Mt. Rainier- Sunrise and Beyond

I’ve gotten in this new habit of taking an afternoon off from the 9-5 to go adventure off in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. With so many destinations within a few hours’ drive, it seems wasteful not to.  It transforms a day from a morning of meetings to an afternoon of outdoor bliss.  This time, I took to the mountain with my favorite adventure and photography friend Mary Jo.    We decided on a simple hike to the Fremont Fire Lookout.  What was supposed to be a casual 5 mile hike, proved to be more difficult for us than expected. Lots of breaks for “photos” and conversation made the trip much easier.  Once we reached our destination, we celebrated with a libation and a lot of photo taking.  Back down was much easier, with many stops to take in the gorgeous Mountain Sunset and wildlife.  It may have been dark when we got back to the car, but we both agreed it was worth the adventure.

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Clear Lake, Clear Mind

It was time to pack up, power down, and go straight to the lake for me and one of my best friends. No husbands. No children (both human and canine). Just girls.  We met on White Pass at Indian Creek Campground and spent the entire day fishing (and reading) at Clear Lake.  It was a beautiful little blue paradise. Mt. Rainier was on my trail home, and I couldn’t resist a stop to take it all in. Even though only one fish was caught for the weekend, we both were able to unwind and reconnect.  Such a relaxing little mini trip.

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One of the few

Today I spent some time in Puyallup, Washington taking in the last of a dying tradition. Puyallup Valley used to be known as the premier place to grow bulbs for tulips and daffodils.  The street signs in town clearly indicate a proud herritage of Daffodil Farms.  I visited one of the last two daffodil farms in the area, which has decided to call it quits after generations (90 years!) of farming.  The area is sprawling and the farm will most likely be purchased for futher development.  When walking to the main storefront of Van Lierop’s, many extra things are for sale above and beyond flowers.  I managed to pick up 3- 80 year old bulb boxes.  They will gain new life as garden boxes for my greens gardent this summer.  Plows, buckets, wheel barrows and miscelaneous farm equiptment have hand priced tags.

The fields are still blooming. When I romanticize about fields of flowers- I see rows and rows of golden yellow blooms. This is not the case at Van Lierop’s, as the flowers are picked before they bloom. I managed to find a small batch that had survived the daily cut, that are tucked in rows of green overlooked by Mt. Rainier. I will get my fill of endless blooms in the coming weeks up near Mt. Vernon I suppose.

Although an era is ending for Van Lierop’s Bulb farm, they take pride in their flowers and are clearly loved by the community.  Perhaps who ever purchases the farm will continue the legacy…

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The Happiest Place on Earth

…for dogs and their owners in Thurston County.

We have been dog advocates for several years, and have rescued our girls from what could have been a terrible end to their sweet lives. Luckily, thanks to Yakima Humane Society and the Grant County Animal Shelter, we were connected and it has been love ever since.

We try to make it to the Thurston County Dog Park at least every week, but winter can really slow us down.  It has been really cold and crisp out this week, so we loaded up the dogs and let them go run out the cabin fever that has taken over us all!

From I-5 it doesn’t look like much. To be honest, there isn’t much for humans, but that’s kind of the point.  There is a seperate fenced playground for kids, a few picnic tables, some newly planted trees and a walking loop.  For the dogs, there is a dogwalk platform, teeter-totter, tube, and hurdle in the big dog section. There is a timid/small dog area as well offering these things only, well, smaller. Boots are advised most of the time, its a little muddy all the time. It is maintained by Thurston County Parks, Soundhounds, and other volunteer groups. We love this place and hope it only gets better as time goes on. DogPark-4a

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Taking Flight

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I had the chance to take flight yesterday. It was just the tid bit of adventure I needed. The NW just came off a week of AMAZING weather, and it was so sad to get back to the grey cloudy usual. Before it totally clouded over, Pilot Scott offered to take me up for a quick zip above the city to snap a few photos.The ride  just solidified what I love about the Pacific Northwest. Mt. Rainier had taken center stage, downtown Olympia was it’s usual charming self, and the South Sound water was mirrored. Little bits of heaven.

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