April 2009May 2009 June 2009

05/30 - Winter's Passing On Hurricane Ridge

Winter is passing on Hurricane Ridge. We had one last snowshoe the other day. There was still a fair bit of snow, but it was getting thin and slushy. We made our way down Hurricane Hill Road which as of yesterday still had a foot or two of snow on it. The snow was melting furiously, and had vanished in patches. The park service will probably plow the road soon, and the Hurricane Hill trail will be open from the parking lot.

There is still plenty of snow on the mountains.

It's a bit slushy, but good enough for snow shoes.

The Hurricane Hill trail should be open soon.

Another pretty view

More mountains

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring

There are lots of "umbrella" trees along the first part of the trail.

05/30 - A Short Walk Up The Switchback Trail

It may be too soon to be climbing the Switchback Trail to Klahane Ridge, but the signs are promising. If nothing else, the first couple of hundred feet of the trail are clear of snow. You can tell that the soil in this area is unstable, because a lot of the trees are bent like umbrella handles. You can also tell that the snow is melting, because the little streams are full of water. We're going to grab our Yak Trax and give it a go some time in the next few days, weather permitting.

A curtain of drips

The ridge beckons.

Click for a waterfall interlude

Another interlude

Keywords: waterfall

05/28 - The Trail To Lake Angeles

The trail to Lake Angeles is open and nearly snow free save for a few patches right near the lake. There is still ice on the lake, but it is melting rapidly, and the view up there is spectacular. The frogs were out and chirping loudly. Click here to hear them. We've never made it up to the lake this early before. Who knew what we were missing?

There is still a fair bit of snow on the mountains.

The ice is melting rapidly.

There are buds on the trees, but the scene is still wintry.

Melting snow at the campground

Another view of the mountains

A panorama of the lake

The trail is in great shape up to the lake and lined with trees like the aisle of a cathedral.

The creek is rising as the snow melts.

We love the mosses.

Our obligatory trillium photo, while the trilliums hold out

Keywords: lake angeles, winter, spring, trillium

05/27 - Melt on the Ridge

We hadn't been looking much at the Hurricane Ridge webcam, but yesterday we noticed a big change. The snow is melting. Didn't the park service recording at 360 565 3131 just say there was ninety inches of snow at the stake, or was that three or four weeks ago? It may be a while before we get up to Klahane Ridge, but the high country beckons.

If you want to check out the webcam image yourself, try the official page first. If that doesn't work, try going directly to the image. The latter is sometimes more reliable.

Hey, where's the snow?

Keywords: hurricane ridge, spring

05/24 - Deep Fried Chick Peas With Wilted Greens

We promised people we'd put this recipe on our web site. (We grabbed it from Tom Douglas's cookbook, Big Dinners, if you want to check out some of his other great recipes.) This recipe is simple, but you'll have to do some deep frying. We use one of those electric deep fryers, but you can just use a deep pot. You want a deep pot so the oil doesn't spatter as much, and you can get enough oil into it to cover the chick peas when you fry them. You will also want a slotted spoon so you can get things out of the hot oil.

For the recipe, you will need:

  • a pint or so of olive oil
  • eight cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • two cans of chick peas - pour off the liquid in the can and dry them a bit with a paper towel for less spattering
  • salt and black pepper
  • about a pound of escarole, mixed greens, kale, lettuce, seaweed or such
Heat the olive oil to about 350F. An electric deep fryer will do this automatically. Alternatively, you can use a thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer, just keep an eye on the oil so that it doesn't start to smoke.

Deep fry the garlic slices for maybe 30 seconds, until they turn golden. This cooks the garlic and flavors the oil.

Deep fry the chick peas a handful at a time. Give them about two minutes. They'll turn golden brown and shrink. Remove them from the oil and let them cool on a paper towel. Keep deep frying batches until they're all deep fried.

Heat two or three tablespoons of the deep frying oil in a pan. Clean the greens and toss them all in. Toss them around a bit until they wilt. You want to cook them as little as you can, but the cooking time will depend on what you are cooking.

Serve the chick peas and garlic on top of the cooked greens. How's that?

This is another Kaleberg Photoshop hash. Once again, our photographer fell behind the ravening hordes, so we had to cut and paste to make it look like we still had a full dish.

Keywords: recipe, kale

05/23 - Sad News For Tired Feet

The section of the Discover Trail running west of Morse Creek has been paved. We always liked its softer surface for jogging. After all, we're getting on, and even good running shoes can only do so much on hard pavement. Unfortunately, the powers that be don't like unpaved trails for some reason. Maybe it's the asphalt lobby. In any event, Morse Creek may as well be sidewalk now. It is still a pretty trail, but it is no longer an option for us, the footworn.

The Asphalt Institute triumphs again

Keywords: morse creek, trails

05/23 - Farmers' Market Update

For us, the big news at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market has been all of the folks selling fish and seafood products. Last week we snagged some great Neah Bay salmon, and this week we bought a pound of shelled razor clams. It all started with Tuna Dan, but now there are usually three seafood vendors.

The vegetables are moving into summer with more salads, mixed braising greens and other goodies. We even saw some broccoli rabe, but we are going to wait one more week in hopes of finding some with more flowers. We'll fill you in this coming weekend.

Keywords: farmers' market, salmon

05/20 - Second Beach and Pacific Fog

It was a sunny day in Port Angeles, and it stayed sunny as we headed west, but as we approached the Pacific, the sky turned gray and the sun vanished. On our last few trips to Second Beach, the sky had stayed sunny, but this time we got to enjoy the Pacific Fog. In some ways, we could see more with less light, because there was less glare. The cliffs seemed more jagged, the barnicles fiercer and the forests atop the seastacks greener.

On our way back, the sun returned as we journeyed inland, and we had a sunny journey home.

Keywords: second beach

05/16 - Exploring Tacoma - Part 2

We also explored a bit of North Tacoma, with its Victorian gingerbread and great views of the harbor and Puget Sound. We found the Rosewood Cafe, but didn't have a chance to try it. The Proctor Shopping District is nearby, as is the University of Puget Sound. They call it UPS for short. We thought they were referring to the United Parcel Service.

We took Sixth Avenue on our way back downtown. The neighborhood is bit louche, especially in comparison with North Tacoma, but it reminded us a little of Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The stores were aimed at the arty and edgy with a host of vinyl records shops, vintage clothing stores, and even a Hawaiian gift shop.

Some Victorian gingerbread

More gingerbread and a nice garden

It's almost like being in San Francisco.

To the north, some great views, but less fantastic architecture

The Rosewood Cafe - It looked good, and the joint was jumping.

The Proctor Shopping District - That's a model train store, one of many intriguing shops.

The Music House, one of many special interest houses at the University of Puget Sound - There are also the language houses, athletic house and so on.

We had to admire the sentiment at this little computer store.

Sixth Avenue was a bit louche, a lot like Melrose in Los Angeles.

Another Sixth Avenue shop - great colors.

The costume shop - probably a madhouse come Halloween

Keywords: tacoma, victoria, los angeles

05/16 - Exploring Tacoma - Part 1

Downtown Tacoma is being rebuilt, and the repaving and reworking of Broadway is just part of it. Like many cities, the downtown has gone through cycles, and it is currently undergoing a rebirth. During the boom, it seems, that half of downtown was either renovated or torn down and rebuilt. There are still empty slots, empty store fronts, and lots of for rent, for sale and for lease signs. There are also all sorts of intriguing little shops opening, selling art work, antiques, clothing, books and who knows what else.

Even a short walk revealed a lot. Right now, there are all the signs of formation and re-formation. New Tacoma is an unfinished product, but the city has a lot going for it. There is the harbor, there is its newly rebuilt downtown with its museums and convention center, and there are the colleges and universities. It will be interesting to get back in a few years to see how things have developed.

Great old buildings in the theatre district

Lots of interesting shops

More of downtown

More shops

Mandarin antiques

The Rialto Theatre and one of many construction signs - Broadway is being rebuilt.

An apartment court - for rent

For rent, for lease - the signs of the times

Gasoline alley

This is either some restoration work, or a great deal on clothing.

There is still a working harbor.

Keywords: tacoma

05/15 - Museum of Glass In Tacoma

We didn't have much time in Tacoma, but we did manage to get to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma's waterfront Museum District. Tacoma, like Seattle, is a big glass town, and a lot of the local art involves working, molding and forming glass in a variety of different styles and forms.

Our favorite part of the museum was The Hot Shop where one can watch artists at work with fiery ovens, flaming jets of gas and a variety of tools for pulling, pressing, roughing and otherwise shaping raw glass forms into finished work. We also explored the galleries, one of which offered a sense of the variety of glass, its strengths and uses as a medium. Needless to say, glass is a pretty versatile material.

Overhead on the bridge to the museum

Two glass sculptures on the bridge

Long galleries on the bridge

The Hot Shop, inside the metal cone

Glass and flame

More glass and flame, glass work is slow, but intense

The metal cone of the Hot Shop and a glass fountain

Another sculpture

The waterfront with its marina

Keywords: tacoma

05/14 - Flight To Tacoma

We just got back from Tacoma. We'll post more in a bit. For now, here's a photo of the view west from our takeoff at Fairchild Airport (CLM). You can see Striped Peak and probably out past Clallam Bay.

The view west from Port Angeles

Keywords: port angeles, tacoma, striped peak

05/12 - Hazy Day On Dungeness Spit

There were some good tides at Dungeness Spit, so we decided to make the most of them. The day was sunny inland, but there was a sea haze out on the spit. There were also salamanders on the trail down. The beach itself was broad, but surprisingly rough going with lots of rocks and soft sand. We didn't get as far as we had hoped, but we did enjoy our visit.

If you want to explore the spit yourself, check the tides on our tide pages, or just follow the column to the left of this article. Down towards the bottom is a list of the next good tides at Dungeness, La Push and Cape Alava.

One salamander ...

The descent to the spit

... and another

The beach ...

... and just some of the rocks

Keywords: dungeness spit, salamander, tides

05/10 - Farmers' Market Update

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market is really gearing up with more and more vendors arriving each weekend. The stalwarts, Westwind, Johnston and Nash Huber, were there along with a lot of others including Red Dog, Bob's, Black Sheep, Lazy J farms. (We apologize if we missed a few.)

The big news this week is that Westwind Farms has their amazing asparagus, but do come early.

Tuna Dan was the first regular at the market selling seafood, right now halibut and ling cod; he has been joined by at least two others include Wild West and Quil Bay. The latter two are selling clams and oysters, as well as fish. This has been a great new addition to the market.

There were also two bakeries at the market. Bell Street Bakery had their own booth from Sequim and Joy's mom was selling her own from another booth. Joy runs Joy's Wine Bistro in Port Angeles, in case you were wondering.

The Kim Chi lady was selling her Korean pickled cabbage and other Korean goodies. There is nothing like good strong Korean garlic. We also found out that it was Dynasty Restaurant selling dim sun. This time they had a nice sign.

We also saw Harley of Dry Creek Farm, though we didn't get a change to talk to him. We're hoping his chickens will be laying in June, and he'll be back with his Dry Creek stand.

Local produce is what it is all about.

Clams, oysters and fish - free nettles, what an incentive

More clams, oysters and seafood

Bell Street Bakery

Joy's Mom's bread

Vegetables and ...

... more vegetables

Dim sun from Dynasty

Kim Chi and other Korean goodies

Keywords: dry creek farm, farmers' market, farms, nash huber, port angeles, oysters, westwind farm

05/09 - The Spruce Railroad Trail

There are more flowers coming out on the Spruce Railroad Trail. There is even a bit of salmonberry, which is supposed to bloom in February or March, so we are having a late spring.

We'll also note another tree down, so it may be tricky getting by on horseback. It wasn't too bad on foot. The fallen tree is a bit west of the metal bridge at the Devil's Punchbowl.


We love the way this just grows out of the rock.

A fallen tree

Keywords: flowers, spring, spruce railroad, salmon

05/09 - Beautiful Sunset At Hurricane Ridge

There's a beautiful sunset up at Hurricane Ridge. We haven't used very many webcam photos lately, partly because the webcam has been up and down. If you a bigger picture, use the park service link.

Keywords: hurricane ridge

05/08 - Lake Angeles Trail Update

We were at the Lake Angeles Trail again, trying to get built up for the climbing season. There are definite signs of spring. The snow is gone, and the trilliums are coming out for what promises to be a good season.

Keywords: lake angeles, spring, trillium

05/04 - The Spruce Railroad Trail - Watch Your Step

Watch your step on the Spruce Railroad Trail. We've been spotting our share of salamanders, snakes and slugs. That's the three S's. Then again, it's always worth keeping one's eyes open on the trail.




Spooky maple trees

Some flowers

Keywords: salamander, slugs, spruce railroad

05/04 - The Lake Angeles Trail: An Update

Following up on our earlier post we took the Lake Angeles trail up to the crossing, a climb of about 700 feet. The trail was in good shape, with no downed trees on that stretch, but there must have been a fair bit of snow melt, as some parts of the trail are eroded, and the park service seems to have cut a number of small trenches to channel water off of the trail to prevent further erosion. By yesterday, the trail was pretty dry.

We turned around at the little bridge, but we spoke with a few people who had climbed farther. Apparently, you can get fairly far up the trail without running into much ice or snow, but a few hundred feet below the lake there is ice and snow on the trail, and the going is tricky. No one we met had actually made it to the lake, though we imagine that some hardy park service people have been there. We'll have to climb a bit farther next time. It isn't just a matter of the trail melting; we have to get into shape.

The little bridge - no snow

There is some snow around.

As beautiful and haunting as ever

Keywords: lake angeles, spring, high country

05/02 - The Lake Angeles Trail: Gateway to the High Country

The Lake Angeles Trail starts near the entry station on Hurricane Ridge Road and runs from about 1900 feet up to Lake Angeles which is about 4200 feet above sea level. It starts at a modest elevation, but it runs up into the lower reaches of the high country. Its low starting elevation means that it thaws out well before the high country trails do, so it is a good trail for getting back into shape.

We drove five miles up Hurricane Ridge Road and checked out the trailhead. There was no snow. The last official report was from early April, and the park people reported plenty of snow, and mountain lion tracks in the snow up around the bridge. We saw neither snow nor mountain lion tracks which was just as well. We did see trilliums, but that is another story.

The trail to the high country

Someone decorated the little bridge near the start of the trail

The obligatory trillium photo

Keywords: high country, lake angeles, trails, trillium

Dim Sun at the market.

05/02 - At The Farmers' Market

We were at the farmers' market today, and the place was bustling. Nash Huber, Johnston Farms, Lazy J and Red Dog were among the regulars along with the honey people at Elwha Apiary. We also noticed that the Wild West oyster people were here, and this week they were selling shucked oysters as well as oysters and clams in the shell. (We have to get a picture of their stand). There was also a dim sun stand. We didn't get to try any of their dumplings, having eaten right before heading down to the market, but we might plan differently next week.

Keywords: farmers' market, farms, johnston farm, nash huber, oysters

05/01 - Springtime at Second Beach

Second Beach is also showing signs of spring. There was a good low tide, so we went exploring. To start with, the beach is huge. The spring tides bring in sand, so we had lots of beach to explore, and the rocks and caves at the south end of the beach were easy clambering since so many of the rocks have been buried and little pools filled in with seasonal sand. There were also a lot more starfish and anemones, or at least more anemones visible.

A little starfish

The big beach

Starfish waiting out the low tide

We'll call these cocktail olive anemones.

This is a hollow tree an the trail to the beach. People have placed shells on its shelves as offerings.

Skunk cabbage in bloom

Now that we've been sensitized we are seeing trilliums everywhere.

Keywords: second beach, spring, tides, trillium

05/01 - Good To Go Sandwich Review

To take advantage of the low tide out at Second Beach, we grabbed some sandwiches from Good To Go. We've been looking for a good place to buy sandwiches since Bonny's closed. Now we've found one. Our favorite was the hummus wrap with sweet local carrots, sprouts, tomato and other goodies. That's the one shown being eaten at Second Beach in the picture. Our second favorite was the turkey and havarti and our runner up was the tuna salad sandwich. Both of these were on a good whole wheat bread, but what made all the sandwiches so good was that the ingredients were good and flavorful. Good To Go is an organic deli, so that is part of it, but they also use local products, locally baked breads and so on, because they care about how food tastes, as well as where it comes from. All told, we were quite pleased, and we are already planning our next picnic lunch with Good To Go sandwiches.

The right way to eat a sandwich

Keywords: good to go

April 2009May 2009 June 2009