Saturday, August 31, 2013

Central Cascades– Colchuck Lake / Aasagard Pass Hike

Left: View of Colchuck Lake from the Northwest Shore; Right: Climbing Aasgard Pass with Colchuck Lake Below
View of Colchuck Lake from the Northwest ShoreClimbing Aasgard Pass with Colchuck Lake Below

From the Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Stuart Lake trailhead, we intended to make Colchuck Lake our turn-around point. But after arriving at the lake at 10:30 am, we decided to make a push for the pass. It would have been nice to have exited out via Snow Lakes had we thought ahead and left our car there. But alas, no, we turned around at Isolation Lake and headed back. We heard some hikers mention that going counter-clockwise (Colchuck to Snow Lakes) as a circular route was preferred over the other direction.

Stats

Length: 15 miles roundtrip (100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes), 13.2 miles (our measurement)

Duration: 9.5 hours. 8:06 am leave trailhead, 12:50 pm at Isolation Lake for second lunch, 1:45pm leave the pass and head back, and 5:47 pm back at trailhead.

Elevation: 3,458 feet starting (3,400 reported by WTA) at trailhead; 7,820 feet max reached, and 5,250 feet total ascent.

Left: Topo (Google) Map of the Hike; Center: Mountaineer Creek – Early in the Hike; Right: Garmin Read Out at the End of the Hike
Topo (Google) Map of the HikeMountaineer Creek – Early in the HikeGarmin Read Out at the End of the Hike

Flora and Fauna

Oreamnos americanus - Mountain Goat. We were looking for the backcountry toilet and found this goat. We never did find the toilet.

Eutamias spp. – Chipmunk, either E. townsendii or E. amoenus. We saw lots of chipmunks on the way to Colchuck Lake and none when we climbed to Aasgard Pass.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi – Kinnikinnick, or Pinemat Manzanita. We were intrigued by the creeping, mat-like growth which is typical of this species. Many times the plants are plastered up against a rock perhaps for extra warmth and that the snow clears from the rocks first giving plants an advantage over other plants covered in snow.

Alnus rubra – Red Alder at the south end of the lake. Immature yellow-green female catkins (or cone-like strobiles) can be seen. They will turn to brown cones that contain seeds.

Gentiana calycosa - Mountain Bog Gentian, always a welcome splash of purple.

Artemisia sp. – Wormwood. Don’t know the exact species of this, but likely A. campestris with a variety tacked on the end. It did smell fragrant when a few of the leaves were crushed. Really only noticed this plant as we climbed to the pass where it seemed to thrive.

Sedum divergens – Spreading Stonecrop. As we were pulling ourselves up to the pass, there was this sedum perched on a ledge watching us hikers.

Left: Alnus rubra – Red Alder on the South Shore of Colchuck Lake; Center: Arctosaphylos uva-ursi – Kinnikinnick on Shore of West Colchuck Lake; Right: Artemisia sp. on the Start of the Climb to Aasgard Pass
Alnus rubra – Red Alder on the South Shore of Colchuck LakeArctosaphylos uva-ursi – Kinnikinnick on Shore of West Colchuck LakeArtemisia sp. on the Start of the Climb to Aasgard Pass

 

Lichen

Letharia vulpina – Wolf Lichen, fluorescent green dues to the vulpinic acid they contain. Some references to find out more: 1. a nice visual comparison of fruticose lichens. and 2. Epiphytic lichen diversity and biomass in low-elevation forests of the eastern Washington Cascade range, USA.

Bryoria - lichenized fungi. I think we were seeing mostly Bryoria fremontii – Old Man’s Beard, but there could have also been Bryoria fuscescens – Horsehair Lichen. Who knew you could make a tasty loaf of lichen as shown in the Wikipedia entry for Wila (a First Nations name for this lichen).

Chipmunks We Encountered on Our Climb to Colchuck Lake
Chipmunks We Encountered on Our Climb to Colchuck LakeChipmunks We Encountered on Our Climb to Colchuck LakeChipmunks We Encountered on Our Climb to Colchuck Lake

Left: Biblis hyperia - Crimson-banded Black on a Boulder on the Shore of Colchuck Lake; Right: Letharia vulpina – Wolf Lichen on Ponderosa Pine on the Way Up to Colchuck Lake
Biblis hyperia - Crimson-banded Black on a Boulder on the Shore of Colchuck LakeLetharia vulpina – Wolf Lichen on Ponderosa Pine on the Way Up to Colchuck Lake

Views of Colchuck Lake:  Left and Center: From the South Shore Looking North; Right: From the South Shore Looking East
Colchuck Lake - View From the South Shore Looking NorthColchuck Lake - View From the South Shore Looking NorthColchuck Lake - View From the South Shore Looking East

Left: Colchuck Glacier from the Lake Shore; Right: Dragontail Peak from Isolation Lake
 Colchuck Glacier from the Lake ShoreDragontail Peak from Isolation Lake

Left: First Glimpse of Isolation Lake as We Come Over the Pass; Right: Greeted with Gentian Near Isolation Lake
First Glimpse of Isolation Lake as We Come Over the PassGreeted with Gentian Near Isolation Lake

Left and Right: Oreamnos americanus - Mountain Goat at the Edge of Tranquil Lake
Oreamnos americanus - Mountain Goat at the Edge of Tranquil LakeOreamnos americanus - Mountain Goat at the Edge of Tranquil Lake


Left: Sedum divergens tucked into a Rock Crevice on the Climb to Aasgard Pass; Right: The Climb to Aasgard Pass from the Shores of Lake Colchuck
Sedum divergens tucked into a Rock Crevice on the Climb to Aasgard PassThe Climb to Aasgard Pass from the Shores of Lake Colchuck

Left: Tranquil Lake; Right: Isolation Lake. The two lakes are right next to each other.
Tranquil LakeIsolation Lake

Friday, August 30, 2013

Benny “The Rock Balancer” Mural

Left: Artist Benny Benhariz Poses in Front of his Mural; Right: The Chalk Mural
Artist Benny Benhariz Poses in Front of his MuralThe Chalk Mural
More known for his intricate rock sculptures, Fawzi Benhariz (Benny), poses in front of his chalk murals on the Professional Engravers Building on 417 N. 36th Street. The Stranger article, Hanging in the Balance, gives more background on this Fremont icon.

Left: Benny Between the Eyes; Right: The Professional Engravers Building Never Looked So Colorful
Benny Between the EyesThe Professional Engravers Building Never Looked So Colorful

Photos October 2014
Benny “The Rock Balancer” MuralBenny “The Rock Balancer” Mural at Night

Roxy’s Diner Mural

Roxy’s Diner Mural – Fremont, Seattle – gets a touch-up.
Roxy’s Diner Mural

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chair Class Warfare

A Sunset Hill and a Fremont chair both outdoors, but in different worlds.

A Sunset Hill chairA Fremont chair

 

Fermentation Pot – Kimchi


Left: Vegetables for Kimchi; Right: Adding Fish Sauce to Kimchi
Assembling vegetables for kimchiOverflow container of kimchi gets some fish sauce
We made this kimchi in our fermentation pot (history) using the guidance from the Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods. In his book Katz writes “Kimchi is a spicy Korean pickle, made in a impressive variety of styles. It is prepared by fermenting Chinese cabbage, radishes, or turnips, scallions, other vegetables, and often seafood, with ginger, red hot chili pepper, garlic, and often fish sauce.” We did not use fish in this batch. We did use fish sauce as shown in one of the photos where drops of it are seen falling into a glass container of kimchi.

We ran out of space in our ceramic fermentation pot, so we pressed a few glass containers into use that let the color of the pickle be appreciated.

Left: Packing Kimchi Mix into Fermentation Crock; Right: Close Up of Vegetables for Kimchi Mix
Packing the mix into the fermentation potVegetables up close (radishes whole)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Google Heads – Legends of the Sea Sculptures

This post shows all of the “Legend of the Sea” sculptures by Viktor on the Google Campus in Mountain View. I think these sculptures are fun to look at and engaging for their solidness. Also, their eyes stare beyond you, as if daydreaming and unaware you are staring at them. Beyond the title of “Legend of the Sea” – most people who pass by probably won’t know who these busts are commemorating without Googling it? (Couldn’t resist.)

See my previous trip post to Mountain View for other imagery around the Google campus.

Left: “Always Gracious” carved by Viktor (2008) in honor of Legend of the Sea Zale Parry
Center: “Oceanographic Technician” carved by Viktor (2004) in honor of Legend of the Sea Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 – 1997)
Right: “Spirit of Thalassa” carved by Viktor (2006) in honor of Legend of the Sea Philippe Cousteau (1940 – 1979), son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau
“Always Gracious” carved by Viktor (2008) in honor of Legend of the Sea Zale Parry“Oceanographic Technician” carved by Viktor (2004) in honor of Legend of the Sea Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 – 1997)“Spirit of Thalassa” carved by Viktor (2006) in honor of Legend of the Sea Philippe Cousteau (1940 – 1979), son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Left: “Her Deepness” carved by Viktor (2004) in honor of Deep Ocean Pioneer, Sylvia Earle (b. 1935)
Right: “Navigator” carved by Viktor (2005)in honor of Legend of the Sea Jean-Michel Cousteau (b. 1938), son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau
“Her Deepness” carved by Viktor (2004) in honor of Deep Ocean Pioneer, Sylvia Earle (b. 1935) “Navigator” carved by Viktor (2005)in honor of Legend of the Sea Jean-Michel Cousteau (b. 1938), son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Left: “Shark Masters” carved by Viktor (2009) in honor of Legend of the Sea Ron (1934 – 2013) and Valerie (b. 1935) Taylor
Center: “Bridge to the Oceans” carved by Viktor (2008) in honor of Legend of the Sea
Lloyd Bridges (1913 - 1998)
Right: “US Navy Diver” carved by Viktor (2006) in honor of diving hero
Carl Brashear (1931 - 2006)

“Shark Masters” carved by Viktor (2009) in honor of Legend of the Sea Ron (1934 – 2013) and Valerie (b. 1935) Taylor “Bridge to the Oceans” carved by Viktor (2008) in honor of Legend of the Sea Lloyd Bridges (1913 - 1998) “US Navy Diver” carved by Viktor (2006) in honor of diving hero Carl Brashear (1931 - 2006)

“Fishy Business” carved by Viktor (2003) to inspire young explorers
“Fishy Business” carved by Viktor (2003) to inspire young explorers

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mount Rainier National Park – Indian Bar via Cowlitz Divide Hike


Left: View of a Shrouded Mount Rainier, from Cowlitz Divide; Right: Ohanapecosh River at Indian Bar
View of a Shrouded Mount Rainier, from Cowlitz DivideOhanapecosh River at Indian Bar
After the enjoyable Summerland – Panhandle Gap Hike, we decided to try the Wonderland Trail again, but from a different spot. This time we hiked toward Panhandle Gap starting from Box Canyon. Indian Bar was our turn around point so we didn’t make it to gap, but we hadn’t planned on it. As it was, 15 miles was enough for us today.  This is hike number 5 of this annus mirabilis of hiking.

 

Flora

Some of the plants we saw:

[Family] Genus species
[Asteraceae] Agoseris
[Rosaceae] Spirea splendens
[Ericaceae] Phyllodoce empetriformis
[Ericaceae] Vaccinium
[Fabaceae] Lupinus
[Melanthiaceae] Veratrum viride
[Orobanchaeceae] Pedicularis ornithoiryncha
[Ranunculaceae] Actaea rubra
[Ranunculaceae] Anenome occidentalis
[Scrophulariaceae] Mimulus guttatus

Stats

Length: 15 miles roundtrip (WTA Hike Info), 14.2 miles by our measurement (a Garmin etrex Vista HCx)
Duration: 8:50 am leave trailhead, 12:30 pm arrive Indian Bar campground, 1:00 pm start back, and 3:40 pm arrive back at trailhead.
Elevation: 3,173 feet start, 5,915 feet max altitude, 4,656 feet total ascent


Left: Box Canyon – Start of Hike on Steven Canyon Road; Middle: Start of Trail; Right: Actaea rubra – Baneberry
Box Canyon – Start of Hike on Steven Canyon RoadStart of TrailActaea rubra – Baneberry

Anenome occidentalis Guding the Way Along the Cowlitz Divide
Anenome occidentalis Anenome occidentalis Anenome occidentalis

Yellows and Blues.  Left: Agoseris; Middle: Lupinus; Right: Mimulus
AgoserisLupinusMimulus

Left: Columnar lava - Andesite Columns; Middle: On the Top of the Cowlitz Divide Trail Looking South; Right: Little Tahoma from the Cowlitz Divide
Columnar lava - Andesite ColumnsOn the Top of the Cowlitz Divide Looking SouthLittle Tahoma from the Cowlitz Divide

Pinks. Left: Pedicularis ornithorhyncha – Bird’s-Beak Lousewort; Center: Phyllodoce empetrifromis – Pink Mountain Heather; Right: Spiraea splendens – Rosy Spiraea
Pedicularis ornithorhyncha – Bird’s-Beak LousewortPhyllodoce empetrifromis – Pink Mountain HeatherSpiraea splendens – Rosy Spiraea

Left: Topo Map Showing Hike Route to Indian Bar (Google Maps); Middle and Right: Garmin Stats for the Hike
Topo Map Showing Indian Bar Hike Route (Google Maps) Garmin Stats for the Hike

Left: Gathering Berries – Oval-Leaved Blueberry; Right: The Strange Worn Look of Green Corn Lily (Veratrum viride)
Gathering Berries – Oval-Leaved BlueberryThe Strange Worn Look of Green Corn Lily (Veratrum viride)