Tag Archive | seattle

More Wicked Weather in Seattle

A vicious storm rolled through Mongo’s home town again this past weekend leaving one fatality.  One person was killed when their car was struck by a falling tree.  On Sunday (3/13) ,the National Weather Service tweeted, “Storm looks like a hurricane! The central pressure is deeper than expected, 978 mb.”  The tweet included a picture of the swirling storm offshore from Olympic National Park.  Back in West Seattle, 70 MPH + gusts were toppling trees all over town.

Mongo refused to go outside alone.  Dad stood at the back door with him and the watched the tall firs on the side of the house swaying dangerously in his direction.  As they stood there transfixed at the back door, they hear a loud thump in the front of the house.  Surprised by the sound, Mongo let loose one of his low rumble barks.  Dad and Mongo walked out to the front yard and saw a large limb had bounced off their roof.  There didn’t seem to be any damage, but they didn’t spend much time outside looking at it.  A branch like that could cause some serous damage if it caught the boys outside.

West Seattle

West Seattle

They went back inside where it was safe (relatively) and warm.  Mongo curled up by the fireplace.

Pipe Creek Skiing

Dad was fail once again.  Not that “fail” is all that foreign a concept to Dad.  Dad is definitely not afraid to “fail”.  Dad’s theory on “fail” is similar to Thomas Edison’s thoughts on life, if you try enough times, the successes will outweigh the failures. So Dad soldiers on, knowing that good things will come in the end.

This time Dad’s “fail” had been showing up a few seconds too late to buy his Snow Pass.  To use the Snow Parks in Washington state, one has to buy a Snow Pass.  Dad had decided to take Mongo cross country skiing on Saturday at the last minute.  Now he had waited just a smidgen too long to get in line for the snow pass, and there was a tourist had jumped in front of him, asking how to go hiking in the snow.  On a weekend morning, every second counts on the way to the mountains, because multitudes of other outdoors people are heading there also.

The ranger was trying to answer the man’s question of hiking in the snow. but apparently the tourist’s English was a bit limited in the realm of the winter sports vocabulary, and the very idea of snow shoes was completely foreign to him.   This was causing the ranger to have a difficult time conveying the concept across the cultural divide.

There was nothing else to do but wait.  Dad had just seen the new Star Wars movie the night before at Cinerama, so he engaged in some Jedi calming routines while he waited.  But despite his best efforts with the force, his right foot was still tapping.

The ranger’s descriptions of snow shoes grew to include big sweeping elliptical arm movements.  Their conversations was starting to look like a very awkward ballet, that might go on forever.

Eventually, the winter tourist departed in the general direction of REI’s rental counter, but by this time, Dad figured his chances of getting to a nearby snow park and back before dark were shot.  He approached the counter.

“I’d like a Snow Pass”, he droned to the ranger.

“For today”, asked the ranger.  “You know, they’re only good for one day, and it’s kinda late to get started for today.”, he added cautiously.

“No.  Tomorrow will be fine”, moaned Dad.

“Okey dokey.  We’ll fix you right up”, chirped the ranger.

Dad took his snow pass and headed home.

However…

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Wild Seattle Weather

Seattle is not known for wild extremes of weather.  In Oklahoma, Dad had seen the weather change from sunny and 80°F at 2:00 pm, only to  become a blizzard by 9:00 pm.  In Oklahoma, they say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute”, and it is true.  In Seattle, it is more like, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute… and it will still be drizzling.”

This last weekend was an exception.  A line of squalls had been forecast to roll through Seattle, and with them came the hope for some meteorological excitement.  And on Sunday, the promise was fulfilled.

Dad and Mongo, however, had left the house blissfully unaware of the weather forecast.  All Dad had noticed was that the sun was for a few minutes, and it seemed like to a good time to take Mongo out for a romp.  Mongo was up for anything.  Dad was happily clueless.

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Lunar New Year in Seattle

The Lunar New Year is a big celebration in Seattle’s International District.  The International District or as it is also known…

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Hike to Dewey Lake in Mount Rainier National Park / Wenatchee National Forest

Mongo and Dad decided to take Spork on a hike to Dewey Lake.  Actually, Dad does most of the deciding, but he still prefers to bounce these ideas off of Mongo, who is almost universally positive in his response.  Over the years, Mongo has developed into an excellent “yes-man”.

Dewey Lake and nearby Tipsoo Lake are two excellent spots to take scenic photographs of Mount Rainier.  Tipsoo Lake is  right off HWY 410, and is on the agenda for many of the charter bus tours of the park.  Dewey Lake is on the opposite side of the highway from Tipsoo Lake and down in the valley.  It is a six (6) mile round-trip hike to the lake.  It is about nine (9) miles round trip to hike from the highway and go all the way around the lake.  Far less tourists ever make it to Dewey Lake.

It can be difficult to avoid the crowds at Tipsoo during summer.   Early dawn is one of the few times when there is still a little solitude to be had on the lake shores.  However Tipsoo is a very small lake which can be walked in just a few minutes.

File photo, not a DAD iPhone picture

Tipsoo Lake at Sunrise

Dewey Lake, however,  stands as one of the monarchs of alpine lakes. This long, broad lake boasts scores of shoreline pockets that offer up the elusive solitude often hard to find in a mountain lake basin. Stunning scenery also awaits, with tall Naches Peak towering overhead and a rich forest cradling the opposite lakeshore. If that isn’t enough, Dewey hosts an impressive population of trout for the anglers among us. Indeed, the lake is stocked periodically by plane–fish are emptied from tanks in free-fall dives during low overflights of the lake.1

So early one morning, Dad bundled Mongo and Spork into the back of the truck, and set out for Dewey Lake.  Once again, they left later than Dad would have liked to, but one makes do with what one has.

They arrived at the trail, and started on towards the valley.  Dad had carefully researched the authorities in charge of managing this trail, and determined as long as he started on the trail in National Forest, he could avoid traveling within Mount Rainier National Park.

Not that Dad dislikes the park, but in the National Forest, Dad does not need a leash on Mongo.  Spork gets a leash wherever she goes. Spork is a bolter.  Bolters can make hikes extra exciting.

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Comet Falls – Mount Rainier National Park

If there is one waterfall that every visitor to Mount Rainier National Park should see, Comet Falls is it. Van Trump Creek hurtles from the lip of a lofty hanging valley, plunging in four steps flanked by lofty amphitheater cliffs of Andesite. The falls are usually cited as standing 320-feet tall, but have been measured by the Northwest Waterfall Survey as 462 feet tall if the lower pools are included.¹

The trail to Comet Falls follows a tumbling, churning, whitewater creek upstream as it thunders through a narrow gorge of glacier-polished rock on its way to a waterfall that drops 462 feet in three tiers.   There are numerous small waterfalls and cascades and two significant ones to admire, all in less than two miles.

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Howl-o-ween Aftermath 2015

Cleaning up after Mongo’s Halloween was not as easy as Dad had first expected.  Mongo likes baths so that wasn’t the problem.  Actually, Mongo is not that crayzy about the bath part, but he likes getting toweled off after baths, so he tolerates the bath part.

However, it took two shampoos to get the black hair paint off of Mongo.  Interestingly, the area where he accidentally got hair sprayed took extra scrubbing beyond the two shampoos to come clean.  That hairspray was resilient stuff; certainly more than a match for Seattle’s wintry weather!

When Mongo was all cleaned up, the hair-paint  left a ring around the tub that Dr. Seuss would have been proud of.

Bath tub ring worthy of Cat in the Hat

Bath tub ring worthy of Cat in the Hat