You may have heard that I’m a sensitive, “New Age Kinda Guy”… My Lovely Bride can confirm this with a recent example of my “connectedness”. We were riding our mountain bikes at Fort Lewis and I commented to her, “Sweetheart, I have observed that the Universe is sending unwanted gifts to the Army here at Ft. Lewis.” She replied in a baffled voice, “Ty, what are you talking about?” I pointed and said, “Lookee there!”
Now, back on an earthly plane… Being from New Orleans, I like good food. We rarely go out for meals other than sushi because we are so often disappointed in the quality of food at many restaurants. The other morning, I prepared traditional N’Awlins French toast for MLB and myself. Yes, Bob, it uses real French bread, as well as vanilla extract and almond extract, and a liberal dose of confectioner’s sugar over strawberries… it will give you a great sugar rush!
After a hearty breakfast, I went kayaking on American Lake while Suzanne gave a reading. Not only is it a good workout, but the view of distant Mt. Rainier was impressive. Known here simply as “The Mountain”, snow- and glacier-capped Rainier dominates the horizon. There is no other peak near its height (14,410, the fifth-highest peak in the lower 48 states) in the vicinity. Considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, Rainier has 26 permanent glaciers, more than any other US mountain outside Alaska. Summiting the mountain normally requires 3 days of extremely hard climbing. Unfortunately, a campground neighbor told us that one of her office mates was missing after day-hiking part of the 93-mile long Wonderland Trail that circles Rainier. The 64-year old has been missing for five days, and is in our prayers.
Wednesday afternoon found us driving the car up to Seattle where Suzanne was giving her popular Heart Gifts presentation at East West Books. An enthusiastic group of attendees, many of whom had suffered losses like us, were spellbound by her recounting of Wolf Pasakarnis’ story. Wolf’s Message, her latest book, should be out soon on Kindle, with hard copy available this Fall.
This stump from a 20 foot diameter, 200 foot tall Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) is on display at a rest stop between Seattle and Bellingham, WA. It is also called giant arborvitae and shinglewood. This tree died in 1893 after a fire burned its hollow base. It was reputed to be at least as large as the Quinalt Lake Red Cedar, the current holder of the world’s record for the largest red cedar still standing. We wanted to hike among these trees, and were headed to a state park near Bellingham to do just that…
Larrabee State Park was our destination for one night, and as soon as we arrived, we donned our hiking boots and hit the trail. The Fragrance Lake Trail is a very pleasant but occasionally steep trail that winds its way up through second-growth red cedar and Douglas fir.
But the most amazing sight we observed was this spider web. I have never seen one quite this complex or beautiful. Look carefully at the two tiny heart-shaped light refractions. Mother Nature had truly smiled upon us this day… Considering Suzanne’s presentation last night was called “Heart Gifts” and it focused on the interconnected web of All That Is, we were quite stunned by this apparition on the trail.
After dinner, we hiked down to this rocky shore along Samish Bay. We had been waiting to get reacquainted with the rocks, seaweed and tide pools since our last visit, and we were not disappointed. It’s easy to understand why people have fallen in love with the beauty of this coast for centuries.