Irish Music at Village Pizza

Irish Music at Village Pizza

I had a very different post planned. I’ve actually got a draft entitled “I Hate Irish Music.” I was going to vent some of my frustrations with the music sessions I’ve attended up here, specifically the Irish sessions. However, I decided to give the genre one more shot, so I decided to try a different session at Village Pizza in Anacortes. My mood did a 180. This felt like the closest thing to the pubs I enjoyed so much while in Ireland. Continue reading “Irish Music at Village Pizza”

PNW Southern Connections – Part 2, Tar Heel Land

Jump Off Rock-003

There used to be a BBQ place near my office in Duncan, South Carolina that we would frequent for lunch. There were lots of exposed timbers and it had a logging/lumberjack theme. Old photographs hung on the walls of men with saws felling giant trees. On close inspection, I could see that all of these were labeled “Skagit Valley Lumber.” It caught me off guard…but it really shouldn’t have. There has long been a connection between Appalachia and the river valleys of Washington, much of it based on the timber industry. Continue reading “PNW Southern Connections – Part 2, Tar Heel Land”

A Visit to the Museum of Pop Culture

Museum of Pop Culture

Laura’s Mini was up for routine maintenance. One of the problems we discovered when we moved up here was that the nearest Mini Cooper dealership was all the way down in Seattle. Regardless, we made a morning appointment for Tuesday of this week. Since we were already down in the Seattle area, we began looking for other things to do in town. We settled on the Museum of Pop Culture. Continue reading “A Visit to the Museum of Pop Culture”

PNW Southern Connections – Part 1, The Lost Cause

Skagit Valley Foggy Sunrise-004

The “small world syndrome” always catches me off-guard. At the Bellingham Folk Festival I met musicians that live in Asheville and frequently play in Greenville. Even just meeting someone who has visited South Carolina, much less my home town, makes me feel a connection. As I’ve found out, though, the Southern connections with the Pacific Northwest are even deeper than I had thought. Continue reading “PNW Southern Connections – Part 1, The Lost Cause”

A Visit to Northern State – Part 2, The Recreation Area

Northern State Hospital Recreation Area

I was on an old-fashioned ramble, much like the ones I used to do back in South Carolina. I was visiting the site of Northern State Hospital, a former mental asylum that is purportedly haunted. So far I had visited the hospital’s on-site cemetery, but now I was ready to explore the park that surrounds the hospital. Continue reading “A Visit to Northern State – Part 2, The Recreation Area”

A Visit to Northern State – Part 1, History and Cemetery

Northern State Hospital Ruins

Laura and I were working on her mother’s estate and had an appointment in town with an insurance agent. We arrived a bit early, so Laura suggested that we try to find the old Northern State Hospital just outside of Sedro-Woolley. It had been featured Ghost Hunters, one of Laura’s favorite shows, so she wanted to see it. When we arrived we found only open space and ruins. We had to get back for our appointment, but I had seen enough to know that it warranted another visit. So the next morning I paid a visit to the old mental asylum. Continue reading “A Visit to Northern State – Part 1, History and Cemetery”