Come join us for my first hike post-B! I took lots of pictures for you.
I haven’t got out much recently, not simply because I indulged in some moping after breaking up with B, but because the weather has been kind of ick. Inordinately large portions of the West have been on fire, and while we’re not burning much immediately in and around Seattle, we kept getting smoke. Damn it, I moved from Flagstaff so I wouldn’t have to smell forests burning every summer, but here we are again. We had a downpour a few days ago that cleared the air nicely, though, so Funny Diva and I went for a Discovery Park adventure.
The visitor’s center was full up, so we went on down to the north parking lot and traipsed from there. The rain left the trails pleasantly damp and the plants very green and happy. We had lots of sunshine, but also plenty of shade and cool breezes on the way down. When we hit North Beach, it looked like a true beach scene, complete with umbrella.
We had a very patient butterfly, too, who will appear in a future Cryptopod post. I actually had two little orange ones land on me briefly, which was magic. I love those moments.
Mount Rainier was out in force. Beauty!
By the time we’d reached South Beach, we’d had about enough of sunshine, but we trooped onward. A visit to Discovery Park is not complete without visiting South Bluff.
I got a very Donal Mullineaux photo out of this trip. He’s one of the USGS geologists who worked on Mount St. Helens during the May 1980 eruption, so I have a particular fondness for him. Longtime readers will recall how I screamed with delight when I learned he’d done a lot of work at South Bluff, using it as the type section for both the Esperance Sand and the Lawton Clay. And, of course, he and Dwight Crandall did quite a bit of work at Mount Rainier as well, so this photo with both the bluff and the mountain in it is dedicated to him. Thanks for the geology, Dr. Mullineaux!
As you walk closer to South Bluff, Mount Rainier begins to vanish behind the next bluff down. I love this photo where it almost looks like it’s hiding.
This bit of driftwood pleased Dana. I love how it’s shaped like one of those old-fashioned mantle clocks, and how it’s got the round hole in its curve.
After patting the Olympia non-glacial stage floodplain sediments, and pointing out a wee slide of the Lawton Clay to Funny Diva, we about-faced and headed back.
That red sailboat is such a brilliant little gem on the beach, innit? And I’ve always loved that lighthouse.
For them as likes boats, I got a photo with three kinds for ye:
We took the Hidden Valley trail back up: it’s shady and not so steep. Then we went asploring in places I’d never been. We saw a sign for reflecting pools and a serpent mound by the Daybreak Cultural Center and couldn’t resist. On the way, I saw this poor tree that has been providing food for caterpillars or some such arthropods, and couldn’t resist a photo of its leaves against the sky.
I’ve not actually been down by the mound and pools in all my visits to the park. People, it is worth it. You can see a duck trying to be a stork in a reflecting pool (which isn’t reflecting due to all the duckweed):
And while you’re watching a duck, a huge dragonfly may hover in many places right in front of you, as if it’s going, “Can you see me now? What about now?”
You don’t want to know how many photos I shot trying to get that one great one. Fortunately, Funny Diva is infinitely patient with me, and found herself a shady spot to enjoy whilst I snapped away. I highly recommend hikes with her, people. She is, indeed, funny, and one of the sweetest people I know. She’s also a social justice warrior par excellence. And she knows all the good places to go in Seattle, as you will see.
We finally found a pool that reflects, where it was either too shady for duckweed or the stuff had been washed out by the rain:
Hiking accomplished, we went in search of food. Funny Diva recommended Scooter’s, and so we had burger deliciousness, complete with some of the best fries ever. Then we tried to go to Golden Gardens, but everybody else in the Seattle Metro area was already there, and we couldn’t find a parking space, so we went up to Wallingford and had gelato at the Fainting Goat Gelato instead.
I ended up with stracciatella because I bloody love the stuff, but they also had a hazelnut and chocolate thing with the word rock in the name, and I had a sample, and that is what I will have next time we go, because IT IS ALL DELICIOUS. I’ll bet you a lot of fundies miss out on it because they think an upside-down goat is satanic, but everything in the shop is divine and everyone should go there.
Then we came home, where Boo showed off her mad fence climbing skillz.
I won’t lie: this first real outing, with my own friend and in familiar places, without B, wasn’t complete easy. A lot of things aren’t easy yet. Some people might say that since I miss B ferociously, I should try to make it work with him again. After all, I was the one who broke it off: he didn’t want to. But while I love him and miss him and hope that someday we can hang out and be friends again, I know I made the right choice. We weren’t working. I hate that, but it’s true.
So it’s onward, ho, making new memories in the old places, spending time with high-quality people like Funny Diva, and doing my bit to make this a better world. The fact it has sunshine and gelato and social justice warriors in it gives me hope.