Sunday Settling Down

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I had a wonderful day this latest Sunday (now past midnight and it’s Monday).

Add a gentle breeze to the mid-70s F. This Sunday had a fine, calming .  Just hours before, I ate a damn good “California style” burrito from a food truck, along with some freshly squeezed strawberry lemonade from another at the South Lake Union Food Festival. Then, worked on some writing and reading while gradually drawing my feet to the waterfront.

And that was much of the good day, then getting to the sunset time made it wonderful. The view above is from Pier 66 on the Seattle waterfront, at about 8:50pm.

– Orion T

I don’t want to grow up…

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Since my childhood, a part of me was always a Toys R’ US kid.

Then, the realities of adulthood will constantly break in to that innocent little world many of us keep inside. It’s a world of cool little action figures, cartoon nostalgia, board games, brick building, weird collectible nonsense. But, we grow up whether we like it or not, and now the best toy store chain ever has been eaten alive by vulture capitalists.

So goes the final end of Toys R’ Us retail stores over the weekend, in the United States (In Canada, I hear some will remain open), an excited place for kids since 1957. No more rows of tall aisles of childish joy, filled with colorful products with silly gimmicks meant to amuse and sometimes educate. There was odd feeling of privacy one can feel, in browsing the shelves of the large spaces of Toys R’ Us. The connection to that customer service, smiling and sometimes sharing in the simple joy of new toy product trends, is treasured. We can gawk and admire the great craftsmanship of classic Saturday morning commercialism. So much, left to memories now…

I brought myself to the Bellevue, Washington location last week to pay my final respects to the great toy store era now gone. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures of the stripped down walls of a once great world of Geoffrey Giraffe. So, I share the pic above of a time earlier this year, of a better time for such nostalgic joy.

I also found this fun video of Toy’s R Us ads over the years of its long life. It’s a good showing of the variety and odd ways the store helped develop our youth and still appeals to our inner child…

Forward, I move on to more growing up. But, I think I will always be a Toys R Us kid.

– Orion T

What we leave behind…

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What we leave behind for others is some rhythm.

The beat goes on in our heads, those jams of good times and shared love. We keep going, with what keeps us alive and smiling among us. For me, it’s the simple joys of walking and finding remnants of good times people have. A Pride Parade happened over the weekend, of which I heard went well. I missed it, being busy with matters. But, I see the pictures and stories on social media. I felt some of the fun, and appreciate remembering what others shared (mostly whimsical, colorful outfits with some nonsensical cultural references). I smile at some moments, then moving on.

The picture is from last Sunday morning. I was in a hurry for a meeting, then stopped for a moment to observe what was left behind. A small Guitar Hero instrument, adorned with Pride-friendly stickers. Whether leaving this behind was intentional or not, the applier was happy for the moment shared in sticking. I stopped for a moment, and smiled back.

Then, I took a picture. Maybe sharing it will keep the happy rhythm going.

– Orion T

Another Happy New Summer

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The Great Wheel at Seattle’s waterfront is still a favorite familiar site, along with the peaceful Elliot Bay waters beyond. After seeing the backdrop in gray for so long, I learned to appreciate the return of the blue for this middle time of the year.

The above picture is from a few days ago.

Today (and currently past midnight), I just realized the summer solstice time just started, as my life is full of busy distractions (and worn out from much work overtime) to further notice. Yet, I feel the pleasant, warmer temperatures alongside the brighter skies and wonderful smiles that come with. Such things give a natural comfort to my day, but I feel I am missing something else.

Hmm.

Perhaps, I should slow down and enjoy this summer season.

– Orion T

 

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