Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Beautiful winter

The view up Gold Creek this afternoon around 3pm from the Hyak cross country ski lodge.
Buried under all that snow is the PCT. Perhaps 2016 will be my year to hike beyond Gravel and Joe Lakes, the furthest I've ever been.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Thoughts at year end

I climbed this beautiful hand hewn staircase, chipped from a limestone boulder by some long dead pioneer in the 1930s or 1940s in the Binna Burra rainforest section of Lamington National Park earlier this month.

May 2016 bring joy, not pain. To me, to you, to everyone who lost something important in 2015.

To the past, I say "Thank you." To the future, I say "Yes."

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Brunch in Northern New South Wales

A water dragon decided to join me for lunch yesterday in Tyalgum. Not something you see every day. I've been visiting sub tropical rain forest areas close to the Gold Coast, where my elderly mother lives.
Wish I had a bike with me. There's nice riding here in the Mt Warning caldera. Roller coaster narrow forested lanes with little to no traffic.
Maybe next time.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Rudolph in Seattle

It was bucketing with rain yesterday so I went for a walk instead. My destination was Swanson's Garden Center. To find it all I had to do was follow the line of cars carrying fresh Xmas trees. It was mobbed on account of these visitors.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Silver Star in British Columbia

I've joined some friends for Thanksgiving in Canada with 2 days, I hope, of x-c skiing. I've not been on skis for 2 years, so I took it easy and did some easy trails. Couldn't have been lovelier. Few people and I stayed out for 3 hours without mishaps. I know that biking is the perfect cross training sport for skiing, so maybe that's the reason. Tomorrow I will try my skate skis and see if my courage has finally returned.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Upgrade at the Harbor Island 5-Way

It's an exceptional late November weekend with sun. I decided to do the 30 mile out and back to Alki from home in NW Seattle.
Looks like this truly horrible rubbish strewn torn up intersection is finally having a bike lane installed. It's a curious counter intuitive, ride on the left route.
Lucky for me, I learned to drive on the left. Still, this will be a new danger spot until West Seattle drivers get used to bicycles taking these lanes.
There will be a few sore "bikers don't pay road taxes" complaints, but they'll be ignored. I don't mind more bike infrastructure at all, and, as it happens, do pay road taxes. As a Seattle homeowner I pay lots of taxes. Some of them are dubious. However, in return I get to live in a nice place. Go figure.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15!

We've had sideways rain for the last couple of days, but at about 11am today it turned brilliant, do I came downtown to enjoy an exquisite sunset in Seattle's icon.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

180 degrees opposite

I always think that lobster shrooms look hellish, so here's the angelic opposite, some oyster mushrooms that belong on an angel. I rarely pick them as they are bland. Rather I relish their beauty.

Lobster monster mushroom

I found this amazing specimen today while I was collecting chanterelles. It easily weighs 2#. Amazing to think it's edible.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Toulouse Petit for happy hour after Bizet's Pearl Fishers at Seattle Opera.
It's bittersweet to take myself out to the Opera. So I'm taking myself out, properly, with frites, a glass of Mouvedre Rose and some exquisite lighting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween nearly here

It was a sunny day yesterday so I biked to work in the dark so I'd have the afternoon to enjoy the fall colors. I stopped at the Shoreline Central Market but I doubt I'll be carrying one of these home by bike any time soon. Over 4,000 pounds!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Shilshole Marina 5:30pm

I've not noticed the sea monster at the marina not that far from where I live. My own Nessie. A fun thing to find on a lovely fall afternoon walk after work, near Golden Gardens Park. I am blessed to have this in my neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The flowers of fall

I missed these last October, because I was teaching English in South Eastern China. I took a friend to a place I know. You can go back to the past, but it's never going to be the same, for neither chanterelles nor for the life that you sorely want to keep. Still, if you can trust yourself, and look in a new place, there is a different type of joy. You just have to commit to the uncertainty and try again.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Learning to draw

When I travel I like to take photos. But it's too easy and superficial. I look at everything but what do I see? I want to draw well enough to use a small sketch pad as my diary. I'm learning to work with still life. It's very hard. But, I feel pretty proud of my first attempt to draw an apple and give it three dimensionality through shading. All the other people in my class are more skilled, but I have to start somewhere.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thursday October 8

I picked these roses from my yard this evening. They are the last I will have until next May. There is a time for everything: to grow, to die. I hope that next May I can welcome back my roses with optimism and hope for a happy if completely different life from the one I expected to live. To the past I say, thank you. To the future, I say yes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mint green morning

I picked up my bike from the shop and am back in the saddle once more, commuting to my classes son a lovely fall morning. I stopped for coffee at Coyle's Bakeshop in Greenwood, to grade my students' first assignment and enjoy the pretty decor. Reminds me of places in the South.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Golden Gardens 5 pm tursday Sept 29

All hail the autumn sun. The season is changing and I'm entering the final quarter of a terrible year. Perhaps I am getting closer to something better. I wish.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mt Baker from the Damfino Lakes trail

A spectacular fall day called for a spectacular hike. There is the promise of winter fast approaching in the chilly air and frosty ground, but I feel blessed to know how to find places like this. Tomorrow I return to the classroom to teach. It's sad to say goodbye to summer but time marches on, indifferent to my desires and concerns, so I must live in the moment.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Outside Cafe Besalu in Ballard

I'm not fond of dogs in cafes, but this 3 pack of pugs, 2 oldsters and a young one made me smile on this beautiful Fall morning. I could even forgive the light one for standing on the human's bench, because the old guys were so mellow. I'm running errands on Tongling the Red because I need to do maintenance on my touring bike after its big ride (800+ miles!) on the Pacific Coast.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Home for harvest

During my 19 days away, my vegetable garden kept going. A nice consolation for the sadness of something fine having to end.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Leaving Portlamd on Amtrak

Nice alpenglow on Mt Hood a finale to my Pacific Coast bike trip, closing the circle by returning to my starting point. The riding was exhausting and difficult at times, as was the Hwy 101 road conditions and traffic of logging trucks and enormous RVs. But it was worthwhile, spending long hours by myself, turning the cranks in time with my thoughts. This year has been terribly difficult for me and will continue as such, for how long I cannot know. I am left alone, to pick up the pieces of a life I never expected to change with such sudden cruelty. It is perfectly possible to weep and ride my bike at the same time, without crashing, because I've done so for 18 days. I grieve that these beautiful scenes are mine alone, and no longer can shared. Love is not kind. It is not fair. I must distrust it for the present. Things are so very confusing.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Farewell to Florence and the OR coast

The view from a coffee shop under another of Oregon's 1930s engineering marvels. Then 60 miles to Eugene and the end of my adventure.
It's been worthwhile.

Newport Bridge

The traffic much more bike aware thank goodness, compared to Astoria.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

To the lighthouse

Cape Yaquina

Thursday morning start from Beverly Beach

Torrential rain but clear in the morning, so a godsend when riding busy Hwy 101.

Cape Lookout

Rainy camping but nice beach

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tillamook Cheese in Tillamook, OR

The factory is mobbed with visitors. Not sure why, given the growth of artisanal cheese products. Perhaps that's just a Seattle thing.

Handy Creek Bakery Wheeler OR

Lovely use of shadow boxes to display family treasures.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Day of rest in Astoria

In Frites and Scoop, a Belgian fry and ice cream parlor. Yet another Astoria place riffing on handmade Oregon, lots of crafts made from recycled materials and coffee shops with well stocked magazine racks, carrying titles on farmers markets, hand built bicycles and felt crafts. A change of pace for me and it feels pretty good to be actively doing nothing in a waterfront town.

Astoria's Chinatown

Such a sweet image.

Mural in context

Charming mural on the Astoria Riverwalk

Some local art that reminds me of what the Flemish painters of the C17th would choose to do with Astoria's salmon cannery past.

Astoria-Megler Bridge at sunset

A spectacular end to an intense Saturday of riding

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Safely in Astoria after riding the bike unfriendly bridge over the Columbia.

In Bay Center Willapa Bay

A lovely sentiment for long biking days.

Ruby Beach

A misty ride in a gorgeous part of the world. Not raining. Cool pleasant riding temperature and a ride full of sweet memories of the Clearwater Hoh. There is salt in the air and plenty of salty tears for me during this whole trip. To the past, thank you; to the future, yes.

Sol Duc Campground

Big trees and small people

Friday, September 11, 2015

Last call for Nielton book lovers

An old Timberland Regional Lubrary bookmobile. Made me smile as I rode by this morning.

Lake Quinault dawn Friday 11 Sept

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bogachiel Peak and the High Divide

From the lovely 18 mile ride along the upper Hoh valley.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ediz Hook Port Angeles

Some very superior driftwood art to brighten up a dismal day.

Still life with kelp and bike shoes

Chimacum, WA

A very nice upscale grocery store inside, along with great local produce. A gorgeous day, too. Finally.

Friday, September 4, 2015

West Beach Road Whidbey Island

Very scenic riding from camp at Deception SP.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

When the sun shines

Chuckanut Drive is lovely. Well if you don't like the weather wait a minute.

Edison Bay View Road Thursday

Why the heck not. The weather is a capital A, as in godawful. So I'll do corn on the cob somewhere down the line.

Chuckanut Drive on Wednesday evening

The Pacific NW is delivering its legendary weather for day one of my adventure cycling trip.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Rainy Monday in Fremont

It's a grey day and it feels like fall. Tomorrow I leave for 18 days of bike touring to Eugene, so I took it easy today. Ran some errands on Tongling the Red and thought with fondness, of arriving in Tongling, a year ago today. How things have changed in many unwelcome and unexpected ways.
To the past I must say thank you. To the future I say yes.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tongling the Red in Sunset Hill

Today marks the first ride I've done on my Chinese folding bike since I came back from China in late January. I'd damaged the drive train during the transport home. As well, I have been in a period of unwanted change, so it's not been a priority. Still, the little red bike seems to handle OK. It's strange to think back to the last time I rode her, in winter in a fumey curious south eastern city. Life has been very different from what I imagined this time 12 months ago, when I left to teach in China.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From Golden Gardens Tuesday evening

The fires in Eastern Washington have given us exceptional sunsets. I came to the shore to eat a picnic dinner and enjoy the view of the snow free peaks of Olympic National Park, a couple of paddlers and the bitter sweetness of late summer.