what you might learn. Then go out and check out one of those dams. You know you want to.

Five Fun Facts About Oregon’s Mount Hood

Mount Hood

Mount Hood

Mount Hood is the dominant physical feature of the Portland area. It can be seen from several points around the city and is a popular object of photographers. It can also be seen across the Columbia River from several locations in Washington State. For those heading westward through the Columbia River Gorge on the way to Portland or the Pacific Ocean beyond, it can be seen almost the entire route.

Whether you view it from far away or want to drive up to it, go skiing, or get out and explore the trails and glaciers on its flanks, it’s a great destination.

Here are five fun facts about Mount Hood.

How Many Ski Areas?

There are a total of six ski areas on Mount Hood. They are: Timberline, Mount Hood Meadows, Ski Bowl, Cooper Spur, Snow Bunny, and Summit.

Native American Name

The name the Multnomah tribe calls Mount Hood by is “Wy’east”.

Both The Highest And 13th Highest

Mount Hood is the highest point in all of Oregon. When ranked nationally, this makes Oregon the 13th overall highest state based on its highest point. The 12 states ahead of Oregon with highest points that are higher are Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Hawaii, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, California, and Alaska.

Who Named It?

Mount Hood received its modern name in 1792 when a ship from the Vancouver Expedition made it as far upstream in the Columbia Gorge as just east of where Portland sits now. The mountain was named in honor of Samuel Hood, Admiral of the British Fleet. It was named by Lieutenant William Robert Broughton.

Two Ships?

There have been two United States Navy ammunition ships named the USS Mount Hood over the years. The first was commissioned in July of 1944 and destroyed in November of the same year at Manus Naval Base in the Admiralty Islands. The second was commissioned in May of 1971 and decommissioned in August of 1999.

A First Class Experience At The Chrysalis Inn & Spa in Bellingham

chrysalis inn

If you’re looking for a great part of Washington State for your next road trip look no further than the Bellingham area. When you use Bellingham as your headquarters or one of your main stops you have a long list of potential scenic drives to take. First on that list is just to drive around Bellingham; see the local architecture and the views out towards Bellingham Bay. You can also drive north into British Columbia. Drive South to the Seattle area or west into the Cascade Mountains including the famous North Cascades Highway. So many choices!

chrysalis inn

Back in Bellingham though you’re going to need a place to stay. One of your best options is the Chrysalis Inn and Spa in the Fairhaven area of Bellingham. This amazing lodging opportunity features the kind of first class accommodations many people are looking for.

Your room at the Chrysalis Inn and Spa features high quality linens on the bed and comfortable seating. The hotel has all the amenities you want plus a few you wouldn’t even expect to find.

chrysalis inn bedroom

There’s so much at the hotel offers that it may distract you from getting out and taking that drive you want to go on. While you’re there you can get in a great workout at the partnered gym where hotel guests are welcome, use the high speed internet to your heart’s delight, get a great meal, or sign up for a spa experience to complete your weekend perfectly.

The friendly staff can also help you with the perfect dinner or shopping experience you’re looking for. The Fairhaven area that you’ll be staying in is regionally famous for the unique experience you can have exploring the retail area during your stay. You can also stroll along the water front watching the boats come in and out of the bay.

A road trip to or through the Bellingham area can be a fun idea. Staying at the Chrysalis Inn and Spa can make it truly memorable.

Check out this amazing lodging option in Bellingham online:
the Chrysalis Inn and Spa

One Photo: Earthquake Point Historical Marker

Earthquake Point Historical Marker

Earthquake Point is located about halfway between Wenatchee and Chelan. It earned it’s name from a violent earthquake that occurred in 1872. Enough earth and rock was brought down that the Columbia River was completely blocked for a number of hours.

Historical markers make great places to stop and learn something new during a road trip. They also make nice photo taking opportunities.