After arriving in Seattle on September 30th 2012 I rejoined Lynne and we spent most of our time with family for a couple of weeks. Lynne’s parents had flown home from Kazakhstan for a handful of days. Even though we were in a time of sadness we found much joy. Much of the family not living in WA headed home sometime that next week. That next weekend I made it out rock climbing with my best friend Josh and his wife Katie. It was her first time back to that area of exit 38 since her accident the previous April! It was great to see her climbing and I also relished being out there. The air was still smokey from all the wildfires burning in WA. It was weird to see nothing but blue sky over Western WA in October! weird in a very nice way.
We slowly turned our attention to trip prep for the long journey south. My computer was still ailing/dead so that didn’t help my blog which was already several weeks behind. I had several things to accomplish while in Seattle before heading over to Spokane to begin the bulk of the prep work. Namely I wanted to catch up with many dear friends and I needed to renew my passport in a week before leaving. I should have shot my own photo for it but due to the time crunch I had 30 minutes to swing by a Kinkos downtown on the way to my appointment at the Passport office. The first image was terrible, complete with a green color cast. Explaining the interaction of their flash and fluorescent lighting was of little use. They wanted another $17 to re shoot it. I left and stopped by a Bartell Drug Store. Wait a minute this was silly, I went back and talked another woman at Kinkos into reshooting it. It was an improvement but still not far from the horrible range. Oh well, I was out of time- this would be the image I would carry for the next decade. An hour wait, the proper paperwork submitted plus $200 and my passport would be ready in 3 business days.
We took a mid week trip out to Neah Bay for a dual purpose visit. I visited the family Doctor who heads the clinic there and we hiked out to camp at Shi Shi & Point of the Arches. I was hoping for some night shots but the sky turned grey for the first time in months in Western WA. That’s ok I needed the sleep! After an enjoyable time in Neah Bay including a stop at the Makah museum we headed back to Seattle and continued our education in Dementia. That’s a tough burden to carry and I now have a lot more understanding for the families and caregivers of dementia patients. Patience and love to the nth! Our fourays to other places were good stress relievers. we went down to Tacoma and stayed with Lynne’s other grandparents while she sorted out what she needed from the storage locker. We had hoped to squeeze in a quick trip to Mt Rainier on our way south but that was not to be. We headed down to Portland and visited my friend Matt Henzi overnight where of course we took a quick trip to the Circuit, Portland’s bouldering gym which is surging in popularity. I also picked up a new wide angle lens for both night sky and video. Lynne was not a fan of the Nikon 14-24 as it’s not a small lens. She thinks my tiny 50mm is my best lens, and in actuality she is right for non-landscape work! In my experience, 3 small inexpensive primes- 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8 & 85 mm f1.8- produce better work than heavy expensive zooms like a 24-70 & 70-200 2.8 Having said this I still use my 24-70 every day. /End Camera digression. The next morning we headed back to Seattle.
On our third weekend in the Seattle area we headed out on an annual tradition with friends, a Larch trip to the North Cascades. Being from the East side of the state I make sure to use the term from my regional dialect Tamarack! The several month ridge of high pressure over the NW had broken down in a big way and forecasts were calling for several inches to nearly a foot of rain!! Instead of our annual large backpacking trip we all decided a day trip near Washington Pass would be best, hopefully dodging the main fury of the storm coming later on Saturday. we had rain on the way in and rain during part of our hike but most of it was quite pleasant and a very fun & beautiful time with great friends! We shared much laughter! Soaked and satisfied we headed back to Seattle with a stop for Mexican food in Burlington on the way home. The rain came down in torrents! We ventured out of Magnolia a few more times to visit friends and run errands. On our last night in Seattle we had a fantastic showing of friends who came out to see us off. Some friends I hadn’t seen in a few years. It felt really good to spend time with dear friends and we were quite grateful to see the effort people made to see us before we left! Thank you! Before dawn the next morning we left Magnolia with the Roo packed to the ceiling and the rear end sagging even with 3″ lift!
Although the reason for our early return south was marked by sadness it was an extremely nourishing time. I feel very privileged to have such wonderful friends and family!