Tuesday/ Canoe Pass bridge 🛶

Two two-lane bridges (Canoe Pass Bridge and Deception Pass Bridge) on Washington State Route 20, connect Whidbey Island in Island County, to Fidalgo Island in Skagit County in Washington State.
The bridges opened on July 31, 1935.
[Source: Wikipedia]

These pictures of the Canoe Pass Bridge were all taken from Pass Island, looking south. The pictures were taken around 4.15 pm. The Salish Sea is to the west, and with high tide at about 6.48 pm today, the tide from the Pacific Ocean was still coming in.


Monday/ at the roastery ☕️

Here’s the scene at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Pike street.
We didn’t get to see the roasted coffee beans spill from the roasting barrel into the giant cooling pan, but the place was packed with tourists and locals (a guy wearing a shirt with an Amazon Web Services logo on, for example).

Coffees from Sumatra, Malawi and Viet Nam were being brewed, and we picked Malawi. (My friends that are visiting Seattle, are from South Africa).

Sunday 🪷

The summer days are rapidly running out, but the dahlias in the little rose garden in Myrtle Edwards Park (the extension called Centennial Park) are still in bloom.

Saturday/ setting sail 🛳️

Here’s the Norwegian Bliss just leaving the pier in Seattle and setting sail for Sitka, Alaska, shortly after 5 pm this afternoon.
She will go as far as Juneau and then to Icy Straight Point 30 miles across the Alaskan Inside Passage, before turning back to Seattle.

The Norwegian Bliss was built in 2018 and can accommodate 4,900 passengers.

Friday/ it’s Oktoberfest 🍺

Happy Friday.
Oktoberfest commences tomorrow (in Munich, Germany, of course).
The price of a beer* is expected to be between €12.60 and €14.90 ($13.45 and $15.90), an average of 6.12 percent more than last year.

*One liter of beer! (34 US fluid ounces or about two pints).

The Winzerer Fähndl (a famous crossbow shooter’s club) was founded in 1895 and has been a presence at Oktoberfest ever since. (The annual German Crossbow Shooting Championships take place next to the beer tent). They used to call the main Paulaner beer tent home but moved to the Armbrustschützenzelt in 1926.

Thursday/ Mowich lake, one more time 🦌

I made a final run out to Mt Rainier National Park today, to pick up the Wonderland Trail hikers where they had started eight days ago: the campground at Mowich Lake.

It was a stunning day out at Mowich Lake, elevation 4,929 ft (1508 m).
The name “Mowich” derives from the Chinook* jargon word for deer.
*The Chinook Indian Nation is made up of the five western-most Chinookan speaking tribes at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Tuesday/ Sourdough Ridge Trail ⛰

I made another run to Sunrise Visitor Center on the slopes of Mount Rainier on Monday morning. (My hiking party needed me to help them retrieve their food for the next four days. It was in a cache down by the White River Campground, an arduous trek by foot from where they were on the mountainside).

I took the opportunity to walk up to the Sourdough Ridge Trail to the north of the visitor center. The summit of Rainier is then to the west.
There was a little drizzle on the mountain early in the morning.
It took a while for the clouds and fog to clear, and for the snow-capped summit to reveal itself for a picture through the trees.

Monday/ may we never forget 🎀

A relative of one of the victims pays her respects at the Wall of Names before a ceremony commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the crash of Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial on September 11, 2023 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
[Posted at nbcnewyork.com   Picture Credit: Jeff Swensen/ Getty Images]

Sunday/ it’s a wrap 🪲

The US Open tennis tournament is a wrap*— and I believe this coat with a green sheen, on a Tesla Model Y, is a wrap as well.

*Novak Djokovic (Serbia, 36) beat Danill Medvedev (27) in straight sets in today’s Men’s Singles final. I pay my respects to Djokovic begrudgingly.  I am not a fan of his.

Saturday/ congrats, Coco! 🏆

Coco Gauff (19) is the first American teenager to win the US Open since Serena Williams won the tournament in 1999 at 17.

Coco Gauff (above, USA, 19) ran down just about all the shots that Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus, 25) blasted at her, neutralizing Sabalenka’s aggressive play.
Final score: Gauff 2-6 6-3 6-2.
[Photo: Karsten Moran for The New York Times]

Thursday/ at Sunrise 🌅

Located in the northeast corner of the park at an elevation of 6,400 ft (1 950 m), Sunrise is Mount Rainier National Park’s highest visitor center.
It is only open from early July to early September.

The butterfly is a mariposa copper (Lycaena mariposa), and on the log is a Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) and a Townsend’s chipmunk (Tamias townsendii).

Wednesday/ Mowich Lake 🏞

This morning, I dropped off the hiking party of two (my friends visiting from South Africa) at the Mowich Lake campground on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

Mowich Lake is where they will start out on Thursday morning, on the Wonderland Trail/ Northern Loop Trail for an eight-day hike.

Tuesday/ washed out 😢

Blue diamonds, strike ’em anywhere
First we caffeinate then incinerate
We’ll get you
And sparks will fly in the summer air
Did you pull out of your stall
Maybe I’ll see you after all

[Chorus: Stephan Jenkins]
Hold me down, I want to find out
We say no ’cause I live my life like a burning man
Like a burning man, a burning man
Like a burning man
And I won’t get enough until my legs are broken
– Lyrics from ‘Burning Man’ by Third Eye Blind, 1997

It’s nice to see the stranded— stranded in mud, in the desert!— festivalgoers to this year’s Burning Man are able to finally make an exodus from the muddy grounds there.

‘Burning Man attendees say learning to live with the unexpected is part of the program’ – headline from an NPR report.
Torrential rains disrupted this year’s event. It appears to me from this picture as if the wood pyre (a ‘burning man’ effigy) was not set alight this year. 
[Picture from official Burning Man website]

Monday/ ferries 🚢

Happy Labor Day.

My friends and I made a round trip across Puget Sound today:
crossing with the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry, driving to Silverdale REI* to pick up a tent, and returning on the Bremerton-Seattle ferry.

*Outdoor recreation gear and equipment store

There’s the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline in the distance, seen from MV Walla Walla ferry that departed out of Bremerton. We made the 1.30 pm ferry— early enough and not too crowded with holiday weekend traffic returning to Seattle.

Saturday/ gearing up 🧗‍♀️

My friends are gearing up for hiking on Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail— and so a visit the the flagship REI store in Seattle’s South Lake Union was in order for today.

Some of the purchases: water bag and microfilter system, powdered eggs, shredded beef with beef broth in a pouch, energy bars, Mount Rainier Wonderland Trail map, waterproof compression bag (keeps clothes dry), pressure-regulated pocket-sized gas stove, isobutane fuel cartridges.

Friday/ last gasp for summer travel 🛬

Happy Friday.
This weekend is the last hurrah of summer travel for many families.
Kids in California are back in school already, and kids in Washington State go back next Wednesday.

Here’s my vantage point from a filled-to-capacity Cell Phone Parking Lot at Seattle-Tacoma International airport this afternoon. (There goes the Light Rail train, departing from the airport station).
I am wedged in between a big old Dodge Ram Off Road truck and another truck to my right, waiting for my two friends from South Africa to call from the airport.
It took longer than an hour for their luggage to appear on the baggage claim carousel, and it was TWO hours after they had landed, when I finally picked them up at the curb outside the arrivals hall.