Autumn in Seattle

Since it’s technically still autumn until Wednesday, I thought I could still sneak in a post with autumn in the title.  I’m behind on my posts, so this one is going up tomorrow morning even if it isn’t my bestly written one. (If Trump can say 'bigly', I can say bestly!)

Since I was already on the other side of the country after visiting Utah, I thought I’d swing around to Seattle and Portland. There were still some photographs I wanted to take for the book, and I thought a pen-friend reunion with Ryan was long overdue anyway.

I arrived in the perfect weather!  Fog fog fog and misty rain… exactly what I was hoping for.

Arriving at SEA-TAC

... but so much for plans!  By the time we drove the two hours to Hoquiam the air was clear and it was windy.  No fog at all.   I was so disappointed, but what could I do?  Ryan and I decided that some magic portal must have opened for our time there that summer.  (Even Lana’s, the airport restaurant, had since closed.)  Sometimes things are just like that I guess.  There’s a special moment, or an amazing experience, or some incredible thing that you’ll only get to see once and then it's just gone.

While I knew I wasn’t going to recapture that June morning exactly as it had been, with the sun reflecting off every bit of fog and whitewashing the entire landscape like some image of heaven, I thought I could at least come close.  Nope.  So I can either leave out that scene, or rewrite it to describe the landscape as I photographed it this time. Which brings up an interesting creative question for me about whether I want to be true to the facts of the story, or to the spirit of it.

Sunrise in Gray's Harbor

That June we had landed in the dark, not knowing what was around us at all.  This time we discovered the Gray’s Harbor National Wildlife Refuge on the north side of Bowerman Field.  It would have been the perfect spot to pitch a tent in the middle of a summer night!  The boardwalk through the marsh... the wind in the trees... the symphony of frog-songs.

Gray's Harbor Wildlife Refuge

I hadn’t expected there to be so much fall color in Seattle.  I always think “pine trees” when I picture the northwest, but there was plenty of autumn.  Everything seemed brighter too in the rain.

Autumn leaves
Yellow leaves

We were hoping for some good flying weather, and had a tiny window one afternoon for a short flight.  There was the blue-and-yellow Luscombe, smiling at me when Ryan opened the hangar door...  (So cute!  See his teeth?)

Smiling Luscombe
Luscombe in the hangar

We played around the clouds for a while, came back for hot cocoa and snacks at the Arlington airport diner, and then visited Uncle Paul. He's retired from the world of airplane mechanics and is spending more time making -- and playing -- his beautiful Native American flutes.  It was so great to see him again!

Aerial photograph of the clouds

Back in 2009 Ryan and I didn’t do anything but have our flying adventure… I didn't visit any touristy places… I couldn’t tell you anything about Seattle at all really.  This time, though, we went to Chocolopolis - good grief, YUM! - where they custom-make hot cocoa with the chocolate bar of your choice.  Homemade marshmallows are soooo worth the extra $.


We also visited the MoPop (right next to the Space Needle - yay!) to see the World of Wearable Art exhibit, which was incredible.  

World of Wearable Art

... aaalmost as incredible as watching Ryan perform on the trapeze in his homemade dinosaur costume the night before.  He brought down the house and was swarmed by adoring fans afterwards.

Ryan in his dinosaur costume on the trapeze

I am SO glad I got to see my pen friend again.  And although I only shot one of the photos I wanted to take on this trip, I had to just let it go.  This time wasn't the time for that I guess.  Maybe there's another Seattle adventure in my future...