August 19, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Northwest Wanderings: Skate Like a Girl

Posted by Colin Diltz


Sima Safavi-Bayat, teaching a skateboard class, gives a helping hand to beginner Gideon Reynolds, breaking his fall. The free class is run by the Skate Like A Girl organization.

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You have to earn your Shoe Goo, that substance used to mend skateboarders' sneakers worn by pavement and persistence.

The sport, started as a dry-land replacement to surfing in empty swimming pools and on sidewalks in Southern California, now has well-crafted, publicly built parks.

Skate Like A Girl runs classes and camps. Sima Safavi-Bayat, 18, teaching a coed class for 4-to-12-year-olds at Seattle Center, says there are life lessons in skateboarding. "You fall and get up again and fall again until a move is mastered. That builds confidence, self-esteem, and you can apply that to the rest of a life."

While Gina Lee leads another class for beginners, Aly Richards, 25, is at the park to attack a "tre flip" more than a dozen times until she nails it.

It's one of the hardest moves -- building speed, jumping, flipping the board 360 degrees and landing on it smoothly, continuing on.

She high-fives Jenn Keim, 14, who just started this summer and is working on her balance.

Skilled skater Brian VanWagenen, 17, watching a class, provides running commentary and encouragement. "We crash and we gnar it out. We're not sitting there like a potato on a couch. We're going for it. It's better than video games."


Gina Lee, right, with Skate Like A Girl, leads a beginning class at Seattle Center. Her students are Olivia Pergament, left, and Jenn Keim.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

August 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Returning the first 747 to its glory

Posted by Colin Diltz


A new Boeing 747 takes off from Boeing Field recently and is seen near the tail of the 45 year-old historic Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, sitting at the Museum of Flight's Airpark. The first 747, named, The City of Everett, is getting an interior and exterior makeover.

A 45-year-old historic Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, sitting at the Museum of Flight's Airpark, is getting an interior and exterior makeover. The interior work, being done by a group of volunteers, was started in November 2012. Workers also have finished painting the tail section and will continue with the fuselage this week.

The aircraft will remain on display at the Museum Airpark during the painting. The jetliner was the first 747 ever built -- serial number 001. It represented a milestone in aviation design and helped revolutionize commercial air travel in the 1970s. Its maiden flight was on Feb. 9, 1969, over Western Washington.

Donations to help with the project can be made to the Museum of Flight. To learn more, go to here.


Volunteer Tom Olsson, works to remove a 747 cockpit escape-hatch door handle that he suspects is the cause of a water leak. Olsson will fix the handle seal and the hatch will be reinstalled.

Continue reading this post ...

August 17, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Raft Up at Vashon Island

Posted by Colin Diltz


Beulah Ellison-Taylor, bottom right, 7, shields her eyes as she looks up at a drone taking a group photo as Cara Aguilera holds onto her kayak during a world record attempt for most kayaks and canoes rafted up, or held together, at Raft Up at Jensen Point on the waters of Quartermaster Harbor at Vashon Island on Aug. 17, 2014. While the unofficial count was only at about 300 boats, "people had a lot of fun," said Kathleen Barry Johnson, Executive Director at Vashon Youth & Family Services, the organization the event raised money for. Sutton's Bay, Mich. holds the current record at 2,099 boats set in 2013.


Colleen Carette, left, looks down at Puppet, a miniature American Eskimo mix, as wife Sue Carette tries to get his attention as they paddle back to shore after a world record attempt.


Todd and Teresa Silver of Tacoma, who own a home on Vashon Island, start to paddle their kayaks into the water before a world record attempt.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

August 16, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Viking Days

Posted by Lindsey Wasson


Wielding a 10th century Viking sword replica and wearing 45-pound chainmail, 7-year-old Henry Durand of Hood River, Ore. yells a battle cry as he's encouraged by volunteer Eugene Ulrich, of Longship Trade Goods, during the 31st Annual Viking Days weekend at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. The festival offers live music, food and craft vendors, and a Viking Encampment with weapons, weaving, bread making, games and fight demonstrations. Viking Days continues on Sunday. .

For more photos, visit the gallery.

August 16, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Memorial for Jenise Wright

Posted by Marcus Yam


Denise Wright, left, leans on her mother, Josephine Almojera, for support as she takes a moment to compose herself during the memorial service for her daughter, Jenise Wright, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Silverdale, on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.


James Wright, father of Jenise Wright, greets community members attending the memorial service for his daughter at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Silverdale, on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.


A room full of photographs, flowers, stuffed animals and cards serve as a tribute room for Jenise Wright, where community members gather to watch a video tribute comprised of home videos of Jenise Wright, after Wright's memorial service, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Silverdale, on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.


Community members leave messages on a large banner after Wright's memorial service, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Silverdale, on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.

August 15, 2014 at 6:49 PM

13th annual Seattle Tattoo Expo

Posted by Colin Diltz


Andy Chambers, of Virginia Beach, gets a large back tattoo of a three eyed dragon done by Jeff Gogue, a featured artist of Rockstar's Inked Up World Tour, during the 13th annual Seattle Tattoo Expo at Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center on Aug. 15, 2014. The tattoo will take about 60-80 hours to complete. The Expo, which draws ink enthusiasts and artists from all over the country, continues Saturday from 12 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 8 p.m.


Amber Lavigne of Caddell's Laser and Electrolysis Clinic, which does tattoo removal and lightening, stands for a portrait in front of her booth.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

August 15, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Seattle Hempfest 2014

Posted by Colin Diltz


Ray Chico, wearing a gas mask attached to a bong from House of Smoke in Vancouver, Wa., takes a hit from the mask being lit by his friend Andy Anderson on the first day of Hempfest on Aug. 15, 2014. The festival runs until Sunday.


Hempfest spans three waterfront parks, Centennial Park, Myrtle Edwards and Olympic Sculpture Park.

August 15, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Winning reader photos of Washington’s national parks

Posted by Kristin Jackson

Ian Phelps

Meadow and “The Mountain:” This photo of Mount Rainier and a meadow bursting with wildflowers is the winner of our NWTraveler national-parks reader photo contest. Ian Phelps, a Seattle scientist and avid outdoorsman, shot the picture at Mazama Ridge in Mount Rainier National Park.



Want advice on what to see, where to stay, where to hike, in Washington's national parks? Brian Cantwell and Kristin Jackson, the travel and outdoors editors/writers for The Seattle Times, answered reader questions about Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades national parks on Tuesday, Aug. 19. See what they suggested in a chat rewind. Missed the chat and still want to ask a question? Email

We asked for your photos.

You really delivered.

Seattle Times readers submitted about 450 photos for NWTraveler’s national parks of Washington reader-photo contest. The contest accompanied our recently concluded series of articles on Washington’s “big three” national parks: Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades national parks.

Your most popular photo subject? The iconic, beloved Mount Rainier.

The winner of the contest? A photo by University of Washington research scientist Ian Phelps, of a meadow in Mount Rainier National Park brimming with wildflowers with “The Mountain” rising majestically above.

Submissions came from all over Washington state and from all sorts of people, from a high-school girl to retirees, from avid hikers and climbers to those who simply love to take an easygoing walk or scenic drive and revel in the parks’ wild beauty of peaks and forests, beaches and waterfalls.

Along with the winning photo, we’re publishing seven runners-up here (see all the reader photos online at

Phelps, whose shot of Mount Rainier wins him the prize of a $250 REI gift card, spends his days researching human-brain development in a UW lab. But on weekends and vacations, “really any chance I get,” he gets outside to backpack or take day hikes.

The 30-year-old Phelps has the passion for mountains of someone who once was a flat-lander. Originally from Wisconsin, Phelps moved to Seattle six years ago: “The access to mountains and ocean, that’s what drew me here. ”

Phelps loves taking wilderness shots. He lugs a high-quality digital SLR camera (first a Canon, now a Nikon), various lenses and a tripod along on his hikes. “But for quick shots on the trail,” said Phelps, “I just pull out my phone.”

To get this picture, Phelps hiked with his high-quality, and heavier, camera gear to Mazama Ridge above Mount Rainier’s Paradise visitor area. He set out before sunrise to be there for the best early-morning light. And it paid off with this winning photo.


The beauty of Mount Rainier National Park is perfectly documented in this photograph by Ian Phelps.

One quality of a great photograph is when the photographer is able to bring the viewer into the situation he or she is documenting.

Looking at this photo, I feel like I’m taking a breath of fresh air while sitting in a field of beautifully colored wildflowers as the soft light hits my face. That light highlighting the flowers and Mount Rainier is stunning. And the lenticular cloud is a wonderful surprise to top it all off.

These qualities made this divine photo stand out above the hundreds of photos that were submitted for our reader-photo contest.

Katie G. Cotterill, Seattle Times photo staff


Gary Marshall

Sunset silhouette: High up in North Cascades National Park, Gary Marshall took this photo of hikers above Cascade Pass. Marshall, a veterinarian on Mercer Island, and his family head for the hills and the national parks whenever they can. So far this summer they’ve visited Alaska’s Denali National Park and taken a road trip to Arches and Canyonland national parks in Utah. For this North Cascades photo, taken after a long, steep hike to the foot of a glacier at 7,200 feet, Marshall said “I grabbed this final image with my iPhone as the hikers behind me turned on their headlamps for the descent down in the dark. A very long, very magical day.”

Jim Wohlhueter

A flag on high: Volunteers raise the flag at the Mount Fremont Lookout in Mount Rainier National Park. Jim Wohlhueter of Bonney Lake took this photo on a hike near the Sunrise area. “I’ve hiked about 75 percent of its trail system,” says Wohlhueter, who has time to hit the trails and practice his photography now that he’s retired. He travels to national parks around the West, but always comes back to Rainier. “I love Mount Rainier. ... I can’t help myself. I take multiple pictures of it every time I see it.”

Claire Lunzer

Water world: On a backpacking trip with family members in Olympic National Park, high-school student Claire Lunzer paused to take this photo of Heather Creek. “I love all things nature,” said the 16-year-old Bainbridge Island high-school student. “Especially hiking with my brother.”

Ann Hillebrand

Beauty in the details: Amid the grand seascapes of a wilderness beach at Olympic National Park, Ann Hillebrand found beauty at her feet. Walking along Rialto Beach, “sometimes it’s interesting to look down and see what the ocean washes ashore and how it all gets arranged,” said Hillebrand, who lives in Kent and takes road trips to national parks around the West.

Matt Lemke

Down deep: For a climbing course, Matt Lemke was lowered about 75 feet into a crevasse at Emmons Glacier in Mount Rainier National Park. While practicing crevasse rescue skills, Lemke took this photo of another student dangling amid walls of ice. A recent graduate in geological engineering, Renton native Lemke now works in Wyoming and climbs and hikes whenever he can.

Diane Hebner

Grazing deer: Diane Hebner was hiking at Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge and "I came across this beautiful three-point blacktail deer." Hebner, who lives on Bainbridge and is celebrating her 60th birthday on a mountaintop, plans on "enjoying a few more decades hiking the glorious Olympic trails!"

Miles Morgan

In the cave: Miles Morgan shimmied on his belly into this small ice cave at Mount Rainier National Park. “It was a really tight squeeze,” said Morgan, and freezing and damp, with lines of melting water flowing from the cave’s ceiling. A pilot for United Airlines, Morgan spends his time on the ground out in the wilds photographing — including in uncomfortable places such as this ice cave above Rainier’s Paradise visitor area. (And, yes, you should be very cautious about entering ice caves as they can collapse.)

See all the reader-photo submissions at

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