Rialto Beach Walk to Hole in the Wall

This week we visited Olympic National Park for what should have been four days of camping but ended up to be a simple overnight stay.  Bob came down with a bad cold and after a rough night we decided we’d head back home – but not before I managed to sneak in a walk.

I left him resting in the camper and headed for Rialto Beach where the sky was blue, the sun was shining and visitors were out enjoying the elements.

I headed north up the beach on a mile and a half trek to see the giant sea-carved arch aptly named Hole in the Wall.  My steps were slow and clumsy as I sank into the slippery rocks and pebbles forming the beach;

but I continued on and soon enough the sand became smooth and compact.

I picked up the pace remembering my husband back at camp.  Well, as much as you can when you’re stopping to watch the waves crash onto the shore – who can get enough of that? –  and seagulls overhead and seals bobbing in the water,  all the while looking for whales (I saw none.)

As I approached my destination I passed by beautiful sea stacks and saw an eagle take flight.

Finally I scrambled over giant drift logs to reach Hole in the Wall.

The tide was in so there’d be no walk through the arch which was probably a good thing.  It was time to get back to the camper and head for home.

~ Susanne

Welcome August

Welcome August – the last full month of summer – where the sunshine may completely zap you of all your energy.

Just ask Benji.

For August photo a day challenge.

~ Susanne

A Walk at Seward Park

There’s nothing better than summertime in Seattle, and no better place for an evening walk than Seward Park,

especially when the Mountain is out.

~ Susanne

A Perfect Getaway to Sun Mountain Lodge

Earlier this month we took a trip to Sun Mountain Lodge via the scenic North Cascades Highway. The drive was wonderful providing views like this.

It was gray and rainy on the west side but as we crossed over the mountains we entered into a realm where rain is in short supply and the sun always shines.

We passed through the tiny town of Winthrop, restored to an old west theme and fun for shopping.

Then it was on to the Lodge where we spent the next couple of days off the grid – no TV and spotty cell service – surrounded by views like these – a fair tradeoff.

While Bob went fly fishing I had the day to myself to relax by the pool,

and wander the grounds taking pictures of the flowers

and the bees working them.

There were many trails to explore and I ventured onto one of them but not very far,

because of this.

I guess no travel is without its risks, right?

At night there was dinner with a view and sunsets over the mountains,

a perfect getaway.

~ Susanne

A Quick Tour of Washington’s National Parks

Did you know that Washington State has three National Parks?  They are Mt. Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades!  All are marvelous and worth many visits, especially if you live here as I do.  🙂

Lets start with Mt. Rainier National Park  – just two hours south of Seattle,  this one is closest and has everything, including the most beautiful mountain in the country!  Some may beg to differ – I can hear protests from as far away as Alaska and California.  Still, Rainier gets my vote and here’s one of my favorite pictures of the mountain at Reflection Lakes.  Notice the brave ones on thin ice pointing out the view.

Not that you will find a bad view of the mountain anywhere.

And though it’s surely the centerpiece, there’s more to the park than Mt. Rainier.  You’ll also find old-growth forest, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.

Next up is Olympic National Park – just a few hours west of Seattle, it has the most diverse landscape of the three.  In addition to the mountain range, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, Olympic has a rainforest and ocean beaches too!

Hurricane Ridge provides the best view of the Olympic Mountains;

Lake Crescent is my favorite lake.

And here’s a sampling of the ocean beaches, some of the wildest and most remote in the country.

Finally, there’s North Cascades National Park – a hidden gem a couple hours north of Seattle.  The rugged North Cascades are known as the American Alps, and are most accessible by hiking.  The Skagit River flows through the park supplying hydroelectric power to the City of Seattle through several dams.  We recently drove the scenic highway through the park and even on a gray and rainy day the colors were magnificent at the Gorge Trail Overlook;

Diablo Lake,

And at the Washington Pass Overlook with views of Liberty Bell.

Well, that’s enough for now.

Can you tell which National Park is my favorite?  Which one would you like to visit?

~  Susanne

Still Living the High Life – with Benji

I looked out my window and this is what I saw – the nimble one fast asleep.

Outside I went, camera in hand to take stock of the situation.

“Benji, what are you doing up there?”

“Isn’t it obvious Sue? I’m taking a nap. At least I was before you woke me up. But if it bothers you I’ll come down.”

“Sorry Benji. It’s just that it startles me to see you up so high. It’s unnatural.”

“Actually Sue, it’s very natural.  Look at the grip on these paws. It’s a cake walk.”

“Sure Benji, you do have quite a grip. But thanks for coming down anyway.”

“Don’t mention it, Sue.”

~ Susanne and Benji

Tiger – a new day

A story from Tiger from the early days of the blog. It’s still the same only now there are two demanding to go outside – I still oblige. 🙂 🙂

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Good Morning all. Tiger again.  The first light of day has begun to dawn through the closed blinds and I must needs go out to hunt the small ones who reside in the bush.  I hear them through the walls.  I sense them in my whiskers.

Bob is up and Sue tosses.  She is the one I must wake but though my eyes speak she doesn’t hear.  I must resort to the mew, though she does not appreciate that, I have learned.  But what can I do?  The small ones will escape and I need the chase to release the energy stored up overnight in my limbs.

“Mew,” I say quietly so only she can hear.  She stirs but does not rise.

“Mew,”  I say again a bit louder but still there is nothing.

“Meow!  Meeowww! ” I say again so she has no excuse to pretend she does not…

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