Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

We’ve been on vacation this week and again we have gone exploring around the state going to places we haven’t been to yet and still have only scratched the surface. We drove down to Long Beach, Washington and went to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is at the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. The views were stunning, absolutely took my breath away.

It is named Cape Disappointment because in 1792 fur trader John Meares was sailing south in search of trade locations and turned around just short of the mouth of the Columbia River. Silly man, should have stopped and asked for directions.

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Day Trip – Mt. St. Helen’s

Today we took a day trip and drove down to Mt. St. Helen’s Visitor Centers. It was a beautiful sunny day, great for exploring and taking some photos.

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Mt. St. Helen’s western side from a distance

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A closer look at the crater

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The side of the mountains facing the blast when the volcano blew.

Crash Kelly Strikes Again

I wanted to go hiking today and decided not to wake up Mitch, so I turned on the computer and searched around for some trails nearby. I found one that was only about fifteen minutes away from our house, so I loaded up Orso and headed out about seven thirty this morning. I left a note that said we went hiking, but I neglected to say where we went. I pulled into the parking lot and noticed a car already in the parking lot. I unloaded Orso and my backpack when I noticed that there was a man just sitting in the car with the engine running. A bit odd, but you know me, once I start on a path I usually just plow on through. As I passed his car he rolled the window down and said something I didn’t hear. I said good morning and kept on walking to the trailhead and into the woods. Yeah I know, not super bright, go into the woods and make it easier for a maniac.

The man didn’t follow us, just my overactive imagination, but I was more aware of any movement I came across. I was disappointed in what I found. The trail was okay, primitive, which was fine, just not much to see. There was a creek and a rickety wooden bridge, but not much else. Maybe because we were too close to civilization or maybe I was just spooked from the guy in the car, anyway I decided to turn around and head back to the car. When I reached the trailhead I saw that the white car was still in the parking lot and there was another car parked between his car and mine. As I got closer to the cars I saw a man in the second car just sitting there. Pretty creepy, so I quickly loaded up Orso, my backpack and jumped in the car and locked the doors. What a scaredy cat. I drove home and decided to wake Mitch up so he could take me hiking.

After he got up we headed out for a second hike, this time farther away. Our destination was Federation Forest State Park, about ninety minutes away. This one turned out to be a bust because the park was closed. Not to be denied, we turned around and found a trailhead along the side of the road, which was part of the park. We unloaded and headed off into the forest. We found huge trees toppled over, some that had pulled out of the ground by the roots. Huge trees that were six or seven feet in diameter laying between other trees or stacked on trees that were crushed under the impact. The trails were a tangled mess of branches and limbs and whole trees that we had to either climb over or crouch down and crawl under.

One such tree that was laying across the path proved to be my swan song. I stepped over it with one leg and as I was clearing it with my left leg, my boot got caught on a small branch still attached to the tree. I went down hard landing on my right side. I hit a root that jutted out of the ground with my ribs under my arm. I thought I was dead for a minute, then when the pain hit I realized I was still alive. I hit so hard I thought I popped an implant. But least I landed so that I saved the camera I was holding and the backpack with the other cameras were not hurt.

Mitch walked up to me and asked if I was impaled on anything before he helped me up. I guess he didn’t want to have any blood gushing out of me. I’m not sure what he would have done if I was impaled on something, leave me and go get help or just leave me. I slowly got back up on my feet and assessed the damage. I think I bruised my ribs on the right side, but none were broken I was pretty sure. There will be a nice bruise in a day or so on my right hip too and I cut the palm of my right hand on something.

I decided I had enough fun for one day so we headed back to the trailhead. As we neared the trailhead we saw a sign that was taped up that read, “Trail closed due to hazardous conditions.” Really I never would have known.

I think I need to do more pre-planning on our hikes.

A Beautiful Day in Washington

Today the sun is shining and not a cloud in the sky. It’s a bit cold, around thirty degrees, but no wind. We went for a walk around the Gene Coulon Beach Park and got some nice shots of the Olympic Mountains to our north and to the south on the walk back we got to see Mount Ranier in all of its glory.

A perfect way to end the year.

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Sightseeing

Mitch had a rare Sunday off and with the upper elevations getting tons of snow, we opted for a day at the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. We thought that since it is the last weekend before Christmas, the new Star Wars Movie opening and the Seahawks playing at home the crowds, wouldn’t be too bad. It was cloudy and chilly but it wasn’t raining while we were at the top of the Space Needle. I was able to get some shots that I thought were pretty good.

I couldn’t believe the beauty of the glass sculptures, true works of art and oh so delicate. I’m here to tell you, I walked around from room to room, keeping a lot of distance between the glass pieces and me. Anyone that knows me knows just how graceful I am and walking among pieces of fragile glass valued at tens of thousands of dollars each, was a disaster just waiting to happen. I have a gift and I had no desire to be the lead off news story of the evening.

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A Trip to the Coast

Mitch is such a good sport and maybe even a bit of a saint. He definitely has the patience of Job, he has to, he puts up with me. We are on vacation this week, which normally this is our pheasant hunting week, but this year we are a two and a half day drive to Nebraska so we decided to skip that this year and do some exploring here in Washington. Every day this week we have tried to make the two and a half hour drive to the coast so that I could take pictures of the Pacific Ocean and let the dogs run around in the surf. Today was the day we finally were able to go and guess what, today was the day that the big storm hit the coast moving inland with heavy rain and high winds. Yep perfect planning, that’s what I do. Mitch was still game so off we went.

We got to Ocean City about noon, and as you can see by the photos, it was brutal. Mitch deserves the saint of the week award. Maybe tomorrow I can get him to take me to Mount Rainier and play in the snow.

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