Late summer Gentians at Chinidere Mountain, Oregon

8/23/2019  Chinidere Mountain hike

The trail leads down to Wahtum Lake,

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Chinidere Mountain, our destination, on the skyline.

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Endemic cutleaf bugbane blooming along the lake trail.

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After crossing the log bridge at the lake outlet, our trail leads steeply up hill, eventually reaching the top of Chinidere Mountain, with views of five Cascade volcanoes.

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Mt Hood to the south,

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and Mt Jefferson on the horizon just to the right.

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Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams to the north.

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The burned drainage of Eagle Creek, with Mt St Helens on the far right.

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Wahtum Lake below us to the east.

I was pleased to find many patches of Explorer’s gentian blooming along the trail and at the top of the mountain.

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Explorer’s gentian

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Previous hikes here earlier in the season had a different suite of flowers. Today we saw the later season flowers and berries: 

Other new and notable flowers:

Berries of late summer:

We found plenty of ripe huckleberries to supplement our lunch. We saw a few north and south bound PCT through-hikers, but not many other people on the trail today. It was a fairly perfect late summer hike.

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Hike #41, 5 miles, 1200 feet

Spinning

I finished plying the last of my Tour de Fleece yarn. I am planning to try Easter Egg dye on this yarn – stay tuned for updates.

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Signs of Fall in the neighborhood

Wildwood Trail and Tour de Fleece

 

June 19, 2019  Wildwood Trail

A short hike this week on the Wildwood trail in the Portland Arboretum. We stayed in the shade, though it is not as hot here as other places right now. Hike #32, 2.6 miles, 200 feet.

Tour de Fleece

It is Tour de France time, which we love, and I have joined the parallel Tour de Fleece. I took a drop spindling class in the fall of 2017 at my local yarn shop. Shortly thereafter, spinning fell by the wayside as I dealt with my acromegaly diagnosis. For Tour de Fleece 2019 I pulled out my drop spindle and remaining fiber samples. I borrowed the Maggie Casey Getting Started on a Drop Spindle DVD from my library. I have been spinning a bit of fiber each night as we fast forward our way through each day’s stage in France. I love seeing the landscape, mountains, castles of France, and the bike race has been exceptionally unpredictable this year. And I feel like I am getting a new feel for spinning, and would love to take another class.

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I have also been knitting my traveling socks, and have started a shawl that is a gift for someone…

Garden

It is berry time at the farmer’s market,

and we have more blooms in the garden.

CT NY MD PA OH and CO, Oh My!

May 16 to June 1, 2019

This post is a summary of our recent trip to visit family and attend our daughter’s college graduation.

CONNECTICUT

We flew to Hartford, then stayed 3 days with family in the New Haven area.

Highlights: While celebrating a family birthday and spending lots of time catching up, we visited places near New Haven that held significance for my husband.

East Rock State Park

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View from the top to New Haven and Long Island Sound.

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Monument at the top of East Rock.

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Looking down on the winter sledding hill, East Rock.

Lighthouse Point was a favorite childhood summer beach, but nobody was selling lemon ice today.

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Walking toward the Lighthouse.

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Lighthouse

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Lighthouse Point Carousel

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Branford – A beautiful old church near our dinner stop.

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Branford, CT

Old Town Essex – The town and waterfront are steeped in early American history.

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Many of the buildings in town date back to the late seventeen and early eighteen hundreds, and are very well preserved. I loved looking at all the architectural details, especially the half-circle windows.

West Rock State Park – We took a 2 mile walk with a friend around Wintergreen Lake and saw ladyslippers in bloom!

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Woods along the trail

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Wintergreen Lake

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Lady slipper! My first time seeing them!

Hamden – We met a baby grandniece for the first time. We also got to see the damage from the tornado that knocked down 30 trees at the family home about a year ago (actually a lowlight).

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The trees along the fence line are gone! They were not able to see the neighboring houses before the tornado.

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Newish puppy Bear, with some of the fallen trees piled beyond.

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Maya

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Niece and grandniece.

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My only crafting in this post: I used one of my daughter’s favorite childhood fabrics to make a gift bag for some  books for the little one.

NEW YORK

We took the Metro North train to Grand Central Station. A lot has changed since my only previous visit in 1982. My husband’s cousins met us at Grand Central Station, then drove us to their home in Brooklyn. The next morning they rode with us on the subway from Brooklyn to Penn Station – seasoned New Yorkers and very gracious hosts!

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View from the train, somewhere in Connecticut.

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Grand Central Station

Highlights:  Cityscapes, wandering around near the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing the Freedom Tower from a distance (we had been to the top of the World Trade Center on my only other visit), a lovely meal and enjoying our cousin’s garden in Brooklyn.

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Chrysler Building in Manhattan

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Chrysler Building detail

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United Nations flags

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Sunroof view on the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking around the waterfront in Brooklyn:

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Manhattan skyline beyond the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges

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Freedom Tower in the distance.

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Closer view of the Freedom Tower and Brooklyn Bridge

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A ‘beach’ under the Manhattan Bridge

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Gothic arches of the Brooklyn Bridge

Old buildings, bridge supports and massive amounts of noise dwarfed us as we walked around. It was a bit overwhelming. I was glad to see it, but cannot imagine dealing with it on a daily basis, especially the noise levels!

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It was more peaceful in our cousin’s back garden.

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Tree and cat in Brooklyn.

MARYLAND

We rode Amtrak from New York to Baltimore.

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Philadelphia skyline from the train.

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Baltimore Union Station

Baltimore Highlights: The highest light was spending time with my husband’s cousins, and enjoying their family stories, good company and hospitality. We spent a day in Annapolis, a bit crazy because it was grad week at the Naval Academy.

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Naval Academy

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Old bricks in the Naval Academy grounds full of bivalve shells.

We took a short boat tour of the harbor.

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Annapolis from the harbor.

We watched a Blue Angels performance.

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My best photo of the Blue Angels.

My husband was able to take some excellent telephotos:

 

The next day we admired the natural beauty at Loch Raven Reservoir, north of Baltimore,

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then had lunch at Ladew Gardens.  

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This old estate includes a beautiful manor house and gardens

 

and is renowned for topiary:

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Swans on the hedge.

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Pointed hedges.

Topiary foxhunt:

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Horseman

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hounds

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and fox!

We ate plenty of free delicious ice cream, compliments of a family connection to this business:

 

May 31, 2019

We rented a car to drive from Baltimore to Ohio for the main attraction of this trip – our daughter’s college graduation. Along the way, we stopped at Washington Monument State Park in Maryland for a picnic lunch, then walked a short way on the Appalachian Trail.

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Inset picture shows what the first Washington Monument looks like

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when it is not being repaired.

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Views to the south into Virginia from the monument site.

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Appalachian Trail – near the halfway point, with about 1200 miles to go to the northern terminus.

On we drove, into

PENNSYLVANIA

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We passed through miles of farm land.

This was my first time driving across the eastern US and seeing for myself some of the geology I had studied in college. I had highway views of the folded strata of the Valley and Ridge province of the Alleghenian orogeny as I followed along on the map.

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Folded stratigraphy on the Google terrain map.

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Stratigraphy at highway speed.

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Allegheny River

That afternoon we took a 4.5 mile hike along Slippery Rock Creek with a picnic dinner at McConnells Mill State Park near Butler, PA.

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Slippery Rock Creek

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McConnell’s Mill and Bridge:

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We saw rafters and kayakers on Slippery Rock Creek.

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Spring wildflowers along the trail:

 

The next day we drove on to-

OHIO

We spent a lot of time with our daughter, and met her friends, roommates, and their families, all in town for commencement. Despite rain and thunderstorms on the days before and after, graduation day was sunny but not too hot, and all went as planned. We are very proud of her, and excited for her next adventure – moving to Washington DC where she will begin a good job as a Research Assistant.

But first, we drove her to Pennsylvania so she could join a bicycle trip with friends who were already en route. We visited many places in the eastern US on this trip, as indicated by my camera GPS map.

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Time to head west again, but only as far as

COLORADO

We were met at the Denver airport by my husband’s cousin, his only family member we didn’t think we would see, but who was unexpectedly in town – a great surprise, and one of the best moments of the trip!  Highlights– Visiting with family, including my husband’s 99.5 year old uncle, and spending part of a day in real mountains!

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The mountains are calling and we must go!

LOVELAND PASS

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May 31, 2019

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Comparison to when we were here in June of 2013.

The air was crisp, thin, pure. We walked about 2 miles on the trails above the pass – we were not equipped for snow hiking.

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bird, granite, snow

Precambrian rocks – I don’t get to see these where I live!

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We stopped for views at Lookout Mountain near Golden:

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View to the north along the Front Range

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Northeast

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East to Denver and the Great Plains beyond…

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Buffalo Bill Museum and grave on Lookout Mountain.

We flew back to Portland on June 1st, after two and a half wonderful weeks of reconnecting with family, seeing new geography, and launching our daughter into post-college life. America is an amazing country, and we have nebulous plans to see more of it, but for now, there’s no place like home! Tap, tap, tap…

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From the high plains of Colorado

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to the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River Gorge.

Back in Portland, June 5, 2019

We returned last weekend from two and a half weeks visiting in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado. There were planes, trains, subways, busses, automobiles, a boat, and bicycles; a baby, dogs, cats and the Blue Angels; tornado damage, lakes, rivers, mountains, wildflowers, poison oak, and topiary; a birthday, a graduation, ice cream, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Appalachian Trail!  I will report on all that later. Meanwhile, back in Oregon, the weeds have grown and new flowers are blooming.

 

Knitting

I made a bit of progress on my travel socks

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and started a new project at a knit-in at my local yarn shop.

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Weldon Wagon Road, WA

5/10/2019

We walked Weldon Wagon Trail on a hot day in May. Balsamroot beginning to fade in the heat. I craved the shade, wished for a breeze in the still air, unlike the windblown walk last week at The Dalles Mountain Ranch. Lupine, clarkia, manroot, various parsleys, cutleaf violets, no sasquatch sighting this year. An enjoyable walk with friends. This will likely be my last of the balsamroot hikes this year! (Hike #22, 5.5 miles, 1300 feet).

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Lupine along the trail in the lower woodlands.

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First view of the open flowered slope.

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Our trail ahead across the balsamroot slope,

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and a view of Mt Hood across the valley.

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Friends ahead.

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Balsamroot

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Looking straight up at the steep slope above.

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Turnaround point

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And back the way we came,

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Back into the shade on a hot day.

New or notable flowers:

Neighborhood and Garden

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Birthday bouquet

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Our rhododendron in bloom,

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And our native irises.

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Giant camas in a neighborhood garden.

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Local fairy garden.

Knitting

I finished the Frost Slippers. The fit is a bit tight, but they should fit someone! Interesting construction, including stranding, steeking, and seaming, and I used up a lot of the leftover Dr Who Scarf yarn.

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Yarn for travel knitting!

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((This post has the first photos using my new camera (Sony HX90V).)

Balsamroot, Bitterroot, and a Birthday

May 2, 2019 Dalles Mountain Ranch, WA

On a very windy double birthday, we followed the lure of the wildflowers to Dalles Mountain Ranch, Columbia Hills State Park, WA. We hiked the Middle Loop, from the Ranch, downhill and then back up again, over rolling slopes and across streams. Balsam root, biscuit root, lupine, and filaree painted  gold, yellow, purple and pink highlights on the hills, and neither words nor pictures can really describe the beauty! But I try…

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We started from the ranch trailhead, Mt Hood in the distance.

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Down the balsmroot and lupine filled slopes.

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As the trail winds down, the view changes from Mt Hood

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to the Columbia Hills.

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The Columbia River comes into view,

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and so many flowers!

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Under oak trees,

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Down hill, closer to the river.

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Stream crossing,

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Puffy mounds of phlox,

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A patch of death camas

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Another stream crossing,

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Back up the last slope to the trail head.

A few less common flowers seen today:

Later, the same day – camas lilies and bitterroot!

On our way home, we took a short hike at Catherine Creek where the open slopes are already beginning to dry out.

DSC03831I was hoping to see swales of blue camas lilies in the vernal pools, and we found them!

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Blue camas lilies growing where the vernal pools are drying up.

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A few white camas in with the blue camas lilies.

A bonus was finding the first blooming bitterroots of the year! We completely missed them last year when we were in Cornwall, so I took extra pictures to make up for it.

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The large pink flowers are so delicately beautiful, and yet grow out of tough black lava outcrops.

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Bitterroot blooming on the rocky foreground, camas lilies and buttercups beyond.

This was hike #21 for 2019, about 6 miles, 600 feet overall, but a million in flowers.

Even later, birthday cake and new socks

I made the requested traditional chocolate cake. After dinner out at our favorite local Chinese restaurant, Brian blew out XXVI candles.

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Dan will blowout his LXV candles on Sunday when he has his party. Both had ‘medical insurance significant’ birthdays this year. Brian was wore his new socks the next day while watching the Portland Trailblazers squeak out a win over Denver in quadruple overtime! I don’t think there is any adrenaline left in town.

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I finished these just in time for Brian’s birthday!

Meanwhile in the garden….

Dogwood trees are blooming all over town in glorious pink, salmon and cream colors. And in our yard:

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Only one of twelve camas bulbs bloomed.

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Chinese fringe flower and phlox still going strong

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Iris

Eastern Columbia River Gorge Wildflowers, April 25, 2019

1) Memaloose Hills

A favorite wildflower hike, we found a perfect day – not windy, balsam root fully blooming, lupine and paintbrush just beginning to open. Splendid!

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Balsam root, lupine, paintbrush and yellow parsley near the trailhead.

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Oak woodlands

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Lower meadow with buttercups and balsam root.

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Emerging from the woods to the yellow slope of Chatfield Hill.

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Mt Hood to the southwest.

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More flowery slopes to the east.

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Mt Adams to the north near the top of the hill.

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So many flowers!

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Mt Adams, the river, the northern Memaloose Hill with fewer flowers.

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Columbia River to the west.

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Mt Hood and Mt Adams bookend this panoramic view from the top.

 

 

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Back to the lower meadow, Tom McCall Point in the distance.

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Last peek at Mt Adams.

Many other flowers among the showy balsam root!

2) Lower Tom McCall trail at Rowena Crest

We just had time to walk the lower mile through one of my favorite trail sections, desert parsley alley. The upper Tom McCall trail will be in full bloom soon.

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View of Tom McCall Point from the trailhead.

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Plenty of balsam root blooming here!

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Lower Parsley Alley

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Columbia desert parsley

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Looking back at Rowena Crest viewpoint, Mt Adams on the horizon.

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Columbia River and Lyle, WA

From our high point, just past the first switchback, we could see the bright yellow backside of the Memaloose Hills where we had hiked earlier today.

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We walked back through Upper Parsley Alley, where the fern leaf parsley waves it’s regal flower heads.

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Map of our two hikes:

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Hike #20 for 2019. 4.7 miles and 600 feet for the day.

Knitting

I finished attaching the uppers to the soles on the Frost Slippers. Next to pick up the cuffs and knit upward….

Garden

New blooms in the garden this week:

San Francisco Interlude

April 11-14, 2019

We flew from rainy Portland to sunny San Francisco, with no views until we emerged from the clouds just in time to see the cliffs of Marin County, the Golden Gate Bridge, and all of San Francisco beneath us.

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Marin Headlands

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Golden Gate Bridge!

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The City

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Financial District and Bay Bridge

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The wide view as we circle to the south

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South Bay wetlands

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Foster City

We lived, studied and worked in San Francisco and surrounds from the mid-70’s to mid-80’s, but I have not been back for more than ten years. We were there for a 35th Reunion for my husband. Activities were set in the Embarcadero/Financial District, so we spent most of our time there. We walked a lot (16 miles!), talked a lot, and had some delicious food. A very pleasant, if exhausting weekend.

We rode BART from the airport, mostly underground, but above ground long enough to see the ‘Little Boxes’ near Daly City.

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My first view of downtown, emerging into sunshine from the underground Embarcadero BART Station onto Market Street, was of the Ferry Building, while a street busker was singing Hallelujah.

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That evening we took the Muni Metro to The Castro to meet a friend for dinner at Tara Indian.

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Queen Anne Houses along Market Street

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Intersection of Market and Castro

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One of the old-style street cars

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Looking down Castro Street

Friday we walked to the Ferry Building,

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The Ferry Building

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along the Embarcadero,

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Treasure Island, Bay Bridge, arriving ferry

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Coit Tower to the north

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The new Salesforce Tower on the skyline

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Cherry Blossoms across the way.

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Pier 7

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Crossing lattice

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Transamerica Pyramid beyond the bookstore

then up Broadway to City Lights Books,

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then back to the Ferry Building.

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Walton Square

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101 California Building

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Cherry blossoms

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Ferry Building, with moon and palm trees!

After dinner at Osha Thai on the Embarcadero, we walked down to see the lights on the Bay Bridge.

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Bay Bridge, daytime

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Bay Bridge, night

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Ferry Building, night

Saturday we visited the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building, then walked up to Chinatown.

In the evening we attended the main reunion event in the Hyatt Regency. The Atrium is an amazing indoor space that brought to mind the Ministry of Magic. Lighted elevator capsules slide up and down, sharply angled walls are juxtaposed with an organic sculpture in the foreground.

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elevators

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reflected patterns

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carpet

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seating areas

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tile pattern used throughout the Embarcadero District

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shadows, light, curves, angles

Sunday, we attended a brunch in a friend’s home near the Presidio before heading to the airport. One last look at Mt Diablo and the North Bay, then we were above clouds until the Columbia River and Portland.

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Mt Diablo

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North Bay – Carquinez and Benecia Bridges

 

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Columbia River

I have many fond memories of places that did not fit our schedule on this brief trip, especially Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, the beach areas. I am from California, and of California. Being in California feels like going home though it has not been my home for a very long time. I hope to visit again soon!

Knitting

I managed to turn the heel on the second sock while flying home.

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Garden

And our crab apple tree is finally in bloom!

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Spring Break 2019 – Knitting and Cherry Blossoms

Knitting – Frost Slippers

I crocheted the steeks,

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and cut,

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and cut again.

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I have basted the edges, and blocked.

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Frost Slippers – uppers and soles, blocked.

Next I will sew soles to uppers, then add cuffs. There is a lot of finishing work in these slippers, but so far I am intrigued enough by the process to keep going!

Lyle Cherry Orchard, WA    3/29/2019

A beautiful day to hike up the cliffs above the Columbia River with friends, and try the new trail switchbacks. There are a few old cherry trees along the uppermost cliff loop that were not in bloom today, but we saw many wildflowers, including some balsamroot. (Hike #14, 5.6 miles, 1500 feet)

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We are headed to the top of the cliffs…

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The second bench

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River cruise below…

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One of the vernal ponds along the upper trail

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View to the east from the Cherry Orchard

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And to the west

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One of the new switchback legs – nowhere  near as steep or cliffy as the former trail.

Plenty of new flowers along the way:

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Yellow parsley and gold stars

Neighborhood flowers…

Lots in bloom these days,

including poetry:

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Portland Cherry Blossoms –  Sunday, March 31

The waterfront on a sunny day with cherry trees in bloom. Today is a day for embracing the crowds.

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We decided to walk up onto the Steel Bridge to look down on the waterfront.

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Views from the Bridge:

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I love the railing shadows.

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Wandering around amongst the trees and crowds:

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A maple tree budding out, with bugs!

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White Stag and Old Town Water Tower behind the trees.

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View of the eastside of the Willamette River.

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And a little Portland weirdness, because it is always here.

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Group-peddled brew cycle.

Spring Flowers, Coyote Wall and Portland

Coyote Wall, WA,  Thursday, March 21, 2019

Up the Little Maui trail, more up on the Old Ranch Road and Coyote Wall trails, then, down the Little Moab trail, with the early flower suite just opening…(Hike #13, 4 miles, 1100 feet)

Hiking up the waterfalls of the Little Maui trail:

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Gold stars and Salt and Pepper (biscuit root) sprinkled across the landscape.

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Long banked switchbacks to aid the cyclists

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Lunch stop

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Columbia Desert Parsley guiding the way

Looking up to our cliff-edge destination along Coyote Wall from Old Ranch Road:

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Views from the cliff:

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First look.

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We go a little higher

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Looking back toward Oregon; Mt Hood a faint wisp on the horizon.

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Our highest viewpoint for the day.

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Starting down – looking east toward the Columbia Hills and Tom McCall Point.

The flowers:

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Grass widows

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Gold and Prairie stars, Spring whitlow-grass

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Spring whitlow-grass, my pinky for scale

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Swales of gold stars and whitlow-grass

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Yellow pungent desert parsley

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Columbia desert parsley

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Salt and pepper, and grass widows all the way down the slope.

Knitting

Learning the increases and decreases that make brioche knitting look so magical…with a lifeline!

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Vintage Prim Hat, pattern by Andrea Mowry.

Garden – the first tulip! and Star Magnolias!

Better late….flowers are opening in the neighborhood:

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Our first tulip

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star magnolias

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I don’t remember the name of these.