Field Report No. 20160325BA

Topic: Looking from one season to the last

Conditions: Mud and sun and cloudy drama

COMMENTS: I love looking from one season to the next: arrowleaf gnomes pushing their heads from the tamped-down ground to sun shouting from between snowstorms; raven crowing to herald seasonal springs flowing down this south-facing slope to a breeze still biting from the north. Clouds part, a shaming discourse scrambling the space between me and the full moon keeping the buzzing land awake at night growing, seeping, moving. The one-bar song of early spring's single meadowlark halfway up the little mountain near home reminded me of the siren song of the green season that drew me here to stay in the first place. Alone amidst the subtle bustle, I decided it was time to set up my camp chair, boil my water, and enjoy an afternoon press in good company.

KEY FEATURES: Trails runnable from beginning to muddy end. 360 degree views encapsulating the Pasayten, Mount Gardner, the Sawtooths, and the mighty Okanogan. A daily refresh of carefully-synchronized tiny flowers bursting from tattered winter masses of snow-crushed grass - return often to see the latest developments. No other visitors around for miles.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Grab a nip of Genepy for later at The Wine Shed and a brew for the alpine stove at Blue Star. Let KTRT roll as you navigate to the sunniest trailhead. Tip: point south like all those flowers who so wisely angle at the sun.

The Earth Under the Ice

Field Report No. 20160320BA

Topic: A hunt for dry trail

Conditions: Melt-season

COMMENTS: Upon first meeting the spongey, red soil of the first snow-free trail in Mazama for the spring I stamped my happy feet on it, jumped up and down on it, even yelled to no one in particular about my joy at finding it. After a long winter's many comings, spring finally showed her face this afternoon. I ran in grateful, wide strides on patches of dry trail between persistent islands of winter's icy clutch until I reached my favorite circle of verbose ponderosas perched vertiginously above the hussssshing Lost River. They spoke: "Spring is coming and we have company. Trust that the ground is here beneath the ice; it will provide you sustenance. We are your family, your friends, your confidants." Fortified with that message, my run reached its logical halfway point and I wheeled back to my car.

KEY FEATURES: Red earth matching red tree bark. The quiet roar of a river lost. Yells unheard, silence unspoiled, tiny treasures barely melted scattered pell-mell on the trail. A hundred birds singing the weak sun out from behind the clouds.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Check the Forest Service's road conditions update then choose an accessible trailhead. Go far, go fast, go with joy. Bookend your amble with coffee at The Mazama Store (Blue Star, mais oui) and brunch at the swank Freestone Inn

Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds

COMMENTS: Before I know it, I've spent an hour in the coffee lab talking with Terry, one of the owners of DOMA. Though I've popped in before for a quick cup, this is my first extended session in their new public-facing space...

Earn Your Turns

Field Report No. 20151222RC

Topic: Freshies
Conditions: Fluffy

PROCEDURES: Wake up really, really early. Meet up with one of your best friends. Drive, with good coffee, to the nearest mountain, which happens to be Mt. Spokane. They now allow uphill travel  so skin up near the ski area's Lodge 1. Achieve the exercise and views of a vigorous snowshoe hike as you make your way to the top. Look out into the valleys. Talk for a moment. Then point your skis downhill and shralp the gnar, as they say.

Do a second lap before uphill travel hours are up, because this is some of the best powder you've seen 'round these parts in quite some time.

Return home for hot chocolate, and to teach your sons some ski skills in the front yard. Maybe in a couple decades, they'll meet up for a morning like this.

Follow these procedures, or a similar series of activities, and you'll be doing winter vacation correctly.

FROM LEFT: Landon Crecelius with son Lake; Oden Lochhead with dad Drew.

FROM LEFT: Landon Crecelius with son Lake; Oden Lochhead with dad Drew.

Swinging through the sagelands

Swinging through the sagelands

COMMENTS: Communed with the sagelands on this morning's run while visiting family in the Columbia Basin. Though this land has been stifled by

My Anthill Of Awake

COMMENTS: Stumps began to animate, walking their crumbly hulking forms around the open understory near the trail, faceless ents trying to pass for human.

Field Trip: Part III

COMMENTS: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Twenty-seven years later I returned to the place that gave me

Queue to my Heart

COMMENTS: Everybody loves a line. In a culture centered around convenience and efficiency, nothing excites or frustrates people more than 

Rainy Day Defeater

COMMENTS: A rainy, late-winter-ish day and I’m tasked with entertaining a friend of a friend, an English girl named Tori visiting Spokane for the first time.

A Northwest Loop

Mall-ternative: an eclectic mix of shopping, neighborhoods, and the outdoors in one segment of town… just in case you find yourself with some free time to spend in Spokane.

Madeleine's Sneak Peek

COMMENTS: Via the back door from Durkin's I first set foot into Madeleine's Café & Patisserie and it was magic. Magic because

Wagons East

COMMENTS: It was a Friday trip—business—to Spokane. Turbo rocketed us to 78 and all the world was a blur. We were high on

A Walking Tour

Comments: Spent some time on foot in downtown Wenatchee yesterday. They're a friendly bunch--the downtowners. 

The Human Element


December 13, 2014: A question posed to Bobby Enslow, owner of Indaba Coffee Bar & Roastery in West Central Spokane.

F&C: This week we really enjoyed your "hashtag human" profile of Jacob, one of the baristas at Indaba. What sparked this way of communicating for Indaba, and how is this part of your larger goal to create community around coffee?

BE: The initial idea for our “hashtag human” campaign came from our desire to connect guests to the human element of specialty coffee. Sometimes as a barista you can begin to feel like a machine just pumping out fuel for the masses. In reality, the farmers who handpicked the coffee, the roaster who hand roasted the coffee, and finally the barista who hand crafts each cup with passion are a part of that cup of coffee.

We also want our guests to see and hear how their dollars are impacting the lives of real people in our community. One thing I’ve learned from starting a small business is how impactful it is to spend dollars locally. They say that 70% of a dollar spent locally stays right here in the community. This is huge! One of the reasons why I started INDABA in West Central was to see this neighborhood change for the better. 

Lastly, we have some amazing baristas and I simply wanted to show them off! A lot of them live right here in the West Central neighborhood, and all of them are involved in the community making a difference outside of what they already do here at INDABA.


Our First Bikes

Comments: With fall's arrival, the sun seemed sweeter, ripe. My friend got his first motorcycle this summer, we've been meaning to ride since August. He came by after he got off work - we rode up

Good Vibes

COMMENTS: This summer I biked to the Bartlett to see two of my favorite bands, The Antlers and Yellow Ostrich. It was a


COMMENTS: I used to live in the Audubon neighborhood, northwest Spokane. On a particular sort of autumn morning a person can feel like a jackass for moving away from this place

Fully Spent

Field Report No. 20140923RC

Starter Fluid



I staggered out the door, trying to recover from a self-inflicted 5:10am alarm. My destination was Crossfit Duratus--a stupidly grueling but addictive workout among good friends. The early fall mornings having turned dark again, the sky above the Spokane Arena was charcoal during our silent warm-up run. An hour later, the day was bright. Everyone parted ways, fully spent but gregarious, off to meet the business of the day. It was nearly 7:00 now, and West Central was waking up. I drove the two minutes from the gym to Indaba, which was just unlocking its doors. I told myself I had rehydrated enough to make the switch to locally roasted coffee. 

‘Duratus’ is Latin: to endure or harden. ‘Indaba’ is Zulu: a gathering of leaders. 

Lemon vanilla in any espresso drink. I’m not normally an add-flavoring guy, 
but the way this special, house-made syrup balances with the espresso is pure artistry. 


COMMENTS: My first appointment having ended and the second session not beginning until noon, I thought I'd explore the side streets and

Field Report No. 20140728AC: Morning Coffee

Wenatchee Coffee Shops


The clinking of gates rolling upward as the morning light beamed in through the open doors of Pybus Market. Ten AM and in line at Cafe Columbia awaiting with eager hopefulness the peace found only in a shot of espresso. I met up with the chaps and we had a fine meal on the terrace overlooking the Columbia River.

Cafe Columbia, a first rate coffee shop is located in Pybus Public Market in downtown Wenatchee, Washington.