Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ali and Isaac Photos

(Chuck) I have not done this before, so this is an experiment. The purpose of these photos are for Josh and Sarah who are in Greece and Israel.

(On Edit) Everybody feel free to look at the photos. They turned out pretty well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lynnwood, WA

(Chuck)  It has been almost ten days since we have checked in. Sorry for the delay, however we have been pretty busy. We spent a few quiet days 22August09 040at my sister’s Jackie and Butch’s place in Renton, WA. One day we took the Mt. Rainier scenic drive through Enumclaw through Mt. Rainier National Park and out west by way of Paradise. The visitor centers were excellent, and it was a beautiful sunshine day to be at the mountain.

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Soon we journeyed up 405 to Lynnwood. We spent two days with Josh and Sarah until we took them to the airport for their ten day trip to Greece and Israel. They will have a wonderful time on their journey to the Holy Land and Greece.

 

That meant it was time for Grandma and Grandpa to attempt to regain the instincts of thirty years ago. We are now in sole possession of two precious little human beings. It has been a good experience to regain all that it takes to love, discipline and care for a two and four year old. Things are going very well, but I must tell you it is quite a change from the full time RV life that has maximum flexibility. We always say that our plans are written in Jell-O, however that doesn’t work for this gig. We have a schedule of meals, activities and naps. It is at the naps that they take the unfair advantage of recharging on you. They seem to hit the ground running just when you catch your breath. It is no wonder that younger people raise kids.

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Yesterday we had an outing to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks or locally known as The Ballard Locks. The locks maintain the separation of about twenty feet between the salt water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of Lake Union and Lake Washington. Incorporated with the locks is a fish ladder to allow the salmon to migrate to their spawning beds upstream. We had a good time at the viewing window watching the salmon.

We have had a very good time with the children. It is a good experience to be with them. I suspect when Mom and Dad return, G & G will be ready to pass quietly on our way again. Until then we will add to these pages so Mom and Dad can occasionally catch a glimpse of the kids.  Happy Trails

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Columbia River Gorge

(Chuck) We journeyed on West to see the Columbia River gorge. It is a unique area with a wide range of elevation and precipitation that results in a temperate rain forest, near Portland , with an average annual precipitation of 75 inches of water and a grasslands only a few hours drive to the East with average annual precipitation 12 inches. We stayed 13 August, Bonneville , OR , Ainsworth State Park FHU (N 45.59523 W122.05368) 105’. It was fortunate for us that we found a site in this very old Oregon State Park . The park seemed to fill early in the day. It provided us a good place to venture to the Historic Columbia River Highway which features several magnificent water falls.






One of the most prominent is Multnomah Falls which is a stunning 620 feet high. There are over 77 waterfalls on the Oregon side alone.








This area of the gorge also features unique atmospheric winds which generate 35 mile per hour winds which make it a popular playground for windsurfers and kite boarders.

The Bonneville Dam was another good stop. We spent quite a while in the fish ladder viewing area. Silvers were running in good numbers and a few Kings would excite the crowd that watched the migration.
Friday we traveled North to Mt. Rainier . We were fortunate to find a boondocking spot in the National Forest. A conversation in Naches with a helpful local indicated that we should not pass up too many spots after we were on the mountain. It was good advice, because I think we found the last available spot at Mount Baker- Snoqualmie NF, FB (N 46.67162 W121.02924) 2370’. It was a good place to spend the night and we would have spent several days if we would have had service with our air card. Saturday we decided to press on to Jackie and Butch's place in Renton . We will stay here for a week and then head north to stay with grandkids while Josh and Sarah travel to Greece and Israel.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Oregon Trail

(Jan) From 1841 through the 1860's approximated 60,000 emigrants came to Oregon over the Oregon Trail. Many thousands more traveled part of the trail and headed towards California or Utah. For 2,000 miles of endless prairie, scorching desserts and swollen rivers, often fighting near starvation, the mothers, fathers and children marched as far as twenty miles a day for five straight months. As wagon trains topped Flagstaff Hill in Easter Oregon, after traveling 1600 miles, they had their first glimpse of the Blue Mountains, the lush Baker valley and the promise of a new life in Oregon. The National Historical Oregon Interpretive Center was built by the Bureau of Land Management at the crest of Flagstaff Hill east of Baker City in 1992. The most impressive feature of the mseum is it's 100 foot long recreation of life of on the trail with it's life sized figures of emigrants, wagons and animals complete with the sounds of creaking wagons, pioneer chatter and the jaggling chains of plodding oxen. The visitor to the center can nearly feel the constant choking dust or share the misery of burying a child on the trail who had fallen under the wagon wheels. The rut of the wagon wheels left by the wagon trains can still be seen in the sagebrush prairie on Flagstaff Hill 150 years after these brave pioneers headed west to forge a new life for themselves and future generation in the Willamette Valley.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Visiting Loren


(Jan) One of the neatest things about being a Boomer is getting to meet such interesting people and having friends all over the country. We met Loren and Kathy at Boomerville in '08 but got to spend more time with them at the TurkeyRang at Mittry last Nov. This year as we were headed through Idaho we e-mailed them and were able to stop for a visit. Unfortunately Kathy was away visiting friends and family but we sure enjoyed our time with Loren. Pictured above are Chuck and Loren in his shop. We met his daughter and family and some on his friends and also, enjoyed visiting on their lovely deck being entertained by the hummingbirds. We'll look forward to being together with both of them next winter in AZ!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

GTNP Part II

1August09 113 (Jan) Today is travel day for us. We will be saying good-bye to the Sheeley's after a very nice week. The weather here has been a little of everything; sunshine, hot, rainy, hailing, windy, cold and back to a beautiful warm sunshine. The scenery is incredible and being here with friends has made this time very special.

Last Thursday was 'Animal Day.' 6August09 006 We and the Sheeley's headed off toward Moose to see moose! As we crossed the bridge heading into the village there were lots of tourists on the bridge and on the river bank which usually means an animal sighting. And there he was; a large male moose on the side of the river just posing for pictures. It's as close as we have seen a moose and we were excited!

6August09 008 We visited the Moose Village Visitors Center next before heading up to Jenny Lake to hike along the shore. And at the end of the hike there he was; a black bear wandering down the hill, across the trail and down to the water to get a drink. He sauntered back up the hill, over the path fairly near us and back up to cross the road and go off into the forest again. Wow, what a thrill. DSC03322 But we had one more surprise in store. We sighted another moose on the Wilson road. It was large female and she stood patiently eating grasses out of a pond drawing a fair size crowd of tourists.

Friday evening we joined the Merryman's for a Happy Hour/ Appetizer Supper. What fun to see them again and join them for a good visit and then a card game of Golf. Martha also taught us how to play The Whole Enchilada. That's a fun game, too. Saturday was another chill-out day of walking, beading for the gals, fixing stuff for the guys and a great Italian Sausage Soup dinner by Judy.

Yesterday started off rainy and very cold so we stayed under our down comforter a little longer than usual. We walked late in the morning with the Sheeleys and then enjoyed being outside in the afternoon as the sunshine finally reappeared. DSC03331 That evening we, the Sheeleys and Merrymans traveled down the hill to the Heart 6 Ranch for some fabulous buffalo burgers and the best french fries and onion rings we've had in awhile. The next couple of photos are Judy’s. Thanks for sharing, Judy.

DSC03330 Next on the agenda was Cowboy Church over at the Diamond Cross ranch. Grant Golliher, horse whisperer and trainer, offers a non-traditional Sunday evening service focusing

9August09 002on trust and living within God's rules and demonstrating this lesson with his horses. The service also included music and prayer and was very interesting.

From here we are headed to Idaho to see another friend and then on to the Columbia River valley and Seattle.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Grand Tetons National Park

(Jan) South of Yellowstone is another of this country’s beautiful National Parks. The Teton Mountains and Park are interesting, rugged and beautiful. We went to two of the Visitor’s centers at Moose Junction and Colter Bay. Both were wonderfully presented and one of our favorites was the topographical map of the mountain range and park at Moose Jct. Coulter Bay offered many Indian artifacts of the the tribes who lived in this area.

East of Moran Junction (thanks to Dean) we found an awesome boondocking spot above the Buffalo Fork River. It has an amazing view of a bend in the river below and the Teton mountains to the west. It’s surrounded by aspen trees to the east and north and we have a nice breeze to keep the mosquitos and flies at bay. There is a family of bald eagles that calls this area home. Each day we see the two adults hunting and the fledglings leave their nest to join them down on the sand bar near the river. Deer and osprey also visit the river but we have yet to see a grizzly bear which we have been told are active in the area.

The National Forest campground Turpin Meadow is east of us about 7 miles. Fellow Boomers Martha and Gene Merryman are the Camphosts there and we have been visiting back and forth. Last Friday night they invited us over for a wonderful pot roast meal. It's been very nice seeing them again! We shared our spot with Escapees Denny and Pat for several days and now there are three rigs here, as our buds Dean and Judy Sheeley arrived on Sunday.

Monday we and the Sheeley's headed down to Jackson to have lunch with fellow Boomers Carl and Joey. After a fun lunch at the Virginian, we headed to the town square, with it's famous antler arches, to browse the shops in the downtown area. There is the usual T-shirt and trinket shops along with a very upscale variety of art galleries. The next top was the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar with genuine saddle bar stoold and it's bar tops imbedded with silver dollars. Since Carl and Joey are avid NASCAR fans, we stopped for a drink and viewed the end of the race from the Pocono Raceway. The National Museum of Wildlife Art was next on our agenda. The Museum houses 5,000 paintings and sculpters from the 1700's to present day. Very impressive. A grocery store, fuel and LP stop rounded out our day.


The last several days we have just been enjoying hanging out and catching up with the Sheeleys; lawn chair testing, hiking, shared dinners, watching the eagles and a little card playing. As Chuck would say, "Life is Good."
 
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