With Friends Like This

When friends come to visit, I like to take them to do things. Like see dead whales.20171029_135446.jpgOr go up hills.IMG_3862.jpgCarve pumpkins.IMG_3867.jpgMake them look at tall things.20171103_144738.jpgMake them look at pretty things.IMG_3915.jpgMake them go up more hills.IMG_3914.jpgMake them take selfies with me.20171102_152319.jpgMake them like it here.IMG_3916.jpgI showed them some glaciers and told them that the water was cold.20171101_165656.jpgI guess that some people need to figure things out for themselves.20171101_165751.jpg

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2014 Review.

January last year started a lot like this year. Cold and clear. We had moved to the Maple Leaf neighborhood.Maple Leaf Park.In February, we had some cool adventures (puns are ridiculous) including a trip to the Big Four Ice Caves. we weren’t sure if we really believed the signs, but it turns out that we were lucky to witness only a small avalanche.

Big Four Ice CavesThe shoulder seasons seem to be the best for travel, so in March we headed to Ireland.Cliffs of Moher.

When we returned, it didn’t take long for the first minor disaster to occur. I was lucky and I am thankful everyday that I am still loving life. It was one hell of an April.Broken neck.May was full of recovery and photoshoots.SCC nursing program.In June, the weather got better and we were able to spend some time outside with good friends. SUP Rainier.Girls.July was full of surprises, things like Amanda’s appendicitis threw us for a loop, but we pulled through.Amanda flowers.Luckily, I have friends willing to go fishing with me while Amanda recovered.Guys fishing.I explored more places in Washington that I thought were hidden gems.Waterfalls.There was more fishing with friends. There is never enough fishing or friends.Yakima.As my beard got more and more awesome, I also got a chance to check out the Olympic Peninsula. Luckily, I was with one of my most loveable friends.Lando and Rory.

He brought good luck and good fish.

Troot.Amanda and I did crazy things like hike to Lake Serene and drink wine at the zoo.Lake Serene hiking. Woodland Park Zoo wine night.August is the best time to be in the Pacific Northwest. We even went to a Mariners game.

Mariners Game.September is the hidden secret up here. You can read about our amazing vacation, here.

Canada.For Amanda’s birthday in October, we went skydiving, but she was happier buying pumpkins and gourds.Pumpkin girl.November is the time for Chum Salmon and pretty pictures.Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.29.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.30.15 PMadventureDecember brought the cold and the holiday season. I am glad that is over. Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.36.47 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.36.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.37.36 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.37.04 PMHere is to an even better 2015!

Camping and fishing on the Sol Duc.

I had never really been to the Olympic Peninsula. A couple of stops at the ferry terminal in Port Angeles doesn’t really count. I still have not been to the Olympic National Park. Until I am allowed to take my dog wherever I want in the park, I probably won’t be going there. I found out about the Klahowya Campground and had to visit it. It is on the Olympic National Forest land making it cheaper and dog friendly. The drive along US 101 wasn’t very impressive until I turned off the highway and into the campsite. Tall trees shaded the whole area. The beautiful, low, clear, and cold Sol Duc River was flowing near a bunch of the campsites. We arrived hot and ready to fish. Before unloading the car, Lando and I need to see the water and take a selfie.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.16.44 PMThe trees are as enormous as you would expect them to be. With so few inhabitants, there aren’t many (if any) trails beside the rivers. This is half of the reason I went. Even though there are places where it is easily accessible, most people aren’t willing to leave the campgrounds. Ferns, moss, and berries were everywhere. the smell of Christmas was everywhere. It felt 20 degrees cooler once you were in the forest.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.17.20 PMFollowing the river, I came to a very deep hole. It would have been a great place to swim if it weren’t full of fish. I was sight casting to some of the largest wild trout I have seen in Washington. It was a bit of sketchy hike to get to this area. I had to remind myself that if either one of us got injured, it is a long walk back to the car and there still wouldn’t be cell service for another 15 miles.

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It is always good when you can’t hold the camera far enough away to get a decent picture. Watching this fish eat my fly, swim upstream, jump, swim downstream, and force me to scramble over logs and rocks was a thrill I won’t soon forget.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.18.08 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.18.21 PMThanks for reading and feel free to leave your comments!

Cherry Creek Falls.

Having a Monday off, Hoang, Lando, and I decided to head out for a small local hike. We always like to find new places, so we chose Cherry Creek Falls from the Washington Trails Association website. It was a beautiful and easy hike in. Don’t forget to turn immediately after the largest creek crossing.Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.24.49 PM

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.26.44 PMWe were immediately greeted by this astonishing view.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.25.12 PMWhen the sun came out, we loved being in the water.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.25.22 PMHoang couldn’t help himself and had to climb to the top of the falls to check his Instagram. Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.26.33 PMWhile he was up there, this Water Ouzel kept me thoroughly entertained. Check out the hungry mouths that had to constantly be fed!

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.27.07 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.26.20 PMAll in all I would highly recommend this hike for anyone looking for a close and easy hike near Seattle. Waterfalls, wildlife, and we never saw another person at the falls. Know of any other great hikes in the area? Leave them in the comments. Thanks!

Lime Kiln Trail.

We had a few spare hours one day and headed out for a hike. We found the Lime Kiln Trail on WTA. The Robe Canyon are is absolutely amazing to me. Building a railway, next to what was deemed a “trout stream” made sense to people that don’t understand the amount of water that falls here every year. Read about the history of Robe Canyon and the area, here.I guess I am just not adventurous enough to want to live out here in the late 1800s. I suppose the fishing would have been much better. We did our own adventure and were very thankful for the trail builders that put in all of the time and effort that makes these hikes possible.

imagejpeg_0It rained a little. Not surprisingly.Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.07.58 AMThe whole hike was beautiful. Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.07.32 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.07.20 AMThe lime kiln was also amazing to me. Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.07.44 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.07.52 AMSalmon berries are almost ready to be harvested. Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.08.49 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.07.02 AM Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.08.32 AM

Craptastic Science.

This amazing article from National Geographic has me carefully watching my dog poop. According to the article, “under stable magnetic conditions the dogs would always poop and pee while facing either north or south. This provides convincing evidence that dogs can sense magnetic fields and are sensitive to even small magnetic-field variations, say the researchers”.

Now I know that my dog is amazing. Probably more amazing than most children I come across. But this just proves it. In the back yard, Lando has peed facing north 3 times and 1 facing south. We are 4 for 4. However, I don’t know where the sun was. Maybe he didn’t want to stare into the sun. He is a cautious dog and temporary blindness would freak any of us out.

Also, knowing how sensitive a dog’s nose is, I can imagine that he wouldn’t want to be downwind of his poop. I know I try to stay upwind. Don’t worry, I will keep watching to see if this experiment is valid.

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November 6th – Lando.

When you name your dog after a Star Wars character, people either love it, or need a bit of explaining. I like people with dogs. Cats just don’t do it for me. It could be my terrible allergies as soon as I see a cat. Lando’s unconditional love makes me feel special every day.Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 3.50.33 PM I am very thankful to have a wonderful companion that just wants food, treats, runs, fetching, adventures, and to have me pick up his poop.Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 3.52.51 PM Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 3.51.09 PMLando likes to go everywhere we go. I think that he especially love fishing. Even in the rain. Here is the original Lando, Mr. Billy Dee Williams in one of his many great commercials: