This blog is the fourth and long overdue final entry of my trip to the Pacific Northwest this past summer. Anyone who follows me knows of my fascination with this far flung corner of our United States and all it has to offer (I was lucky to do extensive research during one of my culinary classes).
I’m not a sidelines kind of guy but one who embraces change through activity. In Michigan (where I grew up) and Indiana (where I now reside); it is difficult to go rock climbing or scale a mountain without driving for hours. It is also very difficult to kite-board the Puget Sound or Columbia River Gorge. Equally difficult it is to find world class skiing or surfing in the Pacific Ocean abundantly available in Portland or Seattle.
You see, when I have a day off I’m going to immerse myself in vigorous activities that are associated with the outdoors (my favorite landscape to living life). I want to photograph orcas in the San Juan Islands or sea otter’s in the Columbia River. Maybe I’ll even find Sasquatch in a nearby forest? Regardless of what adventure I choose to soothe my lust for adventure; the possibilities are wide and varied in the Emerald City and surrounding areas.
|Space Needle view|
Driving past Mt. St. Helen's and Mt. Rainier are fantastic reminders of how small we are in this gigantic world of ours. They are also reminders of how fragile that world is and how we need to enjoy it while it lasts not-to-mention ensuring the longevity of our outdoor playgrounds by being guardians of nature.
The first time I saw Puget Sound for the first time; I got a little dizzy because I had no idea it was so immense. You see maps in books and encyclopedias but they don’t make you understand the enormity or sheer size of this macro-system of life. I can only imagine kayaking this expanse for a few days with only a backpack and a camera and no real agenda but loving nature and really appreciating what we have.
Because what we have is really kind of special since living in and around Puget Sound is like living in a National Geographic documentary. I’ve decided I want to live in a National Geographic documentary because I never tire of wildlife or exploration. I never tire of training my body to do new things whether its improved knife skills or wind-surfing in the ocean. I never tire of learning about how we can improve our surroundings so that we may become more sustainable with our food chain and that is what Seattle is all about.
|Pike Place market|
|Pike Place Market|
The sustainable movement here in this city is very exciting and somewhat young (we've only been talking about it main-stream about 10-15 years now). The chefs in this town are downright giddy over the agricultural offerings this region offers. There’s not much in this town that isn't offered by Mother Nature and area stewards understand the symbiotic needs of co-existence when it comes to feeding our families and friends.
|Home of the Mariner's and Seahawk's|
We must absolutely replace what we take from the land and I believe the indigenous peoples of this area made a very strong case to the settlers that traveled here because it resonated in their culture and belief system; a belief system that was rooted in a mutually beneficial cooperative that benefited both nature and man. This cooperative was basically survival through sustainability and I’m fascinated by it.
|The Sailor Sisters Trio!|
If you ever get to this area eat the food and savor nature like never before. Drink the beer and taste the wheat and barley fields. By all means sample the wine and smell the aromas of soil, grapes, citrus and spice. The melting pot population gives way to a fusion of culinary traditions that are sure to intoxicate your taste buds.
Make sure you get on the water and into the woods to truly understand this area. When you've finished go to the space needle and ascend with an open mind to the top and look out onto Seattle and consider yourself lucky to have been there.
Have a great day and never give up!