08/01/12 - Lillian Camp

We made it back to Lillian Camp for the first time in six years, and it was as beautiful as ever. We took Whiskey Bend Road to the trailhead and walked and walked. It's a forest trail with lots of trees and ups and downs, but not many views. It was a bright sunny day, so the forest was bright green and dark brown, a far cry from the gloomier hues of winter. We made it to Michael's Cabin and then on to the first crossing, a narrow stream nestled in the fold of the mountainside. We went on to our favorite overlook which is where we usually turn around, but this time we continued, down to the second crossing and then up to the stunted forest before descending to Lillian Camp and the Lillian River. We were well rewarded by the roar of the river in the darkened valley. We stepped out onto the bridge and made a few videos of the rushing waters. The Lillian River is no mighty Columbia, but it is a beautiful mountain stream and impressive in its own right. It was good to be back there again.

Our movies:

Is that a blue grouse?

The Lillian River one way ...

... and the other

The trail

View from the trail

A walk in the woods

A view of the Elwha

Keywords: elwha, grouse, movies

07/09/11 - Hurricane Hill

We were always fond of those mountain climbing movies from the 1930s with their portentious narratives, and their imagined voices always seem to accompany us on our ascents of Hurricane Hill. Maybe it's the park signs for Folded Rock and Lingering Snow. Maybe it's that there is a stretch "so full of dirty sock plant, they call it 'The Hamper'". Well, those voices are back, and we've made our first Hurricane Hill Ascent of the season.

The snows are melting rapidly, and most of the trail is clear. The shaded section through the trees (from The Bench to The Hamper actually) still has a fair bit of snow, but it's well packed and the footing is obvious. The area near the Hurricane Hill Trail side spur is also still covered with snow, but melting rapidly. The side spur is already walkable, at least for a ways.

The views, as one might expect, are spectacular. There is still a lot of snow on the mountains in every direction, and the alpine flowers are coming into bloom, even near the summit. The fields are adorned with a carpet of glacier lilies, and we saw at least one marmot. It may have been two, or it may have been just one who followed us to the summit. All told, the high country is open for the season and is as spectacular as ever.

The view hasn't changed much. There is a fair bit of snow on the big mountains.

Golden glaciers lilies

Melting snow

More glacier lilies and melting snow

The view from the summit

More view

Even more view - There is lots of view from Hurricane Hill.

The trail through that shady stretch of trees is still covered with snow, though passable.

The marmots are back.

This may or may not be the same marmot.

Marmot the Bold, in profile

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, marmots, movies

Click to play the movie

01/16/08 - Spectacular Sunset, So So Movie

It has been cloudy lately, particularly up on Hurricane Ridge, but this evening, the clouds blew away and the park webcam managed to catch a rather spectacular sunset. We've made a little movie of it, and we've archived with some of our other Hurricane Ridge webcam movies.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, movies

01/12/06 - Tarzan of the Hoh Rainforest

A few years back, we greatly enjoyed Disney's animated version of Tarzan. We particularly enjoyed their rendition of the jungle, with all the great trees, laden with vines. They seemed just like the trees at the Hoh rainforest, one of our favorite hikes. We would often walk up the river to Five Mile Island remarking that the trees looked like something out of the Tarzan movie.

Well, we were recently speaking with a friend of ours who does guide work in the area, and he explained the similarity. Some years back, Disney sent an artistic team up to the Hoh rainforest, and our friend gave them a guided tour, starting at the visitor center, and heading upriver to Five Mile Island. Surprise, surprise.

The Real Hoh RainforestCompare the still from Tarzan above and the images below. The inspiration is obvious. More Hoh Rain Forest

Keywords: hoh rain forest, movies

11/20/05 - Winter Light Movies

The winter light is something special this time of year. There are two new movies posted. One shows the high mountain light, and it has a really neat lens flare.

The other is from Lake Crescent, and it also gives a sense of the winter light, what little we have of it.

Keywords: high country, movies, lake crescent, winter

07/10/05 - Lamb On A Spit: The Motion Picture

We recently cooked up some lamb on a spit and have posted the video. We are only sorry that we do not have a scent track, but this doesn't seem to be one of the new Tiger Mac OS X features. (Maybe, they'll introduce it when Apple moves to Intel hardware).

We bought a lovely leg of lamb at Sunny Farms in Sequim and butterflied it, and then marinated it in cheap white wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and a whole bunch of herbs we have growing out back like parsley, sage, rosemary and oregano. Then we tied the whole roast up and stuck it on a spit. Check out the rotary action.

After an hour and a half it tasted as good as it looks.

Keywords: movies, food, farms, wine, kale

05/26/05 - Hurricane Ridge Webcam Movies

Here are some movies we made from the Hurricane Ridge web camera images. Click on either image to see a short movie of the moon setting or the snow melting. For more info, or to bookmark this, click here.

Keywords: atmosphere, movies, hurricane ridge

05/12/05 - Hurricane Ridge Web Camera

Wow, there is a new Hurricane Ridge web camera! We can't remember how many times it has been cloudy and gray at sea level, but a mile up at Hurricane Ridge the sky is blue and the air is clear. Now, we can check things out from ground level.

UPDATE 05/13 - It has not taken us long to put together a short Quicktime movie from the webcam imagery. We apologize for the color balance and some of the blockiness, but this is a webcam on top of a mile high mountain. You will need to load Quicktime to view this movie, or the bigger version of it.

Keywords: movies, atmosphere, high country, hurricane ridge

12/17/04 - Choucroute Meets Champagne

Tomorrow night is our Christmas party. It's an even year, so we're serving choucroute garni. That's French for garnished sauerkraut, and boy do we garnish. We've got four smoked pheasants, three pounds of ham, tons of weisswurst, bratwurst and smoked duck magret. It is all rather overwhelming.

You make choucroute by laying pork fat, duck fat and a few token vegetables in a matrix of well rinsed sauerkraut. We are using 6 of the 4 lb jars from CostCo, so we should have plenty. On the right you can see an early vegetable layer.

Champagne is one of the ingredients in choucroute, and you have to really pour it on. We'll probably go through four bottles on this batch alone. Click on the choucroute image to the right and see our little Quicktime movie: Champagne Meets Choucroute

Early stages of choucroute

Keywords: christmas, food, movies

08/03/04 - Salmon Off A Truck

Yesterday, we took a hike along the Elwha River Trail. We didn't get really far, but we did get to our favorite overlook between the two canyons on the route to Lilian Camp. This might not have been much of a hike by some people's standards, but we were tired enough after two and a half hours on the trail and an overall climb of about 950 feet.

Needless to say, by we were hungry on the drive home, so we planned to drop by the Safeway and get ourselves the fixings for a steak hash. We turned down Lincoln and there we saw our answer, right in the Rite Aid / Goodwill parking lot.

The Rite Aid and the Goodwill thrift shop share a huge parking lot, and often there will be someone in a van or pickup truck selling stuff at the far end. Sometimes they are selling firewood. Others sell flowers or fruit, today, there was a group selling salmon.

"SALMON", the sign screamed at us. We slammed on the brakes and turned in.

"What kind of salmon do you  have?", we asked.

Elwha Impressions

The blue and green light of the Elwha River Trail is something special. It's like an Impressionist painting.

We decided to experiment with our Sebsoft Impressionist special effect for iMovie. Click on the picture above for the Quicktime movie.
"We've got some silvers and also some king."

"King salmon, we'll take some of that."

"We caught them yesterday out near Neah Bay."

The next thing you know we were poking around in the ice chest on the back of the truck and breathing in the salty scent of the sea. Fresh fish doesn't smell like fish. It smells like the sea.

"Wow, that's a big one", we remarked pointing at what seemed the Moby Dick of salmon.

"That's the one everybody is asking what it weighs."

"Let's find out."

It weighed in at 13 1/2 pounds. It was quite a fish. We paid up and raced home. Safeway could wait.

While the grill heated up we took the last three of Nash Huber's nectarines we had on the counter, all eight of our Shiro plums from our dwarf trees, a few of our pie cherries, two medium onions, chopped, a whole bunch of Nash's coriander, some salt, some pepper and a couple of teaspoons a five spice powder, and we stuffed them into the boned fish. (We removed the spine and most of the bones ourself. It's hard to bone a fish on the back of a truck).

We wrapped the fish in aluminum foil and popped it on a hot fire. We were worried that the fire might be too hot, but the fish could take it. The skin and flesh merged to form a sort of crackling layer which was absolutely scrumptious.

We flipped the fish over after 25 minutes. It was quite a struggle. It weighed at least ten pounds without the head and tail, but we did it. The fire was cooler now, so we let the fish cook another 40 minutes. It was perfectly done. Even the onions in the middle were cooked. It was amazingly good. There is nothing quite like fresh salmon and a tart fruit based stuffing.

We had it with New Zealand spinach from the Farmer's Market, but that's another story.

Keywords: elwha, trails, fish, movies, flowers, nash huber, salmon