June 2011July 2011 August 2011

07/27 - Lake Angeles, Hurrah!

It started inauspiciously, but by fits and starts and sheer force of will we made our way up to Lake Angeles. It was not an easy climb, and we didn't get any great view of the high cliffs around the lake. It was just too cloudy. Still, we did have the satisfaction of a good workout, and we got to see some of the restoration work at the campground. They had to haul the logs for this up from Heart O' the Hills by helicopter. (We had noticed a little helicopter landing on one of the Hurricane Ridge Road pull offs last year. Apparently, that was part of this.) The campground looks quite different, and there are hundreds of baby trees or perhaps bushes. It will look quite different in another five years. Maybe we'll still be able to make the climb then and see.

So much for the picture postcard view

Some of the myriad baby plants

The logs mean keep off the baby plants.

These logs lead down to the lake.

A really neat looking lupine

Some of the trilliums up by the lake

We've never seen trilliums up by the lake before. This has been a weird summer.

Keywords: lake angeles, summer, trillium

07/19 - Some Arty Pictures of Capital Hill

On our last trip to Seattle, we wandered up Capital Hill and took some arty photographs. It's an arty looking neighborhood, so it's perfect for taking arty photos.

Keywords: seattle

07/18 - The Goats of Seattle

We were wandering around near Pike's Place Market when we saw these goats on the steep hillside. They're definitely urban goats and quite hungry. Apparently, they can't get a mower for that steep slope, so the goats are their answer. According to the press release, they're from Rent a Ruminant.

Keywords: seattle

07/17 - Seattle Collage

We were in Seattle a while back and visited the Ballard Locks which are always wonderful. The channel was full of water, and the fish ladder was full of fish. We got to see the railroad truss bridge go up and down. The locks didn't cycle this time, but they're a wonderful working piece of architecture as well as a museum piece.

We also tried out a new Ballard restaurant, The Walrus and The Carpenter. We came early, at 4PM, and loaded up on oysters which were half price. We also had some wonderful grilled sardines with walnuts and coriander, fried oysters with coriander aioli and some wonderful bread pudding with caramel sauce.

Like the Ballard Locks and the fish ladder, The Walrus and The Carpenter was a very Seattle experience. One enters through a coffee shop which fronts a bike shop which leads to the restaurant. Sorry, but we couldn't get a really good photo of the place, but we'll try again when we get back.

The Ballard Locks

There's a lot of water,

some wonderful early 20th century civil engineering architecture,

railroad bridges,

and, of course, fish in the fish ladder.

This is not The Walrus and The Carpenter, but we passed it en route.

The entrance to The Walrus and The Carpenter, a coffee shop,

which leads to the bike shop,

and finally to the restaurant where they had these wonderful oysters.

Keywords: oysters, seattle

07/09 - Hurricane Hill

We were always fond of those mountain climbing movies from the 1930s with their portentious narratives, and their imagined voices always seem to accompany us on our ascents of Hurricane Hill. Maybe it's the park signs for Folded Rock and Lingering Snow. Maybe it's that there is a stretch "so full of dirty sock plant, they call it 'The Hamper'". Well, those voices are back, and we've made our first Hurricane Hill Ascent of the season.

The snows are melting rapidly, and most of the trail is clear. The shaded section through the trees (from The Bench to The Hamper actually) still has a fair bit of snow, but it's well packed and the footing is obvious. The area near the Hurricane Hill Trail side spur is also still covered with snow, but melting rapidly. The side spur is already walkable, at least for a ways.

The views, as one might expect, are spectacular. There is still a lot of snow on the mountains in every direction, and the alpine flowers are coming into bloom, even near the summit. The fields are adorned with a carpet of glacier lilies, and we saw at least one marmot. It may have been two, or it may have been just one who followed us to the summit. All told, the high country is open for the season and is as spectacular as ever.

The view hasn't changed much. There is a fair bit of snow on the big mountains.

Golden glaciers lilies

Melting snow

More glacier lilies and melting snow

The view from the summit

More view

Even more view - There is lots of view from Hurricane Hill.

The trail through that shady stretch of trees is still covered with snow, though passable.

The marmots are back.

This may or may not be the same marmot.

Marmot the Bold, in profile

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, marmots, movies

07/07 - A Walk Down The Elwha To Lake Aldwell

This was just a little walk, maybe a mile or so, from the parking lot just east of where route 101 crosses the Elwha River down to what is left of Lake Aldwell. It isn't a well maintained trail, but it has long been used by picnickers and fishermen. It follows the land up and down along the Elwha River and then leads down to one of the flats at the north end of the draining lake. You can really see the power of the river. It isn't even tempting to wade in that rush of water. Still, with the dams coming down, it will be interesting to see how the changes along the Elwha shores.

The river and some driftwood

The south end of Lake Aldwell

The Elwha

Another view of the Elwha

A typical stretch of trail on a sunny day

Keywords: elwha

07/04 - Pacific Dogwood

Did we mention the Pacific dogwood on the Lake Angeles trail? There's some right near the parking lot if you aren't a big hiker. There's a lot more further up the trail. We still haven't made it to the lake, but some of that is because we've been exploring Hurricane Hill. More on that, and on Lake Angeles, as the summer progresses.

Keywords: flowers, lake angeles

07/03 - Orange Cardamom Cookies

Not everyone likes the taste of cardamom, but it's a wonderful spice, and not just for Christmas. We've been making orange cardamom cookies for a while now. They're really just shortbread cookies, but the cardamom gets an extra kick from the grated orange peel.

We like to use freshly ground cardamom, and often use a bit more than the 1 1/2 tsp recommended. It's great stuff. Our recipe goes something like this:


  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Work the butter until it is soft. Then work in the sugar.
  2. When the mixture is creamy and a bit fluffy, work in the cream and egg yolk.
  3. Add the flour, orange zest, cardamom and salt. (Don't leave out the salt.) WOrk the mixture into a grainy dough.
  4. Make the dough into four "pancakes", rolling them to about 1/4". Wrap them in plastic and let them rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Roll the pancakes out to about 1/8" thickness and either cut them into cookies with a knife or use cookie cutters.
  6. Bake on parchment covered cookie sheets at 350F for about 8-10 minutes.

Keywords: food, recipe

07/02 - Farmers' Market Update

Things have been getting much more lively at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. Nash Huber has fava beans, spinach and strawberries. Did he also have that Swiss chard? We aren't sure if we got it from him or Westwind Farm. We're pretty sure Westwind had carrots. Everything is a bit late, but summer is coming in. Ars longa, veggies brevis, so enjoy the season.

Nash Huber's stand

Keywords: farmers' market, nash huber, port angeles, summer, westwind farm

07/01 - Hurricane Ridge to Hurricane Hill

We've fallen behind updating our web page. That's because we've been busy. We've been into Seattle a bit - more on that soon - and we've been getting up to the high country. The road between the lodge at Hurricane Ridge and the Hurricane Hill trailhead has been plowed, but not yet opened to traffic, so we've been walking it and a tiny bit of the Hurricane Hill trail. It's rather hypnotic, and the flowers are already in bloom.

The avalanche and glacier lilies are among the first, but it is the scent of the phlox that is the real sign of alpine summer. In fact, it seems that everything is blooming at once. Everything is late, but everything is there. We aren't sure when the park will open the road, but until then, we'll use it as a trail. Spring has come to the mountains.

The snow is melting.

Phlox is back.

As are these little violets.

And more phlox

Early lupines

Indian paintbrush

Melting snow on the Hurricane Hill trail

Avalanche lilies

A high country mushroom

A glacier lily

And the mountains

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring, summer

June 2011July 2011 August 2011