Duck Around & Find Out

✍️ 🕑 Early-to-Mid December • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: bird photographybakingducksdreamslife updatesvaccinesCOVID-19Volunteer Park • Places: Volunteer Park

This house's “don't throw garbage here” sign is flapping in the breeze, as per usual.
This house's “don't throw garbage here” sign is flapping in the breeze, as per usual. open_in_full   info

After visiting family for Thanksgiving, I returned to Seattle.

On my first weekend back in town, I got a cheap vacuum cleaner, and I cleaned my apartment. Then, I got a coronavirus booster shot, and collapsed into lethargy.

Since then, I've been bouncing around, seeing people and doing stuff, or alternatively, getting my blog closer to some semblance of updated or completed. Oh, heck, I also did some baking too.

I've also been very much enjoying some of the quieter pre-holiday workdays, and have been taking advantage of some flexibility in order to catch a bit of sunlight... and yes, some ducks.

This then is a hodgepodge of topics and events... and even then, I'm leaving out a solid half of my photographs.

From Margaret's Way To Debbie's View

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: cougar mountain regional wildland park pnw forestpnw hikes • Places: Margaret's Way Trailhead

Image On Where-Is-Steve

What can I do sometimes, but venture out of city limits towards the most popular trail in one of the nearest natural parks?

In my defense, the weather forecast called for clear skies in a time when my soul expected only rain, and while I knew I wanted to get out, I also knew that I was not necessarily in the mood to go super far.

Like most trails in the area (I imagine), it's mostly uphill in one direction, but the slope is gentler than, say, Dirty Harry's peak. And, the elevation is lower too.

This meant that I got to spend more time in one of my favorite environments: the forest. And in particular, I think that forests in the Pacific Northwest are amongst the most beautiful places on the planet. The sheen of fog and gray skies juxtaposed with lush, lush moss clinging to downed trees, verdant fungus, and the infamous Douglas Firs are the things that dreamscapes are made of.

A Soggy Walk Up A Dirty, Harry Trail

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: pnw hikesdreary days • Places: Dirty Harry's Balcony

On the 6th of November, I finally got around to venturing out on a Washington-area hike for the first time this year. How would it compare to the Pennsylvania hikes I have become so accustomed to?

A look at nearby mountain peaks -- clearly not a precursor for what was to come, right?
A look at nearby mountain peaks -- clearly not a precursor for what was to come, right?

Well, to put it bluntly, the difference was steep. That is to say that I had a much higher elevation gain:mileage ratio on this trail, than I would have on the ones nearest my parents' home.

But, wow, it was an enjoyable experience... Other than the rain and sleet, and so forth.

Heron, Etc. at the Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: dunesbird photographyriversNational ParksIndiana Dunes National Park • Places: Portage Lakefront

Image On Where-Is-Steve

Indiana Dunes National Park isn't just home to the titular dunes. It's also home to wetlands which serve as a habitat for numerous local species.

One of these areas is the "Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk". Quoth the official copy:

It's an easy location to watch for migrating birds in the spring and summer [...] Visitors can enjoy easy access to the lakefront and trails that highlight dune succession.

So, how could I not want to go?

Dune It Up! Visiting Mt. Baldy

✍️ 🕑 September 8 & 9, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: dunesNational ParksIndiana Dunes National Park • Places: Carlson's Drive In Mt. Baldy

When my tour of Warren G. Harding's home ended at about 2PM, I knew what I was in for. I purchased a postcard from the gift shop, used the bathroom, and hit the road.

Although I would have loved to pay his mausoleum a visit as well, I felt a bit Warren G. Harding-ed out. I was ready for the day to be over, perhaps not unlike someone who just had their first bite of chipped beef & gravy waffles...

Alas, my journey was not over. I had about 255 miles of straight, flat U.S. Highways between Harding's house and the campsite I booked for the night. Within those miles lay a seemingly infinite number of cornfields, an occasional stop sign, and not too much else.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

Eventually, I would need to get dinner for the night.

And eventually, I would need to put up my tent and catch a good night's sleep.

My next stop would be the Indiana Dunes National Park, and boy, was I excited.