Aug 242014
Reflections on Hiking and Fear

I’m surprised I survived. Thirty years ago, a friend invited me on a hike. The distance (nine miles) concerned me—that was three times the distance of my favorite, completely flat, three-mile walk around Green Lake. But my friend assured me it was a “moderate” hike. Moderate didn’t sound too bad. Maybe a hill or two. […Read more]

Seattle’s Obsession With the Rain

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Jul 282014
Seattle's Obsession With the Rain

Seattle has an unhealthy relationship with rain. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not an import who makes disparaging comments about Seattle’s climate. In fact, I’m a native Seattleite who loves the rain. At least, I love the rain from October through June. But from July through September, gray clouds, keep your hands off my weather! It’s […Read more]

Looking for a Charmer

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Feb 092012
Looking for a Charmer

It had all the makings of a charming mountain town. There was its well-preserved historic district and its past as a rough and tumble pioneer mining area. There was its location in the Idaho mountains, with a bike trail through the forest and a nearby ski resort for winter sports. The town even showed its […Read more]

Up a Mountain, Out of a Rut

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May 222011
Up a Mountain, Out of a Rut

A year ago, my idea of a hike was a brisk walk around Green Lake. In fact, I was convinced I hated hiking. Even though I knew that Mt. Si was one of the most popular hiking destinations in the area, my eyes would slide past it as I drove I-90 to go skiing or […Read more]

Jan 292011
Planes, Trains, and Toboggans

I’ve sometimes wondered what it would be like to ride a luge, lying on your back, careening downhill at the mercy of the icy track beneath you with little control of your direction or speed. Of course, I’ve never wondered enough to actually try it. I’ve been very happy just watching the Olympics and wondering […Read more]

Sep 042010
Wind Monsters on Whiskey Dick Mountain

Whooping sounds and high fives were Tyler and Adam’s response when I told them I’d seen the sign on I-90 for Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility. You gotta love people who love their jobs this much. As recent graduates of Central Washington University’s Recreation & Tourism Department, I got the impression the signs were […Read more]

Aug 312010
What's the Scoop on the Poop?

I never thought I’d compare Spokane with Paris. But on a recent visit I found one similarity so compelling I just couldn’t help myself. The similarity? I can tell you in one word. Well, actually two. Dog poop. It was everywhere on the bluff overlooking the Spokane River near my friends’ house. It was prominent […Read more]

Stepford Suburban and Eclectic Quirkiness Are Just a Bridge Apart

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Jul 202010
Stepford Suburban and Eclectic Quirkiness Are Just a Bridge Apart

I just discovered something that Seattle and Europe have in common—very diverse cultures living side by side. It fascinates me how one can experience the laid back and random culture of Italy (“let’s drink some wine, go to the beach, ignore every traffic rule and park on the sidewalk”), then drive an hour and be […Read more]

Visiting an Old Friend

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Jul 152010
Visiting an Old Friend

Exploring a new place and a new culture; that’s what travel is usually about for me. Seeing how other people live, gaining new insights into history, tasting strange foods, exploring unfamiliar places. But visiting a familiar place is special in another way; like seeing an old friend you haven’t spent time with for awhile. Finding […Read more]

Rain Drums in My Own Backyard

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May 252010
Rain Drums in My Own Backyard

When you can’t count on rain in Seattle, what can you count on? Rain seemed to be a necessary ingredient for visiting a rain drum exhibit, so we chose a day when the forecast was for rain. All day long—9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. But as we headed east from Seattle on I-90, the sky […Read more]