Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Walk and a Tour of the Highlands

Went for a walk up the big hill today, it was a good little hike. We saw rose hips, look at their plump beauty.

Later we drove up to look at town houses in the Highlands. It's an unbelievably big development in an area called Grand Ridge. They started up there in 2004 and have built houses everywhere. We're just stunned at how many houses they've managed to squeeze in there.
These are thistles. The little yellow blob bottom right is a gold finch. They love thistles.

We went farther up the hillside to where the huge expensive (and often ugly) houses on big lots are. I don't get those houses, they're in the deep woods with no view. There are deer.

Someone has planted daisies everywhere.

This is the view from the housing lots down slope from the giant houses in the woods. This would be better than being in the deep dark forest. You can barely make out the Seattle skyline on the left, and Bellevue on the right.

Tomorrow should be better and dryer than today. Hopefully we will get a long ride in.

Mushy Legs and Dinner with Friends

We have had two more days of summer, maybe three. It's so hard to keep track of it. My geraniums were enjoying the heat.

Kim has a tomato. Note the use of the singular. It's just not warm enough to make them grow. Poor tomato, it's an orphan.

We rode yesterday, it was sort of a pitiful ride. I did not feel good on the bike. Last time I rode, it was great, felt strong, rode well. What happens? Why do one's legs turn to mush? The Seattle Century was going on; we were unaware of it, or we would not have chosen to be on their route. I have to question the wisdom of an urban century which uses very narrow bike paths with hills on blind corners. We ended up shouting at a few riders to single up, as they were taking the entire path. The herd mentality would appear to confer a sense of entitlement to all of the asphalt.

We had Kim and Jim over for dinner last night. They are such nice company. Kim doctored the asparagus for me, prior to Jim grilling it. I think I shall have to rethink my position on the use of salt. Currently I don't salt, but her asparagus is better than mine. Kim also uses balsamic vinegar, which I shall also adopt in the future. Jim made spatchcocked game hens, they turned out well. I have a previous post here, which shows the finished product at the bottom of the page. For some reason I didn't get a photo last night.

Kim brought this wine which is just delightful. It's from Walla Walla, and is a blend of 65% Semillon, 27% Sauvignon and 8% Muscadelle. The maker is Buty, look for it at your local wine monger.

Today water falls from the sky, and the weatherheads are predicting it will do so until late in the day. Woe, woe is me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dinner on the Island

Today my beloved joined the Medicare generation. Medicare!
We went over to Jim's Mother's house for a celebratory dinner. She lives on Agate Pass on the other side of a ferry. It's a time consuming process. One must drive to the ferry, arrive early, cross on the ferry and then drive to one's destination.
A fire boat at the ferry dock.

The ferry, it's big.

Cranes at Harbor Island.

The view from May's back deck.

Here are Jim and May.

We ended up cooking over there, as May was not feeling great. Jim grilled on the truck tail gate.

It was a pleasant evening. May's deaf as a post. Jim has to repeat everything I say to her. His new name is Universal Translator.
Here we are at the ferry terminal returning to Seattle.

So, Jim is now eligible for senior discounts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Section Line Trail Hike

It was wet today, so we hiked. We started at the Issaquah High School and walked upwards. We turned off the route to Poo-Poo Point, to see what the Section Line Trail had to offer. It's not that interesting of a hike. Deep forest, nothing to see here, move on.

Moss covered logs - one must cross on a log or walk through the water.

Moss covered tree.

Salal, a plant found everywhere in the forests here. (Actually, it's not salal, we don't know what it is). (We think it may be Oregon Grape.)

Purple flowers.

It was good - Jim set a blistering pace up, so there were elevated heart rates and respiration. It's not a bad descent since it's all dirt, no big rocks.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gourmet Dining in Fife, WA

How are you going to keep them down on the farm, after they've seen Fife?

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dinner and More Riding

Greetings from the temperate GPNW. I can not believe how hot the rest of the country is.

Last night we had dinner with Kim & Jim. It was, as always, just delightful. Kim has a really cool plant stand with flowers and bird feeders. That's a yellow finch on the feeder. I shot that through a window, so clarity is somewhat diminished.

Here is a better picture from the web. They are cute little birds.

After a very healthy dinner, Kim channeled Paula Dean and made bourbon glazed, grilled peaches for dessert. Yes, that's a stick of butter, the other one already melted. They're really good.

We rode out in the Carnation Valley yesterday and today. There is much blooming going on.

We saw this on the freeway. Look closely in the sidecar. It's a doggo. He is wearing a seat belt.

I have nothing else to report

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rattlesnake Lake Trail Hike

Vicki took me on a new hike today. It's a good one. Four miles round trip, about 1100 feet vertical. The views at the top are very nice.

Here is a Douglas squirrel eating a peanut butter sandwich crumb.

A chipmunk surveying the area, and hoping for food.

The view from the top.

It's a nice hike. I am happy to have a new one in the repertoire.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chirico Trail - Again

We hiked today - it was good.

The last time we did this hike we couldn't go down stairs for two days. Hopefully it'll be better this time.

Here is a cute bunny at the park.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Riding in the Mist

Isn't this just the most bizarre summer? The middle of the country is cooking and we're wet and cool. Here is me starting a ride in arm warmers, knee warmers and a vest. In July.

Snoqualmie Falls.

We were misted on today, but at least it wasn't outright rain.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Finally, a Good Day

It quit raining! We got a ride off today, so exciting. We did the south end of Lake Washington, which is a ride I used to do frequently. It's funny how memory fades as we age, I forgot about half of the hills on that ride until I got to them. Aaarrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhh.

Today was the first day since August 2006 that we've ridden up Rainier Avenue. This is the site of Jim's crash. It was creepy riding by it.

This was taken at the south end of Lake Washington near the boathouse. The paddle boat you see in the photo is a millfoil remover. Propulsion is provided at the water surface so that millfoil does not wrap itself around a propeller in a deadly strangle hold. Millfoil is bad.

The boat house, with kids sitting on stand up boards in the water. It was a beautiful day.

So, 45 miles today.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Walking Seattle

Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggghhh. Non-summer continues. Two more days off the bike. Yesterday we walked the brutal hills of Bellevue, that was good; part of the route is a 15% grade so it makes us pant. Today just sucked. After waiting (in vain) for it to clear we decided to go back to the Nordstrom sale and look for black capris, which I found (yea!). Then we drove over to Seattle.
This is looking north from the 520 floating bridge, crossing Lake Washington.

We parked at the garage next to Macy's, and saw this on a building wall across the street.

After visiting City Kitchens, my favorite store, we walked down to the market. I feel bad for the tourists, the weather has just been awful!

Downtown towering over the market.

Note the flower boxes with sun flowers.

We went into De Laurentis which is an Italian grocery store in the market. They've been there forever. Lots of really good stuff.

Balsamic vinegar, anyone?

Huge selection of ham, prosciutto, and etc.

I love to see a news stand, they're becoming a thing of the past.

Tucson has its Sonoran hot dog, Seattle has the Japan Dog. Who knew?

The weather heads are saying tomorrow will be better. That would be nice, the trouble with retail walking for entertainment is that it leads to spending money. I got a Wusthof Nikiri vegetable knife. It's really sharp. I cut a cherry tomato into paper thin slices. Pretty impressive.