Friday, October 30, 2020

October 2020 Books I read

American Serengeti by Dan Flores (library) basically a look at the Great Plains of North America and the animals that used to be there to today. 
A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin (library) His first book and a really good mystery thriller
All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson (library) great thriller, I am working my way through all his books right now
Dead Wake by Eric Larson (audiobook) The story of the Lusitania, very good and I learned a lot.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (library) creepy, very Lolita-esque told from the point of view of the girl. 
Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish Growing up on an Iowa farm during the Great Depression. Wonderful stories
Flyover Lives by Diane Johnson memoir about growing up in Illinois and "escaping" to travel the world but coming to terms with her mid-western roots. 
The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendell psychological murder mystery. I always enjoy Ruth Rendell. 
Deep End by Geoffrey Norman The last of the Morgan Hunt mysteries. I did enjoy these Florida books by Norman
Murder on the Air by Ric Meyers A look at TV detectives from Martin Kane, Private Eye to Magnum, PI  Lots of behind the scenes info about some of my favorite TV series from Ellery Queen to Columbo to Murder She Wrote. If you are a TV detective fan, this is a fun book.  He has another one called TV Detectives that I am on the hunt for now too. 
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane by Laird Koenig How many remember the movie with Jodie Foster? Nice and creepy for Halloween. And you know the book is always best. 
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (library) almost like a fairy tale, set in the Alaskan outback during winter. I really liked it's otherworldly atmosphere
One Across, Two Down by Ruth Rendell (library) classic Ruth Rendell always enjoyable mystery
Firefly Cloak by Sheri Reynolds  dysfunctional family drama dealing with death and abandonment. 
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith (library) rereading again after many years. So good
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel (library) a bit disjointed and confusing. I would just rate it a so/so
The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair (library) I think I am going to have to buy this book. It really is one of my favorites that I have read this year. It tells the story of colors from optics and light to artist palettes and pigments. 
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (library) maybe because of the title, but I went into this expecting the over the top drama that you see on Mexican soaps and that is what I got from it. It was good, very soapy in my opinion
Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking by Erica C. Bartnett (library) memoir of an alcoholic who quits then relapses, quits again and relapses again etc etc. How the AA, 28 days detox strategy does not work for everyone. Every addict is different. 
Coma by Robin Cook (library) recently watched the movie, so rereading a classic! 
Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson (library) The entire time I was reading this, I felt like I had read it before. It has some similarities with other thrillers I have read for sure. 
The Searcher by Tana French (library) I really enjoyed it.  An ex Chicago cop retires to a quiet Irish village and gets involved in a Missing Persons case.  Lots of really quaint Irish atmosphere. Makes me want to go retire there. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Vintage

I really like these old images of the beach ---Fisherman and Seagrass

A reminder to folks who are fans of my postcard posts. Coming in 2021, I will be highlighting the cards that you guys send to me. So send me a postcard! And you will see it on the blog in 2021.  Amanda Arkebauer PO Box 16131 Seattle, WA  98116

Monday, October 19, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Newell's

Newell's was a variety store built in 1946. Wings currently occupies the old Newell's location. When we lived at the beach in 1970, we would walk to Newell's after dinner and get an ice cream. 

A reminder to folks who are fans of my postcard posts. Coming in 2021, I will be highlighting the cards that you guys send to me. I need at least 52, because I post once a week.  So send me a postcard! And you will see it on the blog in 2021.  Amanda Arkebauer PO Box 16131 Seattle, WA  98116

Monday, October 12, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Surf bathing thru the years

postmarked 1943

Just evidence at how popular Wrightsville Beach has always been...crowded in 1943, crowded in the 1960's and crowded today!

Monday, October 05, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Present Day

Two modern day postcards of Wrightsville Beach

Robert's Market first opened in 1919 and is still there today 

The Johnnie Mercer Pier was named in 1942 after it's new owner, previously it was the Ocean View Pier and the Atlantic View Pier.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September 2020 Books I read

At Half Price Books Redmond, WA

A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan Set just after Civil War out west, a plague hits a small town and they must quarantine. Creepy and unsettling --especially in light of what is happening around us today. 
Homefront by Kristin Hannah (audiobook) I am not a huge fan of Kristin Hannah and this audiobook did not change my mind. Great subject matter of a mom who goes away during the gulf war and returns home changed by the experience and how it impacts her family. So if you like her, you will enjoy this one. I prefer Jodi Picoult or Elizabeth Berg for this genre. 
Cry Hard, Cry Fast by John D. MacDonald the lives of several people as they hurtle towards an accident on a highway. 
Window on the Square by Phyllis A. Whitney Gothic Noir type set just after Civil War in NYC
Gringos in Paradise by Barry Golson about an American couple who builds a home in Mexico
Bats Sing, Mice Giggle by Karen Shanor and Jagmeet Kanwal  How animals create, build and entertain themselves, how they express grief, joy, fear etc. The scientific explanations for animal behavior. 
Fly Girls by Keith O'Brien The story of women competing in air races during the 1920's and 1930's. Good stuff!
Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett (library!!!!) my first library book since March! My local library is finally allowing curbside pick up of holds. Fun, I liked the Hollywood setting. The author used to write for Cold Case 
The Secretary by Renee Knight (library) One of those unreliable narrator type thrillers. 
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish (library) It was like Yentl crossed with People of the Book. I liked it. 
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews  guilty pleasure ---just enjoying a read from my youth
Flight Risk by Jennifer Fenn fictional story inspired by the true story of Colton Harris Moore who was known as the "Barefoot Bandit" and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in property, including several small aircraft, boats, and multiple cars.
The Double Bind by Christopher Bohjalian (audiobook) set in a world where The Great Gatsby is real. So that was the hook that got me to get this book but it was a little weird and I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. 
Murder Being Once Done by Ruth Rendell Wexford is supposed to take it easy and not exert himself, but he finds a mystery to solve anyway, while on holiday in London
$2.00 A Day by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer Poverty in America, this book was written in 2015 with research from decades prior. 
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman by the same guy who wrote A Man Called Ove, so super cute and poignant.
I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg another quaint southern tale by Flagg and eerily like A Man Called Ove in a way. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Johnnie Mercer Pier

In the 1940's Atlantic View Pier was bought by Johnnie Mercer and renamed. . In 1954, Hurricane Hazel  destroyed the pier and it was rebuilt. These postcards are from the Heydays of Johnnie Mercer pier from the 1950's....until 1996 when Hurricane Bertha caused extensive damage, in the same year, Hurricane Fran destroyed the pier. The pier has since been rebuilt as the first all-concrete fishing pier in North Carolina. Johnnie Mercer reopened in 2002 with reinforced concrete pylons.

A reminder to folks who are fans of my postcard posts. Coming in 2021, I will be highlighting the cards that you guys send to me. So send me a postcard! And you will see it on the blog in 2021.  Amanda Arkebauer PO Box 16131 Seattle, WA  98116

Monday, September 21, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Fishing Boats

Private fishing boats and charter boats were often moored at the Wynn Plaza in Wrightsville Beach near the Wings store on the causeway. Now Wynn Plaza serves as a public dock. These boats would often leave at midnight in order to be at the fishing areas by dawn. They would fish all day and return by sunset on the second day.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Enjoying the Beach

Examples of postcards from the 1950's and 1960's   I especially like the one on the bottom with the folks beaching their boat and enjoying a picnic. This is  something that we did a lot when I was a kid, but not at Wrightsville Beach. We would go to other islands along the intracoastal waterway that were not inhabited.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Solo Backpacking!

 So exciting! My first ever solo backpacking trip. I picked the Ozette Triangle. I had been wanting to do this hike for many years, so it had been on my bucket list. Ryan was finishing the PNT trail and it ends at Cape Alava which is part of the Ozette Triangle. Ryan would be hiking out from Cape Alava. So I could hike out and camp and meet up with him on his last day. So that became our plan. Back country hiking and backpacking in Olympic National Park requires permits and that was challenging. I was lucky to get permits to camp at Sandpoint and at Wedding Rocks along this Triangle route.  And I was also required to have a bear canister. We have a large canister, but of course Ryan would be using it. And you can borrow one from the National Park service, but it is also a large one and much more than I would need. In fact, a large bear canister just fills up my small 40 liter backpack. After much searching, I was able to find a small canister (for not too much money) that could be sent to me in time for my hike. 

The Start of the Trail

The Triangle begins 

Nice and Flat
You still have to watch your step

The hike out to Sandpoint was so nice and flat along boardwalks. They were not very slippery the day I hiked out, but I am told that when it is wet, they can be treacherous. It was only 3 miles out to the ocean and the campsites. I wish I had weighed my pack before I started out. I will say that I was carrying 4 liters of water and that was a lot of weight, just under 9 pounds in water. 
Purple Mushroom

I love these boardwalks

My first view of the Pacific! 

Found a site and set up the tent

Lunch break, note the bear canister

view from my campsite

checking out the tidepools

Lots of trash on the beach

Pretty driftwood
And even the trash can be picturesque 

The sun came out in the afternoon and it turned into a pretty day. It was busy (labor day weekend) and there were lots of families with children and many groups of people camping along the beach.  The ranger came through about 3pm and was checking permits and making sure people had bear canisters. The ranger said that a male juvenile bear had been sighted to the north of Sandpoint and a mom and cub to the south.  I was lucky to see the male later that day. This is the best way to see a bear from very very far away!! LOL

Can you see the bear?
Can you see the bear? I'll zoom in...

Maybe you see the bear now?

There he is!!

I put the rain fly up on my tent, mainly for warmth overnight as it was not supposed to rain. And I had a nice evening reading books and writing postcards. When I got up to pee in the middle of the night, I saw that I had a visitor on my rain fly. A slug! 


The next day, I only had 1 1/2 miles to hike down to Wedding Rocks where I would camp again. Hiking along the beach was challenging. I had to go around two headlands at low tide, so I got an early start to the day to make sure I hit low tide. There are overland routes, but they can be like rock climbing and I had no desire to attempt that with a pack! Walking through thick sand, smelly kelp, slippery rocks and through shifting beach logs was not fun. 

So many of these plastic floats on the beach

Bear Scat 

A dead sea lion

My hiking pole is there for scale

A collection of floats

Hole in the rock

At high tide, there is an alternate route

pretty driftwood

Wedding Rocks

Wedding Rocks is famous for having native american petroglyphs. I was excited to camp there, which would give me time to hunt for them. The campsites are just north of the rock outcropping.  So I set up camp and went back to hike around the rocks and try to see some petroglyphs. And this is when my camera died. So I have no photos of the rest of my trip.  The camping area was very crowded and I am sure that there were folks camped there illegally. No ranger came by to check.  Also campfires were prohibited and people had campfires on the beach. All in all, it was not a fun place to camp with loud neighbors.

My last day, I started out super early, mainly because I had not gotten a good nights sleep and I did not want to slow down Ryan if he caught up with me. I had 4 1/2 miles to hike today. Ryan would be hiking from a campsite called Yellow Rocks that was south of Sand Point and he had about 9 miles to hike. The section from Wedding Rocks to Cape Alava was the hardest of the beach walk for me. There are several large trees that jut out into the water and you have to hike around them on slippery, slimy rocks. It is very slow going. It was a shame that my camera had died because today was very clear with great weather. I came upon an illegal campfire that was still smoldering and I was able to throw more sand on it to make sure it was out. What is wrong with people? Once I arrived at Cape Alava, it was teeming with people. (labor day weekend) Lots of families and day hikers. There is a water source and there was actually a line of people to get water from the creek. 

The boardwalk from Cape Alava back to the Ozette Ranger Station (and parking lot) was lots of up and down. Stairs and more stairs. It was definitely more arduous than the Sandpoint section. I got back to the car and was so happy to take off my hiking boots. I even drifted off to sleep as I waited for Ryan to catch up to me. He arrived only an hour behind me and we headed home together. 

Monday, September 07, 2020

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

August 2020 Books I read

Field of Prey by John Sandford (audiobook) Serial Killer really creepy. But fun to listen to while driving back and forth to trailheads this month! 
Blue Chipper by Geoffrey Norman Really good mystery about Basketball and Extortion in the Panhandle of Florida
Painted Doll by Jonelle Patrick Another of my Japanese set mysteries, I have really enjoyed these, I think I have one more to read by this author.
Haunted by Randy Wayne White I quite enjoyed this mystery - lots of great Florida atmosphere
Boston Noir Edited by Dennis Lehane short stories set in Boston that have a noir bent. I love this stuff, so it was quite fun to read, I have more of these collections from cities all over the USA
Ninety-two in the Shade by Thomas McGuane I thought I was gonna enjoy the Florida Keys setting, but I got hung up on the purple prose and didn't really enjoy it so much. 
Hide by Lisa Gardner (audiobook) A woman who grows up in a family on the run, always moving, changing identities. She finally finds out why after her parents are dead and she is the target of a serial killer. 
Housekeeping VS The Dirt by Nick Hornby A collection of articles that Hornby wrote for a literary magazine about the books he read. I really enjoyed it and it gave me a huge list of books to read!!
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson loved it, good thriller with lots of twists and turns. It was inspired by Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train. 
Clara's Grand Tour by Glynis Ridley a fun true story about a rhinoceros that toured Europe in the 1700's. It is really fascinating! 
The Big Both Ways by John Straley Set in the 1930's an adventure from Seattle to Alaska. I thought it was a fun and interesting read
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (audiobook) Fun to listen to in the car driving all over the Olympic Peninsula this month for hike-a-thon and doing Trail Support for Ryan's PNT hike. 
Starstruck The Business of Celebrity by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett an interesting non-fiction look at what celebrity is and how it has evolved in this time of internet and social media
A Study in Sherlock edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger Sherlock themed short stories by authors from Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce) to Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd (usually WWI and WWII writers!) If you are a Sherlock fan, you really need to read these. 
The Crossing by Michael Connelly (audiobook) I often get bored of the Michael Connelly books, but I enjoyed this one to listen to....and I picked up another one at a Goodwill. (I never pay full price for audiobooks. I always get them from Thrift stores or Used bookstores --or the library)
The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames.  Very enjoyable family saga

You  can tell how much time I spent in my car this month! Lots of audiobooks listened to driving through the North Cascades and Olympic National Parks and Whidbey Island 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Bradley Creek Marina

I spent a large portion of my childhood hanging out at this marina! We always stopped here to gas up our boats and we also had a lot of work done on our boats at this marina.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Last Week of Hike a thon 2020

 It was a busy week the last week of Hike-a-thon. I was doing trail magic for Ryan on his Pacific Northwest Trail hike over on the Olympic Peninsula, but I was able to take some time for myself and get in 2 miles at the Fort Townsend State park on the Bluff Trail, the Historical Walk and the Trillium Trail. 

Terrific information on the Historical Walk

Bit of a view

Trails were empty (Good during Covid times)

I also did 2 miles at Mount Walker. I did it the easy way and hiked the 2 miles down hill from the viewpoint at the top to the trailhead at the bottom. 

No views at the north viewpoint this morning!

But the trails were sunny

Downhill all the way

A splash of color

I have a total of 17 miles this year, but stay tuned, I am doing my first ever solo back-packing trip 3 days and 2 nights September 5-7 and I will be blogging about it 

Thank you to my donors this week:  Anonymous, Alisa and Tom

If you want to make a last minute donation, you will have to do it online for it to count. Anything mailed now will not get here in time.  I just need 10 more donations of 10 dollars to meet my goal. 
You can click on this link to go to my WTA fundraiser page to make that donation!