Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Seattle downtown

Seattle, Washington has got to be one of America’s prettiest cities. The city’s downtown stands on the eastern side of the Puget Sound across a bay from Alki Beach where it is said the first European settlers, the Denny Party, landed in the fall of 1851 in a driving rain storm.  Our Motor Home at Jackie and Butch's acreage near RentonFrom 1869 – 1982 Seattle was known as the Queen City and later as the Emerald City, signifying the lush evergreen trees everywhere in the city. Our favorite moniker, The Rain City, was on a T-Shirt that read, Rain City Festival January 1 through December 31!

We spent 20 fun filled days in the Seattle area visiting family, friends and seeing some of the sites. Chuck and Jan, Butch and Jackie, Marilyn and DickWe stayed at Jackie and Butch’s acreage near Renton and close to Josh and Sarah’s in Lynnwood. We visited downtown Tacoma with it’s renovated buildings, South UW campus, Glass Blowers museum and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. We toured Pike’s Place Market, had a picnic at Alki Beach, and visited the Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder with Jackie & Butch and his sister Marilyn & husband Dick who were visiting from Florida. One Friday evening we were invited to dinner at Boomer friends Vicky and Terry Webb’s house for a delicious salmon meal. We met Boomers Dick and Linnea Manning and had a wonderful time.

Jackie and Jan Tacoma Glass Museum gift shop Jackie and Jan at the Gift Shop

Chihuly glass bridge Chihuly glass bridgeCilhuly Glass

Going for walks, playing cards and dice games, sharing wonderful meals, meeting Lexi and holding our new granddaughter Julianna highlighted our time at Josh and Sarah’s. We also joined the family on their first geocaching adventure and met Lexi’s friend Tanner. Alison and Isaac have grown and changed since we last saw them a year ago and it is a joy to spent this precious time with all of them.

Ali, Lexi, Jan, Julianna, Chuck, Isaac, Josh, Sarah
Alison, nearly 5, Lexi 18, Jan with baby Julianna, Chuck, Isaac, 3, and
Josh & Sarah

Josh & Sarah's house in Lynwood-Julianna, Lexi. Sarah, Josh on porch Josh & Sarah’s new home in Lynnwood

All too soon it was time to head south and east and leave Seattle behind. We will miss everyone but look forward to the next time we can all be together. We are in Toppenish this evening boondocking at the Legends Casino.  Our plan is to head through Pendleton and Baker City, Oregon and on into Idaho and Utah. We’ll visit the National Parks in southern Utah and possibly go to the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelley before heading to the Yuma area in November. 

Chuck & Jan, Jackie & Butch with their garage, house and cottage/office in the background

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

4 Adults, 1 Teenager, 3 Kids…..oh! and 1 Bear

019022 (Jan) What fun we are having in Seattle area! We spend the week-end at the Josh and Sarah Moore home meeting our 7 week new baby grand daughter, our new teenage granddaughter and seeing their new home. Julianna Kate Moore was born 7/23/10, two days before my dad passed away so we were unable to be here at that time but we’re sure happy to get to be with her now.004 She’s beautiful!  Just a lovely baby and so very precious to hold! And it’s amazing to see how much Isaac, who has just turned 3, and Alison, who will be 5 next month, have grown and changed. We were excited to be at church with the family for Julianna’s Baby Dedication Day on Sunday.  The picture at left shows the family with Josh reading the Bible verses that they had chosen for Julianna.010

Miss Lexi joined the family last spring.  She is a lovely young lady who is a senior in high school taking mostly college credit courses. We are looking forward to spending time with her.  Here she is with Josh and Isaac.

004Josh and Sarah’s home is gorgeous and twice as much room as they had in they had previously. It’s bright and open and has a wonderful kitchen.  Here’s Josh and Sarah 038 preparing a wonderful chicken/spinach lasagna …….

and the family having fun with the music in the family room.      Oh, and the bear? The Ali and Isaac loved him!011

Friday, September 10, 2010

4 Adults and 1 Bear

(Jan) The last two days have been spent in and around Renton, WA with Chuck’s sister and brother-in-law. We’ve had great visits, fun times playing cards and this morning we took off to go garage saling.  What an adventure! We bought nothing for our selves but did find a couple of fun things for our grandchildren. That’s where the bear comes in! We found him at a multi-family garage sale and he was available to a good home. We assured the seller that this was, indeed, a good home that he would be taken to. So Mr.Bear went home temporarily with the four of us and we just couldn’t resist getting silly and posing with him!

 Jacie and Butch  

And a good time was had by all.  We could ‘bearly’ contain our laughter!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

TRYING to do more Boondocking!

Yes, that’s correct; TRYING! After a summer of paying nightly for campgrounds because electricity for A/C was a must, we have been trying to do more boondocking now that we are in cooler weather. Our first night on our trek west was spent at a Cabela’s in Mitchell, SD followed by 4 nights at Heartland RV on our 1/2 price Passport America membership.  030The next night we had planned to boondock near Little Bighorn in Montana but one site was not meant for large rigs and the casino just did not look safe. We stayed for the night at the very nicely manicured 7th Ranch RV Park just down the road. Nice people and a beautiful sunset.

On Saturday we headed for Livingston, Montana to boondock at the Fairgrounds there.  We pulled into a nice area, got permission to park and started leveling and putting out the slides. There were quite a few people and trucks around as there was a high school rodeo being held there and be were thinking that we might go to several of the events. Well, that’s when the fun began….several trucks and stock trailers pulled in right next to us, got their horses out and tied them right along side of us.  We love horses but that was a little too close. We didn’t think we wanted them rubbing on the side of the rig or kicking it, so, in came the slides and we started researching area campgrounds as it was getting late in the afternoon. About that same time I got a FB message and then a phone call from friends Bill and Fran Rayner who were headed our way. We decided on Osen’s RV Park since we knew another couple of Boomer friends were in the Livingston area, also. We had a very fun happy hour & good visit with them. The following morning the four of us were having coffee when friends Laurie Brown and Odel King stopped by. Perfect! What fun we had talking and laughing and 082sharing RV stories.

We did successfully boondock the following two nights at a Cabela’s in Post Falls, Idaho; great location, good shopping at Cabela’s, a Wal-mart right next door and new friends Brad and Cindy who had just returned from Alaska. 

Tonight we really did try to boondock again.  We pulled off exit 34 on I90 and just as Day’s End said there were 8 long spaces marked RV’s only at the side of the steak house.  We pulled in & started to relax. Well, for a short time anyway.  It is a very busy place and soon we were surrounded by semis with motors running. It seems no one pays attention to the ‘RV’s Only’ and with a foot or two between our RV and the semis we decided to move on.  We are now at a lovely forested campground called Norwest RV Park in North Bend, WA.

We have stayed in some of the most beautiful, scenic places in the west without hook-ups and look forward to doing more of that. However, it can be a challenge to boondock in city and interstate areas, even with the resources of Days End. Last year (2009) we enjoyed 240 days without hookups. We have great times boondocking with friends and having the most fantastic scenery at our doorstep. Plus, it’s very easy on the budget!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

(Chuck) As a young boy growing up in rural Iowa, we lived near a very small town of Botna. When you entered the door of the general store on the wall there was a picture which always caught my custer's last fight paintingattention.  It was the lithographed version of the Cassilly Adams painting titled “Custer’s Last Fight”. These copies were distributed by the Anheuser-Busch Company of St. Louis in 1896 and were found in every tavern, store and hotel in the country. I found an appropriate quote that stated “It is probably safe to say that in the years elapsing since 1896 it has been viewed by a greater number of the lower-browed members of society-and by fewer art critics-than any other picture in American history.” There were no survivors of this particular fight and the images in the painting are subject to interpretation, however to this young lad perception was reality.

This painting was probably what caused us to want to stop in Crow Agency, Montana in 1969, forty two years ago, on our first and only prior visit to the Custer Battlefield. The battlefield now is a more detailed and expanded experience showing the movements of the soldiers, the location of the Indian village and battle lines. Today it is known as the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. It records one of the many conflicts of our Westward expansion.

Marble monuments have been erected to mark where soldiers fell and were first buried. A person can see how the battle developed. Many markers record where soldiers fell in small groups as they struggled to the high ground. Several markers have also been erected to mark where known Indians fell during the battle.

soldier's stones Cheyenne stone


Soldiers stones marked with ‘US Soldier - 7th Cav – killed June 25, 1876’ to the left and an Cheyenne warrior’s stone above. 

The area just below the Memorial stone shows where Custer and his immediate command made their last stand.  It is a somber place. A person can feel the fear, anguish and the wonder.

Looking up towards the main Memorial Stone and the individual stones of Custer’s men
Custer's Last Stand Hill 

Custer's Last Stand HillLooking down from the Memorial Stone onto ‘Last Stand’ hill and the valley below

Included in the grounds of the monument is the National Cemetery which holds approximately 4,900 interments.  The peaceful, sloping grounds are on the west end of the ridge overlooking the Little Bighorn River Valley. Little Birhorn National Cemetary

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Presidents, Friends, Museums and Summer Nights

Mount Rushmore (Jan) The Black Hills and Custer State Park have so much to offer.  We have visited many times and we always find new things to discover as well as old favorites to visit.  On Wednesday and Thursday we did just that.  We headed over to Keystone, and as we wandering around Halley’s 1880’s Store ,we struck up a conversation with the proprietor about music and the different instruments on display. mama mountain goatI was invited to come back and play wash tub on Saturday night with the blue grass band. It would have been a hoot!

Mount Rushmore was our next stop.  It’s beautiful, a awesome work of art and stately! The grand terrace with it’s avenue of flags is beautiful. What more can you say? After a leisurely walk around beautiful Horse Thief Lake we spotted a family of mountain goats grazing along the side of the road.  Mama goat (at right) posed patiently! Papa Goat, who had a radio collar on, did not!

ChuckChuck and I posing for our pictures at Horse Thief



Pigtail bridgesThat afternoon we headed over to Hart Ranch to visit some Boomer friends Duane Payton and Betty Anderson. This delightful couple spends their summers in their native South Dakota and like us winters in Arizona. It was great to see them again and catch up. But darn! We didn’t get a photo!

B1B at Ellsworth AFB Thursday we played tourist all day going to Gordon Stockade and Sylvan Lake, driving the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road with their tunnels and pig-tail bridges, visiting the Geology Museum and South Dakota Air Museum at Ellsworth AFB, see the B1B Bomber above, and went to Summer Nights in downtown Rapids City with it's Presidents statues, Art Alley and free music in the evening. FULL and very fun day!! Click on the picture above to read the fascinating history of the Pigtail bridges.

Gordon Stockade Gordon Stockade was built near Custer during the early Black Hills gold rush era. mastodon Besides fascinating metals & mineral, there were dinosaur skeletons & mastodon horns.
Pres Hoover & Jan 
President Hoover, an Iowan
 Cuck & Pres Washington          President George Washington
Rapid City's Art Alley A blue grass band in Art Alley Rapid City Summer Nights The Main Stage entertainers
room reservation in London