The Last Summer Sunset and First Fall Walk

Summer said goodbye with a brilliant sunset that illuminated the clouds and dwarfed the trees.

Fall came in with more rain the next day but we took our chances and went for a walk at Deep Lake where all was serene.


The air was heavy with the piney fragrance of evergreen trees combined with the musty scent of maples dropping their leaves.

It’s only the beginning of color but it won’t be long until only the evergreens are fully clothed waiting for frost and snow.

~ Susanne

The Eagles and the E Bike

Remember the sunflowers I found last week in Sequim?

Well the reason we made the three hour drive was to look at an E Bike.

‘What’s an E bike?’ I hear you ask. Exactly what I said.

It’s a bike with a battery that gives you a burst of power whenever you want it – perhaps as you are pedaling up a hill or maybe just for the fun of it!  Bob thought we’d ride our bikes more if they gave us more oompf than depended on us.

‘Sure,’ I said. (Well, not exactly.  It was more like – do we really need them? – they’re so expensive – well, okay if we get used ones.)

So he found one for sale at a good price in Sequim and off we went to see it.

We arrived at the seller’s home and the bike was as advertised. But I was more interested in the cries of two eagles sitting high above us.

So while Bob took the bike for a ride I watched the eagles as they chatted up a storm.

‘Let me see your profiles,’ I said, and they did.

When Bob returned from his test drive he said the bike was more my size so why didn’t I take it for a spin.

I did.

It was a good day.

With sunflowers.

And eagles.

And a new E bike.

~ Susanne

Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls

Whatever time you spend at the Columbia Gorge will not be enough; you will wish for more and plan future visits even as you are leaving.

According to the visitcolumbiarivergorge website, “Just taking a drive through the Columbia River Gorge is an experience in itself as you will be in awe of this spectacular geological wonder. The Columbia River is the second largest river in North America, starting in northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia, and traveling over 1,200 miles to the ocean. Through millenniums of geologic events, waterfalls have found their home in the Columbia River Gorge. A visit to the area is not complete without a visit to the breathtaking waterfalls.”

And so it was that we headed south to the Gorge last week to celebrate my birthday. Our plan was to drive the scenic highway on the Oregon side (the best views and attractions are there) take in a few waterfalls and small towns, then cross over to Washington for a stay at Skamania Lodge near Stevenson.

Our first stop was at Vista House on Crown Point.  Built in 1916, it offers spectacular views of the Gorge and is one of the most beautiful scenic points on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

I forgot to get a good picture of Vista House but the photo I took inside will do.

And here’s how it looks from below.  Can you see the tiny knob on top of the cliffs 733 feet above?  (I took this as we were leaving the Gorge a couple days later, after the clouds had rolled in.)

From there we continued on the old highway which as you can see, is charming in its own right.

We passed by many waterfalls the area is famous for,

until we reached the granddaddy of them all, Multnomah Falls.

Upper Falls can be seen from a distance, dropping 542 feet to the first pool below;

Lower Falls drops another 69 feet, making Multnomah Falls one of the tallest in the country at 611 feet.

After gazing at the falls for a suitable amount of time and taking too many pictures, we stopped by the gift shop for a souvenir and reminisced about our visit here almost 37 years ago on our honeymoon. (Awww.)

Then we fueled up on soft serve Ice cream and headed down the road to Hood River which I’ll save for later.

Stay tuned.

~ Susanne

Tiger by the Fire

It seems that summer packed up and left in a hurry this year, slamming the door on its way out.

A couple of weeks ago we had the most dramatic lightshow I’ve never seen in Seattle – heavy rain, thunder, and hundreds of lightning strikes – which seems to have kicked off the torrential downpours we’ve had ever since.

The cats are clearly puzzled by the change and are spending more and more of their time inside.

Tiger seems to have adjusted and has taken up residence by the fire.

I suppose we will too.

~ Susanne

Sunflower Fields Forever

You have Tulip Fields in April –

Lavender Fields in July –

And Sunflower Fields in September?  Who knew?

I’ve loved the seeds since I was a kid.  If I had a nickel in my pocket I’d stop at the store on my way home from school and buy a bag – in the shell of course.  I enjoyed them all the way home, extracting the toasted seeds until my fingers and lips were shriveled by the salt – they’re still my favorite road trip snack!

But my appreciation of the flowers for their own sake has come late so I didn’t know there was a Sunflower Festival in Snohomish last weekend. And with heavy rains now upon us I thought it was too late to see them anywhere in abundance.  But as luck would have it we had to go to Sequim today to purchase an E-bike (more on that in another post.)  And while we were there we stopped at Purple Haze – my favorite lavender farm – and I found sunflowers everywhere tall and bright and cheerful – under mostly clear skies too!

So now I know.

Tulip Fields in April.

Lavender Fields in July.

Sunflower Fields in September.

~ Susanne

I traded in perfection for humility

Not exactly on purpose.  It comes with age I think.

Take yesterday for instance.  My birthday and happy news about Benji making it into the iCatCare Calendar – I the proud mom and photographer.  So I did a quick celebratory post. Why not?

Then later I thought I’d share it to Facebook too. Only I hit the wrong button and reblogged it ( since deleted.)

So some of you likely got another email about the post which perhaps led you astray.  Sorry about that.

During my working days I was a perfectionist – too much so I realize looking back.

So I seem to be letting that go.  Again, not quite on purpose.

But it’s a fair exchange I think.  For a little humility.

~  Susanne

Benji made the Calendar!

Happy September 13th to me and Benji. For indeed it is my birthday. And indeed Benji made the International Cat Care Calendar for 2020 – out of 1,500 entries but then who’s counting? He’s in the corner on my lap. 😻

– Susanne and Benji

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