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August 17, 2008

Running Deer and Little White Tail

Kathleen here, just a little story.


I am calling it:                               Running Deer and Little White Tail.


I know, I know, it’s silly but guess what song I thought of?


We spent two weeks at an RV park just outside Port Townsend, WA. On the peninsula. We took lots of drives and discovered many interesting areas: hidden inlets with small harbors, ancient forts from World War I era, lonely beaches full of drift wood. What a beautiful part of Washington State. We loved our stay there.

One interesting area is the home of an Anti Submarine training school. This huge compound is surrounded by a 10 foot chain link fence topped with 3 feet of barbed wire. An intimidating gate keeps strangers out. As we drove along the compound on our way to one of the many state parks in the area, dusk was setting in. The road seemed isolated, as we met no cars on our journey.


George saw something up ahead, close to the high fence. I saw it then. As we drew nearer, we could see that a yearling deer was standing alone facing the fence. The setting sun reflected off the metal and we saw that his nose was against one of the links. That’s peculiar, we thought, and kept our eyes on the scene. Then we both saw why this deer was positioned as he was. On the other side of the fence (within the compound) was another yearling facing the fence with its nose on the same link as the outside deer.


My heart sank as we realized that the two were communicating, wanting to be together but were separated by that man made barrier. What could have we done, I still think. When we returned on the same road, they both were gone. How did the imprisoned deer get inside the fence I wonder and how long has he been there? Do they meet on a regular basis or was this a chance meeting never to happen again? I am sad that they cannot be together. The photo below is not of the two but of a couple of the many deer that inhabit the heavily wooded area.





























August 15, 2008

Ocean Shores Washington

Beautiful Site















     Thousand Trails Oceana Park is one of the gems in the Thousand Trails stable and after our visit here last year we knew that we would come back whenever we could.  We are here now and loving it.

     The pictures are of our site and we probably lucked out to get the nicest site in the park.  We are the closest RV to the path that leads from the park to the ocean shore, a short 5 minute walk.  150 feet out the front of our coach is the kids play ground.  There is a huge mowed open field area just to our right.  This is the perfect park and site for us to host the grandkids and that is what we are about to do.  Mason and Maddie are going to be with us for a week beginning this week-end.  Bill and Heidi will return at the end of the week and then will stay about 4 days in one of the rentals here at the park.  We are looking forward to it all.




































August 13, 2008

Detour to Cape Flattery

Stop for Lunch















     We left Evergreen SKP CO-OP Park outside Chimacum, Washington after a fourteen day stay this morning with full intentions of jumping on Highway 101, driving the North by West route around the Peninsula through the rain forest to the far west coast and then down the coast to Ocean Shores and our next destination, Oceana.

     After a brief stop at Cosco in Port Angeles, Washington to pick up some supplies we continued on our journey, knowing that tonight we would be "boondocking" somewhere along our route as we didn't need to check in to Oceana until Thursday.

     In looking at the map we had seen that Cape Flattery was only 45 miles out of our planned route, so with both in agreement, when we hit the road that would take us there it was easy to turn the wheel hard right.  Cape Flattery is the Northwestern most point of land sticking out in the Pacific Ocean on the Lower 48.

     If I haven't said it before I will say it here:  The Peninsula of the State of Washington is one of the most beautiful places on our Continent, and perhaps the greenest all 12 months of the year.



Road to Cape Flattery 















Trail Leading to the Point on Cape Flattery















     The drive on that detour of 45 miles as it wound along leading toward the Cape was spectacular, but the trail one had to walk for over a mile to be able to actually stand on the point and photograph fog so thick you couldn't see left something to be desired.  We may have to return on a non foggy day if we want to look out and see Japan.

     We had seen a pull-off along side a little mountain lake and decided on our way back to Highway 101 we would use it for our "boondock" overnight if it was still available. The following three pictures are of that setting.

































Tucked in for the Night















     We will continue on what should be a beautiful drive West and then South down along the Coast to Oceana tomorrow.  Check out the following show for more pictures of today's travels.


                                                           Slide Show





August 10, 2008

Pirates Invade Port Townsend















     Bob Bitchin the founder of Latitudes and Attitudes magazine and the sponsor of the boating party in Port Townsend says,"It's not all about boating, It's a whole state of mind." The magazines motto is 'the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude.'



Visitors come calling





























     Here we were in Port Townsend and at the invite of Scott, Angela, Zak and Ellie we were about to participate in a different sort of "RV Rally", as this one floated on water.  We were popular from the 'git go' as Scott and family are well known among this crowd.  Scott has written numerous articles that have been published in the magazine, and Angela, known as Sailormamma, participates in some of the "sailing boards" offering advice for those sailing couples who live aboard their vessels and want to start a family.  She has been contacted by world wide knowledge seekers.  Scott, Angela, and kids were featured in a TV documentary on the water channel that dealt primarily with raising kids onboard.  As you can see above there was a steady stream of visitors to the "ghost" from some of the estimated 1500 participants, especially those with children.  Check them out,  www.ghostsailors.com




The Pearls Arrival














     As boats continued to arrive throughout the day, cannons were fired to welcome them and it wasn't long every slip was full in the harbor and where they could some rafted with others as they tied sometimes 3 deep.  In the above picture Scott has gone to assist the "Pearl" as she is backed in to her slip.  On board the Pearl is another pilot and his liveaboard family (two children), that will be joining Scott, Angela, Zak, and Ellie on their dream trip of sailing around the world in 2012.



Ellie with Treasure
















Captain John















     In the above top picture Ellie is exiting the cabin of Captain Johns boat as both Ellie and Zak say Captain John always has treasures for them when ever their paths cross and he is one of their favorites.  In the second picture is Captain John himself, a salty ol' dog to be sure but one who genuinely loves the attention that Zak and Ellie give him.  There is a side to Captain John that even a land lubber like me can appreciate.  It so happened that during the year that passed between the last party and this one, Captain Jim Ray, another ol' salty dog like himself passed away.   Captain Jim never missed a party and had left word with his family that he wanted his ashes fired from the cannons at the next one.  Captain John had prepared the packets of ashes and distributed them to the various boats throughout the harbor with cannons and at precisely noon, on Saturday August 9th, 2008 his wish was carried out.  There was not a dry eye anywhere in the entire harbor as he was a beloved 'salty dog' of them all.  We were touched as well.



America is Safe  















Kids continue to entertain















     With such a large gathering of "Pirates" it was only fitting that the U.S. Coast Guard should come to check things out.  We felt pretty safe but with their ever presents we felt even better.  The kids continued to entertain with their fishing as almost everyone stopped to see what they were catching.

     We were honored to have been included in all the festivities and found this "rally" to be just that.  There is very little difference, one travels by boat towing a dingy, while one travels with motor home pulling a "toad".  One travels with hopefully a big wind to push them along, and one travels hoping that the wind is directly on the tail to help with the fuel economy.  Space in both modes of transportation is precious.  One pays harbor slip fees (generally around $80.00 per night), one pays RV site fee's (hoping not to exceed $10.00 per night).  To avoid the fee's altogether, one simply sets anchor in a shallow wind protected bay, while the other camps out at a Walmart or a Casino parking lot.  The freedom of the open seas and the freedom of the open roads seem extremely similar.  The similarity may end there however as the bottle of "two buck chuck" (wine) that we carry is a little less costly and for sure less potent than the bottle of "grog" (rum) that these sea fairing pirates carry with them.

     Revelers will begin to sail out tonight.  Some will return to Seattle, or Portland, or Alaska.  Others will drive or fly home, since not all who came to party have a boat.  We will return to our "land yacht" and tomorrow hook up our "toad", head on down the highway to our next destination and hope that the winds will be fair and the temperature in the perfect range.  Until next time----Yo, Ho, Ho, and a bottle of "two buck chuck".


1st Sighting of Our Pirates

Scott, Angela,Zak and Ellie on Ghost















     The above was our first sighting of Ghost as she approached from the North and her month long sailing venture up the inside passage toward Alaska.  We were standing on Wilson Point just outside Port Townsend, Washington hoping to get a glimpse of her coming out of the fog.  The "Ghost" and crew were sailing into the Harbor of Port Townsend to attend a giant party (more on this later) hosted by "Latitudes and Attitudes, a world wide sailing organization that Scott and family have been active in the entire time they have been living aboard their boat.  Scott has the front sail down and continues to work on the other two as Angela and Crew continue to pilot toward the harbor. 



being greeted and helped in to the slip















     We were emotional enough seeing the Ghost and Crew appear out of the fog but as you can see from the above we were also proud to see them greeted by Cannon fire from the ships already in the harbor and being welcomed and helped in to their slip as Scott, pictured above, maneuvers Ghost gently to the dock.  Even though Grandma and Grandpa were present we were not seen yet by the kids as we witnessed them calling out the many ships by name that were already in the harbor.  They were excited as they knew that they soon would be wearing their official pirate gear and participating in all the festivities planned for the week-end.



Zak getting ready to fish
















Ellie, and playmate Annie netting shrimp for bait















     As Scott and Angela were busy greeting and being greeted by so many friends, Grandpa took over supervising the kids as they set about doing what they love to do:  catching and examining the aquatic life that lives around the docks.  They had a blast as the girls caught little shrimps for Zak to use as bait.  He then proceeded with their help to catch, according to him, "at least a million" dock perch and salt water bullheads.  Grandpa got in a little trouble for encouraging the kids to try and sell the perch to those passing by:  The kids would try and hawk 4 three inch perch (just enough for a sandwich) for a buck.  The Parents were not too pleased with me but hey, This is payback time, right?


August 06, 2008

Vancouver Island--Campbell River

Victoria BC Harbor















     The trip we have been waiting for finally arrived!  After leaving our coach in the Evergreen SKP CO-OP Park in Chimacum, Washington we headed early in the morning to catch the ferry from Port Angeles to Vancouver Island and the beautiful harbor of Victoria.  The beautiful architecture and history of Victoria is worth visiting at least once in everyone's life.  I have been twice, and Kathleen has visited three times, once even having high tea at the Empress Hotel with our daughter-in-law Heidi.

     I have written in a previous blog about catching up with Scott and family in Nanaimo a short distance north of Victoria and then left off there with our staying the night in Parksville BC.  We began our journey early on Saturday morning north heading for Campbell River and our planned get together with our Canadian friends from our winter visit past in Mexico.


















     Pictured above beginning from Kathleen's left are Brian, Olga, Jean, Alan, Glenn, and Brenda.  Jean and Alan hosted us at their house for the two days that we were in Campbell River and on this day Glenn and Brenda hosted at their campsite by the lake all of us for a reunion of sorts.  Brian and Olga were camped near by as they were in the area to Salmon fish out of Browns Bay.  The cook-out was fabulous with Patty, Glen and Brenda's daughter helping with all the preparation.  Grandchildren, Owen and Sophie saw to making us comfortable as well.  It was an afternoon and evening to remember as we revisited our Mexican Winter experiences and touched on our plans to all get together again this coming Winter in Mexico or on our way there.  Unable to attend due to a previous commitment were Margaret and Gerry Perron.  We missed you.

     Campbell River is a stunningly beautiful community with the white capped mountains of the BC mainland visible in the distance and of course the water of the passage flowing between Quadra Island and Vancouver Island.  Alan and Jean treated us to a fantastic boat ride and lunch at a Resort on Quadra Island.  They took us on a couple car tours of the area as well.  One of our stops was to see some of the Chain Saw carvings that were part of a recent competition held in one of the city parks.  Artisans from around the world come to compete.  Our last stop on our car tour was at an RV park near the south end of the City.  While standing on the shore watching an eagle soar and trying to photograph him he suddenly landed just above my head as if to say---ok, get a picture now!



1st Place
















2nd Place
















Quadr Island
















Campbell River Deer are Plentiful































    We can not thank our Canadian friends enough for a fabulous week-end.  They went out of their way to show two Americans that they have a lot of pride in their Country and corner of the World.  We had an experience while in the Victoria Harbor waiting for our return ferry ride back to the States, and would like to think our new found friends had a hand in the send off.  In a way they did.

     This Monday that we were returning just happened to be BC day, a special holiday for our Canadian friends.  We had noticed that the harbor was bustling with people and hundreds more sitting on all the grassy spots around the area.  I made the assumption that Boat Races were probably going to take place when I noticed even the Canadian Custom Agents were all standing dock side looking out over the harbor to the north.  One of them said, "here they come."  We looked up and saw nine sleek jets from the Royal Canadian Snow Bird precision team in formation with their red and white colors prominent as they put on one heck of a show much as do our Blue Angels in the States.  You could feel the pride swell in all the Canadians watching.  Kathleen and I are always brought to tears when we witness such a spectacle, and this was no exception.  Thank you Canada for the send off. 

Nanaimo BC

     Ghost waiting our Arrival













     After a beautiful foggy morning ferry ride from Port Angeles to Victoria on Vancouver Island, and a short drive North on the Island to Nanaimo we headed for the Marina to look for the Ghost and then to find Scott, Ang and the kids. 



With Ellie
















Zak and Grandpa














     We enjoyed a great day either on the boat or watching the kids play on the docks and then an evening meal with the Brosius Clan before heading out to spend the first night at a Travelodge in Parksville, BC where we would depart in the morning for that long awaited visit with our Campbell River, BC friends.



Kids identifying sea life and then setting free














2008 Fort Casey Visit

Fort Casey Tiny RV Park














     When we left Thousand Trails Thunderbird Preserve heading for the Peninsula of Washington State we like to take the ferry with our coach and car from the Keystone landing to the Peninsula and within a stones throw of that ferry terminal is a little spit of land with a few primitive RV sites (no services), that are part of the larger Fort Casey State Park.  These sites are first come first serve and because of their location and beauty when one arrives its hand clappin' time if there is a spot available.  The weather on this stop, (yes, we got a site), was a bit cool so we only stayed two days before boarding the small ferry for Port Townsend.  Our plan was to leave our coach in the Chicamum SKP CO-OP Park near Port Townsend for a few days as we then would board a ferry out of Port Angeles with just our car to Vancouver Island and a long awaited rendezvous with our sailing son Scott and his family www.ghostsailors.com .  Scott, Angela, Zak, and Ellie have been on a long sailing venture up the inside passage toward Alaska and we were going to have a chance to meet briefly with them in Nanaimo BC as we ultimately made our way to visit BC Friends that we had met in Mexico during our trip there in the winter of 2007/2008.



Fort Casey RV Site
















Ferry to Port Townsend














August 05, 2008

Visit at Thunderbird

Skyhomish River














     The picture above is taken while standing along side the Skyhomish River about 100 yrds from our camp site at Thousand Trails Thunderbird Preserve near Monroe Washington.  We have mentioned before that this Thousand Trails Preserve is one of our favorites and it is close enough for our Sons and Families to come for a visit and stay over if they desire.  A couple of weeks ago Bill, Heidi, Mason and Maddie came to stay the week-end.  The Kids had a blast in the pool, at the playground, and camping out with Grandma and Grandpa.  The Park has a lot of activities for all but especially the kids as the activities director held a pet outing where the kids made their own pets and then paraded them around the park for all to see.   Pictures that follow:



Mason and Pets
















Maddie and Pets















     As is sometimes the case neighbors joined in for a bring a dish to pass supper and what was nice is that Bill and Family were present to also enjoy the company of our neighbors.  Steven and MaryHelen Lester, their son Brian and his son Riley came over as did another neighbor, Norman Berg Sr. and his dog Max.  Norman supplied a huge half Salmon caught in a neighboring river to the Skyhomish and with Kathleens new marinade and it cooked on the grill all said it was very good.  There sure wasn't much left.  We did have enough to make up a plate for an elderly gentleman who lived by himself in his RV a short distance away.



Neighbors and Family having Supper















     Bill, Kathleen, and the kids went hiking on the trails around the Preserve and got a good workout in the rain forest.














































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