Rainbow Hill Meanders, Seattle, Washington

My Favorite Things 2


The Space Needle, Mt Rainier and Elliot Bay at the last sunrise

A few of my favorite things: hummingbirds buzzing around my head, a bald eagle perched in a nearby tree and rainbows everywhere I look. That’s what The Hill looks like as it meanders through the space/time continuum.

Mt Rainier and Mt AdamsWhere I live is definitely one of my favorite things. Beyond my little cottage on top of the hill is the city of Seattle, snow-capped mountains (both east and west), volcanoes, beaches, forests, lakes and inlets. Any direction I go takes me to a completely different place. There are so many rich adventures to be found that I will never manage to find all of them.

I have help with one of my favorite organizations. The Mountaineers https://www.mountaineers.org/

The Mountaineers were founded in 1906 by an almost equal number of both men and women. From the website: “The Mountaineers is an outdoor education nonprofit of 11,000 active members offering you ways to get outside and get connected to a community passionate about the outdoors.”

Looking up at that balloon

There’s more to living here than hiking, kayaking, and beachcombing. There’s a rich history from the native tribes and an inspiring collection of diverse mythologies.

Where I live, I can go berry picking in the morning, take a ferry for ice cream in the afternoon and be back in time for the ballet in the evening.

Or I can go kayaking in the morning and then hike The Olympic Rainforest before going to a late afternoon at one of the many area museums.

Before my fellows in the Pacific Northwest rise in anger about my not keeping all of this secret, let me say: “Oh, yes. It rains here constantly. It’s gray and you really shouldn’t move here.”

Actually forget that. There are many paradises scattered around the world. Let me know what yours are and why. My next favorite thing is traveling. Where should I go?


Many thanks to kiwinana for nominating me for the Liebster Award. You should check out her blog @ http://ramblingsofawriter2016.com/

For those of you who are wondering, the rabbit is Kala. She and her brother, Merlin, have since moved on to a rabbit-centric home where they get far more attention, but somehow they still sneak into the pictures. The Bengals liked them well enough, but I found myself overstretched.

A pari of bengals




Holidays, M-P, Seattle, Washington

Happy Midsummer

Today several places in the Northern Hemisphere have the longest hours of sunlight of the year. This however can be taken to the extreme. On Summer Solstice, the North Pole gets 24 hours of daylight. Talk about sleep deprivation.

I have visiting Stonehenge during a summer solstice on my list of things to do. Not this year, but hopefully soon.

  • If you are in Seattle go to the Fremont Fair. This famous/infamous fair has a little bit of something for everyone.
  • Or attend a Native American ceremony.
  • Or go to a performance of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For luck, make sure you turn around three times clockwise after waking up on the morning of the Summer Solstice.

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Seattle’s Fremont Fair

“The event, a celebration of Fremont’s “delibertas quirkas” (freedom to be pecuilar) culture”

Fremont is its own “Center of the Universe” within walking distance of downtown Seattle. At least what I consider walking distance. Most people would take cars.

The fair features the Seattle Art Car Blow-Out with over 75 “art” cars decked out in every manner of decoration. There’s a dog parade, solstice-inspired yoga, buskers of every conceivable type (chalk artists, musicians, jugglers etc.) and then there is the 2014 Solstice Parade.

The Solstice parade has marching bands, floats and all the usual cast of characters. It also has the famous or infamous (depending on how you look at it) Solstice Cyclists.

This is according to Wikipedia and I can say for a fact that this information is accurate:

“The Solstice Cyclists (also known as The Painted [Naked] Cyclists of the Solstice Parade, or The Painted Cyclists) is an artistic, non-political, clothing-optional bike ride celebrating the Summer Solstice. It is the unofficial start of the Summer Solstice Parade and Pageant.:

Or from this year’s Solstice Cyclists website http://www.solsticecyclist.org/

“The Painted Cyclists have long been a fixture of the Fremont Solstice Parade – an event created and produced by the Fremont Arts Council. The parade is a fantastic and whimsical celebration of the return of the sun, complete with larger than life puppets, floats, and street performers.

The Painted Cyclists engage and entertain the crowd with our boldness, bareness and enthusiasm. Join us as we welcome summer to Seattle with an outpouring of artistic expression, fossil-fuel-free travel, and fun.”

However you decide to celebrate the solstice, I wish you fun and adventure.


Reliable Wikipedia on Solstice Cyclists – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice_Cyclists
Solstice data and more data – http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/SummerSolstice.html
Solstice traditions through the ages – http://www.medicaldaily.com/summer-solstice-native-americans-and-tradition-renewal-247028
Precise Solstice definition – www.thefreedictionary.com/solstice

Some fun FAQs I found for the Solstice Cyclists participants

Do I have to ride naked? Of course not, some cyclists chose to wear a little something. Try flesh colored undies for the ladies and speedos for the guys.

How long does it take to be painted? Depending upon the complexity of your design, painting can take from 45 minutes to 4 hours. If your design consists of a base coat with detail on top, you’ll need to leave time for the base to dry plus time for the whole thing to dry before we ride.

Will the paint come off? Eventually. Your best bet is lots of warm, soapy water, a washcloth, and a friend to scrub between your shoulder blades. Most paints come off in little flakes so I recommend using a hair snare in your drain to prevent them from mucking up your plumbing. In 2004, I discovered the miracle of “pressure washing”. I attached a spray nozzle to my garden hose, stood in the middle of my yard and turned the water on, adjusting the nozzle until the water was a concentrated jet. This essentially peeled the paint right off my body. Combined with some sea salt and Dr. Bronner’s and I was clean in a record 30 minutes! It’s probably not a bad idea to stand in a kiddie pool or on a tarp to keep the paint flakes out of your lawn. Last year, I experimented with dry scrubbing first. I used an old, rough washcloth to gently abrade the paint off and then lathered up and rinsed. Like a charm!

I’m a little, um, hirsute. Will my body hair affect my paint? You can definitely be painted over body hair although it can be a bit trickier to get an even coat. Body hair also makes removing the paint more difficult and more painful. Some folks get into the hair removal aspect while others chose to go au naturel. It’s up to you.

M-P, Mythology, Washington

Mt. St. Helens

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Mount St. Helens was in the news again on May 1, 2014 with a new build-up of magma. The USGS says it is an impending “long-term uplift” coinciding with some increased seismic activity. Despite recently making the news, this is just what the volcano routinely does.

May 1 2014 Magma build-up article http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6346/20140501/mount-st-helens-builds-up-magma-no-imminent-eruption-usgs.htm

This is the anniversary of the devastating eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980, the deadliest volcanic event in the history of the United States.

Mt. St. Helens is the most active volcano in the Cascade Range Volcanic Arc which is a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire. It is a stratovolcano (also known as a composite volcano with steep-sided mostly symmetrical cones.

Mt. St. Helens

Fifty-seven people died and the animal loss was estimated at 7000 big game animals, 12 million salmon in hatcheries and more small animals than could be estimated.

The eruption column reached 80,000 feet in less than 15 minutes, spread across the US in 3 days and it circled the globe within 15 days.

The blast itself released 24 mega tons of thermal energy. The temperature of the lateral blast was at least 660 degrees and traveling at 300 miles per hour.

The Mountain’s elevation before the blast was 9,677 feet. It is now at 8,363 feet.

CNN Mt. St. Helens Facts http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/26/us/mount-st-helens-fast-facts/index.html

The Klickitat have one of the most famous of the Native American legends of the mountain. In this story, often called the “Bridge of the Gods” the chief of all gods had two sons named Pahto who became Mt. Adams and Wy-east who became Mt. Hood. They fought over the beautiful maiden (once an old crone) named Loowit, Mt. St. Helens.

This story in all its beautiful detail with the various endings of the different tribes is told masterfully at http://oaltomlinson.blogspot.com/2008/05/klickitat-legend.html

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On May 18, 1980, what was once a tranquil recreational mountain teeming with wildlife and graced by the beautiful Spirit Lake exploded into the volcano that is known today. Thick ash clouds, mudslides miles long and nine hours of “vigorous” ash emission ended a 123 year slumber. The area is still recovering.

Mt. St. Helens Science and Learning Center http://www.mshslc.org/
USGS 30 Cool Facts about Mount St. Helens http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/103/
Extensive History of Mt. St. Helens and surrounding area attractions http://www.mt-st-helens.com/history.html

~ lisa

V-Z, Washington

Washington Volcanoes

Mt. Rainier on the way from SEA to LAX

The famous Mt. St. Helens Volcano in Washington State will get its own blog post on May 18th, but it’s not the only volcano that resides in Washington State.

We have five major Washington State Volcanoes. Besides Mt. St. Helens, there are Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mt. Adams. These five make up one quarter of the active volcanoes in the lower 48.

For a good map of the location of each volcano in Washington State and an accompanying picture go to: http://www.washingtonstatesearch.com/Washington_maps/Major_Washington_State_Volcanoes.html

There are also other volcanic sites including Indian Heaven Volcanic Field, Goat Rocks, Signal Peak, Simcoe, and West Crater.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll only cover the big five. Since Mt. St. Helens gets its own post on the anniversary of its last eruption (May 18), that leaves four volcanoes for today.

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The volcano I see most frequently is Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier is part of the Seattle area landscape and is the largest mountain and volcano in Washington State. Mt. Rainier has 26 main glaciers and snowpack all year which makes it an ideal training ground for scaling Mt. Everest.

Mt. Rainier is also a national park and several of the most popular activities at the mountain
include skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, photography and camping. May it never explode.

Native Americans called the “Big Mountain” by several names (including Takhoma, Tahoma etc) and besides “Big Mountain” most of the names mean such things as “Snowy Peak” and “The place where water begins”. Much more descriptive and appropriate than being named for explorer George Vancouver’s friend, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.

Mt. Baker (Koma Kulshan) is the northern most volcano in Washington State. It is the third highest mountain in the state. Mt. Baker is considered one of the snowiest places in the world. http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/baker/

Glacier Peak is considered the most remote of the Cascade volcanoes. It gets its name from over a dozen glaciers that glide down it. http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/glacier_peak/
Glacier Peak is the fourth tallest peak in Washington State. Glacier Peak has long been one of the most active volcanoes in Washington

Mt. Adams, named after President Adams by Hall J. Kelley (once he finally figured out which volcano he could name), is located east of Mt. St. Helens, and, outside of Mt. Shasta in California, is the largest by volume volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/adams/
Native American local myth about Washington State http://www.crystalinks.com/volcanomyth.html

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The constant question on everyone’s mind after the Mt. St. Helen’s blast is which volcano is most likely to erupt next? http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2010/01/08/which-state-volcano-is-most-likely-to-erupt-next/

The Burke Museum located on the campus of the University of Washington is one of the best go-to-places for all things Washington State including volcanoes. http://www.burkemuseum.org/

All of Washington’s volcanoes except for Mt. Adams have erupted during the last 250 years. For a complete list of time and type of eruptions go to: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/GeologicHazardsMapping/Pages/volcanoes.aspx


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Other volcano sources:
A dynamic map site: http://www.nationalatlas.gov/dynamic/dyn_vol-wa.html
USGS monitoring and hazards info site: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/cvo/
Smithsonian Institution Volcano Information Site: http://www.volcano.si.edu/
PNSN Seismic readings near volcanoes: http://www.pnsn.org/volcanoes
Totally not Washington, but very cool anyway: Volcanoes under Antarctica Ice Sheet http://www.livescience.com/41262-west-antarctica-new-volcano-discovered.html?cmpid=514645_20140504_20418954