Showing posts from May, 2016

Wanderings: Barclay Lake

Phenomenal. This was the name of the Alpine Trails Book Club read for the month of May, and is also a fitting word to describe the view from the shores of Barclay Lake on the chilly, rain-soaked Sunday morning when our book club met for our monthly hike.

After following Highway 2 east with the familiar peaks of the Cascade Mountains looming before us, my sister and I turned onto a narrow gravel Forest Service road rutted with crater-like potholes that would challenge the ground clearance of any vehicle smaller than a pickup truck. With blind corners and stretches of road narrow enough for only one vehicle, it was a bit of a white-knuckle drive uphill to the trailhead. A word of advice: go slow. While my sister and I grew up on a gravel road and are pros at dodging potholes while traveling forty miles per hour, this road requires a bit more caution!

There were a few cars in the small parking area when we arrived at the trailhead and met up with our group. A steady drizzle falling from…

In the News: Wildfires in Western Washington

It's only May, and already wildfire season has begun in western Washington. Wait... is that right? Western Washington? We're used to hearing of wildfires burning during the summer months on the state's drier side east of the Cascade mountains, but wildfires here on the west side are typically limited to small blazes burning along the roadside or highway medians thanks to carelessly discarded cigarettes. I know I'm not the only one shocked to see headlines like these in the Seattle Times:
325-Acre wildfire threatens homes near Gold BarWildfires burn more than 200 acres in Snohomish County; nearby residents prepare to fleePrepare to flee. 

In my entire life, the only thing I've had to flee fromis the Snoqualmie River. I lived for several years in an apartment on the second floor of an old barn situated about 25 yards from the river's edge. On more than one occasion, my sister and I had to grab our cats and a few day's worth of clothing and flee from the churn…

Wanderings: Deception Pass State Park

Those who have visited Deception Pass know it to be a stunning place, with lush coastal forests and churning turquoise-green water breaking on rocky beaches. It is also a place filled with mystical wonder and native stories, such as the tale of the Maiden of Deception Pass, about a lovely maiden of the Samish tribe who went to live in the sea to save her people and ensure they have plentiful seafood to sustain them. As the legend goes, you can still see her long hair flowing in the currents around Deception Pass, in the form of the plentiful kelp that grows there.

Last weekend, my sister and I joined our book club for a hike around Deception Pass, and on that day the Maiden of Deception Pass had her arms open to welcome a gusty storm moving ashore. Her hair swirled and swayed in currents that were truly "ripping" that day.

After parking at Bowman Bay, on the north side of Deception Pass State Park, we geared up to hike in the light drizzle, but anticipated that we might enc…