Tag Archive | PNW

COVID Diaries: Day 402

We had over a week of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, with highs in the low 70s!  We even broke a record last week, with a high of 74.  It has been amazing.  I’m not one who can take the endless gray and cold days of winter and early spring around here.  Someday soon, I’ll have to change that up.  This morning, it’s back to rain…

The sunshine and warmth meant I was able to get in some outdoor dining at my favorite spots around town and soak up the Vitamin D and good food! Plus the time spent with girlfriends is always much needed.

The rocks I started tumbling are finished!  They look beautiful!  I even discovered that one of them is most definitely an agate and there’s another one that I think is an agate.  I’m going to keep trying to find agates, but obviously my agate skills need polishing.  Sadly, I’m pretty sure that the motor on my tumbler went kaput, within hours of starting a second batch of rocks.  I tried to poke around in it with my very limited mechanical skills, but the sound it is making and the fact that it is no longer turning the shaft leads me to believe there’s not an easy fix for this.  It was $12.99 at the Goodwill, so I can’t say I did too badly.  I’ll keep working on the first one, but thanks to Amazon Prime, my new rock tumbler arrived yesterday and I’m back in action!  Yes, I am aware that owning a rock tumbler (or multiple rock tumblers) puts me in a very distinct category of nerd.

Now that the rain is back, I imagine I’ll make some more progress on my puzzle.  I worked on it for a bit last night and was happy with where I ended up.

I’ve been getting some reading in too, but I still really need a vacation!

Anderson-Watson Lakes Hike

Today, the fourth Saturday in September, is National Public Lands Day.  As designed, it is the largest organized volunteer event for public lands in the United States.  Well, because of COVID, many of the in-person events have been put on hold, but there are still virtual events that you can participate in – find them here: https://www.neefusa.org/npld

To honor our public lands, which I have been so fortunate to enjoy frequently, I decided to feature a recent hike.

August 3, 2019 – Watson Lakes
Noisy-Diobsud Wilderness, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest – 9 miles roundtrip

This hike includes the option to go to a series of alpine glacier lakes, including Anderson Lake, Lower Watson Lake and Upper Watson Lake.  This hike has it all!  You start out hiking through the forest, with multiple inclines and declines.  Eventually you arrive at a meadow and a series of boardwalks so you aren’t slogging through water.  More forested hiking then deposits you into an alpine landscape with beautiful views!

The lakes are amazing, with lots of rocky outcroppings and views of the mountains above!  There are some incredible views of Mount Baker, as well as huge rocks that were deposited by glaciers.  Lelani and I enjoyed this hike thoroughly, taking time at the top to have lunch and canned wine.  After resting up a bit, I braved the waters of Upper Watson Lake for an ice cold swim!

I’ll have to make sure to get back to this hike soon!

 

As for today – it is pouring down rain here, but I was still able to get out for a soggy walk this morning.  It’s fall, so it’s time for that reminder that you won’t melt!  I hope you are able to get outside for National Public Lands Day today!

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 111

After three days of rain last week, the blue sky has returned.  It was so cold and so dreary that I actually had to turn the heat back on in the house on Wednesday!  That is pretty rare with our mild coastal weather.

I had a four day weekend, and was soooo tired for my first two days off – worn out to the core.  I didn’t do much Thursday and Friday so I could build back up some energy reserves.  Is that even possible – can you bank energy?  It’s hard on me that I can’t travel.  It would be nice to take a week or two away, but what would I do with very little open and tourism destinations still asking people to stay away?  So meanwhile I’ll continue building up my vacation bank, and saving money for my early retirement.  What more can you do?

Independence Day was pretty nice, and I went for a long walk with Shelley in the morning, followed by lunch at a place with outdoor seating.  I did some yard work, then got a chance to go stand-up-paddleboarding with Lelani in the afternoon.  It was nice to try it again!  We talked and relaxed on the lake for a while.

As usual, I was in bed before dark, but apparently my fellow citizens wanted to light off copious amounts of fireworks to demonstrate their angst at being pent up for so long.  With no city sponsored fireworks show this year, the neighborhood booms were the worst they have been in years, and I wasn’t able to get to sleep until after midnight.  Things are just so different these days.

Sunday I got up early and did a long hike up to Oyster Dome with Lelani.  This has long been one of my favorite local hikes.  It’s a pretty tough one, with a lot of up up up, but the view at the top over the bay and the Skagit tidal flats is always a stunner!  We were early enough that it wasn’t too crowded, and we went a different route than I usually do, which took us back along a trail that was very quiet!  We clocked just under 4 hours, and when we got back the trailhead parking was packed!

I’m still lonely, but it has been nice being able to get out more.  Getting to see friends and getting up in the woods are both good for the soul.

 

Drying Out…

It’s been a stretch…  It was dry yesterday, and the National Weather Service is predicting it will be dry through Tuesday.  That is the longest stretch of dry weather in the Pacific Northwest since late November.

My city got 7.02 inches of precipitation in January, and had 27 of 31 days with measurable precipitation.  Another 2.74 inches of rain have fallen since the beginning of February.  Other places around the Pacific Northwest have had it worse.  Widespread flooding has wiped out roads, bridges and homes all over Washington and Oregon.  Trails are underwater.  Avalanche risk is through the roof.

A mudslide closed the freeway south of town for more than a day last weekend, and there were long delays for commuters as they only had one lane open for a few more days after that.  Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to head through there that day; I usually do.  Friday night’s rain was so heavy I slowed down to 40 on the freeway!  It’s a mess around here.

Thankfully I’m ok, as is my family, but I feel for all the people who have been displaced, and are facing huge cleanup costs to recover from the flooding.  They have declared a state of emergency in many areas.

I’m grateful for the dry days coming up, so the rivers and floodwaters can recede, and the slopes can stabilize.  Plus I need more days to get outside; my walk yesterday morning was beautiful!