2016 Anniversary Hike at Mt Rainier

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier from the Snow Lake Trail

Our tradition is to do a hike at Mt. Rainier. We usually try to do Mt. Burroughs as we did in 2014 but this year we decided to do a different hike. We hadn’t done Bench and Snow Lakes for several years. It was also an easy and good hike for early fall.

We left around 9am thinking it would be an easy drive – but nothing is easy any more on the weekend in the Seattle area. We made it to just about Southcenter and the traffic stopped. We remembered that they were working on I5 and had closed 3 (yes 3!) of the 4 lanes. So we headed to our alternative to only find out that there was also construction and a closure farther down. Time for Google maps to give us an alternative through Spanaway.

We finally made the trailhead almost 3 1/2 hours late – almost an hour more than normal. Fortunately the day was warm and sunny and we headed out on the trail. It is a pretty easy trail with some up to a meadow along with a bit more before dropping down to Snow Lake. We continued on beyond the lake to the talus slopes for some solitude.

After lunch and relaxing, we returned to the car. We realized it wasn’t any farther to drive the rest of the way around Mt. Rainier so we headed out towards Box Canyon, Cayuse Pass and home. Another memorable Anniversary hike.

Here are some of the views from the trail.

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Rusty reds of the blueberries bushes along the trail

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier under a partially lenticular cloud

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
George in the meadow

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Unicorn Peak

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Overlooking Box Canyon

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Snow Lake

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Happy Anniversary

Camping 2016 – Foulweather Bluff

Foulweather Bluff
Foulweather Bluff near Hansville

It was finally time to return home. The weather was moody but fortunately did not rain.

We stopped first at a farmhouse stand to pick up some fresh eggs. We were greeted by their turkey!

Next we headed for one last hike at Foulweather Bluff at the far tip of Kitsap Peninsula. You could see how this would be open to the harsh weather of the straight.

We returned home – a fun time camping and sightseeing on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Smithshyre Farm

Smithshyre Farm

Smithshyre Farm

Smithshyre Farm

Foulweather Bluff

Foulweather Bluff

Foulweather Bluff

Lions mane jellyfish

Foulweather Bluff

Madrona bark

Leaf Face

Camping 2016 – Scenic Beach

Scenic Beach Camping

Our campsite was located at Scenic Beach which is just outside of Seabeck on the Hood Canal. I was hoping for sunny warm weather like I had for my birthday in 2013 but no luck. It was overcast and warm.

After sightseeing in Winslow, we headed to Poulsbo for lunch. We were surprised how crowded everything was the day after the 4th. I think a lot of people avoided the traffic and crowds and stayed until the 5th. After lunch and a short walk around Poulsbo, we headed back to Bainbridge for a beer tasting. I wanted to camp on the Kitsap Peninsula because of the wide variety of different breweries to visit. Our first was Bainbridge Island Brewery which we had tasted at the beer festival. We had a good flight although we were disappointed that several of their reserves were no on tap.

We headed on to our campground and were very pleased at the park. It was very quiet and somewhat empty on the 5th (Tuesday). We set up our camp and relaxed. The sites are up a ways from the beach and we walked to the canal near sunset.

The next day we headed for our hike at Guillimot Cove. We have hiked there twice and it is a beautiful hike. The sun was just coming out as we descended down to the cover. The house at the bottom of the trail was even more spooky and dilapidated. We headed through the butterfly filled field to the oyster-shell covered beach to watch the eagles and herons fishing in the canal. Of course, we had to stop at the stumphouse before climbing back up to our car.

We headed for Silverdale and lunch at Silver City Brewery. I had some awesome fish tacos and several good beers. We drove to the old town Silverdale and walked down into the harbor before returning to camp.

Poulsbo

Poulsbo

Poulsbo

Poulsbo

Bainbridge Brewing

Bainbridge Brewing

Bainbridge Brewing

Guillimot Cove Hike

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove
An abandoned Home – we have watched it deteriorate over the years. It is very spooky.

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove
The cove was alive with swallowtail butterflies on the thistle

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove
Birthday Girl

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Hood Canal at Scenic Beach

Scenic Beach

Monotropa uniflora - Indian Pipes

Scenic Beach

Camping 2016 – Bainbridge Island

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

We were hoping for good weather and I took part of the week of 4th of July off. We decided to go camping across the sound at Scenic Beach on Kitsap Peninsula. It is close but feels like we travel away since we need to take the ferry across.

We could not check into the campground until about 2:30pm so we headed to Winslow on Bainbridge Island. I wanted to visit the Bainbridge Island Art Museum with the roof top garden by Lewis and Lewis and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

The Bainbridge Island Museum was wonderful. It has a lot of pieces in different medias and focuses on NW Artists. The exhibit of the works by Barbara Earl Thomas were so diverse. Her work brought back many memories from my previous job. The halls were filled with NW Artists and I daily walked by several of her paintings. The rooftop garden was smaller than I anticipated and we actually enjoyed the diversity of plants in the courtyard better.

We drove through Winslow and around Eagle Harbor to Pritchard Park and the location of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. Nidoto Nai Yoni, translated as “Let It Not Happen Again” is the motto of the memorial. The Japanese Exclusion was part of my education growing up. One of my best friend’s parents were removed from their property to Manzanar and lost everything. My mother’s bar in Eastern California was built from scrap lumber from the camp. “Let It Not Happen Again” still echos in the political campaigns of 2016. I had to visit.

The curving cedar wall is built along the footsteps of where the Japanese walked on their way to the ferry that took them off the island to the camps. The names of the 227 islanders are memorialized on the wall along with cedar friezes that describing their life before and after the internment.

Camping Kitsap County
Leaving Edmonds for Kitsap Peninsula

Camping Kitsap County

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Courtyard at Bainbridge Island Museum

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Courtyard at Bainbridge Island Museum
Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Rooftop Garden

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Rooftop Garden

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Rooftop Garden

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
The bridge to the entrance

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Nidoto Nai Yoni, translated as “Let It Not Happen Again”

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Friezes showing the life of the Japanese on Bainbridge

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Vegetable Garden 2016 #5

Garden 6-30-2016

Last update was early in June. The weather since then was somewhat cool with some of the nights down into the 40’s mid-month. But it has started to warm up with long days and the garden is starting to really take off.

Let’s update for June 23rd – The peas and strawberries were wonderful this year. We harvested a pint of strawberries every week mid-June. We also got about 7 meals off the sugar snap peas. We took them out on June 26th.

We purchased a few more plants at Fred Meyers on June 13th – an eggplant and a green bell pepper. A second crop of Bodacious corn was directly seeded. We tried starting some more bush beans with absolutely no luck. It was too cold. So purchased some new seeds and planted Nickles bush bean, a tri-color set of bush beans and Musica broad (romano) beans.

Our first batch of radishes did terrible so we pulled them out last weekend and replanted Easter Egg radishes on 6/27. We also directly seeded carrots, beets and lettuce on 6/22 to see what we get. And we are giving the Marengo yellow romanos one last chance. We will see if they are too old or not.

The tomatoes and cucumbers are getting big. We have a few tomatoes on several plants. Let’s hope for a hot July.

Garden 6-23-16
The end of the peas

Garden 6-23-16
Eggplant and Pepper planted on 6/13

Garden 6-23-16

Garden 6-23-16

Garden 6-23-16 Garden 6-23-16

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June 30th – My how they have grown
Garden 6-30-2016
French Breakfast radish did great

Garden 6-30-2016

Garden 6-30-2016

Garden 6-30-2016 Garden 6-30-2016

G also has been a bench with a fiberglass top. This is for his succulents so they can get sunshine but no summer rain. It has been moved out where the peas were.

Garden 6-23-16

Garden 6-30-2016

Reecer Creek – Table Mountain Fire

Meadows of Douglas's onion - Allium Douglasii

It has been about six years since we visited Table Mountain. The last time we visited the region was in 2010. In 2012, lightening struck the area and started a fire that burned form June until the wet cold of winter finally snuffed out the flames. It was time again for a visit.

Saturday’s forecast was for warm sunny day in Central Washington. It had been a dark cool rainy June week in the Seattle area and we were ready for some sun. We left by 8am for the 2 hour drive. The road to Table Mountain starts just west of Ellenburg. We turned off at Cle Elum and drove through Swauk Meadows to the eastern foothills of the Cascades before heading back west up Reecer Creek.

The narrow paved road start climbing immediately with views down over the Ellensburg valley and the Manastash Ridge. We noticed right off that the flowers were already past. Our last trip in 2010 was on July 4th and here on June 25th, many of the plants were already drying up.

The road climbs 4000 ft in just 15 miles so as we drove another mile we went back in time to earlier in Spring and started to see more flowers. We found wonderful large patches of pink onion blossoms and the fields were red white and blue with scarlet gilia, yarrow and lupine, delphinium.

We continued climbing up the road and came to the burnt blackened forest. It was sad and beautiful. The views at Lion Rock were beautiful.

We headed back to Seattle stopping for a burger in Ellensburg and a couple of beers at Dru Bru at Snoqualmie Pass. Fun day.

Reecer Creek Road - Ellensburg, WA

Allium acuminatum - Tapertip Onion

Castilleja miniata - Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Reecer Creek WA

20160625-Reecer_TableMountain2016 054

Douglas's onion - Allium Douglasii

Elmer's Paintbrush (Castilleja elmeri)

Red White and Blue for the season

Scarlet Gilia - Ipomopsis aggregata Yarrow - Achillea millefolium Forget Me Nots

Botanizing in a field of buckwheat

Buckwheat - Eriogonum douglasii

Burnt Forest nearing the top of Table Mountain

View west from top of Lion Rock

The Stewart Range and the Enchantments

Looking north from Lion Rock

Vegetable Garden 2016 #4

Vegetable Garden 2016

Things are coming along great. Memorial Day has come and past and the temperatures have sure increased. It was 90 degrees on Sunday June 5th. The tomatoes and other warm temperature vegetables were planted in their pots on June 1st and they are loving it. We also planted a Gypsy pepper that I purchased from PCC and some zucchini plants. There are a couple of patty pan squashes still waiting to go in the grown in the back

The corn was planted out on June 3rd and more Monte Cristos pole beans were planted out. We gave the first bed some fertilizer and mulch since it was growing a little slow. The lettuce has perked up.

Harvest wise, we have had two meals of sugar snap peas and should have more coming on. We harvested one pint of strawberries from the pots in the greenhouse and should have another one tonight. We have one or two remaining lettuces to harvest. Not bad for beginning of June.

Vegetable Garden 2016
Tomatoes getting hardening off on May 28th

Vegetable Garden 2016

Vegetable Garden 2016

Vegetable Garden 2016

Vegetable Garden 2016

Vegetable Garden 2016

Vegetable Garden 2016

May Flowers

Phlomis fruticosa and Veronica austriaca "Crater Lake Blue"
Reminds me of the colors of Provence

Memorial day is always the key spring bloom in the garden. G’s hard work is really showing. He has been working on our old ‘salvia’ bed and planting a lot of his collection of plants that he has purchased over the year and adding some structure. It is looking outstanding along with some of the regulars in the garden.

Our front bed

Our front bed

Digiplexis with Physocarpus opulifolius Amber Jubilee
I love this combo

Allium christophii

Phlomis chrysophylla
All the pholmis are in bloom

Pholmis tuberosa

Phlomis italica

Phlomis fruticosa

Echeveria 'Imbricata'
Hummingbirds love this. Every night we watch them feed before sundown

Cistus

Cornus kousa var. chinensis

Peony "Festiva Maxima"

Gladiolus illyricus

Musa basjoo
One stock survived the freeze.

Vegetable Garden 2016 #3

Vegetable Garden 2016 Monte Cristo Beans
Monte Cristo pole green beans

Plants are growing albeit a bit slow. It is interesting this year – some thing are doing really well and others are slow or not growing. G has been starting the beans indoors and has had poor germination. They need 65 degrees to germinate so he has tried several different things to start them. But the bush beans, Gold Marie Romano beans have rotted in the soil. Time to start a new batch. But the Monte Cristo which are our replacements for Blue Lake are going gangbusters. G is starting some more bush beans and a couple of old varieties of romanos. We are not certain if the older beans will germinate but we will try.

Our in the bed, the Champion radishes are coming along, the Chantenay carrots have been thinned, and the Flat of Egypt beets are sprouted. G had to plant a second set of Sugar Ann peas for the same issue as the beans – they never germinated in the bed. Meanwhile the peas in the pots are blooming like crazy and we should have a crop soon.

We have harvested most of the Outrageous lettuce and the Nevada and Redina lettuce starts are planted and starting to grow. Bodacious corn seed was started about a week ago and is doing well.

We purchased starts of Gypsy Peppers, patty pan squash, cucumber and a bunch of herbs. The herbs are in their pot on the deck and the warm vegetables are waiting to go in the ground either this week or next when it is a little warmer. The tomato pots have been set up in the driveway and are waiting the plants. G may plant them this weekend (Memorial Day) or wait another week.

It has still been dropping into the upper 40s and highs are usually in the 60s. The past week has been mostly overcast with light rain.

Vegetable Garden 2016  Radishes

Vegetable Garden 2016 Snap Peas

Vegetable Garden 2016 - Snap Peas

Vegetable Garden 2016 - Tomatoes

Vegetable Garden 2016 #2

Vegetable Garden 2016
Peas, lettuce and strawberries

Two weeks has past and a little more action in the garden. The tomato starts are growing. They are still pretty little especially the Stupice but they should start growing faster in the bigger pots.

We have started seeds both in the beds and in pots. The radishes are up and looking good. Carrots, beets and a second crop of peas are just poking their heads up. This was all seeded on April 28th . And in the greenhouse, the beans have been planted. The runner beans were the first up. The Monte Cristo pole have just started to leaf. Waiting for signs of life in the bush and Goldmarie romano beans.

The first batch of peas are just starting to bloom and most of the Outrageous lettuce has been harvested. It got a big thumb up for both taste and growth.

Today we got our delivery of soil 7 yards of Fertile Mulch and 3 yards of raised bed mix. We will be using this to fill our remaining raised beds and tomato pots. George also has a lot of work ahead hauling it from the front to the backyard – one wheelbarrel at a time!

Vegetable Garden 2016
Tomatoes

Vegetable Garden 2016
Nevada Lettuce

Vegetable Garden 2016
Radishes

Vegetable Garden 2016
Pea Blossom

Vegetable Garden 2016
Monte Cristo Pole Beans

Garden 2016
10 Yards of soil being dropped off

Garden 2016
And now to haul it to the back yard