October 2015November 2015 December 2015

11/28 - Ice Crystals

The weather has been getting colder, but the water in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca is still warm, at least comparatively. Along the coast this means morning fog and condensation on the cold ground, and that means ice crystals. They were lining the dike along the Olympic Discovery Trail about a mile west of Morse Creek. The crystals form on the plants, rocks and pebbles and grow hoary whiskers like something from a moon garden.

The dike, looking west

Ice crystals

Click for a closer view of the ice crystals

Ice whiskers

Ice covered pebbles

More ice crystals

Are you cold yet?

Even more ice crystals

The busy harbor in Port Angeles with two ships and an arctic drilling rig

Keywords: morse creek, weather, atmosphere, science

11/22 - Seen at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

This is a great time of year for the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. The regulars are all here, and that includes Johnston Farms, Nash Hubers, Spring Rain, River Run, Clark Farms, the Family Farm and Wild West. We've probably left out a few, but we can only buy and eat so much at a time.

Of note:

  • Spring Rain was offering a great alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving - Chicken, it's like a turkey, just smaller and delicious.
  • Cajun Kitchen, a newcomer, was there with their crayfish etouffee and their wonderful moufaletta.

An alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving

The Cajun Kitchen

Their muffaletta

Keywords: farmers' market, farms, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, spring rain

11/17 - Godzilla Is Getting Ready For Thanksgiving

Godzilla is getting ready for Thanksgiving. That's him in his pilgrim hat.

We're roasting our turkey with atomic fire this year!

Keywords: art

11/14 - High Water Under the Morse Creek Railroad Bridge

After a summer of drought, it's good to see some water. Morse Creek was in flood under the railroad bridge, its waters as brown as chocolate. We could see the brown water in the strait, but the photographs didn't capture the contrast.

The railroad bridge over Morse Creek

Brown waters

High waters

The view upstream

The view downstream

Keywords: morse creek

11/10 - Seattle, Again

We've been getting into Seattle lately, partly for business, partly for pleasure. This time we took a long walk starting at one of our favorite places, the Ballard Locks, then through Ballard and along the industrial part of the Burke-Gilman Trail into Fremont. We climbed up the hill to Rockcreek where we had a wonderful seafood dinner, then we made our way down through Fremont to the bridge. Usually we take a bus from here, but the night was young, so we followed the waterfront trail back to South Lake Union and our hotel.

Needless to say, we were exhausted.

A streetlight along Fremont Avenue

A boxing gym near Amazon headquarters - yes, really

A fountain in South Lake Union

A theater company in Fremont

Another window - Click to enlarge any of these photos.

Fremont as we climbed

A match made in heaven, ham and biscuits, except here it's made in Ballard

The Ballard Locks gardens hinting at Christmas

More from the gardens near the Ballard Locks

Even more

The Ballard Locks, where we started out

Keywords: seattle

11/04 - Return to Whiskey Bend

This has been a bad year for trails in the park. Whiskey Bend Road closed way back during the winter. The east end of the Spruce Railroad Trail closed back in July. Then this fall the whole Elwha area, including the recently reopened Olympic Hot Springs Trail, was closed due to flooding. The good news is that not only have the floods subsided and the hot springs trail reopened, but Whiskey Bend Road is open as well. They had to rebuild 90 feet of the road along one of the latter hairpins, but we drove out to Whiskey Bend the other day and found the road in great shape.

We took the main trail out past Michael's Cabin, then headed down towards the Elwha River. The winter sun was low and bright, but the forest was as pretty as we had remembered it. We made it down past Hume's Ranch to the river overlook. The river channel had moved farther across the flood plain to the far side, and there was a lot more plant life on the flat land. We spoke to a trail repair volunteer, and she told us that campers now had to walk farther to the river to get water. There had been some change in the watershed as well. A lot of the little streams that had run downhill to the river had dried up.

The little waterfall on our way down was running nicely, so the area isn't totally drought stricken. Still, it was sobering to hear about the changes. Now that the road is open again, we'll head out and explore a bit more. We're hoping to head towards Lilian Camp some time in the near future. Here's hoping for a wet and snowy winter, even if it crimps our plans a bit.

The trail was full of bright light and dark shadow.

The Elwha River looking towards Dodger Point in 2015

The Elwha River looking towards Dodger Point in 2013

The Elwha River looking downstream in 2015

The Elwha River looking downstream in 2013

The little waterfall

Light and shadow trail

The Elwha from a trailside lookout in 2015

The Elwha from a trailside lookout in 2013

One of our favorite views

The trail again

Keywords: elwha, olympic hot springs, spruce railroad, trails, waterfall

11/02 - Marymere Falls and Barnes Creek

With all the rain, we had to get out and see Marymere Falls. We were pleased to see the falls were in full rush and Barnes Creek running wild and rapid. We couldn't walk the full loop to the two falls overlooks. The lower approach has been damaged, so we went to the upper overlook first. There was a branch down there blocking a lot of the view, so we walked down the steps to the lower overlook and really enjoyed the view down there.

OUR ADVICE: If you do go to Marymere Falls and are disappointed by the blocked view at the upper overlook, head down the steps for a better look.

After visiting the falls we wandered up Barnes Creek a bit and enjoyed the water in full rush, surrounded by ferns and mossy trees. There was a bit of fog, so the hills above and more distant views were shrouded and hazy. It was a perfect northwestern forest experience.

Fog shrouded forest

The occluded view of the falls from the upper overlook

The view from the lower overlook

The damaged section of the approach to the lower overlook

Barnes Creek, white water

More Barnes Creek

The trail again

More mystery trees

Another view of Barnes Creek

Another mysterious tree

A recently fallen tree across the creek

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls

October 2015November 2015 December 2015