The Kaleberg Journal - August 2021

08/02 - Klahane Ridge

We made it up to Klahane Ridge via the Switchback Trail. We got an early start, so the shadows were long. The flowers were blooming, and the hills were green. It's a hard climb, around 1450', and while there are switchbacks, it ascends briskly. We took a few breaks to catch our breath, but we knew that the only way to the ridge is to keep climbing.

A view while climbing

Another view

The trail again

The cliffs

Lingering snow to the north of the ridge

A view from the ridge

Another view with the Olympics


More flowers

Looking up Mount Angeles

Paintbrush, in context


More paintbrush

A view on the way down, different light


The umbrella forest, almost back at the trailhead

Water in motion

Bog orchid

More water, in context

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge

08/01 - Second Beach at Extreme Low Tide

There have been some extremely low tides out at Second Beach this summer. The beach only recently reopened to the public, so we took advantage of the reopening and a recent low tide to see the beach at its widest and head out to the sea stack that is usually an unreachable island.

We expected big crowds, but the trail and beach were relatively quiet. The Third Beach trailhead parking lot, in contrast, was overflowing. We hiked through the forest and descended to the beach. There is usually a driftwood barrier to clamber over, but the beach was clear this time. The driftwood had drifted elsewhere.

We made our way to the sea stack dry shod. It was great to see so many starfish. With the plague wiping out so many of them some years back and recent stories of sea creatures being cooked in their shells we expected the worst. There were starfish and a good many of them. It was far from the years before the plague, but they were not hard to find.

We explored the sea stack, its caves and its seaward side. Then we headed down the beach into the light mist. With an extreme negative tide like this, there was lots of beach and it was easy going. There were more starfish down near the cave at the end of the beach and anemones galore. We spent some time exploring here and then made our way back to the return forest trail.

The trail to Second Beach

No driftwood blocking the way

The hole in the wall towards La Push

The sea stack off shore

A welcome sight

More starfish

Even more starfish


A starfish pool

Faint mist

More sea stacks

Pelicans or pterodactyls?

More pelicans

The beach

More starfish and friends

Tide pools

Even more starfish

Saying good bye to the sea stack

The trail back

Keywords: second beach, summer, third beach, tides

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

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