Friday, July 31, 2009
This is becoming the summer of the fruit crisp. Tonight's selection is raspberry, marionberry, and blueberry. It will be served with ice cream - vanilla or Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream, which actually really goes well with fruit crisp.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Yesterday's hike to Indian Henry's campground was complete with a bear sighting (but no pictures of the bear). The Kautz Creek trail is a great combination of excellent scenery and conditioning. Lots of conditioning - the trail goes straight up through the woods and then straight up through the meadow. Once again, the pictures speak for themselves.
Despite my inability to drive to Mt. Townsend without getting lost, Mt. Townsend is probably my favorite hike in the state. I went there last week and the wild flowers were in bloom. There isn't much to add, the pictures speak for themselves.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I'm recovered from last weekend's hiking/wine trip and am ready for more. CF and I took off on Thursday and headed down to the Columbia River Gorge to do some hiking. We stopped at Beacon Rock and did a quick one mile hike up to the viewpoint and then back down. The views of the gorge were amazing and I recommend that as a nice quick leg stretcher. Then we drove across the street and up the mountain to hike the Hamilton Mountain trail. That was about 8 miles (maybe 6) round trip and the trail was difficult - very gravelly and slippery. The views were beautiful in places, but the flowers just weren't out there. After hiking we drove on to Goldendale where he had giant margaritas and really great Mexican food and went to the Goldendale observatory. The observatory was fun, and a very odd experience that reminded me of a Simpson's episode. "To the observatory!" It was run by two very eager astronomers who seemed to enjoy their jobs and did a good job of putting on a show for the astronomy buffs. Unfortunately, it doesn't get dark there until very late so there was limited star watching. Fortunately, we did get to see one star through the fancy telescope.
Day two took us to wine country where we sampled wines in Prosser and Zillah. I would absolutely go back to wine country again. The tastings are fun - you get to talk to people who know their wine and, of course, the wine is the best. I bought 8 bottles, including a bottle of basil/garlic vinegar which I'm thinking I'm going to pour over some tomatoes and cucumbers when they get in season (the tomatoes). I don't know how accurate my palate is after the first few tastings, and I'm really glad that I wasn't driving after the first two stops. We pushed on to Packwood after unsuccessfully trying to find hieroglyphs that my guide book told us were in Naches. I'm now suspicious of the guide book.
Day three was hiking, hiking, and hiking. Some successful, some not. Unfortunately, Shoe Lake at White Pass was off limits to us. We hiked up through black clouds of mosquitos only to lose the trail about an hour into the hike. That's when my hiking legs kicked in and it was very hard for me to admit defeat and turn back. We then did a very short hike, but a nice one in Mt. Rainier National Park where we got to check out the old growth giants dwelling there. I didn't bother taking pictures - they wouldn't do them justice. At any rate, we hopped in the car and went to Mt. St. Helens. Yes, that is a lot of driving in one day, but I have to admit it was worth it. I hadn't been to the Windy Ridge side of St. Helens and it was amazing. There were lots of trees that had been stripped dry and left in place - skeletal remains on a gray, windy landscape. The wind really did whip up and the hike was straight up for the first mile on steps carved into the sandy, gravel slope. It is odd to go from deep forest to moonscape in one day. Odd, but good. Pictures are here.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The wine tour of 2009 was a success. As soon as I finish putting witty (or not) captions on my photos, I will post them for all to see. For now, follow the sign. Do you take the difficult route, or the more difficult route? I know I was glad that the more difficult route was taken - always take the more difficult route when you have the chance. Who knew I could be so philosophical?