Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mount Saint Helens 39th Volcano Eruption Anniversary

This May 18, 2019 Saturday morning in Texas is reminding me of the Sunday morning of May 18, 1980.

Thirty-nine years ago.

This morning I am hearing loud booms, which I am 100% certain are not being caused by nearby Mount Wichita erupting.

A severe thunderstorm is currently raging loud at my Wichita Falls location.

This morning 39 years I was peacefully soaking in a hot tub when suddenly loud concussive booms began rattling the walls and windows.

I got out of the tub. A few minutes later the next door neighbor arrived to ask if we had heard.

Heard what, we asked?

The mountain has erupted was the answer.

There was no mystery as to what mountain had erupted. Mount St. Helens had been in active mode for months, with a large area around Mt. St. Helens with restricted access.

But, not restricted sufficiently. 57 people died in the eruption.

In the months prior to May 18, 1980 I had driven south to the north restricted zone to try and get a look at the suddenly active volcano. But that attempt to see was to no avail due to cloud cover.

That hot tub I was soaking in when Mount Saint Helens blew up was in Mount Vernon, about 150 north of the eruption, as a crow flies.

The eruption created a bit of a panic in the Pacific Northwest, with a rush on stores to get ash masks and, if I remember right, some sort of additional air filter thing for vehicles.

The initial eruption sent ash to the east, not north. One of the subsequent eruptions did send a small amount of ash as far north as the Skagit Valley. I do not remember ever feeling the need to use the ash mask I had ready to use.

Hard to believe that BIG BOOM was 39 years ago. Seems so recent in my memory.

Below is a Mount St. Helens video tribute to Pacific Northwest legend, Harry Truman. According to the video the song was a #1 hit. I do not remember this, but at that point in time I likely was not paying any attention to such things as what might be a #1 hit.

But listening to the Harry Truman Your Spirit Lake Lives On song it seems real clear that this was the first of the genre which was to become known as Seattle Grunge a decade later...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Does Fort Worth Need Trash Pandas Or Sod Poodles Playing Baseball?

It does grow old, even for me, making mock of something I read in Fort Worth's pitiful little newspaper, the Star-Telegram.

This time the subject was Fort Worth's storied baseball ballpark, LaGrave Field, and Fort Worth's equally storied baseball team, the Fort Worth Cats.

Need I mention I am being sarcastic with the use of that "storied" word, which I saw used at least once when reading today's  What will it take to make the Fort Worth Cats a home run? Not baseball article?

Let's read through this article together, copying out some choice bits for your reading amusement...

Baseball won’t save the Fort Worth Cats or LaGrave Field. Experts in minor league sports branding say a team can stack the roster with former Major League Baseball names or young talent looking to make their mark with home runs, but that likely won’t sell tickets. Instead, a resurrected Cats team should focus on entertainment and definitely not be something they’re not: The Rangers.

Okay.

So, apparently there are minor league sports branding experts. And those experts do not think baseball will save Fort Worth's baseball ballpark. So, if the Fort Worth Cats are brought back to life they need to focus on being entertaining, and not focus on something like baseball, which the Texas Rangers are already focusing on, a few miles to the east, in Arlington, in the same county as Fort Worth, with the Rangers playing in a beautiful ballpark, soon to be replaced by an even better ballpark.

You are probably wondering what is this entertainment these minor league sports branding experts are recommending. Well, one of those experts used another town's ballpark entertainment as an example for Fort Worth...

The focus isn’t baseball. It’s family fun, he said. People pay for the sideline antics. Among the circus-like performances: A character called “Coach,” the epitome of the high school P.E. teacher cliché, clad in short shorts and constantly doing calisthenics. Rather than a ketchup, mustard and relish race, fans have donned ears, nose and throat costumes to race around the park. The gags are kid-friendly with jokes that parents enjoy too, he said. “The biggest complaint in baseball these days is how long it lasts,” he said. “You’re not going to complain about a three hour movie if you’re entertained. That’s what we do in the ballpark.”

Oh yes, I see the value in consulting these minor league sports branding experts. What fun that will be, being entertained at the revived LaGrave Field whilst being bored by baseball. I would love to spend three hours watching a "Coach" character goofing around in short shorts whilst doing push ups. What a fun time that will be in Fort Worth, with fans donning ears, nose and throat costumes to race around the park. People will be coming from all over the world to see this.

And then there is this...

Scott Berry, a former Cats executive, hopes his Save LaGrave Foundation can pump new life into the decaying LaGrave Field with the Cats as the cornerstone. This week the foundation reached a 10-year agreement with Tarrant Regional Water District that secures the field for baseball and not redevelopment for the time being.

My eldest cousin is Scott Barry. He used to report regarding baseball for the Seattle Times. But, I think this Scott in the Star-Telegram article is not my cousin, due to the last name being spelled slightly different.

Anyway, isn't it interesting how an article in the Star-Telegram just casually mentions that to play baseball in LaGrave Field one needs to reach an agreement with the TRWD.

But, the Star-Telegram does not tell its readers in this article that the TRWD did not control that piece of land back in the previous era of LaGrave Field being in operation mode. The land was then owned by a friend of TRWD Board Member, Jim Lane, named Carl Bell.

Carl Bell filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

Jim Lane then finagled financial shenanigans which resulted in the TRWD buying Bell's land for millions of dollars. I think the sum was $22 million, if I remember right. And this then somehow resulted in the nearby opening of the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century, the Coyote Drive-in.  How this drive-in escaped the fate of getting the infamous Panther Island label is not known.

Why it is considered okay for an agency responsible for flood control and providing water owns a baseball ballpark is a mystery. Perhaps this is yet one more example of what is known locally as The Fort Worth Way. Which has come to mean, to many, a corrupt crony controlled way of operating a town.

Back to the article...

Brandiose recommends clubs, even those with a history, start with a naming competition. It sounds quaint, but getting the community involved at the onset is crucial, he said. And he recommends clubs abandon traditional names like Lions, Eagles or anything vaguely associated with the Majors. This process birthed teams like the Rocket City Trash Pandas, a Double A minor team in Alabama or Amarillo’s Sod Poodles. These names are something that can’t be ignored, appeal to kids and foster a storyline, Klein said.

Oh yes, I can see why this is why this ballpark has failed repeatedly. It's all about the name. Cats. What a terrible name. Who would want to watch Cats play baseball? Yes, Trash Pandas or Sod Poodles. Now that would be get me in a ballpark, no matter how boring the baseball playing might be.

Well,  read the entire What will it take to make the Fort Worth Cats a home run? Not baseball article to get the full dose of this latest Star-Telegram goofiness, while we end this by starting that community baseball team naming competition.

How about the Fort Worth Goofballs? Or the Fort Worth Crony Crackpots? Or the Fort Worth Outhouse Keepers? Geez, the best name just came to me, instantly obviously the perfect name...

The Fort Worth Boondogglers...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Seattle's Highway 99 Tunnel Takes Us To Fort Worth's Bridge Boondoggle

I saw that which you see here in this morning's Seattle Times online, an article titled Traffic in new Highway 99 tunnel nearly matches last year’s viaduct use.

Several Texas things came to mind when I read this article. And when I saw the dozens upon dozens of comments the article generated, with that large number of intelligent comments being the norm I note when reading a Seattle Times article.

Meanwhile in Texas.

An article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, about any controversial or interesting local subject, is lucky if a single comment is generated. Is this sparseness of commentary indicative of that sad newspaper's low number of readers? Or what?

Today's Seattle Times article about the new Highway 99 tunnel was the first I have seen since the tunnel opened. I had wondered if I had missed noticing such articles. Possibly there was nothing much newsworthy about the new tunnel, other than the fact it was now open.

The new Highway 99 tunnel can trace its beginning back to 2001 and the Nisqually Earthquake which did a lot of damage in the Puget Sound zone, including damaging the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which the 99 Tunnel has now replaced.

Meanwhile in Texas.

Around the same time an earthquake set in motion some big projects in Seattle, in Fort Worth, on one quiet Sunday morning, the Star-Telegram breathlessly announced that something then called Trinity Uptown was going to turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

You reading this in modern America, or Canada, I am not making this up.

Trinity Uptown eventually turned into the Trinity River Vision, touted as being a flood control and economic development project.

Where there has been no flooding for well over a half century.

As the years of the 21st century rolled on the Trinity River Vision went through some additional name iterations, in total the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Which by 2019 has become more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Or simple The Boondoggle.

So, what does any of this have to do with that article in the Seattle Times about the new Highway 99 Tunnel?

Well.

After that 2001 earthquake years of public debate followed regarding how best to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. By 2014 a solution was agreed to, with funding in place, and an almost $4 billion project got underway.

By getting underway I am referring to the boring of the Highway 99 Tunnel beginning with the world's biggest, at the time, tunnel boring machine, nicknamed Bertha, boring under downtown Seattle.

Around that same time, in Fort Worth, Texas, a big TNT exploding ceremony was held to mark the start of construction of three simple little freeway overpass looking bridges, being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

We blogged about this ridiculous Fort Worth explosion in A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late.

Soon after that big boom Fort Worth's bridge construction ground to a halt, for over a year. With no explanation, and no legitimate local newspaper of record demanding an explanation.

Meanwhile, during that same time frame, after boring for well less than a mile, Bertha hit a chunk of steel, grinding her to a halt. That tunnel boring halt lasted around a year. The problem was dealt with in an open and transparent way, fully covered by Seattle, and Washington media. And the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) aimed a camera at the Bertha excavation site so people could check in on the progress, 24/7.

To this day no Fort Worth media has provided any specific details regarding the supposed design problems which are now blamed as the reason for the slow motion construction, and ever shifting project timeline, of Fort Worth's pitiful little bridges, now with an astonishing project completion some time in the next decade.

Meanwhile, up in the northwest, modern, part of America, somehow another American town managed to finish a tunnel deep under its downtown. Four lanes of traffic now move through that tunnel. The photo at the top shows traffic entering the tunnel's southbound lanes.

Daily thousands of vehicles are zipping under downtown Seattle in that new completed tunnel. A difficult engineering project, engineering by competent project engineers. Completed in less than four years.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, three simple little bridges, which had, way back in 2014, an absurdly long four year project timeline, to build three simple little bridges, are now expected to possibly, maybe, hopefully be ready for traffic sometime during the next decade.

And you can not learn via any Fort Worth media publication, of any sort, what the problem actually is with building those three little bridges over dry land, connecting to an imaginary island, and maybe someday in the distant future having a ditch dug under the bridges, so water can be diverted into the ditch, thus creating that aforementioned imaginary island.

May 4's extremely low voter turnout, and that election's absurd results, have caused many to be of the opinion Fort Worth deserves what it gets; all the embarrassing boondoggles, all the failed projects, all the inept nonsense not worthy of an American town of over 800,000 population.

If only the people of Fort Worth would wise up, and rise up, and boot the Fort Worth Way to being an historical footnote, instead of the town's sad modern day reality...

Monday, May 13, 2019

Again Finding Serious Holliday Spelling Error On Lake Wichita Dam

A few days ago the local Wichita Falls news was reporting an historical marker dedication about an installation historically marking Lake Wichita.

I saw that news, and photo documentation of the "ceremony", and wondered if this was a new Lake Wichita Historical Marker, or was it the one I had made note of being added atop Lake Wichita dam months ago.

I thought maybe this dedication was to a new and improved Lake Wichita Historical Marker, because the one I saw previously had a serious spelling error.

And it seemed to me a serious spelling error is not something one wants to have on an historical marker.

I blogged about that previous instance of seeing that spelling error last December in a blogging titled Saturday Pre-Christmas Lake Wichita Spell Checking Coffin Inspection.

So, today I rolled my bike wheels to Lake Wichita to see if there was a new Lake Wichita Historical Marker, or if the one in the recent news was the one I had seen before,

With the serious spelling error.

Well, above is the photo I took a few minutes ago of the Lake Wichita Historical Marker, and it is the same one I first saw way back last year.

And it still has the same serious spelling error.

The creek which flows into and out of Lake Wichita is named Holliday Creek.

Holliday with two "l's".

As I noted in the previous blogging about this serious spelling subject, "The creek was named after early explorer, Captain John Holliday, who carved his name on a tree by the creek. The town of Holliday, Texas, was named after the creek, as was Holliday Street, a major street in Wichita Falls".

Does whiteout work on something like this Lake Wichita Historical Marker? Can someone maybe see if that would work to blot out that wrongful "l" and thus render this historical marker historically accurate?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day To All Our Mothers

That would be my mom rolling along in a park in Chandler, Arizona, having herself a mighty fine March Mother's Day of extreme pampering from all but one of her kids, and all but two of her grandkids, and with only one of her granddogs enjoying a comfortable grandma lap position.

That would be one of mom's kids, my little sister Jackie, doing the motion providing service behind mom.

I think it is about time for mom's wheels to get their 30,000 mile tuneup. I probably should go to Arizona and take care of that.

Speaking of sister Jackie. She is the mother of  my nephews Christopher (known as CJ) and Jeremy (known as JR). I have not been told what special plans CJ and JR have for their mom today.

The mother of my nephews Jason and Joey is my ex-sister-in-law, Cindy, which also makes Cindy the grandma of Spencer Jack, whose mother is Jenny, and Henry, whose mother is Monique.

And rounding up my familial mother collection we have Michele and Kristin, the maternal paternal units of David, Theo and Ruby. We have a few more years to go before the possibility of Michele and Kristin becoming grandmas, and me having some new great nephews or nieces.

Happy Mother's Day to Happy Mothers everywhere...

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Linda Lou Leads Us Back To Lake Powell Houseboating

The past couple days Linda Lou has brought us back to the previous century, as in the 20th century, after being the catalyst which brought about the finding of photos long forgotten, on a computer long not on.

Due to this, Linda Lou has reminded us of blueberry picking in the wild followed by remembering some delicate islands in the sky.

Oh, and many of these long lost photos turned out to be a primitive form of what the 21st century calls "selfies".

But, in the 20th century a phone did not take "selfies". It was my now long gone antique Casio digital camera which took these oldie "selfies".

In the photo above the year was 1998, The location was Lake Powell, in Utah. The transportation vehicle was the houseboat you see floating in a location we named Bobcat Cove.

You would need to go to my webpaged Lake Powell Houseboat tale to learn why Bobcat Cove was so named.

I do not remember why I am looking so consternated whilst looking at the camera which was aimed at me and the houseboat. But, that is not unusual for cameras to consternate me, even when I am the one taking a photo.

The consternated Lake Powell selfie was taken the second time I was stuck on a Lake Powell houseboat. The first time I was so stuck, in 1994, was when the bobcat/cougar/panther incident occurred. And so the webpaged multi-page Lake Powell tale is of the 1994 version of houseboating.

On that 1994 excursion on Lake Powell we made it all the way to Rainbow Bridge. No digital camera existed on that trip. But many old-fashioned photos were taken, and later scanned digitally. I think the originals are in a box in my closet which I have not seen in years.

Over 20 years after that first Lake Powell houseboat float I found myself telling the tale again, in blogging form, on another of my many blogs, with that blogging titled Houseboating on Utah's Lake Powell.

I think today is likely the last of these selfie trails down memory lane. Unless I find another one...

Friday, May 10, 2019

Linda Lou Takes Me Back To Delicate Arch With Sky Islands

Yesterday whilst blogging about Linda Lou Leading Me Back To Skagit Valley Black and Blue Berry Picking I made mention of the fact that Linda Lou had caused me to re-locate photos I had not realized I'd sort of lost, and that many of those photos had been taken with my long gone antique Casio digital camera.

Finding those sort of lost photos had me looking at scenes I had not seen in a long time.

Such as that which you see here.

My long gone Casio camera was way ahead of its time. The camera had the ability to rotate the lens which allowed for the easy taking of what we now call "selfies".

I was a frequent selfie photo taker during that era, something I have mostly balked at when doing such became so ubiquitous, and sort of annoying.

In the selfie above I believe the year was 1998. The location was Arches National Park in Utah.

If I remember right the work of Mother Nature behind me in the selfie was known as Wanda. The other work of Mother Nature behind me is known as Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch is one of the iconic symbols of Utah. One sees it on Utah license plates.

The hike to Delicate Arch has some elevation gain, but not enough to be what one might think of as strenuous, but definitely more strenuous than most of the hikes in Arches NP, with the only other actual semi-strenuous Arches NP hike being the Fiery Furnace Hike.

The Fiery Furnace hike is a bit treacherous, and thus requires signing up for it at the Ranger Station, paying a fee, and having a Park Ranger lead the way through the confusing maze of trails.

I have twice hiked the Fiery Furnace hike, and enjoyed it both times.

I would like to see a return to Moab, and Arches National Park, and Canyonlands National Park, which is nearby.

I think I saw Canyonlands NP selfies whilst strolling through the collection. I will go see if I can find one of those...


In this selfie I am looking at you from Islands in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park. I remember it being windy that day, and cold. The month was October, if I am remembering correctly.

Well, that should end today's selfie trail down memory lane...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Linda Lou Leads Me Back To Skagit Valley Black and Blue Berry Picking

A day or two ago I blogged about Linda Lou's Skagit Valley Land Of Plenty Enticements Working, in which I made mention of the recent spate of enticements attempting to lure me out of the paradise known as Texas.

Linda Lou's recent enticements included a cookbook which used the variety of fresh ingredients one can easily find to harvest in the Skagit Valley.

Including blueberries.

The mention of blueberries got me remembering some blueberry picking I did shortly before moving to Texas.

Wild blueberries.

Picked at an extremely scenic location known as Schrieber's Meadow, which is the location of a trailhead to an extremely popular hike to the south side of the Mount Baker volcano.

Since living in the Skagit Valley was my reality for decades, I never really appreciated, til moving to Texas, how unique it was to be living in a location where driving a few miles to the east I could be up in the mountains picking wild blueberries, or drive a few miles to the west and I could be catching dungeness crab or digging clams.

The photo above was taken with my now long gone first digital camera. That Casio camera cost way more than any camera I have bought since. And took the worst photos. Though, ironically, it also took some of my all time favorite photos. Such as the one you see above of that sprite on my left shoulder picking blueberries in Schrieber's Meadow..


That Casio camera also took the above photo on the occasion of that same blueberry picking expedition. That would be the aforementioned Mount Baker volcano you see looming above the trees. If I remember right it was with Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey I last hiked from Schrieber's Meadow to the glacier moraine known as the Railroad Grade, to part way up Mount Baker.

Just a second, I shall see if I can find the webpage I made of that hike with Joey. Yes, found it, called it Joey in Danger on Mount Baker. Apparently part of my popular Nephews in Danger series from late in the last century.


Yesterday, when I remembered the picking of blueberries at Schrieber's Meadow, I looked for the photos on this computer. I thought I had transferred all my photos to this new computer. I thought wrong.

So, I fired up the old computer and found the folder with thousands of photos I had not realized I had not transferred, including the one above.

That would be me resting on a rock slab at what is known as the location of the Hidden Lakes Loukout. That being an old fire lookout, now maintained by a Skagit Valley mountaineering group as a sort of cabin refuge to be used whilst doing some extreme hiking.

The Hidden Lakes trail and the lookout are located on the western edge of North Cascades National Park, located in the eastern edge of Skagit County.

See what I mean about not appreciating living so close to such scenic wonders all my life, til moving to a part of America which is a bit less scenic?

Another thing regarding Linda Lou reminding me of the plethora of fruity abundance available in the Skagit Valley.

Blackberries.

Yesterday at ALDI I was appalled to see blackberries being touted as one of this week's bargains. $1.99 for a little container of what looked like maybe 20 blackberries. I saw one person put two of the blackberry containers in her cart.

Blackberries grow wild all over Western Washington. Easily found, easily picked. For free. I can't imagine what store bought blackberries would be like, edibility wise. Probably about as close to tasting like an actual blackberry as those awful cardboard texture Driscoll strawberries from California taste compared to a fresh picked Skagit Valley strawberry.

The last time I went blackberry picking was in August of 2017, with David, Theo and Ruby. I blogged about this in Swan Creek Blackberry Mountain Biking With David, Theo & Ruby.

Those were some mighty fine tasting blackberries. At the time there was some talk of turning those blackberries into some sort of cobbler. But, that cobbler never materialized during my visit. We were extremely busy.

Blackberries grow near my current Texas location. I have not seen any growing. But I know blackberries grow here because last June I went to Blackberry Day at the Wichita Falls Farmers Market where I had myself some mighty fine blackberry cobbler. I blogged about this in Wichita Falls Farmers Market Blackberry Day Cobbler Bliss.

I saw yesterday, via the animated billboard by ALDI, that this coming June 1 is once again Blackberry Day at the Wichta Falls Farmers Market. I suspect I shall be there, that day, having myself some tasty blackberry cobbler, likely not followed by any scenic mountain hiking...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Linda Lou's Skagit Valley Land Of Plenty Enticements Are Working

Returning from this morning's bike ride I opened my mailbox to find incoming from Washington, from Linda Lou in the Skagit Valley of Washington, to be more specific.

The package contained a book and a card.

The note in the card said...

Read your blog thoughts pondering possibly relocating from your current third world location. Well...just to entice you a bit am sending this Skagit Valley Fare cookbook of recipes from the Skagit Valley. With the Valley's plethora of produce you could be creating good cooking to your heart's content---Linda Lou

I have been getting multiple moving enticements of late. Above you see the cookbook from Linda Lou, sitting on top of the card which contained the above note, sitting on top of a Washington calendar someone else sent me to make me homesick.

The enticements are working.

Below is the forlorn view I saw this morning whilst stopping for a water break on the eastern edge of Sikes Lake.


We are looking west, above, at the incoming storm clouds predicted to eventually produce thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes later today.

The Skagit Valley Fare cookbook Linda Lou sent me has more than recipes among its pages. There are a couple pages of Skagit History Notes. Plus a couple pages of INTRODUCTION to the LAND OF PLENTY.

I read the INTRODUCTION to the LAND OF PLENTY verbiage and it struck me how little of what was being described about the Skagit Valley could describe anything in my current Texas location. Or even more so, my previous Texas location.

What with talking about an actual river, and real islands, and natural water features where one can catch seafood without being warned not to eat it. What a contrast with my former Fort Worth location with its imaginary island connected to the imaginary mainland by imaginary bridges which apparently no one is competent enough to build, over dry land. And with the town's "water feature" being based on what really is nothing more than a seriously polluted dirty ditch.

Anyway, I've copied a few paragraphs from the INTRODUCTION to the LAND OF PLENTY which will give you a good idea of what made me think what I was thinking about the contrast between these two locations with which I am familiar, and what it is about the Skagit Valley which is so enticing to return to...

The Skagit Valley of Northwestern Washington state spills like a great cornucopia from the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range westward to the waters of Puget Sound. Meandering through these lowlands, the Skagit River and her tributaries continually enrich the Valley's sandy alluvial soil. In the distance snow-capped Mount Baker stands sentinel above this fertile farmland - some of the richest in the world.

Also known as the Skagit Flats, this area grows a wide variety and volume of crops for national and international markets, producing much of the world's green pea and vegetable seed crops, as well as significant numbers of daffodil and tulip bulbs. Many of those flowering bulbs are exported to Holland where they are then imported back into the United States.

Each April, the valley brightens further as the vast tulip fields blossom, drawing thousands of visitors to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival to wander among and photograph the brilliant blooms. The giant palette glows with shades of light pink to the deepest purple, and waxy whites contrasting with Christmas reds. Occasionally a field of mixed tulips appears like some outrageous expanse of confetti fallen from the sky.

The Skagit Valley ends at the shores of Puget Sound, but Skagit County extends to several islands of the San Juan Archipelago: Fidalgo and Samish Islands connected to the Flats by bridge; Guemes served by a ferry; and Cyprus by boat or air. These shores and islands inspire poets and painters with their shifting moods and colors, and their waters provide seafood for the gourmet cook. Though not as plentiful as in the recent past, salmon and crab, mussels, oysters, clams and scallops, as well as various kinds of cod fish, are still available on the fresh market.

It is no wonder the Native Americans who lived here were peaceful and contented with their way of life. They enjoyed a mild marine climate, quiet coves and beaches, expanses of forest where mushrooms and other edible plants could be gathered, plentiful wild game, and seafood more abundant than we can ever imagine today.

UPDATE: After hitting the publish button on this blogging I looked at the cover of the Skagit Valley Fare cookbook and realized I should show the entire book cover, what with its illustration of the Skagit Valley, and tulips...

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Cinco De Mayo Pseudo Circle Trail Snake Encounter

On this first Sunday of the 2019 version of May, with is also the 5th May day, as in Cinco de Mayo, I am feeling a bit depressed, which has me thinking, again, it is time to get our of Texas.

Thinking a bike ride on this first blue sky nice day of the new month might cheer me up I rolled out of my abode this morning to head north on the Circle Trail.

My snake fear sensibilities were heightened this morning, first off due to watching a real bad movie last night called Snake Island.

And then this morning Energy Secretary Rick Perry's possible younger brother, Jon Perry, posted on Facebook a photo of an encounter he and his wife had this morning on a paved Fort Worth trail with a giant possible rattlesnake blocking their way with the snake lounging halfway across the trail.

So, with my snake fear activated I was rolling semi-happily along the Circle Trail when suddenly the hit the brakes impulse hit due to what you see my handlebars looking at above.

It looked to be a possibly venomous reptile, slithering across the Circle Trail.

But, I quickly ascertained this possibly venomous reptile presented no snakebite danger. Because it was not a snake, it was a piece of relatively harmless electrical cable.

Then, with my speed accelerated by Adrenalin I rolled on to the Circle Trail underpass which goes under Midwestern Boulevard on the Circle Trail's way to Hamilton Park. Eventually I made my way to MSU, and then the trail around Sikes Lake.

I suffered no actual snake encounters today, but I did see two of the Sikes Lake goslings...