That One Overnight Hike I Did With My Mom

✍️ 🕑 July 15-16, 2022 family bondingNational ParksNorth Cascades National Parkriversstream crossingshiking and campingmosquitosCascadesWashington State • Places: Tricouni Campground

View from the Diablo Lake Vista Point, just past the Thunder Creek Trailhead... and up a fair ways.
View from the Diablo Lake Vista Point, just past the Thunder Creek Trailhead... and up a fair ways.

Many, many moons ago, I hiked a trail called Old Logger's Path, which I completed in 2.5 days and three nights. Around when I was leaving, I said, somewhat in passing to my mom, that she should feel welcome to come with me on some other backpacking trip if she was interested.

And guess what. She was interested.

We had discussed maybe doing an overnighter on a section of the Appalachian Trail, but we never got around to it. I was busy that summer, visiting my old haunts of Pittsburgh and New York, apartment hunting in Seattle, and eventually moving there. In fact, I had would up only deciding on one backpacking trip in all of 2021, and I bailed on that trip pretty darn early.

So, when my parents finally came out to visit me in July for the first time and enjoy Seattle's lovely, lovely, lovely temperate summer weather, backpacking with me was one of the top things on my mom's to-do list.

Ibid.
Ibid.

The goal then was to pick something relatively moderate, without too much elevation gain, but something still substantial enough for my mom not to feel like she had wussed out.

Eventually, I settled on the Thunder Creek trail in North Cascades National Park, which seemed pretty flat and easy. I was able to score a permit for two campers in the Tricouni Campground, located at mile marker 7.

Seven flat easy miles of forests and creek. A hiking companion that was somewhat dependant on my expertise.

Would it be as easy as I hoped?

Damascus Papers at Seattle Arab Festival, August 14th 2022

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: concertsconcert photography • Places: The Armory, Seattle Center

Obviously, I can't blame peeps for taking pictures!
Obviously, I can't blame peeps for taking pictures!

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Two weekends ago, Seattle Center hosted the Seattle Arab Festival, a celebration of Arab culture and vendors that has been held annually in the city for many years now. The whole festival included an array of performances, many of which I missed.

The performance I didn't miss, though, was the closing one. My friend Bashar was on stage as part of the group Damascus Papers, who played an energetic set of Syrian and American folk music. In short, the show was a rocking good time. (Damascus Papers also opened the festival, but I was off kayaking.)

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Bashar Balleh (oud + lead vocals) cracks a smile.
Bashar Balleh (oud + lead vocals) cracks a smile.

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It was fun to hear some of the repertoire from Bashar's previous band, Country for Syria, along with new-to-me material.

I'm not super qualified to write about Arab folk music, but I know what I like, and I know my head was bopping to "Ranchita" and the complex time signatures. The band seamlessly pulled off many quick transitions between American and Syrian folk music, blending styles and tempos to the audience's delight.

All photos are straight-out-of-camera JPEG's. I have done absolutely no editing. A fuller set can be found on an album on Flickr.

The end of the performance -- I had to stand really far back to actually try to get a group shot with the long lens I was using.
The end of the performance -- I had to stand really far back to actually try to get a group shot with the long lens I was using.

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The One Trail I Hike With Colleagues

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: lakeswaterfallsWashington State • 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.