We didn’t take any major trips in February, but had an interesting month anyway. The winter in Washington State has been mild with the snowpack in the mountains far below normal, so skiing was out. Not a problem since I had torn the meniscus in my knee while running on a forest trail near our house and Sonia was working. Looks like I’ll have an operation to repair the knee damage. I can still use it to some degree, but skiing and running are out of the question until I get it fixed.
But even with the damaged knee I took advantage of a rare period of sunny, even warm weather and fit in an easy two-night backpack trip along the wilderness coast of the Olympic Peninsula. I had to use trekking poles and limit my hiking to four or five miles per day to take some stress off of the damaged knee but completed the nine and half mile hike known as the Ozette Loop. This is a flat trail, most of it on a plank walkway, to the wild Pacific coast at Cape Alava, westernmost point in the coterminous U.S., then three miles of hiking along the beaches of the Pacific to Sand Point, then another three miles back to the starting at Lake Ozette. It was a great trip full of eagles, petroglyphs and spectacular sunsets. This trip is reported in more detail in our post, Land’s End, in The Wild Side section of this website.
I continued to assist teachers in the English as a Second Language program at our local community college and hosted the Talk Time program there (Talk Time a period when students can practice speaking English and ask questions). The Talk Time group was small this quarter, but lively and we had a potluck lunch with Terry bringing a Polish bundt cake, Asaam bringing an Iraqi plate of curried rice and chicken, Alejandra and Irma bringing some Mexican empanadas while I brought an apple pie (what could be more American). I enjoy helping to teach English to the immigrants and refugees that come from all over the world and have made some friends along the way.
On weekends we sometimes slip into Seattle for a breakfast at one of our favorite spots and then explore an area of Seattle, walking around and finding new places. We enjoy the Sunday street markets in Ballard and Fremont north of downtown or walking through the bungalow neighborhoods of the Queen Anne district. One weekend friends from across the state visited and we took them to an Italian restaurant in Seattle, Buco de Beppo, a funky place with a plaster bust of Pope Paul II mounted on a lazy susan in the middle of the table so he could stare at everyone as the lazy susan turned to pass food around. Or the shrine to Frank Sinatra in the bar. It was great.
When we aren’t exploring Seattle, we’re exploring more of our own area, Mukilteo, and are constantly amazed at how beautiful it is. We take our coffee down to Lighthouse Park below our house to see the resident harbor seals that always swim by if we wait long enough. With the glacier-covered volcano of Mt Baker shining to the north and the Olympic Mountains to the west it is a fine place to spend a Sunday morning.
So even though we didn’t take any long trips, or leave the country for some distant destination, we feel like we’ve traveled a lot.