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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Busy Rock 'n' Roll Weekend

We had a whirlwind weekend. My sister and her hubby were in town, enroute home from their Alaska trip, and we had a fun and busy time together. On Friday night we had a backyard barbeque in the rain with our kids, and then on Saturday we got up early to watch the end of the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon because our son and Erik were just two of 26,000 runners. Some of the full Marathoners finished a little after Carl and Erik, who both finished their half in a bit under two hours.
The End of the Race

Just a few of the 80,000 onlookers...
Ready for Photos

Near the end of the race, the runners headed onto the Alaskan Way viaduct, a double-decker freeway above the waterfront.
The Home Stretch on I-99

I overheard one obviously out-of-town runner complaining about the hilly route. The native runners know it was a "flat" race compared to what it could have been had the route followed the "real" hills of our city! Just ask anyone who's ever walked from the waterfront up to 3rd Avenue.
Finish Line
The Finishers
My New Friend

After the race, we all went over to Catherine and Brent's condo for a yummy brunch. Walking back to our car to drive over there, we stumbled upon at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square. It's part of the Artsparks exhibit.
It really is cold here in the summer!

Later that afternoon we went over to Magnolia so that Jane and Ted could see Catherine and Brent's new house. They will move in late summer.

On Sunday after singing in summer choir, we headed to Winslow on Bainbridge Island. It was a perfect day for a ferry ride and a perfect end to the weekend. The water tank in the distance is at the end of Catherine and Brent's block.


Seattle in the afternoon sun

Jane and Ted are back in Minnesota today with lots of stories to tell as they head north to their cabin on Side Lake.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Glacier National Park

As you may have guessed, we've been gone this past week off to the north country. Last Monday, the day after a grand birthday (our son and me)/Father's Day (early) celebration at our daughter and son-in-law's condo, we hopped in the car and headed for Glacier National Park. When we'd gone about as far as Ellensburg, we realized that despite our checklist, we'd forgotten our camera. Turning around was out of the question, so when we got to Spokane, we stopped at Target and purchased a stand-in, not a very fancy one, but adequate for everything but closeups. As a result, we arrived at our destination an hour later than planned.

So far this summer, the weather has been unusually chilly and rainy in Glacier, like it has been here in Bellevue. On Wednesday though it was relatively clear, so we decided to drive to East Glacier. (The "Going to the Sun" highway isn't open yet, and folks were saying that it probably won't open until mid-July, about a month later than normal!) All the streams were running high with lots of cascading waterfalls along the road.

Look at all the snow!

Since 1936, these red touring cars have been taking visitors to the various points of interest in the park. Aren't they cute?

We were greeted on this trail, glad that our greeter wasn't a bear.

We saw another deer off the road at a helipad and some mountain goats off in the distance further down the road.

With our binoculars and spotting scope we could see about 15 goats perched on this cliff. They are certainly sure-footed! Oh, how we missed our good camera to take a closeup of these tiny white spots that are really mountain goats!

Despite the chilly weather, we saw lots of flowers. Fields of glacier lilies and shooting stars were everywhere along with heart-leaf arnica.
shooting stars
On our last day in the park, we hoped for a nice day to hike to Avalanche Lake which takes off right where the road is closed. Well, it rained hard, and all we managed was the nature trail.

This is my Morton Salt Girl moment!

On Friday we left the park and headed for Libby, Montana, to visit a high school friend of Dick's whom he hadn't seen for 50 years! More about that later, I need to go do some laundry!

For Your Viewing Entertainment

Baby Spiders a video by jatshaw on Flickr.

I've been meaning to post a close-up look at the busy spiders. They're gone now though!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Green Lake in the Sun!

A few days ago when the sun was still out, we decided to walk around Green Lake, which is rather close to the University of Washington, and this time take our camera. There is one spot where you can see the Space Needle downtown on a nice day! And nice it was.

The yellow flags were out in full force all around the lake. (Our iris are blooming here at home also and so are the poppies. Purple and orange, very nice.)

The last time we walked around the lake just a few weeks ago, we saw 17 turtles, big ones and little ones. This day we only saw two, probably because it was later in the day and rather chilly.

These were just two of the ducks enjoying the day.

And yesterday we noticed this columbine blooming in our backyard; it's a volunteer that I just couldn't pull out.

Out in the flowerbox on the front deck, these little critters were having a party on one of the little violas. They were huddled in two clumps until I bent over for a closer look; then they scattered. Little yellow spider-babies, I guess.

Not lot of crafting going on when the sun's out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Lucky Day!

Last weekend we awoke to glorious sunshine and did what all Northwesterners do when the sun's out: we decided to do something outside. This time we headed north to explore Birch Bay which is just north of Bellingham and quite close to the border. Our first stop was the state park where we decided to walk a bit. The mountains in the distance were out in their glory.

And just a short way down the trail alongside the road, I glanced down and spotted this!

Since it was rather chilly, thanks to wind off the water, we changed our mind about walking and drove further north to Blaine. After a nice lunch at a Thai restaurant, we headed to Semiahmoo since we'd heard about the hotel and golf course there. Much to our surprise, we also found an historic ferry that takes folks over to Blaine! Too bad we'd just been there.

Lots of folks were enjoying kayaking as well.

And this group was having a photo shoot.

It's easy to see why people like to take pictures here. Mount Baker sparkled in the sunshine.

To top it off, in the mail that day, I received a lovely package from Kathy. She sent me some very cute scrubbies as well as a wonderful knitting pattern. Thank you, Kathy! These are my kind of sweaters!

Oh, and how could I forget? There's a yarnshop in Birch Bay called Beach Basket Yarns and Gifts! Guess who stopped?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Problem Solved: Operator Error!

Well, the "missing text mystery" was solved by a very helpful Blogger-person who assured me my text was still there, just in a very light color. Somehow when I changed the color of the blog title to make it show up against the golden chain tree, I also changed the text color. Bingo! It's fixed, and I can now post the photo of our moth visitor. This little guy hung around all day long but hasn't been seen since.
Pale Beauty
In the most recent issue of Creative Knitting (July), there was a stitch pattern that caught my fancy. It was the basis for the Oyster Bay Afghan, and knowing I would never complete anything that big, I tried it on a washcloth. It's pretty, I think, but kind of slow-going at least for me.

The past few days have been just beautiful, and yesterday we abandoned everything and headed north almost to Canada to explore Birch Bay. Guess what? We found a yarn shop, too! More later, the sun's out.....