The Battle Bluff Trail & A Less Frustrating Day in Kamloops

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: lakessunsetsmuseumstrainsbadlandspoliticsresidential schoolsEvery Child Matters • Places: Kamloops Indian Residential School Battle Bluff Trailhead

A derelict car along the Battle Bluff trail. 

Better, more spectacular, car-free views follow in the rest of the post.
A derelict car along the Battle Bluff trail.

Better, more spectacular, car-free views follow in the rest of the post.
open_in_full   info

My second day in Kamloops was another workday. I stayed in bed for a fair few hours, punching away at my laptop. Then, I emerged to make myself coffee.

I figured I could use the caffeine as I looked forward to the day ahead. I was going to get some good eats, hit up some local sights downtown, visit a nature preserve and do some hiking, make up my mind about my plans for the upcoming weekend and my first few days off, and pick up the supplies I'd need for my next few days camping.

In short, I was going to be busy!

Shopping Malls and Frustration in Kamloops

✍️ 🕑 May 18-19, 2022 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: riversautomotive foiblessunsetsparksborder crossingsAirbnbproselytizing • Places: Abbotsford Riverside Park, Kamloops, BC

In this post, I start my journey to Haida Gwaii. I travel from Seattle to Kamloops, and find myself not quite feelin' it, until I inevitably do. At which point, I immediately leave. I guess that's my MO.

(Though most of the actual feelin' it is reserved for the next Kamloops post. This is the frustration post.)

How did Steve end up taking a janky webcam selfie to show off this sick mall basement workspace to colleagues?

Guess ya got to read further!
How did Steve end up taking a janky webcam selfie to show off this sick mall basement workspace to colleagues?

Guess ya got to read further!

Towards the Beautiful Islands

✍️ 🕑 May-June 2022 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands

It feels like a world, and a pandemic away, but in June of 2019, I had the great pleasure of going on a road trip, camping around the Yukon with two good friends of mine. Together, we had a blast.

To fly from New York to Whitehorse, I had a few layovers. During the final stretch, from Vancouver to Whitehorse, the scenery was the most spectacular: craggly mountains meeting a stunning coastline for miles and miles.

And, though the Yukon was absolutely stunning and beautiful in its own right, when I flew over those mountain ranges for the first time, I couldn't help but feel some niggling doubt in the back of my mind. If British Columbia was so beautiful, why was I bothering going further North?

In the distance: a B.C. ferry boat, which could eventually take me from piece of land to another.
In the distance: a B.C. ferry boat, which could eventually take me from piece of land to another.

A Taste of Paradise at Mt. Rainier National Park

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: mountainssunsetsMt. Rainier National Parknational parkswildlife photographyground squirrelsmarmotsflowersmeadows • Places: Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park

Washington State's most famous and scenic mountain is, of course, Mt. Rainier. It's an active volcano covered in glaciers, a mere 60 miles or so from the city. If or when it erupts, it is likely to be catastrophic.

Besides that, it's the most prominent mountain in the contiguous United States. In other words, it's wayyy taller than its surroundings.

Given that Seattle residents can only see Mt. Rainier a little under one in four days per year, it's no wonder that Seattleites and tourists flock in droves to visit Mt. Rainier National Park, a place I skirted the edge of, but absolutely didn't otherwise visit because it's a long (~3.5 hr) drive and I'm lazy.

So, when a colleague asked about recommended hikes for wildflowers, and another colleague (V.) gave a strong recommendation the Skyline Trail, I knew I was interested. A few messages later, we overcame our mutual desire not to do the work of planning, and agreed on an afternoon hike. And on carpooling.

Mt. Rainier & Wildflowers!!!

(Or, a taste of some of the beauty that you'll find in this 'ere blog post.)
Mt. Rainier & Wildflowers!!!

(Or, a taste of some of the beauty that you'll find in this 'ere blog post.)

Lots of Lakes; Waterways and Sunshine

✍️ 🕑 July-August 2022 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: lakesmuseumssunsetsCity Parksindustrial historyWashington State • Places: Golden Gardens Park Ballard Locks & Fish Ladder Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Gas Works Park Warren G. Magnuson Park Madrona Park Seward Park Lake Sammamish

Sailboat on Lake Union, taken from Gas Works Park
Sailboat on Lake Union, taken from Gas Works Park

There is a clear and obvious reason why people live in Seattle.

They might be miserable and sun-deprived and antisocial (but pretending they're not) for most of the year, but there's a special time in which that is absolutely not so. It's called "summer", and it runs from the end of June until sometime in September. Once it expires, it's back to the gloom.

I could feel my body react to the sunlight, the warmth, the near-perfect temperature with no humidity when it started. Suffice to say, I was pleased and smiley.

One barista, who moved to Seattle from Los Angeles at the beginning of the summer encapsulated the mood as follows, "I came to Seattle, and everyone was just smiling all the time. And I was wondering, what is wrong with all of you people."

The summer is when it is warm enough to enjoy any of the lakes around Seattle. It's when the snow has melted enough that the mountain peaks become accessible to the less intrepid. It's when the mountain is out, meaning that the sky is clear and Mt. Rainier can be seen from numerous vantage points around Seattle.

Admiring the Puget Sound at Golden Gardens Park
Admiring the Puget Sound at Golden Gardens Park

It's also when I had a series of guests visiting me, each of whom could leave content that they got the completely wrong idea about living here the rest of the year.

As I've entertained guests from out of town, some of the most enjoyed places we've visited have been lakes. As Seattle's heatwaves have come and gone, I've enjoyed the sunshine on Lake Washington and Lake Samammish. I've hiked to and from alpine lakes. I've taken a decent lil number of photos at lakefront parks, including a few that were on my "to-visit" list for a while, so when all is said and done, I am absolutely a lake person these days...

Which of Seattle's lake front parks features these 'fins' as an art installation? Read on to find out...
Which of Seattle's lake front parks features these 'fins' as an art installation? Read on to find out...

The focus of this post, though, is gonna be lakes & rivers. (And sound and locks.)