Farther Afield


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When we’d previously lived in Seattle, much of our spare time was spent traveling through the Puget Sound and British Columbia. This was mostly done by boat however, with relatively little exploration on land. Since returning to live in Seattle, the many local attractions had kept us busy without feeling a need to leave the downtown core, let alone own a car. But over the holiday season, we began to venture farther afield, starting with a ferry trip to Bremerton and later a trip by rail to Northgate.

Wanting to explore more, we concluded that owning a car would be the most convenient way to do that. So in late January, we purchased a Honda Passport that has worked out wonderfully. The truck is capable and comfortable, and we’re loving getting out and seeing more of the state.

That first weekend we drove east to the ski resort at Snoqualmie Pass and the next day made a loop west through Kitsap Peninsula that took us past many of our old boating destinations. We continue to enjoy living downtown, and still keep finding new restaurants to try, but also are looking forward to seeing more of Washington State and the surrounding area.

Below are highlights from January 3rd through 31st, 2022. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

1/3/2022
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Ovation of the Seas
Our “pet cruise ship“, Ovation of the Seas, is off San Francisco en route to Seattle having spent the past week or so just south of the US/Mexican border.
1/6/2022
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Solsikkeolje
Opening our last bottle of Solsikkeolje (sunflower oil), purchased in Norway. We kept Dirona fairly well-stocked, with months of deep stores, and are still working through them in the apartment.
1/7/2022
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Ovation of the Seas
Our “pet cruise ship“, Ovation of the Seas, returning to Seattle for another brief stop.
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Seafood Display
With so many people in the US sick with Omnicron, many businesses are struggling with staffing shortages. This grocery store normally has an extensive seafood display, but reports they don’t have the staff to fill it, so that space isn’t monetized.
1/8/2022
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Spitfire
Spitfire is quite partial to cut flowers, so much so that he’ll even eat plastic ones. That these dyed daisies are turning the water pink is no deterrent. We’ve been staying away from lilies since Sandra and Barry Kempster of Fort William, Scotland warned us these flowers are dangerous for cats.
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Duwamish Head Race
Boats flying spinnakers race off Duwamish Head in the event of the same name, the second of the 2021-2022 Southern Sound Series.
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Container Ship
Heavily-loaded container ship arriving into Elliott Bay with Bainbridge Island and the snow-covered Olympic Mountains beyond.
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March for Freedom
Protesters of masking and vaccine mandates gather at Westlake Center for a “March for Freedom” rally and march to Pike Place Market.
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No Surrender
March For Freedom rally supporters driving through downtown Seattle. The flag hanging from the truck reads “Unmasked, Unmuzzled, Unvaccinated, Unafraid”. The black-and-white American flags on the truck behind have historically been used in times of war to indicate no surrender. This variation, with a blue stripe, additionally shows solidarity with law enforcement. Increasingly, just about every issue brings a polarized response.
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Yardhouse
A multitude of taps at the Yardhouse pub opposite Westlake Center.
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Westlake Park
Holiday display at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle.
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Do The Extraordinary
The clothing store Do The Extraordinary is built in an old bank. The vault now is a speakeasy, and the dressing rooms partly visible on the left are the original safety deposit box rooms.
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Dog Park
The Denny Substation Dog Park is popular with the hounds.
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REI Entrance
Taking in the water feature from the bridge leading to the REI flagship store.
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Outdoor Fireplace
The wonderful outdoor fireplace at REI.
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REI
The cavernous REI outdoor equipment store. And this photo shows only part of the first of two floors. The store is so well-equipped it even has a park ranger station built in.
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Denali HD
This massive Denali HD GMC truck, owned by Diaz Brothers Construction, caught our attention as we walked home past the Pan Pacific hotel. The truck has a 445 HP 6.6L diesel V8 engine and a 10-speed Allison automatic transmission with a towing capability of 36,000 pounds.
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WildLanterns
The WildLanterns winter light display at Woodlands Park Zoo just north of Seattle is simply amazing. We’d seen several pictures and were expecting an entertaining show, but the experience far exceeded that in scale, quality and interest.

Read more

1/9/2022
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Mt Baker
Mt Baker, to our north, snow-covered and glowing pink in the morning sun.
1/10/2022
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Flare Over Seattle
Downtown Seattle is full of apartment buildings overlooking Elliott Bay, with frequent ferry and commercial traffic. If a distress flare were fired in this area, you would expect this to generate a lot of reports. But when one was set off this morning, we might have been the only ones to report it.

Read more …

1/12/2022
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Ovation of the Seas
Our “pet cruise ship“, Ovation of the Seas, back in Seattle after four days away.
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Decorations
Stowing our Christmas tree decorations until next year.
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Ovations of the Seas
Ovation of the Seas underway from Seattle again after another brief stop. The traffic patterns of this ship are really unpredictable.
1/13/2022
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Kennewick
The Washington State ferry Kennewick caught our attention this morning steaming directly towards Pier 69. We could see cars on board and initially thought it was a ferry en route to Seattle having some kind of mechanical difficulty. But this vessel runs between Port Townsend and Coupeville, well to the north. So likely it was just on sea trails.
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Dusk
Calm conditions at dusk in Elliott Bay.
1/14/2022
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Fog
Morning fog over Lake Union, with Mount Baker just visible in the distance.
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Le Caviste
Enjoying a glass of French red at our latest discovery, Le Caviste wine bar.
1/15/2022
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Fog
Lunch outside in thick fog. At points we could barely see the other tower of our complex.
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Outhouse
How to avoid a construction outhouse becoming a public outhouse. Watch that first step!
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El Gaucho
An excellent and lengthy meal at El Gaucho over a bottle of Stag’s Leap Cabernet.
1/16/2022
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Orca II
The tour boat Orca II doing man-overboard drills with a large fender serving as the dummy.
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Fish Tacos
Trying out a new recipe for fish tacos. They were delicious.
1/17/2022
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Northgate
Northgate Mall, opened in 1950, was one of the first modern shopping malls built in the US following World War II. The mall is currently going through its second major renovation, this time evolving into a mixed-use facility that includes the training center for the Seattle Kraken NHL team.

Not much was open in the shopping portion of the complex when we visited, but the Kraken Community Iceplex was going strong. Two of the three NHL-sized rinks were occupied, with spectators watching from the overlooking restaurant, and the Kraken Team Store was busy with customers.

Read more …

1/26/2022
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Tender to Condo
Our most recent tender to Dirona was an AB 12VST capable of about 32 kts (37 mph, 60 kph) and a range nearing 50 nautical miles. Our new ‘tender to condo’ is a Honda Passport Elite that is even better across most dimensions.

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1/28/2022
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Snoqualmie Pass
Snoqualmie Pass carries Interstate 90 throught the Cascade Mountains between Seattle and Spokane. At 3,015 feet (919 m), it is the lowest of Washington State’s three major year-round east-west mountain passes, but the closest to Seattle at a mere 52 miles (80 km) to the east.

We made our first day trip in our new car to Snoqualmie Pass on a cold January day. Read more …

1/29/2022
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Bar Stools
Our new bar stools just arrived from Room and Board and they look great. The previous owners of our apartment had lent us theirs until we got new ones.
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US Naval Undersea Museum
The US Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport contains over 39,000 artifacts related to undersea weapons, submarine technology, diving and salvage artifacts, and undersea vehicle technology. In addition to extensive indoor displays, the museum’s several large outdoor exhibits include the sail of the USS Sturgeon, the lead ship in the Sturgeon-class of 37 fast-attack submarines used heavily during the Cold War to seek and destroy enemy submarines and support surveillance, reconnaissance and ground warfare operations.

We visited the museum on a loop trip by car to the Kitsap Peninsula that took us past many of our old boating destinations. Read more …

1/30/2022
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Our new Honda Passport has a built-in cellular modem and can provide telemetry and some basic controls through the HondaLink app. Even more interesting is that we can communicate with the car through Alexa and from our apartment get answers to questions such as how much gas is left in the tank.
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Grain Bowls
We’ve been experimenting with grain bowls for lunch recently, using grains such as quinoa, farro and wheat berries and various toppings such as edameme, cabbage, onion, cilantro and pepita, sunflower, and chia seeds. The grains have a wonderful flavor and the bowls are super-healthy.
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Tent Fire
Downtown Seattle has a large tent-dwelling population. Many have gas-cooking and electric heat, plugged into sockets on nearby buildings or garden light fixtures. We heard a loud explosion this evening and looked down to the street to see that one of the tents had exploded and was fully engulfed in flames. The explosion had picked up a nearby tent and driven it into a parked car twelve feet away. The fire department is less than a block away and arrived as we were reporting the incident via the 911 emergency number. Fortunately nobody was in either tent.
1/31/2022
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Shortages
Supply chain issues are producing shortages in a wide variety of products. This local pharmacy was nearly sold out of acetaminophen (paracetamol) and having a difficult time resupplying.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map. And a map with our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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