My favorite season is disappearing daily, with the last leaves dropping from trees and hillsides changing from the vibrancy of fall into the muted tones of winter. This change was especially apparent up in the mountains, where Andy and I spent the weekend at my parents cabin - likely our last chance to drive in for the year. The rain that had dumped on the lowlands all week had turned to snow in the mountains, leaving the lightest wintry dusting on the peaks. The white stuff also stuck around in the shady places surrounding the cabin, making for the jarring sight of fall mushrooms sprinkled with snow. After arriving at the cabin in time to join my parents for lunch, Andy and wanted to be sure to make time for a walk before the sun disappeared behind the ridge - an early event these days! As the afternoon sun warmed the frosty ground, the world around us steamed. The swirling mist drifting over the creek and pond led us to linger on our walk, but eventually the warmth of the cabin called to us. After a dinner of rabbit stew cooked by my dad, we broke out an anniversary gift from my mom, a national parks board game that turned out to be addictive, fun, and highly competitive. Sunday morning, we stretched out our stay as much as possible, stopping at Dru Bru for lunch and a beer before the short trip home. As always, I’m already dreaming of the next free weekend I’ll have to spend relaxing in the mountains.Read More
As the days grow shorter, it becomes more of a struggle to find the motivation to venture out of my burrow of knitting and books for some time in the woods. Thankfully, even when I can't commit to a full day of adventure, there are plenty of beautiful trails to visit close to home. Over this past weekend, Andy and I returned to a trail we hiked over the summer on Squak Mountain - Margaret's Way. Blanketed in a multi-colored carpet of leaves, the trail was truly magical. It had been a stormy week, with multiple power outages, so along with the thick layer of leaves, the trail was littered with storm debris, including a couple of freshly downed trees for us to climb over. Since it rained throughout our hike, we decided to keep our outing short, and made it back to Issaquah in time for a late lunch at our new favorite bar off I-90. Hopefully we'll have a few more weeks of this beautiful fall before the long, cold grey of winter in Washington settles in!Read More
This was a tough week. It was a struggle to resist my urge to burrow into a little nest on my couch and not leave. After a few days of being a complete homebody, I did manage to get outside for one short walk which helped give me some much needed perspective. On that walk, I remembered that while I cannot personally control the outcome of national elections, there are things I can do that make a difference. I can continue to volunteer my time to aid organizations fighting to protect wilderness and trails. I can contribute to organizations that provide assistance to those less fortunate than me. To keep myself motivated and inspired, I can continue to get outside as often as time permits. Whether it takes the form of short walks in the neighborhood or long hikes in the mountains and along the coast, time outdoors restores me. I hope that my efforts, and the efforts of others like me, are enough to protect these restorative places. I think we're all going to need an escape over the years to come!Read More
This week was, wet, dark, and stormy. It started off with a wonderful weekend relaxing on Whidbey Island. I did lots of reading, and made a pot of spiced cider that we drink throughout the weekend. The rest of the week, with these short, dark days I found it so much harder to take photos. Back in high school and college, when all I used was an inexpensive camera to shoot black and white film, I loved taking gloomy night photos. These days I'm so afraid of a little grain or distortion, that I never take those moody photos anymore. I'll be trying to find ways to use the low light over the next months.
Luckily, I did get to watch a few good sunsets from the office, and had a wonderful lunch visit from my niece (and my sister and mom!) to brighten up the gloomy week!