Dear Daughter, home for her last Thanksgiving Break, needed to visit Mt. Rainier as part of her geology class. OK, fine, I like Mt. Rainier. I pack up my emergency backpack, extra blankets, water in case we hit bad weather and dear husband and off we went. Luckily there are many pullouts from the street near the mountain and DD got her photos. Not the full glorious mountain, of course, because it was raining and even snowing, but some close ups of rocks that seemed to make her happy. We got as far as Longmire and had lunch and checked out the small museum (the Longmire Museum at Mt. Rainier). I was so busy staring at the vicious face on this little weasel that I didn’t notice his poor prey until I reexamined the photo!
So here are the photos. Beside the Longmire Museum there are two shots of the Mountain taken on clearer days, a photo of the road going through the National Park, the porch at the lodge and the graffiti rocks approaching the park.
BTW, you need to have chains in your vehicle to enter the park after November 1st. It gets dark at about 3 pm in the winter (its all those trees!). There is no cell service on the mountain (at least the part we were at). Here is a link to Longmire. And Happy Thanksgiving.
Potter’s Field in Tacoma.Dear husband and I went to the Wheelock Library to attend an interesting lecture about Tacoma’s Haunted History on Saturday and I learned about Tacoma’s Potter’s Field. I hadn’t realized that about 1,600 were buried on this two acre site between the 1880s and the 1920s. These were the people that had no funds to afford a proper funeral and their remains became the responsibility of the Pierce County. There is an excellent article about the cemetery here. We took a driving tour through the lovely Tacoma and Oakwood Cemeteries to finally find the Pauper’s Cemetery situated adjacent to the Tacoma Mausoleum. I recognized the wooden boundary fence from the video in the News Tribune article. The cemetery itself isn’t accessible to the public, but I did snap a shot from an opening in the fence. It was fascinating to me that while there were just a couple of headstones in sight, there are a reported 1,600 individuals are interred here in unmarked graves. Two of the photos show the fence that divides the Potter’s Field from the maintained cemetery near the mausoleum. There are also a couple of photos of the other two cemeteries.
Dear husband and I wanted to stretch our legs today so we went to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park in Federal Way. Our intent was to walk along the boardwalk path, but we turned right instead of left and ended up at Marlake (that’s what Google Maps says it is called). It is really a beautiful spot and some of the surrounding area must have been an orchard at one point because we found plum, pear and apple trees, as well as grapes and blackberry bushes. The blackberries and plums were delicious! The lake itself has a dock with a bench on it to contemplate life. Many of the trees leading up to the lake were actually labeled and my favorite was a ginkgo tree. Such lovely leaves. The park really is a perfect place to take a walk.
On an amusing note, the handwritten sign that greats visitors asks us to protect the wetlands and no dogs (I get it), bikes (still get it) or Pokemon (what?!). I’m not sure what damage the not really there Pokemon could do. Perhaps they meant no Pokemon players. But there were a bunch of players and they were all respectful and having a good time with their families. Perhaps the highlight for me was that I won my first gym (it’s a game thing) and let out a yell of victory. An older teen smiled at me and we talk about the game for a while. He even set it up for me so that I could really win the gym since I obviously don’t know what I’m doing. I love that the game gave two very different people a chance to visit and work together. What fun. 🙂
The drive home from Ellensburg last weekend was smoky from the Washington forest fires, but I decided to stop at the Asahel Curtis Picnic area anyway. It was a perfectly nice picnic area with the Snoqualmie River running next to it. It was really a fast stop for me and I was quickly on my way home.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Asahel Curtis
The lovely Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden is only about 30 minutes from my house, but I hadn’t heard about it until today. It is a lovely 10 acre botanical garden which primarily features northwest flora. There is also a small Japanese Garden, a water feature and benches. Close to the SeaTac runway, there were many passenger planes overhead, but it just seemed like another interesting part of the garden. Though I was worried about rain, it turned into a lovely day. My favorite part, beside the hummingbird, was the amazing gate! More info can be found here.
Garfield Nature Trail at 620 Rogers Street NW, Olympia is like a little haven of wilderness right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It isn’t a typical park with picnic areas and playground equipment. Instead it is a trail through a ravine between Rogers Street NW and West Bay Drive NW. I hiked from Rogers to West Bay and back again. The path has several sets of stairs and boardwalks and I wish I had worn my sneakers because is places it was damp and a tad slippery. The trail was busy with young people, families and folks walking dogs.
I remembered that I use to go past this property at 2328 Tacoma Ave. South and seeing a man working on Bonsai trees here. So I wrote to the Northwest Room of Tacoma Public Library and they told me that the property was built as a residence about 1952 by Kenneth & Amy Hikogawa and in 1974 Amy Hikogawa opened the Imperial Garden & Gift Center on the site. Amy Hikogawa died in April 1995 but her son, Ben Kigowa, apparently kept the Imperial Garden and Gift Center open through 1997. Ben passed away in January 2013.
Thanks so much to TPL’s Northwest Room. They are such a valuable asset for our city!
The Bellevue Botanical Garden (1200 Main Street, Bellevue) is really lovely and has the added bonus of being free. I explored some of the gardens today and it was tranquil and smelled good. I strolled through various gardens with my favorites being the kitchen garden and the border garden. I also wanted to see the ravine and suspension bridge, but I turned right instead of left. Oh well, next time! There is some significant construction going on and new delights are promised for next year. I’m already looking forward to visiting again! There website is here.
Dear daughter wanted to go to Seattle’s International District for her birthday this weekend and we wandered over to the International Children’s Park to have a time playing on the dragon, playing the drums and spinning. The park is located at 700 South Lane Street and was established n 1981. The dragon, which I climbed on and successfully got off of, was created by Gerard Tsutakawa. His father was also a sculptor and he design The Lily Statue in Lakewood.
I was delighted to see that the cherry trees in the park had begun to blossom!