Hike to Annette Lake

Last June Barb had originally wanted to hike to Annette Lake for her birthday. But there was too much snow so she opted for her second choice, Cedar Butte.

Instead of 3.8 miles and 900 feet of elevation gain Annette Lake is 7.5 miles and 1400 feet of elevation gain. So they say. We discovered there was about 1600 feet of elevation gain and we reached an altitude of over 3700 feet. I’m not sure about the distance but 7.5 miles sounds about right.

It was easy trail to find and follow. Just follow the signs:


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Can’t live with them, can’t live without them….

I just got a call from a rather hostile woman. She bought the property earlier this year just north of a piece of undeveloped rural property I own in eastern WA, and then had a roadway pushed thought on the boundary – it was part on her property, part on mine. I found out about it when another neighbor called and told me about it. My non-hostile neighbors and I met and looked at the situation. The road was clearly not all on her land. I talked to the bulldozer driver who’d pushed it through; he said he’d stopped part way along when he saw that the line they’d posted wasn’t lining up with his hand-held GPS. Continue reading

I broke it

It was two and a half weeks ago since I fell. But still, my left wrist hurts when I try to fully extend or flex it and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. It doesn’t hurt much unless I probe it too vigorously or push the range of motion excessively. It doesn’t really interfere with my normal activities and I only casually mentioned it to Barb. She encouraged me to see the doctor so yesterday I did. The doctor says there is a small hairline fracture in one of the wrist bones. I can’t see it, but the doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon for an expert opinion so I picked up the X-Rays today to deliver to the surgeon when I see him next week.


La Push day 1

We left home about 11:00 AM, 15 minutes earlier than planned. We arrived at the Seattle ferry dock at 11:30 and were about car number five in line for the 12:20 ferry to Bainbridge Island. Had we arrived perhaps 10 minutes earlier we probably have been on the earlier ferry. No matter. There were no hard deadlines we had to meet.

We had a pleasant ferry ride and continued our drive. We arrived at our cabin in La Push at about 5:00 PM. We settled in and had supper then started finding other people.

Barb called it a snowball as we found more and more people and our group grew. Here is what it looked like when we had a little more than half of our group:



Bob and family came in about 9:00. We stood around and talked with them for a while then Barb and I got a little chilled and tired of standing and snuck off to the cabin about 9:45. Max drifted off his cousins to the RV spot where Steve and family were parked. They had a fire pit and food so people hung out there until late.

Barb’s birthday hike

Barb decided she wanted to go on a hike for her birthday. She spent a lot of time trying to find just the right hike. Not too short, not too long, not too long of a drive, not too much elevation gain, and absolutely required was “a nice view”.

She settled on Cedar Butte. It was only 30 minutes away from home, 900 feet of elevation gain, and 3.8 miles round trip. It seemed pretty reasonable. But what about the view? I’ll let you decide.

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Dawes Glacier

On Monday, May 16th, aboard the Celebrity Solstice Barb and I got up early, 4:24 AM, to get good indoor seats for our possible visit to a glacier.

The first glacier we attempted to visit, at the end of Tracy Arm, was blocked by small icebergs. So we turned around and went for plan B. This was Dawes Glacier.

The video below was this second attempt. When we were about a mile away Barb expressed her opinion, multiple times, that it was time to turn around. We continued. We got within about a half mile of the glacier then did a 270 degree turn before leaving.

The scale of the glacier was hard to comprehend. It is so big it seemed much closer than it actually was. We got to within about a half mile of the face. The face was several hundred feet above the surface of the ocean and a half mile across.

The ship is 1041 feet long and 121 feet wide. I created the image below from a screen shot of Google Maps with the Celebrity Solstice represented by a rectangle approximately to scale at the point of closest approach:



One of the possible excursion was to depart the ship and get on a tour boat which went into shallower and narrower waters to get a look at things much closer than what the Solstice could. Barb and I did not do this but others did. If you were to go on a cruise like this don’t count on getting so close to a glacier from the main ship. The cruise director told us that in doing this for 11 years he can count on one hand the number of times the ship has gotten this close to a glacier.

Here is the tour boat as seen from an upper deck of the ship:


Here some of the many chunks of ice we saw in the fiord. They are incredibly blue. This is because the ice is so thick. The ice absorbs all colors other than blue. Blue light is transmitted and scattered. Because sunlight has all colors present some of the blue light comes back out to give the ice a blue color.




This was the high point of the cruise for us.

Some of the other events of our Alaska cruise were:

Float plane to Misty Fjords National Monument

After visiting Saxman Totem Park we wandered around Ketchikan for a while, we ate lunch on the ship, then waited for the bus to pick us up and take us to the float plane excursion to Misty Fjords National Monument.

The float plane trip was pleasant and although the scenery was pretty amazing we thought it was similar to that which we find close to home.



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Departing Seattle

Friday the 13th we departed Seattle on the Celebrity Solstice for a seven day cruise to South East Alaska. We were told this was going to be the largest cruise ship in Alaska. It is quite large and even though we had one of the cheapest cabins it was, at least to us, luxurious. The glass elevators, the live tree suspended in the “courtyard”, the fountains, the lawn on the top deck, the hot tubs, the swimming pools, the food, the views, it was all amazing.

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Quote of the day—Chelsea Karthauser

I’ve been trained for bear encounters. So if we see a bear, what you need to do is, gather around in a circle with me in the very center.

Chelsea Karthauser
May 17, 2016
Guide for Gastineu Guiding in Juneau, Alaska.
[We went on a hike to see a glacier with Chelsea (her nickname is Whalebait, interesting story on how that came about).

If you ever get the chance ask her about the time she fell off the trail in the snow, lost almost everything, including her shoes, was saved by Devil’s Club, made her way around the mountain to the tram, where people took pictures of her but wouldn’t help her.

We enjoyed our hike but most of the time we could have easily mistaken the scenery for that which we could have found with ten miles from home. We could have seen the glacier with a ten minute hike instead of a three hour hike. Now, the people from Texas, Arizona, and Florida saw some things quite different from their home area.







Thanks Chelsea.—Joe]

Mother’s Day dinner

With both kids away at college and unable to do something in person for Mother’s Day I decided to help by taking Barb to dinner. I told her to pick anything she wanted within an hours drive. She suggested Red Robin and I frowned. I told her I was thinking of something more like the Space Needle or a nice steak house.

After considerable thought and my repeated insistence that she should not be concerned about the price she came up with I Love Sushi on Lake Bellevue.

It was very nice. The food was good and we had a nice view of the lake.


Joe and Barb’s unexpected bonus

Barb and I went on a walk to Poo Poo Point via Chirico Trail yesterday.It was a little more elevation gain than we wanted (1760 ft.). But it was supposed to have a nice view at the top. The weather was nice so we decided to go for it. We figured we should leave the house before 9:00 AM to be able to get parking easily.

We arrived at the parking lot about 8:15 to find the lot full and the sides of the road filled with cars. “What’s going on?” [Grumble, grumble] We found a place a couple hundred yards away that let us park for $5.00. [Grumble, grumble]

We were at the trail head at 8:27 and saw people with radios who explained this was the landing zone for paragliders and to not dilly-dally around as we cross the zone. [Grumble, grumble]

The hike was more than I was really prepared for. I got winded easily and sweat profusely even though the temperature was in the low 60s. There were a lot of people on the trail. [Grumble, grumble.] It was a nice trail though:


We stopped to rest many times and it took us an hour and 45 minutes to make it to the top.

It was a nice view. It was a very nice view:


But there were all these people:


Oh. They were launching paragliders from here! Cool! No more grumbling.

This was an unexpected bonus. More pictures below the fold:

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