Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Frozen Stuck In Icebound Wichita Falls On Last Day Of January

The morning view from my kitchen window on the last day of the first month of 2023. More frozen white stuff arrived overnight. The temperature currently is 22 degrees, and will not anywhere near being above freezing today. 

Or tomorrow.

Currently above freezing temperatures are not predicted to arrive until Thursday afternoon.

So, I am icebound and going stir crazy.

I am well stocked with vittles. Can last several days without access to my Walmart food supply...

Monday, January 30, 2023

Wichita Falls Winter Returns With Wind Chilling To 15 Degrees

The heat pump has been working hard for hours trying to pump out enough heat to heat up my interior space.

According to the current weather menu for my location, screen capped above, the heat pump will be working hard for the next four days. With today and tomorrow being the worst of it.

Today's predicted strong wind will make it feel way cooler than the already cool temperature, as indicated via the below screen cap...

I won't be doing any outdoor nature communing today, or tomorrow. Unless I change my mind, which I often do...

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Remembering Cross Country Skiing In Texas

Snow is back on the weather menu for Wichita Falls, for the next couple days. Currently, at noon, on this final Sunday of the first month of 2023, we are being chilled to 29 degrees, with a strong wind making it feel way colder than 29 degrees.

No, the above photo was not taken today. Currently there is no white stuff on the ground. The above photo showed up in my Google memories this morning. 

I brought my cross country skis with me to Texas. And this snow was my first chance to use them in Texas. This was at my first Texas location, a sprawling ranch in Haslet, which is a suburb of Fort Worth. On a clear day you could see the tiny skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth about 10 miles to the south.

Cross country skiing on flat land is not all that much fun. A few years later, after I had moved to a new location in east Fort Worth, a good coating of snow had me taking my skis to Veterans Park in Arlington. Where there are hills. That was fun. A couple little kids made a big fuss over seeing a guy on skis. Such must not happen too often in Texas.

I threw my skis away years ago. They were in an outdoor storage area. The heat of Texas caused the skis to delaminate. Same thing later happened to my roller blades...

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Google Memories Take Off My Clothes & Adds A Sister

I am sort of enjoying the daily Google memories of late, due to discovering clicking on the email photo collage takes me to dozens of more photos, including the three you see here. 

I was born in Eugene, Oregon. All my grandparental units lived in Lynden, Washington, which is where Mom and Dad were from. Well, sort of. I think Mom always lived in Lynden, with Dad located in various other Whatcom County locations, like Sumas and Nooksack.

Mom and Dad mailed the above photo, and others, to the grandparental units, including Grandpa Porter, who then wired money to Mom & Dad, with the telegraph saying, "Buy that boy some clothes". 

I was the first born grandson on mom's side of the family.

We are still in Eugene in the above photo. Brother Jake now added. 

Due to seeing sister Nancy added, this would indicate we have now moved from Eugene to Mount Vernon, Washington, which is the town Nancy was born in.

Nancy was a cute baby. She won some sort of Skagit Valley Herald baby contest. 

The day after tomorrow, January 30 is Mom's birthday. I think Mom would have been 90, maybe 91, on her next birthday.

We should have a party...

Friday, January 27, 2023

More Google Memories Than I Can Remember With Uncle Mooch

Above are the latest Google memories to show up in my incoming email. I remain perplexed as to how Google has these memories that do not exist on my computer. Today I discovered that when I click on the image in the email the link goes to way more memories, allegedly from today.

In the upper left that would be my Dad, with sister Nancy in front of Dad, brother Jake on the ground, looking for something and me on the far right under a straw hat. The other kids are cousins-- Jeff, next to me, Patty in front of her mom, Audrey, with Vicki between Patty and Nancy. Jeff, Patty and Vicki were the Van Weerdhuizens. Next to Audrey, that would be John Vanweerdhuizen. My best guess is we were camping somewhere on the Washington Pacific coast, most likely Copalis, our go to location on the coast before Ocean Shores State Park opened a few years later.

At the upper right location would be the parental unit of David, Theo and Ruby, my little sister, Michele, who came along a few years after that photo with the VanWeerdhuizens was taken. I believe in the photo Michele is about to ride her decorated bike in the Burlington Berry Dairy Days Parade.

Under Michele that would be little brother, Jake, in his little league uniform. Under Jake that would be from a few years prior to Michele arriving, with sister Nancy, Jake and me sitting in front of a float we pulled in the Berry Dairy Days Parade.

And, I think that black and white photo is Uncle Mel, with a cow.

Continuing on, other photos I found in the Google Memories trove...

Another Berry Dairy Days Parade float, with sister Nancy, sitting all lady-like on her throne, waiting for her brothers to pull her through the parade.

That would be me with a decorated Berry Dairy Days Parade entry. I have zero memory of riding my bike in the parade. This would have taken place before Mom and Dad started having fun making parade floats.

Now, this one is a good memory. Dad is holding our newly arrived baby sister Jackie, with sister Nancy on one side of Jake, and me on the other side. This looks to be on a Washington Pacific beach.

And now, a year or two later, Jackie is walking, and in her Sunday best, likely to go to church. 

Above that would be Jake and me pulling Grandpa Porter on a wagon. I assume this happened somewhere in the Lynden zone. Grandpa Porter was a veterinarian.

I do not remember me and Jake being dressed alike. Mom must have thought this was cute. It looks like we are on a Washington ferry. Which ferry, and which ferry route, I have no clue.

That would be me that Dad has a hand on, with Jake sitting. My best guess is we were heading to Eastern Washington, over Stevens Pass, which would make that a Wenatchee River waterfall. 

On the right, that would be Dad's youngest brother, Uncle Mooch, who some call Uncle Gerry. Uncle Mooch one day got married to Aunt Jane. I have zero recollection of going to that wedding.

When we first met Aunt Jane we got severely scolded for calling Uncle Mooch Uncle Mooch. We only partly called Uncle Mooch Uncle Mooch due to his propensity to mooch things, like a french fry or cookie, but the main reason we called Uncle Mooch Uncle Mooch was due to the fact that me and my siblings were big fans of Disney movies.

And our favorite Disney character, played by Kevin Corcoran, was Moochie.

Here is a Wikipedia blurb about Kevin Corcoran...

Kevin Anthony "Moochie" Corcoran was an American child actor, director and producer. He appeared in numerous Disney projects between 1957 and 1963, leading him to be honored as a Disney Legend in 2006. His nickname, Moochie, established him as an irrepressible character in film.

Eventually Aunt Jane got used to us calling her first husband, Uncle Mooch...

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Not Too Chilly Walkabout At Sikes Lake

It was back to the rocky shore of Sikes Lake I ventured on this 4th Thursday of 2023. As you can see, a totally clear blue sky has returned after that recent cloudy frigid icy unpleasantness.

The temperature was not exactly balmy, at 46 degrees, when I went for my semi-daily walkabout. 

Even though there appear to be ripples on the lake, I detected no chilling wind blowing on me.

As you can see, via the photo documentation, even though it was not too cool, I still layered on a few layers of outerwear, including the cap with a skunk on it that someone sent me for Christmas.

I currently am not understanding how the current beard fad has lasted so long. Having that on ones face gets a bit annoying. 

But, the beard thing does somewhat help me look my age, instead of the baby face I am known for...

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Lucy Park Blue Gaiter Walk While Not Falling On Black Ice

The temperature had reached a relatively balmy 39 degrees, on this 4th Wednesday of 2023, when I drove to Lucy Park to stretch my legs, which had become somewhat atrophied due to being snowbound for most of yesterday. 

Snow fell all day long yesterday. The white stuff began sticking around 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

A little after 5 I decided to check the mailbox, and if it was not too slippery, then to drive to Walmart, which I did, without incident, except for big snowflakes slamming into the windshield.

As you can see, via the Lucy Park photo documentation, most of the snow has melted.

However, there were stretches of black ice on the paved trails.

I came upon a fellow walker who engaged me in conversation to warn about the black ice, because he had slipped and fallen on black ice on the Circle Trail running alongside the Wichita River.

The falling fellow told me he was 80 years old and had been walking daily for decades. He did not look 80 years old.

Excessive walking must be youthifying.

I was heavily insulated from the outer world chill today. Had on my fur lined sweatpants, and the blue gaiter some kind soul gifted me with at Christmas, worrying I had trouble keeping warm in the frigid Texas climate.

Here is photo documentation of the multi-layers of warmth providers, including the blue gaiter.

I look like I am prepared to rob a bank. After a couple miles I removed the gaiter. It was overheating me.

It is now a couple hours past noon. The clouds have mostly disappeared, with the return of mostly blue sky...

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Snowbound With Google Sibling & Nephew Memories

Yesterday Google Remembered All My Jones Cousins. I put that blog post on Facebook and it seemed the only thing anyone noticed was my extremely stylish hair mop.

Today the Google Memories went back a decade from the previous day's memories. As you can see, brother Jake was decades ahead of the future, wearing a red MAGA cap way back then, standing next to his big brother, who at that point in time did not have an extremely stylish hair mop.

Dad is behind me, holding baby sister, Jackie. To the right of Jake, next to Cousin Linda in orange pants is Jackie's big sister, Nancy, on one of the rare occasions at which Nancy wore a dress.

Next we time travel a few decades into the future...

All my favorite nephews (at that point in time, two more nephews, and a niece to arrive in a couple more decades) from left to right, that is Joey smiling at you. In front of Joey that is Jeremy. Behind Jeremy is the oldest of the four, Jason, currently the proud papa of Spencer Jack, who is currently older than Jason is in this photo. And on the right, looking the opposite direction from his little brother, Jeremy, is Christopher, often referred to as CJ, because Jay is his middle name. Jeremy is often referred to as JR, because Ryan is his middle name.

CJ and JR currently live in Arizona, JR in Chandler, CJ in Scottsdale. Joey and Jason both live in the old home zone of the Skagit Valley, in Washington.

That is it for Google memories on this snowbound 4th Tuesday of 2023...

UPDATE: Incoming text message from J.R. Jeremy's mother, sister Jackie, informing that that is not Jeremy, but, instead is Jeremy's cousin, Kevin Slotemaker-Jones, currently all grown up and living in San Francisco, California.

Winter Returns To Wichita Falls With Snow

Winter has returned to North Texas.

Above you are looking at the early morning view from my kitchen window. Rain has been precipitating for several hours.

The temperature is scheduled to get lower and lower as the hours pass, getting below freezing around noon, with the rain turning to snow, accumulating possibly 4 inches of the white slippery stuff.

Below is a screen shot of today's rain/snow prediction for Wichita Falls.

I likely will not be getting any outdoor endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation today. If I drive to an indoor endorphin aerobic stimulation location it will need to be before noon. I do not like driving on ice...

Monday, January 23, 2023

Google Remembers All My Jones Cousins

Among the photos in today's Google MEMORIES FROM THIS DAY, was the photo you see above. All my Slotemaker-Jones cousins together, surrounding Grandma Slotemaker-Jones.

I think this was at a park in Bellingham. It must have been a extremely special occasion, because I see my three Australian cousins are on the picture. Carol, Danny and Steve.

It looks like my current Arizona sister, Jackie, is holding my youngest sister, Michele.

Everyone in this photo is still alive, except for Grandma Slotemaker-Jones, and Cousin Scott, at the back row, far right, next to his sister, Cousin Linda.

Another photo from today's Google MEMORIES FROM THIS DAY...

Above you are looking at the oldest generation of Slotemaker-Jones. Over half are no longer with us. Uncle Mooch, at the upper left, next to my Dad, is the only one in that row still among the living. On the other side of Dad is Uncle Ivan, and next to Uncle Ivan is Uncle Mel.

In the lower row, only Grandma Slotemaker-Jone, is no longer with us. On the left of Grandma Slotemaker-Jones is Aunt Arlene, my Dad's oldest sister, currently residing in Ocean Shores, Washington. On the other side of Grandma Slotemaker-Jones is Aunt Ruth, formerly residing in Australia, currently residing in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

That's all of my memories for today...

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Chilly Pre-Football Game Pizza Party Lucy Park Walk

On this 4th Sunday of 2023, with the temperature in the 40s, it was to Lucy Park I ventured for some frisky nature communing. 

You would not think it to be the case, looking at the photo documentation, but there were a lot of people at Lucy Park today engaging in various activities.

Including one group having themselves a mighty fine time having a chilly picnic.

Snow is currently on the weather menu for Tuesday. I hope no flakes arrive.

Tonight I am having a football game watching pizza party. I expect to be seeing the San Francisco 49ers soundly trounce the Dallas Cowboys...

Friday, January 20, 2023

Fast Friday Walking Wichita Bluff Nature Area

It was to the east entry to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area I ventured on this third Friday of 2023, to commune with nature via fast walking up and down semi-steep bluffs.

That is the Wichita River looking reddish-brown in the center left of the photo, dwarfed by the super tall dried grass-like vegetation which takes up most of the photo.

The temperature was slightly above 60 by the time I was in the outer world. So, I was not in fur-lined sweatpants. Instead, was back in short pants of the cargo short type. So, a semi return to summer today.

There seems to be a noticeable increase in the number of fellow nature communers at the various locations I commune with nature. I don't know if this increase is New Year Resolution related, or just people wanting to be outside enjoying the semi summer-like weather.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Keeping Warm At Lucy Park In Fur-Lined Sweat Pants

As photo documented above, it was to Lucy Park I drove today to commune with nature, on this third Thursday of 2023.

I was last at Lucy Park on Monday, Martin Luther King Day. That day was warm. Upper 70s. That return to summer lasted til Wednesday morning. Late in the afternoon on Tuesday I was able to go on a real long bike ride without getting cold.

And then winter returned.

It was barely 50 when I arrived at Lucy Park this morning.

I was attired in insulating winter wear, including the lined sweat pants a kind soul sent me for Christmas, worrying that I was not keeping warm enough.

The above photo is those aforementioned lined sweat pants, without me in them. I think it would be difficult to get cold wearing these.

The current 15 day forecast has us getting into February without a return to near zero temperatures. It was in February, two years ago, that the infamous Texas blackout happened, with the temperature near zero.

I really do not want another near zero experience. Or snow. Or an Ice Storm.

I have become an elderly fuddy duddy...

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Visiting What Should Be Deception Pass National Park

A couple days ago I saw on MSN an article titled 10 State Parks That Are Even Better Than National Parks, Experts Say.

I have been to just about every National Park west of the Mississippi River. Along with a lot of various state's State Park.

It came as no shock to me that these supposed experts on this serious issue had Deception Pass State Park as their #3 on the list.

Deception Pass State Park is the largest State Park in Washington. About to get even bigger due to addition acreage acquisition.

For those reading this in Fort Worth, who have odd ideas about what an island is. That is Whidbey Island you see in the left, Fidalgo Island on the right. From this vantage point one would be seeing multiple real islands of various sizes, surrounded by real water.

Deception Pass Bridge was built in one year, during the Great Depression. Built over deep, fast moving saltwater. An extreme tide change at the Deception Pass location is an awesome sight to see. Water moving so fast boats can not navigate against the current.

Fort Worth spent over seven years to build three simple bridges over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

A few days ago, in Fort Worth's Bridgey McBridgeface Bridge Name Nonsense Boondoggle, we blogged about the bizarre effort to name those pitiful three Fort Worth bridges.

There has never been an effort to rename Deception Pass Bridge anything other than Deception Pass Bridge. And that bridge is an actual iconic bridge recognized as a symbol of the Pacific Northwest.

The blurb accompanying the MSN article sort of explained well what makes Deception Pass State Park so special...

Deception Pass State Park (Washington)
Taking up two islands in Northwest Washington, Deception Pass State Park "is absolutely stunning," Jessica Schmit, of the travel blog Uprooted Traveler, tells Best Life.

"The park is located along the waterway that connects the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Skagit Bay and thus, offers dramatic cliffs, views of turquoise waters, and craggy beaches," she says.

According to the park's website, you can explore 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline—the latter thanks to the park's three lakes. Getting from one island to the other is also made simple via the Canoe Pass and Deception Pass bridges, which create "a gateway for exploration," the website states.

Deception Pass is the most visited state park in Washington, and that may very well be because of all that it has to offer. "There are plenty of activities in the park—hiking, boating, and even whale watching—I've spotted orcas the last two times I've gone hiking there!" Schmit shares

That first sentence is a tad dicey. Deception Pass State Park does not take up two islands. The park does not cover all of Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island, just the north end of Whidbey and the south end of Fidalgo.

The only island the park totally takes up is the island the bridge crosses between the Canoe Pass span and the Deception Pass span.

Deception Pass State Park was likely my most frequent go to place when I lived in the neighborhood. On my last visit before moving to Texas, at the Rosario Beach area of the park, I saw a HUGE whale slowing moving along the shore, just a few feet out. Biggest whale I'd ever seen...

Monday, January 16, 2023

Hot Martin Luther King Day At Lucy Park

Summer has returned, again, on this third Monday of 2023.

With the outer world temperature in the 70s, the vehicular air-conditioning was back on, with the car's pilot wearing warm weather shorts and t-shirt, to return to Lucy Park, for the first time in days, for some peace and solitude and nature communing via walking the Lucy Park backwoods zone.

I was not alone in the backwoods today.

What with it being a federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day, kids were not in school, with a lot of kids talking their parental units into taking them to the park for a picnic and to play.

The Wichita River is running low and slow, as you can sort of see via the photo documentation. This area is currently under Level One Water Restrictions due to the drought.

I don't know what that means. Maybe don't water the lawn or add water to the swimming pool.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Fort Worth's Bridgey McBridgeface Bridge Name Nonsense Boondoggle

Yesterday a blog comment from Fort Worth's renowned Stenotrophomonas which pointed me to some fresh Fort Worth embarrassing nonsense I had not previously known about...

Stenotrophomonas has left a new comment on your post "Mark K's Make Me Homesick Mount Baker Photo":

Meanwhile, in the wannabe city

Fort Worth appears ready to move ahead on naming Panther Island bridges. White Settlement Road, though, still stalled.

Not much imagination here.

Excerpt from the article about the stalled bridge naming...

From the names of notable Fort Worthians to the classic “Bridgey McBridgeface,” Fort Worth residents submitted over 1,700 suggestions to rename the three bridges connected to the Panther Island Project.

Henderson Street bridge, North Main Street bridge and White Settlement bridge are all unofficial names. The city solicited suggestions to rename the bridges in February 2022. Submissions closed in March.

Residents submit over 1,700 suggestions to rename three Panther Island bridges

The renaming on Panther Island bridges presents an opportunity to elevate notable figures of Fort Worth’s past, said Peter Martínez, a history professor at Tarrant County College. 

“I think that would be huge,” Martínez said. 

For those not familiar with Fort Worth's multi-year bridge building embarrassment. Fort Worth has had an ongoing pseudo public works project limping in slow motion for most of this century. Originally called the Trinity River Vision, eventually to be referred by most as The Boondoggle, whilst adding names to the original official name til it became the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Part of that myopic vision was the building of three simple little bridges, over dry land. The building of these three little bridges took over seven years, way longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge over actual deep, swift moving water.

One day it is hoped that cement lined ditches will be dug under the three bridges, with Trinity River water diverted into the ditch, creating an imaginary island, already named Panther Island.

Nope, not making this up. Google "Panther Island" and you will find a lot of documentation about Fort Worth's ongoing embarrassment. 

Why would any sane city waste time and money on soliciting name suggestions for something like these three simple bridges, currently crossing dry land, connecting the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island?

Here is a look at one of the simple little bridges, and the dry land under it, awaiting a cement lined ditch...

Isn't that a stunning feat of bridge engineering you are looking at here? Those buildings you see in the background make up the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

Yeah, it is easy to see why naming these bridges would be huge, just like that Tarrant County College professor suggested...

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Floating Washington Ferry With Spencer Jack To Downtown Seattle

Incoming email from my Favorite Jason Nephew this morning, with three photos, including the photo above of Spencer Jack at the foredeck of a ferry heading for downtown Seattle, along the following text...


GNSJ and I took an afternoon cross sound boat ride today in unseasonably warm weather.  60 degrees in January.  The PNW is forecasted to get a drenching over the next few days.  

Also, learned today that the area’s Dungeness Crab harvest has been postponed and may be canceled altogether.   

The same restrictions have been in place for most salmon species for years.

Didn’t Al Gore predict all of this decades ago?

Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos.


The email did not detail which ferry route Spencer Jack was floating his dad on.

My guess would be that that second photo shows Spencer Jack about to dock on Bainbridge Island. The other cross sound destination from Seattle is Bremerton. That does not look like Bremerton where the ferry is heading.

And the final ferry photo again looks like we are either leaving or heading towards downtown Seattle.

Seems like only yesterday Spencer Jack was a little kid. He does not look like a little kid anymore...;

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Mark K's Make Me Homesick Mount Baker Photo

The make me homesick photo you see here I saw on Facebook, this morning of the second Wednesday of 2023.

Skagit Valley photographer, Mark K, took the photo after he saw multiple looky-loos parked roadside gawking east at the extremely colorful sunset.

Below is one of the Mark K sunset photos.

For those reading this in Fort Worth, those bumps on the horizon are actual islands, surrounded by real water of the saltwater sort, not imaginary islands of the Fort Worth sort, where there is no surrounding water of any sort, but one day may be sort of surrounded by water, if a cement lined ditch ever gets dug, with dirty river water diverted into the ditch.

In the Mark K photo at the top, that big white bump is a volcano, known as Mount Baker. Washington has five active volcanos. In addition to Mount Baker there is Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens and Glacier Peak.

I have been invited to a birthday party taking place next summer at the Mark K estate on the Skagit Flats.

I have been told if I make it to the Mark K birthday party there will be blackberry pie and strawberry shortcake. I think it was Miss Carol BD who promised me blackberry pie and strawberry shortcake if I showed up.

Currently I would say there is less than a 50/50 chance I will make it to the Skagit Valley this coming July.

I think I have mentioned previously that from the living room of my abode in Mount Vernon, when the leaves were not on the trees, I could see the Mount Baker volcano. 

From my current living room, no matter what window I look out, I see pretty much nothing...

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

HOT January Lucy Park Walk With Lingering Japanese Pagoda Mystery

With the outer world scheduled to get heated to 81 degrees HOT today on this second Tuesday of 2023, it was to Lucy Park I once again ventured for some nature communing in the Lucy Park backwoods, former jungle zone.

I have still not learned why there is the Japanese pagoda-like structure, you see above, in Lucy Park. Seems as if there must be some reason behind it being there.

There were oodles of disc golfers enjoying the balmy weather today. I avoid the need to dodge incoming discs by doing my nature communing in the backwoods zone where there are no disc golfers.

Curry chicken is on the lunch menu for today, followed by a bike ride in the late afternoon.

It is being a mighty fine thing having summer return in the middle of winter...

Monday, January 9, 2023

Birds Of Different Feathers Not Flocking Together At Sikes Lake

It was back to Sikes Lake I ventured the morning of the second Monday of 2023, for a somewhat balmy walk with the flocks of geese, ducks and seagulls.

As you can see via the photo documentation, at Sikes Lake, birds of different feathers do not flock together, but they do flock close to each other. 

The flock of seagulls look like they are almost surrounding whatever the darker feathered birds are. This may be a territorial dispute, with the seagulls trying to intimidate the darker birds into flying somewhere else.

The bridge at the west end of Sikes Lake is still in being repaired mode, so a walk around the lake was not doable today.

The coyote that I came upon at Sikes Lake last Friday, is no longer in residence. Did someone poach the coyote? Or was it moved to another bird scare station?

The temperature is scheduled to get into the 70s by late afternoon, so I see a bike ride in my future today...

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Nature Communing At Shrinking Lake Wichita

This first Saturday of 2023 saw a temperature drop at my Texas location.

Yesterday, when I nature communed at Lucy Park, the temperature was in the 70s. Today, when I nature communed at Lake Wichita Park, the temperature was barely in the 50s. 

As you can see, Lake Wichita continues to shrink.

Normally, most of what you see in the foreground is covered with water. The water-less area has been water-free for so long that vegetation sprouted up and has turned brown due to being frozen.

It has been a long time since I have hiked to the summit of the closest thing in the area to Washington's Mount Rainier, known as Mount Wichita.

There are four or five trails to the summit of Mount Wichita. The trails have all turned a bit rough. Making the trails potential ankle twisters, best avoided. Or so I have decided...

Friday, January 6, 2023

Sikes Lake Bike Ride With A Coyote

 What with my New Year's Resolution to try and get more exercise of the outdoor activity sort, today pre-noon I did some fast walking at Lucy Park. 

And this afternoon, as the sun was beginning its slow descent my bike took me on a ride for the first time in a long time. That would be my bike's handlebars, looking west across Sikes Lake.

As you can see the outer world is looking serene. No wind and heated into the 70s.

When I got to the bridge at the west end of Sikes Lake I found I had to turn around, due to some sort of repair being done at both ends of the bridge.

And then when I got near the bridge at the other end of Sikes Lake I came upon what you see here.

A coyote.

Coyotes began showing up several months ago on the grounds of the MSU President's mansion. The coyotes arrived to encourage the flocks of geese to seek elsewhere to flock. The husband of the MSU president regularly moves the coyotes to new locations, so as to keep the geese thinking they are real, and not harmless manmade coyotes.

Today marked the first time one of the fake coyotes has shown up at Sikes Lake.

I rather enjoyed the bike ride. I was a bit wobbly at first, but the wobbliness soon abated. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Miss Chris Shares Close Look At Mount Rainier Which Takes Us To Cabela's

One of my favorite Washingtonians, Miss Chris, currently located in Lacey, previously located in Kent, with both locations providing closeup views of Mount Rainier, when clouds are not blocking the view, shared that which you see above, on Facebook this morning.

With explanatory text saying, "Mount Rainier was so clear today. Got a shot as we were heading south on 167."

Lacey is a town west of Tacoma, east of Olympia. Lacey has one of the three Cabela's locations in Washington. 

People in Fort Worth, who are subjected to Fort Worth Star-Telegram propaganda, may remember when Cabela's courted Fort Worth for a Cabela's location, conning the local politicians with the false claim the Cabela's sporting goods store would be the #1 tourist attraction in Texas.

That #1 con was used to convince those local politicians to give Cabela's tax breaks and other perks. No one seemed to realize it was rather insulting to Texas to think a sporting goods store would be the state's #1 tourist attraction. 

It was not long after the Fort Worth Cabela's opened that another Texas Cabela's came to be, competing for that coveted #1 tourist attraction spot. That second Cabela's is south of Fort Worth, in Buda, near Austin. And then a third Cabela's opened, on the east side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in Allen.

When Cabela's proposed opening a store in Lacey, they tried to get tax breaks and other perks. They did not try that #1 tourist attraction con, obviously being a ridiculous thing to claim in the shadow of Mount Rainier. Cabela's was told if it was not economically viable to open a store in Lacey, without tax breaks and perks, then don't open a store there.

Cabela's went ahead with the Lacey store without tax breaks and other perks. And soon thereafter, just like Texas, Washington has three Cabela's. The one in Lacey, one in Tulalip and one in Union Gap.

Tulalip is about 20 miles north of Seattle, close to Marysville and Everett. Union Gap is in Eastern Washington, by Yakima.

Thank you, Miss Chris, for providing the make me homesick photo of the day...

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2023 Shadow Of The Lucy Park Thin Man

With the temperature in the relatively warm 50s, I ventured to Lucy Park for the second time in the new 2023 year, to do some fast walking in the Lucy Park backwoods zone, currently not in jungle mode, totally free of shade providing leaves.

I think I need a New Year's resolution to find myself some new walking locations. That, and new places to ride my bike...

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Wichita Falls Texas Mountain Range

Last night, when exiting Walmart, a short time before the sun finished its daily illumination duty I was surprised by the strangest cloud formation I ever remember seeing. 

The wall of clouds was west of my location, extending north and south to the horizon in both directions.

This wall of clouds looked very much like the Cascade Mountain range as viewed from the Western Washington lowlands.

In the above look at the cloud mountains, we are looking in a northwest direction. 

I kept expecting to see bolts of lightning from what looked like thunderclouds. But, I saw no electrical action.

 A few minutes later, I was back at my home location, with the sun almost gone, looking out my kitchen window at a southwest view of the wall of mountain clouds.

The setting sun view was the most mountain-like.

 I do not know what made all the spots on the photo. Does my kitchen window need a window cleaning?