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: indiana dunes national parkdunesbird photographynational parksrivers • 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: indiana dunes national parkdunesnational parks • 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.

Return to Normalcy, or A Visit To The Warren G. Harding Home

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: ohiowarren g hardingpresidential sitesmuseums • Places: Warren G. Harding Home

Image On Where-Is-Steve

Warren G. Harding is perhaps the least well-remembered 20th Century U.S. President. He passed away two years into his first term in office. An initial outpouring of grief and beatification was soon quelled by news of the administrations' scandals.

Harding's reputation was tarnished forever by his associates' embezzling, his impotent responses, and his sexual affairs, which included fathering an illegitimate child, and are somehow still fodder for late night television jokes today. Harding's tomb was not even dedicated by a U.S. president until five years after it was built, once President Hoover fell from popular esteem due to his poor handling of the Great Depression.

If there's one place on the planet where Harding isn't merely remembered, but remembered with fondness, though, it's his hometown of Marion, Ohio.

This is where you can visit his former home, his presidential museum and library, and also his tomb. The gift shop even sells expensive, limited edition prints of Warren & First Lady Florence Harding's portraits, and presumably there's a market for them. A tour of the house was actually fairly popular on a random Wednesday afternoon in September.

So how could I not want to pay it a visit?

52 Frames (November 2021)

✍️ 🕑 November 2021 • Series: 52 Frames • Tags: stuffed animals

And so, here we arrive at the eleventh straight month of weekly photo challenges. I'm fast approaching 52 straight weeks of photo challenges...

So, now it's time to see if my November efforts were profound, perfunctory, or both.

45. Face a Fear

This is a shot from my hike of the Dirty Harry Peak Trail. The fears were ostensibly the cliff I was walking out on, and the wet low visibility drive out there.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

I like this shot.

On the one hand, I'm leaning hard on using roadways as a leading line, which is a bit of a thoughtless, easy composition by this point. But, because the road is so windy and reflective, and only really in the bottom 2/3 of a photo dominated by mountains, this adds some complexity to the cliche.

Descent Into The Valley of the Gnomes

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: politicsbeacheseat the richphoto walk • Places: Valley of the Gnomes Denny Blaine Park

Last weekend I decided to go on a stroll and check out some of the “beaches” along the shores of Lake Washington in Eastern Seattle.

We'll get there in a bit, but first, excuse me whilst I soapbox. (After all, I'm posting this on Black Friday, and I can't think of a better day to complain about politics...)

Construction! There ain't much of that around Seattle, now is there? ...oh yeah, there is.
Construction! There ain't much of that around Seattle, now is there? ...oh yeah, there is.

The Buckeye State

✍️ 🕑 September 7 to 8, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: ohioweird public artcemetarydeersacred placespresidential sites • Places: Newark Earthworks Columbus OH Rutherford B. Hayes' Birthplace / Delaware, OH

Ohio was dubbed "the hypnotic state" by my friend Jim. As I drove down miles and miles and miles of Ohio interstate, wondering when I'd get to Indiana, I couldn't help but feel hypnotized by this Buckeye-shaped state's corn laden US highways...

Backing up for a minute -- I do have to say that I found my time in Ohio rewarding. I think I would probably enjoy spending some more time exploring the state.

On a quick passer-through I had to pick and choose my stops, and I daresay I chose wisely... This post covers the first four out of five stops, the last being reserved for its own post.