Friday, September 22, 2017

#Hike to Stan's Overlook - #SaturdaySnapshots

Last week the senior center group had scheduled a hike in the Sunrise section of Mount Rainier. However, smoke from wildfires still burning in the area made our leaders cancel that destination and opt for a hike to Stan's Overlook on Rattlesnake Mountain instead. That turned out to be a beautiful substitute for a perfect autumn day.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)


Although this sign at the trailhead says Stan's Overlook
is 1.9 miles ahead, websites I researched gave
the distance as 2.5 miles (5 miles round trip). 

That's what my FitBit said and what it felt like to me!

The trail to Stan's Overlook led relentlessly upward -
not incredibly steep but with very few flat sections. 

We took occasional water breaks and paused to 
catch our breath along the way. 
I love the play of sunlight through the trees.
A hint of autumn was in the air and fallen leaves
dotted the trail. I started out wearing a fleece
hoodie but removed that layer as I warmed up.
View near Stan's Overlook.
I believe that's Mount Si.
Lunchtime, back near the trailhead.
This area is a City of Snoqualmie park.
Beautiful setting for a lunch break.

My FitBit says I covered 6.5 miles that day, but that includes walking around at home. By the way:


  • I searched online but was unable to learn the identity of "Stan" for whom the overlook is named.
  • There are no rattlesnakes on Rattlesnake Mountain. The story goes:  "The lake and nearby ridge are said to have gotten their inapt name from Seattle pioneer Arthur Denny when the rattle of seed pods on a nearby meadow frightened a road surveyor into thinking he was being attacked by a rattler. The surveyor didn't know there were no poisonous snakes in Western Washington."






More info:
 Rattlesnake Mountain, Washington Trails Association
Snoqualmie Point Park



Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
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(or a friend or family member)  have taken, then leave a
direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Half Broke Horses - #BookBeginnings on Friday and The #Friday56

I've been reading as much as ever lately but haven't been participating in The Friday 56 or Book Beginnnings on Friday in a long time. However, I enjoyed Half Broke Horses so much that I decided to jump back in. This is a novel based on memories from Jeannette Walls's mother, relating to the author's grandmother -- Lily Casey Smith. In the "Author's Note" section, Walls writes: "... since I have also drawn on my imagination to fill in details that are hazy or missing... the only honest thing to do is call the book a novel."


Book Beginnings on Friday:

     Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.
     It was late on an August afternoon, the air hot and heavy like it usually was in the rainy season. Earlier we'd seen some thunderheads near the Burnt Spring Hills, but they'd passed way up to the north. I'd mostly finished my chores for the day and was heading down to the pasture with my brother, Buster, and my sister, Helen, to bring the cows in for their milking. But when we got there, those girls were acting all bothered. Instead of milling around at the gate, like they usually did at milking time, they were standing stiff-legged and straight-tailed, twitching their heads around, listening.
     Buster and Helen looked up at me, and without a word, I knelt down and pressed my ear to the hard-packed dirt. There was a rumbling, so faint and low that you felt it more than you heard it. Then I knew what the cows knew -- a flash flood was coming.
     
The Friday 56 (Pages 56 and 156 were both blank, so I chose an excerpt from page 157):

     That well water tasted sweeter than the finest French liqueur. Some folks, when they struck it rich, liked to say that they were in the money, and that was how I felt - rich - only we were in the water.

Genre: Faction (fiction based on fact)
Book Length: 265 Pages (hardback)
Amazon Link: Half Broke Horses

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls's no nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town -- riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car ("I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place") and fly a plane. And, with her husband Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.

Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa or Beryl Markham's West with the Night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix audiences everywhere.
 

              


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)


Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Friday, September 15, 2017

Photo tips - #SaturdaySnapshot

I came across a YouTube video giving five easy tips for improving your photos. It's worth a look: HERE.  One of the suggestions for better, more interesting photos is to shoot through something. The photographer also suggested: "Place objects in the frame that relate to it. Tell a story." Those two suggestions seem related to me. So, I decided to take a look at my photos and see if I could find examples of where I might have accidentally done those things. Here are a few possibilities.

This one was shot from a castle's ramparts along the Rhine River in Germany.


At the base of Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State's Cascade Mountains.


Trail of the Shadows, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.


I took this photo of a platter of Ethiopian food during a recent dinner out. 
I'm not sure if I've accomplished what the guy in the video had in mind, 
but the items on the edges of the photo do relate - the  rolls of injera (bread) 
and the hands of the owner/server as she described each dish. Then there's
also my son's hand as he contemplates what he's going to reach for first!


Whether my photo "artistry" succeeded or not, it's fun to try techniques to make my pictures better.

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you 
(or a friend or family member)  have taken, then leave a
direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world visit

Friday, September 8, 2017

Obstacles - #Hiking and Walking in the Pacific Northwest - #SaturdaySnapshots

I've been posting photos of the beautiful surroundings I've encountered in my walks and hikes with the Auburn Senior Activity Center group. To get to the awesome views, however, we often have to overcome obstacles.  (Click on photos for a closer look.)


Balance is important.
The logjam in the stream under this bridge 

is the biggest one I've ever seen.

Stepping carefully over  rocks. No one wants to
turn an ankle out in the boonies. Trekking poles help.

It takes stamina to reach this beautiful spot.
Sometimes we share the paths with
bicycles and horses
It's not all sunshine and blue skies!
We have to watch out for wildlife too!
The results are worth the effort.




Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
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direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
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Saturday, August 26, 2017

#Hiking #Dungeness Spit - SaturdaySnapshots

Here's my last post of photos taken during the Auburn Senior Activity Center hiking getaway.

On the way home from Olympic National Park, we stopped to explore Dungeness Spit, located near Sequim, Washington. (Click on photos to enlarge.)


This 5.5-mile-long sand spit juts out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the body of water separating Vancouver Island (Canada) and the United States. (See map below.) The spit is home to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

Piles of driftwood line the shore and provide a good place to sit and enjoy the view.


I zoomed in to capture Mount Baker in the distance and the lighthouse near the spit's end.


We didn't have enough time to walk all the way to the end of the spit and back, but we all enjoyed eating our sack lunches with the swoosh of the waves, salty scent from the ocean, and a glorious view of the Olympic Mountains across Dungeness Bay as our entertainment.


Here's a photo of me in my goofy hat... just to prove I was there!





More info here: Dungeness Spit



Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
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(or a friend or family member)  have taken, then leave a
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Friday, August 18, 2017

The #Elwha Undammed - Saturday Snapshots

The former site of the Elwha Dam was my hiking group's first stop on the way back home from our Lake Crescent getaway. The dam was built in 1911 to provide cheap electricity for Port Angeles, and it did its job for 100 years. Demolition began in 2012. The result: restoration of the area's ecosystem and critical spawning habitat for endangered salmon species. 
(Click on photos for a closer look.)

Before:

After the dam's removal:

Remnants of the dam were left as reminders of the area's history.


Now the river flows freely from its source in the Olympic Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This project was the largest dam removal in U.S. history.

More info about the Elwha Dam:
PBS documentary (about 25 minutes): Undamming the Elwha
National Geographic (3 minutes - time lapse video): Freeing the Elwha



Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
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(or a friend or family member)  have taken, then leave a
direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
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Friday, August 11, 2017

#Mountains - Hurricane Ridge - #Olympic National Park, WA - #SaturdaySnapshots

More photos from the July 17-19 hiking getaway with the #Auburn Senior Activity Center. We spent July 18th in the Hurricane Ridge section of Olympic National Park, not far from Port Angeles. Sunny skies, perfect weather with a cool breeze, and dramatic scenery that's hard to beat.
(Click on photos to enlarge)


Tame deer near the visitor center. What a view!
We walked to the top of High Ridge Trail and beyond
View from "You Are Here" on the map above.
See the hikers near the top of the rise?
View across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada.
My cell phone sent me a message saying "Welcome to Canada." 
Break for lunch. Food always tastes better outdoors, doesn't it?
To get to our lunch spot, we hiked along the side of the bare hill on
the left and up past those little patches of  snow in the middle
of the photo. The road into the park is on the right (middle).
Looking back the way we came.

I've posted photos from the rest of our trip here: Waterfalls 
More info about Hurricane Ridge HERE






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Friday, August 4, 2017

#Waterfalls - #Olympic Peninsula, WA - #SaturdaySnapshots

Today's focus is on waterfalls. Recently, I participated in a three-day getaway with the hiking group from the Auburn, WA, Senior Activity Center. We had a fantastic time in the northern part of Washington State's Olympic National Park. For the next few weeks I'll be posting photos from our adventure. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

Our first destination was Sol Duc Falls (visited on July 17). Trail maps indicated a 5.5 mile round-trip hike via the Sol Duc Falls Trail and Lovers Lane Trail, but our FitBits and other GPS devices showed that we covered 7+ miles. (My FitBit showed a total of 9.3 miles for the day!) We were sure tired by the time we got back to the van! 


A portion of the trail to the top of Sol Duc Falls.

To get an idea of the size of the falls, find the person
on the viewing platform at the right of the photo.
The falls tumble 48 feet into a narrow canyon.
This notice gave us pause!

What a joy it is to walk alongside a gurgling mountain
stream. Wish I could have taken off my boots and soaked
my feet in the icy water.

Ninety-foot-tall Marymere Falls is about 1.8 miles
from our camp at Crescent Lake, WA
This portion of the trail to Marymere Falls
led up a steep narrow path.
Much of our hike took us through old growth forest.
My earlier post about the Nature Bridge facility at Lake Crescent is HERE
More info about Sol Duc Falls and Sol Duc Hot SpringsHERE
and HERE.
Overview of Marymere Falls and Marymere Falls Nature Trail: HERE.




Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you 
(or a friend or family member)  have taken, then leave a
direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world visit