Monday, October 18, 2010

Watching the Seattle Skyline Grow

This video was made to show off Seattle's newest skyscraper, I think it is called the 5th Columbia Tower. Or maybe it is Seattle 5th Columbia Building.

What I do know, for sure, is this is a very cool video. It starts with a view of downtown Seattle from out in Elliott Bay. Beginning in the 1950s, you watch as the Seattle skyline grows, with the Space Needle popping up in 1961, or was it 1962?

In 1969 the box the Space Needle came in shows up, soon followed the Kingdome. Soon after the turn of the century you see the Kingdome disappear, replaced by the new Seahawk Stadium.

After seeing the Seattle skyline grow all the way to the present, the video takes you to the future, to 2011, to a close up look at the new skyscraper. Very nice-looking addition to the Seattle Skyline.

Click the "Full Screen" option on the lower right of the YouTube window. If you don't, the Space Needle is going to look very small.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Maxine Hikes Over Cascade Pass To Courtney Ranch in the Stehekin Valley

A few weeks ago Maxine did something I've long wanted to do. Hike Cascade Pass from the west side to meet the Courtney Ranch bus on the east side and stay at the Courtney Ranch in the Stehekin Valley.

That is Maxine crossing Cascade Pass, heading east, in the picture.

I have stayed in Stehekin, at the National Park Lodge, getting there via the Lady of the Lake from Chelan.

I webaged my 4 day Stehekin experience with bears, bikes, bakeries, bus rides to Courtney Ranch for dinner, hikes and more.

Maxine did not hike back over Cascade Pass to head home to the Skagit Valley. She took the Lady of the Lake out of Stehekin.

Below is Maxine's brief account of her Stehekin Adventure....

We had a good trip to Stehekin. It was supposed to rain on Friday (the 1st day of the trip) but we had partial clearing so it was beautiful. Heard the glaciers calving just like the hiking book said.

It poured at night but we were in a tent so it was ok. By then we had crossed any creeks that would have been difficult if they had been higher. We talked to 2 fellows who came over after us who had a hard time crossing Doubtful Creek because it was so swollen.

Because of the road washout we were picked up at Bridge Creek by the Courtney Ranch folks as a courtesy, but this is part of the park service run, too.

Part of our group hiked out the Bridge Creek trail to Rainy Pass, they left at 8 a.m. and reached Rainy Pass about 4 pm. The rest of us took the boat to Chelan, we left Stehekin at 2 pm and arrived in Chelan at 6. It was a 3 ½ ride from there. The boat ride down the lake was beautiful but next year I want to hike out.

I loved Stehekin, fantasized about living there but I’m sure I’d miss amenities. We took a day hike to Agnes Gorge and bicycled down the Harlequin Campground Road to the end and back – had to exercise to eat all that good food at the ranch. I loved talking to the PCT hikers and the other people at the ranch. There was a large Sierra Club group staying as well as some angry lesbians.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Coldest La Niña In Over 50 Years Has Pacific Northwest Preparing For A Severe Winter

You are looking out my bedroom window from my house in Mount Vernon, Washington, at the deepest snow I remember seeing in the flatlands of the Skagit Valley, in all my years of living in Washington.

I was stuck on my hill for almost a week. At night it turned into a Winter Wonderland with people sledding down the hill under the street lights.

To get groceries I cross-country skied to the nearest grocery store, at the time, Thrifty Foods, a couple miles away.

I learned this morning that the conditions are in place to send record breaking storms to the Pacific Northwest this winter. A La Niña has formed near the equator with the coldest temperatures in more than 50 years.

Last winter the Northwest had a very mild winter. This winter is forecast to be the opposite. Western Washington counties are amping up their emergency preparedness with a "Take Winter by Storm" campaign which starts up today.