return to navigation page incoming

July 31, 2014

Scampi the Cat, R.I.P.

For those not from Seattle or who don't ride a bike, the Burke Gilman Trail is the lifeblood of North Seattle cycling, winding along the shore of Lake Washington from Bothell to Ballard (it continues to Marymoor Park but technically is called the Sammamish River Trail on the East Side). The Burke is full of characters - the Asian Ninja Chick who always wears an insulated dark brown coat even in the hottest weather, J.C. the Rastafarian, Conan (his actual name) the Barbarian with his collection of bikes and swords, and on and on. Then there was Scampi.

I put in thousands of miles on the Burke Gilman each year, and for as long as I can remember a large orange cat has been a fixture on the trail between 97th and 98th streets. It didn't seem to matter if it was hot or cold; if it wasn't raining too hard the cat would be perched on a handrail watching cyclist after cyclist pass by. About ten years ago, I saw a another cyclist petting the cat and stopped to ask if she was the owner - she replied that, no, she wasn't, but the cat's name was Scampi (I assume because of his orange coat) and that "everyone knew him" on the trail.

Since then, I've often stopped to pet Scampi or scratch him under his neck, and he never failed to be there if the weather was decent. Over the past year I could tell he was getting on in age; he could no longer jump up on the handrail and lost his place of primacy in the neighborhood to a younger gray cat named Pebbles. Once in a while I would see him lying in the dirt by the side of the trail near 98th Street, where he would rise arthritically and come over to nuzzle my hand. For the past three months I hadn't seen him at all, and today when I saw a woman I perceived to be his owner climbing the stairs, I asked about him.

She replied that Scampi had died about a month ago, but that she keeps getting asked about him by strangers on the Burke Gilman. "He's more famous than I'll ever be," was her closing comment, and I believed her.

Hope you find a nice spot on the Burke Gilman in the sky, furry buddy.    Gary Louie photo

July 20, 2014

You Guys Shoulda Been Here Yesterday

. . . or any day the past two weeks, for that matter. Almost three weeks of sun and 80 to 90 degree heat in Seattle has done a number on the snowpack, and we were lucky to spend only a half mile or so walking in ski boots today. Actually, the snow wasn't bad and was the least of our worries. Visibility was down to around 100 feet when we got above 6,000 ft. and though a break was forecast in the afternoon, it never materialized. Alex and I did a couple of runs on the lower Paradise and a couple in the vicinity of the Cowlitz Rocks, then called it a day when we were forced to rely on the GPS to get back to the car. After-ski festivities with the famous Ron Jarvis and friends involving "Mountain Margaritas" helped brighten our spirits, and by the time we hit Copper Creek for pie and ice cream the day was a success.

Ron applies some quick fix kicker skins, which didn't work out that well

Foggy? You tell me. This was the best ski picture I got.

Previous Incoming Pages:

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

October, 2013

September, 2013

August, 2013

July, 2013

June, 2013

May, 2013

April, 2013

March, 2013

February, 2013

January, 2013

December, 2012

November, 2012

October, 2012

September, 2012

August, 2012

July, 2012

June, 2012

May, 2012

April, 2012

March, 2012

February, 2012

January, 2012

December, 2011

November, 2011

October, 2011

September, 2011

August, 2011

July, 2011

June, 2011

May, 2011

April, 2011

March, 2011

February, 2011

January, 2011

December, 2010

November, 2010

October, 2010

September, 2010

August, 2010

July, 2010

June, 2010

May, 2010

April, 2010

China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom

March, 2010

February, 2010

January, 2010

December, 2009

November, 2009

October, 2009

September, 2009

August, 2009

July, 2009

June, 2009

May, 2009

April, 2009

March, 2009

February, 2009

January, 2009

December, 2008

November, 2008

October, 2008

September, 2008

August, 2008

June, 2008

May, 2008

April, 2008

March, 2008

February, 2008

January, 2008

December, 2007

November, 2007

October, 2007

September, 2007

August, 2007

June, 2007

May, 2007

April, 2007

March, 2007

February, 2007

January, 2007

December, 2006

November, 2006

October, 2006

September, 2006

August, 2006

July, 2006

June, 2006

May, 2006

April, 2006

March, 2006

February, 2006

January, 2006

December, 2005

November, 2005

October, 2005

"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .

send mail to