Showing posts from October, 2018

Musings by the River: Tipping Points and Climate

We pull into the near-empty gravel lot and park the car in front of a clump of snowberry bushes. Extracting ourselves from my compact vehicle, my husband and I pull our son Lucas from his carseat, bundle him up, and set him loose on the trail on this foggy October morning, hurrying through the dew-wet grass to keep up. After being sick and stuck in the house for the past four days, an acute case of cabin fever sent us running for the outdoors, even though all of our noses were still running as well. That's what sleeves are for, right?

We made the drive out to the Chinook Bend Natural Area in Carnation, a place I'd long wanted to visit after regularly driving past it for years. This 59-acre area wrapped on three sides by the Snoqualmie River is popular with birders and fishing enthusiasts, and is also a nice place to walk and stretch your legs. Once a piece of land degraded by cattle grazing, Chinook Bend is now an example of how thoughtful restoration can bring back the land&…

Wanderings: Blue Lake (again)

More and more of my Wanderings are including (again) in the title, and I'm grateful to have found so many lovely places to which I can return over the years. I first hiked to Blue Lake in September of 2015, and since that first magical trip into the land of larches and fall colors, I've longed to go back for a second experience.

My chance came when my sister asked if I'd like to hike Blue Lake with her, because she HAD to see the larches. She'd been eyeing the trip reports for the last few days, and those much-pursued trees were now sporting their golden foliage in the North Cascades. A scant few days later, we were on the road at bleary-eyed 6am (okay, 6:30am after the obligatory stop for coffee and the return trip home to retrieve the lunch I'd forgotten in the refrigerator) headed north on the long 2.5 hour drive to the trailhead. After traveling north on a nearly-empty I-5, we cut eastward and drove toward the sunrise on highway 530. As we moved upward in lati…