The One Trail I Hike With Colleagues

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: lakeswaterfalls • Places: Lake Serene

Many years ago in 2019, I hiked a trail somewhere in the Cascades to a beautiful waterfall, with Andrew, Nik, (both former officemates) Cynthia, and Fitbit.

We had copious amounts of LaCroix, took copious amounts of pictures, and had a copious amount of fun.

And yet, after I actually moved to Seattle, I realized that I didn't actually know which waterfall trail I was on, because there were a lot of them.

Want a photo with more context than this one? Read on!
Want a photo with more context than this one? Read on!

Well, cue July 2022. At work, some colleagues were visiting from Europe. We decided to go on a hike one Saturday.

And yes, it was the same hike.

So, in all of my time in the Pacific Northwest so far, I've gone on quite a few solo hikes, and only this one with other people. Twice.

Oh, What a Beautiful Place! / For a Military Base... 🎵

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Califorests & Shoregon • Tags: military installationsshipwrecksWorld War IIState ParksNational Historic Parks • Places: Fort Stevens State Park Lewis and Clark National Historical Park Astoria, OR

And a beautiful place for a shipwreck too...
And a beautiful place for a shipwreck too...

On my last morning of the trip, I awoke with a splitting headache, and decided I didn't really need to hang out around Cannon Beach.

Nearby Ecola Creek State Park was inaccessible due to sinkholes, so I proceeded north to the town of Seaside. I stopped for a bagel and coffee. They were almost passable.

Afterwards, I stopped at Fort Stevens State Park. My expectations were low, but this park, nestled in the northwestern-most corner of Oregon, turned out to be quite a beautiful place...

...for a military base.

Haystacks, Milkshakes, Erosion

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Califorests & Shoregon • Tags: beacheslandmarksghost townsicecreamoregon • Places: Bayocean Peninsula Park Tilamook Creamery Nehalem Bay State Park Cannon Beach, OR

The fog on the road out of Bayocean Provincial Park was quite picturesque
The fog on the road out of Bayocean Provincial Park was quite picturesque

After I awoke in my hotel room, I had an ambitious day ahead.

Work, yes. But I also wanted to see some natural beauty, enjoy some culinary treats, and visit one of Oregon's most famous attractions.

Today was the day I was going to visit both Cannon Beach and the Tilamook Creamery.

Over A Few Clouds

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Califorests & Shoregon • Tags: bird photographysunsetsState Parks • Places: Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area Boiler Bay Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge Neskowin, OR Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge South Tilamook County Library, Pacific City, OR Sitka Sedge Natural Area Cape Lookout State Park

I was texting a friend from Los Angeles, and I was jokingly complaining that I regretted leaving California behind. Ever since that moment, I was again absorbed into the drab lack of sunlight I had left Seattle to avoid.

And though I was joking, there was some truth there.

Scenic? views at Boiler Bay
Scenic? views at Boiler Bay open_in_full   info

Why would I stop at overlooks when I couldn't see anything, or get sopping wet on a short walk?

What joys could this day possibly bring?

(Spoilers: many, many joys)

As Soon As You Complain...

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Califorests & Shoregon • Tags: sea lionslighthousesoregon • Places: Newport, OR Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site

And thus, after a hiatus, I return to writing about a visit to the Oregon Coast this past January...

On my way to Waldport, Oregon, I bought two postcards to send to friends.

One was of the Sea Lion Caves. I lamented my blurry sea lion photos, and the fact that the lighting was lackluster in the cave. (What did I expect!?)

The other was of the "Lighthouses of Oregon." I lamented the fact that I had missed pretty much all of them as they weren't super visible in the fog and rain. (What else did I expect!?)

Looking across at the bridge from Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site
Looking across at the bridge from Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site

So, what did I do immediately after writing those except go see sea lions in better lighting, and glance at a historic lighthouse?

This is what I got up to during my downtime on a workday...

Either/Or (Book Review)

book reviewsacademialiterature

Elif Batuman's 2017 novel The Idiot came out at a great time for me. I had just moved back to the city where I spent my university years from Turkey. I found myself missing the aura of intellectual curiosity that her novel presented perfectly.

In short, it's a bildungsroman about a Turkish-American freshman at Harvard who finds herself in a confusing friendship with an older, Hungarian student. It's also a love letter to language, in particular that of second language English speakers, and it brought me much joy.

(I'm not the only one it brought joy to -- apparently it was nominated for a Pulitzer!)

I was dimly aware that a sequel was on its way, but the universe set forth a plot to compel me to buy a copy. See, the weather in Seattle was so temperate and lovely for reading in the park in late June, and I happened to be in the park without a book, but suspiciously close to the Elliot Bay Book Company, which just happened to have an autographed copy of Either/Or on the shelf. Resistance was futile.