Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Seattle at its Best

The last two days have been absolutely gorgeous here in Seattle. Yesterday was probably one of the nicest so far this year. It had to have come close to 80 degrees. David, his brother Daniel and I decided to canoeing on Lake Washington. Canoes are $4/hr for students at University of Washington. We took it out over into the arboretum that exists after you cross under I-5. Being that it was a gorgeous day, I decided to take my camera out and see what kinds of summer pictures I could get.

The first thing I saw was this little turtle sunning itself on a lot. I had never known that turtles existed in Seattle, but there it was! As we paddled around, we spotted a blue heron that had landed over in some brush. I think this photo turned out beautiful.

I've always known that Washington is a beautiful state, but when the summer comes, it brings out the beauty even more. What's funny is that as soon as the sun comes out people flock to it. You would never know that there are so many people living in this city! The traffic is horrible, the beaches are crowded, there are endless waits for outdoor patio seating at restaurants, etc. , but it's beautiful and it's worth the wait through the winter.

After our canoe trip, we rode our bikes over to Agua Verde, a little Mexican restaurant right on the waterway between Lake Washington and Lake Union. It was packed of course, as it is a tiny restaurant with some outdoor seating. It was also happy hour, so you could get an order of nachos and a house margarita for under ten dollars. Perfecto! Eventually we got sat by a window where we could enjoy a nice summer breeze and watch people kayaking on the lake. There couldn't have been a more ideal summer day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Check me out on Flickr!

Hello from a very much changed Seattle! Sunny days and warmer temperatures lead to bike rides and crowded streets. Everyone wants to be out in the sunshine up here in my little corner of the world. Speaking of clear skies, I took the above picture up at Alpental yesterday. While I was happy to be up snowboarding, I forgot what a challenge it is to snowboard in such heavy sticky snow. Rough! Anyway, just wanted to give you an update that I will be modifying my website a bit. I will now be posting a lot of my pictures up on Flickr. My idea is that I can have more generalized galleries on Powder Photo with only the best shot. Viewers who want to see more can just head over to Flickr to see a greater selection of my photographs.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Showers Bring...Snow??

Fresh Snow

After what seemed like a terrible winter, Washington skiers and snowboarders are experiencing extreme amounts of snowfall in April. And I'm not talking just a few inches, it's about 7+ inches a day! I spent three days up at the mountain this week, and I can honestly say that they were some of the best all season. Tuesday was filled with high winds blowing around large amounts of snow up at Alpental. David, and his broken collar bone, decided to join me that day in hopes of catching some late season powder turns in the 17" of fresh. After sitting on the lift in 70 mph winds and taking one epic run from top to bottom, we found they had closed the lifts for at least an hour. The wind was blowing so hard it was catching my board and we could barely see the people sitting on the chair in front of us! Due to some partial clearing and lighter winds, Alpental re-opened and off we went.

Load of Pow

The next day I had to work a double, and then close on Thursday, so snowboarding wasn't able to work itself into the agenda. But today, I didn't have to work until 8. So off to Alpental we went. After calling the snow line and hearing about the 14" of fresh, we couldn't wait to get to the mountain. And it was well worth it. What an amazing day! The snow was a bit heavy, but that's how it is up here in the Northwest. Since David had recently bought his avalanche transceiver, we decided to give the backcountry a try. Ducking into the vast wilderness of the backcountry at Alpental showed us the best runs of the season. The sun even came out for a while making for some beautiful views.

Afternoon Mist

Being in the backcountry is one of the most peaceful places in the world. It's quiet, with only a faint whisper through the trees when the wind blows. You feel as if you have the whole place to yourself. It's exciting. You have to be quick, because you never know what is coming up next. A chute, a cliff, a gully? It could be anything and you have to be ready. But oh, is it worth it. Those huge sprays of powder, the floating, and the feeling of knowing that you are the only one out there. No gapers traversing in front of you, no lifts, no crowds, just you and the mountain in all it's glory. I am so lucky for being able to have this experience, and it's only one hour away home :)