I wake up to two lovely little kitties. A cup of tea. Relaxing morning. A day of no hurries and hopefully no worries.
My co-guide is hard at work at surveying the possible places to go in the vicinity. He finds Multnomah Falls in the Colville Indian Reservation. It is a 30-40 each way side trip but I think it is going to be worth it. Piper surveys our bags, we give her a last hug, pet Phineas as well and off we go.
Baby Blue is hesitant. No more snow or ice, right? I hope not. And so we go. It is cold but not brutally so. The mountains and the falls are waiting. I think I would have liked to have explored more of Portland but am looking forward to being in one place for a while. As we get close to Multnomah there is a spot that many are parking. It’s Wahkeena Falls and if they are smaller than Multnomah Falls I really am looking forward to those! We decide to hike up to see them close up. Nature provides us with such beautiful intricate forms. The sound from the falls is thunderous.
Though it doesn’t need to scream for its power to be understood, it does so anyway. We have zigzagged up quite high. Dean stops for a photo, I continue on to a little side road that leads to nowhere but provides me with a sense of quietude which almost overpowers the coldness that has creeped inside my bones.
We could continue around but another 3 miles in unisom with the cold is a symphony I do not wish to play so back from where we came from it is. There is a bench up ahead where I sit and think of sliding back down… briefly… until I think of what a block of ice I would become. I am most thankful that my heavy breathing (panting, really) is muffled by the sounds of gallons of water streaming down.
Magnificently upright, 611 feet up. According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princes who wanted a hidden place to bathe. Loving the bridge in the middle. We walk up to it, cross it, get a bit wet, and head down once again. Seattle -5 hours and 40 minutes away- is next.
We arrive in Seattle well into the night, tired but happy to be where we will set camp for 11 days. We are technically not in Seattle. We are in Bellevue, WA about 40 min. away by car. A friend has so graciously and generously lent us her home while they are away.
I awake to Dec. 30 a day away from the end of the year and I can’t believe that a year has passed so fast. It has undoubtedly been one of the best I have had. An assessment will follow. Too much to ponder and be thankful for. Enough for another blog in itself. Today we go to an outlet mall. We do some shopping but most stores are closed. It’s Sunday and they have closed early. I manage to be more flustered at the wheel than ever and miss more exits than I thought humanly possible. We have dinner at Outback Steakhouse (definitely an Aussie theme these days) and go home and chill (though the chill is outside).
On the 31st there is no doubt that we are going to spend it around the Space Needle observing the fireworks. We dress in layers. Thermals, long sleeves, sweater and coats. Oh, and gloves, scarves, beanies, and a small backpack to store layers that we put on and off. I know that I don’t want to drive so we go to Redmond -where the bus stop is and only 3 minutes away from us- smack in the middle of Microsoft “campus” as someone said. The 454 takes us to Pike and 5th St. and where it drops us is exactly where the monorail s that takes us to the Space Needle. We get there and go into the Armory at Seattle Center were I delight in a miniature train village set up in the middle of it all. Don’t think that there is a kid in us that is not fascinated by trains.
We then go into the lobby of the EMP Museum (Experience Music Project). What caught my attention was the Frank Gehry building it is housed in. Just incredibly unique and beautiful. Today is a bit grey but in the sunshine this building must glisten. The photos don’t really do it justice. It reflect the Space Needle, competes with it and distorts it.
It’s still relatively early and there are no crowds and since we are hungry we walk to Pikes Market. On our way we pass Top Pot Doughnuts, an institution in Seattle. We make a beeline towards it only to find that they have sold out on the doughnuts.
There is lots to look at aside from the horizon.
We go inside and have our last meal of the year (or what we thought was going to be our last meal) at a cafe at waterside. A salmon bisque, a clam chowder, crab cakes and a chocolate bundt cake.
Back on the monorail and the Seattle Center. We first stop at the Skating Rink. The Armory is filled. The outside not so much. It is cold, very cold. Two Californians sitting next to us are saying how unused to this weather they are. So am I. But then the fireworks start and all is forgotten. Here is a link to the video. Here’s a link to the second part (with the finale) which is sideways, not because I laid down but because I had the brilliant idea of changing the camera angle thinking that I could fix it later… I couldn’t.
Happy New Year everyone!!!!! Thank you for being an important part of mine!
May 2013 be the best yet!