Tag Archive | summer

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!

 

 

Summer Sunrise – 2020 Edition

With my schedule of working from home, I’m rarely up to see the sunrise these days.  Honestly, I’m gotten a bit lazy, rolling out of bed as late as 7:40 sometimes – you can get away with that when your commute is only 20 feet!  But last Friday, I had the day off and was up early to finish getting packed and out the door for a weekend camping trip, and I caught this beauty!

I hope you are all well!

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 131

We have now been at this for over four months.  Four months!  I’m tired.  It feels like one endless cycle of workdays and weekends, with the occasional grocery shopping trip.  Well, who am I kidding.  It has been that endless cycle – the furthest I have traveled in the last four months has been to work, and even that is very rare.  I need a vacation!

I’m still trying to keep track of an endless series of rules and guidelines.  Last week I could still eat inside in a restaurant but this week that’s banned.  You are supposed to wear a mask in public, which is simple enough and has been in place for weeks, but apparently being at home with people you don’t live with is now “in public.”  That’s new.  How are people supposed to keep up?  I still haven’t been able to get a haircut and now I wonder if I’ll get in before that rule changes again. Good thing I don’t dye my hair or have a fancy hairstyle.

This week in the sermon the priest said, “hell is an absence of anything and everything but yourself.  Do you really want to spend an eternity with just you?”  He wasn’t talking about COVID, but it certainly felt relevant.  Of course, lately I’ve been feeling like maybe that’s not so bad.  The ranting, the judgment, the call out and cancel culture, and some people’s beliefs that their opinions are the only right opinions – it is wearing on me.

The sun has been out though, and I have been spending some time on the deck reading.  COVID is definitely a boost for churning through books!

Thursday night I went with Lelani to the beach after work.  We picked up fried chicken dinners from the grocery store along the way, hiked in and relaxed while drinking wine from a can with our dinners.  An impromptu photo shoot and my sassy mood resulted in my new favorite photo of myself!  The weather was windy and slightly chilly, my hair was a mess, but the waves on the shore did the trick.  This girl’s soul needs the ocean.

My sassy self!

That hair!

I have also been working on pruning some of the big shrubs and trees in the yard; they were badly pruned five years ago (not by me), and they have finally grown back in the right places to attempt to prune them back into a better shape.

I pinched a nerve in my right shoulder a few weeks ago and ouch!  It has been painful.  Hopefully a second trip to the chiropractor this week will have me on the mend; it is not fun!

Last night I went to a very small BBQ, and had salmon, shrimp and home grown zucchini.  I brought the wine.  It was a rye barrel aged red blend from Beringer, and it was quite good!  It was this month’s wine club red, and it was certainly not something I would pick on my own, so it was great to be introduced to something new!  It paired well with a warm evening and good company.

I hope you are all well, and able to get out and enjoy the summer!

COVID Diaries: Day 117

I was supposed to go hiking today, but my friend was sick (not COVID), so Shelley and I decided to take a long walk to happy hour instead.  It was sunny and warm, and I wasn’t motivated to clean the house anyway.

The cocktail special was called a Georgia Ice Pick, with peach vodka, peach Schnapps, and iced tea.  I rarely drink hard liquor but it sounded so good.  And it was!  I might have to try this at home sometime; it would probably be very good with vodka, raspberry liquor, and iced tea.  That way I wouldn’t even need to purchase any ingredients!

The long walk also meant that I have over 21,000 steps today too!  I hope your work week starts off well tomorrow!

 

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.

 

2015 Anne Amie Pinot Gris

I had one more day of my long weekend to enjoy before I have to head back to work tomorrow.  Today was a quiet, lazy day.  I unpacked from a weekend trip, cleaned the house, took a short nap, and read my book on the deck.  It was glorious.  Temperatures have also come down here again, so the house wasn’t roasting hot!  This evening I finished off a bottle of 2015 Anne Amie Pinot Gris that my friend and I opened while we were down in Oregon.

It has floral and apple aromas, and flavors of sweet apple and peaches.  A delicious summer sipper; Anne Amie does their wines right.

I hope your work week has started out right!  I hope mine does too.  Cheers!

 

Bye Bye Summer! See You Next Year!

The rain and wind have moved in this week, making it abundantly clear that summer is over.  Although it may clear up for a sunny, dry fall, I am reminded about how fleeting summer is and all the things I will miss.  In no particular order:

Being warm.  You know, that warmth that just radiates all the way down into your bones?  I love that feeling.

Fresh berries.  Raspberries are one of our largest agricultural crops here.  There is even a raspberry festival.  I love those freshly picked berries – even better when they are warmed by the sun!

Skirts.  I go several months at work in the summer months without ever wearing pants – I love skirts!

Hiking.  No mud, great blue skies and clear views; there is nothing quite like hiking in the summer.

Jon Heading Up Into the Arboretum

Jon Heading Up Into the Arboretum

Dinner on the deck.  With food grilled on the BBQ.  Perfection.

Waking up when it is light out.  That makes it so much easier!

Summer vacations.  Even if I don’t have a summer vacation, everybody else does!  And that means work is quieter, because people aren’t around.  But for some reason this year the summer was insanely busy.  Maybe next year.

The View Behind our Hotel in Pendleton, Oregon

The View Behind our Hotel in Pendleton, Oregon

Rosé wine.  I do buck the trend and drink Rosé all year long, but is certainly goes better with summer.  And dinner on the deck.

The Crusher - Pinot Noir Rose

The Crusher – Pinot Noir Rose

Lower bills.  I have to admit I do love the lower costs of gas and electric when the heat is off and the lights aren’t needed.  I know this isn’t true for all, but in a region where air conditioning is rare and almost always not needed, that $19 August gas bill is wonderful.

Flowers.  I love walking the neighborhoods and seeing all the beautiful flowers blooming in yard.  Dahlias, hydrangeas, lilies, Black-eyed Susans; there is something about seeing flowers that soothes the soul.

What are you going to miss now that summer is gone?