November 2009 Archives

Friday 27 November 2009

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Awake: 7:53am Temp 53 sleep 6+31 early & afternoon rain overnight @ Lodi, CA.

After breakfast, I called & talked with Nick in Seattle about the "Moveable Type" some more.

Next, I called my ole Air Force buddy, Bob, whom we visited last in Minnesota, June of 2006. Bob & his wife, Mary Lou, sold their home in MN & are back to living @ their original homestead in Los Altos. We hope to pay them a visit going south.

Today we arrived @ the Ed & Mary Jo home @ 1:50pm. All is quiet & tidy as we made ourselves @ home. Jenny, Mary Jo, & Matt took advantage of their day off & slept in, while Ed arose @ 5 am & did his usual gym workout. Jen & Ed did play a game of "Phase Ten" & much to Ed's chagrin, Jen was the winner!

Yesterday Ed introduced me to the LED's (light emitting diodes) that he wanted to use on his 1930's modified hotrod coupe for tail lights, but he & a neighbor friend could not get them working when inserting them into the same socket as a normal bulb. I took the bulb home last night & this morning, added some more solder to the base thinking that might solve the problem.

Well today, we spent a good (45--60) min trying anything & everything to keep that bulb lit up. We filed solder off; we narrowed the contact surface in different directions, no avail. I was about ready to give up; Ed had already given up...when finally, I figured out what was happening. Using a narrow piece of tape, I covered the outer ridge of the bulb's base, pushed the bulb into the socket & "bingo," she stayed lit up even while pushing the bulb around. The outer ridge was obviously shorting itself out.

Unfortunately, using a LED bulb changes the parameters of current, so if Ed still wants to use this type of bulb, he'll have to change the sensor to match a lower current to have his turn signals & break lights work property.

The remainder of the afternoon went quickly; we gabbed & snacked on mixed nuts, & sipped some different wines Ed has stashed in dark corners. After Mary Jo added more mashed potatoes & the turkey was sliced again, we enjoyed a dinner of leftover turkey with all the trimmings. DSC07959.JPG
Evening entertainment: watching home movies on the big Plasma TV from the early 70's; Ed was quite the camera man & Mary Jo was always the very, very busy mother. Watching Jenny, Brian & Matthew slowly grow up was definitely funny & amusing. We prodded Ed for more home movies tomorrow night.

Back @ our motorhome, we checked our e-mail & then, lights out: 12:28am.
Awake: 7:00am Temp 39 sleep 6+26 sunny overnight @ Lodi, CA.

I called Katrina in Denver to wish her a "Happy Thanksgiving;" she was huffing & puffing...running a (4) mile race, the "Turkey Trot." She agreed to call us back when she finished.

 Next I called Nick & we exchanged Thanksgiving wishes; we also discussed the Moveable Type changes & different ideas for my Blog.

 Later, after Katrina had finished the race & had eaten some free goodies, she called & Kathy & I, took turns in talking with her & updating each other on: "what's been happening."

Then I called Mary Jo in Lodi & asked what time she would like us to come over today.

 K & I arrived @ Mary Jo & Ed's home @ 3:00pm. Inside the door, we got a warm welcome with hugs/ kisses or both from all their family (except Brian) who lives in San Diego. His time off makes it tough to drive (450) miles one way to Lodi & return the next day for work. Plus, Brian has a girl friend who has invited him to join her & her family on Coronado Island for Thanksgiving Day.

Mary Jo was all smiles since the big (19) lb turkey is in the oven cooking nicely & she could join us in sharing the conversation of: "what's up & what's new?"

After a few hrs of good gab time, Ed led me out to the garage & we covered the subject of being a car rally aficionado. He has also somewhat mastered the art of photography, taking pictures of classic cars, changing the background & color to make beautiful magazine cover photos, adding friends & personal script that really looks real.

Before dinner, Brian called & we each took our turn talking with him. Dinner is ready:

Around the dining room table were: Mary Jo, Jenny, Matt, myself, Kathy & Ed. I not only had the honor of slicing the white meat from the turkey, but also saying a Thanksgiving prayer. As we suspected, the meal was GREAT; Mary Jo did a wonderful job & we can count on having leftovers for a few more days.
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Afterwards, the ladies did the dishes with the help of a new dishwasher & we guys did our best to stay out of trouble.

Around 9:15pm, we thanked Mary Jo, Jenny, Ed & Matt, & made the (7.2) mile drive back to our motorhome.

Evening movie: "The Devil Wears Prada" with Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Emily Blunt, etc. Slick adaptation of Lauren Weisberger's best selling roman a clef about working as personal assistant to the fashion magazine editor from hell. Streep dominates the proceedings with a wonderfully nuanced performance, never veering toward caricature; Hathaway is just right as the naïve college grad who gets a crash course in office politics and survival at the risk of losing her devoted boyfriend. Several fashionistas appear as themselves. 2006. Great movie! Kathy would like seeing it again.
Lights out: 1:22am.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

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Awake: 7:30am    Temp 42    sleep 7+23    sunny    overnight @ Sacramento, CA.

After breakfast, Kathy made several calls to campgrounds in San Diego...just searching for a place to park our motorhome over the Christmas holidays.

During her cell phone calls, I climbed the ladder to squeegee the dew off our slides. As I panned the view, I saw many trotters zipping around the track, getting ready for the races. What a great view here on the roof!

We left the Cal Expo RV Park in Sacramento @ 11:40 am, following I-80 Westbound, then switching to State Route-99 & then State Route-12 west, arriving @ the Flag City R.V. Resort in Lodi @ 12:50pm.

Today's travel: 48 miles    1+20 time    8 gal used    5.9 mpg    35 mph avg speed.

This is a new campground for us; only (4) yrs old & big rig friendly with extra amenities like instant phone service & DSL @ our campsite @ no extra charge. They also provide daily trash pick-up at our site & free daily newspaper, The Record. I called my sister, Mary Jo, & left a message of our arrival.

Before dinner, Ray & his son, Nathan, Skyped us for about (25-30) min. Having the new Apple computer & DSL high speed, Skyping is almost like being there in person. It's been quite some time since we've seen Nathan so it was great seeing & listening to him & finding out what he's been up to after college graduation. Ray & Sharon should be proud parents; he's doing well & is a fine young man.  How do we know that? Why we just had a good talk & visit with him!


Next we answered a Skype call from Nick & family. We were so impressed with Jerry on this call; he was very talkative & animated & very easy to understand as he told us about "nocturnal bats" & other stories. It was quite interesting how well this young man continued to keep our undivided attention with such expressive movements.  

At some point, Jerry was more interested in food than talking with us so Nick took over & downloaded the latest version of "Moveable Type" which I have been using for this Blog. Altogether, 1hr & 46 min of Skype time.  

Dinner: pulled pork with Rendezvous BB sauce, sourdough bread & fruit salad.

Evening movie: "That Uncertain Feeling" with Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith, Alan Mowbray, etc. Chic little Lubitsch comedy about married couple with problems, and their absurd pianist friend. 1941. Cute, entertaining & somewhat romantic. 

Lights out: 12:34am. 



Awake: 6:27am    Temp 51    sleep 5+43     sunny    overnight @ Redding, CA.

After coffee & a small breakfast, I climbed the ladder; brushed the fallen leaves off the (4) slides & one-by-one, Kathy retracted the slides.

We left the Green Acres RV Park @ 8:32am, taking State Hwy-273 to I-5 to Sacramento & the Cal Expo RV Park, arriving @ 11:42am.

Today's travel: 170 miles    3+20 time    24 gal used    7.0 mpg    51 mph avg speed.

This Cal Expo facility is huge & big rig friendly. After parking & before lunch, I dug out some butternuts & cracked & ate about a dozen. Then we had a small lunch.

About 2:00pm, we motored to the University town of Davis & paid a visit to my high school classmate, Mary Ann, & her husband, Randy. They were both in PA the summer of '08 visiting family & friends, & today, though Randy had surgery last week, they both look well.

Soon after we arrived, Mary Ann brought out a plate of cheese & crackers. We gabbed & updated each for a few hrs & then dinner: spinach/pear salad, baked pork loin, wild/white rice casserole, & fresh green beans; freshly baked pumpkin pie for dessert.

After dinner, more talk including possible plans for another PA visit for Mary Ann & Randy next yr.

We thanked them for a really good dinner & fun visit, & then drove the (18) miles back to our motorhome.

We watched some late international news from abroad.

Lights out: 12:07am.

Awake: 7:58 Temp 47 sleep 7+41 sunny...breezy overnight @ Redding, CA.

K & I wrote out Thanksgiving cards for our grandchildren. Then we programmed both the Garmin & the Pioneer GPS's for our destination tomorrow.

Next, a shopping we will Safeway, about (3) miles down the road. I have been carrying a $2.00 coupon in my money clip for about a month now & it expires tomorrow. Basically we only needed organic milk & yogurt; but when we checked out, our cart was loaded. We were amazed to find many of their prices much lower than other states so we thoroughly stocked up our cupboards.

En route to the Green Acres campground, we paid cash @ the am/pm service station & topped off the Suzuki's fuel tank @ $2.67 per gallon.

Dinner: leftover stuffed peppers, spinach salad, sourdough bread & grapes.

Evening movie: "The Merry Widow" with Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Una Merkel, Edward Everett Horton, etc. Lavish, delightful filming of Lehar Operetta, with usual Lubitsch charm and handpicked cast. 1934. Entertaining, cute...& very lavish.

Lights out: 12:44am.

Awake: 8:18am Temp 47 sleep 8+01 partly sunny overnight @ Redding, CA.

After talking with a classmate of mine now living in Davis, CA & my sister Mary Jo in Lodi, CA, I signed up for another (2) nights camping.

Kathy & I spend a good deal of time today taking turns using our (2) computers, finally I suggested to Kathy that we take a walk around this place & see just how big it is. (5) min later, we've seen it all. Mostly in a circle, there are (33) sites. It really is a pleasant little diamond in the rough. Then we sashay down thru the used car lot & walk on the sidewalk for further fresh air & sunshine.

When we returned, we watched some of the O'Reilly Factor while eating dinner & then, Zack Skyped us for a good (50) min. Zack was busy most of the day doing school work but he paused a little before digging in for the next problem. Katie also joined in the Skype updating exchange. Before we signed off, I should have suggested to Zack & Katie to get out & do something different, have some fun...maybe even go roller skating!

Dinner: Tilapia fish, rice with golden raisins, broccoli & bread.

Evening movie: "Ghostbusters" with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, etc. The first multimillion-dollar scare comedy, about a trio of flaky "paranormal investigators" who go into business flushing out ghosts & spirits in N.Y.C.--- and find their business booming! Great fun all the way; written by Aykroyd and Ramis. 1984. Kathy has never seen this movie & could care less about seeing the sequel. "But it was the first multi-million-dollar scare comedy" I told her. "I want my money back" she says.

Lights out:12:17am.

Awake: 7:14am Temp 33 sleep 6+58 mostly sunny overnight @ Redding, CA.

So many campgrounds don't allow self washing of the RV's, but the owner of this campground, Ron, said: "it's alright if you use a controlled spray & don't get water on the nearby neighbor's rigs."

So after breakfast, even though the temp was cool, I started washing, rinsing & using the squeegee @ 10:00am.

Kathy was doing (2) loads of laundry inside; about (1) hr later, she came out & we worked together to finish the job in about (3) hrs total. With all the heavy rain up in Everett, Woodland, & some in Silverton, our roof needed no cleaning what-so-ever; that saved me an hr or more right there.

Next, with Mother Nature providing sunshine & calm winds, we cut each others hair. I was happy to get a gentleman's trim again.

Using the Suzuki & our GPS, we found our way to St Joseph Catholic church in Redding & attended the 5:30 pm vigil Mass.

Afterward, Kathy talked me into visiting the "Sundial Bridge" about (5) miles from the church. Our GPS had some difficulty getting us there, probably due to the road changes made recently, but with luck, we found it.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "The Sundial Bridge is a cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge for bicycles and pedestrians that spans the Sacramento River in Redding, CA. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2004 at a cost of US$ 23,500,000."

"Similar to Calatreva's earlier designs of the Puente del Alamillo in Seville, Spain (1992) and the Puente de la Mujer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This type of bridge does not balance the forces by using a symmetrical arrangement of cable forces on each side of its support tower; instead, it uses a cantilever tower, set at a 42-degree angle and loaded by cable stays on only one side. This requires that the spar resist bending and torsional forces and that its foundation resists overturning. The bridge is 700 feet (213 m) in length and crosses the river without touching the water."

"The cable for the bridge totals 4,342 feet and was made in England. The dial of the sundial and a small plaza beneath the support tower are decorated with broken white tile from Spain. The bridge's deck is surfaced with translucent structural glass from Quebec, which is illuminated from beneath and glows aquamarine at night. The steel support structure of the bridge was made in Vancouver, Washington and transported in 40-foot sections by truck to Redding."

According to the local news literature, this bridge has put Redding, CA on the map. It was challenging trying to take a respectable photo of this masterpiece in the dark, but after several tries, this is what we were looking at. However, Google can really educate you a lot more.
We walked over the bridge, noting that the huge support cables were of different diameters & the lowest one vibrated the most.

Dinner: hamburger topped with shallot & chive Boursin cheese & acorn squash.

Evening movie: "GoodFellas" with Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Franki Sivero, etc. A boy grows up in an Italian-American neighborhood of Brooklyn and dreams of becoming part of the Mob. Fascinating look at the allure.....& the reality...of day-to-day life in a Mafia family, based on experiences of Henry Hill (Liotta), who wound up in the Federal witness protection program. 1990. Based on a true story, this movie mesmerized us; Kathy didn't even consider closing (1) eye. Not recommended for children.

Lights out: 12:47am.

Awake: 7:32am Temp 43 sleep 7+05 6 hrs of rain overnight @ Redding, CA.

After breakfast, I imported photos to our Apple computer using my Multi-card Reader, memory stick & USB connection. This will continue keeping Kathy busy with the identifying program.

Next I set up our wireless mouse & paired it with the Apple computer.

We received an e-mail from Melissa that our phone doesn't answer; "it just rings & rings" she wrote. Early evening we called her & discussed this befuddling theory; I mentioned to Kathy that she was using our land line number, not our cell phone #. Kathy disagreed & told me Melissa is smarter than that! I know she is smarter than that but I'll bet you that's what is happening. Need I say more! We talked for about (40) min. They are all recovering from a stomach flu bug.
Remember when Melissa!... Nathan with pants on.....
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Later we Skyped with Nick & talked with Eriko & Jerry. Nick has built up a lot of vacation days so "you either take them or lose them" he has said. We talked some apple computer talk & had fun watching Jerry. We also talked about Nick's recent business trip to Portland.

Dinner: stuffed peppers with a Waldorf salad.

Evening movie, we finished watching: "Victor Victoria" with Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren, etc. Down-and-out singer Andrews masquerades as a man and becomes the toast of Paris cabarets in the 1930's, to the delight of her gay mentor (Preston) and the confusion of an American admirer (Garner). Sophisticated, often hilarious comedy. 1982. This was ok, but a little too much "gay" for my world.

Lights out: 12:16am.

Awake: 6:12am Temp 43 sleep 6+39 mostly sunny overnight @ Tri City, OR.

Yesterday, when making a reservation with the campground Host, Evelyn, in Redding, CA, I asked if there was anything special about finding the campground. She said: "yes, from State Hwy-273, go slowly & look for our Green Acres RV Park sign, then turn left & drive straight through the used car lot & you'll come into our oasis." Hmm, she also told me they are the cheapest in town. I wasn't sure how to take those two comments; drive through a used car lot...cheapest in town?

Anyway, we left the Tri City RV Park @ 8:45am & continued going south on I-5. Relatively smooth roads, sunshine & very little wind helped make our traveling delightful.

Getting closer to Mt. Shasta, Kathy wanted to take a picture of the beautiful 2/3 snow covered mountain, but the sun was so bright with reflections everywhere; she finally gave up. Most of that stretch wasn't comfortable for me to pull over for photo opts.
Arriving @ the Green Acres sign, we did as we were told & drove straight thru the used car lot & "what a nice surprise." Not only friendly people but also, colorful trees, green grass, asphalt & concrete parking, etc. Evelyn was right; this place is a little utopia! We were parked @ 1:10pm.

Today's travel: 231 miles 4+39 time 42 gal used 5.5 mpg 50 avg speed.

Kathy made a good lunch of tuna salad. After lunch, we signed up for (3) nights camping & then talked with the campground owners & nearby neighbors.

Dinner: was small due to a large lunch; more tuna salad over fresh spinach & bread.

Evening movie: "Victor Victoria." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:27am.

Awake: 6:50am Temp 42 sleep 6+42 mostly sunny overnight @ Tri City, OR.

After breakfast, we walked to the office & paid our camping fee; then we asked the owner what there is to see & do around the Tri City area. He gave us a map but reminded us that it's a great place to live but really, unless you travel many miles into the mountains, locally there is not much to see or do. Here's Kathy, ready to go touring?
After driving into the main town of T.C., & Myrtle Creek, we agreed with the campground owner's opinion.

Back @ our campsite, using wifi & our air card, both computers are usable so we took turns throughout the afternoon getting to know our new Apple & e-mail, etc.

Dinner: oven baked salmon, rice, squash & a mixed salad.

Evening movie: "The Scar" with Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz, Leslie Brooks. Tense melodrama of killer assuming identity of lookalike doctor. 1948. Not much description from the movie guide but we were sitting on the edge of our seats most of the time; great climax!

Lights out: 11:33pm.

Awake: 7:51am Temp 45 sleep 7+28 off & on rain windy overnight @ Silverton, OR.

Now that we've had our coffee, ate breakfast, retracted our slides & the tow car is hooked up, I called Silver Leaf Electronics Inc. in Albany, Oregon & talked with Cory. I asked him if we could have a tour of the Silver Leaf Electronics today; "I'll have to ask my boss," he says. When he returned, he told me that the boss says "Ok, but could you come around 1:00pm?" "We sure can" I tell him.

I attended a Silver Leaf Electronics seminar @ the Perry Georgia Rally earlier this yr & thoroughly enjoyed the subject. Going south today, we will motor very near to this company & I can't pass an opportunity to see this operation 1st hand.

We left the Silver Spur Campground @ 12:15pm...backtracking to I-5, then southwest on State hwy-99 to Albany & the Silver Leaf Company.

As Cory told me over the phone, there was ample parking in front of their building for our motorhome & tow car. Inside, 1st we met Cory whom I've talked with via phone several times, & he introduced us to the founder & owner of the company, Martin.

Martin, in his (40's), has been involved with recreational vehicles for over (30) yrs now. He told us that his father started the Safari RV Co & he naturally got into the business but advanced in a little different direction by studying electronics.

As we walked slowly through the office, he briefly described what the guys are doing there & then took us out to the main research area of the building. Seeing the electronic boxes & the circuit boards lying around, doesn't really show what all the digital stuff they come up with.
For instance, in our motorhome, we have a "digital-dash" made by them & it monitors dozens of data from so many different sensors, sources & systems: i.e. trip info, miles to go, arrival time, fuel used, average speed, rolling miles per hour, instantaneous miles per gallon, coolant temp, fuel remaining, battery voltage, transmission hydraulic temp, engine diagnostic screen, engine history, etc, etc.

All of the above was related to the engine & driving data. Aside from the engine, Silver Leaf monitors & controls: two different places to start & control the generator, reads pure water amount in percent, gray water amount in percent, automatic fresh water fill, temp in basement, controls two inverters, protects the coach from surges, cross wiring, frequency & volts of AC power, etc. There are a few more things but I think I've mentioned enough.

We enjoyed Martin's tour & thanked him very much for his time; he wanted me to send a message to the Newell president that: Foretravel Coachworks has more Digital Dashes on order this month than Newell does. I probably won't deliver that message.

From Albany, we continued on our southerly direction taking State Hwy-99 (a more scenic route) & meeting up with I-5 in Eugene. Off & on rain continued throughout our day until reaching Myrtle Creek, OR arriving @ 4:45pm.

Today's travel: 184 miles 3+54 time 33 gal used 5.5 mpg 47 mph avg speed.

This Tri City RV Park is relatively new (4) yrs; with good level concrete & asphalt sites, wireless & very clean. However, when the campground is full, we suspect that big rigs might have problems getting in & out of their campsites.

Dinner: Italian sausage from Mt. Angel, (2) yr old-corn off the cob grown by Floentz in Nicktown & still most delicious, & a mixed salad.

We finished watching: "Too Hot to Handle" with Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Walter Pidgeon, Leo Carrillo, etc. Gable and Pidgeon are rival newsreel photographers vying for aviatrix Loy in this fast-paced action-comedy. 1938. Fun to watch story with some good shots of late 30's aircraft.

Lights out: 12:08am.

Awake: 7:40am Temp 57 sleep 6+21 overcast & windy overnight @ Silverton, OR.

The Campground office was closed yesterday late afternoon when we arrived, so after our breakfast this morning, we drove over & paid our camping fee + signed up for another night.

Then we drove into the town of Silverton to start our touring; 1st the Oregon Garden (weather not suitable for outside excursion today). And on the same road, the Gordon House: the only home open to the public in the Pacific Northwest designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I took several pictures & we read all about how this house became located in this garden area. I also found out that it was Frank Lloyd Wright, who in 1935, started having floor heat in private homes by embedding hot water pipes in the floor. Also, the Oregon Garden Resort opened in 2008 complete with spa & wedding facilities. There was much more to see in the garden but again, weather was not suitable.

Next we headed downtown & followed our map for a Mural Tour. (16) in all, we missed only one; the murals tell the tales of this town during the early days & continue toward the present & future. We liked this town of 7,414 people; downtown was active with many stores & lots of classic homes that were well preserved.

A mural sample: the "Largest Camera in the World" was created around 1900 in Chicago. Officials of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Co. used it to take a single, detailed portrait of their new luxury train.
Next we motored to another smaller town, Mt. Angel, only (4) miles west with a population of: 3,121 residents. Here we thought we'd get to see the Glockenspiel do its thing but our timing was not so good. We did drive up the hill top & visited the Mount Angel Abbey, a community of Benedictine monks founded in 1882 by the Abbey of Engelberg in central Switzerland. We visited the church & bookstore & would have walked the lovely grounds if the weather had been more conducive, extremely windy.

Before we left town, Kathy & I agreed to buy some sausage & bacon from a local store.

Dinner: Tuna fish, broccoli, brown rice with golden raisins & a mixed salad.

Tonight we caught up on some political channels & then watched: "The Palm Beach Story" with Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor, Sig Arno, Robert Dudley, etc. Hilarious screwball comedy with Claudette running away from hubby McCrea, landing in Palm Beach with nutty millionaires Astor and her bumbling brother Vallee; 1942. Beware....comedy has changed a lot in over (60) yrs, so this movie may not get you laughing as much today as it did yrs ago.

Lights out: 12:23am.

Awake: 6:20am Temp 44 sleep 5+37 early rain overnight @ Woodland, WA.

I talked with Ray in Ocean Park this morning about the weather forecast in his area; not good the next (3) days. Monday's forecast for Ocean Park: wind gusts up to 95 mph. I am disappointed but we will have to cancel our plans for visiting Ray this yr & try again next time we visit the Northwest.

After breakfast, Kathy searched for our next campground, somewhere near I-5 with some thing of interest to tour. We have several options but have not decided as yet.

Meanwhile, I visited the Riverfront R.V. Park office & asked if we could extend our stay for an extra (2) hrs due to our Goddaughter & family visiting us in our motorhome. The owner of the campground told me: "not a problem."

Shortly after that, our doorbell rang & I saw many happy, smiling faces outside. We gave these good people a tour like no other; they witnessed the coach expanding (all slides out) & shrinking (all slides in). Monica, Maggie, & Donavan liked the air pocket doors, seeing all the shades come down @ one time, & experiencing the BIG TV for a few minutes. They kept me busy, but were pretty controlled in their excitement, asking first if they could touch this or see that; I loved it!

Meanwhile, after Kathy toured Dean & Rochelle, they were content to just sit & have the benefit of watching the kids enjoying the bells & whistles, & the hot floor.

But wait there's more; I saved the best surprise for last: before they drove off, each person was given (4) butternuts & (4) hickory nuts from Pennsylvania to enjoy. I have never shared such a treat like this before! Now I wonder how they broke open those tough shells!

We said our goodbyes & good wishes to our Goddaughter & family & left the campground @ 2:32pm. Following I-5 south to I-205, then back to I-5 & State Rd-213 to the Silver Spur Campground in Silverton, OR, arriving @ 4:17pm.

Today's travel: 91 miles 2+02 hrs 15 gal used 6.1 mpg 44mph avg speed.

Dinner: Turkey veggie soup.

After dinner, Nick Skyped us & we briefly discussed his trip to Denver & his upcoming trip to Portland. Then Kathy had many questions regarding the use of our new Apple computer; accessing her folders, organizing photos, etc. Unfortunately, computer discussion took up most of our Skype time; all to soon our call had to end as Eriko was ready to cut Nick's hair & he had to get ready for his early morning departure tomorrow.

Evening movie: "Too Hot to Handle." We watched ½.

Lights out: 1:19am.

Awake: 7:15am Temp 37 sleep 6+58 mostly cloudy overnight @ Woodland, WA.

Casual morning for us; Kathy did a little house cleaning & I tried to get my computer desk looking more organized.

Around 2:50 pm, we motored across the river to Portland, OR &, using our GPS, found the Reynolds building where the Catholic Schools were having their swim meet today.

We had no idea what to expect when opening the door to the pool & then...WOW! There must have been several hundred + people, young, middle age & old, @ this swimming competition. Fortunately for us, we quickly spotted Rochelle in the bleachers... & she had saved us each a seat.

Rochelle reminded us that this is only the 2nd swim meet her kids have attended. (6) months ago, they really didn't know how to swim. I had brought my camera to get a few pictures of the kids swimming; ha! That was a joke! With all the swimmers, time keepers, coaches, organizers, moms, dads, etc, mulling around, I tried but did little picture taking.

When we arrived, all the swimmers from all the grade levels were practicing their routines so we did get to see Monica, Maggie, & Donavan start off & swim across the 1/2 Olympic sized pool.

Competition time had finally come & Monica & Donavan were quite excited to get the swimming meet moving along, but Maggie was having 2nd thoughts. In fact, during our time there, Rochelle left the bleachers (2 or 3) times or more, to calm Maggie down because she was crying & scared of not doing well. Finally Rochelle gave her an ultimatum just before her grade level came up: "after tonight," she said, "if you don't want to do this again, you don't have too."

@ 4:45pm, K & I left the exciting swimming session & motored to St. Anne's vigil Mass in Gresham, OR, about (3) miles away.We returned to the swimming meet just in time; Dean had arrived from work & joined in the excitement & the heat was on.

Well, what a sight to behold: Maggie was doing her backstroke & passing her competitors up like you wouldn't believe. Yep, Maggie had overcome her fear & won a blue ribbon.
Of course we were also happy to see both Donavan & Monica having fun during their competition as well. The last race was a relay for Donavan. He did his part, but looked exhausted while finishing the swim, but he emerged from the pool with a great big smile.

From here, K & I motored over to Hazeldale in Vancouver, WA & joined Rochelle & Dean & the kids for a good dinner @ Izzy's. Tomorrow they will visit us in Woodland for a tour of our "home-on-wheels." Good thing I did some organizing of the computer desk.

Tonight's movie: "The Bigamist" with Edward O'Brien, Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmond, Gwenn, etc. Compassionate look at lonely man who finds himself married to (and in love with) two different women. Extremely well acted; one of Lupino's best directorial efforts and the only tine she ever directed herself. 1953. We both liked this sympathetic story & how gently it was handled.

Lights out: 12:43am.

Awake: 6:55am Temp 45 sleep 6+08 morn off-on rain overnight @ Woodland, WA.

Early morning, Ray & I Skyped for close to an hr.

Mid afternoon, we motored to Vancouver & visited with Monica, Maggie, Donavan, & their parents, Rochelle & Dean. Monica was bowling, & Dean was still @ work when we arrived, but around 5:00pm, both returned home.

Monica is our goddaughter & Rochelle is my buddy from way back in the mid 60's so we try to keep in touch. Rochelle lost her father, Don, my good friend, in a freak accident when she was age (6).

Dean & Rochelle should be proud; their kids are smart & well behaved, &, I might add, good looking. We always have such a fun time during our visits & this day was no exception. Monica is more or less teaching herself to play the clarinet & gave us a short performance. She also likes to draw & began a portrait of Kathy. Maggie has a real interest in photography & took many pictures of all of us. Donavan is sort of interested in electronics, at least in taking electronic things apart & they're all into swimming. Monica also loves to read, esp. historical fiction.

We sat around & gabbed with the kids & parents for a good (3) hrs; taking pictures of each other, playing heads or tails with coins & getting to know each other again. Their dog, Choco, entertained us with his continual ball retrieval; actually we tired of the game before he did. Choco likes to have his picture taken; just look @ that smile!
K & I had a bowl of turkey soup before we left, but around 6:00pm, Rochelle brought out salad & several kinds of pizza for all of us & her timing couldn't have been better. We didn't want to leave because we were having so much fun....but we knew tomorrow the kids were going to a swim meet in Portland & they needed some good sleep + Dean had to go to work in the early morning.

Back @ our M.H., we watched the movie: "Murder" with Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam, and Edward Chapman. Good early Hitchcock casts Marshall as actor who serves on jury at murder trial and believes accused woman innocent. 1930. The sound track on this film was a little difficult to understand; otherwise, it was a good story.

Lights out: 12:19am.

Awake: 6:14am Temp 43 sleep 7+10 early light rain...then some sun Overnight @
Lacey, WA.

Around 7:30am, I ran the generator to warm up our house & the engine. Total generator use: last night & this morning= (7.3) hrs.

Kathy searched the campground books & found a reasonable place for our next destination.

We left the town of Lacey @ 10:47am & continued going south on I-5 to Woodland, WA; arriving @ 11:40am. The Riverfront R.V. Park is relatively small (still big rig friendly) but well designed & groomed.

Today's travel: 92 miles 1+47 time 14 gal used 6.5 mpg 51 mph avg speed.

We chose this campground due to its proximity to our Goddaughter's home in Vancouver & their family; plus it's a little closer to visit my buddy Ray in Ocean Park. And Vancouver WA is where the Cadet heater is manufactured.

We waste no time in calling the Cadet Heater Company; the lady tells me that the manufacture does not repair those heaters but several independent franchised electrical stores around town will take care of you. "The closest to you would be: Mr. Electric on NE 20th Ave in Vancouver" she says.

During our 1st year of having our 2007 motorhome, our Cadet Heater quit working; I called Newell & they promptly sent us a new one. The told me I could keep the old one.
So I did & now I'd like to get it fixed up as a spare or simply another simple source of heat. I called Mr. Electric & they were not sure they could get it fixed today but bring it over here anyway the fellow told me.

We passed the building up because it looked like a house....turns out, it is a house but now converted to a small repair shop. When Mr. Electric took the Cadet out of the box he was surprised: "this is a new unit" he says. Then I gave him a little history on that unit.

About (30) min later, Mr. E. had replaced the over temp sensor, tested the unit & showed me the bill. I was delighted to have it fixed. With our (2) up front heaters disabled (due to leakage in the coolant system), this Cadet will come in handy for moving hot air around wherever needed.
Evening rain with dinner: pork chops, fried noodles, & a mixed salad.

We finished watching the movie: "You only Live Twice" with Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, Tetsuro Tamba, Mie Hama, etc. Big James Bond production with first look at arch-nemesis Blofeld (Pleasence). Japanese locales, but plot (SPECTRE out to cause major powers to declare war on each other) and lack of convincing, clever crisis situations are liabilities film can't shake off. 1967. Another Bond movie that kept Kathy wide awake.

Lights out: 12:47am.

Awake: 7:32am Temp 43 sleep 6+55 mostly sunny overnight @ Everett, WA.

Maybe we picked a good day for traveling further south, Veterans Day, less traffic congestion + sunshine. I climbed the ladder & squeegeed the rain water off a few of the slide outs. This campground & its location has served us well; it'll be @ the top of our list for our next visit with the motorhome.

We left the Lakeside R.V. Park @ 9:35am going South on I-5 for about (7) miles & then switched over to I-405 to Tacoma, where we topped off our diesel tank @ Flying "J." Not so much fuel but I want a full tank in the event we go south on Hwy-101 on the Oregon Coast. 36.2 gal @ $2.80 per gal.

We've been in touch with Bill & Debby, friends who lived in our neighborhood in Alaska, & our plan today is a visit @ their home near Lacey, WA. There is no near campground so Kathy called the Hawks Prairie Casino just off the interstate for permission to park our coach overnight. The Casino guy told her it would not be a problem. We arrived @ the huge Casino parking lot @ 11:40am.

Today's travel: 79 miles 1+51 time 14 gal used 5.9 mpg 43 mph avg speed.

We left our slides retracted, called Bill on the cell phone & announced our arrival. They drove (5) miles & joined us for breakfast/lunch @ the Hawks Prairie Coffee Shop & Restaurant. We each updated the other on our children, grandchildren, M.H. travels & adventures. It's been (3) yrs since we stopped here & visited them @ their humble abode.

After our breakfast/lunch, we followed them in our Suzuki to their home & got a short tour of their progress since (3) yrs ago. Now their lean-to is a finished (1) bedroom, (1) bath home with living room, kitchen & dining area. They also have a large deck overlooking some of the lake below & a wood burning fireplace that easily keeps them warm & toasty throughout the winter.
With the fireplace crackling, we sat & sipped a glass of wine & nibbled on a salmon cheese log & crackers with Bill & Debby. They just returned from a (5000 +) mile tour of many states, + visiting their children & grandchildren along the way. It's always good seeing & talking with B & D, & seeing what else can be added to their property.
We know rain is inevitable tonight so we say our goodbyes & thank them for another good visit. We will continue to keep in touch.

En Route to our M.H., we visited the nearby Costco store & Kathy picked up a few grocery items that she missed getting in Everett. Then, I attached our tow car to the M.H. to be ready for more travel in the morning & sure enough, I finished within minutes before the rain started.

Dinner: Tilapia with brown rice & golden raisins, broccoli, & mixed salad.

With our generator running, we watched ½ of the movie: "You Only Live Twice."

Lights out: 11:04pm

Awake: 6:52am Temp 44 sleep 7+12 morning & eve rain overnight @ Everett, WA.

Kathy left @ 8:40 for more grocery shopping in prep for our travels southbound; she returned @ 10:45am.

Now we're faced with the bittersweet "last day visit for this trip" with the Queen Anne bunch.
Kathy & I climbed aboard the Quest mini van & dropped Jerry off @ pre-school, then Eriko @ the masseuse place for a well deserved pregnancy massage.

Next, Nick drove us to the nearby Queen Anne Five Corner's Hardware store where he purchased some Boric Acid to use to get rid of annoying silverfish in their condo. Meanwhile, I mulled over a (20) piece Screw & Bit Set & finally forked over $2.45 & bought the tool.

Next stop: Safeway, where Nick purchased condensed milk for Eriko's pumpkin pie & dishwashing soap. I found a good deal on spoon sized shredded wheat & yogurt that I couldn't resist. And Nick treated Kathy & himself to hot Lattés.

Back @ Nick's condo, @ 3:00pm & using his cell phone, Nick attended a business meeting with a number of Isilon workers... which lasted for nearly an hr. Meanwhile, Eriko walked back from her massage, then drove the mini van to pick up Jerry from preschool & joined us once again.

A few days ago, Nick suggested to Zack that he should test drive his Volkswagen Jetta & maybe buy it if he's interested. So a cell call was made to Zack suggesting that I pick him up from his work in the Jetta & let him drive to his rental house. We are all gathering there to enjoy our Thanksgiving for the third time; still enough good leftovers! Zack agreed to this fantastic free offer from his brother.

In the rain & darkness, I parked the Jetta just outside the Isilon building & waited for Zack to show up. Zack was impressed with the power of the Jetta & the good handling ability but he wanted to know more about what stuff needed to be repaired before getting too serious.

@ the Zack, Katie & Nate house, all was calm & organized. Entertainer Jerry was a little subdued this evening but still smiling & in good spirits. After another good meal, many of the Thanksgiving dishes were now empty but there are still a few morsels that would feed @ least (3) more people. Such good planning!

Evening time, again, the big screen TV was filled with the Monster Truck racing competition; this time however, Nick, Zack & Nate competed for 1st place more times than I could keep track of.

Jerry, without knowing, made the race more challenging by walking back & forth in front of the big screen & all that the guys could do was: "laugh." I had many opportunities for a picture but I too, was laughing too much.

Then the bittersweet time had come for us to say our goodbyes for now & motor back to our M.H. We really enjoyed visiting & hanging out with our West Coast family & also with Katie & Nate. We are looking forward to seeing all of them again over the Christmas holiday.

We finished watching: "The Anderson Tapes" with Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam, Ralph Meeker, Alan King, etc. Fast-paced thriller of ex-con's master holdup plan & strange electronic surveillances that have tracked him since he left prison. Climax is particularly exciting .1971. An excellent movie for the ex-con's to watch, over & over again.

Lights out: 12:37am.

Awake: 7:02am Temp 50 sleep 6+51 off & on rain overnight @ Everett, WA.

Early morning, I talked with my brother Don in Ebensburg. Then I mailed a check for the topographical survey to the guys who surveyed our property in PA.

After breakfast, we motored to Q.A. hill & arrive just as Nick was returning from taking Jerry to preschool. I brought our new Apple computer along so Nick could download all those pictures he has on his Gallery website to our Apple. After getting that download started, we (4) motored north on State Route-99 in the Nissan mini-van Quest to a Lowe's store to check on the selection of vent fans. Unfortunately, Lowe's has no fan their size that will give them more CFM; they will have to go on the hunt elsewhere.

After that visit, we picked up Jerry from school & returned to the Nick condo. About an hr later, we (5) motored to the Zack, Katie & Nate house for more leftover turkey dishes & fun times.

Another great feast was had & upon perusing the remaining food, we realized we could do this one more time tomorrow night. Yippee!

We were all entertained this evening by Master Jerry; he was so cute doing so many things. He had a good time playing with the Mexican Train cars & blowing the train whistle. Using a small rubber football he & Nick played football; Jerry's a pretty fair kicker, thrower, & running passer...pretty soon, Zack & Nate were involved. When they were finished running around, they settled into the Monster Car race game on Wifi.

Those Monster Car race games must have worn entertainer Jerry out, for when the evening was over, Jerry was found in a most relaxed position.

Back @ our campground, we watched Gretta on Fox news.

Lights out: 11:40pm

Awake: 7:06am Temp 43 sleep 7+44 light rain overnight @ Everett, WA.

After breakfast, we had several cell phone calls relating to the turkey, gravy & other food preparation for today's early Thanksgiving gathering @ the house of Zack, Katie & Nathan.

Then we motored to Queen Anne... en route we checked @ Lowe's for a vent fan for Nick & Eriko's bathroom. They have more options than Home Depot but my measuring is not accurate so I can only report this to Nick & re-measure to try to be more accurate. We did find a butane torch with refills that Kathy needed to finish her Crème Brule dish.

We arrived @ the Z house @ 3:00pm & the turkey was cooking along with the other dishes of Katie & Eriko's.

Nathan picked up some wine so we whiled away our time, snacking, sipping & gabbing. Along with the wine, we enjoyed an assortment of (4) cheeses & crackers & a fresh veggie tray with dip.
Around 5:00pm, out came the dishes: salad, compliments of Eriko; turkey carved by Zack; sweet potato casserole & veggie cheese casserole made by Katie; mashed potato casserole; Italian sausage, pecan, apricot stuffing; & orange/cranberry sauce from Kathy's kitchen. Later, for dessert we had apple/pear gillette & crème Brule. What a meal! It was all so good; thanks to our very own chefs!

Back @ our M.H., we watched ½ of the movie: "The Anderson Tapes."

Another great day!

Lights out: 12:11am.

Awake: 7:21am Temp 44 sleep 6+03 off & on rain overnight @ Everett, WA.

Mid morning, Kathy made mashed potato casserole, bread stuffing with sausage, pecans & apricots + cranberry orange sauce. She is also pushing her skills by making a crème Brule dish.

Meanwhile, I motored into the city of Everett trying to find a vent fan for Nick & Eriko's bathroom. Their current fan has a CFM (Cubic feet per Minute) of (60) & they would like to double that or more. About an hr later, I had to give up; Home Depot didn't have many options & I couldn't locate a Lowe's in the Everett area.

Next we motored to Queen Anne Hill & made a stop @ Zack, Katie & Nathan's place; dropping off the thawed out turkey, mashed potato casserole....etc. Then Zack rode with us to his place of work, Isilon, where Zack & I played numerous games of ping-pong. I used to be able to beat these guys @ ping-pong, racquetball, chess, etc, but no more. Hey, it's not the age, it's because I haven't been practicing! These whippersnappers usually play a few games every day, during their break time.

Later Nick & Jerry joined us in the huge play room, which adjoins another room that doubles as a testing area for the Isilon storage nodes. In fact, as you see here, these nodes were involved in the storage package for the 3-D movie: "A Christmas Carole."


Nick & Zack played some ping-pong while K & I played some air hockey with Jerry. Kathy also tried to play a little pool & Foosball with Jerry but his height was a detriment.

Then the time came for K & I to try & keep our halos polished a little by attending 5:00pm vigil Mass @ St. Anne's Catholic church in Queen Anne.

After Mass, we were invited to join the gang @ Zack's place for leftovers; Swedish meatballs & rice by Katie, Chili made by Nate, & leftover Indian food from the other night..

Back @ our M.H. we finished watching: "Story of Three Loves" with Gottfried Reinhardt, Pier Angeli, Moira Shearer, Ethel Barrymore, Kirk Douglas, etc. Bittersweet trio of love stories, told as flashbacks involving passengers on ocean liner. 1953. Interesting & meaningful.

Lights out: 11:22pm.

Awake: 7:18am Temp 46 sleep 7+00 off & on rain heavy @ times overnight @
Everett, WA.

After breakfast, K & I went grocery shopping to support the early Thanksgiving turkey day we've decided to do on Sunday; visiting Trader Joe's, Costco & Safeway. Also our forwarded mail arrived today from Alaska.

With the groceries properly stored in our M.H., we motored to Queen Anne Hill thru rain so heavy we missed our regular turn-off ramp & added an extra mile to our destination.

I spent some time playing with Jerry & a different marble structure that Nick & Jerry built earlier this morning. Later, the rain let up so Nick, Jerry, Kathy & I walked to the nearby playground so Jerry could use up some of his high energy.

Nick, using his computer, continues to transfer data from our old Dell computer to our new Apple computer. He's pretty sure he'll be finished with the process later today.

Next, the (5) of us caught the city bus to the Science Center, walked to the I-Max Theater where Eriko, Zack, Nathan, Kathy & I, along with about (400) Isilon employees, watched the 3-D movie: "A Christmas Carol." This was Isilon's treat to their employees for supporting this movie by using (114) nodes built by Isilon which required a huge amount of digital storage space.

Upon entering the theater, we were each handed 3-D glasses to wear & were given a voucher for a huge bag of popcorn or candy with a choice of sodas.

The Disney digital movie was like no other; the up-close people scenes were so realistic & close enough to touch. I kept wondering how they could do this. Nick sacrificed not seeing the movie by taking Jerry to the nearby Children's Museum as children were not allowed at this showing; such a thoughtful father. It was not a movie for a (3) yr old to see, some very wild & scary scenes for a little guy!

Afterward, we had no ready transportation as our bus pass had run out...but Nate, realizing that, volunteered to take us in his borrowed car back to Nick's condo.

From the Nick family condo, Zack & I walked about (10) min to the Olympia pizza Spaget for a take out pizza, which was quite good. We sat around & gabbed for awhile & when Jerry fell asleep, we took it as our cue to drive back to the campground, dropping Zack @ his rental house along the way.

We continue watching: "Story of Three Loves." Another ¼.

Lights out: 1:18am

Awake: 6:33am Temp 53 sleep 6+46 rain most of day overnight @ Everett,
En route to visit Nick & family, we stopped @ the Sprint Store @ University Village & priced an air card for the Apple computer; too expensive! Right around the corner is a State Liquor store so we also checked out their prices.

I brought both of our computers with us today; Nick is more than willing to transfer most of our old Dell data to the new Apple computer. Jerry was napping when we arrived but, shortly afterwards, had to be awakened & taken to per-school.

When Nick returned, both Kathy & I, with Nick's help, personalized our computer. Soon after that experience, Nick got busy using his computer & our Dell computer to transferred loads of: e-mail, photos, documents, a few movies, etc, onto the Apple.

@ 4:00pm, Eriko picked Jerry up from pre-school; he entered the condo singing merrily & smiling. We played a little with the marble structure that Nick & Jerry had built earlier & then, I noticed a "Star" stamped on his hand. I asked Jerry: "what is that for?" "Because I was a good boy," he replied. Upon hearing his explanation we all applauded & verbally praised him. I thought that was neat...he wasn't going to tell us, we had to find out for ourselves.

Dinner @ Julia's Restaurant, about (3) blocks away. K & I shared a Sausage Penne.

Next, Nick drove us thru downtown Seattle to the Boeing Field & the Museum of Flight. Zack & Katie would join us later as Katie is working late tonight.

Kathy & I toured this Museum over (20) yrs ago when it was only one building, called: "The Red Barn." Since then, (3) extra sections have been added to the little Red Barn.
Tonight is "free night" & the museum is crowded. K & I tried to keep up with Nick & Jerry so I could get a few photos with Jerry in an airplane....but it was not to be; Jerry is too quick & on the go.

Kathy & I were finishing up touring the last section on WWII aircraft when Katie & Zack arrived. They didn't have much time as the museum will close @ we encouraged them to explore on their own & see as much as they could.

Later we caught up with the gang @ the WWI section where Nick & Zack were competing while flying a simulated Sopwith Camel. They scored points when the aircraft's machine gun was lined up on the enemy. Zack outscored Nick on his second turn, but Nick only got one turn.
This airplane nut (that's me) is most appreciated for making this museum visit a delightful experience. So, "thank you Nick, Eriko & Jerry" for the really good show!

Back @ the condo, I left both of our computers with Nick so that he might continue transferring data throughout the night.

Late evening movie: "Story of Three Loves." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:18am.

Awake: 7:48am Temp 41 sleep 7+39 mostly sunny overnight @ Everett, WA.

Ray & I Skyped for (54) min before breakfast; we always have a lot to talk about.

After a late breakfast, K & I motored to Queen Anne Hill & visited with the Nick family. K & I both spent some time playing with Jerry; Kathy more so than I.

Then @ 1:30pm, we rode with Nick & Eriko in their very slightly used Nissan Mini Van to 1st, drop Jerry off @ his pre-school & next, to the Apple Store @ University Village to check out these very popular computers.

Nick keeps reminding us that we should have an Apple computer vs. a Dell. "Much more user friendly & a delight to use" he has said more than once.

Nick made a reservation yesterday to speak with an apple expert today @ 2:00pm. And did Daniel speak; he definitely knew what he was talking about + demonstrating the laptop computer as he spoke. Nick was nearby catching every word & occasionally asking Dan about this feature or that feature that was over my head @ this time.

Yes, we bought a new Apple computer: A MacBook Pro with a (15) inch screen. Time was ticking & we barely finished our paperwork in time to pick Jerry up from pre-school @ 4:00pm.

Back @ the condo, Zack called with an invitation for dinner @ their place; "Katie is making a meal of her choice so come & get it @ 6:00pm he told me."

Katie & Zack surprised us a few yrs ago by being excellent hosts; this time they surpassed their record. Zack served us wine with chips & two different salsas: corn & black beans. Next he brought out the bacon wrapped chestnuts with BB sauce. Meanwhile Katie & Eriko were busy in the kitchen. The main meal was (2) delicious pizzas: chicken with pepperoni & Hawaiian.

Then the entertainment: Jerry first sang into the microphone, & then using WiFi, he & we played baseball & bowled using the big video screen. Then, the guy adults competed with the computer with race vehicles. Even Zack's roommate, Nate, was enjoying the event.
Thanks Katie & Zack; again you guys were great hosts.
Back in our M.H., we finished watching: "Anna Christie" with Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, Marie Dressler, Lee Phelps, etc. Garbo is effective in her first talkie as girl with shady past finding love with seaman Bickford. Film is rather static. 1930. No comment from the peanut gallery.

Lights out: 11:49pm.

Awake: 6:41am Temp 39 sleep 7+18 mostly sunny overnight @ Everett, WA.

I called my cousin Eileen in Nicktown & talked about the aviation books she loaned me last fall...which I am still reading off & on. She told me: "it's OK, Monte, take as long as you like; those books are not my favorite." Whew! That makes (3) large aviation books I have in my library that I look through off & on in my spare time.

Next, Kathy showed me a computer test on line which I completely failed over a half dozen times...finally I caught on. It was very tricky.

Then we motored toward Queen Anne Hill...en route, we visited the Costco Business Center in Lynnwood, mainly out of curiosity since we had never been to a "business center." It really caters mostly to restaurants, but we did manage to buy a few items.

Then we got our Suzuki thoroughly washed by Mr. Clean in Linwood; all those spots from the anti-freeze leak & road dirt have been removed. Next we quickly visited the Fred Myer Grocery Store & perused the Trader Joe's Store, both in Linwood.

When we arrived @ the Nick & Eriko condo, Jerry had fallen asleep; slept for (2) hrs during our visit with Eriko. Later, after Nick & Zack returned from work @ Isilon, we gabbed for awhile.

When Jerry woke up the boys decided to have dinner @ the Indian Bistro on Market Street in Ballard; K & I shared a seafood Murgh. I loved it but it was a little too spicy for Kathy.

Back @ our M.H., K & I watched the late news on the election results in Virginia & New Jersey.

Lights out: 12:09am.

Awake: 6:30am Temp 42 sleep 6+40 mostly cloudy overnight @ Everett, WA.

K & I had a casual morning in our M.H. & then motored to Queen Anne Hill to visit with Nick & family. Nick was working today so we spent some time with Eriko in the condo before walking to Jerry's pre-school to bring him back home. Jerry is enjoying his school & beginning to print his letters.
@ the condo, K & I played baseball with Jerry using a very soft ball. Jerry has an arm like his dad: a terrific pitcher's arm.

When Nick returned from work, we (5) walked up the street & had a dinner @ the (5-Spot) restaurant. K & I shared a burger with veggies. It's a very busy & somewhat noisey restaurant but the food was excellent.

Before we leave for the M.H., Eriko presented me with a nice surprise; a loaded box of Nescafe Excella from Japan. My favorite coffee; many, many thanks Eriko & family.

Late evening, working together, Kathy & Nick made flight reservations from San Diego to Seattle for us to visit the Seattle bunch @ Christmas time.

Evening movie: "Anna Christie." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:23pm.

Awake: 6:02am Temp 42 sleep 6+19 mostly cloudy overnight @ Everett, WA.

After breakfast, K & I motored to the nearby Costco Store & did some casual shopping. Kathy called this Costco yesterday to find out their hours of operation: 10:00am to 6:00pm. When we arrived @ 10:20am, hundreds of cars were already in the lot & people were seen wheeling out their purchases. We couldn't believe that this many people were already in and done with their shopping.

When we walked into the building, I asked the attendant just how could so many people be already in the store in (20) min. She told me: "They just love early morning shopping, that's all."
Well later we found out, they forgot to turn back their clocks & maybe some of the employees also.

After storing our groceries in the M.H., we motored to the city of Seattle & Queen Anne Hill to visit Eriko, Nick & Jerry ...& a little later, Zack & Katie. We got re-acquainted & talked for quite awhile...& then we all walked to the Sezoni Restaurant in Queen Anne for lunch. K & I shared eggplant parmesan which was very good.

Back @ Nick's condo, he showed us his I-pod screen saver picture show collection which he programmed; very impressive indeed. Then Zack & Katie had to leave but will join us sometime later this week.

Next, Nick brought down the Electronic Snap Circuit that he & Jerry spent some time building. Jerry is still a little young to understand electronics but if he has an interest, this package is an excellent way to teach.
Before we left, I had the honor of reading a children's book about airplanes to Jerry...& almost put him to sleep; our signal to leave.

Back @ our M.H., I called John B. in PA & got the scoop of what's happening in Nicktown.

K & I had some popcorn while watching: "The O'Reilly Show."

Lights out: 11:50pm.

Awake: 6:07am Temp 58 sleep 6+52 sunny overnight @ Kennewick, WA.

Before climbing the Snoqualmie Pass today, we checked the weather forecast & felt comfortable that it would be just fine. What we didn't know: October 31st is the last day to travel over the Snoqualmie Pass without carrying winter chains in your vehicle. That sign was posted en route & beyond Ellensburg. Timing is everything!

We left the Tri City RV Park @ 10:08am & made our 1st stop for the day @ Flying "J" in Ellensburg; a distance of about (105) miles. We planned to fuel up here & (180.5) gallons are all I could squeeze into our tank.

In Ellensburg we switched to I-90, continuing on this interstate until over the mountain pass & then followed I-405 northbound, then State Route-525 & a short distance on State Route-99. We arrived @ the Lakeside RV Park in Everett, WA @ 2:31pm.

Today's travel: 236 miles 4+32 time 44 gal used 5.4 mpg 52 avg speed.

After parking & extending our slides, Kathy e-mailed the boys to let them know we had arrived & are excited to get together with them tomorrow.

Our motorhome & tow car are very dirty & this campground does not permit washing of vehicles. So be it! However, this doesn't stop us from keeping our tarnished halo a little cleaner so we find the nearest Catholic church & attend the 5:30 vigil Mass @ St. Magdalen in Everett.

Later in the day we got a Skype text message from Nick & an a e-mail from Zack confirming our rendezvous tomorrow.

We like this campground; it's clean, organized & big rig friendly + it's very accessible to a lot of businesses.

Dinner: leftover beef & veggies soup plus bread.

Evening Movie: "Salt of the Earth" with Juan Chacon, Rosaura Revueltas, Will Geer, Mervin Williams, etc. Earnest film about Latino mine workers in New Mexico who go on spite of the tremendous hardships it causes. This film is particularly impressive considering its history...made under difficult conditions (and on a shoestring), with many nonprofessional actors, by blacklisted filmmakers. 1953. Well worth watching; definitely post it to your list.

Lights out:11:43pm.

Awake: 6:43am Temp 53 sleep 6+10 mostly sunny overnight @ Pendleton, Oregon.

I slept well last night knowing that our anti-freeze would not be spotting our Suzuki car as we continued our travels.

We left the Lookout RV Park @ 10:40am & continued heading northwest on I-84. The strong winds were with us again today but the scenery is still comforting to enjoy.

@ Stanfield, we took a shortcut on U.S. Route-395 thru the town of Hermiston & then hooked up with I-82, & crossed the Columbia River into the State of Washington.

We've never spent time in the Tri-Cities area while living in Washington State, so we picked a campground in Kennewick, WA arriving @ the Tri-City RV Park @ 12:20pm.

Today's travel: 68 miles 2+15 travel time 13 gal used 5.3 mpg 30 avg speed.

Unfortunately, we missed seeing the campsite number assigned to us as we slowly crept thru the very tight & narrow campground roads... & ended up in a dead end corner. Probably some (40) min later, we were appropriately parked on a different campsite.

Meanwhile Kathy had been scouring her collection of pamphlets & brochures to find out what's interesting in this area. The BIG thing of yrs ago & located not too far from our the Hanford Site & the Alphabet homes.

Kathy programed our Garmin GPS toward Richland & the CREHST Museum (Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science & Technology), & away we went.

We were greeted inside the Museum by (2) well dressed & distinguished looking gentlemen; Roland is (86) & his partner age (97). We asked Roland what this museum was all about! "Well, come with me & I'll just tell you all about it" he said.

And he was good @ telling us about it because he was an electrical engineer & worked at the Hanford Site for some (30) yrs. With the assistance of pictures & dioramas in the museum, he explained: the Hanford Site, was the 1st nuclear production facility in the world, established in 1943 to produce plutonium for national defense. The site was selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because it had abundant electrical power from the Grand Coulee Dam, a functional railroad, clean water from the Columbia River, & available sand & gravel for construction.

During the next (21) yrs, nine plutonium-production reactors were constructed by DOE (Department of Energy) on the Hanford Site, along with facilities to separate & purify the reactor products into required forms. All of these reactors were decommissioned by the late 1980's.

Many times Roland went over my head in describing the integral details of the nuclear process but, some of it was vaguely reminiscent of my experiences @ Brookhaven National Laboratory when I worked there during the 60's.

He covered the present day decontamination & clean-up process that is still going on & radiation areas that are being dealt with. Roland's mind was like an encyclopedia, every page was explained properly. We thanked Roland for the personal tour & his professional knowledge regarding this complicated subject. Then he said: "You're on your own if you go into the next room; I'm sure you can figure it all out without my help."
The next room contained a number of hands on units illustrating static electricity, generated electricity, nuclear power, hydro electric power, etc. Matthew would have loved seeing & having a hand in making low voltage electricity.

And then, we went downstairs & learned more about the Alphabet Homes.
During WWII, Richland was transformed from a quiet farming community, to the bustling Hanford Engineer Works, an operational personnel housing community. The population jumped from (250) to (20,000) residents between 1943 & 1949.

5,000 homes were built or transported to the city during the same timeframe; 3,740 were built within a two-yr period. These homes are referred to as Alphabet Homes because each type of home was designated a letter of the Alphabet. More than 160 homes were built in the Gold Coast Historic District providing housing for white-collar employees, executives, & managers of the Hanford Engineer Works.

Between 1957 & 1960, the entire town was sold to town residents & business owners. The sale of the town was reportedly the largest single-package real estate transaction in U.S. history @ that time.

This museum closed @ 5:00pm & that time was fast approaching. We were most appreciative to Roland for taking the time to carefully lead us around a high tech subject & reduce it to a common language that we both could understand a little better. By the way, both of these gentlemen did not act or look their age. Roland's partner, whose name I didn't retain, looked more like (80). Could there be something in the water or air around here for longevity?

Back in our Suzuki, we traversed the nearby Richland neighborhood & easily found the aforementioned Alphabet Homes; just as they advertised, they were of several different styles, floor plans & well kept. We saw no "for sale" signs.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage stoup & "hay & straw."

Evening movie: "And now Miguel," a documentary with Pat Cardi, Michael Ansara, Guy Stockwell, Joe De Santis. Flavorful, leisurely paced account of young boy who wants to join his father on his summer mountain trip to graze sheep; set in New Mexico. 1966. Interesting & relaxing, & Kathy did enjoy the relaxation + she stayed awake!

Lights out: 11:15pm.

Awake: 6:11am Temp 42 sleep 6+05 drizzle...rain overnight @ Pendleton, Oregon.

After my coffee, I drove our M.H. up the hill to the Caterpillar Service Center. Rich quickly assigned Jerry to do the pressure check on our coolant tank. Due to some light rain, Jerry asked me to reposition the M. H. closer to one of the service doors, making it easier for him to use his testing equipment.

Meanwhile, Kathy drove the Suzuki up to the Service Center & joined me in the M.H. During Jerry's testing time, I decided to call John @ Newell & talk some more about our coolant dilemma. We were getting nowhere in our discussion until I mentioned to John that another oddity to the mystery was that our front window would fog up when using the front heaters.

"Wait a minute," he says. "Now I know what's happening; you have a coolant leak in one of your (2) front heaters. That's an easy fix for now; just close the valves on those (2) front heaters & that will stop the coolant leak. We'll find that leak when you visit us next spring. In the meantime, use a portable box heater when parked & the dash heat when traveling."

Moments after talking with John, Jerry knocked on our door & reported nothing wrong with our coolant tank. Then I told Jerry about John's diagnosis & showed him where the valves are located. Jerry agreed that it has to be in that system. Shame on me; I missed the big clue: fogging of our window.

Next comes an even bigger surprise: when I asked Rick for the bill he said: "there's no charge Monte, we're happy to get you back on the road again." How about that?!

With a lot of THANKS to Rick & the guys, I drove our M.H. back to the Lookout RV Park. We then motored our Suzuki to downtown Pendleton where we, joined by (2) other women, started the underground tour, led by Carol.

We followed Carol to the underground Shamrock Card Room, Hop Sing's (Chinese Laundry), the Empire Ice Cream Parlor, through the tunnels beneath the sidewalks to the Empire Meat Market. We stood under the prism glass that is a sidewalk above the street & then went through a secret passageway to a Prohibition Card Room.

Tunnels led us to a Duck Pin Bowling Alley, then up the stairs to one of Pendleton's (18) bordellos & the famous "Cozy Rooms."

After learning about Stella Darby & her working girls, Carol took us to the most primitive area of the tour so far: the Chinese living quarters, with jails & an opium den.

That was quite an interesting way of life during the late 1800's--early 1900's in Pendleton, & Carol did a marvelous job of covering it in fashionable detail. She's been doing this tour off & on for over (20) yrs now.
After exploring a bit of downtown Pendleton on foot, we drove thru town to the Pendleton Woolen Mills. During the early 70's, while Kathy & I were living in Vancouver, WA, we shopped for some woolen clothes @ the Washougal Mill. Unfortunately today, most of the woolen clothing is made in China, using some of the wool spun by the Pendleton Mills.

Our factory tour only lasted about (20) min & prices in the retail store were much too rich for our blood, so we didn't linger much longer.

Then we did our own tour of the town of Pendleton by car before returning to our motorhome.

Dinner: Beef veggie stoop with bread.

Evening movie: "Bachelor Mother" with Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn, Frank Albertson, etc. Rogers unwittingly becomes guardian for abandoned baby in this delightful comedy by Norman Krasna. 1939. We both enjoyed this movie a lot.

Lights out: 12:33am.

Awake: 7:17am Temp 28 sleep 6+30 clear sky less wind overnight @ Boise
Meridian, Idaho.

We left the Meridian campground @ 10:50am with smooth roads continuing on I-84. The scenery & beauty of the hills, plains, mountains & canyons are just so amazingly different as we roll's very entertaining to say the least.

Our target campground for today is Pendleton, OR. Kathy found a brochure @ the Meridian RV Park that featured underground tours of Pendleton's infamous & entertaining past; I'd like to see this also + there is another CAT Service Center in this town which is right next door to a campground. I am still not convinced that the new cap I put on the anti-freeze reservoir changed anything.

I asked Kathy to call the CAT Service dept & see if they could fit us in today. She talked with the manager & Rich said one of his techs would take a look @ it if we get there before 3:00pm.

We arrived @ the Caterpillar Dealer @ 2:34pm.

Today's travel: 217 miles 4+50 travel time 38 gal used 5.7 mph 45 avg speed.

I went into the office & introduced myself to Rich & gave him the short history of my woes. Immediately he assigned Bruce to get after it. Bruce was very thorough & he did find a slow hydraulic leak...which he tightened, but no clues on the loss of anti-freeze. Bruce hinted that we should have a pressure check done on the system but would not have the time today. So the boss Rich invited us to bring our coach back tomorrow & he would have a pressure check done 1st thing in the morning.

Kathy drove our Suzuki down to the Lookout RV Park & I followed her with the M.H. into campsite #37 for the night.

Dinner: hay & straw (ham & pasta).

Evening movie: "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with William Keighley, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, etc. Dashing Flynn in the definitive swashbuckler, winning hand of de Havilland (never lovelier as Maid Marian), foiling evil prince Rains, dueling wicked Rathbone. Arguably Flynn's greatest role. 1938. Yes, 1938! Great scenes with lots of action & romantic moments. Add it to your list...another one that Kathy stayed awake for.

Lights out: 12:06am.


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