Days of Salmon – Issaquah Salmon Days

The salmon return to Issaquah well before the festival has started.

 

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Each October, the salmon and the tourists return to Issaquah, the latter in order to enjoy the annual Salmon Days Festival. We snuck in a week early, allowing us to enjoy the spectacle of the spawning fish without the accompanying throng of humanity. Here are some pics.

 

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To learn more about the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, click here.

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Mt. Spokane – Bald Knob Trail

Mt. Spokane’s Bald Knob trail offers expansive views with a touch of history.

 

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In the first week of September, we hiked the Bald Knob trail to some high meadows and a restored CCC cabin. Here are some pics.

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Schweitzer Mountain in Summer

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Schweitzer Mt. Resort offers relief from Eastern Washington’s August furnace.

Here are some pics from our recent off-season trek up to Northern Idaho’s premier ski resort. If you like what you see, you can still make plans for their last event of the summer, Fall Fest.

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World Cup 2014 – Congratulations Germany.

Germany places its name on the cup once again.

Congratulations to Germany. After a month of soccer involving the top sides of the world, the Germans have emerged victorious. They might not have the star power of Argentina or Brazil, but they have the more complete team, which made all the difference in the knockout stages.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And the stars are coming.

Having been overshadowed by the scoring prowess of Muller and Klose, Ozil and Schurrle finally emerged on the world stage as the tournament wound down. Fans of Chelsea and Arsenal are already familiar with the abilities these two possess, but others that might not follow the EPL (English Premier League) have surely taken notice as well. It will be interesting to see how they react to defending the crown as opposed to seeking it.

Of note: This is Germany’s fourth World Cup crown, their second at the expense of Argentina. Italy also has four championships. Only Brazil has more with five.

World Cup 2014 – The Semi-finals continued …

Now that’s more like it.

After the debacle that took place between Germany and Brazil, it was nice to see a tightly contested match between Argentina and the Netherlands.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In the end, it came down to superior keeper play by Argentina’s Romero.

So now we have an intriguing matchup between two of the titans of World Cup soccer. Messi vs. the machine. This game has all the makings of a classic. At the least, it should be vastly superior to Germany’s last match.

Of note: Germany has won it all three times, Argentina twice. The two teams have met in the final twice before, splitting the two matches. No South American team has ever won a cup final on European soil and no European team has ever won the cup when the tournament took place in South America. Point to Argentina.

World Cup 2014 – Semi-finals

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd after all that …

After all the hype and build up, 7-1? Congratulations to Germany but damn, that was disgusting. There really isn’t anything else to discuss, other than hoping tomorrow’s game is markedly superior.

 

World Cup 2014 – Round of 16

Can Columbia and Costa Rica continue to crash the party?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe round of sixteen concluded with many of the usual suspects surviving, but all the matches were close and no truly superior team emerged. This makes me wonder, can Columbia and Costa Rica continue their magnificent runs.

Columbia will be up against an old rival, even though these two squads will present fresh faces to a traditional rivalry. Brazil will have the home crowd, but will that be enough to overcome the potent scoring machine they will be facing? The hosts have shown an inability at times to score, only coming through in a penalty shootout against Chile. The Columbian defense has looked disorganized against lesser competition in this tournament but survived. They will have to improve to have any chance of advancing.

Costa Rica has been a surprise, but not undeserving of where they find themselves. They have the talent, it just seems to have matured so quickly, before our viewing eyes, in Brazil. And the Netherlands themselves have seemed unbeatable at times and then very beatable at other times, trailing Australia in the group stage and requiring two late goals to best Mexico. It will likely be a game of mistakes and opportunities. Whichever side cashes in efficiently on those opportunities will advance.

Argentina vs. Belgium, or should I say, Messi vs. Hazard, will be fun to watch. France vs. Germany is a blue chip matchup that is nearly guaranteed to entertain.

Of note: Five of the eight matches in the Round of Sixteen went to extra time to decide the victor. Two of those went through the extra period without a score and required a penalty shootout. Parody has arrived at the World Cup.