Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Gothic Basin

Gothic Basin lies just 50 miles almost due east from my last post at Point No Point. And what a world of difference - landscape, weather, geology. M was grading papers all day Saturday and I figured I had time to get in a hike and still get back with time to shower before we met friends for dinner. Barely, as it turned out, in part because I didn't get as early a start as I normally do and partly because the hike was harder, or I was slower, than I anticipated.

I kept my fingers crossed that the sun might break through the overcast by the time I reached the top, but no such luck. Fortunately, it only rained for about 30 minutes -- the 30 minutes I spent sitting on a wet slab eating my lunch above Foggy Lake. It looked like it did eventually clear - from the view in my mirror as I drove back out the Mountain Loop Highway towards Granite Falls after hiking out.

I think I see why this place is called Gothic - particularly on a bleak day like this one!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Point No Point

In my previous post, I noted the lack of routine in my work, and I guess this drives that home. That post was from a downtown meeting on Monday (Sept 28th). This post is from the next day, when I caught the ferry to Kingston late in the day for an evening talk in Hansville.

I had a little extra time before the event, so I wandered out to the lighthouse. For weeks, there have been reports of humpbacks and just a couple of hours early someone had tweeted about Orca headed south past Bush Point, so I was hoping for a chance to watch whales.

No whales, but it was a beautiful late afternoon and the beach was lined with fishermen not catching very much. Mount Baker was visible to the north and Mount Rainer loomed over Seattle to the south. The view of the Seattle skyline was a nice contrast to yesterday's lunch downtown.


My work routine (routine is probably not a good description of my job, thank goodness) often sees me driving past downtown Seattle on either I-5 or the viaduct (may it eventually rest in peace), or catching glimpses of it from distant shores (or ferry boats), but it rarely offers me chances to actually go downtown. But a morning meeting was a chance to grab coffee and check out the 17th floor of the Russell Investments Building before the sun could even peak around the corner. And then I came back with colleagues to eat our deli lunches a few hours later.

What a cool space - and how cool that it is both public and free! Thank you. Unlike the Space needle and the Columbia Tower, you don't have to pay amusement park ride prices to visit. But you do have to know about it - and I had learned of it only a few weeks before.

There is plenty of space, both inside and out -- and I had it almost to myself at 8 in the morning (not so much at lunch time). The outdoor space is larger than many neighborhood parks, although it isn't well suited for tossing a frisbee. The roof deck is only on the 17th floor (measured from 2nd Avenue, higher if seen from 1st), but it feels higher. The Russell Investments Center rises 42 floors above the Seattle Art Museum, with which it shares the block.