A Celebration of Firsts (and Seconds)


Mikaela Cowles

A few years back, I climbed into a seaplane for the first time. The 10-passenger de Havilland Otter met our group at a private dock on Lake Washington. It was a crisp and sunny afternoon – one of those brilliant early-summer days in Seattle when the clouds look like floating cotton candy and the mountains seem close enough to touch.

We flew to Dabob Bay, a remote beach only accessible by boat or seaplane. Keeping the plane at 500 feet, the pilot offered us shoreline views like I’d never seen before. We passed over bits of seemingly untouched wilderness.

After a beach landing, we picnicked among old oyster shells and driftwood. We drank wine, skipped rocks, and left before the tide changed. It was an adventure I’d never dreamed possible and it made me hungry for more.

That’s one of the things about firsts. They remind us that the possibilities for adventure are endless, if only we’re willing to just get up and go. (Or in this case, fly.) I think that’s why I love firsts so much. And, it’s why I’m thrilled about this issue of explore:NW – my first as the editor.

This is also the first summer Kenmore’s flying to their new Canadian destination – Vancouver. The route officially opened April 26, offering non-stop travel between downtown Seattle and downtown Vancouver. Business travelers are over the moon about 1-hour flight times, which leaves extra daylight for savoring a power lunch and slipping in a bit of sightseeing.

While firsts certainly rev my engine, I’m not a gal to say no to seconds (or even thirds). This is especially true when I can get my hands on the freshly made donuts Sara Satterlee shared or a scoop of ice cream from one of the Pacific Northwest’s top ice cream joints.

I encourage you to read Pat Hoglund’s piece “Capturing Chrome” to select the perfect destination for your first fishing trip of the year (not available online…sorry). It outlines not only the most popular places to fish, but where to go if you want calm waters.

Make this summer the first time you see a killer whale, or the second or third time. The magnificent beauty of these creatures always thrills. Just ask Sarah McCullagh, Captain and Lead Naturalist at San Juan Safaris. She shared the inside scoop about why the San Juan Islands offer some of the best whale watching in the world in the Summer 2018 issue of explore:NW and then was also highlighted on the blog. 

And, be among the first to learn what life was like for a commoner in ancient Egypt. The Royal BC’s newest exhibit, Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs, looks not only at the lives of the rulers, but those of the everyday Joes along the Nile.

No matter where this summer takes you, it is my hope you keep trying new things. Experiencing first. Indulge in some seconds. Explore the endless possibilities for adventure. Maybe cross an item off your bucket list. In my book, it’s always a good day when you get up and go (or fly).

Disclosure: It’s an honor to share this Editor’s Letter with you. It first appeared in print in the Summer 2018 issue of ‘explore:NW’ – Kenmore Air’s in-flight magazine, for which I serve as the Editor. 






About Mikaela Cowles

I’m a food-gobbling, book-reading, aspiring photog. Born and raised in Seattle, I love dancing in the rain, bouquets of fresh basil and green grass between my toes. I like how kneading butter into flour makes my fingers soft. I’m passionate about all things sweet potato. I prefer my coffee black, my scotch on the rocks and my steak bloody. I hunt, when I have time; play basketball; and hike. I’ve been known to laugh so hard I hyperventilate. And, I’m the owner of Making Language Count, a boutique freelance writing business.

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