Along the way, deep into the forest trail

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I recently posted about my hike to Annette Lake, a serene lake high in the mountainous region of the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie forest.

The lake being serene and amazing, was enough to behold for its own posting. Now, I would like to share a bit more on its trail to and back. It’s a path as awesome as its destination.

The 7.5-mile round trip Annette Lake trail has wonderous sights, rich in the best of the Pacific Northwest nature land preservations, and another reason I love the Washington State. Here, dedicated hikers will step across towering huddled trees, fallen trees with new life taking upon, rocks of all ages, countless waterfalls, old wooden bridges, and patches of snow along the top in this late spring.

The sunlight through the blue sky intensified the green, illuminated darker pathways partially covered full-grown branches, and gave sparkles to the streams of water running down. You can also enjoy the sounds of the trail varied from noisy waterfalls, chirping birds up high, and peaceful void of preserved stillness.

Here are some choice pics along the path…

 

Overall, the Lake Annette Trail is a good hike I highly recommend for those physically able to withstand a moderate uphill exercise binge, with a worthwhile destination of the lake itself to rest for a bit.

My tips for the trail: go early, so you’ll have time to rest and enjoy some views. Bring a water bottle or two, with snacks of nuts and dried fruit. Go in a group, and maybe bring your dog (allowed on the trail). Wear good hiking shoes fit for stepping over small rocky pathways and snow patches. Don’t rush, as parts of the path are narrow, and other hikers will be frequently passing on the good days. Much of the path is upon step hillsides, with an easy fall into deadly grounds. Rest easy at the lake for a good time before heading back.

For more on the Lake Annette Trail, visit the official Washington Trails site at www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/annette-lake.

– Orion T

The stunning sight of Annette Lake

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Recently, I went on a long hike in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Regional Forest with others, to Annette Lake.

The sight itself deserves my special posting as an amazing visual spot, high up in the mountainous regions of the middle Washington State. The lake is medium size, with much of its surrounding area closed off to visitors. There is no big open shore or planks, just some natural spots for viewers to appreciate it’s still serene beauty, and untouched landscape. The water is very cold and there are warnings to not proceed further in.

Here is a low-grade panoramic shot from my phone:

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The only way to reach Annette Lake is through a 7.5-mile round trip trail. Half the hike is uphill through a deep forest mountainside over switchbacks, small waterfalls, and a little snow up high. The elevation gain is about 1800 ft, where the lake signals the peak and destination of the trail.

I advise good hiking boots for the path, and for the current time while the snow sits up high..bring trekking poles. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow, though one should take it slow with its rocky parts and slippy elevation. Dogs are welcome on the trail, as many brought their canine companions.

My friend’s dog Ruby joined our group, who enjoyed the snow part very much.

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There was a lot to visually enjoy for the hike to Annette Lake as well. I will share more on that soon.

Meanwhile, to anyone interested in checking out Lake Annette and the trail to it, visit the official site for more info, at www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/annette-lake.

– Orion T

 

 

Riding the Great Weather

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Lately, the warm and sunny weather has brought out the best in people.

For me over the recent weekend, the effect been more exercise by moving around more. I also got some nice new walking shoes, making my recent walk through the West Seattle longer, more enjoyable. Also, I did some reading and writing

Alki Beach of West Seattle felt especially pleasant, with people in abundance doing many good things possible and special to this wonderful climate. The best of which included volleyball, kayaking, jogging, conversing, holding hands, eating ice cream out of a cone, dog-walking,  and leaving their mobile devices alone.

The summer is about a month away, with more days of good sun to make up for some of the gloom and freeze of the prior months (at least here in the Pacific Northwest US).

I look forward!

– Orion T

I shot the picture last Saturday afternoon. No idea on who the bicyclist is, but his balance skills are excellent. And I think he probably appreciated the cheers in the distance (and a big thanks to him for allowing me time to get my camera ready). I could also overhear someone whistling and complementing his physique. That got a chuckle out of me.

The sky suddenly changed…

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An hour after the noon during my lunch break, I enjoyed the warm weather with a mix of blue sky, passing grey clouds and sunshine. The calm was highly appreciated for my otherwise busy life.

What a beautiful day.

A few hours later, the rain suddenly poured heavy, with a little thunder mixed in. I borrowed an umbrella from work, which soon broke while waiting for the bus (came 15 minutes late).

Argh, stupid umbrella.

Eventually, the rain slowed, just in time for my long bus ride to finally end (traffic from Bellevue was a bit rough). The atmosphere of downtown Seattle felt a bit humid from the mix of warm weather and sudden dampness. I walked steady pace in a homeward direction, looking forward to a big bowl of tomato soup.

I forgot the broken umbrella, still on the bus. Oh well.

On the way, I passed by the public use ping-pong table in the outside recreational open of Westlake Park. I stopped, and admire its smooth, wet reflection of the world above, after these sudden changes of unresting weather.

Still, a beautiful day.

– Orion T

This Sunday afternoon…

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I had a plan to relax outside, though sometimes that takes effort beforehand.

After sleeping in late, catching up on messages, fixing breakfast, finishing laundry, playing Boggle on my phone, taking a shower, answering more text messages, and then watching one more episode of the new Lost in Space series on Netflix (it’s quite good).

Then, I could ignore the bright sunshine any further, and finally left my apartment a little past 1:00 pm).

I took the bus to the Fremont neighborhood, walking into the weekly Fremont Sunday Market. The area is a few blocks long, with many tents and tables selling a variety of used and new goods. I highly recommend this path, for gifts and interesting home decoration. With all that, strolled through the merchant tents, browsing but not purchasing. Sometimes, I just enjoy looking at random things.

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I ended my stroll at the food trucks, feeling somewhat excited about the “Taco Libre Truck Showdown” going on (and the reason I came to the Sunday Market), where tacos of special variety were sold. To participate as a taster of these tacos, one would likely spend much time in a long line for pricey, tiny “street” taco resembling eats. I tried a couple of trucks, and was no happy at the bits of things normally I do not associate with tacos thrown in for that  “gourmet”  or “fusion” flavor (arugula, fruit bits, weird sauces I can’t figure out)..and consumed in three or four bites. Or, I just miss my old living regions of Southern California, where taco trucks delivered bigger, fuller tacos at a cheaper price with much less of a line.

I looked for lemonade to consume. Only one stand found in the area, with an absurdly long line for just the lemonade. Perhaps, it was really high-quality lemonade. I did not stick around to find out.

Leaving my disappointments behind, I found a nice spot by the by the Fremont Canal Park passageway and sat down on a grassy area before a large tree. There were ducks, geese before me in the waters ahead. I had a brief conversation with someone nearby feeding the waterfowl, something about the motherhood and caretaking of such.  Then, I took a short nap, did some reading and absorbed a mix of the mid 70’s sunlight and passing cloud cover above.

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All was enough to enjoy and make the day worthwhile.

– Orion T

Colorful Gardens at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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I recently visited the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Northern Washington State on a gray day this April. Some of that was detailed in my previous post, Colorful Views…). As amazing as the tulip fields were, I was also impressed by the Roozengaarde display garden area. Here, there are “90+ varieties of tulips and over 150 flower bulb varieties in total. Included are tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, muscari and other specialty flowers.”

The colors this time of year stand out, and a worthwhile attraction for tourists and locals in the Pacific Northwest. According to its website at tulips.com, the display garden is open all year round. Seeing these with the fields during the festival, is just an added bonus.

I now share some pics of wonderful display garden below (click on each for the bigger picture):

The admiration and picture-taking was a joy, but personally seeing this for yourself is the best experience, especially with friends or family. For more info, click here and check out the Roozengaarde official site at Tulips.com for more info about tulips and purchase options

– Orion T

 

 

Colorful Views at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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A few days ago, me and local friends ventured out north in the Washington state to the rural area of Skagit Valley by Mount Vernon, to check out its annual Tulip Festival. This wonderful time throughout April is when the tulip farms are at their colorful peak, growing miles of freshly blooms tulips and daffodils. Designated areas for up close viewing are open to the public, with a small admission charge

For the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival of 2018, there are multiple areas to visit and check out, as I entered the Roozengaarde Display Garden and Fields. Stunning place it is, even with the gray weather and muddy grounds (rained hard the day before). I admired and learned much of the tulip life and care that goes into them. I also took some pictures, of which the fields are shared below (click on each to fully appreciate):

The festival time goes on until the end of the month. The tourism on the weekend can be a bit heavy, especially if the rain is gone and the sun is shining. So, be ready for a slow drive when close and lines at the entrance and foot court. It’s all well worth it with friends and family.

For more info, check out tulipfestival.org.

I meanwhile, also show many great up-close shots of the tulips in their enclosed garden area, of which I will share in another post. Look forward!

– Orion T