Sunday, July 26, 2009

Seattle, Mountains and Beaches

We went to the airport today and picked up a new visitor, a friend of Savannah's here for the week. They have been glued together since they first saw each other in the airport. We stopped off at a Seattle over look and admired the skyline with Mt Rainier ghostily floating in the distance. The kids played around at the park below the overlook. The majority of the equipment was centered on spinning either with someone else as a counterweight pr alone in a little bowl.

Shane and I attempted Mt Dickerman yesterday morning. We left early and the marine layer of clouds was still blowing in and dropping a little sparse rain. We found the trail head and began our ascent. Shane was determined to make the summit. I asked him to tell me when he was tired so we could turn around before he became too tired to walk back down the slopes. We went up. We switch backed then went up. Switchback, passed by other hikers both going up and down. Everyone had a smiling exhausted look. They were working just as hard as we were. We switch backed and rested, drank water and started again.

Shane started the trail explaining how he needed to get in shape in preparation for an attempt at the summit of Mt Rainier. I gave him the choice between Mt Dickerman and Mt Pilchuk. Pilchuk was a shorter climb with much less elevation gain. He chose Dickerman. We switch backed, rested and walked on. He talked about the different rocks we saw along the trail, postulating their origins, observing for the presence of basalt, schist or andesite. He would examine the rock, describe its habit then drop it back on the trail. We walked for an hour and he began to tire. A half hour more and he declared he wanted to turn around and go back down. A little relieved and a little disappointed we backtracked. He chattered all the way down the trail.

This past Thursday we headed out to Jetty Island, a leftover piece of a jetty found at the mouth of the Snohomish river. One of Rockefeller's investments before the Old Great Depression (before the current financial doom hit) was a jetty designed to create a freshwater port at the town of Everett. They had a problem with worms eating the wooden hulls of boats and barges. The worms only liked salt water. Charles Colby and talked Rockefeller into throwing some money at building a jetty. They started sinking barges, throwing trash, logs, dirt, sand and rocks at the jetty. They built it up nicely and the Depression hits. Rockefeller bails with all of his money and instead of a full jetty they get and island. The island was now a host for all kinds of wild life making a great destination for families.

The day we went was windy. We walked out from the beach and our feet sank in the muddy sand to our calves. Great Blue Heron stood out in the shallows like sentinels guarding the beach. We dug a moat for our sand castle. We ate pbj's and shooed the sea gulls from our potato chips. We lifted rocks on the beach to see shore crabs run sideways in fear for their lives, their pincers at the ready. It was tiring fighting the wind and we left for home with sand in every place there could be sand. Our kids never complained about the sand in funny places. They only complained about having to go home.