Sunday, November 2, 2008


Had a great Halloween. The pics can be found here. Link

The plan was a core group would be "Faces of Ferrell". The idea being that we would all show up as a Will Ferrell character.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Great day of fishing this saturday

Dan and I got in a great fishing trip up to Rachael lake this saturday. The hike in is a pretty good push with the first 3 miles being pretty flat but the last mile going straight up.

It was a beautiful fall day with all of the leaves changing on the way up. The fall out here is very different from the color I am use to in NC. There were also not people from Florida parked all over the place so that was a change from NC as well. Instead of having everything changing there were just patches all over the mountains and around the scree fields that were bright red and orange.

We got started a little late as usual but by the time we made it up to the lake the sky was perfectly clear and the wind was setting in across the lake for the day.

Since I have yet to catch a fish in Washington and was beginning to believe that they did not really exist up here I did not have high hopes for the lake. About 10 minutes into fishing I hooked my fist trout, Dan got the next one and I caught 2 more after that. All in all we probably only fished for about an hour but it was great.

We kept the last two fish we caught for a little lunch before we headed back.


We packed up all of our gear and headed up into the woods to build a kitchen. I got some water boiling for the red beans and rice dan brought and he got started on a fire for us to cook the fish over. Neither of us had any idea how we were going to cook these fish over the fire but we improvised and ran sticks down through them and then suspended them over the fire. In the end our system worked great and we both agreed that it just does not get any better than hanging out at an alpine lake away from everything eating fish that you just pulled out of the lake.

It was hard to head out for the day but the sun was starting to dip as we hiked away from the lake. A few hours later after walking 45 minutes in the dark we got back to the car with stomachs still full and headed back into Seattle smiling.

I am hoping for a repeat next weekend.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Mount Saint Helens

Link to all the pics: Here

Ok, so all those other hikes we did were not nearly as cool as this!! I will not write too much about this one since the pics say it all but Dan, Laura, Natalie and I headed up to the mountain Saturday morning and started the hike up the mountain at 6:15 Sunday... wow, that was an early start. With all of our stops it was about an 8 hour round trip hike. I have never hiked anywhere like this before.

It was great getting out with good friends and seeing an amazing new landscape. Worth every step!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

WOW what a hike!!

Summary: Dayhike where I said "wow" a million times
Link to all of the Pics: Here
So I thought last weeks hike was cool but Natalie and I got out this Sunday and did a hike that blew it away!!

We started off the day by getting up at 6:45 and going down to the Iron Girl 10k at Greenlake that Natalie ran. It was a very cool event with 2700 women running. I had been planning to go for a day hike after watching her race but when she finished she said she still had enough energy to make the hike, Iron Girl that she is.

So we headed up to the cascades with a rough plan of what to hike. We had actually tried this trail earlier in the year but turned around when it got to be late afternoon and the only people we saw going up had ice axes.

We started out at 2200 feet and headed up Hibox Canyon. After about 2-3 miles of pretty flat walking we started heading up. The first stop was at a really pretty alpine lake. From there we headed up the trail to see what was up there, still not too much of a plan in mind. As soon as we started climbing I got the bug to take the trail up to the top of Alta mountain (6400 feet). We checked out the ridge line and it looked pretty do-able. The Marmots and Pika's again whisteled us on. Natalie was still feeling pretty good so we kept going. As we climbed the scenery kept getting better and better. After many many false summit we hit the top. What a view!! From the top we could see Mt Rainier, Mt Hood, and Mt Saint Helens, along with all of the other cascades peaks surrounding us. After hanging out at the summit a little too long and saying wow about 1000 more times we decided we should head down.

In the end it turns out we did wait around at the top too long. The last hour we hiked in the dark with my headlight and finially hit the car at 9:00pm. It was a long day and we were wiped out but it was worth every step... I can't wait to go back and explore some of the other surrounding peaks.

Next week we are off to hike Mt Saint Helens.... Should be another great set of pics for that one. We are crossing our fingers on the weather.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lundin Peak Attempt

Summary: Attempt to climb Lundin Peak in the Cascades
Link to all the pictures: Click Here

Got out for a great day hike last weekend. The plan was to try to get up to Lundin Peak which is about an hour outside Seattle. We hiked along the PCT for 4 miles or so before turning off onto an unnamed trail that would take us up to the tree line and then leave us to wander. I really wanted to get to the top of the peak but after getting up there decided it was no too smart to attempt without a rope and more daylight. It was a great hike and the views were fantastic.

We managed to get up to the false summit but that was our stopping spot for the day. The plan is to go back with proper gear and get up to the top.

It was nice to get out of the city and into the silence. The only thing we could hear was the wind, marmots whisteling to each other, and the pika's squeaking away in the scree fields. I was pretty dissapointed on the way up that I did not get to see any Pikas but on the way down a few popped out to squeak at me.

Just for fun here is a link to the sound of a pika --> Here

And a Marmot --> Here

Well that is it for now. It is a nice sunny day so I am off to sit by the lake, read, and plan a hike for tomorrow.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A little different commute

Yesterday I decided to do a little something different on my commute back from Shelton. Rather than head east to I5 I went west and headed up into the Olympic mountains. I have had a few routes on my gps for a while that I was wanting to try out that skirt around the edge of the park on gravel. So on with the pics:

I had to alter my route a little when I came across this. I was willing to give it a shot getting around the pic below...

...but when riding solo, with my work laptop and other gear in the bags I was not willing to keep going past the spot below.

This was heading back down to the highway. I had to cut out a little early so I could catch a ride home on the ferry.

Here is the ride back on the kingston to edmonds ferry. In the end it ended up being about 40 miles of gravel. If the weather holds out next week I am going to hit another section on the way home.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Daily Ramble -Found a new site to suggest who I should vote for. Guess there is not too much question there. Check it out...

Who should you vote for?
Barack Obama78
John McCain-6
You expected: Barack Obama
Your recommendation: Barack Obama

Party: Democratic
Born: 1961, Honolulu, Hawaii
Family: wife and two daughters
Career: Business International Corporation; NYPIRG; attorney and constitutional law lecturer
Political career: Member of the Illinois State Senate from the 13th district, 1997-2004. Incumbent Junior Senator from Illinois since 2005
Hot topic: Universal healthcare
Did you know? He is the only African American currently serving in the US Senate
Supported by: Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, George Clooney, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Jennifer Aniston, Zach Braff, John Cleese, Leonard Nimoy and Brooke Shields

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Summary: It was a great long weekend in Boston. Boston, Cape Cod, Weddings, Friends.
Link to all the pictures:

Well it was another great weekend this past weekend. I am a little groggy today after all the travel but I wish we were headed back out this weekend. I took Friday and Monday off and Natalie and I headed out on a red eye Thursday. We flew out of Seattle at 9:30ish and landed in Boston at 9:30 in the morning.

We kicked off our adventure in Boston by catching a cab to Natalie’s sisters place and promptly going to sleep. We got up around 1pm when Monica (Natalie’s sister) got home. We all caught up and then headed downtown to meet Natalie’s old room mate for a few drinks. Monica came along and her boyfriend Dave, who works downtown, met us down there. It was fun catching up and trying to get our bearings on what time it was.

After hitting a pre-wedding party where a bar had been rented out we headed out to Dave’s parents place in Cape Cod.

We woke up a little late the next day and spent the entire afternoon hanging out by the pool. I think my biggest decision that day was what float to get in when I hopped into the pool.

We finished the day off playing trivial pursuit with a good group. Never have I ever completely made up an answer and had it be correct. I have one word for you, “Robocup”….

Sunday was a rough day of packing up and heading back into Boston. It was tough to get motivated to head to the wedding that night but we rallied and were all glad that we did. The wedding was downtown and everyone had a great time. It was a great crowd and by the end of the night everyone was out dancing and having a blast.

We went out to the post party and then the post post party and ended up getting home about 3am. The beauty of visiting the east coast is that 3am was really only midnight our time. So… I can be an old man and still act like I am staying out late. All I have to do is fly to the other side of the country.

Here are a few pics of the later parts of the night.

Monday was a sad day. We woke up a little late and then met Monica downtown for lunch. After dragging out lunch as long as we could we could we hopped on the T and headed for the airport.

It was a great trip. It is funny how after we got back I remembered how much I love to travel. So now it is time to recover some funds and figure out where the next trip will lead. Hoping to head out to Mancation 2008 in the next few months.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Out in the Olympics

Summary: Awesome trip with a few delays. Good friends, good scenery, and you just can’t beat camping on the beach at the Pacific.

Link to all the pics:

If you want the full report just keep reading,

Well after a night of planning and drinking a few beers as well as a few phone calls with the rangers Natalie, Dan, Laura and I were all set to get out to Olympic National Park.

We had been talking about getting out to Hurricane Ridge trail all winter to snowshoe but since those plans always got interrupted by life we decided to head up there in the summer.

The plan was to head to Altaire campground and setup a base camp for the weekend. From the camp we planned to hike the ridge on Saturday and then go soak in the hot springs on Sunday before packing up and heading home. Funny how plans change…

We all met over at our place at 6:00PM Friday as planned and as we were packing the car we had the first surprise of the trip. Somehow (and I completely understand because I would do the same thing) Dan had gotten so caught up packing that he forgot to actually put his stuff in the car. We had food, tents, beer, beer, beer, but no clothes, shoes, or pack for Dan. The only logical thing to do was send Dan back to West Seattle to pickup his stuff while Natalie, Laura and I had a beer and hung out. We ended up leaving our house about 7:30. We would be late but we had a campsite right?

About 11PM we arrived at Altaire campgroup to find it full. No problem, there is another campground just down the road… hmmm, that is full too.

To make a long story short we went to at least another 3 good sized campgrounds before we finally found somewhere, at about 1AM, that was not full.

After getting camp setup we looked at the map and made the executive decision to just head to the coast in the morning since we were only 30 minutes away.


In the morning we woke up a little later than planned and took our time eating breakfast. We headed out and after an uneventful drive ended up making it to the coast in about 30 minutes. The plan, as was formed on the drive out to Mora, was to pack up all of our camping gear into our small packs we had and hike up the beach. After chatting to the ranger for a minute and learning that we could camp wherever we wanted to we strapped on our boots and headed up the beach.

After only a mile we arrived at our site. What a cool spot!! As we got setup a curious seal decided he needed to check things out just off shore. I never could get a picture but it would have just looked like a black spot in the ocean anyway.

After a little napping we decided to check out the area. We hiked over a little bluff by our site and found some tide pools. The pools were loaded with anemones, fish and lots of stuff to look at.

We spent the afternoon taking it easy and watching the tide roll out. After taking about a million sunset shots and wandering a little more we built up a fire from all the driftwood all over the beach. We finished dinner just in time to see an amazing fireworks show down the beach. The sky was perfectly clear and this really was one of the best fireworks shows I have seen. The night could not have been any better but all good things must come to an end so we finally packed it in. I left the tarp off of the tent so we could see the stars and ended up freezing all night (40F bag gets me every time). It was worth the cold to see the stars and hear the ocean so clearly all night.


We woke up in the morning to a very low tide. I was first out of the tent and decided to check out the tide pools again. I have never seen so many star fish in my life! These guys were just piled all over each other.

After a little breakfast we packed everything up and headed back down the beach. I think we could all have easily stayed at that same spot for 1 or 2 more nights but work was calling. Boo…

We did a little side trip to the Dungeness Spit on the way home. This is essentially a sand bar that goes 5 miles out in the Strait of Juan De Fuca

There is not too much to say about the area except it is beautiful. Out at the end of the sandbar we could see Mt Baker (at least I think that is what it was).

We left Dungeness, grabbed a bite to eat and then waited in line for a ferry forever. We ended up getting back about midnight but that pretty much was par for the trip. Looking forward to getting out again.