February 2024
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Saigon Kids™ Today: Spring Walks

Submitted by: H. Clark (St. Paul School, Saigon)

Springtime in the Pacific Northwest is absolutely splendid.

Rows of tulips in Pacific Northwest fields. H. Clark collection.

Rows of tulips in Pacific Northwest fields. H. Clark collection.

Seattle is home to the Space Needle, but in all the years that I lived there, one of my favorite spots to visit was further up north, in the Skagit Valley. We used to go up to Mount Vernon, a city in the Skagit Valley, where I enjoyed walking in the tulip fields in the Springtime with my family. The air there is the purest, so cool and refreshing after the long months of winter. I always felt a sense of renewal and felt the season most truly around mid-April through May when all the tulips burst in profusion. There was field after field of those beautiful tulips, in every combination of color imaginable. You could walk for miles and see nothing but their colors everywhere.

Pacific Northwest fields of tulips. H. Clark collection.

Pacific Northwest fields of tulips. H. Clark collection.

The weather pattern in the Northwest can change pretty quickly. If it rains, you would find yourself walking in the mud. It changes from cloudy to sunny and then back to cloudy, all in what seems like ten minutes. When it’s cloudy and drizzly, the colors of the flowers are very intense and spectacular.

We moved back to California end of May in 2000, but not without enjoying our last walk in the tulip fields. Our daughter had her eyes on the yellow daffodils and used my camera for the first time to snap this picture of sunshine color. The other two pictures I took were in two different years,

Fields of daffodils taken in Pacific Northwest. H. Clark collections.

Fields of daffodils taken in Pacific Northwest. H. Clark collections.

both taken in mid-April, depicting the Northwest’s typical ever-changing weather pattern from cloudy to sunny.

I always enjoy being outdoor, sightseeing and taking pictures. Besides our walks in the tulip fields in the Springtime in Washington, my other favorite places were the famous and magnificent Snoqualmie Falls, the Hoh Rainforest in the Olympic Peninsula (located in the uppermost corner, West of Washington beyond a city named Forks), Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helen, and the Ross Dam. Those places made me feel close to nature and feel like I was on top of the world being so far up North.

Last weekend my husband and I went for a short drive. We got ourselves lost, really lost, up on the mountain tops in the California Diablo Range, the devil range, on our way to San Jose. Funny, huh?!! Yup, we DO know the way to San Jose very well! It’s only 30 miles South from where we now live. I drive it almost every weekend. So we thought for a change, we would take a “side road” in the valley, which runs parallel to the main freeway where we expected to view some vineyards along the way. What would supposedly be an easy 30-minute drive in the valley, turned out to be a 3-hour drive up in an unknown territory (to us) in the mountain range.

Lombard Street in San Francisco is known as one of the crookedest street in the world, but that course lasted less than five minutes. This drive took three hours to complete and was such a crooked route, wherever it was. We did fine the first hour, but after the second hour or so, we started to feeling sick, so told ourselves to stay calm and silent, trying to make it through. Then I heard my husband yell out BUILDING when the first building came into view as if it were a relative! We drove for another good half hour before we started to see some houses in the distance. Happy to be back into CIVILIZATION again, I looked behind us and I saw a sign with an arrow pointing to the direction we just left that read Mount Hamilton! Up until that point, we didn’t know what that devil was. Finally, we came upon a road with a very familiar name, the Alum Rock Road, an exit name we often saw on the freeway when zooming to and from San Jose.

Our trips to Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helen together did not come close to this unplanned trip to Mount Hamilton. I would not call it a dream trip seeks roads not taken, we must have taken a fortuitous wrong turn on a road that wound around on the edge of California Diablo Range. It was a picturesque trip, but I thought I died a thousand deaths back there, so I smiled when my husband said “Never Aahgain!”

Back into civilization and home again, one thing instantly struck me… “it’s still Springtime.”

2 comments to Saigon Kids™ Today: Spring Walks

  • Arnon Reichers

    Does anyone know if this site is having any technical Difficulties? I can’t sign up for the newsletter because I keep getting a message saying my email is not a valid format. Yes, it is.

    • Aanon – I just signed you up for the newsletter. Went through without a problem. Don’t know why you were getting an invalid email format error message. You’ll receive an email with a confirmation link in it. Click the link in the email to confirm you want to subscribe to the newsletter


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