Tammy Pancake's Incredible Trip of a Lifetime to the Pacific Northwest

Tammy Pancake Trip of a Lifetime


Global Trade Analyst Tammy Pancake recently returned from an incredible Trip of a Lifetime to the Pacific Northwest to celebrate her 10 years of service at Arthrex along with her daughter’s college graduation. Read how her daughter’s bucket list item to visit all the U.S. National Parks led to amazing sightseeing, mountain climbing and wildlife viewing. 

“With the amazing Arthrex Years of Service (YOS) benefit, we were able to celebrate our daughter Olivia’s college graduation in style. Her May 2 graduation ceremony on the football field of Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, kicked off our adventures. One of Olivia’s bucket list items was to visit all the U.S. National Parks, which led us to the Pacific Northwest.

In our first stop at Olympic National Park in Port Angeles, Washington, we discovered we were a bit early in the season. Many trails were still closed due to snow, but we took advantage of the time to browse the fragrant products in nearby Sequim, a town renowned for its lavender farms. We also learned that the Olympic Peninsula is far larger than we expected.

Due to time constraints, we had to postpone our visit to the rainforests for a future trip as we had reservations for a ferry that would take us to the San Juan Islands. This was a detour that Olivia approved in order to knock off another bucket list item – going whale watching. Listening to the naturalist on our wildlife and whale-watching tour, we learned about the orcas and other wildlife in and around the Salish Sea. We saw and compared sea lions and harbor seals. We saw several bald eagles and wild goats on one of the many islands. However, we saw no whales that afternoon.

Tammy Pancake Trip of a Lifetime

Our next stop was to North Cascades National Park near Sedro-Woolley, Washington. This park is about as far north as you can go before reaching Canada. It was quiet and remote, providing beautiful hikes through ancient forests. My husband gave his new camera a real workout capturing plenty of pictures of the moss-covered trees. 

From North Cascades we drove to our final national park, Mount Rainier near Tacoma, Washington. In my opinion, this park gave us our best day of the trip. We packed a lunch and drove to the trailhead at Longmire. There, the climbing began – three hours of wooded switchbacks and frequent breaks to catch our breath. Even 22-year-old Olivia was wishing for a bit of flat Florida-like terrain. After the challenge of nearly losing the trail in the snowbanks that increased as we neared the summit, we were rewarded with a view of nearby Mount Rainier, a mountain peak so majestic and picturesque that it appears unreal in photographs.

Our last bit of driving took us past Mount St. Helens National Monument. Many of us still remember its 1980 eruption, which spewed a cloud of ash that reached as far as Oklahoma. The snow-capped crater, with one whole side blown away, was a beautiful and sobering sight. Tammy Pancake Trip of a Lifetime

Finally, we left Washington and reached Portland, Oregon. We did the requisite tour of Portland’s attractions, starting the day with a visit to the Oregon Zoo and the rose garden in Washington Park.

Of course, we couldn’t leave without dipping our feet in the Pacific Ocean. Another hour of driving took us to the small towns of Cannon Beach, where we admired the vast rocks just off the beach, and Seaside, where we treated ourselves to a seafood feast.

It was wonderful to experience a place that was still within our country, yet it felt so foreign. It was a true getaway from tropical Florida. Thank you, Arthrex, for helping make this trip possible. It is one we will always remember.” 


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Category: Trips of a Lifetime