A “Discovery” Pass

Discover Pass logo with link to http://discoverpass.wa.gov/Decades ago when I was a student at Saint Martin’s College I would go into the woods a wonder for days and commune with nature on the Olympic Peninsula. For free. Sometime I would park my 1973 Dodge Dart at a private residence, pay them a dollar a day, and be off to the wilderness.

Then a small fee was instituted for the back country, park fees increased and finally a State Pass was instituted. At first I was furious that welfare dwellers could go to lakes all day on a free pass while I went to work. It just struck me as wrong. The State was making me pay while other people got a free ride. Eventually I decided to give in and to gain access to lakes and parks again.

A few years ago, I put out the cash and got an annual Discover Pass. It was really OK. If you want access to 3 million acres of state owned property, purchase your Discover Pass at discoverpass.wa.gov or call them at (866) 320-9933. Discover Passes can also be purchased in person from any of nearly 600 recreational license vendors where state fishing and hunting licenses are sold. You will not regret it.

JamesNugent

James Nugent is a local author who has 102 e-books, 95 paperbacks, and 53 audio books available at Amazon.com

Mr. Nugent's books include Fifty-Two Vacations A Year. "Most of us work Monday thru Friday and then try to have a little fun during the weekend. Some of us live for the weekend. If we have chosen a life of wage slavery, then there is nothing left for us to do except to maximize our enjoyment of our freedom during those precious two days a week."

McLane Creek a Little Bit of Pacific Northwest Paradise

Photo by Bob and Barb, Washington State Trails Association.

Part of the pleasure of living here is the easy access to Capitol State Forest. One piece of the State Forest is less than 6 miles from the Steamboat Island Road exit. If you go to Mud Bay and then go up the hill toward Olympia; take a right at the top of the hill. Follow Delphi Road SW for 3.2 miles. You will then find on the right side, McLane Creek and Forest Trails. Click here to map your own directions.

The park is run by the Department of Natural Resources and closes at dusk. There are picnic shelters and restrooms and wonderful viewpoints. There are three trails, two of which circumnavigate a large pond and a small lake.

Click image for a downloadable trail map.

Numerous birds, amphibians, and beavers live at the water. Salmon swim home in the fall. The trails are short and protected from the rain by trees. You should always dress for the weather and stay out of the woods when it is windy. Enjoy this little bit of Pacific Northwest paradise.

A state Discovery pass is needed to park at McLane Creek. You can buy a pass online or at 22 locations in Thurston County. Check it out at discoverpass.wa.gov.

You Can Be a Self-Published Author

Click the image for a downloadable version

In an average year, there are more than 225 overcast days in Olympia. And we're coming into the darkest, rainiest part of the year. What's a body to do? Winter is a great time to write that book you've always wanted. In the past, getting published was as difficult - or more so - than writing the text in the first place. Nowadays, with the tools available online, it is easy to publish and sell your work.

Here are some steps you can use to publish and sell your paperback, ebook, and audio book.

What accounts do I need to set up?

kdp.amazon.com Kindle Direct Publishing is your route to publish online to customers in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and more.

www.createspace.com CreateSpace provides easy tools to create your paperback edition.

www.acx.com ACX provides the tools to turn your book into an audio book, for sale on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. "ACX Puts You in the Director's Chair."

Amazon will produce and sell your work, and pay you up to 70% royalties. People buy your book worldwide and the royalty is sent directly to your bank account. Amazon, CreateSpace and ACX will mail tax documents to you.

How do I publish my works?

Upload your Microsoft Word document (minimum of 24 pages for paperback) to the above sites. You select the book cover and artwork from the site or provide your own. Amazon will then publish your work in 160 countries with 13 on-line book stores.

Marketing

Amazon has several promotional programs. They will guide you through the process. These may result in increased sales. You select your book price and royalty amount given the promotion program.

Copyrights

You retain the copyright for all of your published work through Amazon.com.

Royalty Payments

Are made by direct deposit or mail. You may want to consider creating a separate bank account, for tax reporting purposes, to receive your royalty payments.

The Olympia Harbor Patrol

harbor_patrolrecently joined the Port of Olympia Harbor Patrol. With three other men and one woman we became the recruit class Spring of 2016. The Harbor Patrol is directed by the Port of Olympia and it is an all-volunteer non-law enforcement organization dedicated to port security, marine search and rescue, and public safety and education. We have a 28 foot patrol boat and volunteers are trained carefully in all their functions. No previous knowledge or skill is required to serve on the Patrol. They will teach you! Volunteers must be at least eighteen years of age and pass a background check and a drug screening. 

Click here for more information about the Port of Olympia Harbor Patrol. Or click here to indicate your interest in volunteering for the Harbor Patrol. Safe boating!

by James Nugent.

Update: The Port is accepting applications for Harbor Patrol Volunteers through January 22, 2017, at 11:59 PM. Click here for more information.

Kayaking Mud Bay

Steamboat_Island_Register

Published in the "Steamboat Island Register". Pick up a copy at the Steamboat Coffee Shop and other local businesses.

One of the simple pleasures in life is kayaking on saltwater in the wilderness. Fortunately, just a couple miles south of the Steamboat Island exit, is just such a place. Mud Bay can be seen from Highway 101 and the Mud Bay Bridge.

I am often distracted by the wildlife when I am driving. It is safer to just stop, take your binoculars, and go for a walk near Buzz’s Tavern.

Mud Bay at Low Tide. Photo by Gale Hemmann, illustrating an article published June 2014, in ThurstonTalk.

Mud Bay at Low Tide. Photo by Gale Hemmann, illustrating an article published June 2014, in ThurstonTalk.

The best way to see the wildlife is to get on the water in a kayak. One can park the car and put the boat in the water at the Park and Ride, which is one block north of the Tavern.

I prefer to park on the side of the road near the Mud Bay Bridge. Then I put my ten-year-old $69 inflatable kayak in the water under the bridge. Put your boat in during the incoming tide. Be sure to get out of the mud flat before the water gets too low. People have died in other mud flats when they got stuck in the mud.

One of the perks of going into Mud Bay on a flood tide is that the water is warmed by the hot mud on a sunny day. The water temperature is great for swimming.

In the fall you can see salmon trying to get to Mclane Creek, and eagles plucking them from the sea. I saw a bear here five years ago! I have also seen raccoons and foxes working the shorelines along with numerous deer. It is like an episode of National Geographic except that it is all real time reality.

by James Nugent.

JamesNugent

jamie_glasgow_lower_eldea61a327598cJames Nugent is a local author who has 96 e-books, 90 paperbacks, and 53 audio books available at Amazon.com

A recent book, Kayak at Dawn, is available from Amazon.com as a paperback and for the Kindle.

Life at the End of the Powerline

Downed Powerlines

Click the image for Puget Sound Energy's "downed power lines" web page.

Part of the charm of living on the Steamboat Island Peninsula is that it only takes 20 minutes to drive from the City to the wilderness. It means a lot to most people to throw your window open at night and listen to the oyster boats or the wind. I am in awe of the way eagles soar over our peninsula.

However, in the middle of cold and violent storms sometimes the lights go out. It can be out for less than an hour or up to 5 days or more! What should a homeowner do?

#1 Relax.

#2 Get, your flashlight with fresh batteries.

#3 Light your candles or oil lamp.

#4 Tune to any of these FM stations: KGY 95.3, KAYO 96.9, or KAOS 89.3. KGY, in particular, has a good backup generator.

#5 Bundle up with a loved one and read a book.

If it turns out that the outage was not caused by a drunk driver hitting a pole on Mud Bay drive, get emotionally prepared for life off the grid for a while.

Consider the following:

  • Fire up your generator a few hours in the evening if you need a little heat from your electric fireplace.
  • Use a couple cups of your 50 gallons of emergency water supply for a sponge bath if you smell.
  • Cook a meal or 3 on your propane BBQ.
  • Dig into your no-cook food for a snack.
  • Stay warm and healthy and go to work tomorrow if the roads are passable.
  • If you are trapped, read a couple good books and huddle up with someone you love.

by James Nugent

JamesNugent

James Nugent is a local author and has 96 e-books, 90 paperbacks and 53 audio books on Amazon.com. For more information about survival, find Eight Things You Need to Survive by James Nugent.

September is National Preparedness Month. Visit our preparedness web page, for tips on how to prepare your family and your neighbors.

Flinging Arrows for Fun

archeryAbout four miles north of the Steamboat Island Road exit on US-101, is the Griffinwood Stables. Most Saturdays there is an archery range open to anyone! There is plenty of loaner equipment if you don’t have archery equipment. Julia is the Ranger Marshall. She not only runs a safe range but she will show you how to shoot if you want.

The range is an outreach of the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA). However, there is no expectation that you be a member or join. The SCA is an educational organization which researches the arts and sciences of past cultures and reenacts them for the fun of it. Archery is just one of their areas of interest.

All summer I have been hanging out at the Archery Range and I have been having a blast shooting arrows at targets. When it gets too hot I just sit in the shade and roast a tofu dog on the community BBQ. I have moved from the ten-yard (children’s) target to the 30-yard (adult). The range open around noon and goes until everybody gets tired.

There are targets for every ability and age. There is even a rubber deer to shoot at and a (long shot) 100-yard target for if you feel lucky. The only restrictions are that no modern compound bows or broad head arrow tips are allowed. They tear up the targets too much.

People from age 5 to 99+ are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Click here to find out more about Tumwater SCA group and how to get access to the archery range. I have really begun to like flinging arrows. Maybe you will too.

From the Tumwater SCA web page (the Barony of Glymm Mere):

Archery Practice happens Saturdays starting at about noon. We have targets for archery and thrown weapons. It is located at Griffinwood Stables just west of Olympia. Take Hwy 101 toward Shelton, about ten minutes east of Olympia. Just past the Steamboat exit, grab the shoulder when you see this little white house, and turn in through the green gate. Close it after you come through so the horses don't escape!

For more information, contact Heather MacForrest - heatherl877 [at] gmail [dot] com

by James Nugent

JamesNugent

James Nugent is a local author who has 96 e-books, 90 paperbacks, and 53 audio books available at Amazon.com

A recent book, A Beginner's Adventures in Archery, is available from Amazon.com as a paperback and for the Kindle.