It’s the end of November after Thanksgiving in the US, which means autumn is over and winter is taking its grip. Also means it’s time for me the post about what I’ve been up to in the last 3 or so months. We are still in the middle of the COVID pandemic which hasn’t gotten any better in the US, so most of my activities have been outdoors and away from the crowds. Here are the highlights:
I tried to go hiking when weather still allowed. Washington has some beautiful mountains and I got to see some very pretty sights. Most beautiful hike this season was Lake Valhalla/Mount McCausland, as we went during peak fall foliage. The hillside of Mount McCausland was a sea of red and gold from the shrubs growing there. That is on top of a picturesque mountain lake. Tolmie Peak in Mount Rainier National Park was quite spectacular too, and it’s been years since I’ve been to this national park. Here are some photos from my hikes in the late summer and fall.
In addition hikes in the “local” area, I also traveled into Central Washington on an overnight trip. Thanks to the pandemic, this was my first overnight trip since the previous winter. The terrain and environment in central Washington state is definitely different than the west of the Cascade Mountains. The dry, semi-arid grassland and shrub with dramatic coulees and river canyons carved by glacial activity has a distinct look.
As decreasing daylight and the cold and wet weather start to make hiking less desirable, I decided to try some other activities. During the summer I went digging for clams and collecting oysters, and now I’ve started crabbing and fishing for squid. I’ve gone crabbing in the Vancouver area with my family years ago, and have a crabbing website that I’ve run since secondary school, so I know the basics. Crabbing is such a simple activity, and Dungeness and red rock crabs are delicious, so it’s good to know that we can catch crabs in the Seattle area.
In addition to the Puget Sound, I also visited and crabbed in the town of Westport on the Pacific coast. It’s good to see the ocean, and catching some delicious crabs to bring back home.
As for squid fishing (or squidding), I just found out about this winter craze and joined in. Literally there are people standing shoulder to shoulder on cold winter nights jigging for squid. The serious folk bring their own lights and generators in hopes of attracting more squid. Joining the crowds may not be the best idea given the pandemic, but at least the majority of people I saw were wearing masks. I’m still a noob and only caught a total of 5 squids in two tries while people catch them by the dozens, but I’ll try a few more times. Squid tastes pretty good too. Catching squid also marks the first time I’ve ever caught anything on a rod and reel, which is something to remember.
So that’s the extend of my adventures in the last 3 months. At the time of writing, there are a few vaccines for COVID that claims to be very effective, but it’ll be months before they can be approved and widely distributed. As such, all the restrictions and shutdowns will still be with us for a while. The border restrictions with Canada has made traveling back here a pain, so haven’t visited my family in a while which is a bummer. At this point, I’m not sure what’ll be doing for Christmas and New Years. Maybe just ski a bit. Hopefully we’ll come out of this pandemic soon.
Thanks for reading and stay safe.