Gravel Barge Through Locks

A powerful tug pushes a fully laden gravel barge through the Ballard Locks.

As the barge is almost the width of the lock (and has a large draft underneath as well), the dynamics of the water are quite interesting as the tug tries to move the barge.  A strong current rushes backwards to fill the gap being made behind the barge, and the tug then has to work against this current.

Bolero Carrot

This big carrot (a Bolero hybrid) came from the back yard, and was delicious.

We've not yet become afflicted by the carrot fly that attacks this crop, and may tempt our luck by planting more next year.

Self Medicate, with Lithium

A sturdy public drinking fountain offering six faucets has graced the central square of Ashland, OR since 1927.  It provides Lithia water from Pompadour Chief Springs, and carries a powerful tang.  Along with plenty of dissolved salt and baking soda, it carries 153 mg/L of lithium carbonate, whose pharmacology is useful for mood disorders.

Elizabethan Theatre, Ashland Oregon

Stagehands disassemble a clock and other props used in the previous night's performance of As You Like It.  The show was fantastic, and the perfect theatre only added to the evening.

Coyotes howled from the surrounding hills, at first fitting into a forest scene in the play.  However, it carried on a bit past the needs of the forest scene, revealing the voices of wild animals on the outskirts of town.

Lamb Kebabs

Delicious lamb kebabs help fill empty summer bellies.  For dessert, alternating peach and nectarine slices caramelize nicely.

Stawamus Chief

This is the second peak (655m) of the Stawamus Chief, visible from the first peak.  It's a vigorous hike up from not much above sea level, and a rewarding view.  More hardy types climb the cliff face, then hike down with their equipment.

Middle Joffre Lake

Middle Joffre Lake accepts an icy stream from the upper lake, and not long ago, the glacier above.  The water was very cold.

The lake water is turquoise because it contains plenty of glacial flour -- rock ground so finely that it remains in suspension in the water.

Matier Glacier

Matier Glacier looms above Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in BC.  We heard (but didn't see) a big chunk of ice cleave off the glacier.  The scale is difficult to grasp, but this lower foot of the glacier is about 1km wide.

Hurricane Ridge Cycle

The beginning of an enjoyable ride up Hurricane Ridge.  5000ft in elevation gain over 17mi led to fantastic views, then a glorious descent on the finest pavement the National Park Service could afford.

Mount Baker Sunrise from Port Angeles

Mount Baker is visible over the San Juan Islands from Port Angeles, some time before sunrise.

Rayonier Inc operated a sulfite pulp mill here from 1930-1997, and the city is now trying to figure out what to do with the land.

USS New Orleans

The USS New Orleans is an amphibious transport ship, commissioned in 2007.  Its lower deck can carry two hovercrafts and, well, a boatload of other gear like jeeps.  The lower deck can be flooded to aid in launching amphibious vehicles.

We were given an excellent tour by a Boatswain's Mate, of rank Petty Officer Second Class.  His main task is working the anchors while mooring, and as a watchman while under way.

Admiralty Inlet

On the bridge of a massively expensive and modern warship sits a well used and carefully annotated nautical chart of the immediate vicinity.

Admiralty Inlet is the channel in purple separating Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula.  All marine traffic to the Port of Seattle, the Port of Tacoma, and the Everett, Bangor, and Bremerton naval bases pass through this 4 mile wide channel.

HMCS Oriole

It is easy to joke about humble nature of the Royal Canadian Navy.  In this case, the HMCS Oriole is the sole Canadian craft present in Seattle for Fleet Week.  She was built in Boston in 1921, and was donated to become commissioned as a navy ship in 1952.  She is used for basic seamanship and sail training, and is based in Esquimalt.

The Norwegian Pearl (spotted in Vancouver two years ago) lurks behind the Oriole.  And a US Navy ship is also docked nearby, bearing the slogan "Destroyer Squadron One: Total Force".  Quite the contrast!

German Red Garlic

Garlic freshly harvested this year.  In this case, it's German Red, a rocambole hard neck garlic that grew well this season.  Earlier we enjoyed tasting their scapes, my first experience with that intense flavor.

The flavor of the garlic itself so far is mild and fresh, though perhaps it will sharpen up as they dry out a bit.


This osprey was one of a family roosting on a discarded pallet that had been placed on the top of a lamp standard at Pier 90 in Seattle.  They were very vocal, crying to one another constantly.  Domestic issues?  Raptor gossip?  We can only imagine the topic of their chat.