Seattle

Olympic National Park Day 3: Toleak Point to Third Beach

IMG_4192

We slept in a bit and awoke to a marine layer. I lit the fire, made some coffee and took out the map to plot our hike out to the rendezvous point where Tawny would pick us up between 2-3 pm.

Shit! The map showed four headlands between Toleak Point and Third Beach that must be passed at low tide. Not only that, I hadn’t calculated the distance we needed to travel, estimated at about 6 miles. It would be our longest hike and it was getting late. I consulted the tide table. Double shit! High tide was at 12:31 pm. It was already 9 am. “Clara, wake up!”.

We quickly packed up our site and started run-hiking with our packs (lighter, but still heavy) towards Strawberry Point (pictured above). We didn’t have time to enjoy the view as you literally could see the sea rising across the sands and rocks. We were in a race against tide and time.

We hustled on to the first headland, Giants Graveyard.

IMG_4197

As we round the headland we paused to take in the headstones laid across Davy Jones’s LockerAnd then we saw…no…we smelled the carcass of a gray whale long since beached on the shore. How apropos, given our location at the Giants Graveyard.

IMG_4204IMG_4207IMG_4219IMG_4222

Unfortunately, we didn’t have more than a few minutes to explore the remains. The smell and the rising waters propelled us on to round the next nearby headland. We had to time and dash past the waves around some fallen trees wetting our toes. We needed to get to another close by headland and then on to Scotts Bluff

We could see our next headland through the fog. A daunting sheer cliff known as Scott’s Bluff. If you make it to Scotts Bluff at low tide you can walk the tideline past it in about 10-15 minutes. If you don’t (and we didn’t) then you have to hike inland up and over several hundred feet of Scotts Bluff with loaded packs – a detour of 35-40 minutes a steep and precarious descent at to return to the beach.

IMG_4223IMG_4225

We kept moving as quickly as we could. There was one more headland ahead impassable at any tide – Taylor Point. We’d have to take an overland trail about 2.5 and climb to just over 300 feet. But before that inland trail was one large rock that could only be passed at low tide. We didn’t make it in time.

We thought we’d be stuck there for around six hours waiting for the tide to go do. No cell reception. No way to contact Tawny and let her know we’d be late. Then we saw a rope hanging off the rocks. It didn’t look like an official trail, but we thought we’d check it out and see if we could get over this huge rock and get to the trailhead.

Luck! We were able to ascend the rock and scramble down the back side with the help of another well-placed rope.

IMG_4228IMG_4232IMG_4238IMG_4241

The Taylor Point trail seemed to never end. We relaxed our pace and took a long break. We were exhausted from the brisk hiking but had no more tides to worry about now. We were home free. Only about four miles to go.

The trail was largely uneventful but beautiful through cool and earthy smelling old growth coastal forest. It held some daunting ladders to descend, but the prospect of a warm shower nudged us along.

IMG_4244IMG_4247IMG_4248

At the end of the trail, we hit the south end of Third Beach. It would be a sandy hike to the next trailhead. I turned on my phone. Success. A signal. I called Tawny and found she was still en route with a 2:30 pm ETA. It was about one-o-clock. We’d made it and would have plenty of time to rest and hike the last 2 miles.

IMG_4250IMG_4252IMG_4254

We rested at the Third Beach trailhead for thirty minutes or so. Ate some snacks and drank our water to lighten our packs. The marine layer started to lift and the sun came out to warm the beach. Day hikers were arriving for picnics on the beach. We donned our backpacks one last time before finishing the last 1.2 miles hiking through the woods to the parking lot off La Push Road.

Tawny and her friend Diane picked us up right at 2:30 and we drove to a nearby National Park Ranger station to drop off the bear box we borrowed before heading back to Seattle. We drove 101 North past Lake Crescent and on to Port Angeles to treat ourselves to a Blizzard and fries at Dairy Queen. We had earned the calories.

We drove on past Hood Canal and into Poulsbo where we stopped at Sound Brewery for pizza before catching the Bainbridge Island ferry at sunset back to Seattle.

IMG_4261

 

Categories: Camping, Seattle, Washington | 4 Comments

Silver Springs Surprise

For Labor Day Weekend we took our friend Laure camping near Mt. Rainer for her birthday. We found ourselves nestled amongst old growth firs and cedars along the White River. The weather had called for rain but we hand only a sprinkle or two.

Campsite along the White River

Natural bridge and

We wanted to take a walk through the forest but weren’t sure which way to go. We decided to see if there was a geocache nearby. There was. We gathered some trinkets to leave in the cache and headed out amongst the fungi and mushrooms in search of it. It was a beautiful walk along the Silver Spring, a small natural spring and tributary that flows into the White River.

IMG_9048 IMG_9040 IMG_9036 IMG_9026 Mushrooms and fungus          We found one very scary outhouse.

Scariest outhouse I've ever seen.

We found Silver Spring and then followed it along a damp and softly trodden trail…

Silver Spring comes right out of a small hill

Silver Spring Creek

We came up over a little hill on the trail and found this surprise in the middle of the forest.

Gravesite in the woods

Gravesite in the woods

Decorated gravesite

Decorated gravesite

Story of Henry C. Allen

Story of Henry C. Allen

Decorated Tombstone

Decorated Tombstone

Trinkets

Trinkets and Tokens

We found the geocache which wasn’t as nearly interesting as the gravesite. But there were also many other little graves and monuments in the area. It was a a curious and moving impromptu graveyard to those cherished by their loved ones.

Horse Grave?

I love you gram...

Categories: Camping, Great American Roadtrip, Seattle, Washington | Leave a comment

GART Day 26: Home

Friday, 26 days after we left Seattle we returned home from the Great American Road Trip.

By the numbers:

  • 140 Hours of driving
  • 5826 Miles
  • 41.4 average MPH
  • Fuel Economy 12.7 miles to the gallon
  • Average $4.00 a gallon

12 States

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • Montana
  • Idaho

7 National Parks

2 National Monuments

1 National Memorial

4 State Parks

2 Navajo Tribal Parks

23 Campy Roadside Attractions / Activities

We saw a lot. We did a lot.

But in Seattle we returned to break lights and rain, two things we saw very little over over the past 5800+ miles. Summer in Seattle. It was good to be home.

20130804-163825.jpg

20130804-163841.jpg

Categories: Great American Roadtrip, Seattle | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Debra and Michelle’s Wedding

Deb_Michelle_Cake

We’ve known Debra and Michelle for about 10 years. Their son Jackson went to pre-school with our daughter Clara. While we were certainly cordial school hallway acquaintances during drop-off and pickup, we didn’t really get to know them well until one day Jackson asked Clara out on a date. A date!?! They were like 4 years old, if a day! Michelle and I chaperoned the two to Endolyne Joe’s where they ate macaroni and cheese off the kiddie menu before heading to the nearby playground to run it off. I held the rose Jackson and brought Clara. It was all very sweet. And we all became fast friends.

Since that time Michelle and Debra have always maintained that if gay marriage ever became legal in the State of Washington they’d tie the knot and ask Clara to be the flower girl. Sure enough, in November of 2012 the voters of Washington State legalized gay marriage with a referendum of the people. They asked Clara shortly thereafter and we rearranged our trip to Europe to ensure we could attend. We wouldn’t miss this wedding for the world! The wedding becoming all the more special when just a few last week the United States Supreme Court struck down DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional – clearing the way for federal recognition of gay marriages performed by States that have approved.

So, on July 6th, 2013 (29 years to they day since they committed to eachother) we had the honor of attending (and Clara participating) in the nuptials of our dear friends at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. Congratulations Debra and Michelle. Its been a long time (29 years) in coming.

As a wedding present we gave Debra and Michelle a Parisian Love Lock similar to the one we did for our own anniversary. And mounted the keys to the lock in a frame along with some of the photos below.

Long a symbol of eternal fidelity, love locks have adorned the bridges of some of the world’s most romantic cities. In Paris, a couple writes their names on a padlock and locks it onto the the bridge. They then throw the key into the Seine River, a symbol of never-ending love. The only way to break the seal of love brought on by this love lock is to find the key and unlock the padlock – clearly an impossible feat as the key sits amongst thousands at the bottom of the swift moving Seine.

Debra and Michelle’s love lock is on the Pont de l’Archevéché with the beautiful Notre Dame cathedral as the backdrop.

IMG_5647 IMG_5656 IMG_5826 IMG_5856 IMG_5857 IMG_5861 IMG_5846

The wedding ceremony was a beautiful, touching, and moving experience punctuated with quotes, prayers, and reflections on love from the Bible. A particularly moving sermon from the priest apologizing on behalf of the Church for taking so long to recognize the love between two people regardless of who they are.

IMG_7235 IMG_7237

Flower Girl

Flower Girl

The reception, with decorations, food, wine, and different desserts on each table, with their extended network of family and friends was a joyous celebration of life and love.

Decorations

Decorations

Joyous Bride

Joyous Bride

Happy Couple

Happy Couple

Bride & Bride

Bride & Bride

IMG_7269 IMG_7295 IMG_7297

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting ceremony

Cake cutting

Cake cutting

cake cutting

cake cutting

 

The after party was hosted at the pre-school where we first met Debra and Michelle. Dancing with more food and drink into the wee hours of the morning before Debra and Michelle left on their honeymoon (a cruise to Alaska). Bon Voyage! We love you.

After party

After party

After party

After party

After party

After party

YMCA

YMCA

Dancing at after party

Dancing at after party

After Party

After Party

Happily Married

Happily Married

 

Categories: Seattle | Tags: | 4 Comments

Celebrating ‘Merika!

IMG_7223

This Fourth we decided to brave the crowds and head to Lake Union to watch the Independence Day fireworks from roof of my mother’s houseboat. Its been several years since we’ve enjoyed the fireworks from the houseboat. In recent years we’ve avoided it because the traffic in and out of the area can take hours and the chaos of fireworks in the neighborhood can be unnerving. However, as we are about to embark the next phase of my sabbatical (a near month long National Park and Western United States road trip), it seemed proper that we’d kick off that phase with a celebration of America before we hit the open road.

We started our day with a little swimming to stay cool and to work up our appetite.

IMG_7015 IMG_7018 IMG_7024

Soon after we moved into the gorging our gullets phase of the holiday tradition. I had made pulled pork and our friend Julie made bacon and onion jam to put on it. Mmmmmmm….so good…

Cumin chipotle pulled pork with bourbon bbq sauce and srirasha sambal ketchup and bacon jam on brioche.

Cumin chipotle pulled pork with bourbon bbq sauce and srirasha sambal ketchup and bacon jam on brioche.

We bided our time with views of the action from the roof. Hordes of humanity covered every inch of Gasworks Park. South Lake Union was bow-to-stern and boat-bumper-to-boat-bumper. Meanwhile, the black smoke of an uncontrolled fire wafting through the neighborhood behind the houseboats (affectionately called “Little Beirut” each 4th) didn’t curtail the ignition of reservation fireworks punctuated by yelps of “‘Merika!” “Whoot!” and “Fuck yeah, dude! That was fuckin’ awesome!” Uh…merica, you are beautiful. Happy Birthday. The fire was apparently a boat storage facility that caught fire. $1.5M in damages. 

IMG_7031 IMG_7033 IMG_7035 IMG_7043 IMG_7045 IMG_7047 IMG_7060 IMG_7062

We enjoyed the sunset and the clearing of the skies just in time for the main event – the Lake Union fireworks. They lit up the skies over Seattle like stars and nebulas.

The experience of being sprinkled by ashes and soot, the smell of sulfer and smoke, the music from Gasworks Park and the views of downtown Seattle makes this a great experience and one we won’t soon forget. Also, the traffic this year was lighter than I remember…perhaps light enough we may do it again next year.

Categories: Great American Roadtrip, Seattle | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Pride

IMG_6951

Pride. Today I was proud. Proud to live in the progressive city of Seattle. Proud to live in a the beautiful blue State of Washington. Proud to be an American in a time of such progressive and forward thinking positive change. Proud to have so many gay and lesbian friends and colleagues that I can’t count them on my fingers, toes, and the fingers and toes of my wife and daughter combined.

We were in Paris last week when we heard about the US Supreme Court decisions that dismantled DOMA (the so called “Defense of Marriage Act”) and California’s Proposition 8, which would open the way for gay marriage to return to California.

We actually curtailed our trip to Europe for my sabbatical several months ago so we could return for the wedding of our dear friends Debra and Michelle. For years they’ve been saying that if gay marriage was ever legalized in Washington State they’d get married and they’d want my daughter Clara to be part of the wedding party. This past November that promised was scheduled when the voters of the State of Washington legalized same sex marriage. But to hear the Supreme Court ruling about DOMA means our friends Debra and Michelle will now also be able to receive the same Federal recognition and benefits the rest of us enjoy.

So today we decided to celebrate this historic occasion by attending the Seattle Gay Pride Parade, now in its 39th year!

The start of the parade was emotional. You could feel it. I cried I was so overwhelmed with joy and emotion for our friends and for all the people who now feel equal partners in this country. As soon as I saw the first Harley lesbians who started the parade, one with a wedding gown on, I choked up and couldn’t hold my emotions. It was a powerful and positive day for myself and my family and friends who attended with us.

The parade was better than ever with so many people on the streets. It seemed 10 to 15 deep at times on the side of the parade route. But we had gotten their early so we had front row seats. There were more corporate participants than ever (Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, PWC, Delta, Alaska Airlines, Holland America, Verizon, and other local businesses), more political candidates than ever (there’s a mayoral race in Seattle this year and the gay vote is critical to anybody who wants to win that seat), more City and County participants than ever (Seattle Parks and Rec, King County Sheriff, Seattle Police, Seattle Fire, State Patrol, Seattle and King County Libraries, etc.) and of course your gay and lesbian businesses, clubs, organizations, clubs, groups). But what really surprised me was the number of religious organizations. There was representation from the Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutheran, even Baptist and Mormons who are ready to perform weddings and openly accept gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people into their congregations. Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster made an appearance.

It was a day of positive energy and love, and just the right amount of kink, leather, drag, nudity, and unicorns to make the parade entertaining and memorable. 😉

IMG_6454 IMG_6464 IMG_6466 IMG_6472 IMG_6503 IMG_6508 IMG_6514 IMG_6517 IMG_6529 IMG_6530 IMG_6534 IMG_6544 IMG_6557 IMG_6558 IMG_6572 IMG_6581 IMG_6606 IMG_6610 IMG_6643 IMG_6644 IMG_6651 IMG_6653 IMG_6662 IMG_6663 IMG_6665 IMG_6666 IMG_6675 IMG_6681 IMG_6692 IMG_6695 IMG_6698 IMG_6700 IMG_6709 IMG_6717 IMG_6722 IMG_6724 IMG_6725 IMG_6728 IMG_6753 IMG_6755 IMG_6759 IMG_6762 IMG_6766 IMG_6767 IMG_6773 IMG_6774 IMG_6778 IMG_6779 IMG_6780 IMG_6782 IMG_6787 IMG_6788 IMG_6789 IMG_6790 IMG_6791 IMG_6795 IMG_6797 IMG_6798 IMG_6801 IMG_6808 IMG_6817 IMG_6822 IMG_6825 IMG_6852 IMG_6856 IMG_6859 IMG_6863 IMG_6869 IMG_6870 IMG_6873 IMG_6874 IMG_6876 IMG_6877 IMG_6887 IMG_6888 IMG_6891 IMG_6893 IMG_6896 IMG_6901 IMG_6902 IMG_6919 IMG_6935 IMG_6941 IMG_6942 IMG_6948 IMG_6951 IMG_6953 IMG_6956 IMG_6970 IMG_6971 IMG_6973 IMG_6979 IMG_6990 IMG_6981 IMG_6982 IMG_6983

Categories: Seattle | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.