Last week I went over to see my friends Forest and Alissa who own Glasswing, a beautiful store in downtown Seattle, the meeting point for mountain and sea in the Pacific North West. The store is a proud reflection of the area's incredible geography, a lush terrain where trees are as tall as skyscrapers, and snow capped peaks stand guard to the horizon. Purveyor of plants and some of the world's most beautiful clothing for men and women, Glasswing is not only a physical space, but has become an ever-growing community of people who are in love with the mysteries of our Universe.
I wasn't at all surprised to find my visit more like a delicious stew of great, memorable experiences, that I will remember for a very long time. Forest, who planned my entire weeks' stay from picnicing in the city; to hiking the Cascade mountain rages; looking for ice caves; to beach camp fires on Whidbey Island by night; and many more adventures in-between, took charge of showing me the best time possible.
So let this be the Glasswing guide to goodness in the greater Seattle area, simply experienced and transcribed by me, and stunningly shot by Glasswing's own Brandon Herrell. Thanks guys, I had a wonderful time.
Glasswing's Canyon Creek Cabin.
Imagine a modern wooden cabin over-looking aqua blue water rapids, framed by the tallest trees you've ever seen. That's what happens when you arrive at Glasswing's Canyon Creek Cabin in daylight. It was the pitch black when we arrived, and we had a few rays of moonlight hinting at the form and scale of the cabin, but by daybreak, I was overwhelmed by the calmness of the cabin's surroundings, and the clean angular lines of its form. It was definitely designed to take in the natural light from above with the living room bathed in sunshine.
We stocked up on local fresh fruit and veg at the town green grocer before preparing for a hike up the nearby mountains.
Lake Twenty-Two Trail, North Cascade Mountains
5.4 miles round-trip, this trail was an afternoon well worth spent. Forest lead the way to the top, passing natural meltwater waterfalls, the tallest trees I'd ever seen, rocky outposts with beautiful alpine views, and a stunning frozen lake up top, surrounded by snow capped mountain peaks. My sock and sandal situation was not exactly ideal but I pride myself on not getting wet feet the whole hike!
Big Four Ice Caves, North Cascades
Despite the ice caves being blocked by melting spring snow, the trail to the Big Four Ice Caves was stunning nonetheless. Its a bit of a headspin for me to experience balmy weather and still see snowy groundcover at the base of the mountains, but I do forget that we were at a decent elevation. The highway into the trail was closed, so we got the bonus 45 minute walk into and out of the area. I was kicking myself for not having a longboard! What a fun ride that would have been!
What a charming little lodge we stayed at on Whidbey Island. Recently re-opened for business under new management, these guys have already proven to be warm, accomodating, and very caring hosts. Staying here feels like a very sophisticated summer camp. I approved muchly of their breakfast board, a smorgasbord of salties and savouries that will make any day a good one. One night after dining in their restaurant, we lit a camp fire on their beach to find the water filled with bioluminescent algae. Suddenly a group of grown humans became young kids playing in the neon-blue sparkling water. So fun.
Toby's, Whidbey Island
A local dive bar that does beer and mussles that are farmed like a kilometer down the road. Is there anything more to say?
Fort Casey, Whidbey Island.
How could a US military seafront fort be such an interesting piece of design? This is a question I kept asking myself at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island. I feel like architects like Tadao Ando came here and saw how the large prefabricated cement structures set into the landscape so to be these geometric blocks that exist in harmony with its surrounding fields. Ironically this Fort was built to be a 'triangle of fire' to enemy ships who threatened the Pacific North West coastline, but somehow the birds and wildlife that call this land home, dive through and around the cement structures like their playground.
Big thanks to Forest, Alisa, Brandon, Matt, and the Glasswing family for this magical experience. You can head over to Glasswing to purchase the gear you see in this post.