Portland Beauty

If there is one outstanding beauty in Portland, Oregon, my vote goes to this laceleaf maple that shines the brightest in late fall at the Japanese Garden. I was fortunate to see it in its full glory when I passed through the city last Sunday on my way home to Seattle. Five years ago, I... Continue Reading →

The Majesties of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

The park ranger held it up between her thumb and forefinger. It was a mere two inches long. “This is a sequoia cone.” Behind us was a colossus, the General Grant sequoia, the second largest in the world and located in Kings Canyon National Park, standing at a prodigious 268 feet in height. That a seed... Continue Reading →

Fall Colors of Sequoia National Park

To say that I was privileged to see fall colors at Sequoia National Park is an understatement. This gift was totally unexpected. The plan was simply to experience the giant sequoias. While the ancient trees lived up to expectation, it was a bonus that the dogwoods, maples, aspens, cottonwoods, oaks and willows were changing color... Continue Reading →

Sequoia National Park’s Other Attraction, Moro Rock

It's a breathless exercise to climb the roughly 350 steps to the top of Moro Rock, which summits at 6,725 ft ASL. No, this is not the Morro Rock along the California coast but a granite monolith in Sequoia National Park. The effort to complete the climb of 300 feet is worth it for the... Continue Reading →

There’s Something Shrimpy About Fresno’s Don Pepe Taqueria

I had my doubts that I could find a shrimp dish to equal the ones from Fumi's Shrimp Truck in Kahuku. Their shrimp is reason enough to trek out to the North Shore of Oahu. My favored combination of garlic, butter and sriracha (optional) sauce is a heaven-sent recipe. That was before I found Don Pepe... Continue Reading →

Fog Lifting Over Pasture

Fall is in the air. In the Northwest we get foggy days early in the season. I was taking back roads in the morning around Eugene, Oregon, when lifting fog was lending its mysterious beauty over the landscape.

Paradise Lost, Paradise Burning

Not to be smart-alecky, but wild fires in the West are now a hot topic. I haven't personally seen one, but they've affected my life here in the Pacific Northwest, enough to make me worry about the future. A year ago, I was looking forward to spending some time again at Whistler in British Columbia.... Continue Reading →

Shizuku, Portland’s Significant Japanese Restaurant

Four years ago, I lunched at Chef Naoko Bento Café, a Japanese restaurant on the edge of Portland's downtown district. The storefront was unremarkable like the surroundings. Interstate 405 was practically its western border. On my visit, a semi-truck parked just outside blocked sunlight from lighting the interior. The atmosphere inside was a lot more pleasant,... Continue Reading →

Nue: The World’s Street Food

It’s the thing nowadays to have street food at restaurants. Many of us have gone traveling abroad that noshing on things foreign is not the hesitation it once was. International food is now within easy reach, a cookbook, restaurant or food truck away. These are exciting times if your palate runs far and wide.  In Seattle,... Continue Reading →

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