Cape Horn again, June 16th, 2018 (18-23)

Cape Horn Trail, Washington,  June 16, 2018,  (Hike # 37)

We hiked the upper section of the Cape Horn trail, from Strunk Road to the Waterfall Overlook, with stops at the Nancy Russell Overlook. The last of the larkspur and lupine were hanging on. Prolific flowers were cow parsnip, tiger lily, candy flower, columbine and penstemon. 3.5 miles, 600 feet. Previous hikes: May and November, 2107.

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Upper trail

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Into the woods

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Tiger lilies and cow parsnip

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Waterfall

The views:

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East along the Columbia River toward Beacon Rock

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West toward Sand Island

The flowers:

CRAFTING

I’ve turned the heel on the first of the Cornwall socks:

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I began the Jane Austen House cross stitch kit, a souvenir from my visit there in April.

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GARDEN

We have planted tomatoes, basil, jalapeño, cucumber and parsley – time tested and always consumed in our household.

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Garden flowers in bloom:

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Starvation Creek again (18-22)

Lower Starvation Loop Hike, June 10, 2018      (hike #36)

We did this hike in early May last year, in the rain, with rainbows, and with early spring flowers. This year it was still a bit rainy, but we managed to hike on a wet weekend when Mt Hood actually received more snow! We saw the late spring flowers – always interesting to see what blooms next. And our daughter, temporarily home from college before heading off for her summer adventures, joined us. I got to practice my uphill in a steep section, but the hike was much shorter than last week. And I don’t think my new treatment regimen gave me any setback at all, so Yay!  (3.2 miles, 800 feet)

Views from the high point:

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East – Columbia River and trailhead parking below

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North to Dog Mtn

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West, Wind Mtn, no rainbows this year

Cabin Creek crossing, a fairy glen:

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Photo shoot with Dad:

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Wildflower suite:

Wet foliage:

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lupine

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ferns

Waterfalls:

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Lancaster Falls

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Hole In The Wall Falls

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Cabin Creek Falls

Wildflower Lookback:

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May 2017 – monkey flower, rosy plectritis, blue eyed Mary and shooting stars in the meadow

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June 2018 – dry meadow

CRAFTING

I finished cross stitching the Elgol scene, and removed the guidelines.

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Next I will decide how to frame it. And get started on one of two new cross stitch projects waiting in the wings.

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I find the focused attention of counted cross stitching soothing these days. I also ordered fabric to make a baby quilt for our niece.

England Part 3 – White Cliffs (18-21)

Day 4 – Seven Sisters/Birling Gap April 29, 2018

We took a train from Victoria Station to Brighton, and there rented a car for our next two weeks of adventures.

Our first stop was Birling Gap, East Sussex, on the English Channel. We took a short walk along the South Downs headlands toward Belle Tout Lighthouse, and had good views to the west of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs.

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Belle Tout Lighthouse

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Walking back to Birling Gap

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Seven Sisters chalk cliffs to the south

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Half of the near building has fallen into the sea due to cliff erosion.

We went down the cliffside staircase to the beach along the white cliffs.

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Bluebells!

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To the north – cliff edge with half missing building above

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South view from staircase

The cliffs are composed of Cretaceous chalk with flint bands and nodules. They weather to a gold color, but calve so often that they appear a beautiful stark white from a distance.  Up close, the texture is flint nodules in a chalky substrate, and the beach itself is composed of wave washed nodules.  I would notice these nodules later on our trip in the local building stone.

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Chalk/flint cliffs

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Nodules on the beach

We managed to stay just ahead of an impending storm. From Birling Gap, we drove back west to a B&B in Chawton, Hampshire. Tomorrow would be Jane Austen history day!

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Phlox Point in Bloom (18-20)

Hardy Ridge/Phlox Point, WA    June 1, 2018    (Hike#35)

This hike was my hardest yet, post surgery – 8.2 miles/2200 feet.  The first part is a road walk through beautiful forest along equestrian trails in Beacon Rock State Park.  Then steep switchbacks lead up to the saddle of Hardy Ridge where the ridge walk to Phlox Point is lined with flowers and views of the Columbia River, Mt Hood and Mt Adams. I thoroughly enjoyed the hike, but am still feeling the last 2 miles – it was just a bit long for my stamina. I am glad I did it, as my next stage of treatment begins next week, and I don’t know if I will have a physical setback.  And I love hiking through lush blooming wildflower meadows!

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Lower trail

Views from the top:

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West, Columbia River

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South, Mt Hood

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Southeast, Hamilton Mountain

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Southeast, Bonneville Dam

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East, Mt Adams, Table Mountain

Phlox Point ahead –

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North from Phlox Pt

Our first bear grass of the season:

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So much Indian Paintbrush!

I tallied at least 51 different flowers, not counting varieties of each.

Of note, lupine, larkspur, mariposa and tiger lilies, and nodding onions were mostly in bud form, and should be blooming profusely soon.

CRAFTING:

Just a bit of knitting, and I am down to cream and white on the Elgol cross stitch – filling in the empty spaces seems to be the best soother of my current anxiety about upcoming treatment.

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MEANWHILE:    The garden is almost ready for planting. And I have decided to add the England trip reports in separate posts.

 

Astoria, Oregon; London Museums (18-19)

Memorial Day weekend visit to Astoria, Oregon

May 26-28, 2018   A family member was camping at Fort Stevens State Park, so we made plans to stay in Astoria for a couple of nights and visit them. On Saturday we took a short walk to Coffenbury Lake from the campground.

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Coffenbury Lake, Fort Stevens State Park

It was a beautiful evening, so we headed north to Clatsop Spit for a picnic on the beach, then visited several viewpoints to admire the clear views in every direction. We looked back toward Astoria, north toward Washington and Cape Disappointment, and west to the jetties that bound the shipping channel over the Columbia Bar.

By sunset we made our way to the beach where the Wreck of the Peter Iredale slowly rusts away in the surf. This is an iconic Oregon landmark we had never visited, so I was glad to finally see it profiled against a colorful sky.

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Sunday morning we drove across the Columbia River on the Astoria-Meglar Bridge to Washington.

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We had once visited Cape Disappointment on a disappointingly foggy day. Today was sunny and clear. We took the short hike to the lighthouse and the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center.

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Lewis & Clark Visitor Center

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North Jetty

Lewis and Clark made it to this point, but did not recognize the mouth of the river because of the wide expanse of the estuary.  We had beautiful views today, and interesting exhibits, including a decommissioned fresnel lighthouse lens – always so fascinating to look at.

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Wallflowers and north jetty

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Looking back toward the lighthouse

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Map view of the mouth of the Columbia River

Later in the day we returned to Astoria and bought some fresh spring Chinook salmon to BBQ at the campground with our family members.

Monday we took a stroll along the waterfront in Astoria.

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View to Washington

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Cormorant on old pilings

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Old pilot car

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Pacific nine bark

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Waiting for salmon to bite

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Looking back up hill to the Astoria Column

We stopped to eat our lunch at Youngs River Falls before returning home.  A pleasant weekend getaway.

England Trip Report Part 2

Day 2: London, Museums in the rain          April 27, 2018

A rainy day. It was only two tube stops to the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington. We didn’t even have to leave the underground – a long tunnel leads to the museum entrance. When we visited in 2011, the textile exhibit had been undergoing renovation, and I was hoping to see it this visit. But it turns out that there is no longer a textile wing. Textiles are scattered throughout the museum in various exhibits. Some highlights of our viewing:

From the Europe 1600-1815 Gallery:

And two drawing room spinning wheels:

The museum entrance has a domed ceiling with a fabulous Chihuly Glass Sculpture:

Medieval/Renaissance Sculpture Gallery

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There is a Fashion Through Time exhibit:

Upstairs galleries are devoted to Ironwork, Glass, Ceramics and other decorative arts:

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And Queen Victoria oversees all:

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We grabbed a sandwich in the museum cafe. It was still rainy outside, so we went next door to the Natural History Museum.

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This is a huge complex – one could never see it all, but we took in some dinosaurs:

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We would see more of Mary Anning’s work later when we visited Lyme Regis.

Architectural details throughout the museum inspired by Natural History:

The enormous Hintze Hall:

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and the Dodos.

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There were tons of people and it was a bit overwhelming, but I enjoyed seeing the exhibits.

The rain had let up, so we continued walking north, past the Royal Albert Hall, the Albert Memorial,

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Royal Albert Hall

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Albert Memorial

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and on to the gardens outside Kensington Palace.

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Kensington Palace

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Victoria again

This happened to be the day the name of new baby Prince Louis Arthur Charles was announced, so there was a small press pool camped out in their compound. We continued walking until we found ourselves at the Queensway station. We took the tube back to our lodging, refreshed, then found a nearby Indian restaurant for our dinner.

London, Day 3:  Jane Austen’s portrait and more walking            April 28, 2018

One of my goals for this trip was to see the Jane Austen portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Off we went on the tube to Leicester Square, followed by a short walk to the museum. We found the portrait exhibited in a specially lighted cabinet. It is the only existing picture of Jane Austen made during her lifetime – hard to imagine in these selfie days. The portrait is small and the pencil lines are faded. It was drawn by her sister Cassandra in 1810 when Jane was 35 and Cassandra was 37. I appreciated getting to spend several minutes looking at her as she was seen by the person who knew her best in the world.

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Jane Austen Portrait in special case

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We then took some time to explore the rest of the museum – an excellent walk through the faces of British history. As with any museum, one can’t see everything, but these portraits caught my eye:

Three views of Queen Elizabeth I:

 

The only American in the museum:

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George Washington

Some of my favorite authors:

 

 

Recent royalty:

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Queen Elizabeth II

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Princess Diana

After stopping for lunch in the National Gallery Cafe,

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National Gallery

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Trafalgar Square

we decided to walk across the Thames again on the Hungerford Bridge,

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then walk east along the south bank as far as the Millenium Bridge. It was a busy Saturday – a bit overwhelming how many people there are in London at any one moment. Every language and ethnicity, especially in the tourist areas.

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Mural hiding a construction site on the river

We crossed back to the north on the Millenium Bridge,

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Tower Bridge

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Non-orthagonal buildings on the skyline

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the Shard

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St Pauls ahead

but then felt too tired to attempt St Paul’s,

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St Paul’s Cathedral

which we had visited in 2011, so we wandered back toward Blackfriars, and took the tube back to Victoria from there.

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Looking back under the Millenium Bridge: Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern Museum

We found an Italian restaurant nearby – most of the patrons were getting ready to see Wicked or Hamilton playing at the two nearby theaters.

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Victoria Palace Theater – we saw Billy Elliot here in 2011.

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Typical tube scene

We had accomplished our sightseeing goals for London, had somewhat adjusted to the time shift, and were ready for the next phase of our journey  – on to Brighton by train, then further exploration of southern England by car and trail.

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Weldon Again/ Sasquatch sighting! And London, Day 1 (18-18)

Weldon Wagon Road, Husum, WA     5/19/2018   Hike#31

We walked the Weldon Wagon Road trail again with friends who were hoping to see the blooming balsam root here, as we had last year.  Instead, we were treated to a suite of later blooming flowers among the fading yellow blooms, including prolific ookow, buckwheat, wild onions, and a few new to me flowers.

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May 2017

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May 2018

 

 

We enjoyed taking the trail slowly and catching up with friends – also saw a few creatures along the way:

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butterfly on buckwheat

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lizard

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watchful oak tree

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Sasquatch!

CRAFTING:

Not a lot of crafting this week, though many weeds were removed from the overgrown front yard. I added some sky stitches to the Elgol cross stitch.

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England Trip Report, Part 1

April 23 to May 12, 2018

Some background: In June of 2011, we spent a full week in London with our three teen/young adult kids. Our rented flat in Kensington was like living in a museum. We visited many of the iconic sights – the British Museum and Library, Westminster Abbey, the Churchill War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, the V&A Museum, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, the London Eye, the Tower and Crown Jewels, St Pauls’ Cathedral, Covent Garden, Greenwich, Abby Road, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the London Eye. We didn’t see everything, but we saw a lot using the London Pass, which makes it practical to pop into some of the more expensive sights for a short look around without committing a whole day. We then spent another nine days with a rental car touring north of London, including Stratford-upon-Avon, northern Wales, Liverpool, Keswick in the Lakes District, Hadrian’s Wall, then flying home from Edinburgh.

What I missed on that trip were localities associated with my favorite author – Jane Austen. We saw her portable writing desk at the British Library, but I still wanted to get back to southern England to see more of her world.

For this trip, we started in London, and spent a few days walking around and adjusting to the time shift. Then we travelled in southern England via rented car to Jane Austen related places, and to hiking trails.

Day 1: London                  Thursday, 4/26/2018

We arrived in London at noon, which was 2 am Pacific time. We made an effort to sleep on the flight with some success, and managed to stay awake for the rest of the London day. A good start to our journey. We were lucky enough to be able to check in early to our room at the Premier Inn near Victoria Station, then off we went for our first day of London adventures. The weather for the next few days was predicted to be a mix of clouds and rain, and that would affect our sight seeing choices a bit.

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Agatha Christie tribute near Leicester Square

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Dan wanted return to Covent Garden to find the artist from whom he had purchased a hand painted tie in 2011. Luckily she was there, and he found another tie he liked. I’ll try to post a photo next week.

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Covent Garden street scenes

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After refreshing ourselves with a scoop of gelato, we walked down toward the Thames River as the weather was holding  fair.

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Thames view – Hungerford Bridge and London Eye

I noticed Cleopatra’s Needle was in our general path, so we stopped to look there, also, to see the lovely tulips blooming in Whitehall Gardens.

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Whitehall Gardens

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Cleopatra’s Needle -1500BC

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One of two sphinxes that flank the needle

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Sign identifies the WWII bomb damage to the sphinx

We crossed the river on the Hungerford Bridge, then walked along the south bank past the London Eye.

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London Eye

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Note the airplane threading the eye

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We recrossed the river via Westminster Bridge,

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Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, and Parliament

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Parliament

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Parliament details

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Parliament details

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A rose window of Westminster Abbey through the trees

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Parliament square

then walked on into St James Park and toward Buckingham Palace.

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View toward Buckingham Palace

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Pelicans in the lake

Lots of waterbirds and blooming flowers:

 

 

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View back toward Whitehall and the river

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Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace

From there it was a short walk back to our lodging.

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We passed Westminster Cathedral on the way.

Somewhat exhausted, we opted to eat dinner at our hotel restaurant – a good choice  considering we could barely stay awake to eat it. We had walked about 5.5 miles including airports and underground concourses. Day one done.

To be continued…

 

Re-entry/Tom McCall Point (18-17)

After two and a half weeks in London, Cornwall, Devon, and a visit to Jane Austen’s  house and quilt in Chawton, we are back home in Portland, Oregon. I barely had time to jot notes of our adventures, let alone write  blog posts. Historical sites, museums, hiking, and travel days; navigating narrow hedgerows via Lady Google. Wildflowers were in bloom, and the weather mostly cooperated when it really mattered. I am writing this at 4 am because I am still adjusting to the 8 hour time shift. I plan to add blog posts about our adventures as I go through my photos.

Tom McCall Point, OR     5/13/2018       Hike #30 

Meanwhile, we took advantage of our jet lag by going on a hike at sunrise on our first day back. Tom McCall Point is a favorite seasonal wildflower hike in the eastern gorge (3.6 miles/1100 feet).

The early morning low light gave a luminous glow to the landscape.

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Tom McCall Point – our goal

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Looking back toward the Rowena Plateau trailhead and the Columbia River

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Deer in the meadow below

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The views opened up as we climbed higher.

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Mt Hood

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Early spring flowers were mostly past, but the balsam root at the top was splendid, along with lupine, penstemon, and bicolored cluster lilies.

There were only a few other people hiking that early.

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Dan approaching the summit, Mt Hood beyond

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Mt Adams

We had the summit to ourselves for twenty minutes before heading down.

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We also took a short hike at the nearby Memaloose Overlook – I had read that bitterroot (Lewisia) can sometimes be seen blooming on the rocky cliffs nearby. We didn’t find any, but did spot some pink Clarkia blooms for the first time this season, so it seemed a worthwhile side trip.

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Clarkia near Memaloose Overlook

Knitting

I knit a couple of inches on my Cornwall socks while on the plane. It turns out I chose a color that reflects well the fields and seas of Cornwall.

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Garden

And while we were gone, the spring turned to summer. The yard is a bit overgrown, and new flowers are blooming.

Catherine Creek, WA and Blogiversary! (18-16)

Bitterroot Trail- Rowland Wall Loop  4/20/18      (hike#16)

The Bitterroot Trail branches off north of the vernal pools/fairyland swales that are just above the main parking area.

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View up Sunflower Hill, where we are going.

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Fairy ponds with camus

The trail follows the steep western edge of Catherine Creek, and we get great views of the arch as we continue north.

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Bitterroot Trail

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Catherine Creek Arch

Long distance views appear as we gain elevation.

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Mt Hood to the west

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View to the east of the Columbia River

A variety of spring flowers line the trail all the way up to our destination above the power line corridor on Sunflower Hill (named before cattle grazed away all the balsamroot).

 

The first clump of balsamroot we see marks a trail junction.

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We have gone up to the top of the hill from here in the past. Today we decide to head downhill on the Rowland Wall trail.

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We find a rocky promontory for a lunch perch. On this beautiful blue sky day we have a clear view of Mt Hood.

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View to the west – the Labyrinth area and Mt Hood

As we continue down the rocky cliffs atop the wall east of Rowland Creek

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we see our first blooming paintbrush of the season, and bitteroot foliage whorls, one of which is massive!

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paintbrush

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bitterroot foliage

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buckwheat

I note the trails that criss cross Rowland basin below us, spying out options for future hikes.

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Camus swale

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Vernal pool

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3.5 miles, 1000 feet.

 

CRAFTING

The Elgol Cross Stitch is getting closer to completion; just the sky colors of pale pink, cream and white remain to be filled in.

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I cast on the Cornwall socks for travel knitting; k2p2 ribbing, top down vanilla sock.

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Blogiversary!

My first post, April 22nd, 2017, documented a hike up Coyote Wall. I have posted just about every week since then. I will be traveling for the next three weeks, so there will most likely be a delay in posting about our upcoming adventures.

The Labyrinth in bloom with a side of Poison Oak (18-15)

Labyrinth Trail, WA      4/15/2018      (#15)

So many hikers in the eastern gorge today – predicted to be the best weather day of the weekend. We opted for the Labyrinth trail, teased by the blooming balsamroot near the waterfall off Hwy 14.  We were not disappointed.

From the trailhead, we could see our destination – a tall fir tree on the cliff above.

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We began by hiking along the old highway, then up the trail through the basalt labyrinth:

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Waterfall on the old highway

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Balsamroot near the trailhead

We hiked up past the upper waterfall,

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Through the oak woodlands,

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Over the desert parsley rocky balds,

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Desert parsley cliffs

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Bitter root foliage – to bloom next month

From here we could see west to the Coyote Wall meadows:

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Our trail continued east, toward the prominent oak tree on the cliff edge:

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Above here the views to the east,

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and toward our destination (that tall fir tree) opened up:

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When we reached the viewpoint near the fir tree, we could see our car parked below, near Rowland Lake:

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Swaths of small flowers tinted many of the grassy areas:

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Popcorn flower and filaree

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Two-colored lupine

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Miner’s lettuce and buttercups

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Tomcat clover

Many other spring flowers were blooming along the trail:

On the way down, we looked back in the lovely afternoon light at the glowing landscape.

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And just to add an element of risk to the venture, in addition to the (mostly polite) mountain bikers bombing down the trail, every nearly bare stick and twig, from the vines on the rock walls,

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climbing poison oak

to the trail side shrubs,

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glowing red poison oak leaf buds

to the grassy swathes,

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chocolate lilies, buttercups, larkspur and poison oak

even the bare rocky talus piles,

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poison oak shoots

were sporting the shiny deep red oily gloss of newly budding poison oak leaves. We tiptoed around them, knowing this place is my nemesis for the rash. Despite a lifetime of hiking and many years of of bushwhacking with geologists through the scrublands of the western US, and being exposed but never reacting, I finally got the rash after a hike here a few years ago, and have gotten it twice since, each time a little worse. This is my favorite trail in the eastern gorge, so I proceed with caution! Hopefully no rash this week.

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One-eyed ghost tree along the trail – ogling the waterfall, or fleeing the poison oak?

New sock yarn for travel knitting –

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Klickitat Trail; Poetry to the Rescue (18-14)

Swale Canyon, Klickitat Trail, WA     4/8/2018         (Hike #14)

Chasing east out of the rain, we started from the Harms Road trailhead north of Lyle, WA, and walked 8 miles round trip on this nearly flat former rail bed.  We began on a high grassy plateau, then slowly dropped between rim rock cliffs.

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Bright yellow parsley lined the trail and slopes, and other spring flowers were blooming locally.

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yellow parsley with gold stars

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grass widows

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a duck

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Oregon grape

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Columbia desert parsley

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shooting stars and saxifrage

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message written with old nails

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Dutchman breeches

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yellow parsley, red shrub

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golden currant

We saw large marmots on the cliffs across the river

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marmot in the center

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the marmot across the river

and a couple of smaller ones near the trail.

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A waterfall and some rocky pools marked our turnaround point, about 4 miles in.

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waterfall

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rock pools

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The trail continues, but we turned around here.

This was a great trail for a long walk with friends on an overcast windy day.

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My first post-surgery 8 mile day, a good omen for the upcoming trip to Cornwall.

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GPS track – Swale Canyon trail

Crafting:

I have been playing with leftover Smithsonian reproduction fabrics, including a feathered star and a lot of four patches that I pieced before I was inspired to use the collection for the Jane Austen quilt.

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I have been filling in cross stitches on Elgol.

I need to choose a knitting project for upcoming travel – probably socks.

Garden:

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Crabapple blooming

Other Adventures:

Another trip through the MRI this week – the neurosurgeon was able to show me the small void in my brain where the tumor had been. I am grateful for a good outcome and still contemplating additional medication going forward.

Poetry to the rescue!

I silently recite verses memorized long ago to take my mind off of the enclosed space and noise inside the MRI.

Lochinvar rides by my side, then I walk along the beach with the Walrus and the Carpenter as the clanging alternates between jack hammer and diesel engine.

I compose bad haiku to describe the experience-

dissociation/I pretend all is normal/while the machine clangs

or

poetry verses/distract from the jack hammers/of the MRI

Time passes. I wonder how Emily completed mental tasks while inside an MRI machine and participating in a scientific study.

Then Alexander Hamilton drops in from a forgotten spot in the middle of the Caribbean to keep me company.

I don’t mind the journey so much with my poetry companions, but I also think I need to learn some new verses before the next trip in six months.