Sunday, May 24, 2015

Owyhigh Lakes Trail

Our second hike of the season was to Owyhigh Lakes. It was mostly a cool day with a little sun, perfect for our first serious hike. We started on the Owyhigh Lakes Trail from White River Rd and walked past the lakes, over the pass for about one half mile, which accounts for our 9+ miles and the WTA page for the hike reporting 8 miles round trip. We saw just a few patches of snow near the top, nothing significant.

The star flowers in the meadows around the lakes were anemones (Anemone occidentalis) and glacier lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum). Other usual flowers typical of the altitude and late spring/early summer were also observed include Alpine Springbeauty (Claytonia megarhiza) and violets.

Hike Notes

Length: 9.32 miles (according to our Garmin HCX)
Duration: 5.5 hours  (10:00 am – 3:30 pm), includes 30 min lunch break
Elevation Gain:  1,650 ft.  3,750 ft @ parking lot, 5,396 (5,400 according to guide book) ft @ pass over to Kotsuck Creek
Location: Mt. Rainier -- NE - Sunrise / White River, Mount Rainier National Park

Plants and Animals

Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)
Claytonia megarhiza (Alpine Springbeauty)
Viola orbiculata (Dark Woods Violet) OR Viola sempervirens (Redwood Violet)
Viola adunca (Hookedspur Violet)
Potentilla flabelifolia (High Mountain Cinquefoil)
Erythronium grandiflorum (Glacier Lily)
Lipstick Cladonia lichen

Dacrymyces palmatus - Jelly fungus
Guepiniopsis alpina - Jelly cup

Perisoreus canadensis - Gray Jay

Anemones – Upper Left: Top Down; Upper Right: Side View; Lower Left: Old One Flower with Spider; Lower Right: Pushing out the Ground
Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)
Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)

Springbeauty and Columbine Bud
Springbeauty Columbine Bud

Glacier Lily Bud and Full Flower
Glacier Lily BudGlacier Lily Full Flower

Potentilla - Potentilla flabelifolia
Potentilla - Potentilla flabelifolia Potentilla - Potentilla flabelifolia

Veratrum Shoots and Meadow with Paint Brush

Violets - Viola adunca (Hookedspur Violet) and Viola orbiculata (Dark Woods Violet) OR Viola sempervirens (Redwood Violet)
Viola adunca (Hookedspur Violet) Viola orbiculata (Dark Woods Violet)

Trail Pictures – Left: The lakes looking a little empty; Center: Starting off; Right: Meadow trail near the lakes.
Trail Pictures

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)

Interesting Wood Structures (One on the left reminds of a Pomodoro scultpure)
Interesting Wood StructuresInteresting Wood Structures

Fungus, Left: Guepiniopsis alpina - Jelly cup; Right: Dacrymyces palmatus – Jelly fungus
Guepiniopsis alpina - Jelly cup Dacrymyces palmatus –  Jelly fungus

Lichen – Lipstick Cladonia
Lichen – Lipstick Cladonia

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pompeii and the Pooped Out Premier Exhibitions Formula

Left: Statue Greeting You Upon Arrival; Center: Bronze Statue Originally Silver Plated; Right: Fresco with Dionysus Enthroned (Painted Plaster, 50-70 A.D., House of Naviglio, Pompeii)
Statue Greeting You Upon ArrivalBronze Statue Originally Silver PlatedFresco with Dionysus Enthroned (Painted Plaster, 50-70 A.D., House of Naviglio, Pompeii)
I'm starting to detect a trend in the exhibitions at Pacific Science Center: light on artifacts and curation and high on "wow" factors and recreations. The Pompeii Exhibition follows this formula. Yes, the ticket price is high for what you get. Yes, some who know something or nothing about Pompeii will enjoy it. But, ultimately the exhibition leaves you unfulfilled.

First, like I also mentioned for the King Tut exhibit, the music was too loud, schlocky, and repetitive.

Second, the audio guide was pretty bad. If we've shelled out the extra money for it and we are standing in a crowded room jockeying with people to see the exhibits, the audio guide better lift my mood by educating and titillating me. It didn't.

Third, the wow factor is a movie at the end of the exhibition that simulates - with sound, vibration, and stage smoke - the day Pompeii got buried in 79 A.D. Nice, but not great.

Finally, the problem is not so much the Pacific Science Center, but the creator of the show, Premier Exhibitions. This is the company that produces the Bodies Exhibition. (Are you sick of seeing that exhibition in every city you visit?) I'm guessing they provide these "package" exhibitions and different cities or institutions buy them.

If you go to Premier Exhibitions site for Pompeii and try to find out information about something you saw at the exhibition, there is just a few pretty pictures and a simplistic statement about the exhibition. There is no solid information or even an inventory of the what is displayed. (If it was there, I did not see it.) It's clear: the exhibition is meant to entertain, not educate. With that goal in mind, why waste the time putting that information together?

Similarly, you can't find anything on the Pacific Science Center's site about what artifacts were shown. That's not good science in my book.

Did I like anything about this exhibit? Yes, there were some interesting facts about foods, amphorae shapes to store food, and in particular the fermented fish sauce, garum.  (The shape of the amphorae indicated their contents, and the bottom of one amphora fit into the top of another.) And, the statues and artifacts they had were interesting, just too few to get a sense of anything.

Left: Amphorae for Garum (terracotta, 1st century A.D., Pompeii); Center: Mosaic of Garum Amphora (white limestone and black slate, 1st century A.D., House of Aulus Umbricius Scaurus, Pompeii); Right: Cast of a Youth, House of Cryptoporticus, Pompeii
Amphorae for Garum (terracotta, 1st century A.D., Pompeii) Mosaic of Garum Amphora (white limestone and black slate, 1st century A.D>, House of Aulus Umbricius Scaurus, Pompeii)
Pompeii: The Exhibition was at the Pacific Science Center from Feb 7 – May 25, 2015.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Columbia River Trail

Welcome to the 2015 Travelmarx Hiking Season. A Sunday morning 2 hour jaunt is our first hike of 2015. We were staying at Cave B Winery for a wedding and took a hike down to the Columbia River on Sunday morning. You can get a a map (see photo) at reception.

Hike Notes

Length: 2.75 miles (according to lines drawn on Google Maps)
Duration: < 2 hours (started around 7:10am, returned around 8:45 to 9:00am.
Elevation Gain: ~ 650 ft.  Start at about 1,211 ft and end at about 574 ft at the river.
Location: Central Washington - Wenatchee

Trail Map: Columbia River Trail
Trail Map: Columbia River TrailTrail Map: Columbia River Trail

Left: Abandoned Car at Rocky Beach; Right: Trail Through the Sagebrush
Abandoned Car at Rocky BeachTrail Through the Sagebrush

Left: Artemisia tridentata (sagebrush); Right: Linaria dalmatica
Artemisia tridentata (sagebrush)Linaria dalmatica

Left: Looking East Up the Waterfall Loop Trail; Right: The Back of the Gorge Amphitheater StageLooking East Up the Waterfall Loop TrailThe Back of the Gorge Amphitheater Sta

Left: Rock Layers on Waterfall Loop Trail; Right: Seeds
Rock Layers on Waterfall Loop TrailSeeds

Left: View Toward Rocky Beach and Abandoned Car; Right: View West to Columbia River

View Toward Rocky Beach and Abandoned CarView West to Columbia River

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ballard Walk - Graffiti

A beautiful Saturday and a walk from Fremont to Ballard. Okay, found was a motivating factor, specifically, trying out Plaka Estiatorio. On the way, we saw a Henry, graffiti, bones, tags, and a orange face.

Henry house, southeast edge of Ballard. More Henry here.
Henry house, southeast edge of Ballard.

Alley off of 8th Ave NW
Alley off of 8th Ave NW

Bones - 11th Ave NW garage.
Bones - 11th Ave NW garage.Bones - 11th Ave NW garage.Bones - 11th Ave NW garage.

Pieces in abandoned lot on NW 50th St.
Pieces in abandoned lot on NW 50th St.Pieces in abandoned lot on NW 50th St.
Pieces in abandoned lot on NW 50th St.Pieces in abandoned lot on NW 50th St.
Pieces in abandoned lot on NW 50th St.


Orange paste-up face on NW Dock Pl Ballard.
Orange paste-up face on NW Dock Pl Ballard.Orange paste-up face on NW Dock Pl Ballard.