Sunday, June 09, 2013

Kloshe Nanitch

Well we've lived in Washington for almost five years (!) now and I finally visited a place that I've wanted to see since before we came here. After I knew we were coming, I started spending too much time looking at maps of the area and researching recreational opportunities.

Back then I bought a book called Washington Backroads and since we've been here I've been working my way through the book. One particular location I wanted to visit was called Kloshe Nanitch. (Don't ask me how to say that, whatever you come up with is fine.) One of the great things about Kloshe Nanitch is that the only way to get there is by foot or 4x4. My kind of place. It turned out however, that my information was a little out of date, so a little excursion turned into a little longer drive.

The guide book says to come from the north, where Highway 112 meets East Twin River Road. This becomes Forest Road (FR) 3040, which you then follow for about seven miles, take the right fork, go seven or eight more miles, take the left fork, and watch for it on your right. Well, we went the seven miles and this is what we found when we wanted to take the right fork:

Now, I know the Landcruiser has all sorts of off-road pedigree, but even a HUMVEE would find some difficulty here. So after snapping some pictures, we were off again.

We were still determined to reach the destination, though, so we decided to go around. WAY AROUND. Our drive now went from about eight miles to about 40.

At this point it's appropriate to say thanks to Chelsea, Josh, Jana, and Ariana for their patience. I'm sure my tolerance for driving around in my own truck is much higher than their tolerance for riding around in the back seat of some else's car. Thanks guys.

After much more driving we finally found our way there. I'd had read about this place before and I was expecting to see this:
Picture Credit: US Forest Service

But we saw this:

Apparently, my research had been pitifully incomplete. If I had checked the forest service website (like I just did), I would have known that as of October 2012, the lookout structure had been removed "for safety reasons". I know that now. Actually, I'm glad I didn't know that or I might not have gone. The view and drive were still great, and we had a nice picnic lunch at the lookout.

We finished out the day with some delicious cherry chocolate surprise cake back at camp. Dutch ovens are your friend.

Here are some extra pictures. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Spring Catch-Up

So over the past couple of months I've done lots of stuff, but haven't posted much. This is a quick overview to get us back up to speed.

Leavenworth with my parents
In February my parents came to visit for a few days. We decided to go explore Leavenworth a little while they were here.

It was a fun weekend. They drove straight from Salt Lake to Leavenworth, then after the weekend, they came back to our house for a few more days. It's always nice to have mom and dad around.

USS Stennis Cruise
In March, I received a neat opportunity to go for a four day cruise aboard the beautiful and luxurious USS Stennis. We had some work to do while underway, but in my off time I wasn't able to find the mini golf or swimming pool. It might be because they devote so much space to those airplanes.

As we were coming into Puget Sound we had some fantastic weather. I spent most of Friday up on the flight deck taking awesome pictures. It was the time in my life that I most missed my polarizing filter.

New Mountain Bike
This year a lot of things have worked out for me to be able to achieve some goals that I've had for a long time. One of those was that I was finally able to get a full suspension mountain bike. It's awesome. Now both my bikes are Rocky Mountains.

So far I've had some bad luck with the mountain bike, though. It's a good thing I can work on it. On the maiden voyage, I crashed it and wrecked the derailleur. The first ride after replacing it I broke the chain. It turns out (I did not know this) that there is a special procedure for reassembling 9 speed chains. If you do it wrong, you'll break the chain. Now I know better. Anyway, now that I've gotten through all this, it seems to be going great. I really enjoy cycling and I'm very fortunate to be able to do it so much. Some people might think I'm crazy to commute by bike, and as soon as I get home, park the grey bike and head out on the white one. You might think I had enough.

Whidbey Island for Mother's Day
Chelsea and I love to go places on Mother's Day Weekend. Last year we went with some friends to Seabrook. Two years ago we took a day trip to Whidbey. This time we decided to return to Whidbey and make an extended trip of it. We rented a little cabin for two nights and had a great time.

Whidbey Island is a great place. If I had one of those jobs where I could live anywhere I wanted, I think I might seriously consider Whidbey Island.

Sold the Motorcycle
After owning the motorcycle for slightly over a year, I decided it was time to sell. This is mostly because I decided I didn't want to use my resources for it right now.

Motorcycling is something you must not do unless you can do it safely. I felt like I needed some more gear and new tires to be safe. (A flat tire in a car is an inconvenience, but on a motorcycle it is easily fatal.) Also, one of the reasons I bought it was I thought I could work it into my daily life more than, say, a mountain bike. This turned out not to be the case. It still ended up being a Saturday ride machine. So, at last I decided I should let it go--for now. After all, I'd rather spend any free Saturday time (of which there is precious little) on the mountain bike rather than the motorcycle.

New Lens
This is another one of those goals that I've been able to achieve this year. I've been eyeballing this wide angle lens for like 3-1/2 years. It's a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6.

Since I sold the motorcycle I decided to go ahead and get it. There are lots of different types of photos that I've been wanting to try, and now I can. Stay tuned to my facebook page and website ( to see them.

Foster Care
Chelsea and I are on the home stretch towards becoming foster parents. It's been taking a while, but we're almost there. Then we're in for some real changes.

That'll about do it. See you soon.