Daniel and I skirted the impending Seattle autumn for 5 days by heading to New Orleans, where it is still hot, humid and air conditioning is required.

Since it was meant to be a “relaxing” vacation, we didn’t make any plans. We didn’t tell anyone we knew there we were coming. We booked a room in a guest house and just wandered around for 5 days.

We did go to City Park and play mini golf, since I can’t find any in Seattle. (wtf seattle?) I beat Daniel by one par.

And we went to the Aquarium of the Americans, which was partially sponsored by BP and Shell and talked about how offshore oil rigs are great because they create coral-like environments for fish and other species. Sure, guys.

We also went to a lot of bars and saw a lot of bachelorette parties. New Orleans is kind of the Vegas of the South and everyone drinks High Life.

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Daniel and I Rode Our Mountain Bikes to the Top of Mt Constitution

drove to Anacortes -> took our bikes on the ferry

We rode in pouring rain to our campsite in Moran State Park. In theory we were the only people in the hiker/biker “primitive” camp site, but some guy was living there. He was spiritual and shared his beans for our soup and we used all our camp fuel cooking them.

So the next day, instead of going mountain biking we had to ride back into town to buy more fuel. But it didn’t rain that day.

On the last day we rode to the top of Mt Constitution (highest peak in the San Juan Islands) before leaving.

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Apparently No One Has Any Idea What the Hell I’m Doing Anymore Since I’m Not Posting it On the Internet

“Pictures or it didn’t happen” is actually far more true than I ever realized.


In January I started attending Seattle Central’s Carpentry program down at the Wood Technology Center in the Central District. It rules. At first I thought I was really bad at woodworking, but then I realized they were just making us use hand tools to appreciate what power tools do. Power tools are the greatest.

Making the toolbox in our Core class.

Martin admires his own handywork.
In carpentry we got into building houses. It is complicated.
Our current project is building a modular house for a woman on Whidbey Island, which will brought out in sections when we are done. This summer we built the custom cabinetry for the kitchen and bathroom.
Here is the 15″ beam saw we used to cut the glue lams for the roof.

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Carbon River

Another two day bike trip! This time we cycled to the picturesque Carbon River campground in the foothills of Rainier and along the Wonderland Trail. According to Matt & the internet, it receives so much annual rainfall it’s consider a temperate rain forest, which is a cool thing in North America (the rain forest, not the rain.)

We took the Sounder of Seattle at a cruel 6 am and stopped in Puyallup for donuts and coffee.

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We took the Foothills Trail pretty much from the start to finish, which follows along the Carbon River for much of it. We went through the faux-Western town of Orting and South Prairie, both are pretty awesome but pretty depressing.

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We ended up in Wilkeson before our final ascent into Mt Rainier National Park.

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It was really beautiful forest in this area, which high ravines and not much traffic (see big one bridge!).

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The original road into the campsite has been washed out over the years and is now a hiker/biker rough gravel trail for about 6 miles to the Ipsut Creek Campground, which is incredibly lush with growth. We pitched near the Carbon River and hiked up to see Ipsut falls before sunset.


We had an incredibly satisfying of dinner of re-hydrated chili with field roast and veggies (please God let me never have to eat Field Roast again) and passed out pretty early considering we’d all gone only a few hours of sleep.


The next morning on the way out (through gravel…eeeeeeek) we stopped at Chenuis Falls, but my phone was nearly dead at this point. Here is a photo of Daniel putting his shoes back on:


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Bainbridge Island Bike Camping

I am not dead! I am also not in Ireland, I am in Seattle.

view of Seattle from Bainbridge Island Ferry

eager cyclists

The campground

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SS Minnow

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Crazy Vertigo Staircase

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Next morning – I went for a dip in the Puget Sound!

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Christmas Hike at Little Si

I had access to both a car and little dog this holiday season, so two (two and a half?) friends and I headed east towards Mt Si. Christmas week was chilly but unusually clear, which made it great for hiking! We suited Quinn up in her mini-holiday sweater and headed out.

Initially we had some trouble finding the trailhead…

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful hike, but we had a late start so we opted to do Little Si (480 m) as opposed as Mt Si (1,270 m). I suppose there is only a 2 letter difference between “wise” and “wuss”.

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Somtimes Quinn took sneaky shortcuts…

Before the summit (photo credit to Reid)

At the summit…

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Lucky Quinn got a free ride back, courtesy of Reid.

On the way home we stopped at a drive-through coffee house (probably only because we had the car) and made a lovely curry dinner back at the house! Good yule times, indeed.

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Festival Season – Electric Picnic

For the festival I helped Jane build shadow box houses…

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…as well as putting up the windmills and building A LOT of pinwheels (which everyone called windmills). Fun fact: all windmills turn anti-clockwise except for the ones in Ireland. Except for the ones we made, which also turned anti-clockwise.

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Aoibheann got so into the pinwheels that she immortalized one on her leg.
And Cherry Picker Dave got a scribble:

Mostly I was exhausted during the festival and trying not to get stung by the insane amount of wasps that were about, but was at least able to catch Bjork, David Byrne & St Vincent, The Knife and Jennifer Evans.

Of course I don’t have any photos of the actual festival, only after it was over.


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