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10/16/23 - Sol Duc Falls

We took a quick trip out to Sol Duc Falls. We didn't go much farther, but we enjoyed the easy hike from the trailhead to the falls proper. En route, we stopped at the salmon cascade, a narrow stretch of the river where the salmon have to leap dramatically to continue upstream. We saw seven fish all told. It's really a matter of luck, but we were clever this time. We had seen six salmon making their magnificent leaps and then, for a fair while, nothing. So, one of us cleverly said in a loud voice that the fish were likely to hear, "That's it for today. I guess there are no more fish coming." No sooner than we had uttered the magic phrase, one more salmon took its great leap.

Then, we headed on to the trail. The forest was suitably dark and green, and there even the minor streams by the trail were gushing nicely. There was spray at the falls, dramatic fall colors and the Sol Duc River racing and plummeting down the falls and under the foot bridge. It was as impressive as ever.

The salmon cascade

That's where the fish leap.

Still watching for a fish

The forest

More forest

Greens and browns

More of the trail

Fall foliage

One of the trail workers

Sol Duc Falls

Another view of the falls

Our spirit animal

Along the trail

Some green, some brown, some mushrooms

More mushrooms

The spirit of the forest

The forest recycles itself.

Another bunch of mushrooms, probably poisonous

The mules heading back for more gravel

More mushrooms

A mushroom forest

The mule team loaded with gravel

Bringing up the rear

Keywords: salmon, sol duc

09/09/22 - Salmon in the Elwha

The salmon are heading upriver to spawn. We took a walk along the Elwha starting at Madison Falls and kept an eye on the river when we could. Once again, we spotted some fish in a quiet stretch. This is great since one of the big goals of taking down the old dam was to encourage fish, particularly salmon, to return to the river. We also checked out the elderberries and said hello to the mules.

The Elwha River


Elderberries up close

Found on the trail

The Elwha seen from the Altair Bridge

A sunny field

Some salmon

A closer look

And another

Back on the trail

Saying hello to the mules

Keywords: elwha, salmon

10/02/21 - Sol Duc Falls and the Salmon Cascades

The salmon are making their way up to Sol Duc Falls. We stopped on our way up to the falls to watch them leap at the Salmon Cascades. On our first visit, there were just a few of them, but, on our most recent visit, there were lots of them. They're hard to photograph. It's a matter of shutter luck, but we managed to get a few pictures. We also took the short walk out to the falls ourselves. It was on foot. No leaping up streams for us.

The Salmon Cascades, a narrow stretch of the Sol Duc

A salmon leaping

Another leap

Compare this picture to the one to the right.

This is what the river looks like without the salmon.

Green at our feet

Sol Duc Falls and autumn color

The cascade above the falls

Another view of the falls

Green scene

Red berries

An old log

A rocky creek

Mushrooms, probably toxic

More mushrooms

It's mushroom season - Avoid these.

More mushrooms to admire visually

The trail

A last blue berry

Keywords: salmon, sol duc

10/07/19 - The Ballard Locks and Lake Union

We checked out the fish channel at the Ballard Locks, but there were no salmon to be seen. We explored the locks and gardens a bit, then we made our way to Stoneburner for dinner. The fennel sausage pizza was wonderful, and we really enjoyed the pasta dishes. The hit was, as usual, the charcuterie and cheese plate. The we walked back via the Fremont Bridge and along the South Lake Union waterfront.

The Ballard Locks

The big lock - There is also a smaller lock that is used more often.

Another view with a dramatic sky

Ballard in the evening

More Ballard


Toward Fremont

From the Fremont Bridge

Across South Lake Union

Keywords: salmon, seattle

10/02/19 - Sol Duc Falls and Sol Duc Salmon

We drove out to Sol Duc and stopped at one of the overlooks where the entire Sol Duc River squeezes through a group of narrow rocks. We were looking for salmon heading upstream. We were not disappointed. For a while, all one could see was rushing water. Then, there would be a flicker. A salmon would leap from the water trying to make its way upstream. Then there would be another. Then nothing. Don't expect any pictures of leaping fish.

We also went to look at the falls.

Last of the Pacific dogwood

Forest green

Autumn forest

Almost spooky

Mushrooms on a log

The trail

The salmon cascade

Looking for fish in still water

Another view

More wild water

Keywords: salmon, sol duc

10/28/18 - Autumn on the Sol Duc

The Sol Duc Resort and hot springs just closed for the season, but the falls are still there as is the Sol Duc River. We dropped by to check out the salmon. The ranger at the entry station warned us that we had missed the migration, but we might see a straggler or two. We stopped by the cascade and watched for a while. We did see one straggler make a mighty leap. Then we lost sight of him or her in the foam.

The cascade

Sol Duc Falls

A pretty, most likely poisonous, mushroom

Downstream from the falls

The forest

Keywords: salmon, sol duc, autumn

10/25/17 - Sol Duc Fall Color

We heard that the salmon were making their way up the Sol Duc River. We haven't been getting out to Sol Duc all that much lately because they are doing some serious and much needed road work on route 101 along Lake Crescent. We made our way out over the weekend, and there were only a couple of relatively short one lane traffic lights to slow us down.

We stopped at the salmon cascade on the Sol Duc road and spent some time looking into the whirlpools and rushing waters of the river where it passes through a narrow gap. Then we saw the first flash of a salmon leaping. It was in the narrowest, wildest part of the wild waters. We concentrated our attention on that area for a while longer. There was another salmon, this one leaping high enough and long enough to sparkle in a rainbow of color.

We watched for a while longer and saw a few more salmon leaping, some barely more than a gray flash, others more dramatic. Then we headed up to the trailhead at the end of the road and walked through the forest to Sol Duc falls. There were waterfalls and fall color, and then there were the falls proper. There were no salmon leaping here. Instead there was the incessant roar of the river and its mist and spray.

We had come shortly after those torrential rains earlier this month, so the Sol Duc River was running in full spate. Even the little feeder streams roared. The fall leaf color too was in full spate, much more brilliant than in most years. The leaves have yet to fall, and the forest and roadside have been illuminated with leaves of bright yellow and some of orange and red. If you can, time your visit for the weekend and enjoy the Sol Duc River at its autumn peak.

Looking up the Sol Duc River

A little waterfall

The salmon cascade

Another view

Fall color

More fall color

Another waterfall

Sol Duc Falls

Looking downriver

A forest scene

Sol Duc Falls again

Keywords: salmon, sol duc, waterfall

08/30/17 - 1987 Muscadet

For a special treat we raided wine-searcher.com and chose a 1987 Muscadet. This is an old wine of a type not usually associated with aging. Usuallly, we drink young muscadet with raw oysters. Frederick Wildman & Sons is a big importer of Muscadet, so we trusted their judgement. We weren't sure what to expect when we opened the bottle. To be honest, we were ready for disappointment.

To our delight we found a surprisingly well structured white wine that tasted something like a cross between an aged Montrachet and a flinty chablis. It really was something special. We'll be grilling up some freshly caught coho salmon in a bit, so it is unlikely this bottle will last the night, but our memories of it will.

1987 Muscadet Frederick Wildman & Sons Moscato

Keywords: wine, salmon

01/05/15 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market

This is just a reminder that the Port Angeles Farmers' Market is still operating on Saturdays from 10-2, and there are vegetables. There have been potatoes, kale, scallions, squashes and even arugula. Dungeness Seaworks has been there selling salmon and sometimes halibut, and Clark Farms is selling beef and pork. It may be winter, but the market lives.

These photos are ...

... all from ...

... Johnston Farms.

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, port angeles, salmon, winter

08/26/14 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market Update

We've been remiss in updating folks on the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. It is full summer now with tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, scallions, berries and just about everything else, except for winter squash. Wild West seafood has fresh salmon and Clark Farm has been selling beef and pork. There's no point in going into details, things change from week to week.

River Run Farm

Johnston Farm

More Johnston Farm

Nash Huber

Spring Rain Farm

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

06/14/14 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market Update

Fresh local strawberries are in. We've had a sunny spring, so there is a great crop this year. The season is moving along with snap peas, fava beans, garlic scapes, green onions, all sorts of lettuces and even swiss chard.

We bought some black cod from Wild West. We usually put it in a shallow pyrex baking dish with some sherry, soy sauce, Chinese fermented black beans and a tad of brown sugar. Preheat the oven to 350F, then pop in the fish. Raise the temperature to maybe 425F and bake, or roast if your oven has the option, for about 30 minutes (maybe 40 for thicker filets).

For a special treat, after 15 minutes or so, remove the skin and turn over the filets. Then put the skin on some kind of a rack (e.g. one of those cake cooling racks or a broiling rack) over a pan to catch the fat and let the heat of the oven crisp it. The crunchy, oily skin makes a great appetizer while waiting for the fish to finish cooking.

Nash had fava beans and strawberries

Spring Rain had a chicken sale, but no more asparagus.

Wild West had salmon and black cod.

It was so busy at Johnston Farms that we really couldn't get a good photo.

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

06/09/14 - Wild West Seafood Is Back At The Port Angeles Farmers' Market

The title basically says it all. We grabbed a few king salmon filets. We also noticed that the smoked salmon guys were also selling salmon filets. We'll have to check them out as well.

That's not Preston.

Keywords: salmon, farmers' market

03/22/14 - Farmers' Market Update

These are thin times at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market, so we've been buying what we can. Nash Huber, for example, had some spinach, so we assumed that the spinach season was starting. We were wrong. The young man at the stand filled us in. That was likely it for spinach for a while. Still, Nash Huber did have all sorts of raab, that is flowering young cabbages, arugulas and kales. They are sweet and delicious, and they are only available this time of year.

Spring Rain had their chickens, but they also have their greenhouse. That means salad greens, baby kale and all sorts of exotic things, mainly green vegetables. We have our hopes.

New at the market was Eric Pozgay, the Pasta Guy. He was selling freshly made pasta. Fresh pasta may be a hallmark of gentrification, but Port Angeles is a few miles down the road, so it was nice to see it on sale.

Dungeness Seaworks had some fine whole fish, good looking salmon, but we had to pass this week.

Keywords: dungeness, farmers' market, nash huber, port angeles, salmon, spring, kale, spring rain

10/15/13 - Salmon Homecoming on the Dungeness River

This is the season that the salmon come home to the rivers to spawn and die. It's great news for the fishermen, and for salmon in general, but not so much for the fish themselves. We noticed the scent near the Dungeness Dike parking area on Towne Road. The lot was full of fishermen, or rather, their trucks with their permits in the window. The fishermen themselves were out along the river.

One always hears of the great salmon homecoming adventure with heroic tales and desperate struggles upstream. Indeed, the river was full of fish fighting their way against the current. There were also the predators, mostly gulls, of course, and the above mentioned fishermen. It is most definitely autumn, with the leaves starting to turn and nature itself lush, but preparing for the frost.

A side channel full of fish

A silver salmon

A closeup of salmon fighting upstream

The silver river

An early autumn field

Keywords: autumn, dungeness, salmon

05/05/13 - Catalan Salmon

There was a dearth of good salmon a while back, but now that the good stuff is coming in we made one of our favorite salmon party dishes, Catalan stuffed salmon. The way we make it isn't really stuffed, we just have three layers in our baking dish. The bottom layer is just thinly sliced potatoes, chopped up tomatoes and thinly sliced onions. The middle layer is the stuffing with shrimp, cocktail olives, hard boiled eggs, garlic, bread, sherry, milk and a couple of raw eggs to bind it. The top layer is the salmon, and we pour a half cup each of white wine, lemon juice and olive oil over the dish before baking. It's a bit of a production, but it's always a real treat.

The finished dish

Potatoes, tomatoes and onions - We "parboil" the potatoes in the microwave.

The "stuffing" and the salmon

Keywords: salmon, food

02/25/13 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market Update

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market gets a bit quiet in the winter, but it doesn't quite close down. There are always a few regulars and even a few newcomers to keep things interesting. Nash Huber's stand has been anchoring the market by its lonesome, and even they have run out of carrots, though they still have some nice kale, turnips and potatoes.

The Chimacum chicken (and other stuff) stand is gone for the time being, but Dungeness Seaworks is back selling salmon, halibut and ling cod. It's good to see them. We also tried out Jose's Salsa, but not the salsa. We tried a bunch of tamales and some of the chiles rellenos, and we can honestly report that they are quite good. Our favorite tamale was the vegetarian one with spinach, but the pork and chorizo tamales were pretty good too. The chiles rellenos were plumply stuffed with cheese, coated with batter and deep fried. They reheated nicely in the oven, so we've been living on Jose's for a few days now.

We aren't sure who is going to be at the market next Saturday, though we're hoping to see Johnston Farm again, and possible a few other regulars. It's a long way to spring, let alone the growing season, but the farmers' market is still worth a trip downtown.

Nash Huber's stand - a stalwart anchor

A terrible picture of Dungeness Seaworks - It's that low winter light.

An even worse picture of Jose's Salsa - We'll try for a better one.

Chiles rellenos

Assorted tamales

Keywords: farmers' market, nash huber, port angeles, salmon, winter, kale

09/27/12 - Seattle Update

On our latest lightning trip to Seattle we went to one of our favorite places in the city, the Ballard Locks. We just love the early 20th century Army Corps of Engineers style, the botanical garden and the amazing fish ladder viewing area. There were plenty of salmon, and though there weren't a lot of boats, we still got to see the locks cycle. We definitely got our civil engineering fix this trip.

We also tried out the cupcakes and ice cream at Cupcake Royale and were pretty impressed. We aren't big ice cream people, but we did enjoy the mix of caramel cupcake chunks with partially crystallized caramel smooshed into sea salt ice cream. The whiskey bacon crack ice cream was pretty impressive too with a good clean whiskey flavor and good use of the salty bacon. If ice cream is just too sweet for you, this might just be close enough to savory to please. The chocolate cream cheese cupcake we tried, however, was the real treat. They are serious about their cake and crumb, and their icing expertise is excellent.

Ballard seems to have a number of pretty good bakeries. The Great Harvest Bread Company down the street smelled pretty good, and they had seriously sticky looking cinnamon rolls, but we were also booked for dinner, so it will have to wait until next time.

In fact, we went to two restaurants for dinner. First, we went back to The Walrus and The Carpenter for some oysters. They only had four types, including some lovely little Olympias, but we still had a nice tasting. Then, we went down the hall of the bicycle shop and checked in to Staple and Fancy Mercantile where we had a great charcuterie plate with some of the best speck we've ever had with some coppa to match. (The octopus salad was good, but not great.) For our main courses we had their wonderfully tender pork shank with an eggplant puree, grilled padron peppers, and oil cured dried tomatoes. As usual, some of the padron peppers were mild, while others were quite spicy. We also had some wonderful penna full of rich melted cheese. Staple and Fancy is definitely a restaurant we have to get back to.

Cupcakes royale

Sprinkles at Cupcakes Royale

A ship coming through the Ballard Locks

Serious civil engineering style

Botanical garden

A fishy friend at the fish ladder

A passion flower

We'll check out the cinnamon rolls on our next trip, if we're feeling thin.

Staple and Fancy Mercantile

Keywords: oysters, restaurants, salmon, seattle

07/15/12 - Pea Report - Spring Comes To Port Angeles

The Johnston Farm had the first garden peas of the season at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market this past weekend, and the Korean Garlic Lady had her first new potatoes, so we Kalebergs had one of our favorite spring dishes, and well before August at that. It's based on an Edna Lewis recipe and it's a simple dish to make.

Just boil the potatoes until they are almost cooked through, but not quite. Microwave the peas for a minute or two. Then drain the potatoes, add the peas, a half cup or so of chopped dill and a cup of milk. Bring the milk to a boil and finish cooking the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and you're done.


Garden peas, new potatoes, dill and fresh whole milk

A market meal with salmon burgers, swiss chard and our favorite pea dish

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, recipe, salmon, spring, garlic lady, kale

07/10/12 - First Salmon

Our friends who go fishing have been catching fish, and, even more impressive, getting to keep them. They recently had a bumper crop of fish, or whatever fishermen call it when they manage to catch their limit in the first 30 minutes on the water. Since our friends are generous with their bounty, that meant we had our first locally caught salmon of the year. Even better, we got the salmon roe.

An awful lot of fishermen simply discard the roe, but salmon roe, when cooked, tastes an awful lot like shad roe. We're originally from the east coast, so we always looked forward to spring and the shad runs. Now, we look forward to the salmon season. We cook the salmon roe just the way we'd cook shad roe, in a bit of butter, with capers, with onions, with eggs. It makes a great breakfast omelet, especially for the salmon season.

Representative fish and fish wrap - not one of the actual fish

This season's salmon

This season's roe

Keywords: salmon, food

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