Friday, August 23, 2013

A day of mourning...

The saddest tale we have to tell, is when we bid our Sadie farewell.  Today, Sadie got a new owner. We decided that it was time for us to move on and simplify our lives. We will miss her terribly. There are so many memories in that old coach.

The previous owners kept her up and delivered her to us in fine condition. We have loved her for nearly six years. Now, we wish the new owner and her family safe travels and a million wonderful memories.

Farewell, Sadie. You are a venerable lady, and we will miss you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Playing catch up

OK. I am in big trouble. There is a photo that I took in La Push that I was very excited about, and I failed to include it in the earlier posts. Jill was a little hurt, because she is the star.
 This is Jill in the business end of a large driftwood tree on the beach at La Push. 

Below is a photo from our current parking space looking across the water toward Garibaldi.

OK. I feel better now. I'll be able to sleep tonight.

Somebody goofed!

Somewhere along the way, the weather man goofed.  This is NOT a travel day, and yet, we have rain!? I don't understand.  The system has been working so well. On the other hand, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  (Psalm 118:24)

We took the girls out for a morning potty break.  They were grateful. After a bit of a stroll around the park and the marina, we returned to Sadie and did some reading.  We are reading a book to each other. It is titled The Life You've Always Wanted, by John Ortberg.  What a great book!  Ortberg writes with clarity, humor, compassion and understanding.  His topic is "how to live as Jesus would if He were in your place." It is the best book I have read about spiritual discipline. Unfortunately, we finished it up this morning. (I guess now we have to apply what we learned.)

After our reading time, we went up to see Garibaldi.  It is not large, but there are some interesting shops.  We stopped at the pharmacy, which, like many a pharmacy nowadays, is a gift shop that dispenses pharmaceuticals in the back.  We found some fun things for someone we love who has a birthday this week. From the pharmacy, we went on to the grocery store to find some fresh fruit. We were pleasantly surprised by what seemed like very reasonable prices.

So, having "done" Garibaldi, we headed down the highway and came to Bay City (I couldn't help thinking of the British boy band of old called the Bay City Rollers).  There we came upon the Pacific Oyster Co. Jill  has been craving pan fried oysters, so we stopped for lunch.  Our little waitress took our order, which included a cup each of clam chowder. In a little while she returned with two enormous bowls and said, "We are out of cups, so I tried to estimate how much a cup is and put it in these bowls, but I will only charge you for a cup."  I hope the boss doesn't find out about this caper. I'm sure that was the biggest "cup" or maybe even "bowl" of chowder I have ever had.  And the quantity was matched nicely by the quality. 

Jill had her fried oysters, and I chose fish and chips. Neither of us was able to finish, after the enormous portions of chowder. So, we have seafood for dinner.

From Bay City, we continued on to Tillamook, a larger city, famed for dairy products. We hadn't any agenda in mind, but I noticed gas was a bit cheaper than we have encountered, so I filled up Daisy Mae's gas tank. The rain was coming in torrents now, so we headed back toward Garibaldi.  Along the way, we decided to drive into the business district of Bay City. It is very small. We continued up one of the streets (4th, to be exact) and arrived at a junction with a winding road. I couldn't resist. We wound along the mountainside, through the forest, enjoying periodic views of the bay and eventually arrived back on US 101, just outside Garibaldi.

That is about it for today, so far, but it is early, so we'll see what else develops. In the meantime, here is a photo I took just before bed time last night.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Got me a hot spot!

At long last, I have an adequate connection to continue our Olympic Peninsula trip blog. We left you last, dear reader, in La Push, WA at the Oceanside RV Park. The day after I posted, the weather was spectacular.  The rain and wind of the previous day were gone. The temperature was in the upper sixties and we got a few more photos:

 Quileute Needles with stratified clouds.
And closer up.

On Friday, we departed La Push and made our way south on US 101 to Pacific Beach, a  small community on the mid-Washington coast.  The weather was awful on the drive with lots of rain.  We decided we must have chosen the correct travel day! Once we arrived at Pacific Beach state park, we forgot all about the bad weather during the drive.  As the afternoon wore on, the clouds began to scatter. By morning the skies were dotted with clouds, but the blue of a summer sky began to break through and we had a gorgeous day.  

Now, Pacific Beach state park is a lovely place, but the campsites are not provided with water.  There is potable water available to fill the water tank in the coach, so I filled up.  I had no idea how much water we typically consume in a day, but I found out that 72 gallons was enough to last us about a week at our usual rate of consumption. We had a little over half a tank left after three days. But I digress. 

We discovered that Pogo had hurt her leg at La Push, probably from too much running on the beach.  She was carrying her left hind leg and not putting pressure on it.  This is an old football, that is to say.... Pogo, like many small dogs, has a tendency to dislocate her kneecaps.  In the past it has healed without any more treatment than some pain medication. Of course, that was the one thing for the dogs I neglected to pack. So, Pogo is on the DL, but we had a great deal of fun watching Lulu run free on the incredible, big, flat beach and along the river's edge. Of course, we forgot the camera every time. 

Jill did get a shot of the old blogger grillin' up some vittles.

And Lulu was relaxing in the sunshine after gnawing a beef rib bone. 
Notice the eyes? I call this bone drunk.

When I made reservations for this trip, I reserved two nights at Pacific Beach and then went on to make the next reservation, in Long Beach.  The top-rated park in Long Beach, according to, was all booked up for Saturday night, but they could take us Sunday night. So, I made the reservation and then went back to the reservation page for Washington State Parks. The space I had reserved was not available for Saturday night! Arrgghh.  

Well, I just reserved another space for that night. It took us about 10 minutes to move, since the only "hook-up" involved was unplugging the electric cord and plugging it in again. We met some lovely people in the next space. The owner (and driver) of the beautiful 33 foot 2003 Winnebago Adventurer was Oscar.  Oscar is 93! I'd have guessed his age about a decade younger. He wanted to tour Sadie and offered a tour of his coach in return.  His son and daughter-in-law were also there in their 2012 Airstream Serenity trailer. I got to see the inside of an Airstream in person for the first time. Beautiful!

Sunday dawned with wind and rain. Hmmm... must be travel day.  We left Pacific Beach on schedule at 10:00 AM, bound for Long Beach. It rained and stopped; sprinkled and stopped; poured and stopped. Now, Sadie, as much as I love her, has some weaknesses. One is her windshield wipers. They work, but they are out of adjustment, so the passenger wiper goes too far to the right and jumps over the windshield molding with a clunk. Shhhh, CLUNK, Shhhh, CLUNK, Shhhh, CLUNK. Driving with that racket going on is less than pleasant. So, I became a human wiper delay mechanism. The left and right wipers are completely independent, so periodically, I would switch on first the left and then the right; let them wipe a time or two. Then switch them off. Next project? Wiper delay relay!!

At long last we arrived at Long Beach. Along the way, Jill got some nice photos. 
 Willapa River near Raymond
Willapa Bay from east shore.
Downtown Long Beach, with attendant traffic.

The park we stayed in at Long Beach was Andersen's RV Park. There is a sign out front that says the park was established in 1949.  It has been updated, of course, but it still amounted to a gravel parking lot with a path about a quarter mile long to the beach. The proprietors and the help were all lovely people and helpful as can be. Remember the group I said had filled up the park on Saturday? Well, that group was a bunch of lady RVers with small vintage trailers. They call themselves "Sisters on the Fly."  They had come for a weekend away from husbands, kids, dogs and the workaday world. We saw a couple dozen of them going north as we were coming south to Andersen's. There were a half dozen of them who stayed until this morning, so we got to see some of their rigs. Very cute.  Below, I have posted a couple of pictures of coaches similar to theirs. These are internet photos, but they will give you an idea. 

What fun these ladies apparently had.  We were told they even went skinny dipping in the ocean! Andersen's park holds close to a hundred RVs, and Jill learned from one of the gals who stayed behind that they had to turn people away.  The ladies had an auction while they were at the park to raise money for charity. Apparently this is an annual event. The cause this year had something to do with caring for sexually abused children. See! RVing isn't all just self-indulgent play. 

The rain let up a little this morning. It was replaced by wind! By the time noon (check-out time) rolled around, the rain was back. Yep! You guessed day. That brings us up to the present.  We departed Long Beach and drove a grueling (not really) 72 miles to Garibaldi, OR.  This route involves crossing the Columbia River at Astoria.  I was a little leery about crossing the Astoria Bridge with gusty winds, but my worries were unfounded. Sadie did just fine. Once again, Jill manned the camera. 

 Superstructure of Astoria Bridge, north end.
 Ahead is the main span over the shipping channel.
 Your highway dollars at work.  They are painting the bridge, so they gave 
us a nice tent to protect us from falling debris and paint overspray.
 Astoria's west boat basin from the bridge.
 Some Astoria homes
 Love to meet up with these folks when I'm driving Sadie on a narrow two lane road.
 A peak at the Pacific Ocean, Oregon style.
 The tunnel at Arch Cape
 Manzanita Beach from Neahkahnee mountain
US 101 at the summit of Neahkahnee mountain.

So now we are parked at the Harborview Inn and RV Park in Garibaldi, OR. The view from Sadie's windshield is below.  

That is Tillamook Bay. We intend to investigate this area tomorrow and the next day.  There is a steam locomotive that pulls a vintage train in and out of the town. I'd love to have a ride. Stay tuned for more Travels with Sadie.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Moving on...

 I just had to throw in another pic from Potlatch.

It has been a dry spell, where wi-fi availability is concerned. Sadie departed The Waterfront at Potlatch on Sunday around noon. After a lovely, leisurely drive, we spent the next two days at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, WA. This park was formerly a military installation that dates back to the turn of the last century. It is now used as a convention center and museum as well as an RV park.
Driving up US 101 toward Port Townsend.
 The view from Liliwaup.

 Another highway shot.
On the peninsula that protrudes out into the junction of The Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet, there is a lighthouse that is no longer in service. There is an automated, lighted aid to navigation mounted on the outside of the lens house, but otherwise the lighthouse, like so many of its cousins is being relegated to the dustbin of history. In addition to the lighthouse, there is an old fortified battery. It is a sight to see. Of course the guns are no longer there, but the concrete bunkers and magazines remain.
 The fetching Mrs. Blogger
 The old blogger himself on the roof of the Fort Worden Battery.
 My three girls
 Fort Warden campground from atop the battery.
 I never got the name of this lighthouse.
I'm sure some of the rooms in the structure were offices and barracks, and there are overhead tacks in what must have been the magazine. They were undoubtedly used for transporting rounds of ammunition for the several guns. According to the one and only sign we found explaining what we were seeing, the guns were put in place in 1902. They were never fired, and then in 1913 they were sent to Europe. Don't get me started on government waste!
 Some of the military structures at Fort Worden
 A little landscape shot. 
I found this battery interesting, because it is almost a carbon copy of the one at Fort Stevens, near Warrenton, OR. We visited Fort Stevens several years ago and learned that the guns there had a similar history to those at Fort Worden. Apparently, the government didn't feel it strategically necessary to arm these gun emplacements during WW2.

OK, so enough with the history, already. We also had a lovely time walking on the beaches that surround the RV park, and of course, the dogs loved the opportunity to explore new smells and things to roll in. Pogo is especially glad, I think, to be vacationing, after having surgery recently to remove a benign adenoma from behind her right eye. The tumor was pushing her eyeball out of its socket, but as you will see in the photos, she is back to normal...except that her hair is cut really short to try and balance out her look, after half of her head was shaved for the surgery.
 Go for a walk??
 The beach at Fort Worden on the Strait of Juan de Fuca side.
 A little beach community
 Their royal highnesses.
The Strait of Juan de Fuca with a cloud bank over Victoria, B.C., Canada.
 Oh! Me father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light.
After a couple of days at Fort Worden, we were a little sad to move on, but it was fun to see new territory that neither of us had seen before. We left Port Townsend this morning and drove west on US 101. At Port Angeles, the highway turns to the southwest and winds through the mountains. One of the highlights of the trip was seeing Crescent Lake, which is a large lake nestled among the Olympic mountains. Jill tried to get photos of the lake from the moving coach, but of course that is a real challenge, especially when it is raining, and the camera wants to focus on the raindrops on the windshield! Nevertheless, she got a couple of passable photos.
Crescent Lake, WA.
 Crescent Lake, WA.
 Crescent Lake, WA.
After we left Crescent Lake behind, the sky opened up, and we thought we would have to stop rather than drive through the torrent. The shower was short-lived, though, and we were able to continue. About the time we arrived at La Push on the Quileute Indian Reservation, the clouds began to clear and we were able to have a lovely walk on the beach. The girls loved it, and so did we. As I write this, the sun is about to dip itself into the Pacific Ocean.

 The Quileute needles at La Push, WA.
 Lulu had a long day on the beach.
Bedtime in La Push.
This park is in quite a remote location. There is no cell phone service, and the wi-fi that is available is at the office only. I will use it tomorrow to post this. Our next destination is another state park without wi-fi, so the posts will be spotty, but I will try to fill in the blanks when I can. Meantime, rest assured that we are having a lovely adventure.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Until tomorrow

Vacationing in a motor home makes us understand what a snail's life or a turtle's life is like. No, I don't mean because of the speed at which the RV in front of you is moving when you are in a hurry to get somewhere important, like the tourist shops in Cannon Beach.  No, the reason it is like the life of the aforementioned representatives of the animal kingdom is that we carry our home with us. Now just imagine that you went on vacation and took your home along. How fast would you be able to move? But I digress.

We enjoy this mode of vacationing especially because we carry our home with us. We always know where we are going to sleep. We also know we will not be interrupted by someone wanting to come in and do all the housework- making the bed, tidying up the room-or by someone wanting to come in and serve us a meal that we ordered from room service.

Today was no different from any other day traveling in our road snail. Well, the date was different, and we had sunshine today, as opposed to the heavy clouds we had yesterday, and we didn't have guests for dinner today, as we did yesterday. Oh, and today we were parked in front of the view shown in the photo above, instead of impeding traffic and helping to keep the blood pressure of selected motorists from dipping too low. So, what's your point?

On the other hand, we did go to the farm market on the Skokomish Indian Reservation and purchase some clams and corn on the cob, which will become our dinner pretty soon. We went up to greater metropolitan Hoodsport to see which shops have new occupants since the last time we visited here.  In an unstable economy in a summer resort town, part of the experience is seeing the carousel of businesses that come and go with regularity.  The used book store we used to enjoy frequenting became a tattoo parlor that last time we were in the area. Now it is something else. I have to admire the optimism and sheer guts of people who open such businesses.  I read once that the odds of a new business failing are on the order of 85%. I suspect that in a place like Hoodsport it is closer to 95%.

Most of the day we spent lounging, reading and enjoying the view. But the day is not over yet, and you can't tell what kind of excitement may come our way.  Of course, when you go on vacation, you are supposed to relax, and who needs all that excitement, anyway? So, we have one more night to relax in Potlatch. You will have to wait until tomorrow to get behind us on this two-lane highway and do your honking and under-the-breath cursing.