Club Alpino Italiano – Pacific Northwest

Our mission is to promote the knowledge, study, protection and enjoyment
of the mountains, the natural environment and cultures
especially of the Pacific Northwest and Italy

Mid-May 2020 edition

We hike – usually together. But in these days we hike solo and not on week-ends. I hike the Cross Kirkland Corridor with its ease of physical distancing. I veer off to the wooded trail in Everest Park. Or I walk on the little-peopled Watershed Park trail. With the State Parks re-opening I will hike in my favorite – Bridle Trails. Where have you been hiking? Share with me for the next newsletter.


A Labor of Love – Flo put her sewing skills to work during the early epidemic shortage of masks. This is a photo of one batch of 90 face masks. She drove each batch to the hospital where a medical person came out to get them from her. Each mask takes nearly a half hour to sew, which Flo says helps her comply with the stay at home directive.

What have you been doing during these times? Please share for the next Newsletter.

To CAI-PNW Members:

We hope that all of you are well during this COVID-19 pandemic and are getting outside with your household members to enjoy our beautiful spring days. While we’ve had to cancel our hikes and other activities due to the pandemic, it won’t always be that way. We’re sorry to have had to cancel our planned three-day May retreat in Leavenworth and Wenatchee. The snow level in the mountains is rising and the spring flowers are blooming – nature’s arrangement of yellow, purple and white. Once we are permitted to sponsor activities again, we plan to continue with our second Saturday hike (or other activity) each month and sponsor a mid-week activity as well.

Washington Governor, Jay Inslee has issued “Safe Start” phases for reopening, which has now started with Phase One. Some state parks and public lands have reopened for day use. Phase Three allows for outdoor group recreational sports activities with 50 or fewer people. Once he
announces this phase, we’ll be allowed to continue with our CAI-PNW activities. I think we can agree with Gov. Inslee’s statement, “Outdoor recreation is one of the best things people can do to promote their health, both mental and physical, during this time of isolation.”

Washington Trails Association (WTA) has posted the following Coronavirus Hiking Etiquette:

  • Physical distancing is key: Maintain 6+ feet between you and other hikers for the majority of your outing.
  • Passing on trail: Do your best to maintain physical distance, step aside.
  • Bathroom breaks: BYOTP. Assume all trailhead facilities will be closed.
  • Remember to pack it out: Use hand sanitizer.
  • Stay local: Stick to parks you can access in a day.

The stay at home order is still in effect, so hikers should stay close to home. Continue to hike with people you are already in physical contact, like household members. In order to expand our media, we’ve restarted publishing a newsletter, which will be coordinated by Cam Bradley. As soon as we’re permitted to sponsor our CAI-PNW hiking and other activities, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, you can check out our website at If you have information to share with our membership either in our newsletter or in our blog section of our website, please send it to Cam at

Enjoy our PNW springtime and stay well!
Beverly Riter, President

CAI-Pisa hasn’t made a decision yet. Most likely the work and the dedication to Francesco Greco will be a postponed until 2021. It seems that the pandemic is going to limit how we can travel comfortably for some time.


Our Annual General Assembly Meeting was held Saturday, March 7 with 17
members in attendance. Accomplishments in 2019 included getting our website updated, helping facilitate the celebration of Francesco Greco’s life, completing a hiking exchange to Padua and organizing monthly activities. We had 63 members in 2019. Our membership voted to keep our annual dues the same as they were in 2019 ($40 first person in household; $22 for spouse/partner or young adult). Additional information about fees and other topics discussed at the meeting are included in the Meeting Minutes which are on the website.

The following individuals were elected to serve for the 2020-2022 term:

  • President: Beverly Riter
  • Secretary: Carol Warner
  • Treasurer: Gerlinde Gruber
  • Membership: Flo Burnett and John Burnett
  • Local Events: Kendra Wanzenried
  • International Trips: Steve Johnson
  • Website: Jim Orsi
  • At-Large Member – Communications: Cam Bradley
  • At-Large Member – Italian Organizations: Joel Patience
  • At-Large Member – Toni Williams


On Saturday, March 14th, Gerlinde Gruber, Kendra Wanzenried, Ida Callahan, Ron Riter, and Joanie Pryor chanced snow, rain, and wind to hike up to the top of Little Mountain Park, the largest park of the city of Mt. Vernon. As it turned out, although a little cold, it was a beautiful day with sun, a few clouds, and no wind. This afforded us beautiful views of south Mt. Vernon across to Whidbey Island and beyond. To the north from the second of two view points, we were able to look over Mt. Vernon and Burlington as far as the mountains behind Vancouver, B.C.

After parking in the ample lot at the Silver Arrow Bowman’s Archery Range, also one of trailheads to Little Mountain Park, we began our hike on the Darvil Trail. We meandered up through Western Red Cedar, Douglas fir, Big Leaf Maples, red huckleberry bushes, and Snowberries. Except for one stretch called “Fred’s Trail”, I would rate the hike as moderate. On Fred’s Trail, there were steep sections with some areas where use of hands were needed to scramble up. However, there was no real serious exposure. On this part of the trail, we met a Washington Trails Association (WTA) work party re-routing a very steep part of the trail. I look forward next time to benefiting from their hard work.

At the top, in addition to one of the view points, there were several picnic tables. We relaxed, visited, ate lunch and prepared for our decent all under the glorious warmth of the sun. After using the restroom, we started our decent on the Ridge Trail after Ron was able to spot its start. It is rather hidden behind the privy!! Our return again was through cedars, firs, maples,etc. There was one spot reminiscent of the Oyster Dome trail in that there were many ‘trails’ wandering through the forest. Being competent mountaineers, it proved no great challenge to us. We returned to our cars about 1:15 or so with total elapsed time close to 3-1/2 hours.

All in all, everybody seemed to have an enjoyable time and felt Little Mountain would be a good addition to lowland hikes for winter and spring. It is pet friendly and, depending upon the youngster, a reasonable hike for kids. Adjustments could be made to avoid Fred’s Trail for the benefit of little ones. One final note – the bakery at 3rd Street Café was awesome!!!

Some notes:

  1. Most of the trail system on Little Mountain is multi-use trails meaning foot traffic and bicycles are allowed. We chose to stay mainly on foot traffic only trails with the last leg of our journey limited to a multi-use trail.
  2. There are pit toilets at the archery range (courtesy of the archery range), at the top, and about ½ way down depending upon your return route.
  3. There are two other trailheads off Little Mountain road both of which have pit toilets but neither has parking for more than a couple of vehicles.

Report submitted by the hike organizer, Joanie Pryor. Photo by Ron Riter.


Back in February, when Coronavirus seemed far away, Dante Alighieri invited CAI-PNW to their Carnevale. Diane Clifford, Gini Harmon, Ida Callahan, and Cam Bradley donned costumes and masks and enjoyed the dancing and catered Italian meal. Gina and Cam decorated masks at a workshop held the week before.

Here is a somewhat sinister looking pair. Guess who are behind the masks!

These two dressed in the bauta style which is worn indifferently by men and women. The bauta was one of the most popular costumes of the Old Carnival, especially in the eighteenth century, and remained in vogue well into the modern Carnival.

The costume consists of a tricorn black hat, a veil and a tabarro, a mantle, which doubles over the shoulders, originally white, deep-blue or red in color, and decorated with frills and fringes. The mantle and veil worn with this costume made it easy to conceal arms, which forced the State of Venice to issue several decrees regulating the wearing of costumes. A very severe punishment was inflicted on any person violating these rules.

What do you suppose the one on the right has under the costume?

By Cam Bradley with photo by Ida Callahan


Reports by our Italian Organizations Liaison, Joel Patience

Piazza Perugia Dedication

We were pleased to be part of the Piazza Perugia dedication as part of the Seattle Perugia Sister City Association October 14. This has been the culmination of some eight years of work and the event was hosted by the SPSSA, the City of Perugia, Italy, the Deruta Company of the Moretti family, Percorso Italiano Language School and Caffe Umbria. It was perhaps one of the most civil events that society has offered in recent memory.

The Piazza Perugia is decorated with the beautiful intricate hand painted tile work done by Deruta and still operated by the Moretti family.

Lorena Falcinelli, an expert in languages from Perugia, rounded out the list of dignitaries and the hospitably committee enjoyed making sure they were at the right place at the right time during their one week stay. Events included food, the Chihuly Glass Museum, food, a presentation at the U of W by Giorgio Moretti, food, a Boeing Everett tour, food, walking tour of Pioneer Square area and an American BBQ. The Honorable Franco Tesorieri was sighted at many of the events.

The dedication was well attended with about seventy people gathered on a crisp sunny autumn morning. Presentations were by Mike James, Leslie Keller SPSSA President, Giorgio Moretti, and Michele Fioroni of the Perugia EDC, with an event blessing by the Duwamish tribe.

We would like to invite everyone to visit this new park. It is located at the SE corner of East Harrison and MLK East.

Joel Patience is a watercolor artist and independent writer. His inspirations are from travels with his wife Dale Bonn.

2019 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)

In modern times one of the most popular means to promote the Italian culture has been through film. During time of war film has always been a means of propaganda and a way to lift the spirits of the county and in post war a means to reflect on the spirit and emotional condition of the country. Film is also a way to tell the world that you are open for business and want to display your culture.

The 2019 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) – Italian Style was a way for everyone to see the history and culture of Italy through the eyes of the film characters. Each year, in my opinion, SIFF – Italian Style gets better and better; humor and storytelling more sophisticated and well, violence is a way of looking at history in the making.

Why more folks from the Italian American community do not attend has always bewildered me. If one arrives just before a movie showing they can get a pass for free parking. In the case of the SIFF Uptown at the base of Queen Anne, lots are within walking distance just around the corner from the theater. If you happen to know a sponsor there is always a good chance to get a free voucher to attend a showing. As for those folks that say they never learned Italian for one reason or another, nearly every movie has English subtitles. Add these factors all up and you have few reasons to say no and most likely, a chance at a good time out with friends and lovers for high quality entertainment. There is also the option of going to opening and or closing night party, as well as a wine tasting event at the theater by one of the sponsors.

This season was from November 7-14. My wife Dale and I saw all fifteen films in those seven days. To sum up just a few movies we thought were fun, clever and or very interesting.

“Parents in Progress”. A group of parents have virtually only one thing in common; their children go to the same school. Most all of these parents are
single and get together at the invitation of the main character and their son for his birthday party. What they and their children do not have in common is well, apparently everything.

“Lucia’s Grace”. A single mom is a professional land surveyor. She is hired to confirm a piece of property where her client wants to build a fun park. What she finds is a major discrepancy from the property’s records. While she is working the Madonna appears to her and wants a church built there instead. They engage a friendly argument over the film. This is one story that Ray Petri would have gotten a kick out of as a surveyor.

“My Brother Chases Dinosaurs”. A boy’s family is planning to have another addition in the form of a little brother. His parents tell him that this new son has super powers. As they grow up together he realizes that his little brother really has down syndrome and needs his protection and honesty; even when he becomes interested in a young sophisticated woman.

“The Traitor”. A made man in organized crime has his friends and family members killed in the course of business as he escapes to Brazil. In order to
even up the score he uses the law and the courts to bring everyone to justice.

“Selfie” Two friends live in Traiano when their friend is shot by a policeman. They are approached by Director Agostino Ferrente to record their summer together and their feelings about the event – on their cell phones – which is used for constructing the film.

You will get another chance to see SIFF – Italian Style in the spring event.

Joel Patience is an independent writer and watercolor artist that together with his wife Dale Bonn find inspiration in their travels to Italy. They are also students of Italian language. Joel is a sponsor of SIFF – Italian Style.


Send your best guess with details to Answer in next Newsletter


I have been in communication with many of hiking friends and so far there are no reports of any sickness – other than being sick of being inside. Unlike us in self-isolating, the Italians had not been able to go outside or into the woods for a hike. Milano friends Angela de Micheli, Patricia Lombardi, Antonella Moro, Anna Giorgetti, Elsa & Giancarlo Manuta, Emilio & Mina Senesi, Paola Santambrogio, and others have reported doing OK while staying home.

Some good news from Pisa: Sandro and Piera Subissi became grandparents. They managed to drive to Geneva where their son works for WHO just before the Italy border closed! (Sandro is CAI-PNW’s liaison with CAI-Pisa.)
CAI Padua hikers, who were planning to be with us in the Pacific Northwest in August, have had to cancel. They are disappointed as well as all of us hosts and hike participants that organizer Clarence had so carefully arranged for. Fortunately Clarence reports that all of them are well and without virus so far.

A note about covid-19 and Italy. Because of Italy’s universal health service, Italians were better taken care of than Americans. In addition to those in the US without health insurance, those who have lost jobs are now without their company paid medical coverage. It is my hope that a positive change in the US medical system might emerge from this pandemic experience. I have lived with the Italian medical service now for more than 3 years and found it not fancy, but thorough, professional and always there for

Another note: The Italians have been so enthusiastic about the clear skies and views of the Alps in Milano that they are planning Strade Aperte (Open Streets) by building 35km of new cycle routes and giving pedestrians more space by widening pavements. Let’s hope that the US can come out of the
COVID-19 crisis inspired to reduce climate change.


Norizan Paterra was our enthusiastic president for five years. Frank, our treasurer for as many years, accepted a job with Amazon. They now live in Virginia – at least closer to their grandsons.

She misses the mountains of the Pacific Northwest but to explore the outdoors there. Before the Covid closure, they had been hiking the trails around Shenandoah National Park with its sweeping views of meadows and valleys that surrounds the area. The mountains of Maryland and West Virginia await future exploration.

We in CAI-PNW miss her! But we’ll surely see her again on a trail in Italy one day.

THE END! Please send trip reports and any pictures or description of what you are doing, where hiking while physically distancing for the next newsletter which may be published July 1, 2020. Send material in the body of your email (not PDF) to Cam Bradley, Communications at