Sunday, August 14, 2016

Down to the River

As a late teen, I had an unrealistic view of the world where I would actually ignore things that got too real. I made a fantasy place for myself to avoid emotion and the unfavorable pieces of daily life. Of course this wasn't the healthiest, and came crashing down by the time I was 21... Whenever I had a moment of tension, I would be so angry with the person I was in conflict with for bursting my perfect bubble world. But really, I see now that it was always a form of self protection. A gentle soul. I'm not a crier per se, but I do break when too many things are happening at once around me on top of being a bit reclusive.

In a relatively brief conversation yesterday, a good friend made an interesting observation. When she gets busy with life and work, she just straight up stops contacting people. Not that she doesn't want to see folks, but she wishes she would reach out more. I think everybody suffers from that, but the two of us are very similar in that we're both so guilty. Personally I thrive on alone time, but there does come a point where alone is too alone!

I've had a lot of drastic mood swings the past few months, I feel off-balance. So many ups and downs over what seems so little upon reflection. I've seen so many beautiful moments, and hours later feel absolutely devastated. Maybe these are the times that alone is too alone. I keep my thoughts to myself so as to not be a burden on others (or so I think) but maybe these are the times to ask a friend to dinner vs feeling the absolute devastation I'll roll around in my own head.

The river is a place of euphoria. Yesterday we made it out on a nearly 90° day, perfect for the cold chill of the water. Looking around our own private slice of paradise, there were no airplanes, there were no cars. It was just us, water, trees, and mountains! This spot that is so disconnected, yet completely connected to the people you're there with.

Snoqualmie Middle Fork

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Melmont Ghost Town

I call this "Melmont Round 2" because it was the second time we've attempted it! A few months back Miss Sara and I found the Fairfax Bridge, but hiked down the wrong side to a dead end! We decided that we would return a different day knowing a little more about the unmarked trail.

Melmont was a coal town circa 1900 to about 1920. It was modest, and faded when Northern Pacific switched from steam engines to electric and diesel models. After the 1920s, wood from town buildings was sold and used to create other structure in the area, and the rest was destroyed in a fire. These days all you can find left is a small dynamite storage building, The foundation to the schoolhouse, and a big wall that used to be some sort of bridge. There's also a mystery car down by the river, but we didn't find it this go-round.

This is a beautiful day hike, the weather was mild, and the trail was fairly level. We walked about 9 miles! Sure, we were the bozos that walked through some poison oak, but overall this was a wonderful day!

On our way back through Wilkeson, I decided to detour down a side road. Wilkeson is also an old old town in these parts. Known for a sandstone quarry that faced the state capital, and for the ovens to process coal from sites like Melmont. On a whim we found the quarry, and the old ovens.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Port Townsend & Fort Worden

Leave it to a summer wedding to get you out of the city! We were back in Port Townsend over the weekend for sun, cabins, boats, beaches, and plenty of friends at the wedding. AirBnB for the win once again. I found a tiny 10'x12' cabin with an outdoor shower near the wedding site. Not only was it way more budget friendly than area hotels, it was bursting with charm and owned by the sweetest retired couple. They were such warm people who even welcomed us into their home to chat about their renovation work. They also had a 1938 wooden boat "docked" in a private meadow up on AirBnB, we need to return!

The morning after the wedding, we ate classic diner food at the Blue Moose Cafe for breakfast, per our AirBnB host's suggestion, and found ourselves at the boat yard where the Western Flyer is being restored. A boat made famous by John Steinbeck, in which he wrote “The Log From the Sea of Cortez,” published in 1951. This ship is gnarly! but I'm rooting for the team up for the task!

After an uptown Port Townsend walk around historical homes, we ventured over to Fort Worden. I haven't been since 2010 or so, and while Anthony had major deja vu moment at the top of the park, he had never seen the abandoned bunkers. Washington has a handful of these abandoned military batteries along the coast, excellent sites to climb and explore!

We were really frolicking with the animals on the beach. A lil otter friend entertained us, and poop-machine seagulls. I only have fixed lenses, so when I have close up photos - I'm really close!

And there you have it! Our adventure day was refreshing after a wedding. We were tired, but weddings are exhausting. I'm a bit of a loner by nature, so while we were with wonderful people on Sunday - I was ready to explode and hide by the end.... ready to spend time alone!