Rainier Again

Mt Rainier never gets old.  She's a steady presence to those living near Seattle, and is both shapely and prominent.

Most of my views of her, like this one, are from the north.  Little Tahoma is to the left.  There are active hot springs and vents on her flanks and near the summit.

Some day, she'll explode.

Crabeater Seal Skull

A NOAA scientist holds up the skull of a Crabeater Seal, part of the collection they keep at their Western Regional Center.  NOAA held an open house here, and showed off parts of the work they do.  These bones are kept in old aircraft hangars that were once part of Naval Station Puget Sound, and are now mostly Magnuson Park.

Note the complex teeth, used not unlike baleen to trap krill via filtration.

Pontoon T - Out For Repair

Pontoon T of the new SR520 floating bridge heads back out of Lake Washington through the Ballard Locks to get repaired at a drydock in Portland.  Flaws in both the manufacture and design of four pontoons need to be repaired prior to the bridge being assembled.

Rosario Resort

The town and seaplane base of Rosario WA exist because the successful shipbuilder and then Seattle mayor Robert Moran chose to retire here.  There are elements of greatness in the location, buildings, and artifacts that have been preserved since his sale of it in 1938.  There's a fantastic music room complete with an ├ćolian organ, and the general manager is both kind enough and sufficiently talented to play it on Saturdays while recounting the history of the resort.

Mount Constitution is a minor bump in the ridge in the distance.  It's the highest point in the San Juans.

Celebrity Solstice

The Celebrity Solstice is a large cruise ship that spends her summers plying the Inside Passage.  Summer sailings for the weeklong trip begin at about $2000 for two.  It looks like a truly enormous ship, but only makes #26 on the leader board, and is only 54% of the tonnage of the biggest.

As I write this, she's in Skagway.

Volvo 164 - Evening Light

The 164 was Volvo's foray into the luxury sedan market of 1969 through 1975.  It's a 3L 6 cylinder which allegedly can get to 193km/h.

I wonder how this one is holding up 40 years later?

David Adamo - Erasers

At the excellent Denver Art Museum, a fine selection of modern art is presented along with the regular European classics.  There is some Western American art too, but I find the Leanin' Tree corporate art gallery in nearby Boulder to be a much better collection of that genre.

This is David Adamo's Untitled (2012), seemingly a row of well-loved rubber erasers.  They're actually perfectly painted ceramic models of erasers, an absurd finding given how simple it would be to make the genuine article.

Above a Sleeping Tiger

I was impressed by a visit to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, on the outskirts of Denver.  They have a surprisingly large number of tigers, lions, and bears, most of which were acquired after they outlived their usefulness as household pets.

The main attraction is an elevated boardwalk over many different enclosures.  This lets you see the animals without having to peek through the bars of a cage or the smudged glass of a zoo display.

Storm's Coming

At around 8000ft in Roosevelt National Forest, afternoon sunshine is quickly giving way to some approaching weather.  It snowed an hour later.

Spring was not particularly advanced out here -- the aspens had very new leaves, and it was clear that the veggie gardens had only just gotten started.

Royal Arch Hike, Boulder

Royal Arch is a quick hike gaining 1500ft of elevation just west of Boulder, CO.  It culminates at an impressive natural arch -- one that's difficult to photograph without a very wide angle lens.

Our hike was delightful.  The views were grand, the exercise was welcome, and the terrain is so very different from that of the Pacific Northwest.

Relocating United at SeaTac

After more than 30 years, United has moved out of the N satellite terminal at SeaTac.  They now occupy a few of the A gates at the extreme southern end of the main terminal.

The dungeon of a Red Carpet Club has been replaced by a open and cheery United Club -- and on entry, we noted to the agent that "it even has that new club smell!"

On a separate note, my loyalty to the airline is waning, and I don't expect to spend that much time here.

Commuting To Redmond

There are 40,000 Microsoft employees in Washington State, and most commute daily to Redmond.  Three options are visible here: luxury sports cars, Sound Transit, and the company Connector buses.

Tip to Mr Carrera S: your registration is expired; the ticket is $219.

Eastbound I90, Vantage

The eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 snake down the shrub-steppe of the Yakima Firing Range between Kittitas and Vantage, on the west side of the Columbia Gorge.  Puget Sound Energy planted this hillside of wind turbines, and they're well sited, as it is eternally windy up here.

Google's view shows that the turbines have been here since at least 2011.

Steamboat Rock, Grand Coulee

The Grand Coulee stretches out towards the horizon from this vantage point on Steamboat Rock.  Imagine 500 cubic miles of lake rushing through and carving this entire canyon in 48 hours -- it would have been quite the sight from up here.

The lake is artificial, a side effect of the Columbia Basin Project.

Martha S Car Ferry

WSDOT's smallest ferry, the Martha S, was built in 1948 and will shortly be retired.  The Keller Ferry has run here since the 1890s, predating Lake Roosevelt.  It is the only ferry  operated by the state in Eastern Washington, and connects State Route 21.

The ride is free!