Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Heart History

Forty-plus years ago when I was in school  I thought "history" was boring.  Now that I'm old and "historical" myself,  events that came before my time seem much more relevant.  Funny how that is.

For folks like my friends and me who do outdoor stuff, it's kinda cool to know the stories of hikers and climbers who ventured into the local hills before us.

Two friends and I traveled to Yakima Sunday and hiked/snowshoed up Mt. Cleman, a sagebrush- country peak for which I have a daypack full of fond memories, having hiked/climbed it many times in the late 1970's and early 80's with my friend, Louie Ulrich.

Louie was 77 when I met him in 1977. I had just started a job as a photographer for the paper in Yakima, was new to the West,  and a novice hiker. I was aware that there were two "old guys" in Yakima, Lex Maxwell and Louis Ulrich,  who had been climbing in the Cascades for decades. I wanted to do a photo story about one of these characters and I made contact with Louie. We did a couple of hikes and walkup climbs together, I did my story, and, in the coming years Louie and I became good friends. Even after Leah and I moved to Seattle in 1980 I'd sometimes travel back to Yakima and hike with Louie.

There are climbs that young alpinists do today that Louie and his partners pioneered in the 1930's. If you look through Cascade Mountain climbing guidebooks you'll see that Louie is credited with a number of first ascents.

The two images above are from my archives.  Photo #1:  Louie and me, about 1978, I think near the Goat Rocks. And photo #2:  Louie on Mt. Cleman in 1980.   The photographs below are from Sunday's outing.

In my heart Louie was there with us Sunday, making yet another trek up one of his favorite Yakima area mountains.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Vagabond Cats & Flying Fish

I told a friend I'd meet him for lunch in downtown Seattle yesterday; and, as I rode the ferry across Puget Sound toward the city, I decided I'd play a favorite game of mine:  Visitor with a Camera.

When I head to the Big City, I often factor extra time into my day, both before and after an appointment. It's always fun to use the time to poke around in some of the tourist hangouts in the city… to see if, like the ever-present visitors from out-of-town,  I might stare at things, look lost and amazed, and take a couple of pictures to share with the folks back home.

In this case, you Dear Reader, no matter where you might live,  are my "folks back home."

Many visitors take a scenic ride on a Washington State Ferry,  and for me it's a great place to look for pictures. On one recent trip I photographed an interesting man and his traveling companion (image above) on the deck of the boat, a portion of the Seattle skyline a convenient backdrop to the picture.

Tourists also flock to the Pike Market to watch the fishmongers throwing fish, and yesterday I did that too.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but it is one of my guilty pleasures, this being a Geeky Tourist. 
I'm pretty sure I will do it again soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Full Day

I'm pretty sure that Saturday, in terms of responsible and sustainable consumerism, I used up more than my fair share of cosmically-allotted digital pixels.  My day began with a ferry ride to Seattle, where I witnessed the foggy sunrise you see above.  That scene duly recorded for my own, ongoing photographic diary, I traveled on to three events I had promised I would shoot for my friends in the Seattle Tibetan community.

I thought that today I would post a bit of a travelogue -- the moments that presented themselves as I went from one event to another, camera in hand.

My first stop (post sunrise) was at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery,  where about a half dozen folks spent the morning cleaning both the inside and outside of the gompa.

My second volunteer shoot of the day took me to a neighborhood near the University of Washington, where a Tibetan lama friend of mine was giving a meditation class. His students were mostly Westerners.

In the evening I was back at the monastery, where the Tibetan community gathered to recite prayers at the request of a gentleman whose mother died recently in Nepal.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

The holiday week has been beautiful here:  Clear, bluebird sky,  and a ton of new powder snow in the mountains.

Above is an image from a sunrise ferry crossing of Puget Sound as I was on my way to meet up with my hiking friends (we took advantage of the holidays and time off work to get into the high country.)  Below are pictures from one of several snowshoe trips we did, and there are plans afoot to go again tomorrow.

The New Year offers great promise here, and I hope for you too.