Summers in Washington, what can I say? Long evenings and pastel sunsets. Warm weather, mountainsides bursting with wildflowers, and miles of once snow-packed trails open for adventure. Sure we have pretty gloomy winters here but — my gosh — summer pretty much makes up for it. In the last couple of weeks I’ve visited all three of Washington’s National Parks (North Cascades, Olympic, and Mount Rainier). Traveling through those parks really illustrates the stunning variety of landscapes this state has to offer. From high lakes, to alpine meadows, and cool rainforest it’s really something like a wonderland up here in the great Northwest. I never wanted to live in a big city like Los Angeles or San Francisco but Seattle is different. I’m in the middle of a world class city and only 30 minutes from mountain trailheads. If there was ever a city for me, this is it. Continue reading
I took advantage of the long weekend and headed out to Death Valley with my brothers and dad for some hiking. The plan was to summit Telescope Peak but heavy snow kept us from reaching the 11,000 foot summit. Still, it was a great opportunity to carry my camera into a National Park and grab a couple of photos.
I love the light you find in high desert mountains. Some of the best light came right after we arrived back at camp from our hike. I was tired but managed to drag myself over to my camera and snap a few pictures of the last sunbeams as they shown under storm clouds (see first image).
Part of the reason I went on this trip was to see how I would do in the rarefied air of Cusco. When I turned back on a saddle below the summit I was exhausted but not dealing with altitude sickness, I’m sorry to say the same can’t be said of my companions who came down with me. With the fear of altitude sickness lessened, I’m counting down the days until I hit the road for Peru.
Last month I spent a week out in Texas visiting family and eating an exorbitant amount of food. I also managed to get in a couple of photos and a little writing done while I was there. What I came home with was a story on barbecue; more to the point, a story that contrasted West Texas barbecue to Santa Maria barbecue.
You can read my story and see more of the photos over at the Santa Ynez Valley Journal. My old editor at the Journal has been kind enough to keep some assignments heading my way during this downtime between Thailand and Peru. Speaking of which, my wife and I finally got our tickets booked to Cuzco. We arrive in the city on March 27 and hopefully we will start getting adjusted to Peruvian life (not to mention the altitude) right away.