We have moved…

11 Oct

We have moved. Please visit us at http://dakinecascadia.com and remember to update your bookmarks/Google reader, etc.

September 29 is National Coffee Day!!

29 Sep

It is kind of funny that today is National Coffee Day because today is the day we decided to try to dial back our coffee consumption.  We didn’t even know it was National Coffee Day until turning on the computer and scanning the morning headlines.  It may seem like an impossibility to cut down our coffee consumption in a coffee crazy town like Seattle but we’re giving it a shot.  But don’t worry, we’re not giving up on coffee.  We love coffee!  Viva cafe!  Besides, it would be sacrilegious to give up coffee on National Coffee Day so please don’t report us to the caffeine gestapo!  We’re just going to try to brew a couple less cups of coffee a day–just enough so that we are sufficiently buzzed without having our heads about to pop off.

Amy Rolph from the Seattle PI also has some opinions about the day:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/archives/222988.asp

http://bayblab.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archive.html

Escape to the Olympic Peninsula

28 Sep

Last week we made our first trip out of the Seattle area since we moved here just over two months ago.  We had planned on hiking to the lovely Olympic Hot Springs in Olympic National Park with our friends Will and Stephen.  Well, the National Park Service had other ideas so the hot springs had to wait until another time.  Olympic Hot Springs is in the Elwha River Valley and the National Park Service is in the process of starting the largest dam removal project in the nation.

The Park Service has even declared this the “Last Dam Summer at Olympic National Park!”

http://www.nps.gov/olym/naturescience/elwha-ecosystem-restoration.htm

Overall, this seems to be a project that is receiving wide-spread support and should do wonders for salmon and shellfish habitat as well as improving economic prospects for local tribes.  The Elwha River will be returned to its natural flow after more than 100 years of being artificially blocked up and interrupted.  Biologists estimate that the number of salmon in the river may swell from 3,000 to 300,000 in the future as all five species of Pacific salmon return to more than 70 miles of river and stream.

NPR has also been covering the Elwha River dam removal.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129783648

The reservoir, Lake Mills, is a beloved fishing spot for some but in the near future it will be nothing more than a memory.

We were a little disappointed that we could not go to the hot springs, but we were not going to let that get in the way of a good time.  Instead we took our (rental) car on the ferry from Edmonds (just north of Seattle) across Puget Sound to Kingston (on the Kitsap Peninsula).  

From there we drove across the Hood Canal and onto the Peninsula itself.  We stopped briefly in Port Angeles for lunch and camping supplies.  Some of us (I won’t name names) were lured into the “Dazzled by Twilight” store http://dazzledbytwilight.com/ by the life-size cardboard cutouts of various Twilight characters peering seductively from the store front windows.  After 15 minutes examining vampire and heartthrob-themed movie paraphernalia we escaped vampire-ville and continued to Lake Crescent, 18 miles west of Port Angeles on Highway 101.  

http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-lake-crescent.htm

Lake Crescent is absolutely beautiful and we lucked out with great weather.  With an officially recorded depth of 624 feet, it is the second deepest lake in Washington (though it is rumored to be over 1000 feet deep).  This 12 mile long lake is filled with extremely clear waters and is a great place to swim (or skinny dip) under an almost full moon.

After setting up our tents at Fairholme Campground and chilling some beers in the lake we proceeded to play a game of “extreme” bocce along the shoreline.  We call our version of bocce extreme because there aren’t really any rules–just get your ball closest to the “Golden Snitch”.  It doesn’t matter how you get your ball closest to the snitch–bouncing it off tree trunks and rocks, through bushes, carried by wildlife, or half submerged in the lake–just as long as you are having fun and always carrying a beer in your non-throwing hand.

Later that night we feasted on homemade chili and fell asleep happy under the Olympic moonlight.  Unfortunately the logging trucks rumbling up highway 101 across the lake woke us up early the next morning but the mountainous setting was worth the wake up call.  Thankfully, because Lake Crescent is located fully within Olympic National Park, it is spared the vast clear cutting that afflicts forest lands outside the park.  If you look at satellite imagery of the Olympic Peninsula using Google Earth the patchwork of degraded landscapes can be seen clearly.  You can also see where the invisible boundaries of the National Park are since it is within these boundaries that the forest has been allowed to recover.

The next morning we drove to nearby Sol Duc Valley to check out the hot springs there.

http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-the-sol-duc-valley.htm

The Sol Duc River Valley is also extremely beautiful and we were lucky enough to stroll through old-growth forest and watch salmon jumping up the river to their ancient spawning grounds.  The Sol Duc hot springs are definitely more developed than the Olympic Hot Springs and it is appropriately labeled as a resort.  It is in a pretty ideal location, however, with cabins to rent and other amenities (like hot coffee!!) and is a great place for families and others who want to avoid “roughing it”.  There are also a number of trails in the valley including a short trail we explored that took us to Sol Duc Falls.

The afternoon quickly slipped away from us as we explored Sol Duc River Valley and soon it was time to start driving back to Kingston and catch the ferry.  Our trip was short but was a breath of fresh air from city life.  Seattle is a great place to live but it is the nearby mountains, rivers, and misty forests that really give the region its charm.  We can’t wait to plan our next trip to the Peninsula–maybe next time to go hiking in the Hoh Rain Forest, or kayaking on Lake Ozette, or beach combing near La Push, or skiing at Hurricane Ridge, or, or…

So much to do and so little time =)

Seattle Slack Key Festival, Oct. 16

27 Sep

Cyril Pahinui saw our post about the Live Aloha Festival earlier this month and asked us to put in a plug for the upcoming Seattle Slack Key Festival on October 16th.  We are stoked that he saw our post and we are very happy to help spread the news of the upcoming Festival.  http://www.seattleslackkeyfestival.com/

The 2nd Annual Seattle Slack Key Festival will be held October 16 from 2-6pm at the Town Hall Theater located at 1119 8th Ave.  http://www.townhallseattle.org/

Performers include: Cyril Pahinui, Jeff Peterson, Kamuela Kimokeo, Kalehua Krug, Blake Leoiki-Haili, George Kuo and Sonny Lim, along with steel guitarist Greg Sardinha and ukulele prodigy Kunai Pahinui-Galdeira.  Special guiest guitarist/harp guitarist Muriel Anderson, emcees Skylark Rossetti and Braddah Gomes and local hula halau add to this fantastic line-up.  You can buy tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/124113

Hope to see you there!

Team Jongela, 12 years and counting…

23 Sep

This past weekend, we celebrated our anniversary by going to Victoria, British Columbia.  Hard to believe it’s been 12 years, but I guess we have the photos and memories to prove it (and wrinkles).  Of course it’s cliche, but it’s true… Time flies when you’re having fun!

We caught the first #5 bus of the day (6am)  from Fremont to downtown and walked over to Pier 69 where we caught the Victoria Clipper.  You can drive north of Seattle and catch the ferry from Anacortes or Vancouver, but we don’t have a car so this was much easier.  The ride was pleasant.  We fortified ourselves with hot coffee and snacks as the clipper cruised north out of Puget Sound and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Three hours later we pulled into Victoria and started to explore.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Since we only stayed one night in Victoria we didn’t have a whole lot of time to explore the city but we still had plenty of fun and ate some yummy grindz.  Downtown Victoria is very walkable and there are plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and street performers to keep one busy while wandering around on foot.

We had lunch at the very vegetarian-friendly “Rebar” http://www.rebarmodernfood.com/ and walked around Chinatown.  We also caught a cool art exhibit called “World War 3” at Legacy Art Gallery and Cafe http://legacygallery.ca/ To celebrate our anniversary we had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant called Fiamo http://www.fiamo.ca/ and after stuffing ourselves with ravioli and some tasty BC vino we headed back to the hotel to crash for the night.

The next morning we caught the ferry back to Seattle.  Although it rained on our boat trip back down to the states, by the time we reached Seattle it was a beautiful day so we wandered around Pike Place Market for a little while before retreating back to Fremont.  We made it home just in time to catch a great sunset on our roof.

Seattle Live Aloha Festival 2010!

17 Sep

On Sunday, September 12th we ventured down to the Seattle Center for a welcome slice of the islands.  We attended the third annual Live Aloha Festival in the shadow of the Space Needle.  Luckily all the aloha spirit in the air brought with it a big burst of sunshine.  Of course, it still would have been fun in the rain but our blood’s gotten a little thin after living in Hawai’i and I’m sure cool weather lowers the festival’s attendance.

Luckily there was a talented array of Hawaiian musicians, dancers, and vendors keeping the spirits high all afternoon!

http://www.seattlelivealohafestival.com/index.php/home.html

They were also showing Hawai’i focused documentaries all afternoon, including “Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai’i”.  This is a super powerful film and we were lucky enough to have seen the world premiere at the 2008 Hawai’i International Film Festival.  Watch this film and you will never think of Hawai’i in the same way again!

http://www.nohohewa.com/

Halfway through the festival we took a detour to Seattle’s waterfront, explored the Olympic Sculpture Garden, and watched a sea gull almost collide with a harbor seal!  We had been watching the harbor seal swimming around and poking its head out of the water for a couple minutes.  Then next time the seal came up for air a sea gull happened to be simultaneously swooping across the water leading to a near harbor seal/sea gull collision.  The seal reared its head up out of the water in shock, the sea gull took extreme evasive maneuvers, and the harbor seal let out several angry “ARF, ARF, AAAARFs!!!!” before swimming away in a hurry.  Maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious.

We returned to the Seattle Center just in time to watch Grammy Nominated slack key guitarist Cyril Pahinui play a set as the sun was going down and the temperature was getting cooler.

http://www.cyrilpahinui.com/

Here’s a couple of videos we took of his performance:

Overall we had a great time and can’t wait to attend the 2011 festival…that is if we haven’t succumb to our intermittent desire to move back to Hawai’i.  We love Seattle but attending events like this makes it difficult to not consider moving back to the islands for all the good food, music, and people.  We miss you all!!

Like the good Northwest transplants we are, we closed the day’s festivities with a visit to a brewery we had never been to: Naked City Brewery in Greenwood.  They have great beers, happy hour all day on Sundays, and a low key atmosphere.  Check it out.

http://nakedcitybrewing.com/

Until next time…Live Aloha!

Seattle grindz

16 Sep

One thing we’ve noticed about bars/restaurants in Seattle is the abundance of macaroni & cheese and tater tots. It’s kind of weird, but also kind of awesome. Reminds us of Wisconsin.