June 2010July 2010 August 2010

07/29 - Obstruction Point

Obstruction Point Road has been open for a bit over a week, and we Kalebergs were not far behind. The road itself is in good shape, though dusty and vertiginous. The scenery, was spectacular. The hiking trail is still partly covered with snow, but the portion we take was not hard going. The snow that there is was soft.

Other hikers had seen marmots, but we didn't see any. We did see lots of wildflowers: phlox, pink paintbrush, lupines, asters, and, of course, the melting snow. Some of the lakes below are stil covered, though some have melted through. Now that Obstruction Point is open, we can say with certainty, the high country is open.

A view from the parking lot

That little lake seen descending the stone staircase

Snow on the trail

The mountains

It's sort of like this.

One of the lakes

The snow ridge

Pink paintbrush


We're not sure of what this is, and we're not ashamed to admit it.


Keywords: flowers, high country, obstruction point, marmots, kale

07/27 - Moroccan Lamb With Okra

We recently made a new dish from Paula Wolfert's Moroccan cookbook, her Moroccan Lamb and Okra Tagine. As with so many things, it started at the Port Angeles Farmer's Market. The woman at the Family Farm had a tub of okra for sale. Okra looks like what you imagined pod people would look like, except smaller and green. It is also a hot weather plant grown in the American south and sub-Saharan Africa. This has been a cool summer, even by local standards, and Port Angeles is not known for its tropical heat. We have no idea of how she managed to grow okra around here. We eagerly bought a pound or two and broke out a shoulder of Romney lamb from Heritage Foods. The tagine, basically a Moroccan stew, is on the right. It is seasoned with cinnamon and turmeric. The red stuff on top is tomato. We wish we could let you smell it over the web, or even better, offer you a taste, but that will probably have to wait for HTML 6.

That's the dish, en cocotte.

Keywords: food, kale

07/26 - Sand Reckoning

We noted a while back that this does not seem to be a good year for sand on beaches, or on the Dungeness Spit. Still, the low tides tantalized us, so we went back, and this time there was a lot more sand. That made for easier walking. On our previous visit, we stumbled over rocks and stones. This time, we could just walk. Like many things this year, the sand was delayed.

The Dungeness Spit

Keywords: beaches, dungeness spit

07/24 - Hurricane Hill Revisited

The bear is still in the valley. He, or she, has not gone over the mountain yet. The first corn lilies are in bloom. Also, there were a few wild roses in bloom.

Corn lilies

Some lupines in a perfectly Heidi set up

Our friend, the bear

One of the first roses

People: Where do they all come from?

Keywords: hurricane hill, animals

07/22 - Seen on the Lake Angeles Trail

We saw these spooky indian pipes on the Lake Angeles trail. They are always way too early for Halloween.

Spooky indian pipes

Keywords: lake angeles, flowers

07/20 - Hurricane Hill

The Hurricane Hill trail is one of our favorite trails. It offers the high country, amazing views and great accessibility. This year, the flowers have been spectacular. The corn lilies are not quite out yet, but they're getting there.

The big excitement this year, was that there is a bear down in one of the valleys visible from the trail. Usually, when we spot a bear in the high country, all we see is a large dark dot moving against the green below. This bear was close enough to positively identify it as such. To be honest, that's about close enough a sighting for us.

Definitely a bear, not a marmot and weird atmospheric effects

The bear is down there.

A snow crescent on the north face.

From the corn lily side spur

Corn lilies

Sometimes it's the grasses.

A floral spectacular

Avalanche lilies


Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, trails, animals

07/18 - New Software From Kaleberg Laboratories - The Kaleberg Concordance Generator

There doesn't seem to be a simple program for the Macintosh which counts how many times each word is used in a text file, so we wrote one. It's the Kaleberg Concordance generator, and one of a number of fine Kaleberg Laboratories software hacks.

Keywords: software, kale

07/13 - Klahane Ridge

It took us a bit of doing, but we managed to climb up the Switchback Trail to Klahane Ridge. We had been putting it off for all the usual reasons which generally come down to laziness and possibly cowardice. We hadn't really intended to get all the way up to the ridge. In fact, our goal was the junction with the trail to the lodge, around 630' above the parking lot. Somehow, we pushed on, climbing another 850' or so.

We were well rewarded. The snows have melted, save for a few patches by the side of the trail. The flowers are in serious bloom, and we even managed to catch a few avalanche lilies along with the usual glacier lilies, violets, phlox, indian paintbrush, cow parsnip, and a host of others. But, the big reward was at the ridge itself. No, there wasn't much of a view of Port Angeles. The bowl in the mountains was full of cloud, but right on the trail was a male mountain goat in a clearly mellow mood. He posed for the camera, munched on the foliage, gave himself a dust bath and sauntered on.

There was another reward waiting for us near our trailhead. All along the trail the air was full of phlox, a deep sweet scent, but there was a different scent, a familiar one. The bog orchids in the streams by the parking lot were coming into bloom. All told, it was a most rewarding hike.

P.S. Did we mention the views? Yes, there were spectacular views.

Our ascent into the clouds

The hanging gardens

The view from above

A surprisingly mellow mountain goat

Posing for the camera

He's so cute.

Another view



This is a great year for larkspur.

Bog orchids

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge, port angeles, animals

07/12 - Elwha Out Of Whiskey Bend

Whiskey Bend has been busy lately, so the winding one and a half lane road leading up there has been a bit more of a driving challenge. Still, we had to go, if only to see how the river was doing. Well, the river is doing just fine. The wild roses are out, as are the turk's cap lilies. The thistles though seem to be dying. If nothing else, they are kind of twisted. Our big treat was seeing two fawns. One was on the trail and scampered into the woods where we couldn't get a good photograph. The other was right on the road. We had to stop, so we took a few pictures while we shared the road.

The forest floor

The field near Hume's Ranch

The Elwha River

Wild roses

A dying thistle

Turk's cap lilies

Mother and baby

Keywords: elwha, flowers, summer, animals

07/11 - Tiarella on the Lake Angeles Trail

It's like walking through a terrarium. If you keep your eyes open, you might see anything. Here is some tiarella, late to bloom in the forest shade.


Keywords: flowers

07/10 - Morse Creek

We were down at Morse Creek recently. For a consolation - we're too lazy to get out there hike - it's awfully rewarding.

Shallow water, low tide

Morse Creek - mystical light

Morse Creek - reflections

Keywords: morse creek

07/09 - The Death Cake Returns

It's that time of year again. The Death Cake has returned. This is a chocolate cake so rich and dense that you can actually see it warping the fabric of space and time around it. The cake itself is fudge cockaigne. The filling is acid orange, not unlike the fillings of the gas giant planets. The icing is simply fudge, extra rich fudge.

The Death Cake in all its glory

Keywords: food

07/08 - Hurricane Hill

We were up Hurricane HIll again. It's a spectacular walk. The lupines are coming along nicely. There is still lots of snow on the north face, but the shaded, snow covered portion of the trail has just about melted out.

The view

Lupine's progress

Another view - There are lots more where that came from.

Snow on the north face

Glacier lilies and some other flower we should look up

Keywords: hurricane hill, flowers

07/06 - Wild Roses

This is the season of the wild roses.

Wild roses at Lake Crescent on the Spruce Railroad Trail

Keywords: lake crescent, spruce railroad, flowers

07/01 - Dungeness Spit Rocks

The Dungeness Spit tides have been pretty good lately, but the beach has been rough going. Usually, the sand washes out in the autumn, but washes back in by the summer. This year there just hasn't been all that much sand. We aren't the only ones to notice this dearth. The Ocean In View blog noted a similar lack at Second Beach.

We've never seen a starfish, dead or alive, on the Dungeness Spit before.

The view outward on the spit - plenty of rocks

More rocks

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides

June 2010July 2010 August 2010