The Kaleberg Journal - August 2016


08/13 - Rialto Beach

We’ve been having some clear sunny weather, and sometimes it has been a bit warm for hiking inland, so we decided to head out to Rialto Beach where the cold Pacific Ocean keeps things cooler. By the time we arrived any morning fog had vanished. The sky was an intense blue and the waters were calm.

We didn’t go all that far, just up to the first headland. The tide was nice and low, so we could explore the tidepools. We barely noticed Ellen Creek. It flows beneath the sands, so we had to check inland to make sure it was still there. To the north, the sea stacks and tide pools beckoned. We found anemones, but no starfish. We have been following their slow recovery, so this was a little disappointing.

Given that we are having what passes for a heat wave in these parts, it was a relief getting out and enjoying the coolness at the beach. Even the parking lot seemed warm in contrast.


Tidepools, sea stacks and mysterious islands

A river otter on land

That river otter at sea

Seastacks

A view across the water

Mysterious, even on a clear sunny day

A view north to the headland

Another tidepool

Rocks and tidepools

Some denizens

A view south

Keywords: rialto beach, weather


08/09 - Dungeness Spit and a New Camera

This is probably the best time of year for hiking on Dungeness Spit. Not only are there lots of good low tides, but there is also lots of sand and a lot fewer rocky stretches. The Dungeness Spit is all beach, except instead of following the shoreline it heads straight out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. At high tide there is a narrow margin of sand for walking. At low tide the beach is wide and there is often a stretch of sand just wet enough for easy hiking. Dry sand can be a hard slog just as really wet sand can be.

If you are thinking of heading out, check the tide tables. You’ll want a real low tide, three feet or less, during daylight hours. The ten mile round trip walk takes almost four hours, so plan accordingly. Sunglasses are a good idea too.

We have a new camera, one of those ultrazoom ones. There weren’t any seals or even many birds on the water, but we did take a couple of surprisingly good photos. An ultrazoom camera is basically a telescope without a tripod, so we’re impressed with the automatic image stabilization, though the camera doesn’t do much about the haze.


Sunny at sea, cloudy in the mountains

A sandy, walkable beach

The spit from above

Telephoto shot of the lighthouse, too far for us to walk

One of the ships at sea

Keywords:


08/05 - Seattle

We made a quick trip into Seattle.

The fireboat Leschi greeted us in the harbor.

We visited the Japanese Garden.

We did not eat the carp in the pond there.

Keywords: seattle


The Kaleberg Journal - July 2016


07/29 - Obstruction Point

We waited for a sunny day before heading out to Obstruction Point. We really did not want to be caught on the road out in the fog. We were well rewarded with spectacular high country views, alpine flowers and the return of the alpine lakes, even now filling with melting snow. It is always an otherworldly experience, a journey to the top of the world and another clime.

The trail

One of the views - the Olympic range

Another view

A seasonal lake

Glacier lily - It’s still early spring out there.

Some lupines, nice to see

Another seasonal lake

A lake and melting snow

Yet another view of the mountains

Another lake and melting snow

Phlox, a sign of spring

Keywords: flowers, high country, obstruction point


07/22 - Rainbow and Thunderstorm

You can see the two arcs of the rainbow highlighted against the clouds of a thunderstorm approaching Port Angeles.

Amazing light

Keywords: port angeles, atmosphere


07/19 - Hurricane Hill - Fog and Goats

We recently climbed Hurricane Hill on a cloudy, changeable day. At one moment there was sun, blue sky and a fantastic view of the distant mountains, at another one was walking in a cloud barely able to see a few hundred feet. If nothing else, there was variety. There were also mountain goats. We saw them from the summit. They were along the north face of the ridge, at least ten including a number of kids.

This may or may not have been the same group of goats we encountered on Klahane Ridge. Apparently, the goat population has been growing, and the ranger we talked to noted that there was a goat census in progress. She also asked if we had thrown any rocks at them. We hadn’t, but we’ll carry a sling shot in the case of any problems in the future.


A sunny view

An odd flower season

Fog rolling in, or perhaps out, or even both

Mountain goats

A close up - Ultra-zoom is great!

Fog and goats, as promised in this post’s title

Fogs, goats and bonus snow

Two kids tussling

More rolling fog

Another cloudy view

Bright flowers

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, mountain goats


07/13 - The Mountain Goats of Klahane Ridge

We hadn’t planned on climbing Klahane Ridge. We were just going to climb a few hundred feet to convince ourselves that it wasn’t impossible. Instead, we pushed on, repeatedly promising ourselves that if we climbed just another hundred or two hundred feet we could turn around. Of course, by the time we turned at the 1300’ hair pin, we had no choice but to climb the remained 150’ or so.

The sky had been cloudy, and more clouds were moving in as we approached the top. We could tell that there was no view to the north and the view to the south would be closed in soon. Luckily, a band of traveling players was on its way to provide for our entertainment. We were not the only ones on Klahane Ridge, for along with the other humans were at least a dozen mountain goats including a good number of kids.

These animals can be quite dangerous. Check out those horns. Luckily, they seemed to be calm enough, primarily focused on eating, so not all that much different from ourselves. Needless to say, we did not try to get a good pose with their kids. Instead, we started heading down the ridge. To our surprise, the goats joined us. Maybe they recognized kindred souls, for much as we awaited our dinner down below, they considered the larkspur, lupine and other foliage their open buffet.

Since they were more agile than we and less inclined to follow park rules, they would often take a shortcut and settle in for a course on the trail ahead of us. We humans stopped to watch not wanting to hurry their meal. The nannies would move ahead. The kids would bleat in protest, but eventually follow. We would slink by, hoping our desire to continue on the trail would not be mistaken for a desire for roast cabrito.

The goats left us at the trail junction. They decided to follow a group from Seattle, perhaps recognizing the world class food on offer in the big city. We made our way back to the Switchback Trail parking lot, our appetite sharpened by the exertion of the climb and watching all those goats chowing down heartily.


The Olympic Range appears above Sunrise Peak after 1000’ of climbing.

Pretty mountain country, rising clouds

Mountain goats heading down to join us

Nanny and two kids

Clouds coming in

More kids

Following us down the trail

Further down the trail

Even further down

Flowers too, larkspur and turks cap lily

This was not a good year for the lupines, but the larkspur have taken up the challenge.

Keywords: animals, klahane ridge, mountain goats


07/10 - Lately

Someone has been having a birthday. That means lots of presents and, of course, The Death Cake. It was named for the Death Star, the destroyer space station in the movie Star Wars, except that ours is much larger and more deadly. If you want to make your own, perhaps to destroy annoying rebel planets, try our recipe.

The Death Cake distorting space and time

Lots of presents

A heron down on the waterfront, trying out a new camera

Keywords: recipe


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