Monday, December 22, 2008

AK weather in WA

this weather is pretty much unheard of for this area - over a foot of snow right here on the coast. I am absolutely LOVING it, like a kid with not just his hand, but his whole head stuck in the candy jar... 20 degrees and snowy and bright - does it get any better than that?


Audrey and I hosted a little solstice party at my house last night. Neither of us know many folks here, the roads were horrible... it had the makings for a lame night. But little by little folks showed up and it actually turned in to a fun little holiday party. Lots of bizarre little connections you would only find in a small town like la conner... Alex -Audrey's college buddy exboyfriend was here with his family who moved to la conner a year ago. Turns out he works with my officemate Jenny, who also came. Jenny's husband Chris went to high school with Scott - who I met through Yoga in la conner - etc. forgot to take photos (sorry mom) but i was very proud of my decorating - icicle arms and asparagus nose...

best batch ever?

the tradition continues...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

sunday am

just shot this photo out the kitchen window while on the phone with my mom this morning. the abundance of Hawks in the Skagit in the winter is amazing, they seem to be on every single power line, but this is the first time I've had one on the porch. Sharp shinned? .

Deception Pass Dash

I went and watched this grueling 6 mi paddle race today through Deception Pass. Basically you have to sprint the first few miles to beat the tide, otherwise you're fighting the current through the Pass and it's pretty much hopeless. I wasn't up for it this year but it was fun to watch all the different boats (surf kayaks, outrigger canoes, etc) and I'd love to do it next year..
i think santa was a bit tired.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving - NW Island style

The holiday got off to a rough start around here - with Caz Z eating a full pecan and half a pumpkin pie off the counter Thanksgiving morning. So of course the pie fiasco led to your typical holiday emotional breakdown - which for me involves being ridiculously homesick for friends, skiing, and thanksgiving in DJ. But the day improved dramatically and I had a great meal/day with Steph and friends in Seattle. Then came back and spent a wet but gorgeous weekend on Orcas Island with Audrey. It was a great blast from the past, I hadn't been out there since I worked a summer there as a kayak guide in... 1993?? Am I really that old? Much has changed, but the island still has remarkable charm.

we did get out for a long hike, but with the wet weather we also leisurely enjoyed the great bookstore and coffee shop and got in lots of knitting. here we are enjoying the most decadent mexican hot chocolate you can imagine, stalling out before going back to a wet tent.

As homesick as I may be, I must say I LOVE the mornings here. After years of winter darkness in Fairbanks, having the sun rise @ 7 am here feels so decadent! This is our campsite, pretty sure we were the only ones camping in all of moran state park, not bad considering the unseasonably warm weather here these days.

we thought about buying this beauty for morgan...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the wet season is here

favorite past-time in the office this last week has been checking the hydrograph of the Skagit river. Watching the predicted curve shoot up into the phase III orange flood zone is exciting, when you're in a dry office. The Stilliguamish - one delta South of here - flooded heavily, further upriver flooded, but mt vernon was spared.... for this fall storm at least.

in other news... Auds is here for a month. I'm so glad to have a good friend around, and she's glad to have a comfy place to recover. She just had a surgery last week, she donated a kidney. It's been amazing to see this whole process. The surgery itself was no big deal by Audrey standards (and thanks to the drugs no doubt). but she's had some major complications from the surgery which were not anticipated and were a big deal. Just hanging out with her in the hospital during one particularly bad bout of pain last week I was so struck but what an amazingly selfless act she had made. Seems as humans we have this innate tendency towards selfishness, but really Auds just proved we're capable of so much more.

Howard (the recepient) is doing great. He started peeing within a few hours of surgery, is eating black beans... things he hasn't done in years. I've never been so blown away by the miracles of modern medicine. We all of course had wished Dea could have been the recipient but it just wasn't a good match. But Howard has a young daughter and Audrey's gift to her is no less than if it had been Dea.

election night, la conner style

a bit late, but a great story...
i was a bit disappointed election night. i walked down to the brewery to watch the results come in and see it live on tv. history in the making, how could there only 3 people at the bar? that is so la conner, dead. dead. not that i'm a big fan of crowds but i really wanted to be in grant park, not the la conner brewery.

so a few nights ago i went to a book signing event for a local author - tom robbins. (as in - Even Cowgirls get the Blues). He looked strangely familiar... If only I had known at the time that I spent a historical night with my neighbor Tom Robbins!

Monday, October 13, 2008

we have snow too...

but only high on the passes, really it's just fall here. certainly no fall colors here to rival new england or the tundra in the brooks range in August... but still the larches really are beautiful...

another great weekend hiking with Steph in the Cascades.

come ski the methow!!

why ski to mcgrath or ski to nome, when for the same price you can hop a quick flight to seattle, meet me and drive out to winthrop, WA where there's endless skate skiing on the east side of the cascades. Just discovered this cool little mtn town... it's warm, it's sunny, there's more daylight here, you can stop by one of several awesome bakeries on your way out, or the breweries on your way back into town... maybe this is what happens when you move south - am I getting softer, or just smarter? either way, you guys should come check it out. i hear there are cabins you can skate to...

Friday, October 03, 2008

seattle times

Not everyday that I get my photo in the Seattle newspaper!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

back to AK

i had an absolutely fabulous weekend in Haines, AK for Caroline and Pat's wedding last weekend. It was a small wedding on their land just outside of Haines. They've built this gorgeous cabin entirely themselves - milled the logs from the property, everything. it is so detailed and beautiful, a labor of love more than any house i've ever been to. It was a powerful weekend - small group of great people, spectacular location, hiking, kayaking, eating, drinking... it left me incredibly homesick for Alaska.

it was an all the crab you can eat weekend, caught right off the beach...

"tent city" - we all camped out in their backyard - 30 acres of gorgeous SE forest
hiking up to the davidson glacier - just a few miles behind their cabin.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

moving in

finally! the stuff i shipped has arrived from Alaska, and I am unpacking these days... it feels weird. found a real cute and charming house, in dire need of some tlc. renting for now, with the option to buy in 6 months... but my dilemna - would you buy a house in the floodplain??

no doubt the best part of the house is the kitchen window - looking out on an elaborate garden, and the Hedlin farm behind that (one of the farmers in my program at work, and I now buy all my produce at their farmstand a half a mile from my house). it also has a great sunroom, an awesome deck, 2 pear trees, an apple tree, grapes, and some really lovely 30 year old yellow carpet and mint green paint....

Sunday, July 27, 2008


turns out that's the perfect ratio for a fabulous weekend in the cascades... 3 cool women, 2 awesome dogs, and 3 bottles of wine. It was great to catch up with my old friend Steph Zador who lives in Seattle, haven't seen her in 8 or 9 years, but it was like no time had passed. Met up with her and her friend Sara from Port Townsend, and got in some gorgeous hikes at Rainy pass. SO glad to have Steph in the area, and around for future adventures...

caz posing in the heather. i must say this move has been great, as far as i can tell, on caz. and somehow thru the total upheavel of our lives -we've really bonded, maybe for the first time in 2 years.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Migration already

I barely beat the shorebirds in migrating down here from AK, I wish they would have given me a little more time to settle in. The folks here thought they were hiring a "bird nerd" - instead they got me. So here's a quiz for my true "bird nerd" friends - greater and a lesser, or lesser and a kid? (for the non-bird nerd folks like me, they are simply yellowlegs).

OR restoration tour

I spent the week (in the car again!!) touring wetland restoration sites in OR and visiting with some very innovative farmers in the Klamath Basin. Great week - travelling with 4 collaborators in the Skagit, seeing first hand some farms and wetlands... but I'm overwhelmed with my new job - SO much to learn. A few quick photos...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

welcome to the cascades

took a break from househunting stress and went out for a short dayhike in the cascades just east of bellingham last weekend with Nate and his friends. it was a great intro to the cascades - a whole new world to explore, i'm excited. the weather has been outrageously beautiful since i've been here and it was fun to get high enough to cool down a bit playing in the snow. many more trips to come i'm sure...
Mt Baker - a new fixture on my horizen here.