Things to do while stoned: McKinley Park, Tacoma, WA.

While honoring a friend and former budtender of House of Cannabis, Miguel Gonzales, who passed away recently, I had the opportunity to check out the hidden gem that is McKinley Park, in Tacoma, WA.

McKinley Park is situated on the bluff overlooking the Tacoma Dome and Commencement Bay, adjacent to the south side of I-5, looking north. The park includes some beautiful landscaping, great views, multiple ins & outs, gentle slopes, and if you prefer, serious, short climbs.

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Things to do while stoned is a whimsical look at general and specific activities that many people who are stoned oft enjoy. It’s meant to be a fun look at the lifestyle.
Photos by Krista W.

Parking is located on the extreme south side of the park, part way up the hill, towards the Lincoln District from the Dome District. I approached from downtown, passing directly adjacent to the Dome, going over I-5, and up to G Street, where you hang a left. It looks like a dead end, but it’s not. Take a right, and parking is plentiful. You are at the top of the park.

As you walk down the hill, you will pass tons of native plants, trees, and wetlands. There are several mini waterfalls in the park, as well. At the bottom of the hill, you are treated to the visual pandemonium of cars merging from the S. 38th/HWY-16 northbound collector, and I-705/HWY-7 onto I-5 near the final merge point. It’s easy to dip off park grounds to burn one to help heighten the experience here, while the cars stream (or crawl) by.

Walking along the trail, the length of the park is covered to the east before you switch back and start walking up through the thicker hillside woods. Most of the water features are on spectacular display on this portion of the path. The scenery is beautiful, and I saw two snakes, several squirrels, and a few songbirds on this walk.

It took about 45 minutes to walk through the park at a fairly leisurely pace, but if you were exercising, it could be done easily in probably 10-15 minutes, depending on level of exertion. Overall, it was a beautiful walk in one of Tacoma’s most beautiful parks.

Things to do while stoned: PUZZLES!

As the pandemic drags on into the new year, a lot of folks are looking for creative activities to pass the time at home. While card games and board games are great, sometimes you want something more mellow—that’s where jigsaw puzzles come in. Chances are, you’ve done a jigsaw puzzle of some kind at some point in your life. But if you haven’t put together a puzzle as an adult, you might not realize how well it pairs with cannabis! And as an added bonus, you can frame the finished puzzle and use it to decorate your home or gift it to someone else!

I recently made an impulse buy when I found a 500-piece puzzle of “The Big Lebowski” for just $10. It had been a decade or two since the last time I had put a puzzle together. My partner and I set up a small table in a spot safe from our cats, knowing this project might take several sessions to complete.

Step 1: Sorting the pieces.
The first task when starting a puzzle is sorting the pieces–the perfect task for while you’re stoned! We found it was easiest to pull all the edge pieces and start building the puzzle with those, and to sort the middle pieces by color and/or texture. We enjoyed Vortex by Bondi during the sorting process.

Step 2: Assembling the puzzle.
If you’re planning to frame the finished puzzle, make sure to assemble it on a smooth surface, like a piece of cardboard or poster board. It will be much easier to do the gluing and framing if the puzzle is on a separate surface, rather than directly on a tabletop! It took us 3 nights to finish the puzzle. Even when there was a long period of time without any puzzle pieces being placed, we didn’t mind–after all, we were spending time together, doing something new, and smoking lots of cannabis! Some of the strains we consumed during this process were: Peach Rings by Puget Power, Do-Si-Do by Bondi, and and Rose by Loud.

Step 3: Gluing.
After we finished the puzzle, we used a paintbrush to apply a thin coat of adhesive. There’s a few different options that you can use–we just happened to have some Mod Podge around the house, so we used that. Depending on what kind of adhesive you use, you may want to do two or more coats, letting each coat dry completely before applying the next.

Step 4: Framing.
From here, you just need to transfer the (completely dried) puzzle onto whatever matting you’re going to use for framing. If you’re skipping the frame, you can just glue the puzzle to a piece of thick cardboard or something similar.

Things to do While Stoned: Beach in the Fall Time

Going to the beach in the fall is just as good as the summer if you ask me. The key to a successful fall beach trip is picking the right time to go for optimal fun and adventure.

My friends, the time is now! According to a little birdie on my radio this morning The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife opened up season for razor clam digging today and the clams are plentiful. So far, the season opened today October 26th and it lasts for seven days.

All the official information that you may need regarding razor clam digging can be found at Washington’s Department of Fish and Wild Life website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#current. I Highly suggest checking out their website for licensing and harvesting information, current and future dig dates, and which beaches are open for digging.

For the official stoner guide to razor clamming step no further, I got you covered.

First and foremost we gotta get our stash right before heading out. When doing outdoor activities like fishing and crabbing I gotta have me some joints stashed to help pass the time while facing the elements. For the particular activity of razor clamming you are usually busy hunting for the clams to show you where they are in the sand, then when you finally see one you gotta dig that sucker up asap. This equates to less time to shoot the shit and smoke joints.

You guys, its all good! We have some of the best edibles on the market at Tacoma House of Cannabis, perfect to keep the buzz going on your busier activities, and they’re extremely affordable at that. Edibles starting out at $15 for 100mg of THC. Pop a few of those bad boys and you’ll be good til at least one limits worth of clams are harvested.

So we got our favorite edibles maybe a vaporizer for discreetness, and of course some joints stashed. All the rest of the things you need for razor clam digging can be found at the hardware stores near the beach; things like shellfish license, a digging utensil, and mesh bag for the bounty are a must.

It’s gonna be wet and cold out there in all reality. All that digging is gonna work up an appetite for some doobie breaks. So just remember to be respectful to others, and take a step back from the crowd before puffing on the magic dragon.

Happy hunting!

Loup Loup Ski Area and Sitzmark – under celebrated and not crowded.

Ski or snowboard, it doesn’t matter — the season is right around the corner, and Cliff Mass thinks we are going to have a wet and wild winter! Avid borders are getting their Subarus, VWs, and Audis up for multiple trips up the mountain. If you don’t have your own gear, and helicopter, getting to some of the more desirable, dangerous, and exhilarating spots is difficult; go to the touristy, more expensive spots is an arduous journey in crowds, high costs, and long lines at the lifts can really put a damper on the spirit. If only someone put out a guide of a couple awesome spots with no lines and awesome runs, where to stay on the cheap, where to eat, and of course – where to grab some pot.

The Seattle metro area has a habit of going to three places to ski – Crystal Mountain, Snoqualmie Summit, and Mount Baker Ski Area where the prices are steep, and the lift lines can be daunting on those perfect days on the weekend. So, one might wonder how to get a fulfilling and reasonably priced ski adventure in without heading to California, Montana, Colorado, or Wyoming. House of Cannabis has you covered in so many ways. For those of you in our loyal, loving Tacoma crowd, you may never have been to our ‘East of the mountains’ stores. Both are wonderful, fabulous cannabis stores in small towns buoyed by the recreational atmosphere of Okanogan County. There are also at opposite sides of the county, so the landscape and to do list can be varied and wide. For the price of a day at Crystal, Summit, or Baker, you can stay and ski the weekend in Okanogan County. I shall elaborate.

The second store we opened has become House of Cannabis – Twisp, in the Methow Valley. It is the closest store to Lake Chelan, and it is right on the Loup Loup Hwy 20 / Hwy 2 Scenic byway.  Twisp offers several affordable, clean places to stay, including the Sportsman Motel ($, Rustic, Clean), Idle-a-While Motel ($, Cute, Quaint, Private), Twisp Terrace Lodge ($$, Modern, away from town), Twisp River Suites ($$$, Modern, walk the town), and even the uber ritzy Sun Mountain Lodge ($$$$, in Winthrop 8 miles North, mountain bike / horseback / cross country ski paradise). There are many other options as well that a simple google search will reveal – Abby Creek Inn, Mt Gardner Inn, and these AirBNBs. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SKIING??

From the “Double Z” ski run at Loup Loup Ski Area

Loup Loup. Yeah, it’s a funny name, but it’s what it has. About 10 miles east from Twisp on Highway 20 is the summit of Loup Loup pass. A couple hundred yards after the summit is the turn to the left of the Loup Loup Ski Bowl, which is well marked. The road is well maintained, oft plowed, but you should have an AWD vehicle and/or chains or the appropriate fitting for your vehicle just in case conditions change while on the mountain. Two different lifts and a tow rope introduce you to varying levels of slopes available for your shredding desires. 1,240 vertical feet of skiing starting at the summit at 5,260 feet awaits you, with little to no lift line, and the highest single day pass starting at $55 each. Ski rentals are available in the towns of Winthrop, Twisp, and at the base of the Loup Loup ski bowl, so if you don’t have your own equipment, that’s ok!

Loup Loup Ski Area Trail Map

The ski bowl has several long, enjoyable beginner and intermediate slopes, and many short and medium run expert slopes, with a skill level and ability to work on form with a variety of hill challenges. Loup Loup also has a tubing hill, and 23km of groomed cross country skiing available. Of course, House of Cannabis is there for you, just down in the town of Twisp, for all your cannabis needs during your stay. Check out the pics below for a current view of the mountain from their webcam, the ski map, and a pic of our fabulous store in Twisp. Continue past the pictures to read up on the Sitzmark ski area near House of Cannabis, in Tonasket.

Just 35 miles past Twisp, to the east, is our 3rd store, House of Cannabis – Tonasket. Aside from being an absolute gem inside its’ central location in the town, the interior is amazingly crafted through the vision of our partnership. Like Twisp, there are several great places to stay like the Red Apple Inn ($), Omak Inn ($$), The Junction ($), and many AirBNB and small resort style stays.

A topigraphic trail map of the Sitzmark ski area
Sitzmark trail map

As for the hill, Sitzmark is ideal for families, or those just learning to ski. Base elevation is just over 4300 feet, and the summit is 4950 feet. Sitzmark has two lifts (one of them is decidedly the main, and most trafficked lift) serving the mountain. One of the things I really like about Sitzmark is positioning of the runs, relative to the main lift. The three expert runs are immediately under and to the sides of the main left, while beginners and intermediates after unloading from the chair will ski to the left quite a bit before beginning their runs. Expert skiers can expect to make frequent runs during a day, maximizing on slope time because of quick access at the top to the black diamond slopes, and at the bottom to the queue for the lift. Beginners and Intermediates will enjoy the long runs back to the base down a variety of green or blue rated slopes. Lift rates are a bit more value driven at Sitzmark, compared to Loup Loup, with the basic adult pass clocking in at $45 for a full day pass.

After your day on the hill is done, there are lots of dining options in the Twisp/Winthrop area until about 8-9pm on weekdays, and as late as 11pm on weekends. In Tonasket, there are several options but the town closes down a bit earlier, but for the night owls, Omak is 20 miles to the south, and features great dining into the night, and also has 12 Tribes Casino on the south side of town.

For more information, you can always check out their websites:

Loup Loup Ski Area

Sitzmark Ski Area (not mobile friendly, really… not the worst, either.)

Online ordering - Click this image
Click here for online ordering!
Ski The Loup • Mountain Webcam view from the Top (NOTE: If this view is missing, camera is temporarily offline.)

The current view from the top of Loup Loup