Fishing at Mineral Lake and Mt. Rainier

Though truth be told, I just go along for the ride, Bob does all the fishing. Mineral Lake sits in the Cascade foothills near Mt. Rainier and Bob remembers coming here way back in the last century. I told you about that already in A Fishing Trip Back in Time.

Honestly it hasn’t changed much. We launched our little boat and passed by Mineral Lake Resort – see what I mean?

As we made our way around the lake, the color changed from dark blue and purple,

to milky aquamarine, though I can’t tell you why.

As we trolled, enjoying the solitude, and feasting on our tuna sandwiches, it wasn’t long before Bob got a a bump, and began to wrestle with a trout.

I secretly hoped he would get away but Bob was able to bring him in.

The poor fish didn’t even get a last meal as the bait was a lure. I was happy when he was released back into the lake and survived the ordeal though I wonder what he told his friends about his near death experience. (“Stay away from the bright pink one! It tastes terrible!”)

After a couple hours of fishing we headed up to the Mountain.

I already shared some photos from that part of the trip in a recent post (here) but you can’t have too many pictures of Mt. Rainier, can you? I think not.

And that will do for now.

~ Susanne

Happy International Cat Day 2020!

“Well it’s been quite a year so far, huh boys? But today we’re going to put that all aside – it’s time to celebrate you! So put on your best face for International Cat Day!”

“Didn’t we celebrate that already?” asked Tiger.

“No no,” I replied. “You must be thinking of National Pet Day.”

“Okay. Whatever you say. How’s this?”

“Hmm, caught you with your eyes closed. Let’s try again. With a little more enthusiasm.”

“Sorry Sue. Here you go.”

“Beautiful Tiger! Thank you.”

“Benji?”

“How’s this for enthusiasm?” he said.

“You got it Benji!”

“You boys are the best!

Happy International Cat Day!”

~ Susanne, Tiger and Benji

Cattin’ Around in the Garden With Benji

There’s nothing like spending time in the garden with Benji.

Whether it’s watching him leap effortlessly to the top of the fence to survey his kingdom.

Or watching him hunt a green bean;

It’s a thing of beauty.

~ Susanne

At Paradise On Mt. Rainier with Hike to Myrtle Falls

For the past week or so I’ve been sharing with you the beauty of Olympic National Park, perhaps my favorite of them all. But a short visit to Paradise yesterday to see the wildflowers in bloom on Mt. Rainier left me breathless.

And how we ever missed this sweet hike to Myrtle Falls I’ll never know; an easy trail behind Paradise Inn, one mile round trip to one of the most beautiful views in the park.

I’m so happy to have this Mountain in my backyard. And happy there are still trails waiting to be discovered.

~ Susanne

Ruby Beach at Olympic National Park

Even the name is beautiful.

On our recent trip to Olympic National Park we stopped to enjoy Ruby Beach on Washington’s wild Coast. Kalaloch just south may be more famous but to me Ruby Beach is more beautiful and mysterious.

We took the walk to the overlook;

then down the wooded path

until thick shrubs became a canopy.

We arrived at the beach and were greeted by drift logs.

Morning fog hung low over the trees;

and giant rocks looked like sleeping giants.

We walked up the beach

until the fog began to lift and blue sky appeared.

Can you smell the ocean air?

After we had our fill, we headed back to the tunnel and onto the wooded trail to our next adventure.

Shared with Sunday Stills, Beautiful Beaches.

~ Susanne

A Walk to Dungeness Spit

Did you know that Sequim is home to the longest natural sand spit in the U.S. and one of the longest in the world? Neither did I! Until we stopped at Dungeness Spit on our recent trip to Olympic National Park. Better late than never!

It was a misty summer morning as we made our way through the woods.

The trail was quiet and dreamy, especially with the accent of color from flowering shrubs. I could have sat there forever and pondered the beauty of nature.

Instead we continued to the bluff where we got our first view of the Spit below,

then followed the trail down.

Dungeness Spit was created roughly 10,000 years ago when melting glaciers left thick deposits of sand and gravel along the coastline here. Extending over 5 miles into the Straight of Juan de Fuca, the New Dungeness Lighthouse (no there never was an old one) has been operating on its tip since 1857.

Perhaps someday we’ll make the hike to the lighthouse. Then again, maybe not. 😉

Either way, we’ll be back.

~ Susanne

No Festival this Year but No One Told the Lavender

The Pandemic may have shut down the Lavender Festival this year but we stopped by Purple Haze in Sequim to enjoy the show anyway.

We were not disappointed.

~ Susanne

Tiger’s Bravado

This is Tiger and I may be old but I’m not dead yet.

I watched with interest the last few years as Benji tried to take over my place in the household. I let it go as he’s small and has a chopped ear. My ears are both intact. No bravado, just fact.

But there are limits and at times I must be assertive. Take for instance the boxes Sue put out for us. I refuse to use the tiny one, instead leaving it for Benji to squeeze into.

I’ve found mine and the message is clear.

And that perch that Benji thinks was purchased exclusively for him?

I am finally asserting my right to use it –

whenever I please –

though mostly when it’s unoccupied.

I remain,

~ Tiger

Note from the Editor: I admit I’ve taken some liberty in giving Tiger more bravado than he usually exhibits. I had to laugh when I noticed the advertising slogan on the box he claimed for his own. And I was equally happy when he decided to try out the perch, previously used exclusively by Benji. Fortunately there was been no pushback from his little brother.

~Susanne

Chasing The Big Trees of Olympic National Park

Did you know that Olympic National Park is home to some of the largest trees in the world? I didn’t until I found this brochure in the lobby of Lake Quinault Lodge, where we stayed on our recent trip. Of course we went chasing the trees.

Largest Sitka Spruce in the World!

Just a few minutes drive from the Lodge, we found the giant Spruce after an easy walk through the rainforest.

We crossed a footbridge and saw its massive girth reaching high above, its trunk looking like a prehistoric monster.

The Largest Western Red Cedar in the World!

This proved to be more challenging to find as we looked on the north side of Lake Quinault for the one listed in the brochure and learned it had been toppled by a storm. Not to worry. On our travels the next day we found two other giant Cedars that seemed to be vying for the title.

We found The Duncan Cedar down a narrow, winding, gravel road and according to the sign it’s the winner.

Honestly it didn’t look like a Cedar tree to me with its strange shape and lack of bark. But I guess if you were 1,000 years old you’d look different too! Anyway, it was still alive and had green growth so who am I to complain? We found the other Cedar looking rather strange too, a previous record holder that lost its standing when it was split in half by a storm.

Many of the other record trees were too far into the wilderness to get to easily. But we saw so many other beauties on our walks that it didn’t matter. So I’ll close with this Douglas Fir that we found standing tall and proud on The Rain Forest Nature Trail.

And that will do for today. 🙂

~ Susanne

Quinault Rainforest – Olympic National Park

Did you know there are four temperate rainforests in Olympic National Park? They’re the Hoh, Quinault, Queets and Bogachiel. The most popular is the Hoh and that’s the one we’d visited on prior trips to the National Park. But the Quinault Rainforest is every bit as beautiful and our stay at Lake Quinault Lodge gave us time to explore it on trails that were mostly deserted.

One of my favorites was the Maple Glade Trail. We found it near the Ranger Station on the north side of the lake where we’d gone looking for the world’s largest Western Red Cedar. More on that later.

The walk through the rainforest under giant moss-drenched Maples was refreshing and peaceful on a hot summer day.

It also intersected with the Kestner Homestead Trail which took us to a clearing and an early homestead from 1891. We tried to imagine living in such an isolated location, deep in the woods, with 12 feet of rain per year!

We wandered the grounds and I stopped to watch the hummingbirds. They didn’t look like the Anna’s I have in my garden; most likely they were Rufous Hummingbirds that visit from April to October.

Afterwards we headed down the road with a stop by July Creek for a short walk to the lake. Here we caught glimpses of the Olympic Mountains and the Lodge on the other side.

On our way back, we continued to look for the big Cedar tree but there were no signs anywhere. Eventually we found a ranger and asked him about it.

”Not there anymore,’ he said. ‘Came down in a windstorm back in 2016.’

We were obviously disappointed and he offered to take us there anyway. Only the top was gone he said, and he wanted to see the condition of what remained himself; there were also many other giants in the same area though it might be dangerous getting to them.

‘No thanks,’ we told him. We’d look for the others.

‘Did you see the Sitka Spruce yet?’ he asked. ‘On the south side of the lake. Its the largest in the world.’

Yes, we had, the night before, not far from the Lodge.

But I’ll save that for the next post.

Until then,

~ Susanne

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