Month: May 2011

Twisp Moto Tour

Every May we go on a motorcycle tour somewhere around Washington. This year, we get to take two, the first of which was with friends Dave, Karen, Michelle, and Chris to Twisp.

We started the trip, as you do, with breakfast at The French Bakery in Kirkland. Nick and I were forced to park in the library parking lot, because our favorite on-street parking was blocked off for road construction.

After a little hitch getting out of town, we blasted north to Stevens Pass. Apparently it is a popular place for a moto pitstop.

The rest of the ride is about how you’d expect. Boring until we reached the Twisp-Carlton Road, which was 5 of the twistiest, nicest miles of the entire trip.

We walked from our B&B (which was run by the mayor of Twisp!) to the pub for dinner. A few beers later, and silliness ensued.

The walk back after dinner was lovely. Clouds at sunset are always nice.

More on Days 2 and 3 soon…

View from not quite Saddle Rock

I interviewed for a job with a law firm in Wenatchee today. It’s a long way to go for one 2-hour meeting, so I made the most of it by hiking to what I thought was the top of Saddle Rock. Turns out, I didn’t quite make it. The view from the top of what I did get to was nice, though. Because it was Tuesday at mid-day, the only company I had were lizards and quail. And I was happy for the 45 minute jog up the hill.

In this picture you’re looking at downtown Wenatchee with the Columbia River flowing through it, Badger Mountain (skyline right), and Burch Mountain (skyline left).

Crevasse rescue practice

It’s almost glacier climbing season, which means it’s time to practice crevasse rescue with my climbing students. We headed down to Marymoor Park where the crevasses are known to be HUGE!

During one round, Paul had a tenuous hold on the concrete. We hoped his self-arrest would hold the fall.

Later, Jonathan, Monica, and Brian worked together to create an elaborate 3-to-1 pulley system to rescue their climbing partner.

Girlfriend weekend in Vancouver

I got lucky this past weekend. Nick and I were supposed to babysit Ronan and Reece while their parents escaped for a weekend in Vancouver. Unfortunately, Mike was unable to get away from work, so that meant Anne and I had to leave the kids with Nick and Mike and escape for a girlfriend weekend. (Oh darn!)

To see full-screen images, click the FS button below. To automatically advance the pictures, press the SL button.

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I love traveling with Anne because she has similar interests and she likes to make the most of every minute. We started with a 2-hour walk around Stanley Park. Neither of us had explored the park much before, so we plotted a grand loop around the park, including Beaver Lake, Prospect Point, the Hollow Tree, and the swimming pool and play area next to English Bay.

We were pretty hungry after our walk, so we checked into our hotel, got cleaned up, and found a French cafe for a salad and bowl of soup. Then it was off for some shopping on Robson Street. Anne was looking for a dress for an upcoming wedding, so we had a mission. Honestly, you’d think after a 2-hour walk around the park, we’d want to put our feet up, but we shopped for about 4 hours! We tried on matching dresses (that didn’t flatter either of us actually) and bought a few tops for me and a killer dress for Anne. Actually, we found two killer dresses for Anne. She didn’t buy the party dress in the pictures, unfortunately. (No occasion to wear it.) But she did pick up a gorgeous cream cocktail dress with watercolored blue and green flowers for the wedding. It was perfect on her!

Then it was off to dinner. We chose the wine bar at our hotel, where we sat at the bar next to Dawn/Don. Is it just me or does it always make you feel a little like an underachiever when a man’s makeup and outfit is way more coordinated than yours? Anyway, it was a very fortunate meeting because he suggested going to Queen Elizabeth Park (free) instead of Van Dusen Gardens (expensive) the next day. We put it on our list.

I think I might have called it a day after that, but Anne suggested seeing a movie, so off we went. We were so tired that we both barely made it through the movie without falling asleep! It was a beautiful moment when we finally collapsed in bed around 1 a.m.

The next morning was spent in true girlfriend style. We woke up at 8:30 and lounged in our PJs chatting for over an hour before finally deciding it was time for brunch. Back at the wine bar (now breakfast bar), we had tea, granola with fruit, and crepes.

With our bodies fueled we headed to the Vancouver Art Gallery. They had an exhibit including photographs by Edweard Muybridge that Anne was keen to see. (You probably have seen his work. Muybridge is famous for creating the sequential images of human and animal locomotion.) Muybridge’s photos were pretty interesting, but the star of the exhibit for me was Jim Campbell’s work. He used LED technology to explore how few pixels of data we need to see to create a recognizable image or movement. It was fascinating!

The Gallery is actually pretty small compared to other museums in cities of similar size, so we had time to see everything before we got “museumed out.” The final piece of art we saw was a hall of mirrors depicting what it is like to be clinically depressed. The first time I went through I was alone and got a little freaked out toward the end when I couldn’t find my way out of a loop. Anne came with me the second time and we had a lot of fun trying to figure out which of the mirrored images of us was the real person.

After lunch, I started to feel guilty about the fact that we were still in Vancouver and had several hours of driving before getting home. We pushed our luck and decided to pack one more thing into our weekend – a quick stop in Queen Elizabeth Park. (It was on the way, after all.) The Park’s gardens are very similar to the sunken garden at Buchart Gardens, created on the remnants of a quarry. On a sunny day, the view of Vancouver and the mountains behind West Van would be incredible. We had to be contented with the tulips.

With the clock ticking, and impatient/exhausted husbands back at home, we reluctantly turned the car south. All-in-all a great weekend! Thanks Anne for inviting me 🙂

Kirkland at sunset

After a long, hard day of work, some photo-therapy is often a good idea. Last night, we donned jackets, scarves and hats (this is the coldest May since 1950 after all) and took a walk down to the waterfront.

This tree was on the public path that runs between the condos and the water.

As the sun went down, we started to look for creative ways to capture the moment.

I only had my super wide angle lens with me, but that gave me some nice shots of the marina.

This was my favorite cloud of the night – very ominous looking.