Mount Hoffman

Mount Hoffman rises to 10850ft and is quite prominent along the northern Yosemite valley. This is the view looking south from a saddle around 300ft short of the summit. The yellow-bellied marmot to the lower left seems to be enjoying the view.

Hikers were just visible through a zoom lens on Half Dome, as the cable ladder is affixed to the surface facing this way.

Ben Hur-Raymond Rd

The Raymond General Store is a perfect break on a hot summer drive. It has a pair of proper double-hinged saloon doors separating the store from the bar, and a few regulars permanently attached to bar stools.

Drive north on Ben Hur-Raymond Rd, and you'll see miles of beautiful foothills with hardly any traffic. The view here is much as when Google visited: golden grass, parched trees, and a rough road. We saw a fox, numerous hawks, and a roadrunner.

Forestiere's Underground Gardens

Baldassare Forestiere emigrated from Italy to become a citrus farmer in California. Sadly, the land he purchased near Fresno was not useful for agriculture with the technology of the day because of the soil type, San Joaquin hardpan.

Instead of farming, he spent his life digging tunnels by hand for his own amusement. They helped keep him occupied when home from his day job, which was digging ditches. He planted numerous fruit bearing trees in open air rooms throughout his ten-acre complex, and strolling through it is quite pleasant.

Annette Lake

The surface of Annette Lake reflects a mixture of colors from the far shore: dark evergreens, golden sunlight, and bright blue sky. We were the last party down that evening, though another group was staying overnight.

Safeco Field Entrance Gates

Fans stream into the entrance gates at the southwest corner of Safeco Field in evening light. There were more Blue Jays fans than Mariners fans this evening, or at least the Canadian supporters were more vocal.

Tilt Rotor

This is the tiltrotor of a V-22 Osprey aircraft. It combines the vertical takeoff capability of a helicopter with the forward speed of a traditional aircraft.

A similar sized helicopter can carry more cargo, but this tiltrotor has a top speed between that of a Twin Otter and a Dash 8.


This is the original Wallingford location of Dick's Drive-In, which opened in 1954. Dick's puts on a tasty burger at a good price, and it never takes long to order.

They appear to be a model employer, freely offering scholarships to part-time employees attending college, and paying well above the prevailing wage.

Snoqualmie Valley Sunset

The sun sets over Granite Mountain, near exit 47 of the I90 in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Dustin Ackley

Dustin Ackley is the Mariners' 2nd baseman. Here he gets some wood on this 81mph curveball thrown by Alvarez for a grounder. He was thrown out at first base.

Transformers Car

It's a Transformers car, trying to camouflage among regular commuters in Redmond! Sadly, it only transforms into a ... convertible. If it had other skills, it might grow legs to walk above the traffic.

It's actually a Pontiac Solstice.

Clean, Empty

Moving day.

A house loses its feeling of 'home' as soon as its no longer populated with stuff. Here, our rental house is a series of empty walls and gleaming floors.

Amphibious Landing Crafts

These hovercrafts can land 71 tons of equipment pretty much anywhere there's an even beach. A few of these would have helped out greatly on D-Day.

We spoke to a navy mechanic who follows this pair of landing crafts to maintain them. For the last while they've been carried in the USS Bonhomme Richard, but in the past they've been attached to other ships.

Ziplining, Morrison's Quarry

A zipliner completes his traverse with style at Morrison's Quarry, a site where magnesium carbonate was mined starting in WWII. A very deep pond has formed there, and startlingly white MgCO3 is piled around when seen from above.

It's now a site for swimming, ziplining, bungee jumping, and scuba diving. The swim was refreshing and worthwhile. In hindsight I should have considered exploring the mine structures still present on the property!

Dont Tread On Me

In a supremely American moment, a formation of four Blue Angels, the navy's flying acrobatic team, passes over a First Navy Jack. The flag (which is missing an apostrophe) flies at the bow of LHD-6, the USS Bonhomme Richard.

It's a pleasant sunny day in Seattle, perfect weather for Seafair Weekend.

I90 Floating Bridge Blue Angels

Pedestrians line the western end of the I90 floating bridge, waiting for the Blue Angels airshow to begin.

We were one of the last few cars across the bridge before the freeway closure; the police were all lined up and ready to shut it down.

Blueberry Picking

Saturday saw a morning of blueberry picking at fields run by the City of Bellevue at Mercer Slough. The berries were tasty and plentiful, and we picked around 8 pounds between us.

At least, those were the ones that made it in the bucket.

Chevy Volt

Unlike the Nissan Leaf also spotted while commuting, this Chevy Volt is a gas/electric hybrid. Its electric range is only 35mi, so most of these will see a significant number miles driven as a regular car.

South Dakota

An impressive oxbow of the Missouri River curves towards the horizon of this view looking southwest.

Also visible in the bottom-left corner: a house fire at the corner of the unpaved streets of N Catalpa & 2nd NW in St. Lawrence, South Dakota. It's a modest town that features an operational drive in theater, a serviced Union Pacific railway siding (originally the Chicago and North Western), and even a funeral home. St. Lawrence lost 12 residents between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, and now has a population of 198.

Byron Generating Station

Both units of the Byron Generating Station are working, as they usually do; the plant operates year-round covering >96% of rated capacity. These large nuclear reactors put out 2336MW total, competitive with the largest coal burning plants on the continent, but with no atmospheric pollution.

The cooling towers are the largest visible structures along the left (eastern) edge of the station. The reactor units themselves are smaller white buildings in the middle of the complex.

Rail Bridge - Rideau River

A cyclist passes a jogger on the rail bridge crossing the Rideau River. The railway used to follow the northern side of the Rideau Canal through to Union Station, within site of Parliament Hill. The National Capital Commission unwisely decided to relocate the passenger station 3km east in 1966, removing rail service from the city center.

It looks like a short, wide bridge from this angle, but from above it looks both straighter and longer.

Inspiration for Velcro

Nature's Velcro appears in burdock burrs, which are big enough to be able to pull off easily. Here you can see the backlit hooks waiting to ensnare a passer-by.

The root is edible, though I'm not sure what it tastes like.

Penny Bullseye

A Washington State Ferries worker saw the opportunity to brighten the waiting time of ferry passengers. This bullseye painted on top of some unused feature of the dock, and the best angle for an attempt is the upper deck.

Judging from the mountains of pennies here, it must be quite popular.