Happy (Belated) 4th of July

I've been catching up on some Northwest fun. My brother Dan came out from North Carolina at the first of the month, and the next day we headed out gray and early to hike up Mailbox Peak. It was steep, wet, muddy and completely socked in - good leg-thrashing times.

Mailbox Peak

The next day Lisa and I headed up to Lopez Island for the 4th of July and a vacation. I did the 5k fun run on the 4th and placed 6th overall (my legs were still thrashed, and I haven't run in a couple years). We watched the parade, then had the annual family picnic with great food and cold breezy gray weather. It was so cold no one wanted to go back to the village to see the fireworks that night, so Lisa, her sister and I went up to the nearby church and sat in the graveyard, where we had a great, (but still freezing) view over a flooded pasture all to ourselves. If you just counted the living.

Center Church graveyard

On the 5th it finally got sunny, and things started to look more like this, the view from our cabin.

view from cabin

Yesterday Dan, his wife Shelly, their son Zachary and I went up to Mt. St. Helens. First up to the north side and Johnson's Ridge, then around to the south side and the Ape Cave. Dan and I scrambled 3/4 mile through the upper cave; there were so many people it seemed like a Disney attraction. Even with the crowds, we had fair stretches of the cave all to ourselves, and it was a great time.

When St. Helens erupted, I lived 40ish miles away in Longview: we heard it go off, and watched the ash plume fill the sky and the logjam of trees and a house or two fill the Cowlitz River. I got out of junior high for a week!

Mt. St. Helens

Ape Cave

This is a 30 second exposure. In reality it was pitch-black, with just a few moving spots of light.

time well spent

closeup view Jack Troy cup, links to Jack Troy artist page

time to explore

link to newest page of ceramic artist links, including link to Scott Parady, pictured

time flies

Link to monthly image blog