Friday, November 9, 2018

Salish Sea: The Wonders of the Past

The Salish Sea has one of the most diverse marine ecosystem and rich cultural history. Named after the first people who inhabited the area called the Coast Salish; the Salish Sea has one of the largest inland seas. Measuring about 7,470 km with 419 islands, the total sea surface has outstanding 16,925 square kilometers. At its deepest, Salish Sea can go as far as 650 meters and that has a biodiversity of 253 species of fish, 172 species of birds, and 37 species of mammals. 

Its territory stretches along the coastlines of Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington, Seattle, Strait of Georgia in British Columbia, and Vancouver. Because the Salish Sea borders the US and Canada, it has a spectacular beauty to boasts while providing economic growth for the two countries. Its waterways provide a convenient way to connect communities, century-old trades resulted in the very urbanized communities along the Salish Sea. 


Early Settlers of Salish Sea 

More than two hundred thousand Native people inhabited the banks of the Salish Sea even before the Americans and Canadians came. They had created a very intricate and close-knit relationship of other tribes that spanned in its waterways. Because of its geographical location, salmon and other animals became their main source of food as well as the different variety of plants that are endemic in the region. 

As the fur traders began coming in from other parts of the country, the communities surrounding the Salish Sea started to change. Its people suffered great loss because some kind of epidemic plagued the area. In the journal of the British mariner George Vancouver, he described his expedition during his 1792 voyage as haunting. He and his men found several abandoned tribes covered with what clearly looked like human skeletal remains. Thousands of Native people died from the disease but there are several hundred more that survived and thrived in its waterways. 

More and more people began arriving along the waterways of the Salish Sea as it promised opportunities for everyone. As the sea yields an abundant harvest of fish, its lands are great for cultivating. Not long after, thousands of fur traders settled in the area around the early 1800s, the Natives experience limited access to their fishing spots. It was then followed by commercial salmon fishing during the late 1890s. Large-scale companies began mass-producing salmon in cans which are both impressive for the economy and destructive for the environment. 

Because of the severe damage and pollution in the Salish Sea, the US and Canada signed a salmon conservation treaty in 1930. Experts claimed that the destruction and overfishing were so severe that it resulted for the salmon to be listed under endangered species in the 20th century. 

Today, more than 7 million people live in the coastlines of the Salish Sea, enjoying the amazing view and spectacular natural resources of this body of water. It’s even home to some of the world’s most powerful business including Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing. 



Friday, November 2, 2018

What You Need to Know about Puget Island

According to history, the British explorer, Lieutenant Broughton was the first ever white man to laid eyes on the Puget Island, after Lieutenant Peter Puget. More than a decade after the discovery, Lewis and Clark named it as Sturgeon Island and Sea Otter Island. But the first settlers on the island are the Norwegians Johanes and Frances Ostervold who came to Puget Island to farm and fish, which it was famous for being “Little Norway”. 

When the first road opened in 1925, it connected two important ports and ferries, Westport and Cathlamet. Measuring about 3 miles wide and 7 miles long, it houses about 800 residents as per 2000 US census report. The island is teeming with natural resources, with reserves, and great fishing spots. But there are more to it than that; here are some of the best places to visit in Puget Island. 

Wahkiakum County Ferry 

Your trip would not be completed until you set foot to its famous passenger ferry. Considered as the last operating toll passenger ferry on the Lower Columbia River, it has one of the most beautiful routes drive loop. Operating for every day of the week, it leaves Puget Island going to Westport and vice versa. As waters in the island are pretty much calm, your kids will surely love a change of scenery for a change. 

Jasper’s Store 

Established in 1919, Jasper’s Store is like an icon in Puget Island, it was built as an apartment in the back with a boarding house on its second floor. Many considered it as a heritage site, where you can still glimpse how the residents built their houses to accommodate their lifestyle back in the days. It’s a perfect place to stretch those legs after a quick trip with the ferry as its located next to the ferry landing. 

Sons of Norway Helgeland Lodge 

Located at 444 State Route 4, this lodge is another great place to visit in Puget Island. As Norwegians were the first settlers in the island, they built the place as their center to meet and mingle with each other, with a lot of throws with their cultural dance. When the early settlers finally had their own lives, they formed the Sons of Norway Helgeland Lodge where they built the Norse Hall in 1937. Up till now, they celebrate festivities here especially their Scandinavian events. The lodge also serves as a popular venue for weddings, reunions, and other family gatherings. 

Two Islands Farm Market 

But before leaving the island don’t forget to drop by at their Two Islands Farm Market. It’s a great way to know more about the locals and their produce. Founded in 2006, this farmer’s market provided locals a way to expand and cater their best local produce. Who knows you might find one of a kind souvenir back home.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Lake Washington: A Must-Visit Place

Located in the most populous county in the state of Washington, Lake Washington has gained its popularity for being the largest narrow and finger-like lake in King County as well as the second largest natural lake in the state of Washington. Its main inflow to the system comes from the southeast corner of the lake from the Cedar River, which is also the city of Seattle’s main source of drinking water. 

Additionally, in the northeast corner of the lake, another inflow to the lake comes from the Sammamish River, which contributes around 27 percent of the inflow. Other bodies of water which contributes minor inflow to the lake are Juanita Creek, Thornton Creek, Kelsey Creek, May Creek, as well as Lyon Creek. Being 20 miles long with a surface area of 22,138 miles, Lake Washington has over 50 miles of shoreline at an elevation of 22 miles. A large island and city fund in the southern part of the lake, Mercer Island, has an added 30 miles of shoreline. 


Furthermore, on the west side of the lake, the city of Seattle borders Lake Washington with an estimated 20.1 miles of shoreline within the city limits— an approximate 11 miles of this public land is managed by Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. With the lake being the most shallow at its north and south ends, its mean depth is 108 feet while its maximum depth is 214 feet. In addition to this, the lake also has a mean width of 1.5 miles, draining to Puget Sound through Seattle through the 8.6-mile long artificial waterway, the Lake Washington Ship Canal. 

For those into fishing, the lake provides sport fishing opportunities with fishes like Coastal Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, and Yellow Perch. Its undeniable beauty and abundant space make locals and visitors admire the lake; people also beat the boredom by doing numerous activities in this place. Activities include going to see the airplane crafts and space vehicles in the Museum of Flight, enjoying the rare trees, plants, and wildlife in the Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens, spending time with family at the Magnuson Park, or getting some exercise by cycling, running, or walking at the Burke-Gilman Trail. 

However, there is a long history that occurred before Lake Washington became the lake it is today. Before it was the Lake Washington, the lake had multiple of names which included the Duwamish name, Xacuabs, Lake Geneva, the Chinook Jargon name, Hyas Chuck (Big Lake), and Lake Duwamish. The lake received its name in the year of 1854 from Thomas Mercer’s suggestion of naming the lake after George Washington, as the new Washington Territory was named in 1853. Around the beginning of the 20th century, the city of Seattle began releasing sewage into the lake and during the 40s and 50s, at a rate of 20 million gallons per day, eleven sewage treatment plants were sending state-of-the-art treated water into the lake. 

Concurrently, phosphate-based detergents became discharged to the lake. Unfortunately, the lake responded negatively to the mass amount of nutrient input by developing unpleasant blooms of harmful blue-green algae. The worries of citizens led to the formation of a system which diverted the treatment-plant sewage into nearby Puget Sound, where tidal flushing causes them to mix with open-ocean water. The year of 1968 was the year the diversion came to an end after the lake responded quickly to it; algae bloom diminished and the water became clear. Fast forward to present day, the lake has become twice as clear as it was before and have been attracting many visitors. 





Friday, October 19, 2018

Why Malibu Should Be Your Next Destination

The well-known beach city located 30 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles, California, Malibu, is popular for its celebrity oceanfront homes under an elegant veil of privacy on long strands of beach and beaches, which includes wide and sandy Zuma Beach. Due to being the perfect place for surfing and watching unforgettably beautiful sunsets as well as sunrises, this has become a local and tourist favorite. Furthermore, this beach city is also known for its admirable Mediterranean climate, therefore, a perfect spot for a vacation or a weekend getaway. 

On its east side, the Malibu Lagoon State Beach, or also known as Surfrider Beach, can be found and is known for its waves. On another side, the Spanish Revival-style Adamson House can also be located and in its Malibu Lagoon Museum, local history is displayed. Although it may be extremely difficult to drag yourself away from the ocean and beaches, it may be worth it for the hills and canyons you can hike in the inland. 


Inland, trails can be seen weaving through canyons, waterfalls, as well as grasslands in the Santa Monica Mountains. Additionally, The Getty Villa, which is the original home of the Getty Museum opened in the year of 1974, can be found beyond the beach. In this place, you will be able to witness Ancient Greek and Roman Art for free. After a long day surfing, swimming, hiking, shopping, or going to tourist spots, you may want to stop over at an organic cafe and restaurant which sits on the pier named Malibu Farms. 

With its fresh catches, many have raved about their delicious food, especially the ahi tuna burgers. Love wine and a hike? Why not take a two-hour in-depth tour on the rolling terrain of Saddlerock Ranch vineyard at the Malibu Wine Hikes. These are just a few of the many activities and cool places to see in Malibu. 

Many admire its beauty however, not many know about how this famous beach city in Los Angeles was formed throughout the years. Similar to the history of most parts of the United States, Malibu was first settled by Native Americans— specifically the Chumash, who were known to have survived the diseases brought by European explorers and settlers. The Chumash’s territory extended loosely starting from the San Joaquin Valley to the San Luis Obispo in Malibu in addition to a few lands off the southern coast of California. 

The group named it “Humaliwo,” which translates to “the surf sounds loud.” Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Spanish explorer, is believed to have moored at Malibu Lagoon in order to acquire fresh water in the year of 1542. Afterward, the Spanish decided to return with the California mission system as the area was part of Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit in the year of 1802. This ranch was 13,000 acres and passed intact to Frederick Hastings Rindge in the year of 1891. Rindge along with his widow, May K. Rindge who both lived in the now well-known Adamson House, protected their privacy with great energy by hiring guards to kill all trespassers and fighting a long court battle to stop the building of a Southern Pacific railroad line through the ranch. Rindge built his own rail line in their property through thwart Southern Pacific and even after his death, his widow continued the work. 

In the year 1929, the state of California won the rights to build Pacific Coast Highway, which became the primary route to Malibu, until the present days. During this year, Malibu Colony became one of the first enclaves of homes within Malibu; May Rindge would decide which Hollywood stars she would allow building vacation homes in the place, which included Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin. During the 21st century, Malibu Colony has become a gated community and a place where many dreams to live




Monday, October 15, 2018

The Wonders of Huntington Beach

Located at a seaside city within Orange County in Southern California, Huntington Beach is well known for its beaches such as the Huntington City Beach, picturesque scenery, and excellent surfing. Given the nickname “Surf City”, around 200,652 people have decided to call this place their home as of the year of 2016. This city also has the International Surfing Museum which displays longboards and other memorabilia as well as the Sprawling Huntington Park where you are able to see gardens and lakes, fields, and an equestrian center. 

If you’d like to see wetlands and dunes which features hundreds of bird species, then Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is where you should head. You will never get bored in this city as there are an overwhelming amount of activities and places to go— this includes visiting the beaches for surfing, swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, and also going to reserves, piers, parks, Downtown Huntington Beach, and tours to learn more about the city. 


Aside from its tourist spots and beauty, Huntington Beach also has a fascinating history. Before becoming the “Surf City” it is known as today, the area of this city was originally inhabited by the Tongva, or the Gabrielinos, who occupied the lands which stretched from the modern Topanga Canyon through Aliso Creek in Laguna Beach. Europeans first stepped foot in the land when Manuel Nieto, a Spanish soldier, received a land grant of 300,000 acres as a reward for his military service in the year of 1784— the land Nieto received was named Rancho Los Nietos by the soldier. 

The Stearns Rancho Company ran cattle and horses and raised barley crops on the modern city of Huntington Beach; a portion of his was eventually sold to Col. Robert Northam. By the year of 1889, the city was named Shell Beach and a small group of settlers filled the area. However, 12 years later in the year of 1901, the name was changed to Pacific City after P.A Stanton formed a local syndicate and bought 40 acres of land along the breach and an addition of 20 acres on each side of Main Street. The first mayor which Huntington Beach incorporated under was Ed Manning in 1909. During this time, Huntington Beach Company, which was a real-estate development firm owned by Henry Huntington, ran in the city and the city was named after this railroad magnate. 

The city remained as a sleepy seaside town however, this was changed when there was an oil boom in 1920; this became the initial growth of the city. As the wells sprang up overnight and in less than a month, the population of this city skyrocketed from 1,500 people to 5,000. Because of this oil boom, this became known as the largest California oil deposit known at the time. Fast forward to the late 1950s, and continuing to the 60’s and 70’s, more and more people began residing in the area and it became the fastest growing city in the continental U.S. Because of the sudden attention to Huntington Beach, oil production rigs were concealed in 1970s and 1980s to improve the beach’s image. Now in the 21st century, more and more people are deciding to reside in this city in addition to more tourists visiting. 



Friday, October 12, 2018

What to Know about Lake Tahoe?

A freshwater lake located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, bestriding the border of the states California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is famous for not only its beaches but also is ski resorts— the two significant and leading attractions of the area’s economy and reputation. Popular amongst tourist in both Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is home to multiple winter sports, summer outdoor recreation, and picturesque scenery that is enjoyable throughout the year. When in southwest shore, Emerald Bay State Park, containing the 1929 Nordic-style mansion Vikingsholm, can be found. 

Moreover, when in the lake’s northeast side, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park can be found with Sand Harbor Beach as well as Spooner Lake— a gateway to the long-distance Tahoe Rim Trail. The surface elevation for this lake is 1,897 m with an area of 496.2 km squared and a maximum depth of 1,645 ft. The secret to its astonishing blue color is its clean air and waters, which reflects the sky above it. However, not many bodies of waters can do this; the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe, in which objects can be seen to depths over 70 feet, absorbs red light, which leaves the rich blue color we see. 


Before anyone lived in the area, Lake Tahoe formed when the Sierra Nevada block was made by immense uplifting. The valley that eventually became the Tahoe basin descended between two parallel faults as the mountains on either side rose— water filled this and became the Lake Tahoe everyone loves and cherishes today. Despite having below freezing day and nights, the lake never manages to freeze due to its great depth and volume of water, which is always in motion and stops the lake from being frozen. 

The history of the lake dates all the way back to thousands of years ago when only Native American tribes occupied the area. Artifacts have confirmed the presence of the Washoe Tribe of Native Americans at Lake Tahoe over 10,000 years ago. During their inhabitation, Native Americans camped as well as hunted and fished for food. Their daily peaceful routines were disrupted in the year 1844 when General John C. Fremont’s exploration party “discovered” the lake. Following the years after the “discovery” of Lake Tahoe, the area became virtually ignored. However, this changed in 1859 when the Comstock Lode was discovered in Virginia City, Nevada and Lake Tahoe eventually became the center of a lively commerce, which involved the silver mines in the city of Virginia and the Central Pacific Railroad. 


This started the Comstock era which resulted in large-scale deforestation of the Tahoe Basin. Unfortunately, an estimate of 80 percent of the Basin’s forest was wiped out during this time, however, since then, public appreciation of Lake Tahoe along with its natural resources has grown. During the years of 1912, 1913, and 1918, congressional sessions as well as conservationists gave efforts to designate the Tahoe Basin as a national park but were not successful in their attempt. Fast forward to the 1940s and 1950s, a group of residents and visitors had concerns about the health of the region’s environment, which led to the formation of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. 

For over 60 years, they have been continuous with working with the public and lawmakers to do the best for the lake over the long term and persuade them to protect the public’s interest in a pristine lake, rather than accepting short-term political, economic, or private interests. In 1998, the League spearheaded the effort to launch the Environmental Improvement Program, which has leveraged over one billion dollars in public and private funds to protect and restore Lake Tahoe. 





Thursday, September 27, 2018

Why You Need Carved Wood Maps

These days, there are all kinds of things that you can buy to hang in your home. However, one of the absolute best is a carved wood map. And whether you want a carved wooden map of where you live, like Newport Beach, or a map of your hometown or some other favorite place, this option is always a positive addition to your home. There are so many great reasons to own carved wood maps that it's a wonder you don't own one already! 



Unique Pieces of Art 


First things first, carved wood maps are really unique and beautiful pieces of art. Most are handmade, at least if you buy carefully. That means that someone personally sat down and devoted real time and effort into creating your map and into making it as beautiful as possible. 

Thus, when you own a carved map, you own a truly intricate and unique piece of art, one that cannot be 100% duplicated by anyone else. If you are looking for something different to hang up in your living room, office, or other space, a carved wooden map is definitely the way to go. 

A Great Celebration of a Place You Love 


Another reason to own carved wood maps is that they are a wonderful way to celebrate a place you love. 

If you live somewhere that you love, such as Newport Beach, what better way to celebrate than by hanging a decorative map of it in your home? 

Perhaps, however, you want a map of a place you've since left and want to remember. You can rest assured that the map will be a daily reminder of a place you held dear and all of the good memories you have there. 

No matter what memories and of what place you are trying to preserve, a carved wooden map will bring you a great many years of joy. 



A Way to Preserve History 


As we all know all too well, time passes quickly, and things change. This includes landscapes, landmarks, and names. 

When you buy a current wood map, however, you are basically freezing time in its place. You have a perfect picture of how things are exactly at that moment. 

Thus, as long as you keep the map, you will have an exact replica of the world and area you once loved. There is nothing more amazing than that. 

As you can see, there are all kinds of reasons to buy wood carved maps. So, no matter what you want your map to look like or what area you want it to cover, it's time to get out there and get it brought to life.