Sunday, September 27, 2009

Port Townsend

It has been a long time since I have visited the seaside town of Port Townsend. Lately the closest that I been there was passing by on Highway 101 on the way to Port Angeles and Olympic National Park. That changed when my girlfriend Deborah participated in West Coast Sea Kayaking Symposium in Port Townsend. Since Port Townsend is only an hour away from Camp Parsons, it was a great opportunity to see her doing something that she loves.

The symposium was held on the beach at Fort Worden State Park. Scenes of An Officer and A Gentleman, mostly filmed in Port Townsend, were rolling through my mind as I arrived. It was a glorious day to be out on the beach. In the distance I saw the gun embankments of Battery Kinzhe. It was here that fellow Parsons staffers and I had played games during one of our weekends off. At the Symposium there was a large selection of vendor booths selling various wares. There were dozens of kayers out in the water, including Deborah taking an Advanced Rescue class.

Later I hiked up to Artillery Hill to explore some of the other batteries. I cautiously walked thought the dark corridors of the fortifications, just like I did as a boy. At Battery Quarles I found a scenic lunch spot. Across Admiralty Inlet was Whibey Island and Ebby's Landing, a place that I have hiked with friends and family. Further in the distance was Mount Baker, reminding me of my visit there last summer. I was also eying Mt Shuksan.

Whenever I visit the Olympic Peninsula, I am always looking inland for glimpses of the mountains that are dear to me. While I suspect that always will be the case, today I benefited from someone giving me a good reason to shift my focus somewhat.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Silver Marmot Grill

Saturday I volunteered at the monthly maintenance party at Camp Parsons and ended up tearing things apart. This time it was the porch of the Silver Marmot Grill, a building that is 90 years old.

Actually it was the backhoe that was responsible for most of the destruction, I just had to clean up after all of the carnage. With the porch removed, I as able to see the original structure and how they had renovated upon that in the 1960s. We could also see where some of the original beams had been removed and replaced about 12 years ago where part of the structure had rotted.

Even more shocking was to see the inside of the building after it had been gutted out. The small office where I had spent two summers as the Business Manager is gone. The plan is to move the Trading Post into the Program Office, making more room from offices and a meeting room.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Old Snowy

I hardly expected that I would be changing a flat tire just before my first climb as a full fledged Mazamas Climb Leader, but there I was underneath a car positioning a tire jack. We were camping at the Berrypatch Trailhead, preparing to hike into the Goat Rocks Wilderness and climb Old Snowy. This location was an alternate one since we discovered that Chambers Lake campground was full. It was after getting everyone together that one person noticed that the flat tire.

The rest of the climb went much smoother. The Assistant Climb Leader George Cummings was invaluable as he helped others ascend the crux of the climb. The weather was ideal and the views of Rainier and Adams were stellar. As a bonus there were blue huckleberries to eat and fat marmots to photograph.

As for flat tires, we were not the only Mazamas with that challenge this weekend. The Assistant Climb Leader of the Washington Ellinor Traverse return to the trailhead to find that she had a flat tire as well. It was an amazing coincidence.