The Kaleberg Journal - June 2021

06/24 - Dungeness Dike - A Bird and High Water

We often head out to the Dungeness Dike off Towne Road. Lately, we've been seeing a lot cooperative birds there. We've also noticed that the water in the Dungeness River has been rising and has taken on a milky blue shade thanks to the particles in the snow melt.

A cooperative American goldfinch

High water covers the base of the leaning (almost fallen) trees

Milky blue snow melt


06/23 - Hurricane Hill

We've been getting an early start on the hiking trail and heading out along the Hurricane Hill Trail. The snow along the trail has melted, but the climb is as steep as ever. The rewards are the wildflowers, the marmots and the amazing views.

The view of the mountains, as spectacular as ever

Morning clouds over the Elwha

One of the marmots

Another marmot

Yet another golden marmot

Melting snow

The start of the little lake

Pask flowers

Other flowers

Across the high country

Another mountain view

Glacier lilies

Avalanche lilies

Mountains and mountains

Western wallflower

More glacier lilies

More avalanche lilies

Lots of larkspur

Early lupines

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

06/17 - Dungeness Spit

It is hard to walk the Dungeness Spit in the winter. The mid-day low tide is usually almost as high as its surrounding high tides, and the what there is of the beach lacks sand so progress is hard going. We're in the season of good tides now. Check the left hand side of this web page or our tide tables to find a good tide. Note that the lighthouse is closed for the duration, so no bathroom or running water. Still, this is the best time of year for the ten mile round trip hike.

The forest walk to the spit

The sea and clouds

Take off!

More sea and clouds

An eagle on the driftwood - Check inland now and then.

The view back to land, again mainly sea, sand and sky

A view from the climb out

The forest trail again

and again

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, summer

06/16 - Summer Along the Elwha

It's summer along the Elwha River. The river is milky with snow melt and the water is running high. The foliage just about everywhere is green and thick, and we even saw a young fawn. We took our usual walk starting at Madison Falls and heading along the closed portion of Olympic Hot Springs Road. We took the detour around the old campground through the high ground and forest and emerged again on the road to the Altair bridge.

As usual, we went a bit beyond the road gate and looked for the waterfall across the river. We saw it, but, as usual this time of year, this meant a glimpse now and then revealed through the foliage. Eventually, we'll head on and check out the old dam overlook, but it's a two hour hike for us just to cross the bridge. Next time maybe.

The Elwha now running through the old campground

The Elwha as seen from the Altair bridge

Roses in bloom near the bridge

A doe and fawn, still speckled

The green wall

Elderberry buds

Milky blue water

Another look at the Elwha

And another

Green trail on the detour

A turk's cap lily

Keywords: elwha, summer, waterfall

The Kaleberg Journal - May 2021

05/18 - Mount Shasta to Portland and Home

We made it home. We had a stop in Mount Shasta and stayed at yet another comfortable Best Western Plus and ate on the patio of the hotel restaurant. We had great burgers with great fries and onion rings. We had a view of Mount Shasta in the distance, but we were in no shape physically or mentally to climb it. Fourteen thousand feet is a lot.

The next day, we pressed on to Portland. We expected the worst. Downtown was quiet. Our hotel, the Heathman, was open, but minimally staffed. There were two people who worked the desk, parked cars, assisted with the luggage, answered the phones, made reservations and so on. Our suite was designed to be a corporate hospitality suite with a fireplace, television monitor, heavy duty LAN router, wet bar and a wine cellar. Wine is a big business in the area.

We ate nearby at Southpark Seafood. They had set up outdoor dining on the street. We were under a marquee and had a powerful electric heater for added warmth. Wanting variety, we had the Chilled Seafood Feast, a collection of oysters, shrimp, dungeness crab and ahi poke. Then we had the paella with halibut, clams, shrimp, peas and bomba rice. Maybe we were missing the seafood of home.

We wandered around the neighborhood and dropped into Kinokuniiya, a Japanese book store where we bought wrapping paper and pencil cases. The streets were quiet, but not deserted. It felt like the central business district that it was, after business hours.

Mount Shasta

Southpark Seafood - our first urban restaurant of the COVID era

A former theater, things change

Now a Japanese bookstore - Kinokinuya

We haven't been in a bookstore for years thanks to Amazon.

Signs in the window

A quiet city park

A quiet urban plaza

A skateboarder making the most of it

A fountain outside our hotel

Our room

Keywords: california, oregon

05/17 - West County Trail from Forestville

We weren't up to much, so we took a short walk on the West County Trail near our hotel. We drove into Forestville, a small town with a variety of shops including a high end coffee shop, hardware store, various wine tasting rooms, restaurants and a laundromat. The trail was flat, paved, easy going, and clearly a converted railroad right of way. It ran through fields, backyards, and vineyards. One vineyard even had a sign encouraging trail users to drop in for a tasting.

We saw lots of grapevines all neatly trimmed, nice and tight on their supports. We also saw a hellebore in bloom, several butterflies and a patch of dill gone feral. It always pays to keep one's eyes open, even on a tame trail like this one.

The West County Trail


More of the trail - It screams ex-railroad.

A trailside field


Some forest

A curious plant

A curious butterfly

A cute Pixar alien or some local berries

More vineyards

More of the trail

Keywords: california

05/16 - Mount Taylor

Energized, the next day we climbed Mount Taylor. We drove a short way to Santa Rosa and started our ascent. This was quite different country from the redwoods. Everything was drier. The grass was already brown, and clusters of trees followed the drainage looking for water.

The lower part of the hike was dry grassland, but here and there the trail passed through wooded areas. We climbed the broad grassy hill to the stile and then passed into a shaded forest with short knotted trees. The shade was a welcome relief from the brilliant sky.

The trail turned, and we could see Pacific Ocean mist in the distance and the open land for miles around. Datura was in bloom in among the grasses, and there were ripe wild strawberries waiting for us in one of the shaded patches.

We made it to the cairn at the summit. It was a pretty view. It was dry, and we were glad we had brought water. The descent was easier. We just followed the land. We used to be regular visitors to Napa and Sonoma Counties, but it had been years since our last visit. We were rewarded for our return with familiar sights and familiar land.

Dry grasslands and clustered trees


More flowers

A distant mountain

A shaded area

More shade and twisted trees

The trail

The forest

Back in the sun

More flowers

Another open field

A more distant view

More dry grass

The trail goes on

Still a touch of green

A summit view

Seen on the way down

Wild strawberries, a real treat

A California poppy

Keywords: california, flowers

05/15 - Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma

The next day, we made it to the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville with time to spare. We did nothing except lounge around, get massages and dine at the hotel. The hotel grounds are charming and restful, and, for at least one day, more than sufficient.

The Farmhouse Inn

Lots of charm

Our port in a storm

The pool - we actually took a swmi

Excellent gardening

Another view

The firepits - s'mores every evening

Another view

A view of our building

The Farmhouse Inn again - We just lolled around.

Our patio

Keywords: california

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