October 2014November 2014 December 2014

11/28 - The Kaleberg Advent Calendar

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can decently release the Kaleberg advent calendar. An advent calendar is a calendar that keeps track of the days before Christmas, often a seasonal scene with little doors that are opened to reveal pictures or treats as the big holiday approaches.

Our calendar has been electronic for years now, so we've released our Kaleberg advent calendar as an interactive web page to get people into the seasonal spirit. If you have a late model browser on your computer or are running a more advanced version of IOS or Android, you should be able to join the excitement.

Just follow the link to the Kaleberg Advent Calendar web page and start exploring our Christmas village. Use the four arrow keys to navigate (or touch and drag if you have a touch screen). The carols will begin to play. While you explore the virtual village, watch for changes. This village, like us Kalebergs, takes Christmas seriously.

Explore our Christmas Calendar

Keywords: christmas

11/19 - The Old Glines Canyon Dam

The road to the trailhead for Olympic Hot Springs heads past the Altair camp ground and heads along the west side of what was once Lake Mills, much as Whiskey Bend Road follows the east side. We noted the new observation area accessible from Whiskey Bend Road. On the west side of the lake we saw them building another access area on the western remains of the old dam. Further along the road there was a viewpoint with a little parking area that gave a great view of the dam, the old lake bed and the Elwha River. It's worth a stop if you are heading out that way.

The Glines Canyon Dam as it is today

Keywords: elwha, olympic hot springs

11/17 - The Trail To Olympic Hot Springs Is Open Again

The trail to Olympic Hot Springs is open again after three long years. We had never taken the old trail, so this was a double first for us. Apparently, the road used to end quite close to the hot springs. Now, it's a 2.4 mile walk along a trail which was obviously the old roadbed. It was easy to tell. The trail is as wide as a road, and there were several bridges we crossed that were clearly designed for automobiles, not hikers. It was an easy 300 odd foot ascent from the trailhead to the hot springs, but here and there they cut drainage ditches right across the old roadbed. Some of them were a bit deep, and there was some ice on the trail, so we had to watch our step.

After a ways we came to a rather pretty suspension bridge. This was a sturdy, well designed bridge with iron posts, handy handrails and a comfortably wide walkway. This was obviously new. It wasn't designed for cars. A bit further on we came to a wide area that was obviously the old parking lot. We made our way downhill and across another small bridge. We were tired and almost turned around here, but after some deliberation pressed on. The hot springs were not far. First we saw the steam. Then we saw the wet areas where the hot springs drained across the trail before running down to the creek below.

Exploring more, we found the catchments, collections of log and stone that held back the steaming sulfurous waters and formed inviting looking pools. We stopped to explore several of them, but we were too tired to soak. There was plenty of steam, and the whole area seemed warmer. There was some frost on the trail, but not where the hot springs ran.

There were a fair number of hikers out on the trail, especially considering that it was a weekday in the shoulder season. A lot of them had been to the springs back when they were a short stroll from the parking lot, but that was before our time. Round trip from the new parking lot to the hot springs was about two and a quarter hours. That included the time we spent exploring the hot springs.

The trailhead sign

The partly frozen ground

A small waterfall

The suspension bridge

Another view of the bridge - There was good traction despite its icy appearance.

Water down below

Water up above

Steam rising

A hot pool, one of many

More falling water

A fall crop of mushrooms

Keywords: olympic hot springs, waterfall

11/15 - Hurricane Hill - Early Winter

Hurricane Ridge Road is now being closed during the week from Monday through Thursday. On Fridays and weekends the road is open, and, right now at least, the road to Hurricane Hill is open as well. It was a bright sunny day, and there were lots of people climbing up to Hurricane Hill. We were a bit out of shape for the mountains- the trailhead is nearly a mile up - and it was cold. Despite this, we made good time. The colors are muted now, but the scenery is still spectacular.

Bright sun, mountains and valley haze

Port Angeles

Frozen for the duration


Mount Baker, floating like a meringue in the distance

More mountains and a touch of color still remaining

More mountains and some lens flare


and even more

Another bit of scenery

A last bit of fall color

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge

11/13 - Green Stuff at Hollywood Beach

Hollywood Beach is the little beach in downtown Port Angeles near where Lincoln Street meets the strait, or would if the street ran down into the water. It's usually just a little spot of sand to explore, but this time it was covered with a band of green. What was it? Seaweed? There were some bits of it on the waterfront trail, but mainly along the beach.

The beach usually isn't that green. The gulls seem to like it though.

Keywords: port angeles

11/10 - Dungeness Spit Near High Tide

We usually hike the Dungeness Spit at low tide. There always seems to be lots of beach, and the piles of driftwood are way above the beach where we are walking. This time of year doesn't offer very many good tides during daylight, so we took a walk near high tide. This meant walking on the narrow strip of land around the piles of driftwood. There was some beach there, but the high tide and wild water made it rough going.

Not much spit

Rough going

The good tides come back this January. Stay tuned.

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides

11/06 - Whiskey Bend and the Elwha

We took a short walk from Whiskey Bend down to the Elwha River. Despite the recent rains, the river is far from flooded, but the trail was pretty. The foliage color is nothing like the glory of a New England autumn, but we could see definite signs of fall. We also saw the new viewing station for the river where the old dam used to be.

A bit of autumn color

A bit more autumn color - still kind of subtle

Trees and late season light

The Elwha

A bit of snow on the foothills

Whiskey Bend Road - It's not that scary.

The new viewing area where the old dam was

Keywords: autumn, elwha

11/01 - Jujubes

We were shopping at Country Aire the other day and saw that they were selling jujubes. We had heard of the candy. It's one of those candies they seem to only sell at movie theaters, like Milk Duds or Sky Bars, and not anyone's favorite. What we hadn't realized is that jujubes were originally a variety of date. As we are often curious about this kind of thing, we bought a pack.

To be honest, we were disappointed. To start with, there wasn't much date scent. The top note seemed to be liquid dish soap, like Ivory or Dawn. They didn't taste much better, sort of like blue cheese, and not a particularly good blue cheese at that.

These seem to be fresh dates, so it is possible that they'd have more flavor properly dried. We much prefer dried figs to fresh figs, because the flavor gets concentrated. Would that happen with jujubes? It doesn't seem all that likely. Besides, we aren't all that keen on the idea of a more intense dish soap scented, off brand blue cheese flavored fruit. We'll chalk this one up to curiosity.


The other kind of Jujubes

They look harmless enough.

Keywords: food

October 2014November 2014 December 2014