Sunday, August 30, 2009

itty bitty tomatoes

This Spring I planted some tomatoes, and the plant actually stayed alive to produce these little guys:

I don't like tomatoes enough to pop these into my mouth whole, but I felt a little foolish slicing them for my sandwich!

In other produce news, our friends Anna and Christopher Krey gave us a bag full of vegetables when we left their house a couple of weeks ago. The Kreys are members of "Community Supported Agriculture." They buy a share in a local farm, then pick up a bag of just-picked produce every week during the growing season. This was my first introduction to the idea, despite it not being news for most of the people I've talked to about it. I think this is the CSA they support. I'm not going to become a member, but I think it's really cool for people who are concerned with eating organic and/or locally grown produce. I'm not big into the organic piece, and feel only a little guilty for not putting more emphasis into the grown-locally aspect (I like the idea of supporting local growers, but feel there are more sides to the debate for the economical and environmental effects of not buying local). ANYWAY... I thought the CSA was cool!

I also thought it was cool to have a bag full of zucchini, onion, carrots and beets (thanks, Kreys!). Just look at the colorful carrots:


Attack:

Victoria, BC

is awesome!!!

Awesome buildings:

Awesome people waiting an hour for Red Fish Blue Fish:

Awesome Fish and Chips:


Awesome French Diet Coke:

Awesome Dudes from Behind:

Awesome friends from out of town:

Awesome Canadian Potato chips:

Awesome time!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cougar Mountain

One of the last hikes of the season was Cougar Mountain. When we arrived to Cougar Mountain, it was raining pretty good, despite the predictions of Weather.com. We braved it anyway and it turned out to be a pretty fun hike.

Cougar Mountain has a ton of trails, and this turned out to be a little bit troublesome as we didn't see the free maps at the trailhead. As a result, the hike meandered a lot, and it ended up being like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. We chose to go to De Leo Wall:

And this little waterfall:

And this bigger waterfall (minus much water):


One of my favorite things about the hike is that Cougar Mountain is actually the site of some old coal mines. I totally love stuff like that, and so I was super excited when I found this former entrance to the Ford slope mine:

The amazing thing about Cougar Mountain is how big it is. We hiked around just one part of it. Maybe next season we will have to check out the other 3 trailheads.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Twin Falls

We hiked Twin Falls, near North Bend, a couple of weeks ago and it turned out to be our first rainy hike. It was bound to happen, with summers in the Great Northwest being as they are, and it made the hike refreshing and a little exciting. I decided that these falls are the prettiest, but I'm not sure what is so twin about them.

Like most of Western Washington hikes, this trail was covered overhead by trees. So, by the time we got to the falls we were still mostly dry.

video
We went beyond the falls about a mile or so, where there was less of a tree covering. So, by the end of the hike we looked like this:



Blackberries

A few weeks ago Rob and I picked blackberries near his parent's house - lots and lots of them. Rob's mom made a pie that night, then we made a pie, then I made blackberry crumb bars, then we made blackberry pancakes, then I threw the rest away (it wasn't much, and it needed to be done). I just recently learned that blackberries don't grow in such abundance in other places. They are everywhere here, so we don't have to buy them. In fact, they are a thorn (bah-hah) in many yard owners' sides because they grow wildly and take over. There are many metaphors to life found in berry picking and I can't wait until my next assignment to speak in church!

We were so proud of this pie. I mean, just look at it. It tasted amazing and didn't even fall apart when sliced! We shared it with the missionaries, a lady I visit teach and her daughter, as well as Alicia and James. This is my first pie, and I couldn't have done it without the help of Rob, the instructions from his mom, and the need to finally use the pie dish I got from Linds and the girls for my bridal shower!


Blackberry pancakes. Purple and sweet.

Then we picked blueberries...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bachelor Party

Steph and I were looking through some stuff from our wedding for our one year anniversary. I came across this video which Christopher made. It is of my bachelor party which was so much fun. We played whirlyball, which is the strangest excuse for a sport, but pretty much the best sport ever. I don't think many of the participants have seen the video -- and they should. It is edited well and is a reminder of how Whirlyball is the sport of the future.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wheels

This past Saturday, Stephanie and I got to participate in one of my favorite Nyland family pasttimes -- The state softball tournament. The team did totally awesome, and they actually won state!! But the best part was seeing my dad, Jerry "Wheels" Nyland, come out of retirement to do some damage at the plate.

At first:
At second:

Third:


Going home:

video

And here's another awesome hit from a later game:

video

Way to go Wheels!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Little Si

Another day off work, another hike. Last Friday we hiked Little Si, near North Bend. Little Si is overshadowed (literally) by it's larger neighbor, Mt. Si, but it still turned out to be quite the hike. It was a little tough, and although I know difficulty level is subjective, I would not have called it "easy" as our guidebook had. Definitely worth it with the really great views from the summit, however.

The terrain was different from most of the hikes we've done together. This hike had a lot of rock, dusty paths, different plants, and a less dense forest. We did not, however, have to climb any rocks like Rob is faking here:

That silly business is left to these shirtless men:(what I want to know is, how does the rope they use to climb get up there in the first place!?)The rocks we climbed were more like this, thank goodness:


The summit:

Rob at the summit, with Mt. Si in the background. Because of the weather, we couldn't see the top of Mt. Si. It might have been worth it, with the effects the clouds had. Vampire-esque.
The overhang was thrilling.

For Rob, not so much (not the biggest fan of heights).Totally worth the view.
After conquering Little Si, we headed to Snoqualmie Falls:

We are not super two-hikes-in-one-day-ers, so lucky for us, we had recently been told the secret of the parking lot at the bottom of the hill to the falls. This boardwalk is the only "hiking" we had to do to view the beautiful Falls:Also part of the boardwalk to the falls, and a lot like how prison must feel:

A very wonderful day, oh how we love summer (even overcast Seattle summers)
And oh how I love you, best hiking partner ever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gazaam Lake Hike

A couple weeks ago we took a hike with Simon and Torsten over on Bainbridge Island. Now one might think that the quality of hikes might not be too high on such a small, flat and elitist Island, and you are probably right. But it turned out to be a fun afternoon with the boys.

The whole time we were worried about the coyotes and owls -- spooky scary!

So the guidebook told us that the hike to Gazaam Lake was about 2 miles and that once we got there, we would want to spend some time wading in the water. While on the trail, I saw a body of water about 500 feet into the hike, and thinking that it couldn't be Gazaam Lake, I continued on convinced that it would be later on the trail.

So we walked...


and walked...


and walked...

and talked...

About the time that I thought we were going to hit the lake, we actually hit another trailhead and an exit for the trail. Figuring that we must have missed the turn somewhere, we ventured back until we ran into the lake that I saw at the beginning of the trail.


We figured that this must be the wading spot, so we let the boys wade. Then we heard a scream and found this:


Rescue was needed. Best part of the video: Rob Screaming, Torsten: "This is not how I expected my hike to go", Simon: "This is awesome" and "I wanna walk on the wood, too!"

video

Torsten was a little dirty after that:


But we smiled to make Mom think we were having fun:


We spared Torsten the duty of stripping down to get in the car, but we did make him sit on the blanket.