Melina Gunnett

September 19, 2012

Mount Rainier

Filed under: Photographs, Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 11:36 PM

I have spent a good part of the last two days hanging around the Oregon DMV trying to get my car registration and driver’s license straighten out. As with most things centred around the words ‘government’ and ‘paperwork’, it was frustrating. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow after I have recovered from the trauma. Today I want to think about more pleasant things, such as my trip up to Mount Rainier last weekend.

I spent the last year living under the shadow of Mount Rainier. Even from a distance the mountain is beautiful. I planned to drive up there numerous times, but something always came up that seemed more important. After all, I could always go up to the mountain another time – it was right there! It finally took moving away to get me to actually take a drive up there.

The drive itself was worth the trip. Had I started earlier in the day, I would have liked to have made a few more stops along the way. There were a couple of little railroad towns along the way that looked like they might be fun to explore. Next time I think I will make reservations for the scenic railroad tour up to Mineral Lake.

Alder Lake

I did stop for a bit at Alder Lake. It caught my eye as I was driving past and I couldn’t resist. The entire Northwest has been experiencing a long dry summer and the Nisqually river is currently no more than a trickle. This meant that Alder lake, which is a reservoir on the Nisqually, is currently low enough to display every long lost stump usually concealed within its depths. I am sure that the lake is normally picturesque, but with so much of the water gone, it was fascinating.

The lake was created in 1945 with the building of Alder dam. There hasn’t been time to grow trees that would provide stumps that large, so those stumps are probably from when the lake was originally created, that meas that they have spent most of the last 77 years underwater. It makes me wonder, if I took a boat out onto the lake, what else I would find.

Instead of renting a boat, I continued on toward Mount Rainier. A few miles before the park entrance I took a little detour by the Ashford Mansion. Okay, it was actually a wrong turn, but it was so pretty I kept going and ended up seeing some interesting things I would have missed out on otherwise. Like a tiny pond with a tee-pee and a wooden boat. This wasn’t a tourist attraction, it was someone’s yard.

teepee lake

I also found the Ashford mansion and a really cool house that I fell in love with. I could easily see myself living there.

Ashford MansionCute House

The road ended up winding back into town (the name of the town was, surprise, surprise, Ashford.). Once again on the correct road, I continued on and finally made it to Rainier Park. I’m not sure what I expected, but what I found was better. From a distance, Mount Rainier always seemed like a stand alone mountain. Up close, while it is the tallest mountain around, it is surrounded by many other mountains and valleys. There were several places through out the park where I could pull over and just enjoy the view as Rainier grew closer.

Mt. Rainier

Interesting peaksThese look outs also provided amazing views of the other weather worn peaks in the area. One of my favourite spots was Narada Falls, just before we reached the summit (Well as close as I could get to the summit by car.). What I could see of the falls was great and next time I plan to Rock wallgive myself enough time to get out and hike the short trail that wanders around the to the front of the falls for a better look. The trail will also put me directly underneath this amazing rock wall, which was on the most interesting outcroppings I saw that day.

Top of the FallsUnfortunately, by the time I reached the falls, it was already getting close to sunset. I didn’t bring a real camera with me, just my phone, and it was getting too dark to take very good pictures even if I had time to take the trail. So back into the car I went and finished the drive up to Paradise – That is what the area nearest the top is called, the Paradise Henry M Jackson Memorial Visitor Center.

I reached the top just as the sun was getting ready to set. The visitor center was already closed for the day, but the there were plenty of placards and trail maps. I hadn’t really thought about hiking, but once I reached the top, I wish I had. The trail up to the Nisqually glacier was only about a mile and would have been spectacular. One more thing to add to my “next time” list.

I got out and walked around for a bit and wished, not for the first of the last time that day, that I had left earlier. There will definitely be a next time, because it was already starting to get dark. It was time to turn around and head home.

Rainier from Paradise

The trip down the mountain seemed a lot quicker than the trip up. I am sure it was, since I wasn’t stopping to take photos and look at the scenery. I need to go back to keeping my camping equipment in the car. It would have been a good night to drop a tent somewhere and continue my adventure the next day. Yup, another thing for my “next time” list.

I did make one last stop on the way back. At the base of the mountain there is a little restaurant called the Wildberry Cafe. They specialize in Yak burgers – also on my “next time” list, I had a burger for lunch – and Himalayan dishes. The Himalayan stew was good, their salads are HUGE and next time, after all that hiking, I am going to be hungry enough for their wild berry pie.

July 16, 2012

Fakin’ it

Filed under: Odd Thoughts, Photographs — Tags: , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 7:15 PM

Today is Monday, the start of a new week. My motto for this week: “Fake it ’til you make it.” I figure if I pretend to be a responsible adult all week, I might actually accomplish all the things a responsible adult would. So far, so fail.

I had it all planned out when I went to bed last night.  I was going to get up as soon as my alarm went off this morning, shower, eat breakfast, check my mail and be sitting in front of my computer getting some work done by noon. How hard could that be? I mean noon – some people’s work day is half over by then. I even set my alarm before I fell asleep.

Fail! 10am came and went while I was still comfortably tucked into my blankets.  Apparently the alarm doesn’t work very well if I have the volume turned off.  I didn’t even have the vibrate mode turned on (the low, rumbling, electronic growl is usually enough to wake me up). The only reason I even woke up before noon was because Asimov (the dog not the writer) was barking loudly outside my door.

I almost rolled over and went back to sleep. Okay, I tried to, but he just kept barking. I finally barked back that “someone better be strangling kittens outside my door or I was going to make him into a bath mat” and got up.

Asimov Burns

You moved, it’s my bed now.

No one was strangling kittens.

Yet somehow, instead of decorating my bathroom floor, I ended up with a little white dog curled up, tail wagging, on my bed. It was just too early to maintain my annoyance, or was it?

That’s when I looked at my clock. The alarm had been going off for 15 minutes.  I just hadn’t heard it because the volume was turned off. (Yes I’m claiming it was OFF, not just turned all the way down and playing so softly that only the dog could hear it thus explaining why he was barking loudly at my door. No one was strangling kittens, he does not get an excuse.)

Of course, now the dog was on my bed being quiet, cute and needed to be snuggled. (Yes, I know I’m a sucker, unfortunately so does he.) I knew I needed to get up, get showered, put on coffee… I also knew I should not be taking my turns in all my scrabble games, playing solitaire until I finally won a game, or finishing the game of Peggle I had left open on my computer.  Guess what I chose?

Yeah, I had already started to lose my battle to be part of the responsible adult world. There are so many things I needed to be doing and so many, far more fun, things that I could be doing. I am capable of being a responsible person, really I am.  I am just easily distracted when I don’t have someone else to be responsible to or for. That is the whole point of this “fake it ’til I make it” week, learning to be responsible to and take care of myself.

My ability to find something distracting in a empty room is one of the main reasons the project has been a fail so far, but it is still early in the day and the week has just begun. I still have time to redeem myself. While I didn’t make it by noon, I did manage to have to start writing by 1pm. I may not be exactly on my planned schedule, but my butt is in the chair and not playing games or watching movies. It is a start.

I even managed to do some of the stuff I had planned to do before I sat down to write today.  Well, sort of… I am showered and dressed, even if my hair is a slowly drying tangle because I haven’t brushed it. I have eaten, even if it was a slice of cold pizza instead of coffee and eggs on toast. Now I am writing, even if it is a blog post instead of rewriting the last 11 pages of the book so I can do a final edit and turn it in.

Tomorrow is going to be the real test. My official move in date was two weeks ago and there is a whole list of things that any reasonably responsible adult would have already done, like: Changing my address, driver’s license, car registration, insurance, voters registration, bank, library… I haven’t done any of it yet. I also have a list of things I have been putting off because of the move, like: new eyeglasses, a hair cut, legal stuff involving the land in CA, checking on the lease in MA, finding an agent to sell the land in VT…

I really need to consider breaking that list into at least two days worth of errands before I have a panic attack.  I suppose actually making a list of everything that needs to be done would be a good idea too, but I that can wait for tomorrow.  Right now it would just another form of procrastination. I know what I’m supposed to be doing today and making a list isn’t part of it.

It is time to stop finding things to sidetrack myself and get things done like a responsible adult. I’m going to fake it ’til I make it baby! — I just need to keep going, ignore any distractions, and get it done. I can do this!

Is it cheating if I go make coffee first?

*Just a little note for my friends who love animals and/or take things too literally.  No you don’t have to call PETA or send me instructions on the proper skinning and tanning of animal hides.  While I grumble about and often threaten the little white dog with a Botox injection to his voice box, what I usually end up doing to him is pretty much what I did with him this morning.  I took him out for a short walk around the complex, played with him for a few minutes and gave him a marrow bone to chew on.  Did I mention he was spoiled?

June 3, 2012

Hey! Some privacy here!

Filed under: Photographs — Tags: , , — Melina Gunnett @ 3:57 PM
Bearded Dragons

Hey, Can we get some privacy please!


Two bearded dragons are the latest additions to the house where I am currently living.

May 15, 2012

Ut Oh!

Filed under: Photographs — Tags: , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 4:01 AM

Ut Oh!

They know that we know!

August 31, 2011

Photo of the Day – Cracked

Filed under: Photographs — Tags: , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 1:34 PM


August 5, 2011

Photo of the Day – Harvest Sun

Filed under: Photographs — Melina Gunnett @ 2:27 PM
Harvest Sun

Harvest Sun

August 4, 2011

Photo of the Day – Portland

Filed under: Photographs — Melina Gunnett @ 2:28 PM


August 3, 2011

Photo of the Day – Sail Away

Filed under: Photographs — Tags: , , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 6:58 PM
Sail Away

Sail Away (Scituate, MA)

August 2, 2011

Photo of the Day – Still Waters

Filed under: Photographs — Tags: , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 6:53 PM
Still Waters

Still Waters (Boats in the Harbor at Hull, MA)

August 1, 2011

Photo of the Day – What You Looking At?

Filed under: Photographs — Tags: , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 6:43 PM
Prarrie Dog

What You Looking At?

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