Friday, August 31, 2012

Washington Coast Day 11

We are off early for the Pacific.  Headed south on the I-5 (the same one that goes to Steve's in San Diego-NOT going that far!), crossed the sound on the bridge to Anacortes On Fildago Island, one of the San Juan Islands (or at least that what the tourism lit says-it isn't one of the islands on the site for the San Juans.)  The ferries start here for the other islands.  We were early, too early for the quilt shop -darn it, so we found a nice park so Quinn and I could get some exercise.  Then we were off down the west side of the island over another bridge to South Whidbey Island.  At virtually the end of the road we caught a ferry for Port Townsend-it was a really smooth ride, a nice to the last ferry I was on (crossing from Inish Muir in Ireland!)  Quinn didn't mind but she did back at a few folks.  At the landing we went to Olympic National Park  I was surprised by the snow capped mountains!  I bought a nice book on Women in Washington during the 19th century (one of my continuing interests in history) and of course patches (bringing the total Number of patches for the blankets for this trip to three-not nearly as many as in the past.)  For there we headed west and south towards the coast on a "Scenic" byway.  It was very scenic-if you like tree tunnels and a very occasional glimpse of water.  I was bored within 15 minutes but I kept on, I find it difficult to change directions once I've decided on a path.  Pulled into Aberdeen,WA about 3pm with the sure knowledge that I would never make my evenings destination!  So I called and cancelled that reservation.  Somewhere along the way I hit the breaking point.  I was done with Washington, the West Coast and the trip--I wanted to be home.  I called the friendly folks at Motel 6 (where they leave the light on and happily take pets) made new reservations for Centralia-cancelling my plans to go further south along the coast, at least in Washington.

We arrived at Centralia in time for dinner-I was starving.  I ate my only sit down dinner, not counting Jim and Joanne's, of the trip as it was cool enough for Quinn in the car (with her fan going, the windows open a bit and her shade.)  After we checked into our friendly Motel 6 we took a walk around the outlet mall across the street and settled in for the night.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Washington Coast 2012 Day 10

Hang on to your hats this was a day to remember!

When I visit a costal city/town I wan to see the WATER!  I can hardly tell the GPS to take me to the ocean!  I've had pretty good luck with my method-head west until the road ends then choose another road to take me west until I can see the water, then I look for a beach!  Unfortunately, I could never find my way back to that particular beach and I never truly know where I am.  (This is important later.) So after a quick stop at Wally World that's what Quinn and I did.  And we did find the beach, or rather the shore as it was a rocky beach not a sandy one.  Quinn had a blast on her retractable leash, running and investigating everything and we walked all over the place.
Squalicum Beach, Bellingham, WA
A happy Quinn!  So much space to run, so much to smell!
San Juan Islands in the distance.
A Rock with barnacles

That's a smokestack in the distance, not a lighthouse.  Darn it.
A driftwood treehouse!
Blackberries on the beach.  Not quite ripe!

Then it was about time for lunch so I started back to the truck only to discover my keys missing!  I carry my truck key and the tonto cover key on a springie, spiral thing on my wrist and apparently it broke and fell away.  I didn't notice it as it is very light with just the two keys and I was struggling to keep my balance on the rocks.  Back out to the beach we went to look for them, on a sandy beach I would likely have found them but on a beach full of rocks the size of grapefruit and melons it was a hopeless cause.  At some point I also realized that I had forgotten to pick up my cell phone (it just gets better and better).  Many of my shorts don't have pockets so I'm constantly looking for my phone at home and when I travel I have a slot in the dash were it fits nicely and I just didn't put it into the bag I carry with Quinn's stuff in it.  Top that all off with the "I have no idea where I am"  and the insurance card with the number for roadside assistance was in my purse inside the locked truck and I was in a pickle.  Luckily, a very nice lady who was walking her dog told me where I was and let me use her phone to call State Farm (she had state farm as well).  In all the craziness I discovered I had not locked the tonto cover on the back end and with some help from tools back there and the fact that the vent windows in back were open I got into to truck.  But, all was not well as I broke the latch on the window doing it. (more on that later)  Anyway, State Farm sent a locksmith out.  While we waited in a lovely spot on a lovely sunny day we had lunch.  I put Quinn in the bed of the truck with her rug, food and water, and set up her portable, battery operated fan (when you wear a  parka all year you need help staying cool) so she was good.  Then I put a foam rug and a towel on the tailgate and had lunch (peanut butter).  Quinn got lots of attention from other beach lovers and her fan got lots of attention as well!  Several people asked if we needed help but by then it was just waiting.  The locksmith came, made me two new keys and we were soon on our way, me somewhat poorer!

After the beach adventure, I asked Sam (the gps) to take me to Quilt shops (I needed retail therapy).  After we went to the address of at least 4 others (no longer in business or something-it happens) I finally found one!  It was a nice little shop but I only bought some larger papers for hexies there.

Then it was back to the hotel for a NAP!  After that and dinner we headed back to the Lake Bellingham and walked all the way around it before we settled in for the night.

I decided to head on the next morning- for the actual Pacific ocean (not the Puget sound or Bellingham bay) so I spent some time studying the map and thinking about where I could stay the next night.  Even made a reservation!

So ends an eventful day--thank goodness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Washington Coast 2012 Days 8 & 9

I spent two days with Jim and Joanne at their lovely home on Lake Roosevelt, eating salmon Jim caught and fresh veggies from their garden. (I'm inspired. About the gardening, not the fishing!) Jim gave me a family history puzzle--love those!  And I figured it out, of course now he has more questions!  That's always the way with history-answer one question find six more!  The mornings have been so nice sitting on their porch with a cup of tea, lake watching.  Quinn loved their wrap around decks and the fact that they leave their doors open for quite a while in the morning.  She spent her time going out one door, checking everything out outside and coming in the other door to check on us!

Today we are off, west and north again.  First stop Grand Coulee Dam.

Huge, huge, huge! I have no idea how much electricity it generates.  It holds the water back to make Lake Roosevelt where Jim lives.

Then we headed up to North Cascades National Park.  Park of the drive was through apple orchard country.  I always wondered where those Washington Apples came from-most of the eastern part of the state is wheat country.  I bought some more cherries, Yum.  But even better I bought fresh blueberries-some the size of my thumb!  So Good.  North Cascades was a very pretty drive going up over the cascade mountains and coming down the other side.  Quinn and I stopped going up for lunch (my usual-peanut butter) and I got to listen to the creek I couldn't see and smell the distinct smell of mountains-sunshine, pine trees and dust!  Coming down I had to stop for these photos:
Lake Diablo- Yes the water is that color!

Still some snow up there!

The river leaving the lake keeps that color until it hits the bay.    See the white puff?  The birth of a fire!

I asked at the visitor's center about the color of the water and was told that this is the most glaciated river in the world,  I think he said a hundred glaciers feed this river!  The blue comes from minerals picked up by the glaciers.

Someday I might fly into Seattle and spend a week up here at a resort, or not.

We finished the day at Bellingham, WA.  Found a lake with a three mile path around it for Quinn to stretch her legs (me too) and called it a day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Washington Coast 2012 Day Seven

We left Kallispell MT via Lakeside, so we could get some cherries!  I'd been told that I had to get some cherries, so I did.  Then let Sam (the GPS) take us to my cousins on Lake Roosevelt.  Drove through some really pretty valleys on some back roads, had to stop once to answer the phone, it seems that the UPS software wouldn't accept my address!  I find that very odd-my UPS driver knows me by name and if the address is wrong!  Anyway we solved that issue by routing the kindle to Beth's house.  Then is was into the panhandle of Idaho very briefly and into Washington state.  Sam routed me along some very interesting gravel roads, one called Tickle Hills Road isn't open in the winter, for about a million miles.  OK, probably less than ten but it seemed much longer.  Quinn DID NOT like those roads at all! Pulled into Jim and Joann's about 2 pm.  I tried to unload but one of the locks on the tonto cover would not budge!  Jim would have to get pliers to open it,  gravel roads must have tightened it down.  I know for sure that the gravel roads fixed the door lock that didn't work!  We had a lovely dinner of pork ribs with a caprise salad made with about 8 different kinds of tomatoes from their garden--so yummy.  Jim is working at the pool in their area so he went off to the pool house.  Joann and I decided we might want a swim and Quinn needed a walk so we set of to walk down. Along the way we met a doe with twins who evidently thought Quinn was one of her babies!  She just got closer and closer until Joann wound up her bag loaded with towels and scared her off.  I swear I thought she was going to head butt us to get to Quinn. After that I took my Trekking pole when we went walking-it has a nice wooden knob on the end which could be used to bonk a deer on the head!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

West Coast Trip 2012 Day Six

Today We went over the top!  After a very nice drive up US 89 along this on the west, the northern Rockies.  (Normally it would have been much clearer but the smoke from all the wildfires made everything hazy.)
 On the east there was this!  Montana is the only place I've been where there are so few true foothills.
Just the High plains then the mountains.  The object of this drive was Glacier-Waterton Peace Park and the Going to the Sun Road.  I began on the east end at St Mary's MT and drove over to the west.  I had really anticipated this, in fact had driven many miles out of the way just to do this drive.  I wasn't terribly impressed.  Don't get me wrong it is beautiful!  Also very busy.  The road is only open a few weeks a year-July 4th to maybe Labor Day and it's a narrow two way road.  You go over Logan Pass (6, 626 ft or there about) but you're never really above the tree line.  I'm used to Trail Ridge Road in Colorado which is open from Memorial Day to first heavy snows and goes way above tree line!  I never got the feeling of standing on top of the world that you get on Trail Ridge (or on an actual mountain top!)  Anyway, I only got a very few photos as there were no parking spaces available anywhere along the way up or down--these two I shot while waiting for the light to change in the construction zone.  Guess I should be grateful for construction!

It is quite beautiful!!

Down on the west side we were soon out of the mountains and into Kalispell, MT for the night.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

West Coast 2012 Day Five

I am home again, having arrived on Monday evening, quite late, but will try to catch up on the happenings of the trip!

Day Five,

Quinn and I needed a day of rest so we stayed in Great Falls a second night.  During the day we found that they had a very nice, miles long walk along the Missouri River which we quite enjoyed!  It always astonishes me to see what I consider "by the ocean" birds so far inland.  Sea Gulls, whose white feathers quite captivated Quinn, and White Pelicans.  We also saw what I think were some loons all floating on the bay.  It wasn't too hot either so We went Quilt shop hopping!  Okay we only went to two shops, I bought a couple of pieces for some English Paper Piecing and some fat quarters at one, nothing at the other.  It's odd how the tiny, not much looking shop is where I bought the fabric where the bigger shop had nothing I wanted to bring home!

After the shop hopping we managed to find the dog park!  Quinn's first adventure at an off leash park.   There were three other small dogs playing and she had a ball with them, quite wore herself out which was handy as I needed a nap!

I tried cutting some hexi's out only to discover the paper patterns were really too small for my fabric, it was all ending up looking green, sigh.  Will have to print out some bigger patterns-on card stock.

I really like Great Falls, all the people have been very friendly and dog oriented!  The hotel staff have loved up on Quinn and so have many of the guests.  The only problem I ran into here is that they have mirrored closet doors and Quinn really wanted to play with that other dog!  I ended up closing one behind the other and piling things up in front so she couldn't see herself in the mirror.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Washington Coast Trip 2012 Day Four

I originally planned to drive three days and then have a rest day-two nights in one place.  But- I really don't like Billings so I headed up to Great Falls.  About 50 miles into the trip I discovered that my Kindle was missing!  I would have called the restaurant where I had breakfast cell phone was dead!  It is indeed at the Crackerbarrel in Billings and they are going to ship it home for me, deep sigh of relief!  I'm a terror on the poor things, this is my third, on last years long trip my 2nd Kindle got wet! Anyway, I'm happy it's found and will make it's way home.

I drove up Highway 89 through White Sulpher Springs (smells just like that too) where Quinn and I had lunch in the park then north to Great Falls.  I drove this route 2 years ago and it was so beautiful I wanted to do it again.  Unhappily, this time much of what I loved about the trip was obscured by smoke from the wildfires!  Disappointing.

Is was a short day arriving about 3pm.  It's still hot.

I decided to have my rest day here-this is the nicest hotel I've been in yet and the people here are all dog people!  Quinn is in heaven!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Washington Coast 2012 Day Three

More motorcycles.

This morning I'm sure there were more than 90 bikes in the hotel parking lot!  I had to wait for a gas pump behind the Harley's.  Boy they must really pump up the local economy!  We headed out, west again, with the bikers.  I really have only one thing to say Oh. My. God.  I have never seen so many Harley's!  I saw the single rider, the double riders, some fat tires, some three wheelers.  Then I say the bikes in the beds of pickups, on open trailers, inside big trailers that must have held a number of bikes, I even saw three semis with trailers that read "We haul Motorcycles"!  I think the fun one was the motor home pulling a pickup with a harley in the bed!  Every Hotel, and campground was packed and the highway was full as well!.  I decided to head up to Devil's tower National Monument  which is amazing!  I didn't get my patch though as I couldn't get near the Ranger Station or the gift shops for the bikers!  Turns out there was an "Official" ride (and a tee-shirt too!)  Everyone seemed to be having a great time.  I'm happy for them and so glad to be away from the bulk of them!  (although there are several bikes in the parking lot and in surrounding hotel parking lots!)  I don't think I ever want to travel that road again--too boring.  It's weird, I love the drive across Kansas even though I've made it thousands of time (okay maybe only hundreds) but I hate driving I-80 through Nebraska and I-90 through S Dakota and the landscape is pretty similar-go figure.

We drove out of S Dakota and into Wyoming.  Wyoming is the least populated of all the States, I get it there's nothing in the east part-I'll let you know about the west later on in the trip!  Rest Areas are few and far between but we did find one for our lunch.  It wasn't very dog friendly.  The sign said "No dogs on the lawns."  My first thought was where exactly was I to let Quinn walk followed closely by What Lawn?  The grass looked worse than my lawn and that's saying something!

We then drove out of Wyoming and into Montana arriving at Billings about 3:00 Mountain time, took two tries to find a hotel room and ended up with a smoking room, yuck.  I have it covered though, I brought the air purifier (everyone laughs at the stuff I haul on these trips but I use most of it) and I'll take the blankets and pillows off the bed and use my own so it should be ok!

I'd planned to stay here two days but have decided to go on to Great Falls tomorrow, short day but it's hot here and I want the mountains.

Washington Coast Trip 2012 Day two

Quinn and I were up at our usual time,  then found a really nice park-Veterans Memorial-and took a walk for 45 minutes or so.  It was cool and I like to get Quinn a little tired before we hit the road.  After I loaded up (not an easy task as we had a 2nd floor room without an elevator!  Normally, I wouldn't mind but Quinn's crate is heavy!) and had breakfast we hit the road.  This time Interstate 90 across South Dakota.  Originally, I had thought I'd stay on 29 until I reached I-94 in North Dakota but I really want to get to the mountains!

We stop often and walk around, Quinn sniffs a lot, etc.  First stop today was at the Corn Palace.  Check this out!

All the decoration on the outside of the building was done with corn! They were working on a new look on one side but the detail is just unbelievable!

We just kept heading west, sometimes I think the great plains are entirely too "Great"!  We stopped at a rest area for lunch and a walk.  Overlooking the Missouri River route of Lewis and Clark.  An interesting sight the back of a keelboat replica protrudes from the north wall and you can takes stairs up and walk out on it!  Take a look at the Missouri River, pretty huh?

I just love signs like this one!

About this time I began noticing more and more motorcycles.  You always see some on the highway but it started to look like more than usual.  When I got to Wall, SD home of the infamous Wall Drug which I have seen signs for several hundred miles, I realized I had made an error in my route planning.  I forgot about Sturgis.  Or more specifically, the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally!  About Wall motorcycles took over the road, the towns, etc etc etc.  I found a hotel room in Rapid City (kind of surprised me although it was pricey).  Went to the park to walk Quinn, then to Walmart for some laundry baskets (as usual I had to repack the truck!) and back to the hotel.  Quinn and I walked around the parking lot about 9pm and counted 80 Harley's in the parking lot!  Every parking lot for every hotel,  eating establishment, Walmart etc was packed with bikes (all Harley's)!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Washington Coast Trip 2012 Days 1

I left home about 9:30 yesterday morning, I'd finished packing the truck, had Quinn loaded and was getting ready to back up the drive when I remembered. . . I forgot the food in the frig I intended to take along!  So, whew, I wasn't disappointed at lunch time!

I drove north and a little west on Interstate 29, once I was over the Missouri River I followed alongside the river through northern Missouri and then the entire State of Iowa.  The Missouri river valley is very wide and flat with only bluffs on the far side of the river and the Loess Hills in Iowa.  I didn't stop except for lunch etc as it was hot and I can't leave Quinn in the truck for long.  I did see the Sgt Floyd monument ( Lewis and Clark Expedition:  Only member of the crew to die and he apparently died of appendicitis) in Sioux City.  It's a large obelisk and very visible from the highway.  I might have taken a closer look but traffic was horrid due to orange barrels (road construction) so I didn't get off the interstate.  All along the route there are signs and interpretative areas about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and while I have always thought their journey was amazing the land has been changed by "civilization" so I don't find it all that interesting.  They basically all have the same information as we used at the Trails Museum so I don't find them that interesting-either that or I've lost interest in learning about that.

Pulled into Sioux Falls, South Dakota about 4:30 and checked into a hotel.  Found dinner and a park to walk in then moseyed on back to the hotel and hit the pillows.  Long day, tired, didn't take a single picture.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Off to seek cooler air!

I'm off tomorrow for the Pacific Northwest!  I've had all the heat I can take and it's only the first week of August.  (We've had something like 20 days over 100F and at least 5 at 105F)  Today has been cooler but the 90's are back tomorrow!  We could have another 6 weeks of terribly hot, terribly dry weather (actually the dryness could stay with us longer than that as the fall is usually dry.)  I'm off to see if I need to move to a place with cooler summers or is a vacation in the hottest part of summer is enough.  I've packed some projects (of course), I may not make much progress but I "intend" to.  We all know how well I follow through with "Intentions"!  Will try to do travel blogs but. . . .

Now I'm off to finish the 101 things yet to be accomplished before I can actually leave!

Oh, I forgot!  I sold the travel trailer!!! Say Huzzah! Hurray! or Finally;))))