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This is why I call it a fog valley

Just back from a few days doing a lot of driving in and around biggerThanILikeCity and  I have determined two things:

  • I really love it out here in my quiet little corner of the world.
  • I need new stops for road food along I-5 in Washington state. Particularly between Centralia and Tacoma. The floor is open to suggestions.

In honor of my newly refreshed appreciation for my fog valley, I offer the following.
Smfoggyhills1
Smfoggyhills2
I like to say that we have our own private weather systems, and in many ways we do. Tucked in a long finger of a valley that undulates up from a large river, banked with multi-layered hills, and etched with dozens of streams, the valley floor exudes fog at the cusps of the day. A friend, who recently got his pilot's license and thus has related facts handy, explained one day that it's advection fog--coming up from the ground rather than down from the sky. (who says food blogs aren't educational?)

You know that saying about waiting a minute for the weather to change? Well, here you actually can watch it. I love to wander outside at dusk with a cup of tea and watch the last shards of sunlight peeking through the trees while baby cloudlets coalesce to scamper and dance before dissolving into mist and vanishing. It's not an every night affair in summer, but once we hit fall it's a nightly thing. I like fall.

Dusk has other magical aspects, the deer, especially does with young, come out to snack before dark. One such pair spent the year in our woods and we got the delight of watching this tiny fawn with a spotted butt who never left mommy's side, grow into a half-sized, and maturely unspotted, deer who only occasionally looks up to see how far away mom has wandered and almost never follows. In winter it is so quiet that you can hear the deer eating the grass, even when it's not frozen. It's amazing! On starless nights, when it is too dark to see anything, a small crunch, crunch from the seemingly empty yard is often the only sign there are such animals mere feet from where I stand.

What does this have to do with food? Not much. Except that, for me, food is all about connections: to people, to place, to personal rituals, and, ultimately, to home--however you define it. This is part of mine.

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