Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gorgeous Seattle

I was in Seattle this past weekend visiting a friend. It was my first trip to the Pacific Northwest area. I was welcomed with lush green trees and filled waterbodies*. The weather also worked miracles on my skin and respiratory passages**.

The first place we visited was Pike Place Market. Full of lush produce, vendors offering tastings of spicy preserves, fruit jellies, chocolate and fruits; and artisans selling jewelry and other handicrafts. The variety of preservers/jams was amazing: lingonberry, marionberry, lemon lavender, peach, and a dozen others I can't recollect. The chocolate we sampled was a luscious white chocolate filled with dried cranberry and dipped in raspberry sauce. I was impressed by the freshness and friendliness, and how there was no pressure to buy anything even after tasting.

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An interesting display of peppers. The person in the picture offered my a bit of the peach he is slicing.

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After this visual treat, we went down to the waterfront.

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Can you see the space needle?

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Next stop: Discovery Park. We embarked on an unsuccessful quest to spot Mt. Rainier behind the clouds that refused to part. It was a very beautiful park nevertheless.

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Pretty pretty clouds topping pretty pretty trees.

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The mountain range was partially visible in the distance.

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The coconut rice/curd rice picnic table (inside joke).

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We sat by the bluff and stared at the water and trees for the longest time. Very relaxing.

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The next day, we visited Franklin Falls. It is underneath the I-90 fork en route to Snoqualmie Pass.

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It was raining quite heavily on the drive there from Seattle. It was more of a drizzle when we finally began our hike to the Falls, but the rocks were slick and the mud was slushy. Quite an adventure!

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The waterfall was powerful and gushing down. It was very inspiring. As we got closer, we were generously sprayed with ice cold mists that covered our hair.

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We hiked part of the way down to Denny Creek, however, we turned back halfway partly because it was rainy and we were already damp, and partly because this place has no restrooms (couldn't even locate a port a potty).

Rain drenched vegetation is such a delight!

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The drive back was awe inspiring. The rain stopped, allowing us to view snow capped mountains looming ahead of us. However, I was driving, so I will just blame the person riding shotgun for capturing mists and trees and not reading my mind that I wanted a photograph of snow capped mountains as well.

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The next day, we went to the Chitterman locks to observe the salmon migrating upstream. The folks out there help the salmon migrate by forcing freshwater out into the ocean and also by creating "ladders" so that the climb up water levels is not to steep. These salmon migrate into fresh water to spawn. This place also has a bunch of ships and bridges and I'm not quite sure what everything is for.


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After observing the salmon, we laid on the grass and here's what we saw:

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On the flight back, I had a surprise treat. Not one, but TWO snow capped mountains towering above the clouds***.

Here's Number One:

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And here's Number Two:

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As the plane turned Southeast, I got to see the lush forests gradually give way to the arid scrubs of East Washington. Fingers of dark green trees pushed their way into the sandy, tan colored land scape, as if to reach out as far as possible, only to give up and stop midway.

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And that concludes my almost dream like visit to Seattle!

*Filled waterbodies are bit of a joke down here in SoCal, once you get even a foot past the Pacific Ocean.
**No headaches, no nasal congestion, and no need for humidifiers! Down here my eyes burn/water slightly even with a humidifier, and I literally cannot sleep without one.
**I would love for someone to tell me what these mountain peaks are called.

3 comments:

Vijaya Gopal said...

Gorgeous pictures!
Google earth and I am sure you will find the right names. Till then it can be Pre-Jo :)
Visual treat - cool!

Joji said...

Beautiful, simply breathtaking...!

Joji said...

As for the mountains, looks like a whole new world from the top!