You Shall Not Pass

It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose your cow!

Last weekend, we plotted a route through the forest to take a trip to a Watershed Educational Center. You can find out more about watersheds here. The route had dirt paths, one lane bridges, very few road signs and at least one dead-end. IMG_20171008_1224251.jpg

The road we planned to take isn’t open to the public which makes sense as the area is a watershed. Authorized vehicles only, no humans to contaminate or pollute. IMG_20171008_1224400Our spirits were more resolute on Sunday than they were on our Saturday hike. We found a lovely place to have a spot of tea. My tea cup is in honor of Ernie. He’s out riding in spirit. (See below for how Ernie spent his Sunday.)014I even managed to get a shot of my knitting out in the wild. It was rather chilly so I needed a hat for when we took our helmets off. This is my first time wearing my Road Less Traveled hat. The cables kept my head nice and cozy. 015.JPGThis is how Ernie spent his day. 016.JPGIsn’t he a tart?

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Grumpy Hikers

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. ~ Yogi Berra

Last Saturday, the British Hubby and I decided to try a new hike. We packed our bags the night before and set the alarm. It wasn’t easy to get up early on a Saturday, but our determination paid off as we were the first car parked at the trail head. The first two miles up where hard. We had just stopped for our first snack to refuel when a group of trail runners passed us making the elevation gain look like a stroll through the park. (Seriously, I was already a little exhausted.) Upwards we hiked. 002.JPGWe had some stunning vistas on the way up. 001Naturally, the only rain shower was when we reached the lake for lunch. So we didn’t stay long nor did we get any photos. I don’t even think a photo could do this view justice. It was that spectacular. 006We almost had a knitting mishap. I had taken off my Mount St. Helen’s Cowl on the way up so I wouldn’t over heat. It had fallen out of my pocket, but a kind trail runner found it and placed it on a branch so we would see it coming down. Eggplant Constellation was making it’s hiking debut. Sadly, I didn’t even get a photo of it out in the wild. IMG_20171007_0916208.jpgBetween almost losing my knitwear and the grueling 4.5 miles up only to come 4.5 miles back down made the British Hubby and I were a bit cantankerous by the time we returned to the trail head again. We had sore limbs, but our souls were rejuvenated. 019.JPGI’m not even sure the kitties noticed we were gone!

Welcome to Twin Peaks

My log does not judge.

The British Hubby was a Twin Peaks fan when it first aired. Naturally living in the PNW, one has to find the Twin Peaks sign while driving ones sidecar. 005We think this is where the spot would have been had it not been taken down for repairs. This was also our first wet ride. We were actually both pretty dry when we stopped for a bowl of soup to warm up. 009Okay, we also split a piece of pie while I worked on my Watermelon socks. This pair is getting to do quite a bit of traveling. 006I love how the weather can be very localized due to mountains. I never get tired of watching a cloud roll in. 008.JPGThis ride was more to test how water proof our gear is. Everything was pretty dry so our next focus is getting heated thermals so we can stay warm as the temperature continues to drop. 018Burt and Ernie wouldn’t dream of leaving this spot when it’s cold and rainy. Don’t they look cozy?

The Scarves of September

You are supposed to make mistakes. That’s life.

Normally on the last day of September, I would take a group photo of my completed wips. I searched high and low, but my Sunset Cable Scarf is no where to be found. I suspect Ernie has made a cozy cave with it someplace. Instead there are photos of my two completed scarves from my project pages. I’m very proud of my first woven one, Woven Scarf I. 

I’ve been so busy this week I haven’t had a chance to share about our adventure on Ulysses last weekend. We took the freeway out towards the Cascade Mountain range and then found forest roads to get us up the mountain. The first was tree line and a bit chilly.

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We had to find a sunny spot for a cup of tea. Yes, that’s a proper china tea cup we’re using for our picnic along with the Jolly Green Giant Stanley tea thermos.

The next stretch of road had a fun bridge. 024

Twisty roads.

And big rocks.

Our next picnic spot included more tea, knitting and more spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. 017

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We also found a gravel path. 011

It was a fantastic outing before a very long and exhausting work week. Last week didn’t have much crafting time, but it did have some snuggle time with Ernie. 030.JPG

Let’s see if I can get three completed wips in October! I do have an extra 24 hours after all.

 

Island Yarn Adventure

Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul. ~ Jaime Lyn

I am fortunate to have a few crafty coworkers. I especially love it when they are willing to go on a yarn adventure with me. Recently one of my knitting coworkers and I took the ferry to Whidbey Island to check out a few yarn shops and tour the sights. I never get tired of riding on the ferry. How can one get tired of this view?IMG_20170921_1131137.jpg

The first yarn store  we ventured into was Whidbey Isle Yarns. This is a delightful little shop with tea, vintage jewelry, buttons as far as your eye can see and hand dyed yarn. The store owner was so excited her shop was our reason for visiting the Island, she gave us 10% off! IMG_20170921_1336594.jpg

Naturally, I bought some tea and hand dyed sock yarn. It seems I can’t pass up sparkles this year. This lovely button also predates World War II. 010.JPG

Historic downtown Coupeville is so quint, I almost felt like I was stepping into the movie Jaws.

The views were stunning. The ice cream wasn’t bad either.

With views so spectacular it’s hard to believe we actually left Coupeville, but my knitting coworker and I wanted to check out Knitty Purls. Could Langley be just as quaint as Coupeville? IMG_20170921_1710248.jpg

It has an art walk. IMG_20170921_1645253.jpg

And wine bar that welcomes knitters. 011.JPG

I also managed to find sock yarn from Nova Scotia. 005

While I was out, Gracie kept guard over the house. Doesn’t she just look mean? 007

Okay, maybe this is how she really spent her day.

Buses, Ferries and Walking in the Rain

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. ~ Bob Marley

Over the weekend, there was another Mal Gal visit! This time Chicago Mal Gal was in the PNW. A few of my local Mal Gals were waiting for the bus when we discovered this unusual tree. I’ve never seen fruit like this before. If anyone knows what type of tree this is, please post in the comments. IMG_20170917_0929571.jpg

Next, we took a ferry to Churchmouse. I managed to not buy any yarn, but I did buy a pattern and a fun sheep mug from another local store on Bainbridge Island. 001

The pattern is Half & Half Cowl. It’s written in two gauges, worsted and chunky. I was certain I had yarn in my stash I could use, but it turns out that yarn is an alpaca blend. Sadly, I break out in a rash when I try to wear it around my neck. (Looks like I’m going to be weaving with alpaca for quite some time!) I foresee woven alpaca wool scarves for all my family and friends over the next year. I think I even caught a glimpse of alpaca blends in more than one brand and color! I guess that’s what happens when one hardly ever finishes projects and continues to buy yarn. IMG_20170917_1033480.jpg

I also splurged and had some ice cream. The flavor is Jack-o-lantern. I couldn’t resist a single scoop of pumpkin flavoring and chocolate. I plan to run a couple of extra miles this week to balance out all that sugar. It was worth every bite.IMG_20170917_1430314.jpg

While I was writing this post, an unusual thing occurred. A thunderstorm passed over my house with actual thunder! We don’t often get storms in the PNW and sometimes I miss a good Midwestern thunderstorm. I looked around to see how the kitties were handling the downpour and rumbling. Their reactions are below.

Ernie looks like he’s laughing, but he’s mid yawn.

Factoring for Windchill

Absence weakens mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and kindles fires. ~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld 

Saturday morning, we woke up hours before the dawn to travel for Ulysses’s first maintenance. We had several hours to ride before the dealership opened. I had checked the weather forecast. It was going to be a great day. It seemed a bit chilly, but I could dress in layers. I do have plenty of knit wear after all. It was still dark when we started up Ulysses, but I was excited to see the sunrise from the sidecar. We were prepared or so we thought.

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We were prepared for hiking or snow shoeing in cold temperatures. Sitting in an uninstalled metal box at nighttime temperatures while driving at speed in the open air, we were not. We actually had to stop at one point so we could move around and allow feeling to come back into our extremities. It did make us realize we need to invest in a few heated items for riding in colder temperatures. 5045937081138506072-account_id=1.jpg

The dealership had told us it would be several hours to service Ulysses so I had done a little research on fun activities in the area. I didn’t realize our loaner might not be another Ural. Fortunately, the British Hubby knows how to ride two wheels. However, this was my first time riding in the bitch seat. It was exhilarating and terrifying in a completely different way than Ulysses. IMG_20170916_1023341.jpg

We decided breakfast and then the local bookstore was a better way to spend a few hours instead of our planned excursion. I’m pretty sure I shivered the entire way to the dealership so I figured a little bit of carbs was necessary. We’ll see if I regret it on my run Monday morning. The British Hubby and I split a cinnamon roll and some toast (TOAST!). 014.JPG

Ernie was warm and cozy instead of riding around in the cold. Smart kitty.