April 2012May 2012 June 2012

05/31 - The John Day Fossil Beds - Painted Hills

It was a long drive from Sisters, where we were staying, to the John Day Fossil Beds. We had passed the last town a while back and had left the river valley for the wild lands beyond. The turn off for the Painted Hills section of the park was a simple farm road, but there was no mistaking when we arrived at the painted hills. Their bright colors were unmistakable with bands of red, ochre, orange and even green. The landscape was surreal, like something one might find on Mars. We explored a bit, climbing for a better view of the strange forms. Then, we set out for an even more remote part of the Park, miles farther down the road.

Stripes of color

This bird sure sounded like a lark.

More painted hills

If you look carefully, you can see that these stones once formed a lava tube, since eroded and collapsed.

Dramatic lighting

A view from our climb

Another overview

More hills of color

The crenelations we climbed

Waves of grass

Mineral deposits

Keywords: oregon

05/30 - Smith Rock and the Monkey Head

With all the rain coming in from the coast, we gave up on exploring the hills and concentrated on river valleys to the east. Smith Rock along the Crooked River is a popular rock climbing site and noted for a particularly challenging formation known as the Monkey's Head. Needless to say, we stuck to the hiking trails.

From the parking area overlook, the river valley almost looked like one of those train track models with its dramatic cliffs and the snaking river below. We could even hear a train whistle, but the actual train was miles away and not down by the river. The rock walls were fantastic in the sense of being something from a fantasy. The setting seemed an isolated world within a world, a secret canyon hidden from the flat land above.

The amazing view from the overlook

Canyon walls

More canyons

The sunradish, Oregon's unoffical state plant

Even more tantalyzing canyon walls

Rock climbers probably dream about this kind of thing

You can see the shadow of the Monkey's Head on the canyon wall here.

The Crooked River

Another view, right out of a technicolor western

Keywords: oregon

05/29 - Metolius Falls

We had hoped to go hiking along another river higher in the hills, but as we ascended to Santiam Pass the rain got worse and worse. We gave up and hiked along a piece of the Metolius River near Camp Sherman. There was plenty of water to go around, including an underground stream emptying into the river.

Here is where the water flows from an underground stream. (Click the image for a movie.)

The river looking peaceful

Another view

A bit more river action and one of the captured log islands

A larger island

The Wizard Creek fish hatchery

Another view of one of the river's sources

Oregon grape, in Oregon, of all things

One of the columbines

This was sort of a cross between a sunflower and a horseradish. We called it a sunradish.

More flowers - There were quite a few.

Keywords: oregon

05/28 - We Drove to Oregon

We haven't been putting much online because we drove to Oregon and back, and now we are recovering from all the excitement and exhaustion. We saw some amazing things and took lots of pictures, so check this space now and then.

Lovely Oregon - Yes, that's snow on the hillside.

Keywords: oregon

05/19 - Whiskey Bend and Above the Elwha

We've gotten out to Whiskey Bend a few times lately in hopes of getting back to Lilian Camp. This time we made it to the overlook where we could see the snow covered mountains on the other side of the river. The spring flowers are coming out in force, so we'll be back again soon. Maybe we'll even get across the second crossing or down to the Lilian River. Who knows?

The mountains as seen from the overlook

A typical stretch of trail

An older trillium, turning pink


Mahonia, oregon grape, in flower

Wild strawberrys - We've never seen any fruit, but they are pretty flowers.

A fresher trillium

Keywords: flowers, spring, trillium, elwha

05/14 - Russian Easter

Well, it wasn't actually Russian Easter, at least not by the old calendar or the new calendar, but we go with the Kaleberg calendar. We rounded up all the usual Russian goodies:
  • our own home made pork, garlic & carroway seed sausage
  • buckwheat blini pancakes saturated with butter and more butter
  • Trotsky's Bane - tequila shooters w/tabikko
  • pelmeni dumplings stuffed with pork, beef & dill
  • Enemies of the Czar - Reuben sandwiches with corned beef, swiss cheese and Russian dressing
There was also lots of champagne, which is French, and a French assault on Mother Russia, represented by a baked Alaska, foiled by a scorched earth policy of flaming cognac.

If you want to try any of these dishes in your own home, see our Russian Easter recipes page.

Moscow - portrayed by a brownie and coffee ice cream based Baked Alaska - prepared for its defense against the Monster Napoleon

Champagne in the snow, an old Russian theme

You can see the weird glow of Trotsky's Bane.

Keywords: recipe, russian easter, kale, alaska

05/10 - A Local River Otter

We were taking an easy stroll along the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. A bit past the dike we saw a river otter, first crossing the road, then on the rocks offshore. This looks like a lucky otter, chowing down.,

A river otter

Keywords: morse creek, animals

05/08 - Revel in Fremont

We have been big fans of Joule and its fusion Korean cooking for a while now, so we decided to check out Joule's sister restaurant Revel. We went for lunch, but the dinner menu is the same or at least similar. It offers much simpler food than its sophisticated sister, but in the same vein, Korean fusion comfort food. This means wonderful noodles with oxtail ragout and even more wonderful dumplings stuffed with beef short ribs or, for vegetarians, cauliflower, chick peas and yogurt. The latter are curried and reminded us of wonderful samosas.

There are also the amazing savory pancakes. Think excellent egg foo yung, not iHop. We tried two, one with pork belly and kim chi, and an even more spectacular one with asparagus, feta cheese, almonds and kalamatas olives. The pork belly was just wonderful, but in the Korean fusion tradition. The later pancake was Korean-Mediteranean and would not have been out of place in a Greek fusion restaurant. The cheese and olives came through nicely and set off the seasonal asparagus.

403 N 36th St., Seattle, WA 98103 206.547.2040
We only tried one of the salads. We had to balance all the other dishes a bit with some greenery, so we ordered the salad of argula with thin slices of corned lamb. The arugula was great, and the corned lamb was wonderfully spicy. It was a great combination.

To be honest, we liked every dish we tried at Revel. Interestingly, our two favorites were the Greek - we'll call it that - pancake and the samosa, which combined ingredients and spicings from two widely varied cuisines with Korean techniques, and married them perfectly. We'll have to keep our eyes open and see what the folks at Revel come up with next. Until then, we'll be coming back for neo-traditional comfort food.

We should note that the restaurant is a bit noisy with a lot of hard reflective services, and it fills up for lunch and probably for dinner. We were able to converse once they turned down the music a bit, but this could be a problem for some. Despite this, we plan on coming back for our next fix.

Revel, poorly photographed

Keywords: seattle, restaurants

05/02 - Like a Snout

When we put a roof over the front steps of Lake Crescent Cottage, one of the items in the statement of work explicitly stated that the result "should not look like a snout". Then, there are those times you do want something to look like a snout. For example, this Maximus Minimus pulled pork food truck on Pine Street. We didn't try any of their pulled pork, but we can imagine the statement of work given to the body shop.

It does look like a snout.

Keywords: seattle, art

April 2012May 2012 June 2012