Inside the Studio

Inside the Studio

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To Oz and Back

After hosting a party Thursday night, Bill and I got up Friday and drove to Ozette, a beautiful place on the Washington Coast. I have been going here for more than 25 years, and have probably been about 25 times. I never get tired of it, the magic is always there.

You can't actually drive to Ozette. You can drive to Lake Ozette, and then hike in to the coast. So that's what we do.

There are two trails that together with a 3 mile stretch on the beach make nearly a 10 mile loop. There's forest, marsh, and bog.

After walking a 3.3 mile trail you come out to the beach and it is beautiful!

Up north of the loop is a special place we like to visit. It adds about 2 extra miles to our walk, but we can't skip it.

When Bill and I met it was at a meeting with a lot of people. I mentioned to the group that I was going to Ozette the next month (May), and two people who had never been wanted to go. One of them was Bill. It was an especially magical Ozette weekend and the beginning of Bill and I becoming friends. We saw each other often after that, and we were married 4 months later! So now my regular May Ozette trips are part of our anniversary celebrations.

Between the two trails at Wedding Rock are the petroglyphs.


It's easy to miss the petroglyphs, from what I hear. I think there are around 100 of them, we saw about 25 or so.

There are two headlands that you can't get around at high tide, requiring a person to time their petroglyph viewing appropriately. When you are there it is easy to see why. We had to jump around tide pools and between two large rock croppings to get by.

This cropping looked fun from a distance, but up close the wind was so strong it could rip your face off and some of the rocks would just as soon cut you as look at you. This trip was the windiest I have ever experienced here, but otherwise the sky was lavish with sunshine.

We saw lots of eagles and a few ravens. I always do, but this time it was different. The eagles were much closer than usual. Finally we came across a dead seal on the beach, and birds were all around. Eagles were up in the trees and flying low circles overhead, waiting for their turn, I guess, at some easy pickings.

This rock's markings was a mystery. Bill found it in a tide pool. Does anybody know? The marks will wipe right off.



Big or small, the rocks fascinate us.

After a long hike of 12 miles we were back at camp. We had starting walking in at 2:30pm and got back to camp at nearly 9:30pm. It was a long day.

We got up early the next morning and starting driving south.

We decided to go up to the Hoh rainforest National Park and walk around a bit.

It was a rare sunny day in a place that averages 124 inches of rain per year.




We walked 6 more miles, making a total of 18 miles walked in 24 hours.

We were so sore in the legs and feet (and still are), but who could we call? The walking was done and there was just driving home left to do.

But first, or rather last, fish and chips at Kalaloch and a final peek at the ocean.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mima Mounds

May 8th is Prairie Appreciation Day. Bill and I celebrated early during May Day weekend. I lived in the NW for decades before I even knew we had any prairies here.
It is springtime and the prairie is beautiful. Bill and I went to the 625 acre Mima Mounds -- a unique prairie grassland near Olympia. This place has taken on much importance in our lives. I used to travel the train from Seattle to Portland and as we rolled through this area a sign would appear on the video screen saying "Now passing the Mysterious Mima Mounds." Well, this always caught my attention because my Mother's name is Mima. And also because when you call something mysterious, but you can't really know what to look for out the window, and they don't really tell you anything about it, the mystery grows.

Camas is the signature flower of the prairies.

Buzz pollinated shooting stars.

Violets are blooming now, the yarrow will bloom later.

Desert-parsley.

For our first date, Bill took me on a motorcycle ride out to the Mima Mounds. We didn't know it was our first date at the time, but we've come to call it that. It was my first time to see the mounds and I loved them. It was long after the spring flowers had passed, but there are many kinds of beauty there.

Coastal reindeer lichen and kinnikinnick(?).

Kinnikinnick and moss creep through the grass tufts.

Strawberry flowers now, fruits later.

Camas and native buttercup are everywhere across the grassland.

When Bill and I married, it was at the Mima Mounds with friends and family present. We felt the mystery of the mounds reflected our relationship. How we met and our immediate resonance with each other felt both mysterious and expansive and we could think of no better place than this prairie where we first shared an inkling of our attraction.

Yesterday was my first time to fully experience the spring blooming of the mounds, and I wanted to share it with all of you. And yes, in case you are wondering, the mounds are still a mystery!