We returned for our second silent retreat (click here for first one) at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades, located above the shores of Puget Sound in Federal Way. The silent retreat is provided through the generosity of the Archdiocese of Seattle and Seattle University’s Jesuit mission, and is open to people of all faiths and spiritual direction who have a connection with the university.

The three day retreat begins Friday evening with communal dinner and conversation, followed by an introduction of participants and spiritual directors (who are like counselors). Then the silence commences, and only the spiritual directors occasionally speak at various optional half hour “movements” throughout the weekend. The topics vary, spanning from personal to religious to inspiring stories to guidance on how to heal or think or live fully. The spiritual directors also offer two optional half hour private one-on-one sessions for freeform talk about whatever a participant would like to discuss.

The grounds span a beautiful 39 acres of Puget Sound waterfront, with forested walking trails, courtyards, labyrinth, meditation benches, and gardens spread around the property. The main buildings also house a chapel, library, and multiple meeting rooms, all open 24 hours for anyone to visit and meditate in at any time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinners are served in a large dining room overlooking the Sound, though the only sounds in the room are from silverware clanking and people eating.

Participants come for many reasons, spanning from healing to thinking to planning to relaxing to re-forming. The atmosphere is one of camaraderie and shared intent. The spiritual directors are there to provide a meaningful yet self-directed experience for everyone.

Main buildings at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades



Courtyard at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

One of several courtyards



Chapel at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Chapel



Statue on nature trail at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Statue by nature trail



Stations Of The Cross walking trail at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Stations Of The Cross walking trail



Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statue at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statue near nature trail



Labyrinth at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Labyrinth for walking meditation



Puget Sound view at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Puget Sound view from the main buildings



Dumas Bay Wildlife Sanctuary sunrise at Puget Sound beach

Nearby Dumas Bay Wildlife Sanctuary at sunrise



Links
Archbishop Brunett Retreat & Faith Formation Center at The Palisades

Directions

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Seattle Immersive Theater produced a somewhat ambitious performance that is true to their roots of immersing the audience in an interactive and participative experience. “Supraliminal” was well timed for the Halloween season, and all tickets were sold out every night.

Guests arrived at South Seattle College and were directed to a small auditorium. It took a while to adjust to the fact that the people helping, handing out waivers, and talking banter before the 7:30 start were actually already in character and acting with you. At the official start time, “class” was convened. Two actor professors and a medium gave a PowerPoint presentation and discussed the history of paranormal study, different types of paranormal activity, and a specific case that they were currently investigating at the historic Georgetown Steam Plant owned by Seattle City Light in south Seattle.

A planned class field trip to the location was “moved ahead” to tonight, and a bus was waiting for us outside. While on the road, the professor gave additional historic context about the building and what they were doing.

After arrival, a Seattle City Light employee (unknown if it was actual employee or another actor) gave a historical tour of the Steam Plant. The tour was interesting, though a bit long for someone expecting something creepy to happen. Perhaps the anticipation was part of the buildup…

Finally we were taken into a dark cavernous section of the plant where a Command Center was set up that connected with night vision cameras set up at 9 locations around the plant. Then the fun finally began, as a ghostly girl, demon, and demonic possession quickly ramped up both on screen and in front of us.

Supraliminal is an unusual theater production, most suited to someone intrigued by the location-based experience and real time acting of a story from beginning to end. At over 2.5 hours, it was a bit long but was still educational and fun. I was hoping that there would have at least been little “clues” and weird experiences along the way at the steam plant to build up the haunted experience, but one needs to wait for near the end until it gets rolling beyond the historical context. Kudos to the crew on the final scenes, including an unexpected and well done finale. When you think it is all over, it’s not quite really all over.

Seattle Immersive Theater waiver release form

Due to walking around in the old very non-OSHA-approved steam plant in the dark, there were two liability waivers that had to be signed before participating in the performance



Seattle Immersive Theater Supraliminal at Georgetown Steam Plant group tour

Class entered the steam plant, by the massive electric power turbines



Georgetown Steam Plant Seattle tour

Catwalks and passages where we walked through the plant



Georgetown Steam Plant Seattle tour power turbine and crane

Horizontal steam electric production turbine and overhead crane



Georgetown Steam Plant Seattle Immersive Theater Supraliminal group enters dark fueling area

Class entered the dark and cavernous fueling area, where we found the Command Center and finale



Links:
Seattle Immersive Theatre
Supraliminal video trailer
Georgetown Steam Plant
South Seattle College

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The Cave B Winery and Resort is a fairly fancy and well appointed getaway above the shores of the Columbia River Gorge on the outskirts of Quincy in eastern Washington, near the famous Gorge Amphitheater. It offers an inn, restaurant, winery and wine tasting, spa, 1 bedroom Cliffehouse cabins, and yurts. So there are many different options for different tastes, though in its remote location it is primarily oriented to relaxation.

Cave B Estate Winery and Resort Cliffehouses cabins overlooking Columbia River Gorge

Cave B Estate vineyards and resort Cliffehouse cabins overlooking the Columbia River Gorge



Cave B Inn Estate Winery and Resort

The Cave B Inn and Tendrils Restaurant



Links:
Cave B Winery and Resort

Directions

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Zombies have become a big thing, taking over the cultural consciousness of many people in America through movies, TV shows, comic books, and conventions. It evokes “what if?” and “how would I respond?” reactions in many.

As part of this trend, sleepy Normandy Park hosts an annual Zombie Fest that brings both zombie gawkers and zombie participants. It’s a small festival but fun to walk around and interact with the folks who love putting on a walking dead show.

Zombie at Zombie Fest in Normandy Park

This guy was a true believer with impressive zombie makeup and mannerisms



Zombification Station at Zombie Fest in Normandy Park

Zombification Station for those who wanted to leave with a different look than they arrived with



Actual police officer zombie at Zombie Fest in Normandy Park

Actual Normandy Park police officer got into the dead spirit of things



Zombie with big hands at Zombie Fest in Normandy Park

Those are some big zombie hands



Crowd at Zombie Fest in Normandy Park

Zombie food walking around



Links:
Zombie Fest

Directions

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Salmon fishing is great up and down the breezy western shores of Whidbey Island. We fished from the shores of Whidbey Island on Admiralty Bay in the town of Coupeville. Salmon migrate along there on the way back to their home rivers, swimming through the eel grass beds and looking for food (or buzz bombs on fishing lines that look like food). Fishing is generally best within about +/- 1.5 hours of high tide. We kept going until we needed our headlamps, and our few catches were after the sun had gone down!

Salmon fishing Whidbey Island Admiralty Bay Coupeville

Salmon fishing on Admiralty Bay at sunset



Salmon fishing from shore of Admiralty Bay Coupeville

Gray but calm day at the shore in Coupeville



Fishing for salmon in Admiralty Bay Coupeville Whidbey Island

Sunset colors grow deeper while fishing for salmon



Filleting salmon on Admiralty Bay beach Coupeville Whidbey Island

Filleting fresh salmon at the beach

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The Washington State Fair (previously Puyallup Fair) is one of the largest and longest running fairs in the country, with a history that goes all the way back to 1900. Every year something new is added or changed, and recently there has been a new generation of more “extreme” rides added to increase the excitement for fair visitors. Rides, games, food, music, farm animals, and a lot more are there for over 1 million attendees each year.

Washington State Fair in Puyallup Midway rides

Midway rides at The Washington State Fair



Washington State Fair in Puyallup Extreme Scream tower ride

Extreme Scream



Washington State Fair in Puyallup Vertigo aerial swing ride

Vertigo



Washington State Fair in Puyallup Matterhorn ride

Preparing to ride around The Matterhorn



Washington State Fair in Puyallup Matterhorn rider

Enjoying The Matterhorn



Links:
The Washington State Fair

Directions

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Stevens Creek Trail meanders gradually down to the river-carved valley formed by Stevens Creek and Maple Creek, passing small waterfalls and a beautiful forest along the way. At 1.7 miles, the backcountry Maple Creek Camp is reached and provides either a great overnight location for camping or a nice place for resting and lunch during a day hike.

The Stevens Creek Trail trailhead is located about 1/2 mile west of Box Canyon on Stevens Canyon Road, in the southern portion of Mount Rainier National Park. During summer months, the road spans from Paradise to the west and Ohanapecosh to the east. The trailhead area also serves as a place for many picnic sites nestled amongst the trees.

The trail descends through a coniferous needle padded trail that occasionally touches on Stevens Creek for views of a waterfall, small gorge, and boulder-covered river views. It would be a good addition to a weekend trip that included Paradise or Ohanapecosh, and it also connects up to the famous Wonderland Trail that loops around Mount Rainier.

Stevens Creek Trail waterfall in Mount Rainier National Park

Waterfall along Stevens Creek Trail



Mt Rainier National Park Stevens Creek Trail rocks forest

Stevens Creek



Stevens Creek Trail bridge over gorge in Mount Rainier National Park

Footbridge over small gorge at Stevens Creek



Mount Rainier National Park Stevens Creek Trail view from bridge over gorge

Stevens Creek



Kids running up Wonderland Trail to Maple Creek Camp in Mount Rainier National Park

Kids running up Wonderland Trail to Maple Creek Camp



Links
Mount Rainier National Park
Stevens Creek Trail
Book: Day Hike! Mount Rainier: The Best Trails You Can Hike in a Day

Directions

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