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Month: July 2015

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove

(Disclaimer: I’m too busy to be verbose and check grammar these days, so apologies in advance…)

La Jolla July 2015

On Saturday morning, we left around 9:40. A billion accidents on the five freeway and 118 miles later we arrived at La Jolla Cove at 2:15. Sometimes it can take that long to get BACK from San Diego on a Sunday night, but we’ve never seen traffic that bad on the way down.  Our friends were already at the cove when we arrived, so I hurried my wetsuit on and got in the water. Sam was still recovering from a Chinese cold, so she stayed on the beach.

El Nino is making warmer waters and bigger waves on every Southern California beach, the cove being no exception. In fact, usually there’s really no waves at the cove to speak of, but here they were the size you might have seen at Shaw’s on a good day in 2014 (which is to say, not that bad for an average swimmer to get through). The strange thing is that this somehow drove more people to the beach than we’ve ever seen before as well.

For whatever reason (el nino?), this year the sea lions were much more active. They were swimming through the cove constantly, often coming up to us just to investigate, swimming in tight circles. Other times they would stealthily approach and then jump out of the water right next to us (maybe as a warning?).

Because of the rough water there wasn’t much else to see, but I did manage to catch sight of a baby bat ray when we were on our way out of the water.

The next day, we headed to La Jolla Shore. Unfortunately, the waves there were much higher. Some of the highest I’ve ever seen on a public beach in California. These were rough Malibu size waves. We watched the tours of kayakers try to head out and get toppled end over end after going straight up. Kent and I walked over to Dr. Seuss’s house and tried to swim through the waves to the leopard sharks.  We made it past the big waves (which was no easy feat) only to discover that the rough water was churning up so much sand that all we could see was the glittery gold flakes, but hardly a glimpse of the bottom. No sharks.

Googling it later, it turns out that the El Nino this year is being called “Godzilla,” and maybe the worst of the century. Guess I’ll stop trying to convince our friends to go snorkeling with us… until next year.


Trip to the Peninsula

Trip to the Peninsula

In late June Byron and I headed to the Washington Peninsula. On Friday we headed to his parents’ house in Hansville for some grilling and drinking. They generously loaned us one of their cars for the rest of the weekend so we could drive around the peninsula.

Our first stop on Saturday was Hurricane Ridge. Being very near the summer solstice, it was as hot as it can get in Washington state on the top of the mountain. Which is, unpleasant on a vertical hike, but not unbearable like in Phoenix or Thailand. The hike was relatively short (just over 3 miles, round trip), but the last vertical jump covered us in sweat. When we reached the top we were treated to a view of all the surrounding peninsula, and a lonely mountain goat hiding in the shade under the peak.

After leaving the mountain, we headed to Port Angeles to check on our room. It wasn’t ready, so they gave us some tickets for free drinks across the street. When we came back, it still wasn’t ready, but it gave us the opportunity to sit in the lobby and reconnect with our significant others. Sam let me know she passed her pilates instructor test. She’s spent the last six months (and at least that many thousand dollars), prepping for this test. I had no doubt she’d pass, but it was good to hear.

After finally getting our room at the Red Lion, which wasn’t clean and had no soap, we showered off and headed to Lake Crescent Lodge for dinner.

After dinner we hiked through the forest along the lake briefly before settling into chairs on the beach to watch the sunset. While watching, we talked about ideas for a new novel. I’m pleased to say we made some major headway, a lot farther than I’d come by myself.

After sunset we waited for the opportunity to try and photograph the milky way. This had been something we’d looked forward to for months. However, in all that time, neither of us thought of the fact that the summer solstice has the longest days all year, and we were the farthest north you can get on the west coast in America at the same time. Adding to our poor planning was a nearly full moon lighting up the sky.

There was no milky way to been seen, but we did see Jupiter and Venus hovering near each other just above the mountains at the edge of the lake.

The next day we headed to the Dungeness National Park to walk along the spit to the lighthouse. At the end we started to be trailed in the water by a curious sea lion.

After the beach we had some great reubens in a little seaside town (I forget the name), before heading back to Byron’s parents’ house. Byron’s dad drove us to the ferry and we were back in Seattle.

The next day I walked from Byron’s new house to his office downtown. It’s a six mile walk in the sun down the hill, then back up, then back down again. I didn’t realize till later that it’s the same distance to my office from our house, for some reason I brought my laptop in its messenger bag on the journey. I’ve decided I won’t be walking to work in the future, mine or Byron’s.

After lunch (crab sandwich and bisque at the market) we went back to Byron’s house. Later, when Christine came home they made a delicous dinner that we ate in the back yard. Christine helped us enormously with the science (as that is her profession) end of the story we’d been cooking up – and hope to write some day.