discovery park for amateurs

A couple of days ago was the small window for taking the boys downtown to see Santa Claus but the lure of walking in the woods (and on the beach at Discovery Park) was stronger and not entirely breaking with tradition as I believe I’ve brought the boys here the past two years on Christmas Eve. This is the westernmost point in the city, a lighthouse station is on the very tip of windy point behind me (Elliott Bay and downtown are a short-but-very leaky paddle and prayer beyond the distant finger of land).

Adam wanted to go jumping down the Giant John Trail but it was high tide (and getting higher) so we went the long way to the beach.  It was cold and very windy and Elliott Bay was a silty, oddly brownish seafoam color. I was concentrating on an interesting shot of the boys when my feet got sloshed and splashed so I decided I might as well stand up to my knees in the brine for a better perspective and it was well-worth it but for my heavy blue jeans. And gosh, my toes were so cold they hurt really bad on the way up! I was wearing spongy socks in my sneakers and would’ve wrung them out if I’d had any feeling in my hands.

The sky was very unusual in the morning, featuring the kind of low-lying, scudding clouds that typically accompany squalls. I’d brought all my gear and filters and it would’ve been nice to do some long exposures where the waves were crashing into the dead-end of the bluffs but Oliver got wet so we had to keep moving so he’d stay warm before the long uphill walk back. The boys romped around in this boat for a spell. This was the third boat I’ve seen washed up here in as many years but maybe this one doesn’t count since it’s more of a dinghy than a boat.

Later that day, Adam and Oliver Fern strung popcorn with Grandma. I love popcorn on the Christmas tree but now our house smells like Sunday nights. Speaking of popcorn on Sunday nights, today up in the Cascades we almost got stuck in the snow on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road, the two-track got higher and higher until we were scraping bottom very loudly on the frozen, crusty snow. I thought we could make it to the Middle Fork and Pratt River trails, we had less than a mile to go, but finally I got spooked when our wagon commenced sliding back and forth in the wells of the two-track not unlike an overgrown luge. We came to a spot in the road where someone had gotten stuck while the snow was still soft and there was a bit of a turnaround but the space was so cramped I had no choice but to put on the snow chains for purchase. They were the difference and after gingerly see-sawing my way 180 degrees in the other direction we got back down the road before helping a 4×4 Jeep get unstuck and thereafter we spent the rest of the afternoon farting around the Mine Creek Trail. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind but the boys enjoyed romping in the snow. We explored off-trail in the woods to the place where we come once or twice a year for climbing and jumping off humongous nurse logs that are as big as the ones by the Hoh, except quieter. Back at the house tonight, Grandma and Adam played Scrabble. Oliver Fern played with his dump truck, he had very rosy-red cheeks.

One thought on “discovery park for amateurs

  1. You seem to have acquired a recent habit of taking vehicles where they shouldn’t go. 🙂 We, too, discovered how low the snow level was yesterday; we went hiking up at Big Creek, just at the edge of Olympic National and slogged through snow through most of it. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to us that there would be snow at less than 2000 feet.

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