The Kaleberg Journal - December 2014


12/14 - Christmas Party

We Kalebergs haven't quite reached peak Christmas yet. We're still mining the season, but we did have our annual grownups Christmas party. It's a choucroute year, but by the time the choucroute comes out of the oven, laden with smoked pork chops, sausages, duck breast, smoked pheasant, pork hocks, westphalian ham, potatoes, carrots, juniper berries and sauerkraut, everyone is hungry, so we didn't manage to take any pictures. Still, if you look closely, you can see our illuminated fruitcake, some half and half cookies, sweetmeats and candied grapefruit peel.

The spread

You can probably make out some of the goodies in this shot.

Our big tree and the fireplace mantle

The big tree

That's our new Christmas tree topper. It's wifi compatible and based on an Arduino Yun.

Our shaman transforming

The little tree waiting for the cookie tree party

Godzilla

The champagne forest

Keywords: christmas


12/11 - Christmas Firetruck

One of the great local customs in Port Angeles is the Christmas firetruck which visits every street in town. It's a vintage firetruck with lights, a tree, Santa and his helper elves giving out candy canes. We're always listening for the siren so we don't miss the truck.

Our neighbor's house - He's a gold star power company customer.

Our place - quiet elegance or maybe we're not as energetic

The firetruck

Closer

From the side

Passing

Until next Christmas season

Keywords: christmas, port angeles


12/09 - More Seattle

Our trip to Seattle was brief, but we did manage to get around. Mainly, we did a lot of shopping. We also saw some sea lions in the harbor while waiting for the ferry to start.

Seattle has great winter light.

This is the view from the market, near Place Pigout.

Sea lions?

Someone doesn't mind the cold water.

The Seattle waterfront

Keywords: seattle, shopping


12/08 - Seattle - The Sheraton Cookie House Competition

Every December we try to get to the Sheraton to see the the wonderful seasonal gingerbread concoctions in their lobby. This year the entries were better than ever, and they really helped us get into the mood for Christmas.

This amusement park had a K'Nex roller coaster, as with so many of ours, out of order.

The tropical paradise was as wonderful underwater as above - note the dangling fish below.

This Seattle montage might have been our favorite.

That's Big Bertha emerging from its caverns below route 99.

That's Santa being pulled by a team of salmon.

This one is a traditional nativity scene, complete with the star and the manger.

Note which inn is out of room: The Westin.

We aren't too sure about this Aztec temple with its motto - "From the bottom of our hearts." Uhh, really. This is Christmas.

They did have some tired reindeer soaking their feet.

There was a great Christmas village.

We think that's either a happy Seahawk or a happy Seahawk fan.

Keywords: christmas


The Kaleberg Journal - November 2014


11/28 - The Kaleberg Advent Calendar

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can decently release the Kaleberg advent calendar. An advent calendar is a calendar that keeps track of the days before Christmas, often a seasonal scene with little doors that are opened to reveal pictures or treats as the big holiday approaches.

Our calendar has been electronic for years now, so we've released our Kaleberg advent calendar as an interactive web page to get people into the seasonal spirit. If you have a late model browser on your computer or are running a more advanced version of IOS or Android, you should be able to join the excitement.

Just follow the link to the Kaleberg Advent Calendar web page and start exploring our Christmas village. Use the four arrow keys to navigate (or touch and drag if you have a touch screen). The carols will begin to play. While you explore the virtual village, watch for changes. This village, like us Kalebergs, takes Christmas seriously.


Explore our Christmas Calendar

Keywords: christmas


11/19 - The Old Glines Canyon Dam

The road to the trailhead for Olympic Hot Springs heads past the Altair camp ground and heads along the west side of what was once Lake Mills, much as Whiskey Bend Road follows the east side. We noted the new observation area accessible from Whiskey Bend Road. On the west side of the lake we saw them building another access area on the western remains of the old dam. Further along the road there was a viewpoint with a little parking area that gave a great view of the dam, the old lake bed and the Elwha River. It's worth a stop if you are heading out that way.

The Glines Canyon Dam as it is today

Keywords: elwha, olympic hot springs


11/17 - The Trail To Olympic Hot Springs Is Open Again

The trail to Olympic Hot Springs is open again after three long years. We had never taken the old trail, so this was a double first for us. Apparently, the road used to end quite close to the hot springs. Now, it's a 2.4 mile walk along a trail which was obviously the old roadbed. It was easy to tell. The trail is as wide as a road, and there were several bridges we crossed that were clearly designed for automobiles, not hikers. It was an easy 300 odd foot ascent from the trailhead to the hot springs, but here and there they cut drainage ditches right across the old roadbed. Some of them were a bit deep, and there was some ice on the trail, so we had to watch our step.

After a ways we came to a rather pretty suspension bridge. This was a sturdy, well designed bridge with iron posts, handy handrails and a comfortably wide walkway. This was obviously new. It wasn't designed for cars. A bit further on we came to a wide area that was obviously the old parking lot. We made our way downhill and across another small bridge. We were tired and almost turned around here, but after some deliberation pressed on. The hot springs were not far. First we saw the steam. Then we saw the wet areas where the hot springs drained across the trail before running down to the creek below.

Exploring more, we found the catchments, collections of log and stone that held back the steaming sulfurous waters and formed inviting looking pools. We stopped to explore several of them, but we were too tired to soak. There was plenty of steam, and the whole area seemed warmer. There was some frost on the trail, but not where the hot springs ran.

There were a fair number of hikers out on the trail, especially considering that it was a weekday in the shoulder season. A lot of them had been to the springs back when they were a short stroll from the parking lot, but that was before our time. Round trip from the new parking lot to the hot springs was about two and a quarter hours. That included the time we spent exploring the hot springs.


The trailhead sign

The partly frozen ground

A small waterfall

The suspension bridge

Another view of the bridge - There was good traction despite its icy appearance.

Water down below

Water up above

Steam rising

A hot pool, one of many

More falling water

A fall crop of mushrooms

Keywords: olympic hot springs


11/15 - Hurricane Hill - Early Winter

Hurricane Ridge Road is now being closed during the week from Monday through Thursday. On Fridays and weekends the road is open, and, right now at least, the road to Hurricane Hill is open as well. It was a bright sunny day, and there were lots of people climbing up to Hurricane Hill. We were a bit out of shape for the mountains- the trailhead is nearly a mile up - and it was cold. Despite this, we made good time. The colors are muted now, but the scenery is still spectacular.

Bright sun, mountains and valley haze

Port Angeles

Frozen for the duration

Mountains

Mount Baker, floating like a meringue in the distance

More mountains and a touch of color still remaining

More mountains and some lens flare

More

and even more

Another bit of scenery

A last bit of fall color

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge


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