End of the Pink Salmon Run on the Skykomish River

 Posted by on September 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Sep 262013
 
Pink salmon dying in the Skykomish River

Pink salmon dying in the Skykomish River

It was a beautiful sunny day today, so I went to check out a new fishing hole on the Skykomish River near Monroe WA. As I suspected, the pink salmon run is over in this river and most waters in Puget Sound. Overall, the 2013 pink salmon run has been usually slow and disappointing.

There were lots of fish in the Skykomish today but they were all spawning or decomposing at the completion of their life cycle. It was sad to see them clinging to life and gasping their last breaths. Spawning pinks, like the recent chilly Seattle evenings, are a harbinger of autumn and the impending wet season in the Northwest.

 

 

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49ers Struck by Seahawks’ Lightning

 Posted by on September 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm  Sports  No Responses »
Sep 182013
 
Seahawks fans cheer after scoring against 49ers

Seahawks fans cheer after scoring against 49ers

My son and I went to the historic Seahawks – 49ers game on Sunday and we were not disappointed. But the eventual thrashing of the 49ers, who were ranked #1 in most NFL polls, was not so obvious during the first quarter when both defenses were equally strong and both offenses were equally weak. Both Seahawks and 49er fans had a lot to think about during the one hour delay when the game was suspended due to lightning activity in the area.

The Seahawks, apparently energized by the storm delay, came out and owned the 49ers  for the rest of the game. The 49ers’ QB, Colin Kaepernick, was constantly stymied with his receivers all tightly covered by the Seattle corner backs. Seattle’s defense at home simply looks unstoppable.

The crowd was equally insurmountable. We broke the world record for the loudest stadium not once but twice; the record now stands at 136.6 decibels! Fortunately, we brought along earplugs which helped prevent damage to our eardrums. It was great being part of a Guinness world record.  Hopefully, the Seahawks will break another record this season and win their first Super Bowl…

 

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Pink Salmon Fishing on the Stillaguamish River

 Posted by on September 13, 2013 at 8:26 am  Outdoors  1 Response »
Sep 132013
 
Pink salmon from the Stillaguamish River

Pink salmon from the Stillaguamish River

 

 

After a couple of unsuccessful outings for pink salmon, I decided to  fish the Stillaguamish River with a friend yesterday. It was a sunny, warm day and I was optimistic about our chances since recent fishing reports were positive. When we arrived at our fishing location, however, our optimism quickly turned south as none of the approximately 20 fishermen  had a hookup.

Within the first 15 minutes, however, I landed my first pink salmon of the year on a pink comet fly. The second fish was just as bright and fiesty as the first.  My friend later reported that they were great table fare.

It has been a strange year for the pink salmon run in the Puget Sound. Normally, the run is robust and pinks are plentiful and willing to bite in both salt and fresh water. Not so this year. Many of my fishing friends have been disappointed in the 2013 run so far. When the fish are around, they have not been as active as in past runs. It’s anyone’s guess why this is.

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Sep 112013
 
Trident Nuclear Submarine Crossing the Hood Canal Bridge

Trident Nuclear Submarine Crossing the Hood Canal Bridge

Over the summer, on the way to the shellfish grounds at Dosewallips State Park, we ran into an unusual traffic backup just before crossing the Hood Canal Bridge. The line of cars was not moving so we got out of the car and walked to the bridge to see what the holdup was.

The presence of several state trooper cruisers blocking the entrance to the bridge made us really curious. A section of the bridge section was being retracted for a boat crossing but it was no ordinary boat.

Trident Nuclear Submarine Guarded by Two Ships

Trident Nuclear Submarine Guarded by Two Ships

A Trident nuclear submarine from Naval Base Kitsap was crossing the bridge on its way out to sea. The submarine was guarded by two large ships alongside of it as well as by US Coast Guard boats. I have been delayed by sub crossings at the Hood Canal Bridge before but this was the first time that I was close enough to actually see a submarine cross the bridge.

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Preferred Parking for Electric or Hybrid Vehicles

 Posted by on September 6, 2013 at 7:18 am  Health  No Responses »
Sep 062013
 
Preferred Parking for Electric or Hybrid Vehicles sign

Preferred Parking for Electric or Hybrid Vehicles sign

Last week, while I was parking my car at my doctor’s office, I was surprised to see a sign for “Preferred Parking for Electric or Hybrid Vehicles.” There were 5-6 parking spaces close to the building entrance that were so designated. I first hesitated to park in the spaces even though I drive a Toyota Camry Hybrid because the spaces were all empty.

Upon further research, I discovered that building owners get points toward LEED certification  from the US Green Building Council if they designate a certain proportion of their parking spaces as preferred parking for hybrid or electric cars.

Personally, I don’t feel like I should have a priority parking space unless I have a physical disability that makes it hard to walk. But it looks like preferred parking for electric or hybrid cars is on the upswing as LEED certification becomes more common.

 

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Camping at Fort Casey State Park

 Posted by on September 3, 2013 at 11:39 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Sep 032013
 
Fort Casey State Park beach

Fort Casey State Park beach

A few weeks ago, my family decided to do a short camping trip to a local destination. Our criteria were that it had to have direct access to the beach, have a low likelihood of rain, and be less than a couple of hours from Seattle. After an online search, we decided on Fort Casey State Park on Whidbey Island near Coupeville, WA.

Fort Casey State Park is quite large at 467 acres and is the site of a historic artillery post featuring several old guns on display. The Fort is one of several forts that were considered to be strategic to the defense of Puget Sound against possible sea invasion in the early 1900s. Fort Casey is now a marine camping park with great sweeping Western views of the Salish Sea and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Beach walking at Fort Casey State Park

Beach walking at Fort Casey State Park

When we first arrived, we were a little disappointed that the campsites at the Fort Casey campground were mostly occupied by big RVs and car campers. Only a small number of sites were actually used for tent camping. But we were pleasantly surprised that the sites were not only quiet but they were actually quieter than most car camping campgrounds we’ve been to. The most likely reason was that the other visitors were mostly older folks and families rather than young rowdy people.

Historic artillery guns at Fort Casey

Historic artillery guns at Fort Casey

The walks around the beaches at the park were very nice with sandy beaches and huge logs scattered as far as we could see. The water views from the beach and higher up from the gun turrets were definitely worth the trip. My kids had fun exploring the old fort structures.

 

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