Earlier this week we took a little road trip to Wenatchee to celebrate our 39th Anniversary. Yes, it’s been a wonderful THIRTY-NINE YEARS, a funny number that begs to usher in FORTY!
We went via Highway 2 to see some of the best fall color in Washington State and were welcomed by Bigfoot,
before heading up Stevens Pass where the mountains were already dusted with snow.
We climbed to over 4,000 ft. before dropping to the other side
to follow the Wenatchee River where bright colors saturated Tumwater Canyon.
We were greeted with sunshine and enjoyed our few days away in Wenatchee and surrounds. I may have more on that later.
We’re already looking forward to the big 40 next year which we’ll hopefully celebrate farther afield in some exotic land. But this worked great for 39. 🙂
One of my favorite things about living in Renton is seeing the salmon return to the Cedar River each fall.
After spending several years in the Pacific Ocean they return to the rivers and streams of their birth to spawn. Coho, Chinook and Sockeye all return to the Cedar River in the Renton and Maple Valley areas, but the Sockeye are easiest to see because of their bright red orange bodies and green heads.
I started at the downtown Renton Library (yes, a river runs through it) where trained naturalists provide information, answer questions and help you spot the salmon in the river.
I saw a few salmon from the bridge there, but I found the best viewing with the most salmon further upstream at Riverview Park.
I even got to see them wiggle and splash as the females laid eggs and the males fought over them nearby. Clear spots in the river mean eggs have been laid there, as algae was disturbed.
It’s always a thrill watching nature’s show as the salmon return each fall.
And that brilliant color? It’s hard to describe but I think blood orange works nicely, so I’m sharing for Sunday Stills.
I came home yesterday after a very busy week and had a few minutes before I needed to start dinner. So I grabbed my camera and went out to the backyard where I found
my new dahlias in bloom –
fuchsias – the most beautiful of the difficult flowers to spell –
Benji enjoying the catmint –
Anna’s hummingbirds coming to feed –
and I was refreshed.
Isn’t that what hobbies are for?
For Sunday Stills.
“I don’t mean to complain Benji, but technology is failing me badly these days!”
“I can see you’ve been frustrated, Sue. Tell me about it.”
“Well on the blog front WordPress is getting buggier. Not only does the functionality seem to change daily, even the basics don’t work as well as before. I can’t even edit a post without the Block Editor freezing up.
And my computer monitor? The one I purchased earlier this year? It’s already defective. A blue vertical line suddenly appeared dividing my screen in half. It’s under warranty but who wants to ship it off to who-knows-where?”
“Are you listening, Benji?”
“Of course I’m listening, Sue. Keep talking.”
“Good. Because I wasn’t done with monitors. I visited mom last week and must have looked at her monitor cross-eyed or something – it went dark for days.”
“Then the other day I was working on a post and Xfinity crashed. There was no internet or TV for hours. Fine I said, I’ll read a book.”
“Always good to read a book, Sue. Anything else?”
“Well yes, now that you mentioned it. I was going to share my last post to Facebook but the button was gone! Oh great, I thought, now my settings are messed up! But it turns out it was bigger than that. The entire Facebook died for a few hours! When it revived so did the share button.”
“Wow, Sue. Incredible! Now if you’ll excuse me…..”
“Where you going, Benji? I haven’t told you about my camera yet.”
“Sorry Sue. It will have to wait till after my nap. Maybe you need one too.”
“Maybe I do, Benji.”
~ Susanne and Benji
While it’s true that Washington State Ferries – the largest ferry system in the USA – provide much needed transportation on Puget Sound – sometimes the ride’s the thing.
We drove to Bremerton over the weekend to look at a camper (don’t laugh but we’re still on the prowl.) It was a no-go but it didn’t matter. It was a beautiful day so we decided to take the ferry back home to Seattle.
After we boarded, we went up top and I watched the water explode from the submarine sculpture at Harborside Fountain Park.
Then we left port for one of the most scenic ferry rides in Washington.
After leaving the inlet we rounded a corner and were greeted by Mt. Rainier – a little bit under the weather but still majestic.
Around the next corner my favorite city appeared.
I never get tired of that view.
No trip to Yellowstone is complete without a visit to the Grand Tetons even if it’s only a drive-thru as it was for us. After five days in Yellowstone National Park, we left through the south entrance and followed the Lewis River
and were eventually greeted by this sign.
A few minutes later we got our first view of the Grand Tetons rising abruptly over Jackson Lake.
From there the views only got better no matter how the mountains were framed.
Behind the Snake River at Oxbow Bend,
as the backdrop to Jenny Lake,
standing alone with trees at their feet.
It was a photographer’s paradise though I wasn’t happy with my pictures. Until that is, I did some post-processing and made them more presentable, at least to me. And I did so without any guilt – here’s why.
See the picture below? It hangs in my living room. A well known classic – The Tetons and the Snake River, taken by Ansel Adams in 1942. You may have thought after taking the picture he developed it, then rolled it out for the world to see. Not quite, according to one of my photography instructors. The story goes that he spent some 30 years of tinkering until he got it just the way he liked it and it became a work of art. Sorry my photo doesn’t do it justice but you get the idea.
So I’ll go on tweaking as long as I have the patience –
but these will suffice for now.
On our recent trip to Yellowstone we took the road less traveled to visit the ghost town of Nevada City.
We left Missoula, passed through Butte then turned south onto country roads lined with arrowleaf balsamroot. There was not another soul in sight for miles.
After an hour or two off the grid we arrived.
“Alder Gulch was the scene of Montana’s greatest placer gold rush in the spring of 1863. By the fall of 1864 nearly ten thousand people crowded the surrounding hillsides. Small settlements were so numerous and so scattered that contemporaries called the area, ‘Fourteen-mile City.’ Virginia City and its near neighbor, Nevada City, were the main centers of commerce.” Montana Heritage Commission
The Star Bakery can be seen from the highway and is one of the original Nevada City Buildings still standing.
To see more of the old town we entered through the Living History Museum for a small fee, where we were free to wander under the hot sun.
Many of the buildings are originals from Nevada City or were moved here from nearby towns. There are also a few reconstructions. The Barber shop is from 1870’s Elkhorn, a booming silver town south of Butte where you could get a bath for 75 cents on a Saturday, with free towels and soap.
Miners would take their ore samples to the Assay Office on Brewery Street to see if what they had was worth the cost of mining. The Sedman House at the end of the street was built in 1873 in nearby Junction City.
The school below is reputed to be Montana’s oldest standing public school and served nearby Twin Bridges from 1867 until 1873.
The Dimsdale School built in 1863 served as Virginia City’s first school. Older than the one above, I was puzzled until I read the fine print – Dimsdale’s school was privately operated, he charged $1.75 per week.
The Richards Cabin was built in 1863 and is original to this site. Alcide Richard came from Canada and became a successful miner. He raised 7 children in this cabin, living here until his death in 1907.
Criterion Hall, one of many notorious dance hills, is a reconstruction and appeared in the movie Missouri Breaks, filmed here in 1975.
In fact, many movies and TV Shows were filmed in Nevada City and Virginia City.
The Applebound and Crabb Store was featured in Little Big Man in 1970. Dustin Hoffman was ‘Crabb.’
I can’t think of a better place to film a Western than in an authentic Old West Town, can you? It’s all here.
After our tour we headed up the road to Virginia City and stopped for lunch – it was the best burger I’ve had in years. It’s cowboy country, after all.
That’s all for now.
The State Fair in Puyallup is up and running this year albeit with safety precautions in place – masks worn inside and out. We went on a rainy day last week and it was a different experience, but the same in many ways.
We bought scones with too much jam and they were still delicious –
just no waiting in line.
There were rides running and we were not on them – as usual.
We split up for a while so Bob could visit the hobbies he liked while I visited my favorite spots and took pictures with my phone.
And there were animals – including piglets – just like other years – but no cats.
Which is as it should be, as I explained to Benji when he once asked to come along.
Benji and the Fair
“Please Sue can I come too?”
“Sorry Benji no. The fair is for people.”
“Really Sue? No animals allowed at all?”
“Well, not exactly – there are lots of animals there.”
“Just no cats.”
“None?” he persisted.
“Well sometimes there are cats but they’re in cages.”
“Are you making this up?” he asked.
“No really Benji. Some cats let little girls put them in cages for all to see.”
“I wouldn’t like that Sue.”
“I know you wouldn’t Benji. And you wouldn’t like the noise either. Or the food.”
“Or people flying around.”
“Okay, okay Sue. You had me at cats in cages. You just go ahead and I’ll stay here and hold down the fort.”
And that is what we did.
Maybe next year.
Cozy within and colorful without –
the autumnal equinox is officially here!
Happy autumn to you!