August 18- November 5
There’s simply too much to cover to write any sort of narrative for this post. Instead, we’ll just go over everything in photos, with brief descriptions.
Returning to Seattle after our Alaskan Summer, we settled into our new apartment briefly before packing bags to head east. We spent a lovely weekend up in New Hampshire with family at the new lake house, and Grammy was able to make the trip from Buffalo- her first time getting to meet her great-grandson Elliott. We spent time taking in the beautiful weather and enjoying everyone’s company.
Next up on our east coast swing was a visit with my parents in Endicott. We spent a few days catching up before heading to western NY for our friends Pete and Cora’s wedding. It’d been a while since last getting together with my friends from home, so it was a real treat to kick it with them for a weekend.
When we returned back west to Seattle, our friends Joe and Olivia were in town, as part of their epic year-long road trip adventure. We spent several days with them, doing city things and getting out to the mountains. The photos here are from Summit Lake, backdropped by Mt Rainier. If it looks familiar, we’d gone there last year when our friends Matt and Becca visited.
On another day off from work, Jamie, Charley and I made our way up to the Chuckanut area, south of Bellingham, for another hike. Oyster Dome sits on the coastline, a couple thousand feet above sea level, and looks out over the island and Olympic Peninsula. A wonderful day trip.
We made a trip down to North Carolina to see the southern Mangouri contingent for Shahram’s birthday. We met up with my parents down there, flying in from NY. Kaivan couldn’t make it, but we’d all be making the trip out to AZ for Christmastime in a few short months.
Those boys are growing so fast! We got to see a couple of their baseball games, where they kept the undefeated streak going for the season.
We had a few more hikes in us before the weather would start to turn. The foliage was rounding the corner, with blueberry bushes cutting a deep purple-orange into the hillsides, and an array of other grasses and shrubbery providing contrast to the naked grey of the heaps of rock surrounding us.
We hiked to Silver Peak, up near Snoqualmie Pass, on a temperamental (weather-wise) weekday. The last pitch was a bit of a slog, but we were rewarded with dizzying views in every direction, and silence, save for the occasional gusts cresting the ridge.
Park Butte had been on Jamie’s list for a while. Dog-friendly, scenic and rewarding- it checked all the boxes. Situated on the south side of Mt Baker, the terminus of the trail brought us to a lookout shelter, perched precariously atop the ridgeline. Its unobstructed panoramic sightlines make it a good lookout for monitoring fire activity in the wilderness area.
Back in Seattle a week or so later, we made reservations at Paju in Lower Queen Anne. Our friend Jeremy works there as a chef, and we’d been excited to give it a visit. A Korean fusion style restaurant, serving small, tapas-like dishes, everything was superb, both in presentation and taste (and commentary- thanks Jeremy!).
We wouldn’t miss the opportunity to catch Larch season, as October began to scoot by. Getting out to Cutthroat Pass, along route 20 in the North Cascades, we trekked up to the pass, entering groves of magnificently sharp yellow Larches along the way. It’s truly a unique experience, to be among these mystical trees.
We snuck out to the Washington coast on a couple days off, for an overnight at Greyland State Beach Park. Our friend Katie had been there the night prior, and after checking it out online, it seemed perfect for what we wanted: a quiet, calm, and relaxing evening of beach-walking, campfire, and a last night in the Nest for the season.
We got together with some friends from work on our next stretch of time off. Josh had been interested in renting a hot tub boat, and we assured him it was a good idea, having been on them a couple times last summer. We grabbed dinner and drinks after the float, and ended up heading to the Giants vs. Seahawks game the next day with a couple of our boat mates, Alec and Hannah the following day. Unfortunately my Giants lost, but it’s still always fun when the homes team wins. The place was rockin’!
Maggie and Brandon (and Donald and Gurley!) came up from Portland at the end of her contract there, and visited for a night. It was so good to see them- we’d spent at least a part of every contract location with them since October 2020 in Santa Barbara. We bopped around to some breweries, dog parks, and restaurants, enjoying each other’s company for the short time we had- they’d be heading to Sacramento for Maggie’s next contract. Our next rendezvous is TBD.
It’s been a hell of a three months since we got back from Alaska. I still long for its wild spaces, incomprehensibly large and untamed. But this Fall has been full of friends and family, parks, new experiences and re-runs of our favorite past activities in Seattle and the PNW. Still have not nailed down our next stop, but we’re here until at least the end of 2022.
Happy holidays to all!