July 2008August 2008 September 2008

08/31 - Hurricane Hill

We were up on Hurricane Hill, looking for the last signs of summer and the first signs of autumn. We found both. There were patches of late blooming lupines, a blue grouse, and corn lilies, but there were also the seed pods, asters and golden grasses of fall.

We were pleased to see that the corn lilies were in bloom. We had been up on Hurricane Hill earlier in the year, but with the road reconstruction and rain, we had not been up for a while. We were afraid that we would miss their subtle green blossoms. As you can see in our photo, we had time to spare. There is something to be said for a cool summer.

The scenery, as usual, was spectacular.

The grasses are turning golden.

Lupines are still around, if you know where to look.

These are the late season flowers in late season colors.

Pink paintbrush of summer

The corn lilies are in bloom.

A corn lily flower

Fall flowers and mysterious shrouds

White eyed lupine

Another mysterious shroud

A blue grouse

Keywords: autumn, flowers, hurricane hill, summer, grouse

08/27 - Hoh Rain Forest

We were out on the Hoh Rain Forest Trail the other day. The weather forecast was for a 30% chance of showers, but we should have known better given that we were heading off to a rain forest. Usually, the rain holds off, but this year we had the true rain forest experience, so we didn't quite get to Five Mile Island.

Still, we managed to get a ways up the river and found a spot to enjoy our bacon, lettuce, tomato and cucumber sandwiches. (We Kalebergs, like an army, travel on our stomach.) Some of the leaves are already starting to change color here and there. August is a little early, but this has been a cool, wet year. The trail was wet. The side streams feeding the Hoh were full. The river was misty. All told, it was a wondeful hike.

It was a misty, rainy day. What does one expect in a rain forest?

A close up of the little waterfall

The waterfall in the forest, just after the footbridge

The trail goes on.

The first autumn color

Yet another haunted grove

The Hoh

Keywords: hoh rain forest, kale, waterfall

08/24 - Uni Toast

Every year, in late August, we have a seafood festival, and every year the star of our seafood festival is uni toast. Uni, sea urchin eggs, are usually eaten raw as sushi, but they are also delicious cooked. We get our uni from Catalina OP. It comes in little wooden pallettes each holding 80 grams of delicious orange yellow sea urchin eggs. They smell of the sea. Sauteed in butter, they have a deep, rich flavor. They might not look like much in these photographs, but we Kalebergs know that sea urchin roe is not just for sushi.

In the pan

On the plate with one of Jasper White's breadsticks
  • 320 grams (four flats) sea urchin roe
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6-8 scallions, cut into little slices
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice to taste (perhaps half a lemon)
Melt the butter in the pan over medium high heat. Add the sea urchin roe and cook for a minute or two. Add the scallions. Cook for another minute or two until they start to soften. Add the coriander. Turn off the heat. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

We recommend serving this dish with either good sourdough toast or Jasper White's breadsticks.

Keywords: food, recipe, kale

08/19 - Obstruction Point In Season

Obstruction Point Road has been open for a couple of weeks now, so we drove out to the end of the road and checked out some of our favorite high country. It was a clear, sunny day, and the views of the distant mountains were spectacular. The Lilian Ridge trail is a high, open trail, so there was plenty of sky.

Most of the snow has melted, though there were a few big patches here and there. The little lakes in the valley were full and surrounded by lush green vegetation. We could tell this was a moist year. All of the plants were big and green, and there were lots of lupines and still a bit of phlox.

Our special treat was a marmot, scampering across the trail near the staircase that leads down from the point to the traverse. We couldn't get a good picture, only a shot of its tail as it vanished into the shattered field of rocks.

This part of the park is only open for a few months of the year, from July through October, so we try to make the most of it. Despite the road work, our drive up on a Saturday was pretty smooth. A lot of Hurricane Ridge Road has already been repaved, and the one lane sections expanded back to two. That's real progress. If you are ever in the area around this time of year, head up to Hurricane Ridge, then take a sharp turn and head out to Obstruction Point and really explore the Olympic Mountains.

Keywords: high country, hurricane ridge, obstruction point

08/16 - Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

We have finally reviewed the restaurant at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, and we were pretty impressed. You can actually have a good Northwestern meal in the middle of the Northwestern wilderness.

Keywords: sol duc, restaurants

08/15 - Deer Lake Adventure

The high country is officially open, at least as far as we Kalebergs are concerned. We have returned to Deer Lake. This is always a hard climb, not because of the nearly 1600' ascent, but because the trail is rough going with rocks large and small and portions of the trail are a bit warm and humid. There are only one or two short smooth sections, but the rest of the trail is "watch your step". Mind you, it is a beautiful hike, and Deer Lake is a silken wonder, but it takes something to get up there.

It took us the better part of two hours to get from the Sol Duc trailhead to the little bridge at the head of the lake. We munched our sandwiches, ventresca tuna with roasted green peppers and sweet onions. Then we made our way back down.

Usually, our adventures end in the parking lot, but this time we had a way to go. Our car wouldn't start, or rather, it would start, but then turn off. Something was off with the anti-theft transponder. So, we got a ride with a Dutch tourist who was nearing the end of his drive from San Diego to Seattle. We called AAA, and we settled down to dinner at the Sol Duc resort. We had a few nice glasses of wine, planked salmon, crab cakes and a marionberry crisp. That put us in a better mood. We knew AAA wasn't going to make their one hour goal. We were at least a full hour's drive from the nearest station. Still, we had faith. There were no rooms at the inn.

Our tow truck driver was great, with a gentle hand and a big truck. We dropped the car off for repairs and tucked into bed late. This time we Kalebergs had a bit more adventure than we had bargained for.

Deer Lake under a cloudy sky

There was still some snow on the mountains. The park reports a foot or two of snow at the High Divide.

The bridge over the marsh

These guys had neat looking flowers

More great summer flowers

The canyon falls at 450 apl (above parking lot)

This may be the 10,000,000th photo of Sol Duc Falls, but we couldn't resist.

Keywords: deer lake, high country, sol duc, salmon, kale

08/14 - Miss Shapely Loots The Safe

We finally found the Mad Magazine cartoon that inspired the series Alias. We used to love watching Jennifer Gardner crawling through airshafts to steal enemy plans while wearing a stylish tulle evening dress or rappelling down the side of a skyscraper in Hong Kong or Cairo in a silver lame pantsuit. Of course, we knew where JJ Abrams got the original idea. It was Mad Magazine, as you can see.

From Mad Magazine #80 July 1963 (George Woodbridge & Harry Purvis)

Keywords: art

08/07 - Return To The Lighthouse

There have been some good tides at Dungeness Spit lately, so we wandered out to sea dryshod. The going was fairly easy, so we walked and walked, and before were knew it we were approaching the light house. The Dungeness Spit lighthouse hike is always a bit dreamy, but we were well rewarded with eagles, seals, gulls, terns and sea and sand.

Near the lighthouse we heard the gulls in an uproar. There was a cloud of hundreds flocking about. Then we saw the cause of this commotion. Two young bald eagles were being mobbed with gulls flying low over them and trying to force them from the sky. It wasn't exactly a concerted action, but it was effective. The young eagles were driven east.

Then the skies quieted. We walked onward to visit the lighthouse and pay a call on the seals who were not far off the spit near the lighthouse walkway. As we noted earlier, the Dungeness Spit lighthouse hike is always a bit dreamy.

Keywords: dungeness, dungeness spit, tides, eagle

08/04 - Volunteer Park In Seattle

As part of our long term project to explore Seattle, we recently visited Volunteer Park and climbed the early 20th century water tower which serves as a centerpiece. There were some pretty nice views of Seattle, Lake Washington, and the area.

This red brick and iron work style dates from the late 19th century and early 20th century, and epitomizes a golden age of civil engineering.

The Seattle skyline


Keywords: seattle

July 2008August 2008 September 2008