Sunday, July 31, 2016

Minotaur Lake

Minotaur Lake lies below Labyrinth Mountain in the Little Wenatchee drainage, somewhere northeast of Stevens Pass. Theseus Lake is several hundred feet lower, but looked like it might be much harder to get to.

J and R were staying at the cabin, so we just met at the trailhead. Just J and R, since the kids apparently decided that laying around the cabin would be more rewarding than climbing a mountain with their parents and vintage uncle.

The hike up Labyrinth Mountain was fairly easy to follow, but I was sure wishing I still had that extra pint of blood I donated Thursday afternoon. It was probably just an excuse for age and poor conditioning, but the whole day I felt I was hiking several thousand feet higher than I actually was.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Elliott Avenue

Saturday night. We picked up baguettes and cheese and prosciutto and tapenade at Whole Foods and enjoyed waterfront dining on a bench below the grain elevator. It was a gorgeous evening - better than we had been promised by the weather experts.

The Helix Bridge was built by Amgen (or Immunex) back when they built their headquarters behind Elliott Bay Park - now the biotech folks have moved off to sunnier pastures, leaving their DNA-inspired pedestrian bridge and their office buildings behind. Expedia has acquired the space and has big plans to expand the campus and move in over the next few years. I suppose ten years after that, some other high tech business will take their place!

Nason Ridge

Two weeks ago, Sunday. I visited Mom while M drove Claire to airport.

Maybe it was seeing the photos J had posted earlier, or maybe it was some other inspiration, but around 3 we decided to head out. Ice cream at Dairy Queen in Cle Elum, Dinner at South in Leavenworth, and then dropped in on J and family above Lake Wenatchee.

We had never visited the cabin and this was a beautiful evening to check it out. We stayed an hour or so, then drove back over Stevens and were home by 11.

Mount Townsend

Saturday morning, two weeks ago, I got up early and headed for the Edmonds ferry. It still took a while to get to the trailhead above Quilcene, where the weather was decidedly undecided. The clouds were low and provided only brief, limited views across the valley. It was clearer on the west side of the ridge itself, which allowed a glimpse into the main part of the Olympics, but the clouds only got thicker on top and there was never any view back towards the Sound.

I suppose the rhodies that lined the trail lower down were a few weeks past their prime, but the wildflowers were all blooming higher up. The trail was great and the climb challenging, but not grueling. The hardest part was finding my way out the north way (towards Sequim Bay) given the maze of forest roads and the vintage of my maps.