The Kaleberg Journal - June 2016


06/26 - Second Beach at Low Tide

We took advantage of the lovely, sunny day and the -0.3 foot low tide at La Push to get out and explore Second Beach. The forest was alive with green light filtering through the trees, and there was an array of driftwood to clamber over to get to the beach, but the beach was broad and beautiful. Even better, the tide looked enough for us to get out to one of the usually isolated sea stacks.

We made our way along the beach and started our approach. There was a spit of sand jutting out towards the sea stack, but it ended a bit short. There was still a channel to cross, so we took off our shoes and laid them on what passed for high ground. Then we waded out. The water came over our knees, but only for a few steps. Then we were approaching the caves at the base of the sea stack.

We made our way around to the tide pools, and there we saw them - starfish. There was a starfish plague a year or two ago, and it wiped out just about every starfish in the Pacific northwest, even the ones in aquariums. But, here in the tide pools at the base of this inaccessible sea stack, there were starfish, dozens of them. They were clutching the rocks by the pools full of anemones. It was really good to see them.

We only spent so long at the sea stack. The tide was already rising, and our shoes were in imminent danger. We reclaimed them and walked south along beach revealed only when the tide was this low. We made our way to the little sea cave at the southern end of the beach, braving the clouds of sea mist that swirled along the beach. Out at sea we could see the Pacific mist condensing into purplish clouds out past the line of sea stacks.

All told it was an amazing visit. Even when the tide is negative, the isolated sea stack is often still unreachable. We had only made our way out there once before, so getting back out there again was a real treat.


This sea stack is only accessible when the tide is extremely low and the sand available permits.

The caves at the base of the sea stack

A view out to sea

Starfish!

More starfish

Starfish and anemones

The other seastacks

The beach looking south

Sea stacks at the southern end of the beach

The sea cave and lots of sea weed

Another view

Keywords: la push, second beach


06/14 - Elwha Update

Olympic Hot Springs Road is still closed at Madison Falls, but the wild river is still there. One rainy day, we went to take a brief look.

Even more river excitement

A view upriver

A view downriver

A view of the river bed

And another similar view

Keywords: elwha, olympic hot springs


06/10 - Volunteer Park Conservatory

One of our favorite places in Seattle is the Volunteer Park Conservatory. We missed it on our last few visits. It closes at four, and sometimes it is closed when they are updating the plants on display. This last trip, however, we had the perfect spring conservatory experience. Everything seemed to be in bloom.

The Conservatory

Berries

A flower

Carnivorous …

… and friends

Also in bloom

Even the cactus

Another cactus …

… and another

An orchid display

An orchid close up

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring


06/04 - Welcome to Seattle, Sidewalk Closed

Coming from New York City where they make builders put up scaffolding to keep the sidewalks open even during the height of construction, Seattle seems anti-pedestrian with its policy of letting builders close sidewalks for months on end. This has gotten worse thanks to the building boom in Seattle, so now they have to post maps for pedestrians to figure out which streets are actually passable. Maybe we need a pedestrian version of Waze, the application that helps drivers deal with traffic disruptions.

It has gotten this bad.

Keywords: seattle


The Kaleberg Journal - May 2016


05/28 - Russian Easter

Real Russian Easter was some ago, but we Kalebergs finally got around to celebrating just a few days ago. We had stacks of buckwheat pancakes, an acre of home made pork sausage and bales of pelmeni. The melted butter flowed like water. We washed it all down with an ocean of champagne.

Our friends arrived in two waves. Those in Port Angeles arrived around six, but everyone to the east was delayed for two hours. Highway 101 was closed for a crime scene investigation after a shoot out of Old West proportions that morning. (No one was killed, but many shots were fired.) That meant our second wave arrived around eight. We have really patient, hungry friends.

It wasn’t until nine that the strains of the 1812 overture began to play, and we retold the story of the Monster Napoleon and his invasion of Mother Russia. Our baked Alaska Moscow loomed at the edge of our kitchen counter. As the monster and his minions approached, we realized that only scorched earth would stop him. Flaming French brandy flowed as the cannons roared. Moscow and Mother Russia were saved. We suspect Napoleon will try again next year.


The icy shores of our ocean of champagne

Moscow for the burning

Our Russian feast

Keywords: russian easter


05/27 - Seattle Trip

We found a great new Mexican restaurant in Ballard, Gracia. They make their own wonderful tacos. They serve their full menu all day. And they make wonderful cocktails. Our favorite was a gimlet with tequila instead of gin. We don’t like gin, but we do like tequila, so this was an excellent substitution. We liked this cocktail so much, we made our own version at home, infusing tequila with jalapeno and serrano peppers and making our own lime cordial.

We were also amused by the Amazon bookstore at University Village. Given the impact Amazon has had on bookstores, the existence of this place is rather ironic, but there it was, an Amazon bookstore. It even had lots of books inside and a traditional bookstore look. This is either a result of the book publishers’ hard fight against electronic books or a retro thing like all those new music stores selling vinyl albums. In either case, it was amusing to wander a bookstore where every book had a star rating.


Gracia, great Mexican food in Ballard

Amazon’s bookstore

Note the star rated books on the featured items table

Keywords: seattle, restaurants


05/24 - Marymere Falls Loop Reopened

The Marymere Falls trail loop has reopened. It was possible to reach the overlooks with views of the falls, but the lower part of the loop was damaged last fall. It has since been repaired with a long section of new handrail. With so many roads and trails still recovering from winter damage, it’s good to see a part of this popular trail reopened.

Marymere Falls

New handrails

Barnes Creek where the waters of the falls join it

Keywords: marymere falls, trails


05/20 - Hurricane Hill Flowers, Marmots and a Bear

The wildflower season progresses up at Hurricane Hill. The hillsides are covered with phlox. The wallflowers are out, and the glacier lilies are blooming. The marmots are out as well. We saw at least four of them including two younger ones sparring. On our way back down from the summit we saw a black bear eating ferociously along the hillside below. It was close enough for us to see its black mane, but far enough for comfort. They say black bears are the little ones, but they are not that little.

One of the amazing views

A golden marmot amidst the phlox

Another marmot

Snow still covers the north face.

The hills are alive.

A wallflower and friends

More flowers

Another marmot reminding us to stay off his or her lawn

Two young marmots sparring

The black bear at the limit of our telephoto lens

More flowers

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, marmots


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