Recently Claire and I were lucky enough to catch a hike guided by the park paleontologist and an interpretive ranger. The short, two mile or so, hike took us away from the road and interpretive signs and into the washes and flats where dinosaurs died 225 million years ago in the late Triassic Period. We found pieces of bone and Claire even found an intact tooth. The stark landscape adds to the mystery and amazement of the realization that you are holding a thing, that was once part of a living Stagonolepis so long ago. Nothing like science to put one’s lifespan into perspective.
The Olympic Peninsula of Washington State is not a famous for sunset skies as some places, but when the sun has a little space between clouds to work with, spectacular results. Some of the best skies are late in the day in winter. It seems like winter is coming early this year (La Nina), and this evening sky gives strong hints of things to come.
Just a quick touch of the salmon crazed Alaskans (legal residents) fishing with nets at the mouth of the Kenai River. It’s how they fill their freezers for the year and have a lot of fun it seems. The gulls are happy too!
I skied to a nearby ridge with friends the first February following the eruption. We snow camped with fantastic views of the still actively growing central plug. It glowed in the dark, and the splintered trees surrounding us stood out in stark gray strangeness to the white snow. During the first night we all felt an earthquake, but nobody mentioned it until late the next morning; never speak the name of Evil. It was just too scary an idea that there might be a new big eruption while we were exposed. There were constant belches of steam and ash from the crater. We were reluctant to leave. I never went back. I wanted to remember her that way, and a ski trip was an excellent way to say goodbye.