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July 25, 2008

We are in the Northwest

Mason and Maddie















 Fun on the Water















Hey thats my Ball















Kathleen here


     We have been so busy. It’s so much fun being out here on the road living in a big ol’ 40’ motor home.  I hope it’s a long time before the boys take the keys away.  Our boys live in the Seattle area and that is where we have been these past couple of weeks.


     The photos are of Sawyer Lake RV Park about 20 minutes from Billy. Billy, Heidi, Mason and Maddie came and visited pretty much every day. The kids stayed all night one night and we had so much fun. The lake is just the right size. Ducks and geese are living on the grounds. There is a great play area and little boats to rent.


     We have moved now a little further away. Northeast of Seattle closer to the Cascades. We are in a park in the foot hills of the snow covered peaks. A great place among big conniver trees along the Skykomish River. The kids are coming this evening and are staying all weekend. I am making a cherry pie and brownies. We’ll have hot dogs and squirrelly bread. Ya, that is what it is. Big in British Columbia, Canada. (Thanks Jean), I found some at COSTCO. It is bread made without flour. Full of good stuff: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, raisin juice, and some other healthy ingredients. I like it. No body else will try it.


      Scott, Angela, Zak, and Ellie are sailing up the Inside Passage. We haven’t seen them yet. They are having a great time. We will see them when we go to Vancouver Island next week.  They have a great web-site that they use to tell of their adventures sailing on their “Ghost” ship, much as we do to blog about our adventures in the “tininthewind.” 



     We’ll take a ferry across and drive up to Nanaimo. Get a map and look up Washington State, way to the northwest of the state you’ll find Vancouver Island, part of Canada. I’ve been to its capital, Victoria but no further. We are looking forward to that trip. We are going to look up some friends in Cambell River BC that we met while in Mexico last winter.

     More coming soon.


July 14, 2008

Pine Squirrel Buddy

Pine Squirrels Everywhere














      There are little Pine Squirrels everywhere we go in the Northwest and it doesn't take to long to get ones attention.  Just throw him a peanut.

      Then try getting him to take a peanut from your hand.



Not quite sure about me














     How about getting the peanut out of my pocket?  Not through the Shirt dummy!



Chewing through the shirt















     I think we should chat and I will explain to you what you need to do.



getting instructions















     See, there in there.




Yup, I see 'em















     Now you got it figured out!




Hope we don't run out















     Buddies at last!!




Were Friends














July 13, 2008

What a Life

The Bandit














     We sure spent a relaxing day, but then most days now are just like that.  We slept in or I should say that I did, as when I got up Kathleen had a hot bowl of cream of wheat and some fruit set on the table.  After breakfast, Kathleen went up to the family lodge to attend Sunday morning services and heard a nice sermon from a retired minister and enjoyed his wife playing the piano.  There was a pretty good crowd on hand. 

     I went for a long scooter ride and then came back and started to wax the car.  Kathleen sat outside in the sun and read.  At one point while I was sitting and resting two little bandits showed up.  One was a little larger and dominate so he chased the little one around trying to run him off.  I had been munching on Washington bing cherries and they sure liked them as well.  I got a little lax at getting one to the bigger bandit so he decided to climb my leg and get up and in the bowl himself.  Had us both laughing.

     Sometime during the afternoon I took a little power nap and then continued with waxing the car.  Kathleen went for a bike ride.

     Following supper Kathleen wanted to ride her bike on some of the trails through the forest that I had been exploring with the scooter.  We took off on one that would skirt around the outside perimeter of the Thousand Trails Park and all in all it would be about a mile ride.  It follows a man made aqueduct for a ways and is really beautiful as it meanders along.  Kathleen got a great work out with the bike and I kept a vigilant look out for bear and cougar with the scooter and its horn. 

     I did manage to get half of the car waxed today, but tomorrow is another day.  If we don't get distracted I may get the other side finished.  What a life.
















































































July 12, 2008

Leavenworth Bears

Leavenworth Bear














     The Leavenworth Washington Thousand Trails park is one of our favorite in the state as it is in the Cascade Mountains with a little altitude and when it is the warm part of the summer you head for the hills so to speak.  Its cooler.

     When we checked in to the park a few days ago the ranger signing us in told us that there had been numerous sightings of bears in the park and we should be cautious about leaving any food stuff lying around.  He wasn't kidding.  We have been here several days now and we along have been seeing bears on a regular basis

     Just today I have seen and photographed two different bear encounters.  I am not sure if it is the same bear but they both look similar.  I was coming back from the family lodge and pool area on my scooter when I met up with the first big black fellow about to dumpster dive so I stopped in my tracks, got the camera out of my pocket and took about 9 quick pictures.  Later in the day, about 3 sites down from us I saw the bear in the picture above walk in to the empty camp site that you see pictured above.  Kathleen and I walked down only to round the corner and catch him dumpster diving.  These two dumpsters are a fair distance apart but it could be the same bear I suppose.  According to the rangers there have been 5 different bears documented in and around the park and most disturbing has been the reports of a cougar sighting.  That one has me a bit concerned.  I'm not just sure what I look like going along on my scooter but I can just hope that the cougar especially, does not have a vision problem.

     Following is a slide show of just what I saw today.


                                                 Slide Show



July 06, 2008

This Grand Land

Kathleen here




We certainly have had the opportunity to see some of this vast country of ours. First a flight out to visit our kids after they left home. Scott on the West Coast, then Billy on the West Coast, as well.


When George began driving his big old semi across this land, I went with every chance I got. What an eye opener to experience the vastness and diversity of this country. Magnificent mountains and rivers, soft green hills and valleys, long winding roads leading to far places. The giant cities, overwhelming, swallowing us as we drove within, but the road carried us through.


I remember that weekend in August. As we drove through Ohio, late at night, the anchor man on the radio announced the death of a princess. Boston was our destination and the city was in mourning, as were the rest of the world.


That morning when we woke up on September 11, George was on his way west. I called; no answer. He was in a restaurant having breakfast, mesmerized, as he and other truckers watched the news. I called Scott, he was flying that morning. Later he spoke of the fear that his airport experienced as it closed its terminal and runways. I called Billy, he was about to leave for work. We talked a minute. I drove to work. I looked out over the peaceful Mississippi River and cried to myself. How could this happen.


I love our country. How could we think that we would never be attacked here on this great land. We were naive to think such a thing. We will never forget.


Today I feel safe. We are looking after our land and our neighbors across world. I pray for the safety of all who want freedom and peace.


Now we live in a covered wagon. Our horse power is a lot more than horses that would have pulled us along 150 years ago. We camp in circles with electricity and water. We have an on board kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room. We even have a basement. We see lots of country and take lots of photographs. We meet lots of people.


We were on the road when Dale Jr. finally won a NASCAR race after two years of almost winning. We even attended a real life race in April, in Phoenix. We watched the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamond Backs this spring, as well.


We watched the news and heard from loved ones back home of the devastating floods. We have driven through storms and sunshine; camped close to where bear, mountain lion, wolves, deer and antelope roam. We will spend a good part of the summer by our kids in Seattle, all winter, way south, in Mexico, and then spring time in the Midwest.




I will watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean in Washington State. I will watch the same sun set over this same ocean while deep into Mexico.


The world has treasures for all to enjoy. Mexico, Canada, the great seas. I have yet to experience other continents. I hope to one day. What have we seen so far in our new life as full time RVers? Wonderful things. Magnificent mountains. Silver slivers of water rushing downward, finding their way to the sea. I am in awe at the formation and movement of the mountains and hills; the scars on the rocks that tell a story. I wonder at them as we pass by. I will ask my Creator one day.


Northern Minnesota is beautiful with its lakes and islands and loons. Washington State has its Emerald western coast, its white capped mountains. The East and South, the Plains, and the Coasts all take my breath away.


Nothing that I have seen or experienced so far exceeds what I feel when I look at the flowing waters of the Upper Mississippi River. The high bluffs overlooking the river. The coulees that began forming millennia ago when the waters from the glacier melt off sought the deep valley that would become the Father of Waters. There is no other, that has the beauty, the strength or the diversity of this valley. It is home.


 This July 4th, our celebration of Independence Day, I wish all good health, peace and freedom and especially God’s blessings.


Following are a few photographs of home.













































































































































































July 02, 2008

Nesting Osprey

Preening Osprey



































     Driving through the country side here we see a lot of Osprey nests but rarely do we see the nest occupied.  Today was an exception as we were entertained by both male and female as they fed some little ones in the next.  We did not get any pictures of the little ones but it was obvious they were getting fed.  What a thrill to have been so close.



















July 01, 2008

Traveling West

McDonald Lake Glacier National Park















Since leaving Ken and Debbie at Kabetogama Lake in Northern Minnesota we have been slowly making our way West,  literally driving US Highway 2 which runs almost straight West just below the US Canadian border.  If you can stay off of the Interstate and want a very relaxing drive I highly recommend Highway 2.

     The drive through Minnesota is fascinating because of all the lakes one encounters.  North Dakota has enough lakes to keep it interesting.  Montana for the first 400 miles or so is relatively flat with the fields of grain beginning to take life, but when one starts to draw close to Glacier National Park the scenery definitely changes.

     We stayed at the West Entrance to the Park and wanted to drive the “road to the Sun” loop but the pass had not been completely cleared of snow yet so our drive was cut short.  The RV Park we stayed at had experienced a pretty good snow fall just the week before our arrival.  We stayed several days and our exploratory drives each day were fun and full of photo opportunities.

     I had looked at the map before leaving Glacier and thought that going off route of Highway 2 by way of 93 North to Eureka Montana (8 miles south of Canadian Border) and then taking Highway 37 down along the Kootenai River and the Kootenai National Forest before hooking back up with Highway 2 at Libby Montana might be interesting, and we were not disappointed.  The scenery in my opinion is as spectacular as anything anywhere in the US, Glacier and Yellowstone included.  We stayed at Rexford Bench National Park camp site and made a couple of exploratory drives in the jeep.  We left Rexford at about 10:00 a.m. to drive Highway 37 as it meandered for 48 miles along the river to Libby.  Even though the highway is excellent I never drove over 40 mph as we wanted to enjoy the beauty.  In that entire drive not one vehicle came up behind me and we probably only met about two other vehicles and I think they were bicycles.  What a pristine piece of the USA this area is and it was as if it hadn’t been discovered yet.  We will return to this area as there is so much we could have explored but just didn’t take the time, perhaps next year.

     We blew through so much area that looked interesting from Libby Montana, past Bonners Ferry Idaho and on to where we are at present, Riley Creek Recreation Area managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  This site #13 is as nice as anywhere we have ever stayed.  We have 50 amp electric and water at the site and a dump station for our use when we leave.  The river that runs along this Park is loaded with fish.  The water is a little clear and as I walk along the bank I am never seeing less than a dozen or so large mouth bass.  Getting them to bite is another thing.  I can get them to chase my offering but have only caught one.  We are going to be here a couple more days and I have a hunch I will figure it out.

     I hope to load a couple of slide shows.  The first will be of Glacier National Park area and the second will be from Glacier to the Riley Creek area of Idaho.  Enjoy.

                        Slide Show 1                                   Slide Show 2

Bass are everywhere here















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