Tag Archives: adventure

Hiking in Washington

Upper Falls Wallace State Park

The Upper Falls

Over spring break, my friend and I took a road trip over to Wallace Falls in Goldbar, Washington, and then went on a hike. Wallace Falls is a Washington State Park, and thus we needed a Discover Pass to park there. The Discover Pass is this yellow slip that you hang on the front mirror in your car, which allows you to park at these state parks. The Discover Pass is $10 for a day, or $30 annually. We bought the annual pass, since we knew that we would be hiking at other state parks through the year.

Once we got to Wallace Falls state park, we zipped up our layers (for me, I wore 3 coats, including one fleece and one rain coat). On the first small part of the trail, you’re walking under large electrial towers. Before we entered the woods, we stopped at one viewpoint that looked towards mountains, though it was too cloudy to see the mountains. We then entered the forest, we were met with a William Wordsworth quote: “Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher.” After stopping to take a few pictures, we ventured on. We hiked up the Woody Trail, with the first 1/2 a mile being “easy”, according to the trail map. It had very little elevation gain, and took us on a muddy trail that was surrounded by moss-covered trees and ferns on the ground. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail at this point (around 10, on a Tuesday).

Continue reading

5 Things to Do in Michigan

michigan I visited Michigan recently and thought I would write a post about fun things to do in the state.

 

 

 

 

1. Eat!CT  CTFL 080911-TRAVEL sc-trav-0808-food-mackinac-fudge MJW
If you go at the right time of year (summer), there are fresh cherries and blueberries (a specialty), available at the many fruit stands and farmers markets around the state. Also, Macinac Island is home to amazing fudge. In fact, the island itself is pretty amazing.

 

beach_water_quality_web2. Swimming!
Michigan has so many beautiful beaches and lakes to swim in, including the Great Lakes. It’s a great way to escape the heat, and it’s good exercise too!

 

 

3. Outdoor Music!
A great way to relax is by listening to music, and you can do it enjoying the fresh air too. You can listen to something different (without auto-tune) and support small bands.

4. Scenery!
Get outside, get exercise, and see the beautiful scenery. There are so many lakes, forests, and beaches to see, and you’ll want to see them all.

5. Wildlife!
Living in the city, we don’t really see much wildlife, besides the occasional squirrel or raccoon, but Michigan has more to offer in that department. You can spot deer pretty easily (if you’re paying attention), and many other animals you wouldn’t find at home. Just be careful, you wouldn’t want to run into a bear out in the woods.

I’ve listed some of the things to do in Michigan, but obviously not all of them. You can check out some of these travel guides at the library to help find amazing sites and things to do while you’re there:

-Corinna, Greenwood, Teen Blogger

GWD

Why summer camp is (literally) the best thing ever!!!!

I’m sure that most of us have as least one traumatic memory from our first time at sleep away camp. Don’t you vividly remember the horror of being sent away alone for several nights amongst prepubescent strangers like yourself? I know I do. I catch the first whiff of the briny breeze as I step out of the car at the ferry terminal in downtown Seattle. The air is chilly at 8 am despite it is the middle of July.  Greeted by swarms of kid and teenagers alike, all of them here for the same reason as I am: to be cast away for 7 dreadful days to Vashon Island.  Destination: Camp Sealth.

camp sealth

There is a flurry of duffel bags and sorting out boat tickets and hugs and kisses goodbyes to parents as each of us solemnly depart. We are practically stepping off into the abyss towards the great unknown, A.K.A. a white ferry on Puget Sound. There are tears; there are protests, yet exhausted parents still must shove their reluctant children aboard, a twinkle of guilt along with relief in their tired paternal eyes. I float among these hectic crowds; my dad is already gone. I’m yet to cry. Instead I am a speck of dust being herded like a sheep, backpack and Northface duffel in tow, my only company the novel Legend by Marie Lu.  Guided aboard a packed vessel where I will feel incredibly alone. Continue reading

Darker Than Black – 10 years ago, hell-gate appeared!

Darker Than BlackTitle:  Darker than Black

Author:  Tensai Okamura

I started watching it because…our Japanese teacher played it in class.

I kept watching it because… it just kept getting better and better with each episode and all the characters were developed well for the most part.

Main characters in a yearbook, would be voted “Most Likely To”:  

  • Hei – to sacrifice anything for his sister,
  • Yin – to protect Hei at any cost.

Six Word Recap: Ten years ago, hell-gate appeared in Tokyo.

This anime reminded me of Death Note because… both are about people who have powers and use them strategically to outdo their opponent.

–Endrias, Lake City, Teen Volunteer

LCY

Hunger Games – Katniss goes on a legendary journey

hunger gamesTitle/Author: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary:  In a futuristic depiction of North America, the capital Panem keeps control of its 12 districts by making them pick a boy and girl Tribute between 12 and 18 to fight to the death in an arena on national television. The main character Katniss Everdeen is conflicted between the urge to survive and her unexpected love in this stimulating dystopian novel.

Six Word Review: Katniss goes on a legendary journey.

This book reminded me of the book Divergent because of the central dystopian theme and the emphasis on action and fighting.

I would give this book 8/10 stars because of how well the author set up and conceptualized the story and the fact that the book was very compelling and hard to put down.

What I loved about this book is how well-developed the characters were because it made it so that you feel like you know them by the middle of the novel.

If Katniss was stuck on a deserted island she would: build a boat and get away because she is an innovative person.

 I started reading this book because it was given to me by my middle school as a prize …and I kept reading: it because it was such a good story.

–Peter, grade 10, Lake City

LCY

Mockingjay Part 1: Book-to-Movie Adaptation Review (Spoiler-Free Until Mentioned)

MockingjayAdaptation Rating: 9.5 out of 10 stars

Overview of What I Was Thinking Going In:
I must say, preemptively, that I did not enjoy the book Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I thought that though Katniss’s depression and unwillingness to interact with many people was entirely realistic and in character, it made for a very boring point of view for the story to be told in. That problem started setting in around Catching Fire and just kept getting worse as the books went on. It was so frustrating for me to read such an epic conclusion to a series in such a narrow point of view. I hoped that the movie would remedy this problem since the other two movies thus far were told in a third person omniscient perspective, showing us what’s going on in the Capitol while Katniss is going through everything. I was so spectacularly right.

What I Thought Was Done Best:
The way the movie cuts between Katniss and what she’s doing and the riots that start up in other districts is amazing.  It feels so seamless and fitting that I don’t understand how it could have been done any other way.  The scene where Katniss sings The Hanging Tree, a long-awaited moment for many of the book readers, was my favorite scene by far.  It shows how directly Katniss’s actions impact the people in the districts and gives an amazing action scene to boot.

Common Criticism:
One of the main criticisms that people had with this movie was that “it’s just set-up for the next one.”  And you know what?  They’re right.  The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were build-up to this one too.  Does that mean it’s not a good movie?  Heck no!  Mockingjay Part 1 has its own story arc of exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution just like any other movie.  Is it a bunch of kids fighting to the death?  No.  But this movie definitely has the most impactful action of any of the three movies out so far.  The movie ends a bit after what book readers call “The Rescue,” so most of the buildup is to that event.  For book readers like me, this event is a very big deal.  However, I can understand how people expecting the epic ending of a final installment would be disappointed with how much of the “let’s take over the government” goal is accomplished.  It’s worth watching anyway, trust me.

Things to Note Going Into the Movie:
If you are sensitive to strobe lights, close your eyes when people start running down a triangular staircase. It’s safe to look back once the “blast doors” are closed; it’ll be announced. It would be a shame to have your time watching such a great movie ruined by a splitting headache or worse. Please take the precautions necessary to keep yourself safe.

The movie jumps right in where Catching Fire ended. There are a lot of small gestures and references to it that aren’t re-explained for people who have forgotten such things. I recommend re-watching or reading Catching Fire before going to see this new masterpiece. Luckily, both the book and the movie are available through the Seattle Public Library!

My Favorite Scenes (SPOILERS START HERE): Continue reading

Steelheart – humans manifest powers become evil tyrants

SteelheartTitle: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson

Six Word Review: Humans manifest powers become evil tyrants

Stars: 4.5 stars of 5 because the book was very well written with good pace and wording. The story was nearly flawless but the occasional flaw in plot logic made it slightly less than flawless.

I started reading because I have read Sanderson’s books before and have enjoyed them I kept reading because it had an engaging plot that started with the excitement very quickly.

This book reminded me of Irredeemable because it involves power-hungry corrupted super heroes that goes outside of the usual hero realm.

What I loved was that the book put a spin on the typical superhero story and made it better with continuous twists in the plot that made it very interesting.

Websites of Interest: Brandon Sanderson

Sung Chan, Northeast Teen Adviser

NET