April 2008May 2008 June 2008

05/23 - Seattle and Txori

We have just returned from a lightning trip to Seattle. It was an odd trip. If nothing else, our cellphone died. On the upside, we made it back to Txori and had a wonderful meal, just when we needed it, and we checked out the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park. The sculpture was very 60s evoking Claes Oldenberg and his giant lipsticks, but more witty. We were impressed by this steel tree, or is perhaps aluminum. We were also impressed by the field of lupines at its feet, all natural, and mostly in bloom.

Keywords: seattle, restaurants, art

05/20 - Lake Angeles Update

The Lake Angeles trail is still a mess once you get past the bridge. We've mentioned the big windfall, and we can see that someone has been working hard at clearing the fallen logs and brush, but getting much beyond the crossing means a fair bit of scrambling over logs and fighting with fallen branches. It was a bit much for us.

On the other hand, the trilliums loved it, and the stream is just full of water. To get a sense of the flow, take a look at our little movie. It may be a while before the park people finish clearing the trail to our exacting Kaleberg standards, but we'll keep climbing up and checking out their progress.

Signs of repair at the clearing

The new clearing

Another shot of the clearing

Wild waters at the crossing

Keywords: trillium, lake angeles, kale

Not the best trail, but pretty good

05/18 - Last Days On Snowshoes

We were up on Hurricane Ridge for a last bit of snowshoeing. It was an amazingly warm day, even up over 5000 feet. People were out snowshoeing in shorts. On the other hand, the snow was still in pretty good shape, so we got a good workout. Needless to say, the scenery is spectacular.

Why we climb

The trail beckons

Keywords: snowshoeing

Tide pools and seastacks

05/15 - Signs Of Spring At Second Beach

There have been some fairly good tides at Second Beach recently, so we made a point to get out there. Second Beach is reached by a 3/4 mile trail through the coastal rain forest, and as we started down the "staircase" we could see that the tides were low.

We clambered over this year's greatly increased pile of driftwood and made our way south to the "treasure cave" and climbed around some of the tidepools. There were a good number of anemones lurking where they could, and a few starfish waiting out the low tide.

The beach itself was broad and flat with the big breakers well out from the shore. The little river towards the south end of the beach had a good flow, so we had to cross it up near the bluffs. For us, it was a challenge, but most people can gambol from small stone to small stone with greater skill and less drama than we.

A starfish, one of many

Sea anemones

These are little sea anemones

O'er the ramparts we clambered ...

Keywords: second beach, tides, little river

05/12 - Elwha Trail Report

Whiskey Bend Road has been open for a while, but we've been cowering at sea level, at least until recently. Whiskey Bend Road is in great shape. It's a bit rutted, rather twisty, one and a half lane wide, and some bits of it have washed out over the years. In other words, it is no worse than any other year. The Elwha River Trail is also in great shape. The flowers are blooming, and the little waterfalls along the trail are rushing.

The wild currant was out, as were a lot of the trilliums, but one surprise was a cluster of glacier lilies. They tend to blossom where snow has recently melted, so we can only assume that the trail was covered, in parts, until recently. We saw one blue grouse, which is unusual, and heard others lekking with their deep boom-boom-boom.

It's almost a cliche, but we've included two of our favorite overlook shots. One from early in the trail looking up the river valley, and the other from a bit farther down where an avalanche cleared a view of the snow covered mountains across the river. For those of you who like forest streams, we have some video of one of our favorites in action.

Glacier lilies, of all things

Enjoy a stream in a forest glade (click to play)

We always love this view of the mountains and river

A glimpse of the mountains

Keywords: trillium, grouse, waterfall

05/08 - The Space Needle

We've been in Seattle the last few days. Here's the view from our room. That's the Seattle Space Needle, one of the great retro-future artifacts of our time, and it still looks wonderfully futuristic.

Keywords: seattle, art

05/08 - REI's Gardens

We were shopping for portable water purification gear, so naturally, we headed over to REI. They even have solar powered UV water purifiers. We use UV to purify the already rather pristine waters of Lake Crescent, so we were attracted to this. REI closed the deal with a special sale price, even lower than the version without the solar panel.

The photo is of the REI garden, which is a great way to get out of Seattle and into the country for a few minutes. It isn't quite the real thing, but it's a great conceit.

Keywords: seattle, shopping

05/01 - Rialto Beach

We were out at Rialto Beach the other day, and it shows signs of winter. The sand is dark and gritty, and the tide pools relatively bare. You can see the rough current in the little river about a mile north of the parking lot.

Keywords: rialto beach, winter, little river

April 2008May 2008 June 2008