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Showing posts from June, 2016

Wanderings: Brightwater

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I lean on the metal railing and watch families of ducks and Canada geese gliding across the pond, its still waters reflecting the cloud-dotted blue skies overhead. Ruby - my dog-niece - is sprawled on the sun-warmed boardwalk planks at my sister's feet, sniffing in the direction of those watchful waterfowl and adorable fluffy babies. After a few minutes, we make our way back up the trail, passing through a bower of blooming fireweed, oceanspray, and Nootka rose. Robins chortle from overhead perches; violet-green swallows swoop and dive in our path; red-winged blackbirds sound the alarm as we pass by their nesting sites.

And presiding over this beautiful scene are the modern, low-profile buildings quietly processing the wastewater from more than 200,000 residents in north King and south Snohomish counties. It's another beautiful day on the grounds of the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Wait a minute. Wastewater treatment plant? Doesn't it smell bad? Why would anyon…

Wanderings: Mount Si

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"I'm going to need to come up with a new blog category just for this hike!" I joked; sweaty, red-faced and wheezing as I leaned heavily on my trekking poles and heaved myself up the trail's relentless incline after my sister. "Something like Strugglings. Or Strivings. Or Butt Kickings."

Because let's face it: there are no "Wanderings" when it comes to hiking Mount Si. At eight miles and 3,150 feet of elevation gain, this was by far the most challenging hike I've ever attempted, and I wasn't sure that I was going to make it. A short way in, after a quarter mile of hiking a gradual incline, I was already sweating and breathing heavily, and my heart rate was alarmingly high. I bent over, hands on knees, and informed my sister that I was going to vomit. She informed me that this was a no-vomiting hike. I found myself wondering what I was doing here. I don't do hikes like this. Surely people as out of shape as me, with knees as bad as …