Monday, July 22, 2013

Sequim Lavender Festival 2013

We took Nancy and Christina up to Sequim for this year's Lavender Festival, and it was the best weather we'd had yet. I'm still sifting through my photos, so these will have to do.

We made our way to our rental home in Sequim on Friday night, and woke up plenty early to explore on Saturday. The second place we stopped had a nice u-pick (with a military deal that Catherine couldn't pass up!). She picked her basket and then I put her basket on a bench in the lavender field for some photos. This has potential.

We decided to catch sunset up on Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Unfortunately Ian got sick which made the time there not terribly enjoyable. The sunset was still pretty, and plenty of deer were walking around to include a little baby fawn still in spots. 

The next day we explored another lavender farm at Leah's request. We were all so glad that she wanted to go because this was the prettiest show by far. They had a couple of acres of lavender, but also plenty of wild flowers and poppies that really contrasted nicely with the lavender.

Whoever owned the farm thought of everything, and included these giant colorful hats for people to walk into the fields and get their photos taken with. So I lined up 3 generations and took some photos. Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Royal Basin, Olympic National Park

This past weekend Catherine, Nancy, and the kids took a trip to Oregon for a quilt show. I made my way to the Olympic National Park (once again), this time to the beautiful northeast corner - Royal Basin.

Royal Basin requires a reservation that can only be made up to 30 days in advance. Sites go fast as this is a very popular part of the park. It is rugged, remote, drop dead gorgeous, and relatively easy to get to. Well, the trailhead anyways.

Its a seven mile hike almost entirely uphill the entire way with the steepest parts right at the end before you make the Royal Lake basin. I went with some friends from work, and it took us almost five hours to hike up. I had come down with a nasty cold on Friday which I'm sure held me back, but goodness that hike thoroughly beat me down (on the way out too)!

We got to our campsite ahead of the horde, so we had the pick for the second best spot around the lake. We set up camp and I took a nice little nap. We then hiked around a bit to explore the place, to include some meadows which were not yet a peak color, and a big waterfall. Then it was back to camp for some dinner. After that I wandered some more for some sunset photos, but due to the towering mountains all around us I didn't really get anything good.

So it was off to bed for an early sunrise (again, nothing great photographically). It was very peaceful up there, I was the only one really wandering about at that hour, but with the mist/fog rising off of the lake (second photo from the top) and the resident fearless deer wandering around with me, it was a nice time.

This weekend Christina comes in and we will all head to Sequim for the Lavender Festival. I'll be sure to swing by Hurricane Ridge and check out the wildflowers too, but I'm looking forward to this trip. Have a wonderful day everybody!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy Belated Fourth of July!

So now you all know it's not just birthdays that I'm late for!

We had some company come stay with us for the Fourth of July - some friends from our Cincinnati days. It was great to catch up and hear how they've been getting along. They toured the Olympic National Park and kayaked in the San Juans prior to their arrival, and got in in time for some dinner which Catherine made. We then loaded up the cars and made our way to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for some fireworks, which were very nice.

The next day (the lesser known sibling holiday to the Fourth - Cinco de Julio ;-) we took the trip down to Mount St. Helens. The drive was scary only because it was super cloudy/foggy and at one point my car thermometer read 50 F with almost 2000 vertical feet to climb before we arrived at our destination. Lucky for us, the clouds broke up and let in some sunshine while we were at the Johnston Ridge Observatory.

It was breezy and cool, but when the sun came out it was very comfortable. John and Mitch wanted to get in a real hike, so we left Marion, Catherine, and the kids to enjoy the Junior Ranger Program. I would have brought the kids if it weren't for this one section of the trail that gets narrow and steep. Trust me, the photo above doesn't do it justice!

The hike out to see Spirit Lake was nice. Cool temperatures, warm sun - hard to beat! The distances out there are deceiving too. In the photo above, I took this not too far from where Spirit Lake first comes largely viewable (180 degrees behind camera). Off in the distance is the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Three miles distant.

We made really good time on the way back. It felt good to step it out a little bit. Shortly before we made it back to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, Mt. St. Helens decided to come out from behind her block of clouds and grace us with her presence. It was a very nice way to finish the hike.

Thanks John, Marion, and Mitch for a very nice trip! I know Ian and Leah were thrilled to have some new ears to chat at, and I enjoyed the company on the hike. Happy Independence Day everybody,


Monday, July 1, 2013

More foolin' around

We had to escape the house this evening to get out of the heat. So I grabbed my camera and flash and snapped some photos of Leah.

Then Ian wanted in on the action, though he didn't both smile and look at the camera.

So then Catherine and Leah both wanted a photo of the whole family. So I grabbed my tripod and got on the business end of the camera.

After many takes and retakes, this was the best of the bunch. Enjoy summer!