Monday, July 27, 2009

Non-Productive Day

Bald Eagle

Today was not really a productive day as the radiator hose assembly did not come in! Around 9 A.M. we headed into town to check at the post office to see if the part was in. Alas, NO! We then went to the repair shop and they hadn't seen it yet. USPS tracking showed it being received at the Federal Way Postal Service Center and it was on its way to Stanwood. It must be coming by snail mail! Maybe tomorrow will be better.

I posted the picture of the Bald Eagle that Amye took when we were at the wildlife sanctuary yesterday. Magnificent sight to behold.

After a stop at the local bookstore, we needed to go to Costco for tonight's menu planning. Since Karl, Sally, Tim and Patti have so graciously cooked us dinner the last several nights, we wanted to return the favor. We bought enough steaks for the seven of us as well as broccoli and rolls. Sally will bring the potato salad. Chef Karl did a superb done cooking the steaks on the grill. There was plenty to go around. If that wasn't enough, Tim brought out some homemade ice cream with dark fudge sauce for dessert.

Care to guess the name of this plant?

We saw the above plant at the Locks the other day and have no idea what they are? Do you know?

Before we went to Costco, we made a quick trip to the Tulalip Casino. Today, I came away with a plus $16.25 ahead of the game. Amye and Joan weren't so lucky. Tomorrow will be another wait and see game! Wish us luck!!!

Deception Pass and more WOES!

Mt. Erie
Sunday morning. The sun is shining and it is warming up. My daughter is going to be our chauffeur today. We head northwest out of Stanwood. Sally makes a quick stop in Skagit Wildlife Management area hoping to see birds. Oh, did we! A beautiful female eagle keeping watch over an offspring that apparently has just learned to fly. My camera just couldn't get a good close up shot. What an enormous nest they build! We spent considerable time watching the birds.
Another surprise is in store! I haven't seen my grandson in two years and with the help of the cell phones we make connections. He has just passed the intersection where we are waiting for a light to turn on to the same highway, but in a different direction. Gregg, if you are reading this, Thanks so much for your lovely post meeting text message. I love you!
Sally decides we need to see the view from atop Mt. Erie. The above picture was taken from the road, looking up to the mountain. The picture below shows the road we traveled. It was kind of hazy on top so many of the pictures did not do the view justice,

Lake Campbell from atop Mt. Erie
Our next stop is Deception Pass. This is probably one of the most photographed places in Washington State. Due to four tides a day, this pass used by boaters to get out to the Straits is very dangerous and must be attempted at high tide. If one has a fear of heights, this is not the bridge to be standing on. We just happened to be there at high tide and got to see a lot of water traffic, from a tug boat, pleasure craft, and kayaks, that use the narrower, calmer channel through the pass. My son-in-law vouches for the danger of going through the pass at low tide!
Deception Pass and Bridge

On our way home we stopped at the Snow Goose Produce to have one of their homemade ice cream on homemade waffle cones. Way too much for a single cone! I should have taken a picture!

And now for the woe! Friends drove the "Road Runner" to a repair shop to have them pressurize the cooling system to see why I had to keep adding antifreeze. They found a hole in the upper hose assembly. We ordered the part through our trusted supplier in San Diego for overnight shipment. The service repair gave the wrong part number, so I again am waiting for the right part to arrive on Monday. I will have both hoses changed out while I am at it. Many more mountains to cross as we head east in the next day or two.

San Juan Islands

The TTT's at Mt. Rainier
Amye sent the above picture to me so you can see at "Sunrise" at MT. Rainier. We are so close to the mountain that it looks so much smaller when you see it from Seattle. Some remaining snow can be seen behind us.
We are staying at my daughter's friends on Camano Island which is about an hour north of Seattle. The first morning out, we headed to the Camano Island State Park. We walked the stony beach where Joan was leaving "no stone unturned". She found several pretty colorful small shells, but managed to lose some between to large driftwood logs. Amy found some "Goldfish" there. (The kind from Pepperidge Farms!) She also found her version of a new shell..aka plastic water bottle cap! What a great sense of humor and imagination!!! The island is is rather small so it didn't take us long to tour it. It is amazing how many people live here though and what fantastic views of the San Juan Islands they have.
We ventured off to the local Costco in Smokey Point before heading back to the island and a cocktail party in Stanwood at another of my daughter's friends. Their home sits high on hill and overlooks a valley and out to Port Susan. The valley is mostly farms. One can hear a train from miles away coming through the valley. It kind of reminds one of a toy training running under one's Christmas tree as it looks so small from where we were enjoying a pit fire, a margarita and smoked salmon (done by my son-in-law). Yummy!
It is now Friday and we are taking one of the Washington State Ferries from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. We have to be there 1-1/2 to 2 hours ahead of a scheduled sail at 8:45 am. So it was early to bed last night as we had approximately an hour drive to Anacortes.
Sign Noting the British Camp
The ride over to the island was somewhat overcast and foggy, but we still enjoyed it. Getting off the ferry into Friday Harbor , right in the business district, kept one on their toes to find the right street to get out of town. All traffic when the ferry docks is one-way. We find our turn and head out into the country. We find a neat winery and across the road in a field is a camel! Who would have "thunk it?!" We found a fawn eating foliage on some one's front lawn in a quest to find a beach. Our map noted a British Encampment, so down the road we headed. An American soldier had killed a pig belonging to a Brit and it started a war. Tomorrow (Saturday) they are doing a re-enactment of the battle. While at the encampment we viewed an Osprey and her nest through a telescope the Park had set up.
Our next stop was at the Lime Kiln Lighthouse and a place to watch for Orca whales.

Limekiln Lighthouse.

No whales today! We did see trees that really amazed us. Their bark was really red. My daughter said they are called Medrone (sic) Trees. We went back to the booming metropolis of Friday Harbor for lunch. Restaurants were so busy that we waited an hour AFTER ORDERING for our meals to be served. And because we had to be in line for the ferry two hours ahead of sail, we moved the car to the loading lines, locked it up and headed for some shopping. I don't think any of us bought a thing. Except...for the ice cream cones! The sail back to the mainland was bright and sunny. When we got back to Camano Island, my daughter and son-in-law cooked us a scrumptious dinner of broiled salmon, corn on the cob, potato and tossed salad. If one didn't like salmon, one ate baked chicken. Great two days!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Puget Sound from Seattle Waterfront
While we were in Enumclaw, we spent a day visiting Seattle. We found parking along the waterfront after we finally figured out how to buy a parking ticket from a machine. This was not the usual parking lot, but a city street. We walked the waterfront for about three blocks to get to the famous Pike's Place Public Farmers Market. It was quite an experience, especially if one has never seen the fish vendors throw the fish from an iced area in the front of the booth to another guy who does whatever to it and packages it up for travel. Travel being short (one's trip to a home in Washington or long term (air flight to Washington, D.C. that is!) Joan purchased what if I can think of it was a salmon belly? Jump in and comment as I am still not sure what it was.

Pike's Place Public Market

It was a fun place to visit. Leaving the market and heading North-West, we stopped at one of the locks that allow boats of all size and shapes to go from Puget Sound into Lake Washington. It was so busy!. The locks are in operation 24 hours a day! While there we crossed the locks and went down into a "Fish Ladder". This ladder allows the salmon to get through the locks to go upstream to spawn. Although we saw some salmon, we were told that in August the activity would increase. Tug Boat entering a lock

We ate lunch in a quaint seafood restaurant across the street from the locks before we started our trek back to the fairground. Today we spent the day driving around Camano Island. I won't tattle on someone, but some gal in the car lost several beautiful shells she had gathered. Busy day planned for tomorrow. We are taking the ferry to Friday Harbor. I better get some shut-eye as 6 a.m. comes early and we have an hour's drive, plus we have to be in line at least 1-1/2 hour before boarding the ferry. Nitey-Nitey!

Mt. Rainier High!

Mt. Rainier

Our journey the past several days has taken us into Enumclaw, WA and Mt. Rainier National Park. What a magnificent site! My daughter's significant other, Jim, took us up to Sunrise. It is the closet one can get to the peak of the mountain by a motorized vehicle. On our way up the mountains, Jim took us in to Crystal Village hoping we could see some elk, as they stay in the village year around. We were not disappointed! A small herd of females with their young'ens were sunning in the community park area.

Momma Elks and Babies

Up and up and round and round mountains we went. There was one beautiful overlook before reaching the summit. Here we took some memorable pictures of what was below us. A meadow and a couple of lakes, the road we had already traveled and a view of another mountain, Mt. Adams. We could also capture picture of Mt. Rainier from a different perspectrum. At Sunrise, the wildflowers were in full bloom adding to the colors of the green meadows. We at lunch in the gift shop/restaurant and enjoyed time in the Visitors Center.

A View of Mt. Rainier from our campsite

The TTT's parked on a farm, courtsey of Steve with a fantastic view. While in Enumclaw, Amye was able to get her sunglasses fixed. No more squinting! We also went to the Muckleshoot Casino. We all came out a little bit ahead...and I do mean "a little bit". At least we didn't leave any of our money.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Sorry friends and family, no pictures today. We were having trouble finding a place to camp near Enumclaw, WA so we could be near Karen's home. Karen found a nice place at a farm just west of Enumclaw. The view was top rated! We were hoping to get into the campground at the King County Fairgrounds, but the fair is going on through tonight. Karen and I checked it yesterday and the manager said we should be able to get three sites today after two or three o'clock. Well, we are in the campground hooked up to electricity and staying cool. But, we are not in our assigned campsites, We think the manager made a mistake on the departure date for the people on our sites, as it is 9 PM and they are still there! That's okay, we are happy campers! We had our monthly haircuts and we look beautiful! Amye's tailpipe on the generator is straight again and we went to WalMart for the first time in a week.

We are heading back to the campground for the night. I will upload the pictures I took yesterday and today and post here tomorrow. We are going up to get a closer look at Mt. Rainier tomorrow and Seattle is on our agenda for Monday. Stay tuned in!!!

The TTT's

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh! What A Beautiful Day!

We left our lovely campground at 6 AM for Castle Rock, WA to meet up with Karen, my daughter, who was going to be our chauffeur and tour guide today. The day started out very foggy in areas. Lucky for us, it was too early for the tourists! We caught very few glimpses of the Pacific Ocean today. When we got to Astoria, OR most of the fog had lifted and we should have shout: "Good Morning, Miss Merry Sunshine!" We arrived at the Mt. St. Helen's RV Park ahead of Karen, giving us the opportunity to empty holding tanks, and Joan was able to get one washer load of soiled clothes taken care of. We could not have asked for a better day! Temperature was in the low 80's and NO HUMIDITY! This is another place of "things to see" in one's lifetime.

Mt. St. Helen's, Washington

We started our 45 mile journey up the mountain. Up and up we went, switching back at times. It was such a gorgeous day! We sat through the movie about the eruption of the mountain in 1980, toured the Visitor's Center which included watching an actual seismograph of the current activity occurring in the volcano, a 3-D display depicting the eruption and seeing the magnificent Volcano. The Johnson Observatory is approximately 5 miles from the crater. The picture above was taken at one of the view points along the road leading up to the Observatory.

Coldwater Lake

We stopped at one of the lakes that occurred as a result of the eruption. This one offered a boat ramp and fishing. We were disappointed that we didn't see any elk.

We are back at our campsites after dinner in a nearby restaurant. Amye is doing her laundry. I'll wait until morning. She said it was crowded in there. I'm headed out to visit with the TTT's.

We may not have wi-fi tomorrow night. Sure hope so!

The TTT's have had a good day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Siletz River, Lincoln City, OR

This place is so beautiful. What a campground should truly be! The Coyote Rock R.V. Resort and Marina is situated about 2 miles east of Hwy. 101 at the south end of Lincoln City, OR. What a gem we found, enough to stay an extra day. Joan was out taking pictures and got one of a seal in the river. We really didn't know what it was. Fishing for salmon is excellent. We saw some pictures of trophies won here. The largest salmon weighed in at 47 pounds. Most seem to between 20 and 30 pounds each. Of course, there are the smaller ones. too. They have two docks and there must be close to 68 spaces to tie one's boat to when not in use.

The Happy Turtle and 'Tilton Hilton at Coyote RV Resort

We spent the day seeing what was around Lincoln City. Aha, Casino! Joan was the $$$ winner today, Amye $ and me -$$. Lunch was enjoyed at Jay's Fish & Chips where we ate either Cod, Halibut or combination with shrimp. The dinner included slaw, choice of potato and a drink for a reasonable price. We should be well rested for our trek to Castle Rock, WA where we have reservations at the Mt. St. Helene's RV Park. My daughter Karen will meet us there tomorrow and take us up to the volcano by car. Our babies need a rest from mountain driving. Early to bed tonight. Until tomorrow (no promises as we don't know how good our wi-fi will be.)The Road Runner at Coyote Rock

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Get a load of the picture on the right! The TTT's on one campsite! And all with electric hookups!
The 'Tilton Hilton was on the 20 amp. service, The Road Runner on 30 amp. service and The Happy Turtle was on the 50 amp. service. Did we blow a circuit breaker? Not in your life! This was one of the few campgrounds where we got good wi-fi service. The best part...we were only charged for one rig! So splitting the cost was $12.33 each. Can't beat that! Oh, the name of the campground that was so accommodating.. The Redwoods RV Resort north of Crescent City, CA. The staff was great to deal with. Joan couldn't believe we were still in California.

We left about 8:30 am for Eureka, Oregon where we visited Old Town Eureka. They have put a lot of effort into restorations and it shows. The waterfront was beautiful. Even though it was Sunday morning, many of the quaint shops were opened for business and a horse-drawn Carriage was ready to take one for a ride. We saw one fabulous Victorian House that is now a Private Men's Club! The two pictures below show one of the restored buildings and I couldn't resist the picture of the door on a bead establishment!

After our visit we headed up the coast stopping at several overlook points along the Oregon Coastal Highway (aka US 101) The views were spectacular! If you have never seen the Oregon Coast, put it on your list of things to see before you die! It was a challenge for three motorhomes to cross the Southbound lane to get into the parking areas. Oh, but did we have fun. Our stop for the night....well... Not so enjoyable. Stay out of this campground unless you like to fish. I had to change campsites 3 times and Amye and Joan twice. The electric outlet on my site was shorted out, so I was moved across the road. Wi-fi was non-existence unless one went to the office and even there it was iffy. Joan's sight was fifthy from animal droppings where no one cleaned up after their pets. This campground was really a fish-camp with a big fish cleaning area and the campground smelled like it, too. I won't post the name. If you want it, I will tell you this. It is north of Winchester Bay before one gets to Reedsport on the right hand side of the highway going north. We left this morning at 8am to continue our trek north. One of the first things we did was backtrack to the Umpqua Lighthouse. We had stopped at several yesterday and had 4 more to do today. The highlight of the day was stopping at an overlook near the Sea Lion Cave. Not only was the sight of the Heceta Lighthouse stunning, but we got to watch two gray whales in the area and several sea lions on the rocks below the viewpoint. The whales didn't seem to be migrating north, but staying in the same area. I felt that it must have been a good place for breakfast for them. I am tired so I will post more pictures tomorrow. Until then.... (snoring sounds)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Overlooking some vineyards in Napa Valley

Finally, we have found a campground that has decent wi-fi. I think we are all having withdrawal symptoms. It has been about 5 days that I have not posted. Where did I leave off? Oh, yes. Dreaded Twentynine Palms, CA. I drove to Oakdale, Ca. near Modesto, to meet up with Amye and Joan, How rested they looked! Sitting by the pool. Amye's friends were delightful. We enjoyed a BBQ ribs dinner poolside. Weather was so much nicer!

We left early the next morning for Napa, CA and an overnight visit with the Fowlers. They also own a Rialta. We did make one important stop on the way....The Jelly Belly Factory! It was so crowded with kids, we decided not to take the tour. Instead, we spent the time sampling and deciding what flavors we wanted to buy. And buy we did! Each of us came away with a bag of our favorite flavor(s) as well as 5 bags of Bellyflops! Bellyflops are rejects. Guess they are not all perfect. We got to the Fowlers around 12:30 PM. Rich did a fantastic job of greeting us at the end of their property, taking us up the hill (and I do mean hill) and parking us along the front of his house so we could enjoy "The Million Dollar View" of some of the vineyards in the Napa Valley. That afternoon Joyce and Rich treated us to a great tour of the valley that included not only wineries, quaint towns, and olive oil factory and the CIA (aka Culinary Institute of America) which used to be the Christian Brothers Winery. We saw Sutters, Beringers and Mondavi to name a few. The evening was spent in downtown Napa having dinner and enjoying the Farmers Market/Craft Street Fair they have every Thursday night. There were so many wonderful pictures that I can't possibly post them all.

Joyce made us a yummy breakfast on Saturday before departing for northern California. She suggested we stop at the Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory in Petaluma. Wow, for scrapbookers it is a paradise and with terrific prices! One could also do a tour of their facility. Of course, I bought some!! We spent Friday night on Clear Lake.

Drive -Thru Giant Redwood Tree

Our journey today (Saturday) takes us up through the Redwood Forest and one of the "drive-through" trees. No, the Road Runner, Tilton Hilton and The Happy Turtle had to settle for the parking lot. That's what happens when one is over sized, by quite a bit I may add. We walked through the tree instead. On to Myers Flat on the Avenue of the Giants. It's a beautiful drive. We found a very nice campground on the river that had wi-fi. Not so!!! Wi-fi signal was so weak I could not pull up my emails from either the AOL or Yahoo site. I had it a short time in the afternoon, but not evening, not at 2:00 AM nor at 6 in the morning. No internet tonight. While walking the river's edge, we came across a snake, who wasn't cooperative in having his picture taken.

We left at 8:45 AM to go to the Interpretive Center. Neat thing we saw, but not associated with the park was a "bum" feeding a kitten on a picnic table just outside the entrance to the Center. When I cam back out, he had just started to walk away. I wondered where the kitten was....sitting atop his backpack. It looked like she was tethered to the backpack. After the Interpretive Center we drove to the Founder's Grove of redwoods and saw three gigantic fallen trees. It was here that the Tilton Hilton had a mishap with a post. No Comment!

The Happy Turtle, "Tilton Hilton and the Road Runner
Too broad to fit through the tree.
We have stopped for the night just north of Crescent City, CA and on to Oregon in the morning.
Happy to be back on-line!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Joshua Park Tin Town

I took a long walk at 6:30 this morning to take some of the murals around town. I took another one of the mural at Tin Town. On the right side of the picture is the miner coming out of the mine. Part of the mine (on the left ) is painted on the wall. The artist then gave it a three dimensional look by building the wall out ( on the right) with stones and adding a wooden entrance to the mine. He then added a real mine cart but painted the figure. Very clever!

Welcome Home, Dad!

Many of the murals honor our Marines. I wish this was clearer. It was one of my favorites. I got to eat breakfast at Laura's Cafe in Tin Town. Great atmosphere! And the food was yummy. They served enough country fried potatoes it would have fed three people.

Well, now for the good news. It was about 1:30 PM when the part for the motorhome finally arrived. I was beginning to think I would have to spend another day in Twentynine Palms. Since the shop was closed for vacation, the owner and three other men from the towing side of the business got together and had the cooling fans, shroud and radiator put back into the Road Runner in good time. The one that got to road test the motorhome, came back raving what a great vehicle to drive! He was totally amazed. I paid or should I say charged the bill on a credit card and was "ready to get out of Dodge"! Since it was after 3 PM, I opted to go back to the campground we all stayed in last week to take care of emptying the holding tanks, put more water on board and take a long hot shower!!! It was still 107 degrees at 4 PM.

Other good news - The Happy Turtle is "COOL" again. Joan now has dash air conditioning. And with Amye having new tires on the 'Tilton Hilton, we seem to be in good shape. I will leave here tomorrow about 5 AM and head for Oakdale, CA where two of the three TTT's are enjoying the pool and hospitality of Amye's friend. Move over girls! SPLISH! SPLASH!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Joshua Park Tin Town & Art Community
Twentynine Palms, CA
I guess one could say there is something to do in Twentynine Palms, if the stores were open. This little park is just around the corner from where I am camped out in my RV waiting for the repairs to be done. Apparently this area had a mine and equipment from the mine is scattered all around this place. Sidewalks are wooden boards, tin roofs on all the buildings.

Twentynine Palms is also noted for the painted murals around town. No exception here! This depicts a miner coming out of a mine. I will try to get more pictures tomorrow.

I don't know what this store sells. A sign above the door notes "Belle Star". There is also a cafe here that I was told was the best eating place in town. All home cooked meals. I am going to give it a try tomorrow as they were also closed today (and every Monday). Note the tin roof.

I ventured out on the local bus today. $3 for a senior pass and one can ride it all day. I went to Yucca Valley to the only WalMart around. It was small as was the JC Penney's and Fashion Bug. It took about an hour for the approximate 30 mile trip. The bus stopped at the local hospital, community college and a grocery store. Lots of handicapped individuals rode it. I had a nice time although I didn't get my hair cut as I was hoping. There is always tomorrow.

It is still 106 degrees during the day. Amye got the tires on the 'Tilton Hilton today. Joan has to go back to the VW dealer to have the clutch and compressor changed out in The Happy Turtle.The Road Runner is missing her pals! Soon....soon..... they will all be together again.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Twentynine Palms, California

Sunrise over the Colorado River

I took this picture last Monday when we were camped on the Colorado River in Blythe, CA. Beautiful sunrise, it was!

As you can tell by today's title of this posting, I am still in Twentynine Palms. Another clitch....seems that the wrong shroud was shipped. I will be here until Tuesday. What a waiting game!

I encouraged Amye and Joan yesterday to go ahead with our plans and leave for Oakdale, Ca to visit Amye's friends for the 4th of July weekend. Amye is scheduled to have new tires mounted Monday or Tuesday and Joan is having her air conditioning unit put on a diagnostic machine at a VW dealer. Hopefully they will have better luck than me.

I think the people here are beginning to think I am a new resident. If they start waving at me, I'm in deep trouble. They have seen me at the local Mickey D's, Jack-in-the-box, and 7-11. If it wasn't to far to the Carousel Cafe, I'd be seen there again, too. I am waiting all this out in the moderate comfort of the Road Runner. It gets so blistering hot (my lips can prove that with the blisters on them) during the day, the air conditioner struggles to keep this place cool. At night, when the sun goes down, things really cool down. But I keep the a/c going hoping it will maintain the temperature during the day.
Message to Amye and Joan: Stay cool, gals! My turns coming!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Things are not looking up today. The radiator arrived and when the mechanic was taking out the damaged radiator, he found that one of the cooling fans had completely broken apart and put a hole through the shroud causing the damage in the radiator. Our life-savior in San Diego has the fan assembly that will be shipped overnight, but not the shroud and brackets. They have to come from a VW dealer in Indio, CA and we can't get them until Friday. So we are here in Twentynine Palms for at least two more nights.

My daughter Sally Ann (I will call her this because I also have a sister Sally who is following our blog) recommended a great little cafe for breakfast here in Twentynine Palms. Sally Ann, the pancakes were teriffic!!! We all raved about them. Service was excellent, too at the Carousel Cafe. We spent the day trying to find a dealer who had either Continental or Nokian tires for Amye's 'Tilton Hilton and after about 4 steady hours of phone calls, Joan found four in West Sacramento. Hopefully we can get them installed on Monday after the 4th of July. The Rialta requires special tires and it seems we are having more and more difficulty getting them.

This afternoon we ate lunch at the local Mickey D's....where else?! Not bad for the price since I have to conserve money. Found a grocery store to stock up on some needed items and did our laundry. Guess we will read or play on our computers tonight. Time for a margarita!!