December 2011January 2012 February 2012

01/31 - Very High Tides at Dungeness Spit

The winter storms a few weeks back led to very high tides at the Dungeness Spit. We looked at our tide table and saw a seven foot tide, falling, so we imagined a narrow beach, but a passable one. When we got down to the beach we saw something else, no beach at all. The stormy weather had brought in an extra foot or two of water.

So, instead of a hike along the spit, we walked along the bluffs, and things were different here as well. We had noticed some serious erosion on our last visit, but it appears that an entire chunk of the old trail has collapsed into the strait, and a new trail has been routed inland.

So, on one nature walk, we were reminded of both the beauty and the power of nature.

The view back south

The view out on the spit - You can see how little beach there was.

Another view out

Another view of the spit, or what's left of it

The eagles don't seem to be bothered.

Some frost on the ground.

The new trail a safe distance back from the crumbling bluffs

A view of the mountains from the bluffs

They have a fence closing off the old trail, and it's just as well.

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, weather, winter, eagle

01/28 - Cracked Pot

We generally considered our cast iron Le Creuset pot to be indestructible. After all, it was made of solid metal and a fair bit of it to judge by its weight. We were proven wrong the other day when it suddenly cracked while reheating a batch of beef bourguignon. There was a loud bang and a hiss, and there it was, a crack running all the way down the side. Our beef bourguignon was unharmed.

Our cracked pot

Keywords: food

01/23 - Some Chemistry Software

We've updated our ancient Period Table of the Elements - five downloads since 2006 - to include a simple chemical equation solver and balancer. If you know what this means, then this post is for you. If you actually might need such a thing, then this post is probably a godsend. So, assuming you are one in a billion, follow the link and take a look at the latest update from Kaleberg Labs.

Keywords: software, science, kale

01/23 - Right In Our Own Backyard

We tend to think of Olympic National Park as being in our own backyard, but when the storms struck and the roads got messy, our backyard got a bit smaller. We decided to strap on our snowshoes and explore anyway. We headed up to Peninsula College and first took the trail down to Ennis Creek. They've fixed it up nicely, and even with all the snow it was passable, especially with the proper foot gear. Then we wandered the campus a bit. Some of our old trails are gone, but there are all those neat new buildings, and, of course, lots of snow.

The gateway to the trail

Snow covered forest

More snow and trees

Some evergreens

Ennis Creek, cold and black

One of the new buildings, with snow

Peninsula College, closed on account of snow

Keywords: port angeles, winter

01/17 - Hurricane Ridge

Shortly before the recent storms, we drove up to Hurricane Ridge and did some snowshoeing. The snow was crunchy having been compacted, melted and refrozen, but it was easy enough going with our steel foot claws, our snowshoes.

It was a cloudy day, so we managed to capture some of the strange color that the mountain sky gets when the air is unsettled. It was a good workout, and, now that the storms have settled, we're hoping to get back up there.

Some of the strange sky

A bit of blue sky - There were colors for every mood.

The mountains and a pale gray sky

Vancouver Island across the strait

More strange and angry sky

Hurricane Hill in the distance

The trail itself

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, snowshoeing

01/10 - From the Heart of the Hills

The Lake Angeles Trail starts in The Heart of the Hills, that area near Lake Dawn and the park entry station on Hurricane Ridge Road. Around this time of year, it's a trail in transition. The trailhead often clear of snow, but as one ascends, the trail whitens, and how far you can go depends as much on your snow gear as your stamina.

About as far as we went, to the bridge

A fallen log

The trail with a bit of snow

Snow covered trees

The trail much lower

Keywords: lake angeles

01/05 - Dungeness Spit

No, we didn't see any snowy owls either, but there were lots of people out looking for them on the Dungeness Spit. We did take advantage of the relatively good tides, and there are better tides to come later this month. You can check out our tide pages or just look at the fine print in the left margin of our home page. We also took advantage of the good weather. It's the Northwest, so we live for sunbreaks. It was wonderfully sunny and bright for most of our walk, but it was raining by the time we returned to the parking lot. That's typical.

It was a great way to start the new hiking year, 2012.

The tide was high, but going out, which made for good walking.

The view back of the mountains

Some kelp

The ridge of the spit

Amazing light and clouds and cloud shadows and reflections

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, weather

December 2011January 2012 February 2012