Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I'm going to the Pikes Peak Writers Conference! I can't wait!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Sunday, I invited my daughter to visit St. Elmo. She surprised me by eagerly accepting. We loaded skis, camera, picnic and selves into the car and headed to the 10,000 foot high ghost town.
I glide through town, searching for an image saturated in the WOW factor. The sky isn’t quite blue enough. Cars litter the historic feel. Wooden cabins hunker beneath the snow, hibernating until summer brings begging rodents and the incessant buzz of hummingbirds.
I snap the Home Comfort Hotel. The hotel rooms were heated by a single stovepipe carrying smoke from kitchen to roof. For guests lodged at the front, away from the kitchen, well, tough luck.
Across the street, the rebuilt town hall preens in isolated splendor while the pristine snow cloaks the remnants of disaster. Fire purifies, vitrifies, galvanizes and hardens. It also destroys, amply illustrated by the barren lots.
As I snap photos, daughter searches for balance on the slick street. With a shriek, she splats into the snow pile that barricades the boardwalk. We share laughter as she flails her 40 inch feet in the air.
We slide out of town and practice turns on the hack road. I force unwieldy skis around the corner, panting with effort and exhilaration. Daughter crashes in a geyser of white. Then, her binding released and refused to capture her boot.
After struggling to the point of chilly boredom, I gave her my skis and sat to analyze the situation. Snow diamonds melt into my jeans and leave me cold. The binding is broken. I clip on her good ski and navigate the slope on one foot. My thigh screams with the added effort. I enjoy several unbalanced runs while daughter masters my ultra-long skis.
Worn out and wet, we pass through the guardians of history and return to the car.
Friday, February 19, 2010
We are the Muleacious Family.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I soaked the toaster in Clorox, but just couldn't bring myself to use it ever again. After throwing it away, I found deep within myself an unexpected capacity for vengence. Suddenly, feeding the snake became a pleasure.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
My biggest disappointment on this visit to Seattle was that the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center had closed. It's under new management, mostly used as a rental facility, and now called the Maritime Events Center. The exhibits are still there, but the museum is only open when they have corporate sponsorship for school visits. They'll be open several Mondays in the spring of 2010, but were closed all of our vacation. Their schedule should be listed at http://maritimeeducationinitiative.org/.
The museum has some of the best interactive exhibits I've ever seen, and as a museum professional, I have seen many. They have a sea kayak with ores. As you move the ores, a video travels across Elliot Bay. They have a model crane to move containers on from the ship to the train. My daughter's favorite is the Water Table with pegs and panels to create your own dams and model locks. I learned more at that museum than at any other pair of museums worldwide, mostly because the information is clear, not overwhelming, and limited to the natural and human specifics of Puget Sound. It's located right next to the aquarium. I highly recommend a visit, if they're open.
When my best friend moved from Denver to Seattle, I figured I'd only get to see her every few years, and then only when she came to Colorado. Instead, it's worked out that we've visited her several times. Every trip, I make sure to get out on the water.
I've taken the Victoria Clipper to Vancouver Island, a trimiran sailboat up the locks into Lake Washington, and three of the local ferries.
This December, we rode the ferry to Bremerton. Since the point was to get this land-locked Colorado girl on a boat, and time was short, we sailed across, drove off, looped the long block, and drove right back on for a very pleasant, relaxing and enjoyable two hours.
The timing was perfect. We left Seattle in daylight with Mount Rainier barely visible through the haze, and returned to the brightly lit city. The orange sunset reflected in the ferry's wake. Gulls cruised above us. The unique smell of Puget Sound tickled my nose. All three mountain ranges appeared through the mists - Rainier, the Olympics, and the Cascades. And the boat rocked along, simultaneously soothing and stimulating.