Ancient Lakes

✍️ 🕑 March 13-14, 2022 hiking and campinggeologyvolcanic rocklakesriverswaterfallsCentral WA • Places: Ancient Lakes Trailhead

On one particular weekend in mid-March, the weather seemed nice enough for a little overnight hike around Ancient Lakes, Washington, a beautiful area that with a rich geological history... and a lot of horses, kids on mountain bikes, and loose boulders.

A view early into the Ancient Lakes Trail, showing just how remote and untouched the landscape truly is.
A view early into the Ancient Lakes Trail, showing just how remote and untouched the landscape truly is.

A visit that could raise the following, suspenseful questions:

  • Will Steve manage to find some solitude?
  • Will Steve stay warm and dry at night?
  • Will Steve be well-fed?
  • Will Steve be back to Seattle in time to join his 3PM workshop on perception of time & art?
  • How will Steve navigate the myriad of trails in the area?
  • Will Steve consume the lake water, rumored to be chockfull of nitrates and agricultural runoff from nearby farmland?

All this & more follows.

52 Frames (March 2022)

✍️ 🕑 March 2021 • Series: 52 Frames • Tags: street photographyblack and white photography

This month, I started out feeling a bit uninspired with some of my weekly photography challenges. Some of them came at times when I was more interested in focusing on other themes. And others came just before or after I had a really good run of photographs using similar techniques, when I would have liked to pivot to something else.

But despite my frustrations, I had the impetus to try and create some things that I enjoyed. I remain content to stick with it.

My Thoughts on a Few More 2021 Reads

✍️ 🕑 2021 book reviewsfolktales

After my last post on a trek near some Hawaiian lava fields, I doubt many readers are wondering, "what books was Steve reading when he wasn't hiking?"

Unfortunately for those readers, I've gone ahead and decided to answer the question in some detail. This post is on three such books, which I happened to finish in 2021, started reviewing, and kept forgetting to copy over saved quotations... Until now.

The books in question are Sema Kaygusuz's enchanting short story collection The Well of Trapped Words, Italo Cavino's gigantic collection of Italian Folktales, and Otessa Moshfegh's NYC-based contemporary novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

Read on for my budding literary critic thoughts. Or, don't if you're not feeling it. You do you.

A Walk Down The King's Highway (2021)

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Maui 2021 • Tags: lava flowsarduous hikesarcheological sitesMauiHawaiivolcanic rock • Places: Hoapili Trail

Image On Where-Is-Steve

I think it's tremendously cool that Hoapili Trail exists.

The route is an ancient Hawaiian road. It was initially constructed in the 1500's, and partially reconstructed in 1853. The full trail is 138 miles long, and some of it is in threat of undergoing redevelopment. There are people who have hiked the entire route, but generally that is not a common desire.

This hike was pretty intense, but also, really, really cool.

Confluence (2018)

✍️ 🕑 August 12-13, 2018 • Series: Western Europe 2018 • Tags: teleferik ridesriverstractors on highwayslunaparkGermany • Places: Koblenz

A common refrain from my mother is that "no grass grows under your feet, Steve."

Another fact is that the tread on my shoes is frequently well worn. For this reason, I often feel a bit of trepidation when I am descending steep hillsides.

This is what I was feeling when I heard a resounding click and realized the door I stepped through was now locked.

Behind me, Fortress Ehrenbreitstein.

Ahead, a steep slope downwards on a warm summer's day.

Looking up at the fortress from its side of the river.
Looking up at the fortress from its side of the river.

Eurovision 2022: First Impressions (feat. Chelsea)

EurovisionEurovision 2022

That's right, dear readers. It's the time you've all been waiting for. Welcome back kind humans to my third annual Eurovision first impressions blog post!

Up for discussion are forty songs from forty countries. Armenia and Montenegro have returned to the competition after absences, whist Russia was barred from competing due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Portuguese singer Maro, during her national selection performance.
Portuguese singer Maro, during her national selection performance.

As for the writeup itself, it's a little different because I have company.

Joining me is good friend, long time Eurovision fan, and bop-lover Chelsea, whose comments can be distinguished from my own by the presence of a slightly yellow background. (Mine get “salmon.”)

Since we're very different people, with different tastes and writing styles, this livens things up considerably.

After somehow exercising the will-power to avoid listening to any of these songs, we sat down to listen to each and every one... together. All the way through.

24 Hours in Cologne: Does It Stink?

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Western Europe 2018 • Tags: KölnChilean foodsacred placeschurchesGermanyrivers • Places: Köln

If you remember what was going on last time (which seeing as it's been a little more than a year since my post in this series on 2018 West European travel you probably don't), I had just arrived at a sudden and startling realization.

I had forgotten that Saturday was a day, and had no plans and no reservations. Everything that could be booked for one night in the country of Belgium (on a sunny weekend in the middle of August) was booked.

And that's why I ended up spending the day in Köln, a place between other places I was visiting anyway.

One of the prettier angles of Köln's city center
One of the prettier angles of Köln's city center