October 2008November 2008 December 2008

11/23 - Snowshoe Season Is Here

There is not a whole lot of snow, but there is enough for us to strap on our snowshoes and tromp our way from the Hurricane Ridge parking lot to the Hurricane Hill Trail trailhead. The mountains were in a good mood today, and the scenery was spectacular.

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, winter

Wheat, on its way east

11/21 - The Seattle Waterfront

One of the things about Seattle is that it is a working waterfront, and it is a working waterfront that isn't hidden off somewhere where you can't see it. That means that there is a major grain elevator that loads wheat delivered by rail onto grain ships right on the jogging trail in Elliot Bay. There are container ship loaders punctuating the harbor. There is also Mount Rainier, a ghostly presence on certain days. Look carefully at the latter two pictures, and you'll see it.

You can see Rainier over the container ship loaders to the left

Here's a better view of the mountain.

Keywords: seattle

Some autumn color from Queen Anne - They've got move that power line pole.

11/20 - Seattle Update

There are just a few miscellaneous pictures from our visit to town showing some autumn color, a harbor sunset and a new arrival.

The harbor at dusk

An old friend from Washington DC is coming to Belltown.

Keywords: seattle

11/19 - Little Hawaii

Now and then you see pockets of Hawaiian influence in Seattle. There's the Kauai Family Restaurant down in SoDo. There's also a bit of Hawaii in Queen Anne. They say "Hawaii no ka oi", there is no place like Hawaii, so we imagine that Hawaiians like to bring a bit of it with them.

Some Hawaiian imagery in an apartment lobby

The name says it all

Down on 1st Street

For an ex-pat, a home away from home

It may be institutional brick, but it is on Aloha Street, so it counts.

Keywords: hawaii, seattle

11/18 - View From The Ferry

We've been in Seattle. Here's a view from the ferry. Yes, we were going to fly, but that's a long story.

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Keywords: seattle

11/15 - Klahane Ridge

The day before and the day after were sunny, but we climbed to Klahane Ridge on the day in the middle. The day we climbed the skies were gray, and the ridge covered with cloud. A dank combination of mist and drizzle meant poor visibility. Our ascent was brisk, and the trail was good. If nothing else, mud offers better traction than water. Still, we could feel the ice crystals crunching underfoot as we climbed, and once or twice there were slippery patches of ice.

For much of our climb, we were sheltered by trees or by the hillside itself, but here and there the wind broke through. As we approached the ridge itself, we could feel the wind rising. It was quite strong at the top, and wet. We did not linger. Twenty feet down, we were sheltered again.

Klahane Ridge, like much of Olympic National Park, offers different things in different seasons. On clear, sunny days, the views are fantastic with the Olympic Mountains to the south and Vancouver Island and the San Juans to the north. On a day like this one the ridge offers its wildness, its mystery and its local grandeur. That last is something that must be experienced one footstep at a time.

Keywords: klahane ridge

11/09 - Patience and Persistence Rewarded

This is a tricky time for visiting the high country. The clouds often hide the spectacular view from Hurricane Ridge and the Hurricane Hill Trail. We saw at least one car pull into the parking lot near the lodge, make a U-turn, and head right on down, most likely because the mountains were hidden by gray. We didn't let that stop us. We went on to the Hurricane Hill trail and walked in the strange silence of the gray cloud, seeing only the nearby trail.

We huffed and puffed our way past The Hamper. That's around the half way point. It gets that name because of all the dirty sock plant that grows there. We kept on climbing to the very summit, and there we were, surrounded by gray cloud. We could make out shadows of trees in the near distance, but of the far mountains or the strait, there was no sign.

We started back down, and the first bit of blue broke through the cloud. The fog was lifting. By the time we checked out the corn lily side spur, we could see some of the nearby cliffs. As we passed Marmot Rock the sun burned through a blue hole, and soon we were rewarded with fantastic glimpses of the far mountains through the parting clouds. On a clear day the distant mountains are beautiful, but there is an even greater grandeur when the mountains are awash in clouds.

The view from the summit: Visibility is improving.

Stuff growing from stone

Autumn grasses against the gray sky

A sudden clearing

More autumn color

Clouds and mountains (click to enlarge)

Mountains awash in cloud

The fantastic vista

The scene changes as the clouds shift.

Keywords: autumn, high country, hurricane hill

We seem to post a picture of this tree every year. It's at the Devil's Punchbowl, a popular swimming spot.

11/04 - Lake Crescent

The Spruce Railroad Trail along the north shore of Lake Crescent is a gentle place. The hike is always calming. Lately we've been watching for signs of autumn, and for a while the changes have been subtle. This last hike, though, fall is breaking out in earnest. We don't get the fiery colors of a New England fall, but we do get some great golden maples.

Some autumn color

One of the things we like about the northwest is that things are always growing out of other things.

Keywords: autumn, lake crescent, spruce railroad

11/01 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market - Harvest Edition

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market is in full swing every Saturday morning from 10AM to 2PM at the county courthouse on 4th and Peabody. The summer is great, but the autumn is the real season for harvest goodies. This year there have been lots of great green peppers, and at long last we can feast on lacinato kale, savoy cabbage and brussels sprouts.

We make a lacinato kale salad by removing the stems and cutting the kale into thin strips. Then we add about a half lemon worth of lemon juice, a few tablespoons of good parmesan cheese, a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a teaspoon, to taste, of hot red pepper flakes. It's a great salad, and it's finally in season.

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Keywords: autumn, farmers' market, port angeles, summer, kale

October 2008November 2008 December 2008