A Quiet Morning in the Delta

Christmas took some…unexpected…twists and turns this year.  We were supposed to go to visit the husband’s family in Idaho.  The fact that there is a pass (Snoqualmie) between us and them proved problematic this year. Last year the mountains of Washington got very little snow.  I mean almost none.  Like, scary small amounts of snow.  At the end of the summer Mt. Rainier looked like a large rock.  But, on December 17, 2015 it started snowing like a banshee.

Within 7 short days, Snoqualmie Pass received 110 inches of snow.  You read right:  110 inches.  Great for our mountains. Not so great for those of us trying to travel.  I began obsessively watching the Washington Dept of Transportation mountain pass webcams about the time that it started snowing. Probably not the wisest thing for a coastal kid to do.  I mean, I freak out if I wake up to a skiff and have to drive to work.  Watching it snow day after day after day?  And the pass close for avalanche control, reopen, close due to spin outs and collisions, reopen?  Bad news.

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

On Wednesday evening, around 5 pm, the pass closed again due to extraordinarily dangerous conditions.  We made the very difficult call to stay home for Christmas.  Turns out that was the right call, as the pass didn’t reopen until 7 pm Christmas Eve.

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

So, we made the best of it.  Which wasn’t half bad.  There is a certain draw to being home for Christmas (though we definitely missed the ID family and the events we had planned with them).  We went to Christmas Eve service, then came home and had a wonderful meal (I have to pat myself on the back for tossing it together in less than 24 hours).  On Christmas morning we sat next to our big, beautiful tree and enjoyed exchanging gifts and laughing at the cat.  I made baked eggnog donuts for breakfast, and afterwards we bundled up and headed out to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge for a walk.

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

It was cold, but not windy.  And, at 9:30 on Christmas morning we pretty much had the Refuge to ourselves.  The tide was out, much to the husband’s chagrin.  He calls it a “desolate wasteland” when the tide is out, leaving mudflats as far as the eye can see.  I tell him he’s missing the beauty that’s present no matter the tide level.

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

I had the 70-200 lens on the camera and am not real happy with the results.  Seems like I had some issues with clarity. Not sure if I didn’t have the shutter speed high enough or was just off my game.  Oh, well, I’ll try not to dwell on it too much.  Still learning.

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

By the time we headed back on the boardwalk there were more people out-and-about.  Quite a few families, which was nice to see.  It was a great way to spend a couple of hours before coming home, cleaning up and joining my Aunt, Uncle and cousins for prime rib Christmas dinner.

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
Two bald eagles, way in the distance. I did the best I could. 🙂

Christmas may have not turned out how we initially expected, but it was still very nice.  We were with each other…which is what’s most important.

Now, who’s going to clean up the house and take down the tree and the decorations for me?  Any takers?  Anyone?

A Quiet Morning on the Delta, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

12 thoughts on “A Quiet Morning in the Delta

  1. What a lovely, heartwarming read. As a city dweller it’s wonderful to hear about your experience and see your pictures. I also really enjoy your description of the craft of photography. As long as we learn we will make mistakes. Happy New Year!

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  2. if you find someone, send them to my house next to clean up. It’s amazing how in one day, the decorations go from bringing me a smile and warm feelings, to provoking a groan and a phantom pain in my back! I love the pics. The bird tracks in the sand is especially cool!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! I love it when I notice things like the bird tracks. My husband told me yesterday that half the time he doesn’t know what I’m taking a picture of until he sees the photo later. 🙂 If I find someone I’ll send them over….

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    1. Yup…we started occasionally staying home on Christmas a few years ago. We realized that even sans children it was important to establish some traditions at home for ourselves. We just got to practice them unexpectedly this year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry you couldn’t get over the mountain pass to Idaho, what a disappointment. At the same time, considering there was a 50/50 chance you could’ve spent Christmas Day shivering in the backseat with hubby trying to stay warm while WSDOT cleared the highway of a twenty-car pileup I’m almost relieved the situation was basically taken out of your hands. I’ve been hearing a lot of Snoqualmie Pass driving horror stories from my neighbor (his family has a cabin on the other side of the mountains and they go over there a lot).

    I saw your Big Creek trip report on WTA……. looks like you got some very cool longer exposures!

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    1. Thanks, Jason. I think there were a lot of people spending a lot of time in cars on the pass in the days leading up to Christmas and I’m sure glad we weren’t one of them. Yup, got some great long exposure with my brand new HD filter that Santa brought me. Whatta guy! I’ll be sharing a post about the hike and the filter within the next few days.

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