Thursday, August 9, 2012

I think I'll go and sit by the river... a practice in being calm

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
-Henry David Thoreau


This season of not working has been quite a treat. I realize that I worked hard for this time, and I am happy that I am making the most of it, for the time is drawing very near when I must get back to the daily grind. And I welcome that time! All things in their due time....

I have explored so much of this planet and it has revealed to me that there is just so much more than one could ever see! Having been back in the Pacific Northwest I feel so lucky to spend time exploring this region, home. Of all the islands, mountains, rivers, cities, villages, and farms I think that this region still takes the cake! I said to a good friend that I see hardly any reason why I should ever leave again! With so much to explore here, I'll be set for a long time, at least. 

A recent weekend involved a lot of car time, which I assure is far more pleasurable than bar time. I went down roads I'd never traversed, south of Mt Hood, around the East side and back again. It was hot, so finding swimming spots along the was was key. A spot to rest was found near White River, no more information can be given about that place. It's a secret. The moon was recently full and illuminated the evening, casting it's cool light on the arid terrain east of Mt Hood. 

Soon after the sun rose the temperature began to rise with haste, cold water the only remedy. Outside the city, outside the generally common river spots where rowdy urban and suburbanites get drunk and act crazy, outside the range of cell phones, outside the range of streetlights... conjures up a special feeling in me. Remote, removed. It is quiet and still and calm and things make sense out there. All things fit and everything belongs. Leaving these distant and isolated water and camping spots can be hard! I always want to stay longer. 

Oregon, my Oregon. I sure love it. And Washington, my new home: what fun it will be to explore new territory. To get away from the madness that cities often hold, the hustle and bustle of everyone going somewhere all the time. I like to just sit, let my senses awaken a little more, to practice being calm. 

think i'll go sit by the river
just to get outside of my mind.
i'm wishing i could stay here forever
but the river won't stay that long,
its moving on.
-Chad VanGaalen

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.

with love, n

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a return to Lost Lake

It's been about twenty years since I last visited the high altitude lake called Lost Lake. I was just a kid then, and I hardly remembered it, so the return trip was a treat. My mother and I hopped in the vehicle and headed up highway 26 to E. Lolo Pass Road, oh the memories of camping off Lolo.... We took Lolo Pass to the end, where it turns into a bumpy, narrow service road #18. The drive is beautiful. Stunning views of the mountain as we traverse alongside and over the creeks that quickly flow into the rivers. At forest service road #13 we turned left, 7 miles up we arrive at the gem of Lost Lake. 

Blue skies and warm weather made the shade of the old growth forest feel remarkable. We chose the loop trail, which circles the lake for about 3.5 miles. The trail is nicely maintained in most places, making it an easy walk. The views were stunning. 

There is something remarkable about the high mountain wild flowers and berries. They survive harsher winters and cooler temperatures all year round. But with all the clean, fresh air they manage to thrive. 


It is still and quiet up there, not much to busy ones mind with. It feels good to stop and just take in the surroundings... each sense heightened in it's own way. It's good to get away, to the woods, for my mind and for my body. I'm so grateful for all the service roads that exist on the mountains, for without them we'd never see this pristine beauty. Just remember: always leave no trace.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

1965 Rambler Classic 770

My new old car. Single owner and it's been parked for twenty years. As I was driving in the summer sun yesterday I took everything slow. The 1960's must have been a much slower time. Slower to go, slower to stop, slower to turn. I like to take life slow. If you live your life quickly you live your life quickly. Think about it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

and life gets busy

It's been a month now since I've been back in the states. how time flies! I have had such a glorious time with my friends and family. There has been lots of catching up, after all this time away. And still more to be done! 

I am slowly feeling more and more settled. Signed a lease on a big apartment in Seattle that I will move into in a few weeks, got myself a sweet 1965 Rambler to cruise around in, and the job thing?.... I'm working on it (at my own pace). 

There have been hikes, bikes, photo booths, fire works, bonfires, rivers, parks, sunsets and sunrises. Cities and a lot of rural places and chickens and squirrels! Concerts, cooking, camping, lots of love, and boozy iced tea! 

it feels like the universe is smiling on me here in the good ol' pacific northwest. 
it's good to be home. 
love, n

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sea Cider: apples are for drinking!

On the beautiful East coast of Vancouver island, BC, tucked away in the rural hillside between Victoria and Sidney is a gem of an orchard called Sea Cider. Many thanks to my mother for scoping out some great spots to visit while on our mini road trip this past week. Thanks to her we found Sea Cider atop a hill overlooking their organic apple orchards and the beautiful blue water of the Haro Straight.  

Thanks to Michael Pollans book The Botany of Desire, I know more than I ever thought I could know about apple cider, and apples in general. Originally the apples in North America were far too bitter to please the average palette, so they were used to make cider. Cider used to be the drink of the United States, more populer than beer, liquor, or wine. Most farms had an apple orchard and pressed the bitter fruit to make their elixirs. 

There is a slight misconception about the famous historical figure we know as Johnny Appleseed.... He was a wild man who would plant his apple orchards just a little further west than civilization had traveled and then as the inevitable expansion took place he would sell his already yielding orchards to the new farmers for their cider making, and then set off westward and do it again. It wasn't until the religious groups who were unhappy with his image came along and rewrote the history books a little bit, making him out to be a friendly guy who wanted everyone's health to blossom from eating a sweet fruit. It took many years for the science of tree grafting to make a real success of the edible apples we are so accustomed to seeing in our local grocery stores today. These grocery store apples all come from tree grafting. If you plant an apple seed it will not necessarily produce the same kind of apple that it's parent was. In fact, multiple seeds from the same apple will likely be all different strains of apple. Who knew!?

I am grateful for Johnny Appleseed, as the many drunk farmers were, I'm sure, for cider is delicious! It can be simple and crisp, or complex and sweet, and everything in between. And to have a glimpse at one companies version of it all I recommend making the beautiful trip to Sea Cider.

We opted to try the cider flight, which allowed us to taste generous portions of each of their ten ciders. The food that accompanied our tasting was from the finest local artisans and farms. Farmhouse sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda, rhubarb chutney, and fresh baked breads were just some of the tasty treats we paired our array of ciders with.

We sat in solitude in the warm summer sun and sipped each new flavor as we read the simple tasting notes that accompanied. All their apples are grown on their property, and beautiful property is it! They have some 1300 apple trees, all organic and rare varieties. 

While tasting our ciders and enjoying the hot sunshine on that beautiful piece of property we were continually deciding which ones we could take home with us. It was not easy to narrow it down, and we knew we must do that! In the end the friendly staff helped us package up our picks for enjoyment on a later date. 

For information about Sea Cider and where you can purchase it you can go to their website:

And by the way... I am in no way employed or persuaded by the staff of Sea Cider. My taste buds do the talking on this one! And as always: all photos are property of yours truly, Nicole Seymour.
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