Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Remember Whensday No. 4 - Karl & the Trout

This week, I've got another picture of Karl, this time from June 1983.

He was camping at Diamond Lake in Oregon with his family including his brother-in-law, Tim, and father-in-law.

Apparently it was just your average camping trip. Nothing special to recall except they also fished the Umpqua River and Tim, who was about 10 years old at the time, caught a nice river trout.

Karl and his Trout Catch

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Monday, June 29, 2009

My World Tuesday #38 - Ice Caves

On Sunday, and friend and I went up to the ice caves along the Mountain Loop Highway east of Granite Falls, WA. The caves form at the base of Big Four Mountain.

The trail reopened on Saturday after floods washed away the bridge over the south fork of the Stillaguamish River in 2006.

According to the US Forest Service website, the new aluminum bridge was prefabricated in Florida and trucked to the site in June. A helicopter flew the seven bridge sections into place and workers assembled it in about a week. The entire construction took about five weeks.

Big Four Mountain, elevation 6,135 ft (1,870m)

New Footbridge across the Stilly

I had never been before so I figured why not go? Me and hundreds of other people. Luckily, Leslie and I arrived early, around 10:30 a.m., and started the mile trek towards the base of Big Four Mountain. Here at the bottom of the north wall is the lowest elevation glacier in the lower 49 states.

Glacier at the Base of Big Four

The ice caves are formed in late summer by streams flowing down the mountain and running under the snow field that is created by winter avalanches.

Warning Sign Along the Trail

Since it is still early summer, we only saw the snow field and numerous waterfalls. No visible ice caves have formed as of this day.

Large Waterfall at the Top of the Glacier

Several More Waterfalls on the Adjacent Rock Face

One section of the trail is still damaged from winter storms and avalanches. You can see in the picture below the fallen trees we encountered.

Look at the Size of the People on the Trail Compared to the Trees

I did see some wonderful greenery along the trail including these two specimens:

Almost Hosta-Like Leaves

Gigantic Leaves Along the Trail

The root system for this tree that had fallen was amazing. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Intricate Weave of Roots

I guess I will have to take a trip back later in the summer to see the actual ice caves.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #58, Mellow Yellow Monday #25 - Have a Seat

Yesterday, several homeowners in our community got together to continue sprucing up our neighborhood park and then have a barbecue. Our homeowners association has worked hard the past couple of years to rescue our wonderful little park after being neglected for way too long.

One of the jobs yesterday was to repaint a couple of our park benches from a dark green color to what else--yellow! You know darn well the camera came out to take a picture of the newly painted bench.

A Cheerful Place to Sit

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Note: bobbie gave me the idea for Shadow Shot Sunday so I've modified my post to include my first Shadow Shot Sunday picture. Thanks, bobbie.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Camera Critters #64 - Flying Beauty

This critter was hanging out in my garden earlier this week. I would imagine it is some kind of dragonfly, but I honestly don't know. I liked his wings. They were so transparent.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Skywatch Friday #50 - Blustery Day

This was yesterday on my way home from work. All of the pictures were taken within an hour start to finish - before going into the grocery store and then the drive home, and within 6 miles (10k) of each other. What the pictures don't reflect is the stiff wind that was blowing, especially in the first photo.

Threatening skies for sure - facing east

Facing north

Here comes the rain

The back edge of the front - is that blue sky?

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Farrah and Michael

Sorry, I just feel the need to post about this. Both of these people played a part in my life growing up.

As a girl, we all wanted Farrah's hair, me included. The "winged" bangs and curls. All of it. My friends and I adored her. Plus I remember watching Charlie's Angels on TV week after week.

Cancer has claimed another life. This is a vicious disease and not even the rich and famous are immune from it. Yet another reason to support the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life.

As for Michael Jackson, wow! What a shocker to hear of his death today. He is just a few months older than me. It's a reality check for sure.

Regardless of his recent wackiness, eccentricities and alleged behavior this past decade, his music had a profound impact on me growing up. I remember as a young teenager having Jackson 5 posters on my bedroom wall.

When Thriller came out, I sang to every song and watched all of the videos on MTV. I never mastered the Moonwalk though. It just wasn't in me. But I was in awe of his dancing.

Michael got too weird for me with all of his plastic surgeries, but I will always remember the musical gift he had and shared with all of us.

What really hits home with deaths of both stars is their children. They have lost a parent today. No matter how famous they were, they were still parents and I feel sad for the children.

May your families find comfort in their memories of you and may you each find peace on the other side, Farrah and Michael. God bless you both.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lunch Time = Play Time

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood so I decided to walk across the street from work and eat lunch outdoors while watching the airplanes.

Right off the bat, this aircraft sped down the runway and lifted off.

Hope it is not going to a fire!

I noticed a couple of gliders parked on the grassy runway area and another plane just to the other side of them. I was hoping I'd get to see a glider being towed up until it reached the proper altitude to commence soaring. I was in luck!

Aero-tow getting ready for take off

Off they go into the wild blue yonder

While I wasn't able to watch much of the glider action, it was still an enjoyable lunch. Hope you had a nice day, too.

Remember Whensday No. 3 - Family Reunion of Sorts

Remember Whensday is a new weekly meme I started a couple of weeks ago. Why? Because I like sharing old photos and a quick story behind them. I was already doing this on Wednesdays and thought it would be fun seeing what others have to share. So I started the meme.

This week, I am sharing a photo from 1991. I took my son, Gregg, and went to visit my parents and Grandmother at a Winnebago (WIT) rally in Frederick, MD. I think my mom was the State President for WIT at the time.

I can't recall how many Winnebago motorhomes were there except it seemed to be alot! It was a great weekend with a potluck dinner, games galore and fun, fun, fun! Those WIT people knew how to have a good time.

Nana, Mom, Me & Gregg
Frederick, MD - 1991

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Monday, June 22, 2009

My World Tuesday #37 - Olympia Pizza House

One of our favorite restaurants for lunch is Olympia Pizza House in Smokey Point (which is located in Arlington, WA). Family owned and operated since 1977, Olympia Pizza makes excellent hot oven grinders and pizza not to mention pastas and other delicious Italian dishes.

Olympia Pizza House

We have been going to Oly for at least 10 years, usually a couple of times per month. Sometimes it is a couple of times per week! Nick and his family, along with the excellent staff, make everyone feel welcomed in their restaurant. The atmosphere is like "Cheers" where everybody knows your name.

Nick in his domain

We no longer need a menu to look at when we sit down for lunch. Lisa and Sandy don't even bother asking Karl what he wants to order. They know he's getting a Mixed Meat Grinder with Ranch dressing on his salad. And water to drink. One time Karl got a pastrami grinder. Why? I can't remember, but he had to eat it. I think maybe he lost a bet.

Me? I like to keep 'em guessing by changing up my order every now and then. :-)

Mixed Meat Grinder

Unless we are with a large group, we are such creatures of habit that we normally sit in one of the booths on the far side of the restaurant. Even then, we still have a certain set of tables that the group heads for. If we sit anywhere else, it just seems odd.

So if you are looking for a great pizza or hot oven grinder, then you need to head on over to Olympia Pizza. You won't regret it!

The Menu

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #24 - Lone Yellow Kernel

We had our first corn on the cob of the season earlier this week. While I prefer sweet white corn (Silver Queen is my favorite), occasionally we will get yellow corn. This time was no exception with white corn being served.

As I was shucking the ears of corn, there it was. In the middle of row after row of white kernels was one little yellow one.

My husband thought I was nuts because I had to stop and grab my camera. Of course I had to take a picture for Mellow Yellow Monday!

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Heroes on the Water

Yesterday, Karl and I participated in Heroes on the Water. The Northwest Kayak Anglers group sponsored their first HOW event on Lake St. Clair in Yelm, WA. Eleven soldiers from Madigan Army Medical Center on Ft. Lewis and 5 NWKA members came to enjoy a day of kayak fishing. The purpose of the event is "to assist these injured service members with their physical and mental recovery by introducing them to the therapeutic qualities of fishing from kayaks."

Our day started with a 3:30 a.m. alarm going off and a 4:30 a.m. departure to be there by the 6:30 a.m. rendezvous time. The weather forecast was mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a daytime temperature of 65 F (17 C).

Around 8:30 a.m, everyone gathered for last minute instructions and then the teams were off to fish the morning session. I stayed ashore to help out where needed.

"Okay, listen up..."

And they're off!

Karl and Cindy

Karl and Larry


Everyone returned to shore at noon for a sack lunch provided by the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and then it was back to fishing for the afternoon.

Coming back to Shore

Around 4 p.m., it was time for a post-fishing barbecue feast. Earlier in the afternoon, I had to go pick up the food for the barbecue and oh my, my...did the truck smell good inside. The aromas made my mouth water.

Barbecued chicken and ribs, baked beans and potato salad were devoured by the hungry participants. It was delicious!

The "Mess" Tent

The day's activities wrapped up with the awards ceremony. Karl's team took first place in the team event, and two of his team also earned individual awards. Brandon had the most points overall and Cindy had the most trout points.

Karl's Team (from left) - Karl, Larry, Brandon & Cindy

Heroes on the Water Participants

It was a fun day and I hope everyone had a good time. The rain held off and the sun even came out for long periods. You can be sure we'll happily volunteer our time for this event in the future.

Thanks to Johnson Outdoors, Ocean Kayak, Clay Butler Guide Service, Northwest Adventure Center on Ft. Lewis, Backpackers Supply, American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and Slowmoe's Catering for their support of this great event.

Camera Critters #63 - Elk

Spotted last weekend enroute to the North Cascades Highway.

Are you looking at me?

Part of the Nooksack Herd

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Skywatch Friday #49 - North Cascades

I took another trip along the North Cascades Highway. The day started off overcast and gray, but as I got high up into the mountains, the sky turned to a bright blue. Then the clouds and rain came back.

The Gorge Dam

The Clouds are Starting to Clear

Clear Blue Sky near Washington Pass

Here Comes the Rain

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