Holy Moses

Coulee City, WA

Just before we found out about the fire that prevented us from crossing the northern cascades, I got really organized and made reservations for the next two weeks. (I won’t be doing that again.)

In order to make those reserved stays and not lose any more of our deposits, our detour took us on the interstate.

After a harrowing drive on extremely windy roads, we ended up in Moses Lake, Washington.

I’m sure lots of people really love Moses Lake, but I’m not one of them…

Moses Lake is actually the name of the town and the lake that’s in the middle of the town. The lake has hundreds of lake front homes along its 120 miles of shoreline.

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I went for a jog near parts of the lake and some surrounding subdivisions.

I felt like I was being watched. I passed dozens of Neighborhood Watch signs.

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I kept on jogging and started counting security cameras in the subdivisions. I stopped  counting at a dozen (and I didn’t jog very far.)

Later I was talking with Richie and he casually mentioned that Moses Lake has a huge meth problem.

Wherever there’s meth, there’s crime . I guess that’s why housing prices were so low.

When Rich asked me if I would live in Moses Lake, I said, “Duh!” again only this time for a different reason than I did on San Juan Island.

Cascades

Moses Lake,  WA

We had planned to travel through the northern part of Washington along the North Cascades highway, but a massive fire detoured us.

I have wanted to travel that highway (Highway 20) for several years, but it’s usually closed whenever we are in the area due to early or late winter snow.

Since we couldn’t travel it for real this year, I’m going to take a virtual tour of it. 🙂

“The North Cascades are Calling!”

Less than three hours from Seattle, an alpine landscape beckons. Discover communities of life adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. Explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers. Listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. Witness a landscape sensitive to the Earth’s changing climate. (North Cascades National Park)

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Facts and Figures

  • The area is often called the American Alps because off the glacier clad peaks rising almost vertically from heavily forested mountains.
  • Precipitation varies wildly in the area ranging from 35 to over 120 inches per year.
  • Elevation levels climb from 605 to over 9200 feet.

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Someday we will get back there.

In the meantime I wish everyone affected by the devastating fires a quick, healthy, and wealthy recovery.

Plethora of Pictures

Moses Lake, WA

We’re traveling today on an unexpected route.

We had to change our plans due to the terrible fires in central Washington. We’ll be driving longer and farther than we anticipated to make it to some prior reservations.

So, I thought I’d take today and post some random photos that I haven’t posted yet…

Ultra Van Mini Convention

At our RV park in Oak Harbor, Washington, there is a small convention of Ultra Vans.

Ultra Vans were a motor home built in the late 1960’s by Corvair. “As a true monococque structure, the Ultra Van has no chassis. It is constructed like an airplane with aluminum ribs covered with riveted sheet aluminum on the top and sides. Compound curved areas (front and back corners) are fiberglass.”

There are only 100 of the originally made 376 still in use, and seven of those 100 are here this weekend! One of them came all the way from Minnesota! 0718141853

Coolest Island Touring Vehicle Ever

Although they almost ran into our Jeep, this young couple from France had the coolest island touring vehicle ever. It’s a moped for two! 0718141120

Wear Your Passion

This car owner obviously loves orcas. What if we all advertised our passions on our cars? Mine would have a picture of a big piece of cheesecake on it! 0718141319

Where are the Moosette Lodges?

Sophie and I went for a short walk. We happened upon a quonset hut building that had this sign on it. 0716141222a The building was old, but the air conditioner was running so I’m assuming that the “Moose” still use their home for meetings.

That got me wondering, was there ever a group for Cow Moosettes?

Deceptively Beautiful

This is a picture of Deception Pass Bridge. It’s just a stunning bridge from whatever angle it is photographed from… bridge

Who Killed the Pig?

Oak Harbor, WA

We hopped a ferry over to Friday’s Harbor on San Juan Island today for a drive and hike.

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We ended up at English Camp–the remains of an English military regiment. Here’s what it looked like in the late 1800’s.

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Great Britain and America agreed to a joint occupation of San Juan Island in 1859. Their camps would be located on opposite ends of the island. Everything went smoothly until someone shot a pig. In all my reading so far about the event, I have yet to find out who killed the pig…

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At one end of San Juan Island is American Camp; it has lovely prairies and secluded coves. At the other end is English Camp which is equally lovely but more forested and in a large sheltered bay.

We had a great hike around English Camp and finished up with a tasty lunch. So tasty that a raccoon tried to join us.  0718141317

We also visited a fantastic lavender farm on the island. They were busy getting ready for a weekend festival. Everything was adorned with lavender ribbons. Beautiful!

LavenderOne of the things that surprised me was how differently each of the dozens of lavenders smelled. Amazing distinctions between them all.

We had a great visit to the island.

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One of the things Rich and I do while we’re traveling is ask each other, “Would you live here?”

We don’t ask if we ‘could’ live here, because, honestly people could live darn near anywhere. But the real question is ‘would’ you live there.

Today when he asked me that question, my answer was, “Duh!”

Shade Hiking

Oak Harbor, WA

Nike has a commercial about shade running that perfectly describes how I like most to run–somewhere there is absolutely no sunshine!

Anyone who knows me very well knows how much I abhor sunshine.

Today, I found the perfect trail to run on. It has so little sunshine that there’s no need to wear sunscreen or sunglasses.

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Rich and I explored Deception Pass State Park. It’s on Whidbey Island and has miles of trails and great scenic views.

The trails we went on were softened with inches of pine needles and well shaded with century old pine and for trees.

Perfect!

The park has over 4000 acres and 40 miles of trails. Next time we come here we will stay in the park so I can run until my heart’s content.

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A bit of history: From 1924 to 1935, the water route from Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island was run by Berte H. Olson (1882-1959), and her husband, O.A. Olson, who held a state highway contract. Berte Olson was the first woman to hold a ferry captain’s license in Washington state. The residents of Whidbey Island wanted a bridge put in, but Berte fought it for years. She even convinced the governor to veto a unanimously passed bill to build the bridge. The fee for car and driver was 50 cents, with 10 cents additional for every extra passenger, with “extra large” cars paying 75 cents.  Berte eventually lost her fight and went out of business once the bridge was completed. 

Nap Time

Oak Harbor, WA

Not much to write about today. We moved from Bothell to Oak Harbor. Both are in Washington and only about 90 miles apart.

Apparently I needed to catch up on my sleep because I took at least a three hour nap today. I was so out of it, I’m not exactly sure when I fell asleep.

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We’ve been full on the throttle since the first of the year preparing the house for sale, packing and moving after the sale.

And the good news is that I know I won’t have trouble sleeping tonight because it feels like I could have slept on through the night… There’s nothing like a good nap!

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Better than a threesome is when it’s a foursome and Sophie sleeps with me. 🙂

Things I Miss

Seattle, WA

We moved out of our house and into our travel trailer on May 8. but I’m only counting since we bought Homer because we didn’t know what we were going to do before then. We bought Homer on May 30. That’s the day we decided not to get a divorce 😉 and travel and live full time on a motor home for at least a year.

So we are six weeks into full timing. And I have been pondering what I miss most from our old life style.

Here are the top three:

  1. DSL Internet. I’m a tech lover. Not a geek because I don’t want to understand how tech things work. I just them to work while I use them. Most but not all of the parks we are staying at SAY they have WiFi: some free, some for an hour a day, and some for a nominal charge. But over 75% of them have WiFi that is slower than dial up. It’s painful for someone who’s been spoiled with DSL for years…images (7)
  2. Sophie Being Off Leash. When we stay in parks, Sophie’s got to be on a leash. We break the rules some because we don’t keep her on a six foot leash. We use a retractable leash. Whenever possible we take her to places where she can be off leash. We also cheat and keep her on a electronic collar (aka shock collar) if the spot we are in has defined space. That way she has a bit of freedom as often as possible. We will probably stay more often in state or federal campgrounds while the weather permits so that she can run free and be off leash during runs, hikes, and walks.104490
  3. Frozen Brownies. Homer has a convection/microwave oven. I have only tried once to bake in it.  The results were less than spectacular. I used to cook brownies a couple of times per month. I would cut them into squares and flash freeze them. After they were frozen (and taste tested 🙂 ), I would put them in a large baggie and back in the freezer. Over the course of the next week or so, Rich and I would have a brownie* for dessert.  I miss them so much that I’m considering buying a toaster oven that will allow me to bake brownies and other goodies.download (2)

*Try CHEWY MEXICAN BROWNIES: add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup dried cranberries to your mixed brownies. Bake as directed.  Best frozen.

Surprising Chill

Seattle, WA

We are in Seattle visiting our son, Rich, for a few days. We used to call him Little Richie. But as you can see he’s no longer little… 0714141446aRich took us on a drive to Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. I’m always a sucker for a drive in the mountains.

We ended up at Big Four Mountain and took a hike to the Big Four Ice Caves. According to a woman we met on the hike, the mountain is called Big Four because the snow melts in such a way each spring to expose a very large “4”.

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The ice caves are snow melt outlet openings at the base of permanent snowfields created by winter and spring avalanches. (Picture below was harvested from the Internet.)

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As we approached the caves, the temperature kept dropping. During today’s hot temperature it felt devine!

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Waterfalls drop into the tops of the caves, and their water flows out the bottom in streams. These actions and the temperature changes create a chilling mist that flows out the bottom of the caves.

You can walk into the caves. They are melting, so “rain” falls from the ceiling. It is surprising how chilled we got in just a few minutes of wandering around the caves’ openings.

Sophie loved walking in the chilled water too cool off because it was hot.

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Recycling Genius

Seattle, WA

We happened upon a private art park near Elbe, Washington.

Recycled Spirits of Iron is a one man show by Dan Klennert at his home/shop.

In a beautiful park-like setting.  Dan’s work showcases over 40 years of work.

Most of his work is recycled metal.

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But he has some newer pieces made with driftwood.

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If Homer had some big unadorned walls, I would have cut loose with some big bucks to buy something for our new ‘home’.

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But for now I just donated a bit of cash to thank the artist for letting us take a look at his genius.

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Mountains Road Trip

Mineral, WA

Took a long drive today to view Mt. St. Helen’s and drive around much of Mount Rainer.

0712141512I have always wanted to see Mt. St. Helen’s but never had the chance. It’s stunning how much of the mountain is gone.

We took a bit of a gamble to drive up to see it. We found the right road, but there we’re no mileage markers.  The signs said how many miles to everything else in the area, but they never listed how many miles to the various viewpoints.  That’s the last time I forget to pack Jack–our GPS unit.

Mount Rainer is incredibly beautiful. The contrast of the glaciers and the rock make it so visually intriguing that I could just stare at it for hours. 0712141053 There was an interesting cloud formation on it today. I have no idea what caused the clouds to look like that. I just know it made for a great photo.

We saw 10,500 tourists in the park and one lone deer walking calmly through said tourists in the middle of one of the lodge’s parking lots.

Once we left the park, we saw about a half dozen elk on the main street in Packwood. 0712141358 Oh, and the best part of the day for Sophie? Playing in the snow with Roscoe, a Jack Russell Terrier. 😉 They had a blast and ran so fast I couldn’t get a picture of them.