Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hurricane Ridge

It was rainy on my last day in Washington last week and I found myself in Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge to be specific.

I didn't mind at all that our view was obstructed. When you are at your final destination on a trip, one that you've dreamed of seeing for ages, you're just happy to be there. I'm sure these guys felt the same.

We did see a glacier up close and personal. That counts, right? Because it's October and the ice is still there? Anyone?

This was our view, which didn't showcase the Olympic Mountains at their peak, but I still found it to be pretty spectacular.
It started to clear up as we headed down the mountain.

And just beyond that ridge ... Canada!

We drove around Lake Crescent towards the other side of the park and the other natural treasures in store.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Port Angeles By Night

The next destination on our Washington itinerary was Olympic National Park, waaaay north just across the bay from Vancouver, Canada. Did I mention I have never been to Canada before? Or seen it, despite living in Northern Wisconsin for 4 years of my life.

My dad assured me it was a good 30 miles away and that I wouldn't be able to see much. He was much more impressed by the giant ferry boat propellers-turned-art installation. And so, rolling into Port Angeles right at 5 when it was too late to do anything else, we got ourselves settled in and made the most of our time by taking a night stroll around town.

Blown glass sea creatures and sidewalk sculptures.

Ferry boats and boardwalks.

Locals ...

... cuisine ...

... and a beautiful town.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Outside My Window

Autumn is behind in California but just beginning in Washington.

It's the evergreen state, for sure, but dramatic splashes of color are showing up. Along with the mighty Mount Rainier, which I'm seeing out my window for the first time.

Outside Olympic National Park, the trees are ablaze.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moved by the Spirit

On the morning we left Yakima Valley, our family finally got together for a group picture, and also to show off some pumpkin carving artistry, namely from my dad.

It's been years since we carved pumpkins together, so I was pretty happy that we got it together enough to even get the pumpkins.

My dad has a puncture-holes-around-the-pattern-then-connect-the-dots approach, which is very effective with complicated designs.

I let him trace mine, but kept my batman logo pretty simple.

We found a great spot on the patio to show them off.

And just when I thought pumpkins were the greatest thing ever grown, I fell in love with the apple tree in the front yard, weighted down by its own branches and kissed by the lawn mower.

Happy Halloween and happy fall!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

City of Murals

A day trip to the old cowboy town of Toppenish gave me a chance to catch up on local art. The town is covered in murals, one commissioned each year to honor the community's history and culture.

No surprise they call it the "city of murals." Enjoy the mini-tour!

This one was my favorite.

And though it's totally unrelated, let me just share a couple obligatory apple tree photos, from apple capital of the planet. It was a big deal for me, since the branches were bare when I came to visit last December.