April 2017May 2017 June 2017

05/31 - Hoh Rain Forest - Part 2

Some of the biggest trees are along the trail past the waterfall, but before Five Mile Island. The trail is mainly inland here, and there are streams to cross. Some have bridges, some have conveniently placed stones and some just have to be waded across. It's part of the forest adventure.

Our goal was Five Mile Island, a camp ground and a great place to stop and enjoy a lunch with our tired feet in the icy river water. Every year the bank and flow of the river change. We found a spot to settle and ate our sandwiches. We explored a bit, then made our way back downstream.

More rain forest

The view upstream

More forest floor

Another great tree

Yet another

Yet another giant

And a forest of giants

That's a nurse log on the ground

Across the Hoh at Five Mile Island

Another view at Five Mile Island

The view downstream at Five Mile Island


hoh rain forest, flowers

05/30 - Hoh Rain Forest - Part 3

These are just a few more catch up photos from our hike along the Hoh River up to Five Mile Island. We don't think of this trail as being particularly floral, but at this time in spring, there were plenty of flowers adorning the forest floor.

A close up of ferns and mosses

Pacific dogwood in bloom

Also some blooming tiarella

Another view of the Hoh River

Some snow cover not all that high above us


05/18 - San Francisco, First Day

One of our favorite walks in San Francisco is the climb up the Filbert Street steps. It starts in an alley and heads up a rickety set of metal and concrete steps. It turns into a staircase through a garden which offers wonderful views of San Francisco Bay. There were roses in bloom and nasturtiums everywhere. The climb tops out at Coit Tower which offers even more views of the city and bay.

A look down at the alley and the Bay Bridge

Staircase garden

More garden on a side street

More garden

Our first view of the Golden Gate Bridge

The view west with twisty Lombard Street visible

Looking back at Coit Tower

Another lovely garden, the Vallejo Street Steps

Another city view

San Francisco is full of flowers

The view downtown

Keywords: san francisco

05/17 - San Francisco, Second Day

We spent a good part of our day wandering San Francisco's waterfront from Fort Mason heading west past Crissy Field. There are some beautiful views, and it was a sunny weekend day, so the streets and parks were full of walkers, runners, sunbathers, kite fliers, bicyclists and others out just enjoying the good weather. We made our way to Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge, then we climbed to the bridge visitor center and started heading south along the Coastal Trail. According to the signs, the part of the trail that leads down to the sea was closed. Despite this, we pushed on a bit, but when the going got rough, we gave up and headed back.

That's Alcatraz in the distance

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge

A passion flower

Another view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Sea foam

A hummingbird: look closely for it's bright red feathers.

Another shot of that cooperative hummingbird

Yet another view of the Golden Gate Bridge - It is truly photogenic.

The entrance to an old bunker

Another cooperative bird

The grounds of the old Exploratorium

Keywords: san francisco

05/16 - San Francisco, Third Day

On our third day in San Francisco, we decided to resume our hike near where we had turned around the previous day. We took a cab to the Golden Gate Bridge visitor center and headed south. We ignored the warning about the trail being closed and headed down towards the Pacific along a surprisingly wild section of the trail. There were steps and boardwalks, and we seemed to be in a wilderness miles from any city.

If the signs had been right about the trail being closed, we would have had to backtrack, but we really wanted to hike this stretch. As it turned out, the trail was damaged, and technically closed, but as a number of hikers informed us, actually open. There was a well worn track around the barriers blocking the closed section of the trail. We joined the outlaws and continued our hike to Baker Beach.

We made it all the way down to Land's End where we hailed a Lyft car to get us back to our hotel. Lyft has made a real difference. One time we took a taxi back, and it took half an hour to get a ride. Another time we took a bus back, and it took 45 minutes for the 20 minute ride across town. San Francisco has a horrible bus system with stops every block or two. No wonder companies like Google are running their own bus systems here.

One of the many hummingbirds enjoying the weather

A view from the coast

Another view, south

The Golden Gate Bridge again, in one of its many aspects

A view of our favorite part of the trail

Yet another view of the trail and points south

Cormorants on one of the rocks

A view of the Pacific

Scud on Baker Beach

Good grief, yet another view of that San Francisco landmark

A peek into the city

Keywords: birds, san francisco

05/15 - San Francisco, Our Last Day

We didn't wander as far afield on our last day. We walked about along the Embarcadero, and walked out on our favorite wooden pier to give our feet a break.

The Bay Bridge from the pier

Emeryville, the actual port where ships load and unload goods

A good old fashioned doorway - That should show them.

A view from the pier

The pier

Keywords: san francisco

05/07 - Sol Duc and Beyond - Part 1

Our latest trip to the Sol Duc Valley had some excitement. We spotted a young bear not too far from the trailhead. We had been driving along enjoying the scenery, deep green forest with occasional views of the Sol Duc River. Then we saw the car ahead of us stopped in the middle of the road. That means one thing in a national park, a wildlife sighting. It was a young black bear, but we only had quick look at him or her. However, on our way back, we had a much longer and better look.

The falls themselves are full of water, but not quite as wild as we have ever seen them. It was quite possible to cross the bridge over the river at the falls dry shod. As the spring and summer melt progresses, the flow will increase, and the spray will get much wilder.

We headed up trail on the far side of the river, taking the trail to Deer Lake. The trail meanders for a ways with little streams and curtains of drips, then it follows Canyon Creek which flows down from the lake. We made it to the bridge, about 500 feet above the falls. By this point we had run into some patches of snow on and beside the trail. Looking upstream we could see more snow above, melting and feeding Canyon Creek.

That was our sign to turn around and head back. We'll get in shape for further climbing while the snow melts. So we'll be back.

The young black bear by the road


A stream

Sol Duc Falls

The Sol Duc River

Some snow

Snow covered hills

Canyon Creek

Canyon Creek with the snow above

The bridge over the creek

A trillium

Keywords: deer lake, sol duc, trillium

05/06 - Sol Duc and Beyond - Part 2

It will probably be a while before we can get all the way up to Deer Lake. We're guessing some time in late July. Right now, we're just getting back into shape for the season, and we've never been big on challenging the snow. We'll let the mountains and trails rest under their winter blanket a bit longer.

Canyon Creek


Running water

The trail

A trillium

The trail through the forest

Back to Sol Duc Falls

Forest again

A little fellow

Keywords: sol duc, deer lake

April 2017May 2017 June 2017