August 2006 Archives

Awake: 6:45am Temp 53 sleep 7+38 sunny overnight @ Minot,
North Dakota.

I awoke @ 3:15am & had trouble getting back to sleep…..rare for me.
Anyway, a lot of thoughts went thru my mind that I couldn’t brush off.
Basically I am excited about today’s adventure. Driving into Canada;
seeing our Swiss friends whom we haven’t seen for 2 yrs; plus cooperating
with Myrta to make this a surprise rendezvous for Bernie & Monica who have
been touring with them. Also, we haven’t had any cell phone communications
for a week so we are hoping our families are OK & not trying to contact
us. Plus, our Suzuki is loaded with wine & liquor; will that be safe
during our absence? Eventually I did get back to sleep & then Kathy woke
me up by cuddling & gently reminding me that maybe we should get ready to

Because of a later leave time than planned, we skip our coffee & breakfast
for now & will have it later en route. So we leave our Suzuki & the KOA
campground in Minot & head north on hwy 83 to the Canadian border (66
miles). The bumpy hwy 83 continues. With little or no traffic, on this 4
lane divided hwy, I ride in the left lane until another vehicle approaches
from the rear or front or until neither lane is acceptable. Approaching
the border, we see that the U.S. border is merely 300 ft from the Canadian
border, so we stop @ the U.S. border to ask them some questions about
returning in a few days like: we have frozen meat that has been removed
from the original package, rewrapped into smaller portions & frozen. Will
that be a problem when we come back thru the U.S. border? The border guy
we are asking comes into our coach, signs all the packages that Kathy digs
out of the freezer that might apply to this scenario, fills out a form
which he has her sign & informs us that it will be no problem now.

Next, we drive some 300 ft & stop @ the Canadian border, shut down the
engine & wait in our coach. In a few minutes, a fellow appears, asks us to
open our door & then proceeds to ask a series of questions & to see some
identification, more questions & then, we are free to go. Before we leave,
I ask him a question: could we have an updated map of Manitoba….which he
gave to us.

I thought hwy 83 in North Dakota was rough, ha! Canada hwy 83 was an
accumulation of rough, rougher, then smooth & smoother, then back to
rough, rougher, etc, for the remainder of our journey. About ½ of the way
to our destination, we came upon a very serious accident between a
semi-tractor trailer & an automobile. The road was closed so we had to
back up, turn around & then follow the detour on our map that the
policeman highlighted for us. It added nearly an hr to our travel time.
Then we dealt with a few road construction delays, but aside from that, no
other stops en route.

Our friend Myrta e-mailed directions on how to get to Oskar’s (her father)
Canadian farm with the final word being: turn right on country road 584,
continue for 8 miles & look for a blue & white house on the left. This
country road was dirt; the dustiest environment I’ve ever subjected our
motorhome to. We couldn’t confirm the Oskar farm house on the first pass
so we turned around @ the next intersection, came back & agreed that this
one house has to be the place. After backing into the approx 500 ft long
driveway, we park, shut off the engine & begin to snoop around for clues
as to who lives there. The house was locked but the side door on the
separate garage building was unlocked. Inside was a car, doors not locked,
glove compartment not locked & the registration indicated that it belonged
to Oskar Stoll. We did well! We re-park our motorhome so as not to block
any farm equipment that might have to move in from the fields. Then we
sit, read & hope that we have the correct day of the week for this

Today’s travel: 5+53 time 285 miles 37 gal used 7.8 mpg
49.4 avg speed.

This group of 5 Swiss people have been touring Vancouver, B.C., Alberta,
B.C., & some of Manitoba for about 3 weeks now & their schedule has them
arriving back here @ Oskar’s house sometime this evening.

Kathy made a bowl of chicken salad in the event the gang doesn’t arrive
until after 8:00pm. We hear a car door close @ 6:50pm & yes, they have
arrived. They traveled some 600 miles today to make the farm rendezvous on
time. It’s so good to see them: Oskar, Myrta & her husband Rene, and, wait
a minute! The other two people exiting from the car are a surprise for us,
Barnhard & his wife Monica, from the Saleneg Vineyard. For no special
reason, when Myrta wrote about surprising Bernie and Monica, we thought of
their friends by the same name from Germany. We really like both couples
so though we were surprised we were also delighted. We are invited for
wine before dinner & then dinner @ 8:30pm.

Monica & Myrta are excellent cooks: cucumber & tomato salad, spaghetti
with bolognaise sauce, pork chops & bread. After dinner, we hang around &
catch-up on “what’s new” with each other. Getting together with these guys
again is GREAT!

High temp=78 Elevation 1882 ft Lights out: 11:30pm

Awake: 7:00am Temp 63 sleep 6+00 a few clouds overnight @
Menoken, North Dakota.

We leave the Prairie Breeze RV Park @ 10:47am. Our smooth roads quickly
turn into bumpy roads now that we are on hwy 83 heading north. I admit we
became spoiled after many days of being a couple of smoothies.

Arrive @ the nearly empty Minot KOA campground @ 12:57pm. Today’s travel:
2+08 time 122 miles 14.6 gal used 8.4 mpg 56.8 avg

The note on the door read: “Pick out your own campsite, I will return @

“Perfect for us” we say to each other as we pick out our site. We want to
leave our Suzuki @ the campsite & simply drive our motorhome into Canada
for a few days. With no one around here @ this time, we trans-load our
wine & liquor supply into the Suzuki & then cover it up so it isn’t so
obvious. Later Kathy & I sit outside & have our habitual glass of wine
before dinner.

Then, we play another game of “horseshoes.” This time, a 10 pointer……we
both get a ringer, the game is close & I get lucky & win. Next time, we
will be playing the tie-breaker.

8:30 dinner: Pork chop, cauliflower with roasted peppers, brown rice,
spinach salad & bread. No satellite signals (too many trees), so we read
our respective novels in bed.

High temp=84 Elevation 1580 ft Lights out: 11:07pm

Awake: 6:43am Temp 57 sleep 6+30 sunny overnight @ Menoken, N.D.

We leave @ 10:35am driving the Suzuki into Bismarck. 1st, the visitors
center for more information then spend over an hr @ the Heritage Center,
which was a very well done museum; we could have easily spent another hr
there. Next, we join a guided tour of the Art Deco Capital building (1 of
3) in the USA. That was neat & we may have picked up a few new ideas for
our home building plans.

After the Capital tour, we walk the river path for 1.5 hrs of exercise &
take a lunch break @ the Captain Meriwether’s restaurant where we share a
buffalo burger with French fries.

Then attend 5:00pm Mass @ the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit nearby. After
that, we do a driving tour of downtown Bismarck…..wondering: “where are
the people?” It’s Saturday night. We think the downtown is mostly a
business downtown. Back to our bus @ 6:35pm.

We both take showers @ the biggest & best shower facility we ever
experienced in a campground.

8:00pm dinner: Leftover meatloaf with gravy & mushrooms, whole wheat
noodles & lettuce salad.

(2) movies tonight: “My Fair Lady” with Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn,
Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, etc. A musical: Prof. Higgins
(Harrison) transforms guttersnipe Hepburn into a regal lady, to win a bet.
Hey, this film won 8 Oscars including Best Picture. 1964. It’s been over
40 yrs since the first time I’ve seen this movie & I still enjoy it even
though it is a musical!

“The Nun Story” with Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans, Peggy
Ashcroft, etc. A record of a devoted nun’s ultimate rebellion against vows
of chastity, obedience, silence, & poverty. 1959. We found it fascinating
to watch with all the strict rules & regulations of the earlier times in
the convent.

High temp=79 Elevation 1725 ft Lights out: 1:00am

Awake: 6:25am Temp 58 sleep 6+40 cloudy elevation 2305 ft
overnight @ Medora, North Dakota.

@ the Amphitheater last night, we talked with the couple sitting next to
us: Arnold & Marietta from Manitoba, Canada, who we found out are also
staying @ the campground. They questioned us about our “full time”
lifestyle & travels during our wait time for the musical to begin.

This morning as I am cleaning water off the slide tops from the heavy rain
last night, a fellow walks over from across the street & it’s Arnold, our
musical neighbor of last night. We chat for a few minutes & discuss the
border crossing routine going into Canada. Later, he brings us an outdated
road map of Canada & soon the 4 of us are gabbing away. Nice people. They
live in Rossburn…..maybe 70 miles south of the area we will be visiting.

We leave the Medora Campground @ 11:02am. We have a destination campground
picked out but no cell phone coverage to call in advance. So far on I-94,
our cell phone coverage has been nil. We thought perhaps driving thru the
Capital city of Bismarck would surely bring cell coverage, NOT!

We arrive @ our destination: “A Prairie Breeze RV Park @ 2:35pm Central
Time. The registration office was a small 5’X 8’ open shack & the
campground is an open farm field. They don’t take reservations & Dwayne,
the campground host, tells us that business is good. Besides having long
pull thrus’, full hookups, easy off-easy on, they have new bathrooms &
showers. And the price was right. Today’s travel: 2+34 time 148 miles
17.3 gal used 8.6 mpg 57.3 avg speed.

7:05 dinner: Sword fish, broccoli with roasted red peppers & spinach salad.

After dinner, we take a 30 min walk around the campground & a dirt road
across the street from the Prairie Breeze campground. A small weekend
rally (local chapter of Good Sam Club) was being held @ the west end of
this campground so we stopped & visited with them for awhile.

Back to our coach where we do some late night reading.

High temp=75 Lights out: 12:13am

Awake: 6:50am Temp 62 sleep 7+45 partly sunny
elevation 2350 ft overnight @ Glendive, MT.

I was awakened @ approximately 4:15am by strong & steady winds….the noise.
My first thoughts were: “it’s a tornado!” Softly walking out to our living
room so as not to wake Kathy, I watched as the trees were being bent over
by the steady wind & was amazed that our coach was not swaying. Some time
later, I retracted our # 4 slide opposite side of the wind
direction…..that woke Kathy up. Rain & thunderstorms followed. Getting
back to sleep took some time, I should have just stayed awake.

Before breakfast, I get out the telescoping ladder, clean the debris &
water off our # 2 slide top, then retract the slide. We take our time
leaving this morning as our next campground is merely an hr down the road.

Leave the Glendive campground @ 11:27am. Smooth roads & scenic landscape
views along the hwy continue.

Arrive @ the Medora campground in Medora, North Dakota @ 12:34pm. Today’s
travel: 1:07 time 61 miles 8.8 gal used 6.9 mpg
55.2 avg speed. It took us nearly as long to check in and get our assigned
parking site as it took to drive here. The lady in front of us was
checking in for some 14 people.

Medora’s population is listed as 100 (during off season). The town was
founded in 1883 by a 24 yr old French Nobleman, Marquis de Mores. He named
the town for his bride, the former Medora Von Hoffman, daughter of a
wealthy New York City banker. With financial backing from his
father-in-law, he built a meat packing plant, a brick plant, a hotel,
stores & a large home. Despite the vision & energy of Marquis, all of his
various enterprises ended in financial failure by the fall of 1886. With
their son & daughter, the Mores returned to France.

Another colorful individual drawn to this area was a young New York
politician named Theodore Roosevelt. He arrived in 1883 & fell in love
with the land & invested in cattle raising. In 1901 Roosevelt, age 42,
became the youngest President in U.S. History @ that time, serving until
1909. He called his yrs in the Badlands: “the romance of my life.” Medora
continued to be an active community with 3 large coal mines operated
nearby plus the CCC built many roads, signs, & structures within what is
now, Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

In 1958, a special amphitheater was constructed a mile west of Medora & 3
churches now serve the community.

Kathy & I drive into town (2 miles) & check out the visitors’ center, the
oldest Catholic Church in South Dakota & do a self tour of the town
including the remnants of the meat packing plant & then watch a movie of
the Badlands (13 min) at the Badlands Interpretive Center. We wrap up our
self touring by attending a guided tour of Teddy’s “Maltese Cross” cabin.
All of these sights were very interesting to see & learn more about.

7:15 dinner: Leftover stuffed peppers.

@ 7:45pm we drive a mile west to attend the musical production @ the
Burning Hills Amphitheater. A magical experience in the high desert: a
moving escalator descending about 100 ft to a 2900 seat theater facing a
stage with a setting of a small town all lit up on a dark night; Badland
hills in the background. Just being there with almost a full house was
fantastic. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was right on & we were
chased out with heavy rain, thunderstorms, lightening, & strong winds
after seeing 80% of the show.

High temp: 74 Lights out: 11:45pm

Awake: 5:45am Temp 63 sleep 6+10 sunny elevation 3129 ft.
overnight @ Billings, MT.

We leave the Trailer Village RV Park @ 8:52am…..then 15 min down I-90; we
stop @ Flying “J” & top off our tank with 155 gal of diesel fuel. Smooth
roads continue…now on I-94. Arrive @ the Glendive campground in Glendive,
Montana @ 1:22pm.

Today’s travel: 4+27 time 225 miles 26.4 gal used 8.5 mpg
57.1 avg speed.

We like this campground; it’s circular in style with large trees
separating the camping sites. The campground is virtually empty this time
of day so the young lady who checked us in allows us to pick our own site.
Our preference for a site direction is an easterly heading unless a scenic
view, entertaining view, or action packed curiosity view is possible.
Today we simply select heading east.

After lunch, we drive our Suzuki downtown (2 miles) & check out the town
(population 4000). During our close scrutiny, it’s obviously that this
town has lost some of its population over the yrs. There were many empty
store fronts & many classic buildings not being occupied. We see so much
of this across the lower 48 states in our travels: the slow declining of
the small to medium size towns. It’s kind of sad.

Our supply of spinach & lettuce is running low so we shop @ an Albertsons
to restock. During checkout, we actually see someone we know: the young 17
yr old girl who so professionally checked us in @ the campground about 2
hrs ago. She has 2 summer jobs, Albertsons being the 2nd.

7:05 dinner: Kathy’s style homemade meatloaf with a mixed lettuce &
spinach salad. Excellent, in fact I ate more than I needed to.

Satellite movie: “The Hudsucker Proxy” with Tin Robbins, Jennifer Jason
Leigh, Paul Newman, Charles Durning, etc. A country bumpkin arrives in the
big city & becomes the unwitting pawn in a scheme to ruin a thriving
corporation. This is the Coen Brothers most extravagant creation to date,
an eye-popping ‘50’s fantasy of big business gone berserk. 1994. It was
great entertainment!

High temp: 85 Lights out: 11:05pm

Awake: 6:12am Temp 55 sleep 6+50 some clouds overnight @
Reed Point, MT. & elevation 3850.

We take our time leaving this morning. We watch the weather channel, ABC
news, MSN news, etc. Today’s destination is only an hr away & some
campgrounds have an arrival time of 1:00 or 2:00pm.

While storing the portable water filters, Jenetta comes over & chats for
awhile. Nice lady.

We leave the Old West RV Park @ Reed Point @ 10:48am. On I-90 again, our
cell phone coverage is active so Kathy calls ahead & checks for
availability in Billings, MT. Connie say’s: “come on in! It’s no problem
with the early arrival.” So we arrive @ the Trailer Village RV Park @
Billings @ 11:51pm. Today’s travel: 1+03 time 56 miles 6.1 gal used
9.1 mpg 54.6 avg speed.

We waste no time in checking out the downtown by doing a driving grid
pattern of the streets. It’s a clean city but Kathy isn’t impressed with
the lack of shopping stores on Broadwater (the main downtown street).
Before returning to the bus, we stop @ “the Good Earth Market” for organic

A few hrs later, we attend 6:00pm Mass @ Saint Patrick’s Co Cathedral.

7:30 dinner: Stuffed peppers, spinach salad & bread.

Satellite movie: “The Whistler” with Richard Dix, Gloria Stuart, J. Carrol
Naish, etc. Dix takes desperate measures to cancel the contract he had
taken out on his life. 1944. Better than we expected

2nd Movie: “Cimarron” with Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor, Nance
O’Neal, etc. A saga about an American family & the effect of empire
building on the American West, 1850 -- 1915. Hey, it won Best Picture &
Best Screenplay. 1931.

High temp: 85 Lights out: 11:27pm

Awake: 6:18am Temp 48 sleep 6+05 sunny overnight @
Anaconda, MT.

We leave the Fairmont RV Resort @ Anaconda @ 9:17am. Smooth roads continue
on I-90 eastbound. Since we crossed the Continental Divide, the ups &
downs (elevation changes), haven’t been as excessive as they were in Idaho
& west of Butte, MT. In fact, since Bozeman, our elevation above sea level
has been consistently between 4000 & 3000 ft.

We arrive @ the Old West RV Park in Reed Point, MT @ 12:26pm.

Today’s travel: 3+07 time 182 miles 22 gal used 8.28 mpg
58.3 avg speed.

This Old West RV Park is appropriately named & being here is like a trip
back in time. After parking, we tour this town on foot, population 150. It
is amazing: for a town this size, all the facilities they have available:
a Sinclair fuel station, post office, classic old hotel with a bar &
excellent restaurant we were told, a western saloon, 2 antique stores, a
grade school with approximately 60 students, a somewhat new looking high
school (good size), a saw mill & of course, the Old West RV campground.

Besides the saw mill for local employment, there are farms in the area &
also a Platinum & Palladium mine employing approximately 1000 workers. The
campground owner, Tye, works @ the mine in addition to running their
campground. We enjoyed talking with Tye, his wife Jenetta & the lady
working @ the grade school building.

7:00pm dinner: Smoked Bratwurst, brown rice, spinach salad & bread.

Satellite movie: “Three Men & a Little Lady” with Tom Selleck, Steve
Guttenberg, Ted Danson, Nancy Travis, Robin Weisman, etc. Travis, the
Little Lady’s mother, decided to marry a British actor & move to
England…..forcing the three bachelor fathers to prove that the prospective
husband & father is really a rotter before it’s too late. 1990. We liked
it….for it’s light comedy & as a good family film.

High temp=83 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:15am Temp 45 sleep 6+23 cloudy elevation 5156 ft
Overnight @ Anaconda, MT.

We sign up for another day’s stay….but we have to move 3 sites over. Our
near neighbor has friends coming in later today who reserved this site we
are in weeks ago & they want to be next to each other. It’s no problem for
us to move & takes maybe 15 min. In fact, this same neighbor helped in
carrying our portable water filter system over to our new site because he
felt bad that we had to move.

I talk a little with Katrina today in Denver. She returned from her 4 day
trip to Yellowstone, had a great time, and is doing fine. She’s back to
school but no kids will attend until the 21st of August.

7:30pm dinner: Chicken parmesan with whole wheat noodles & mixed salad.

After dinner, we walk the campground for exercise & play a short game of
horseshoes. Kathy was the winner. Another ole game I will have to practice
up on.

High temp=78 Lights out: 12:13am

Awake: 4:58am Temp 57 sleep 6+11 cloudy elevation 2812 ft
overnight @ Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

This campground works well for us & it’s only minutes from downtown where
there are many things to see & do. We’ll make a note of that for future
reference. We leave the Riverwalk RV Park @ 9:13am. Smooth roads continue
on I-90 with a lot of mountain climbing & very scenic views.

We arrive @ the Fairmont RV Resort @ Anaconda, Montana @ 3:23pm. We make 1
stop en route for comfort. Today’s travel: 5+01 time 275 miles 36
gal used 7.7 mpg 55.5 avg speed. This is a nice campground + big
rig friendly. Many sites are 30 amps, only a few are 50 & our site is 30,
but we are happy to be here because this campground is full today.

We waste no time in parking & detaching the Suzuki. Then drive 9 miles to
the town of Anaconda. In its heyday, this town’s population was 22,000.
Today it’s a mere 9800. It was a smelting town for the copper ore brought
by rail from Butte, MT (20 miles). We tour the town on wheels & marvel @
the different, old architecture of many classic buildings throughout the
town. We not only witness empty store fronts but also appreciate renovated
buildings; in fact Anaconda has four National Historic districts, incl.
turn-of-the-century architecture such as the ornate 1930’s working movie
theater, the Washoe Theatre (ranked 5th in the nation by the Smithsonian

The Anaconda Stack at over 585 ft. (30 ft higher than the Washington
monument in DC) is visible from town and the highway. It is one of the few
remnants of Anaconda’s huge copper smelting plant and is the world’s
largest free-standing masonry structure.

During a break in our touring, we attend 6:00pm Mass @ Holy Family church.

8:15 dinner: Warm beef salad on spinach leaves, Triscuits, and corn on the
cob from F&K.

High temp=78 Lights out: 11:52pm

Awake: 5:42am Temp 55 sleep 6+34 sunny overnight @ Royal
City, WA.

It’s a beautiful morning for a round of golf. In a way, we goofed! This
campground is virtually on a 9 hole course & they rent clubs, carts, plus
the price is right. Yes, Frank & Kay kept us busy & we could have squeezed
in some time to hit those little white balls, but on the other hand, we
certainly didn’t want to take any chances of missing out on those special
farm tours.

We leave the Royal City Golf RV Park @ 9:05am. Very smooth roads en route.
On I-90, we have cell phone signals so Kathy calls Frank & gets him out of
his pool where he was doing his daily water aerobics to answer the phone.
Speaking for both of us, she thanks him & Kay again for the good times,
etc. It was great! Next call, we are looking for a campground in Idaho.
Our 1st choice: no vacancy! 2nd call: maybe they can fit us in; they have
only 1 site in their campground that will take a 45 ft motor home. We give
our name & ETA.

Arrive @ the RiverWalk RV Park @ 12:10pm. They were not kidding…..only one
big rig site….. & with outside guidance we fit into it just fine.
Today’s travel: 3+03 time 162 miles 21 gal used 7.9 mpg
55.5 avg speed

After lunch, we drive the Suzuki downtown, park & climb “Tubbs Hill” for
exercise. The trail wasn’t marked well & we ended up going down some steep
narrow paths with loose gravel, which Kathy nearly refused to do & wanted
to turn back. After some friendly persuasion & steady help from her dear
husband, she did fine & we finally found the main trail which returned us
to the starting point. Next, we walk the famous “floating boardwalk” @ the
Coeur d’ Alene Resort which rims the hotel’s 372-slip marina. Its 12 ft
wide, 3300 ft long & constructed of 1600 float logs, each 32 ft long. It
was a neat experience just walking among all of those boats & yachts. Then
we take a casual drive through the middle of downtown Coeur d’Alene
admiring all the activity & throngs of people everywhere. It appears to be
a very popular downtown hangout.

Back in the bus, we have cell phone coverage so we check our e-mail & what
does Kathy find: A BIG letter from Marge & Tom with oodles of good
updating about their family & some belated birthday wishes for me. Thanks

8:00pm dinner: Salmon steak, broccoli and sweet red pepper in cheese
sauce, spinach salad, bread.

High temp=74 Lights out: 10:47pm

Awake: 5:43am Temp 62 sleep 6+50 partly sunny overnight @
Royal City, WA.

Mid morning, I walk up to the RV / Golf office & pay for another day’s stay.

@ 11:00 am, Frank drives up to see how we are doing & asks us if an
11:30am pickup time will be OK. We have no cell phone coverage here so
Frank’s visits are most welcome.

@ 11:35, Frank & Kay pick us up……to begin with; Kay needs to drop off a
few parcels @ the local post office in Royal City, then we are on our way

Along the way, Frank points out more orchard blocks owned by his daughter
Chris, and his son Randy, and his grandsons, etc. Frank & Kay have been
very generous to their family members & grandchildren by donating many
acres of land & helping them to get started in their own business when the
time was right.

The rolling hills with vegetables & fruit farms continue as we continue
our ride further east. Crossing over the ridge to Pothole, we see the
Catch Basin area & the O Sullivan Dam (man made with Hydro power) in the
distance. As we drive over the breast of the dam, both Frank & Kay are
giving us fact & figures pertaining to this area. Now it’s time for lunch
@ the Sports Bar nearby. Kathy & I share a BLT, salad & a cup of veggie
bean soup.

Next, we cross back over the high ridge & Kay points out the “Badlands”
with the town of Othello in the far distance. The “Badlands” are so named
in this area because it is in no way, suitable for farming. We exit the
car, walk over to a view point & study this odd space of land which has
many different formational changes. Then it’s back to our bus & another
invitation to the traditional 4:00pm “Happy Hour” with a homemade dinner

These “Happy Hour” breaks have been good times with Frank & Kay. We’ve
gotten to know them better & vice-versa. From the start, they have treated
us like they’ve known us all their lives.

5:30pm dinner: Kay’s homemade hot prime rib sandwiches au jus, salad, and
fresh “super sweet” corn on the cob; chocolate cake and fresh peach slices
for dessert.

After dinner, we continue one of our frequent discussions: traveling by
motor home & slide outs or no slide outs…was a hot topic. @ one point, Kay
invited us out to their motor home garage to see their Newell coach a
little closer. They have taken great care of their Newell.

The time has come when we must keep moving east. We thank F & K for their
wonderful hospitality, their magnificent touring, their friendship & the
special bonding we so casually experienced. They are exceptionally good

Back to our bus around 10:45pm.

High temp=83 Lights out: 11:08pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 62 sleep 5+49 partly cloudy elevation 918 ft
overnight @ Royal City, WA.

@ 9:30am Frank picks us up for his Columbia Basin tour. He calls himself a
poor farmer & started his fruit & vegetable farming in this area some 50
yrs ago. If not for the Grand Coulee Dam project, providing the water
canals running throughout this valley, this entire area would still be
like sage brush country. Instead, the ground is lush & fertile for miles.
As Frank maneuvers his 4 wheel drive vehicle around the different large
farming areas, we see many different types of apple orchards growing: red
delicious; gala; fugi; yellow delicious; granny smiths; pink ladies, etc.
I have never seen so many apples growing on these smaller dwarf type
trees. I ask him how those small trees can support so many apples hanging
from their limbs.

Frank stops @ an apple orchard owned by his son Randy & explains the
trellis method that keeps the tree limbs from breaking when loaded down
with mass production apples. Its labor intensive but they literally bend
those limbs horizontally during their early growing times, fasten them
with 5 wires to control the direction, then let the limbs grow vertical
again he explains. Some orchards have a white cloth or sheet stretched
between the rows of apples; he explains that this sheeting reflects the
suns rays upwards to the lower branches with apples.

Then there was the question of why there are crab apple trees interspersed
among the regular trees? Again he easily answers: pollination.

We see a lot of apple orchards but there are definitely more types of
fruit & vegetable orchards: fields of onions, wheat, potatoes, beans,
mint, large carrots, peaches, watermelons, cantaloupe, Bing & pie
cherries, sweet & field corn, grapes for juice & grapes for wine, etc. We
also noticed some cattle farms with Holstein cows.

We also drive by his son Randy’s home, hangar & runway for his personal
aircraft. We drive by his daughter Chris’s orchard & home & talk with 2 of
his grandsons, Derek & Justin, who were working in one of their red
delicious orchards. We were told there are more than 135 different species
of red delicious apples.

Now we change directions & are nearby the town of Royal City & the
Sunfresh facilities which Frank founded yrs ago. We stop @ Frank’s
granddaughter’s truck stop called: Zebs. Here we meet 2 friends of Frank &
Kay from Seattle who are part of their motorhome rally group. Pat & Chuck
are en route to Pullman to deliver their Jaguar to a friend who bought it
& they couldn’t go thru this area without seeing Frank & Kay.
Speaking of Kay, she was having her hair done @ Moses Lake this morning &
joins us for lunch here @ Zebs.

We spend just about an hr gabbing & having lunch with Pat & Chuck & then
they have to get back on the road to Pullman.

Frank drops us off @ our motorhome for some free time…..then to join him &
Kay for the traditional 4:00pm happy hour. After a dandy hour of happy
hour, we ride with Frank & Kay in the Toyota for 40 miles to Soap Lake &
have dinner @ Don’s restaurant. Kathy & I share a top sirloin steak, baked
potato & a salad.

After dinner, Frank drives us down to see Soap Lake & the beach. Then back
to Frank & Kay’s home where they twist our arms to hang around for yet
another day. We can’t say no, these tours that Frank takes us on are

High temp=86 Lights out: 10:53pm

Awake: 6:35am Temp 55 sleep 5+03 cloudy overnight @ Marysville, WA.

1st of all, we both slept well @ this Casino RV Park. We left the living
room windows with screen open all night & released the air pressure on the
slide seals in our bedroom to give us fresh air circulation without using
the generator. We counted over a dozen RV’s in this area overnight.

@ 8:00am I started our quiet diesel generator to charge the battery bank.
After a small breakfast, we leave this dry camping Tulalip Casino RV Park
@ 10:13am, drive non-stop on I-5, I-90 & hwy 26 to Royal City, WA. Smooth
roads 95% of the time, arriving @ the R.C. Golf RV Park @ 1:32pm. Today’s
travel: 3+15 time 188 miles 26 gal used 7.3 mpg 57.3
avg speed.

As I pulled into our campsite, I noticed a sports car making a 180 degree
turn on the road next to the campground….then that same sports car pulled
up next to our motor home. It’s Frank! He drove over here to see if we had
arrived yet….good timing. We chat a little, & then he suggests that we
join them @ their home for a 4:00pm “happy hour” with dinner later. We
have a few things to do 1st, then we drive the 3 miles to Frank & Kay’s

Happy hour was good….with snacking & gabbing & catching up on each others
travels + activities since we have seen each other during May of 2004.

7:30 dinner by Kay: Homemade stew and cornbread, salad, coconut pudding
with strawberries for dessert.

After dinner, we sit in the TV room & watch the Mariners baseball game &
continue our gabbing.

As we are walking out to our car to leave, Frank talks us into staying
another day by scheduling a local tour of the areas we haven’t seen yet….
starting @ 9:30am. How can we resist that?

Back in our bus, we watch a satellite movie: “Born to Kill.” Not exactly
a comfortable title…..but that’s Hollywood. This guy, Lawrence Tierney
(murderer) marries insecure Audrey Long, but can’t stay away from her
divorced sister, Claire Trevor. 1947. We were getting desperate.

High temp=mid 80’s Lights out: 11:41pm

Awake: 6:25am Temp 59 sleep 6+20 sunny overnight @ Bothell, WA.

Kathy makes sourdough pancakes with eggs & bacon for breakfast as a
birthday treat.

@ 8:00am, my sister Corinne calls from Lilly, PA with birthday wishes.

Around 1:20pm, daughter Katrina calls from Rawlins, WY en route to
Yellowstone with 3 friends who join her in singing a “happy birthday”
message to me.

Sometime later, my ole buddy Mark in Navarre, Ohio sends a splendid e-mail
covering my special birthday day.

We have BIG plans for later today: We want to buy more organic milk, tuna
steaks & sword fish steaks from Trader Joes for our eastbound travels
starting tomorrow. Also our boys have scheduled an Isilon tour of their
new building & Nick has free tickets for the Mariners baseball game for
later tonight.

Meanwhile, Kathy does 2 laundry loads & irons clothes while I clean the
windshield & outside mirrors, hose off the slide out tops, let dry & start
retracting the slides. I want to get ready for a somewhat early departure
tomorrow. As we sit inside our coach taking a break, a fellow came by &
told us: “you have to leave!” The max stay is 14 days & our campsite is
reserved. Oh, my gosh! We goofed. We did a fast check & sure enough, today
is leaving day.

I talked with the office people: they are booked solid & turning away
customers without reservations.

We hustle to finish up……Kathy with her laundry, me with the slides & water
connection. Within 30min, we pull away from our campsite, drive the coach
500 ft & connect our tow car in the hook-up area. After 3 calls to local
“full” campgrounds, we do as someone suggested: drive north 25 miles on
I-5 & dry camp @ the Tulalip Casino RV Park. There is no charge & they
have security. We call the boys to alert them that we may be running
behind schedule.

With the coach on battery power & parked nicely alongside of other motor
homes, we drive the Suzuki south on I-5 to Queen Anne hill; Along the way
on I-5, Melissa calls with birthday wishes. I'm not supposed to talk too
long while driving according to the experts, but we enjoyed a few
exchanges of:"what's happening?" anyway.

Then shop @ Trader Joes; unload our perishables in Eriko’s fridge; spend a
little time talking with Jerry & watching him try to talk with us; then,
with Eriko & Jerry, we walk downtown to the Isilon building where Nick,
Zack & Katie are patiently waiting to give us a tour. Even though we are
behind schedule, the boys give us a good tour of the 2 floors they are
leasing in this new impressive downtown building.

Next we all take the city bus & transfer to Safeco Field Stadium to watch
the Mariners vs. the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball game. Those free
tickets gave us a high advantage. K & I haven’t been to a major league
game since high school so it was pretty neat just being there. We had
snacks with us: a bag of mixed nuts, a bag of sourdough pretzels & some
Kettle Corn that I purchased before going into the stadium. The boys
bought some garlic French fries to share with their ladies & we all
(except Katie and Eriko) had a beer or 2.

We left during the 8th inning as to get a head start for getting to our
respective resting nests for the night; a good & thoughtful plan of Nick’s
which Kathy & I bungled big time. I’ll explain: 1st of all, K & I were
unaware of the items we could NOT bring into the stadium, like a hard
plastic or metal cooler, full water bottles unless it was for a child,
etc. So we left our water bottles in our cooler & I took it across the
street where a vendor agreed to store it until the end of the game. That
part worked fine. After we exited the game during the 8th inning, I had to
retrieve our cooler from across the street. During that short time period,
the #56 bus came by & the gang couldn’t take that it without leaving me
lost by myself on a dark night (on my birthday, too, I might add).

Nick tried to convince us to wait in the “direct shuttle to downtown”
pick-up area for the first direct downtown shuttle, but all the while many
taxis were loading & taking people from that same spot to their respective
residences. It wasn’t easy for us but we overpowered Nick to move further
down the street to a regular bus stop where we “oh so casually waited for
over an hr” for the regular bus & watched the direct shuttle busses pass
us by fully loaded with fans leaving the stadium. Nick was a champion
through it all, even showing us how to deep breathe; his Dad & Mom felt
really bad, but….the good part was, we kept our cool, the Mariners won the
game, and we did make it back to Nick’s condo.

We say our goodbyes & thanks to Zack & Katie for the extra things they did
for us during our wonderful visit & wish them a fun time during Katie’s
stay in Seattle with Zack.

@ Nick’s condo, I bring in our computer for “one more item” for Nick to
simply fix up, then we get our milk, fish etc out of their fridge, say our
thanks & goodbyes for such a great visit & remind them how nice it was
seeing them + our 3rd grandson, Jerry, so many times.

En route back to our bus, we make a stop @ the Safeway store @ the bottom
of Queen Anne hill to check for the right price on wine. Sure enough,
another good deal but we only replaced the ones we emptied recently.

@ Marysville, we make a quick stop @ the Super Wal-Mart to stock up on my
Lindt Dark Chocolate 70% cocoa candy bars & yogurt.

High temp=83 Lights out: 1:32am

Awake: 5:34am Temp 56 sleep 6+40 sunny overnight @ Bothell, WA.

Kathy & I attend 8:30am Mass @ Saint Brendan church. After breakfast, I
spend some leisurely time reading my FMCA motorhome magazine & some more
time on our computer. We also have several phone conversations with Nick &
Zack about today’s gathering & dinner.

K & I leave @ 5:25pm from our campground; arrive @ Zack’s rental house @
6:05. Lots of vehicle traffic en route as the Sea Fair is still happening
today as well.

We greet Zack’s girlfriend Katie; we haven’t seen her since Zack’s
graduation from Purdue in December of 2004. Kathy & I are not allowed in
the kitchen: Katie & Zack are preparing dinner & this is going to be my
“birthday dinner!” Nothing personal but….I usually have no problem with
staying out of the kitchen.

Nick, Eriko & Jerry arrive carrying small bags of ? & head directly to the
kitchen, after which we have our wine time. Shortly, we are called to the
dinner table & then: “the big surprise!” A “happy birthday song.” But
wait, there’s more: Kathy’s favorite and mine too...“Italian Beef
Sandwiches au jus with sweet peppers on Italian hard rolls!” Katie had
this treat shipped via FedEx to Isilon from Chicago for this occasion.
WOW! We were impressed. Then Nick offered us “ice cream cones” with a
choice of “Mint Chocolate Chip or Butter Pecan.” And we had a choice of
cones: cake or waffle.

During this excitement, my sister Mary Jo calls with wishes for my
birthday. She works tomorrow thus the early call today.

I brought my computer along tonight so the boys could take a look & see
why my wireless is not connecting. It took Zack about 10 min or less to
figure out I was using the wrong program to access the wireless. It works
fine now. Then Nick redirected our Northwest photo pictures to be
available on

Another one of Zack’s roommates, Jeff, came home after our dinner was over
so we had the opportunity to meet him & talk with him before
leaving…..he’s a nice guy. It really was a splendid evening but, I don’t
want any more fussing & celebrating about my B.D. tomorrow from these
guys; they’ve done more than enough!

High temp=84 Lights out: 12:05am

Awake: 6:54am Temp 54 sleep 7+47 sunny overnight @ Bothell, WA.

1st thing this morning, I clean off the positive battery post on our
Suzuki & then add some baking soda on that post. We drive away in our
Suzuki @ 10:22am arriving @ Nick’s condo @ 11:02. Then 4 of us plus Jerry
take the bus downtown, transfer to the Genessee Park bus & arrive @ the
Sea Fair @ the south area of Lake Washington @ 1:00pm. Just as we are
walking into the park, the Russian made L39 jets were finishing up on
demonstrating their formation flying. Next came a few low passes of the
C-130 Hercules aircraft. There is a massive crowd of people just about
everywhere. We follow Nick & Eriko since they have been here before & know
just what they are looking for. Our chosen sitting area was good with
trees for shade & a fairly good view of the action….save for the sometime
obstruction by those same shade trees

The Blue Angels, Hydroplane races, Oracle stunt flying routine, Heritage
WWII collection, they were all great. I took a few pictures with my 12
power optical zoom camera which can be seen online with a few other

We could see the BIG boat that Zack & his girlfriend Katie were viewing
the action from which was near the I-90 floating bridge in Lake
Washington. Katie arrived last evening, just in time for Seattle’s Sea
Fair activities & Zack has a friend of a friend that invited them to hang
out on the BIG boat.

We leave the Genesee Park @ 4:00pm & catch bus 39 to downtown, then
transfer to Queen Anne. Back @ the condo, we have our wine time & Nick
shows me some computer operations & then we walk to the “Pasta Bella”
restaurant on Queen Anne Ave for a 6:30 dinner. Kathy & I share a
spaghetti & meatball dinner. Back @ the condo, Kathy gives Nick a
wonderful (?) haircut & then we return to our bus by 10:45pm.

High temp=82 Lights out: 10:54pm

Awake: 6:02am Temp 54 sleep 5+18 sunny overnight @ Bothell, WA.

Ray calls from Ocean Park, WA. 1st we talk about wines, then computers &
then “what’s been happening?”

Mid afternoon, our close neighbor Marvin & I talk about his portable GPS,
the Garman 2720 model. He demos the unit inside his truck sitting on the
dashboard. It not only tells you when to turn but also the street name
you’re turning onto. I like this idea for getting around in unfamiliar
cities in a tow car.

6:20 dinner: Tuna steak, cauliflower, brown rice, fruit salad & bread.

Satellite movie: “Jersey Girl” with Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, George Carlin,
Jennifer Lopez, Raquel Castro, etc. This movie is a remake of the 1993
version which coincidently got a better rating. Widowed father Affleck
resists a budding romance with video clerk Liv Tyler. 2004.

Nick calls: “Be @ our condo @ 11:00am tomorrow” he suggests.

High temp=75 Lights out: 11:07pm

Awake: 7:10am Temp? sleep 7+26 sunny overnight @ Burlington, WA.

Kathy & I take good hot showers before eating breakfast with Glen &
Connie; cereal, cantaloupe, & a slice of Connie’s freshly made coffee

After a slight delay due to Connie & Glen being educated by the Auto
Sprinkler System guy, we check that Saturn tire & then make our 1st tour
stop @ the nearby Wal-Mart.
With only 10,000 miles on that tire, the service lady checks for a new
identical replacement @ no charge but, she won’t be able to get Glen into
the service bay until 3:00pm. She advises us to “take our tour & then come
back @ 3:00pm.”

2nd tour stop: Mount Vernon where Connie points our the RV Park just west
of town, in the event we drive our motor home up here sometime & need a
campground. It is big rig friendly & we take note of that.

3rd tour stop: the small town of La Conner, where the main street has
dozens of small specialty shops for the discriminating buyer. The question
was asked: “should we park & browse?” 2 strong “NOs” were heard. This town
advertises that La Conner is a turn of the-century time capsule with an
authentic waterfront community along the Swinomish channel. The
Victorian-era buildings, shops, galleries, museums, restaurants & lodging
have made La Conner one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations.
Looks good to us…..maybe next time we’ll have more time to explore.

4th tour stop: Anacortes, a natural destination. With miles of beaches,
forest trails, a panoramic view from Mount Erie & plenty of shopping,
dining & cultural happenings, it’s a great place to experience “inland
time” without having to catch a ferry, except for fun. If this sounds like
its right out of the tourist brochure, you are right! We did break loose
from the car in Anacortes however; we checked that screwy tire, let the
ladies powder their noses, sauntered around the large marina & snapped a
picture for proof that we were really here.

5th tour stop: Northern Lights Casino & RV Park. We scrutinize the RV Park
1st & then have a light lunch of soup & salad inside the Casino before
returning to Glen & Connie’s house on the hill. We thank G & C for their
wonderful hospitality, good reminiscing time, & comfortable overnight
stay; we look forward to an opportunity for rendezvousing somewhere down
the road again.

We leave Burlington after filling our Suzuki’s fuel tank @ 3:02pm. Drive
to Queen Anne Hill & stop @ the Safeway store to check their wine supply;
sure enough, another good deal on our # 2 choice. Next, a stop @ Trader
Joes for some groceries, then meet with Nick, Eriko, Jerry & Zack @ Nick’s
condo. We have our wine & gab time, then take 2 cars & meet @ the Outback
Steakhouse restaurant on Westlake Ave to celebrate Nick’s Birthday, Zack’s
belated birthday & Eriko’s up-coming birthday, the 23rd of August. Kathy &
I share a 9 oz filet & it was r-e-a-l-l-y good! We sit & gab some more
until nearly 10:00pm. Zack takes us back to our Suzuki & we are back in
our bus by 10:45pm.

High temp=? Lights out: 12:44am

Awake: 5:56am Temp 58 sleep 6+04 mostly sunny
overnight @ Bothell, WA.

I call Glen @ 7:35am for directions to their home in Burlington, WA.

I call my 2 sisters in Lodi, CA & leave a msg. When they return my call, I
am shaving & Kathy talks with them. Then it’s my turn. Our total gab time
was 56 min & it was a delightful call. It’s been a few yrs since I’ve
talked with both my sisters @ the same time. They are enjoying their time
vacationing together. Corinne returns to PA tomorrow.

We leave Bothell in our Suzuki @ 12:15pm. Burlington is about 60 miles
North on I-5. The 1st stop was@ Haggens Grocery Store in Burlington for
lunch, where we share a veggie salad. Then, of all things, we find a wine
bargain & stock up my side of the closet with a few more bottles of our
2nd favorite wine for the future.

Then we find Glen & Connie’s house half way up the big hill in Burlington.
What a view! We said our goodbyes last December 7th when leaving the MS
Amsterdam & now, as we sit in their living room & reminisce about those
cruising days, the conversation drifts off to “where have you/we been
cruising in your/our motor homes since then? Somewhere along this land
cruising exchange, Glen mentions that they had traded their old land yacht
in for a larger 42 ft land yacht with 2 slides. By some coincidence, he
hinted that their 2 slide machine needs to be picked up @ the Camping
World service facility today which is literally over the hill & we are

We all ride over the hill in their tow car 10 min to Camping World. Glen
pays the bill, then he & I motor 10 miles North on I-5 to their storage
facility where they will park their bus until the next trip. Kathy &
Connie are waiting for our arrival & Connie gives Glen hand signals for
the back-in parking spot. Connie gives Kathy & I a good tour of their
pre-owned unit with the 2 slides closed up, which doesn’t do it justice
but we get the picture anyway.

After plugging into the 20 amp outlet, Connie switches on the refrigerator
& presto: the power was lost. Using the latest high tech troubleshooting
gadget called: hairdryer, we determined that we didn’t know what & why
this almost new Monaco went powerless. All circuit breakers inside were
fine, power outside from the outlet was fine but it refused to come inside
the unit. Glen made a snap decision to let Camping World fix the problem
after we spent close to an hr getting nowhere.

Back @ their house while getting out of their tow car, Kathy spots a screw
imbedded in the passenger side rear tire. Hmmm, it appears to be NOT
losing air @ the moment so we do nothing since it’s after 6:00pm.

Next, we sit on their view porch overlooking Burlington & have some snacks
& wine & discuss each others future travel plans. Then it’s down into the
city for dinner @ the newly opened (1 week) Olive Garden. Oops, a 40 min
wait? Then it’s over to the Mexican restaurant “El Cazidore” for our
8:30pm dinner & no waiting. Kathy has a Taco Enchilada dinner & I have the
Chimichanga dinner. Our meals were very good even though K & I rarely eat
Mexican food. Back @ their house we sit & gab in the family room until
11:30pm still catching up on “where we will go next?”

High temp=77 Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 7:38am Temp 58 sleep 7+19 mostly cloudy
overnight @ Bothell, WA.

I do a little campground planning for our trip into Canada later this month.

Early afternoon, I talk with Marvin, our nearby campground neighbor, who,
with his wife, Chico, has been full timing on a sailboat all around the
world for the past 10 yrs. An extra crew of 4 to 6 were necessary to
handle the sails, etc. Now they had enough of the water & are roaming the
states on land with their trailer. Interesting fellow.

@ 5:00pm we drive to Queen Anne Hill & do some light shopping @ Trader
Joes before joining the gang @ Nick’s condo for 1.5 hrs. During our
visiting time @ the condo, Connie & Glen call from Burlington to invite us
to their home for tomorrow night .

Later, we take 2 cars & meet @ the Paragon restaurant on Queen Anne Ave.
Walking that distance was taboo for our patient Zack as he is being extra
cautious with his right knee. We all have the giant Paragon hamburger
which was large enough for Kathy & I to share. Jerry was his impressive
self + when he did show signs of being tired, he fell asleep in Kathy’s
arms, the first for her.

We return to our bus by 10:20pm.

Today’s high=76 Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 7:34am Temp 57 sleep 6+24 sunny overnight @
Bothell, WA.

Kathy does 2 loads of laundry this morning. During this time, the nurse
calls Zack @ Isilon & checks on his knee injury. Zack reports that the
joint is stiff & he walks with a bent knee.

@ 4:00pm we drive to Bothell Park & walk the “Sammamish Bike & Walking
Trail” for 3 hrs round trip…..over 9 miles. We timed our walking with mile
markers to establish our distance.

Nick calls: “Let’s get together tomorrow” he says. “You bet” we tell him.

9:00pm dinner: Sword fish, brown rice, cauliflower with cheese sauce,
mixed salad & bread with balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

Satellite move: “Antwone Fisher” with Denzel Washington, Derek Luke, Joy
Bryant, etc. This amazing story is based on true-life memoirs. We looked
it up on Google. Antwone is a quick-tempered seaman who reaches a turning
point when a Navy psychiatrist forces him to examine his life & confront
his troubled childhood. 2002.

High temp=75 Lights out: 12:19am

Awake: 6:46am Temp 60 sleep 6+16 cloudy overnight @ Bothell, WA.

We attend 8:30am Mass @ Saint Brendan in Bothell, 7 min from our
campground. Then Kathy makes a veggie omelet for breakfast & afterward,
talks with Zack about today’s rendezvous.

We couldn’t resist watching “Dark Passage” with Lauren Bacall, Humphrey
Bogert, Bruce Bennett, etc late morning. It was too good to pass up.

Early afternoon e-mail reported one of our ole gang members (Rod) in
Anchorage had passed away this morning due to a heart attack. That was not
good news.

Late afternoon, we drive to Queen Anne Hill & to Zack’s rental house. Just
as we arrive, Nick, Eriko & Jerry are coming around the corner. 5 min
later, along comes Zack with 2 bags of groceries.

Zack volunteered to make us all a dinner tonight: starting with smoked
Gouda cheese, crackers & wine & leading up to a wonderful chicken teriyaki
with brown rice stir fry dinner. He had very little help from Kathy…..he
didn’t need it. He even did some of the dishes that he used to make the
meal but Nick & I begged him to let us clean up the rest. He struggled
with that thought for maybe a millisecond, then slowly nodded in
agreement. We all praised him highly for his “hidden talent.”

Then we guys do some scary jumping on the large trampoline in the back
yard, a first for me but not those other jumpers. All was fun until a
slight breeze blew Zack off course & something happened to his right knee.
We hope & pray it’s not serious.

Next adventure: ping-pong down in the basement where Zack (with the
injured knee) learns to move quickly & NOT feel pain on that right knee by
keeping it slightly bent. And I learned that these guys are not just
computer gurus, but quick, keen & artistic @ other challenging activities
as well.

Eriko took constant care of Jerry throughout the evening letting Nick take
a turn now & then. Jerry’s smile & attempts @ trying to talk with us were
most amusing. We have more pictures.

Back to our bus around 10:15.

Late satellite movie: “The Ref” with Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin
Spacey, etc. A cocky cat burglar on the lam holds a squabbling yuppie
couple hostage on Christmas Eve & quickly learns he's gotten hiself into a
no-win situation. This caustic comedy is meatier than you might expect, so
keep on watching. 1994.

I should say a little about the movie: "Dark Passage." A rather engrossing
caper of escaped convict(Bogart)undergoing plastic surgery, hiding out @
Bacall's apartment till his face heals. We were amused @ how alert &
brilliant the detectives were in this story. 1947.

High temp=72 Lights out: 1:10am

Awake: 6:31am Temp 60 sleep 6+05 overcast overnight @ Bothell, WA.

After breakfast we leave @ 9:32am to catch the Edmonds Ferry to Kingston.
We didn’t know what to expect but quickly realized that patience is
expected as the line to board with our Suzuki was long & took 1hr 33min.
Crossing took a mere 30 min.

Our first stop: Port Gamble @ 12:35. Established in 1853, this Lumber Mill
town founded by A.J. Pope, Capt Wm. C. Talbot & Cyrus Walker was built to
look like their native town of East Machias, Maine. It had operated as a
lumber mill town until 1995 when the mill shut down. Pope and Talbot Co.
continue to own the town today; 30 fine looking houses leased to the town
residents. The tree lined streets, unique, well-kept homes, general store,
fire house, etc are a delight to see in such pristine condition.

Today’s town events: antique auto display, lots of arts & crafts & many
food booths. We spend 2.0 hrs walking around, scrutinizing the autos,
checking out a few arts & craft tents, eating a Bratwurst lunch, & talking
to some of the people who lease their homes & love living in this
community. I read about this place in one of our Motorhome magazines….it
was even better than described, but then, I’m a small town kid.

Next we drive 45 min to visit Joe & Nancy’s home building project in
Sequim. They bought this property in 1989, a yr before Kathy & I were
considering buying a place in this town for the future. We visited Joe &
Nancy last May 24th when they were just beginning this house building
project & we were camping over @ Chimacum, WA for some 20 days. They spent
the winter in Arizona & returned during the spring to continue. Now,
framing is complete, the roof is on, windows in, electrical wiring in
progress, etc. Joe & Nancy have some good ideas so I take some pictures.

Late afternoon, we ride with them for dinner @ the Great House Teriyaki
restaurant (10min). Kathy & I share a chicken with vegetables and fried
rice dinner. Afterward, they give us a short tour of some nearby lavender
fields & a view of Sequim Bay. After spending over 4 delightful hrs with
them, we say our goodbyes, drive back to Kingston & line up for the ferry.

Wait time tonight only 15 min for the 9:20pm crossing to Edmonds. Nick
calls just before our line is released for loading; he updates us on his
activities for the day & we do the same, then discuss plans for a
get-together tomorrow.

We return to our bus @ 10:30pm. Watch a little weather channel & spend a
little time on the computer.

High temp=? Lights out: 12:30am


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