November 2007December 2007 January 2008

12/29 - Black Mitcham Mints

We admit that the item in this picture does not look like much. It is a chocolate covered Black Mitcham mint patty. Black Mitcham is a cultivar of mint that had fallen out of cultivation some years back, but has recently been revived. Naturally, we had to try some, and we were quite impressed. Black Mitcham is a very strong mint, with a hearty green note. It's nothing like spearmint, which we don't really like. Rather, it is extremely refreshing and hearty. That brown disk may not look like much, but it may be the best peppermint patty anywhere.

If you want to try some, you can get them from Chelsea Market Baskets.

If you'd like a window into the exciting world of Black Mitcham research, including the new Cascade Mitcham mutant, check out our Google search.

Keywords: food

12/28 - Snowshoeing On The Lake Angeles Trail

There is snow in the Heart of the Hills, so the Lake Angeles trail is no longer at that annoying ambiguous level with just a bit too much snow for easy traction, but too little for snowshoes. There is plenty of snow there now. We should report that the park maintenance teams have been hard at work, at least as far as the bridge. The log that we had to crawl under last time is gone. We were too timid and exhausted by all the holiday fun to cross the bridge and check out the mess on the other side. That's something for the new year. Meanwhile, enjoy some pictures of the forest and the snow.

Keywords: lake angeles, trails

12/26 - This Year's Candle Tree

It seems that every year the Christmas trees get bigger. Here is our 2007 candle tree, and this year it is too big to rest on our old television table, and, since it is a bigger tree, it needs more candles. We are now up to 18.

There is nothing like candle light to set off the glory of a Christmas tree. This one is decorated with cookies and Hannukah gelt, but it is the soft glow of firelight that makes it beautiful. Move your mouse over the picture to light the candles and see.

Roll your mouse over the picture to light the tree

Keywords: christmas

12/26 - Our Big Tree

This is our main Christmas tree. There isn't much to say. It's nine feet tall and chock full of ornaments. The neatest ones, the sea horse and the Pierrot, are up near the top, but no Christmas tree stands or falls by a single ornament. Only the sheer mass of glitter counts.

Keywords: christmas

12/22 - Hurricane Ridge is OPEN

The road to Hurricane Ridge is open. The park service has done a great job plowing, sanding, moving rocks and sawing trees. There was some serious road damage up near the Switchback Trail trailhead, and the road narrows a bit there, but the route was easily passable.

The ridge itself was spectacular. We managed to snowshoe a bit, but the snow was all fresh powder, so we couldn't get very far on our trail snowshoes. We were sinking two feet into the snow with every step. On the other hand, we did manage to flail around for an hour enjoying the views and making it some of the way up Sunrise Peak.

The road is still open. Get the winter spirit and check out the high country.

A view of the lodge at Hurricane Ridge

The view to the north

Snow covered trees

Klahane Ridge as seen from the road

Keywords: high country, hurricane ridge, winter

12/12 - Meaning Uncertain

Even Homer nods, and even the Oxford English Dictionary has its weaknesses. In particular, there are words with citations, but no definitions. We came across "smolet" years ago by chance, but now that the OED is online we could simply search for all entries that had "meaning uncertain" to see how common this problem is. All told, we found about fifty words that are in the dictionary, but as yet undefined. We didn't find "caterjunes" on this list, which was the nonsense spelling word from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Apparently, since it was used in a spelling bee, it is possible to spell a non-word incorrectly. Maybe it will show up in a future edition.
smolet (smolat)

Keywords: art

12/11 - The Annual Christmas Firetruck

Every Christmas the Port Angeles Fire Department takes a tour of the town in a well illuminated firetruck. With sirens blaring and Santa atop it does liven things up around here. It's hard to miss.

Keywords: christmas, port angeles

12/10 - Welcome To Seattle

We often fly to Seattle on Kenmore Air. They have regular service to Boeing Field from Port Angeles. The views of the Olympic Mountains, the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, and Seattle vary with the weather. Since Boeing Field is just south of the city, we often get a nice view of town on our route. Check out the view on our last trip.

Click for the Quicktime movie

Keywords: port angeles, seattle, kenmore

12/10 - The Remodeled Bus Tunnel

The first time one of us visited Seattle they were building the downtown bus tunnel. It was our introduction to "Welcome To Seattle - Sidewalk Closed". While New York City has its share of frenetic construction, the sidewalks are kept open. You might have to snake your way through an array of girders and pillars and hanging utility lights, but the street is open. Seattle, in contrast, allows developers to simply close the sidewalks. Seattle is not the most pedestrian friendly town. The bus tunnel was closed again more recently, but it has now reopened. Interestingly, we never actually saw the original tunnel, so we will have to assume that things have changed. In any case, the newly remodeled tunnel is quite pretty and well appointed. Now, we have to wait for the airport light rail connection in 2009. It's nice to see some serious public works in this day and age.

The new bus tunnel

Keywords: seattle

12/10 - Seattle Christmas

We were in Seattle the other day and had to admire the Christmas decorations as the shopping season gets into full swing. The gingerbread cookie decorations are from the recently remodeled Sheraton Towers lobby. We always check their Christmas display which was as much fun as ever.

Keywords: christmas, seattle, shopping

Roll over for a close up

12/10 - Green Bean Lizard

We noticed this little feller at one of the produce stands at Pike's Place Market.

Keywords: seattle, animals

12/04 - The Little Oven

Ever since Bonny's closed some years back, Port Angeles has been without a really good bakery. A friend of ours noticed The LIttle Oven a few days ago. It shares a building with the laundromat on Peabody Street, and, as you can see from the picture, it doesn't look like much from the outside.

Our friend said they were pretty good, but since they only have a little oven, they only bake bread for their own sandwiches. They smelled right when we dropped by, but we haven't tried them yet. Still, their menu includes croissants, sandwiches and cinnamon rolls, so we expect to review them soon enough.

Keywords: port angeles, restaurants

12/04 - High Water

The major news outlets are covering this much better than we can, but there has been a lot of wind, rain and flooding here in the Pacific Northwest. Port Angeles and Sequim actually missed the worst. We just had a lot of rain, but ten miles west there was serious flooding, power outages and the works.

We aren't big eco-disaster tourists, but we couldn't help noticing that Morse Creek was high and muddy. There was a lot of water under the reconstructed rail bridge. With the warm weather, that's probably both rain and snow melt. The Hurricane Ridge weather station was reporting weather in the upper 30s, even late at night.

That's our benchmark tree sticking out there. Usually, you can see the horizontal branch that supports it.

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles

November 2007December 2007 January 2008