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July 30, 2010

We Say Good-by to Andersen Lake State Park

Andersen Lake State Park---Volunteer Hosts















     It is somewhat sad to be leaving our duties at Andersen Lake State Park.  We are confident that we leave it more pristine than we found it on our arrival, and look forward to returning again in the future.  Boss and now Friend, Ranger Mike Zimmerman has invited us back and who knows-----"Good Lord willin' and creek/Lake don't rise", maybe!

     I include the following picture not because I think you need more of us but rather to show off my first attempt at carving a "wood spirit" in my newly completed diamond willow walking stick.  Thanks to a chance meeting with a new RV Full-time friend and master carver, Roger Post, who encouraged me to give carving a try and presented me with my first carving knife from his personal collection----I have a new hobby----and love it!!!!!!  Thanks Roger----I am now leaving wood chip trails near every camping site we visit.




My first carved woodspirit















Spirit Dude














July 20, 2010

Time Marches On

Volunteer Camp Host Site at Andersen Lake















     It won't be long and we will have completed our commitment to Volunteer Host at Andersen Lake State Park for the month of July.  We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay and duties here at the Park.  In addition to Andersen Lake we have been privileged to have met all the Volunteers and Paid Staff at Fort Flagler State Park just outside of Port Townsend.  Our (boss) friend Ranger Mike Zimmerman, the Park Manager have made us feel an intricate part of the whole system.

     Every Saturday night a group called, "Friends of Fort Flagler", host a Music in the Park Venue which is a two hour show featuring various music groups, most with Folk Music/Jazz style.  We have attended them all so far and find the presentations to be outstanding.  The program is held outdoors in between underground bunkers and could probably be considered the most unique stage presentation you could find anywhere.  The acoustics are awesome.

     Tuesday evening is steak night at one of the local pubs in Port Hadlock and some of the Volunteer couples gather to socialize with each other and we have enjoyed this outing as well.  We gather at about 5:30, and at 6:00 the owner of the pub blows a bugle to indicate it is time to step outside where the grills are located to place your order for steak and the trimmings that go with.  The Fort Flagler group is known to get a bit loud but I suppose that goes with the pub atmosphere.  I'm just sayin'!

     This Thursday is a pot-luck that will be held in one of the shelters at the Fort Flagler Camp Ground.  Most of the Volunteers and Paid Staff will be attending.  Ranger Mike has indicated that he plans to put out the crab pots in the bay and will be providing as much crab as he can.  Just outside the entrance to Fort Flagler is a commercial operation offering fresh caught crab, oysters, clams, and fish so I would expect some will arrive with plenty of sea food to go with the other offerings.  Pot-lucks are always awesome and I expect this one will be no exception.

     Last week two of our fellow full-time RV friends stopped to visit us as they toured the Peninsula, Bill and Margaret Mcnew.  We have known Bill and Margaret for several years now and always enjoy each others company when our paths cross in our travels.  We introduced Bill and Margaret to Ranger Mike at Fort Flagler and long story short----they are now on site at Fort Flagler and the newest Volunteer couple under Ranger Mike's leadership.  We stopped over at the Fort yesterday and Bill was busy mowing grass, a task that he enjoys.  Margaret will be assisting in the office doing some archiving.

     Bill and I have been fishing off the Fort Flagler point as much as we can.  We haven't hooked and landed any salmon yet but we will continue to give it our best efforts.  Fishing on this point is very enjoyable as the beauty of the area is awesome.  Many cruise ships headed for the inside passage to Alaska from Seattle pass close by as we are fishing.

     In our free time, we have enjoyed touring the area and one of our recent trips, with Bill and Margaret, was to Hurricane Ridge.  We enjoyed the drive up the mountain and the scenery looking out over the Strait and the San Juan's was spectacular.

     We will be returning to the mainland of Washington and more visits with our Brosius Families before ultimately returning to the Wisconsin area for our Fall Visits, but until we do, we will continue to enjoy our time at Andersen Lake State Park and our association with all the folks at Fort Flagler.

The pictures that follow are random but pertinent to the comments above.  Place your pointer on the picture for a description and or comment.




"Deadwood Revival" at Fort Flagler Music Night















Part of the Crowd for the Music















Kathleen on one of our Hikes to the Look Out















Fort Flagler Point where Bill and I have been Fishing















Fort Flagler Gun Placement Bunkers















Bill and Margaret Mcnew at Fort Flagler















Kathleen and I at Fort Flagler















Bill enjoying the view from Huricane Ridge













July 08, 2010

Fun Three Days

Proud Peacock















Kathleen here,


The end of June and it was time to travel over to the Washington Peninsula. This time we had the pleasure of two of our grandchildren’s company. Scott and Angela had an appointment on June 29 to pick up a brand new puppy. They needed to fly to Billings Montana, fetch the pup, and catch the returning flight on the same plane back to Seattle. We picked up Zak and Ellie on June 27.

The Tin in the Wind was parked at the Tulalip Indian Casino in Marysville, about 45 minutes north of where Ghost, Scott’s sailboat is docked in Seattle. We had left Lake Sawyer that morning to begin our trek west. As we were settling in that night, we heard loud fire crackers in the distance. As the western sky darkened, we began to see fireworks. Zak and Ellie wanted to watch the display of lights so I let them climb onto the hood of the Jeep. I wrapped them in a big blanket and they oohed and ahhed at the fireworks for over an hour before finally giving up and coming in to retire. The light show continued far into the night but we all fell asleep long before the end.

On the morning of the 28th we traveled north, over Deception Pass to Whidbey Island. Deception Pass is an absolutely gorgeous area. A high bridge connects the island and the mainland. As we approached the pass, we looked out over the strait and the deep blue waters of Puget Sound. The pass was named by George Vancouver. The first explorers of this area thought it to be an inlet until after following the narrow waters, it was discovered to be in fact a strait, thus: Deception Pass. Riding in the coach enabled all of us to get a grand view. The kids loved it.

On the northwestern point of Whidbey Island there is an abandoned military fort called Fort Casey. Built in the late 1890s, along with two other prominent forts: Fort Flagler and Fort Wordon, they sat at the entrance of Puget Sound. These three strongholds were called the Triangle of Fire designed to protect the Puget Sound area from any influx of enemy invasions by sea. Today the many abandoned forts in the area are beautiful state parks. Fort Casey has a small RV Park resting right on the beach. We spent one afternoon and night there. The kids built forts out of driftwood. They became best friends with some kids camped close by. We built a camp fire and roasted marsh mellows and we had a grand time. After settling in, tucked deep inside sleeping bags, it began. Not a mile away, there is a Naval Air Station. After dark the planes practice touch and goes. Zak could not believe his fortune. From our front window, he sat and watched the planes zoom back and forth, their loud engines echoing throughout the night. Zak has become an expert at mimicking the sounds of most aircraft as they fly the skies of the Seattle area. He recognized what kinds of aircraft were practicing that night. I was impressed.

Early on the 29th, we caught the ferry that carried us over to Port Townsend. Again, sitting in the front seat of the coach and in the front row on the ferry, Zak and Ellie didn’t miss a thing, as we cruised along over the waters of the Sound. Our next stop was an Escapee RV park just outside of the city. There isn’t much to do for kids in this park so we went for a ride.

Grandpa had a surprise for the kids. We drove west in our Jeep. Sequim is about 45 minutes away and is the home of an animal farm that was extensively visited by Hollywood and Walt Disney. This farm became a retirement home for all animals used in Disney and other Hollywood films. We toured a museum that houses sets from movies and television programs. Many very unusual items are on display. We then jumped back in the Jeep and drove the route that led us to the animals. We let the kids slide up through the sun-roof and sit on top with their legs dangling down close to me so I could grab on to them if needed. We bought a loaf of bread for each of them, at the ticket office, so they could feed the animals. They had the best time either throwing pieces of bread to lions and tigers and bears or letting antelope, bison, exotic deer, and elk come right to them, grabbing bread from anxious fingers. They squealed with glee as elk slobbered all over them, while stretching their necks to reach the kid’s hands and the top of our Jeep. The kids were delighted with the trip and kept saying, “ You are the best grandpa and grandma ever.” When the bread was gone, we waved good bye to all of the animals. The park is also home to monkeys, zebras, cougar, wolves, coyotes, brown bear, black bear, lions and tigers, a big rhinoceros and all kinds of rabbits, and a flock of beautiful very proud peacocks.

Remember Grizzly Adams? The set of his show and his cabin are on the farm. His faithful companion, Gentle Ben, the big grizzly bear, lived out his life after the series on the animal farm. He was ultimately buried there.

There also is an aquarium with many different species of marine life exhibited. We had a great time, ending the trip with a stop at Dairy Queen for a treat.

The next morning, June 30th, we packed up the kids’ bags and off we went to Kingston and the ferry that took them home to Mom and Dad and a new puppy named Fathom Bay Brosius. Scott brought the ferry over, picked up Zak and Ellie, and back on the ferry they went. Bye kids. We loved having you with us.




Zak and Ellie at Fort Casey















Petting Goats at Animal Farm















Rabbits Liked the Bread Too





























What is it?















Grizzly Bear






























Grizzly Adam's Cabin















Walking the Beach at Fort Casey

July 01, 2010

Where are We This July 2010

     It all starts with a phone call:  We hadn't planned on this as we sort of pre-planned our summer to center around our Sons and their families since we missed out on a lot of grandkid hugs last summer----but----when Ranger Mike called to see if we would be available to Host at Andersen Lake State Park-------------




The Host Pad






























Andersen Lake State Park--Host Site















Boat Landing is Below















How Could We Refuse















The Host is In















     How Could We Refuse.


     Several years ago Kathleen and I drove in to Andersen Lake State Park and encountered yellow police tape strung across the road prohibiting vehicular entry.  The park had been closed due to a recent discovery of a toxic algae Bloom that had apparently sickened several dogs who had drunk from the lake after hiking with their masters.  All had been treated by the same Vet, and the link to the lake water was suspected.  EPA testing confirmed the high level of toxicity.

     We left the car and hiked to the Lake and discovered one of the most pristine spots we have ever visited in all our travels.  There was an unoccupied Host Site with full hook-ups and our curiosity caused us to do some research to find out who to contact and see if we could perhaps apply for the Volunteer Host Position.

     Ranger Mike Zimmerman took our call and in spite of having all the people he needed invited us to submit an application.  He stopped by the RV park we were staying in at the time to drop off the application and in so doing conducted an interview of sorts with the both of us.  That was three years ago!

     Some time around the end of April Mike sent us an e-mail wanting to know if we were available for the summer to Host at Andersen Lake.  We responded to let him know that our plans for most of the summer were committed, however, if for some reason he could use us for just one month we would consider it.  He responded and said he could use us for the month of July and would pencil us in.  We responded back and told him to put it in ink as we would be there.  I guess you can tell by the pictures above we are on site and ready to assume our Volunteer Duties.  Mike has been away on some family matters and we won't hear from him or anyone until after the holiday so in the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful view.

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