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Monday, March 31, 2008

Wild Weather

Coming from Missouri, I'm used to wild spring weather. Having survived 100 year floods last November, and the ugly wind storm that foll0wed in December (2006), I thought I'd seen the worst of Western Washington weather.

Saturday, March 29th, was a busy day for me. I went to Monroe to check out the used book sale at the library...and managed to stay at my 20.00 self-imposed limit. At a dollar a hardback and 50 cents a paperback, I still came home with a box full. It was chilly, but the sun teased by making short-live appearances off and on all morning. I walked in the Skykomish River Park and picked a few stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) for soup. By 2 pm I was ready to head for Carnation, about 18 miles south on Highway 203. The sun was shining. I made a final stop, and drove out of town.

I parked at the Tolt -McDonald parking lot intending to walk along the river and take some pictures of the early blooming shrubs and flowers. I could see the mountains in the distance through some cloud cover. By the time I'd walked 300 yards and had started up the bridge, it started to sleet. I turned and looked over my shoulder. The mountains were invisible! The sleet quickly turned to hail...I changed my mind about crossing the river and decided to walk closer to the parking lot. I was glad to have a pair of light weight knit gloves in my pockets... they quickly got soaked through. The sky got dark, and the wind picked up. So I decided to go to the car and arrive at my bosses' 40th birthday party a bit early.

It rained off an on throughout dinner (the homemade lasagna was wonderful!). Around 7 pm I left in a light rain. It's only 8 miles or so to my Duvall home, and the weather went through some wild rain-to-snow-to sleet changes. The road was a little slick in a few spots. Not that it slowed the other drivers much. But I made it safely home and went upstairs. I put on some dry cloths, and gathered up a bag of trash that needed to go out.

I didn't realize it was snowing humongous flakes of fluffy white snow untill I opened the door and stepped out into it. I watched it snow until midnight. I was expected at Ben Franklin for work the following morning.

The drive to Monroe on Sunday was intense - for the first half mile or so. There were
5 cars off in the ditch on the downhill drive to the highway. Another was pointing up hill in the downhill lane. It had been abandoned there. I'd have turned around and gone home, but there wasn't a safe spot to do it. The highway was fine, and the closer I got to Monroe, the less snow I saw on the ground. The sun came out again.

And it's been out most of today - until time to go home. Just after 5, it started to thunder - soemthing I rarely hear in Washington, and don't miss from Missouri. It snowed...I have to stop at the laundromat on my way home...I'll let you know if more weather adventures await.

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My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"