Crossing the Border

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Our view on the hike this a.m. in the L.L. Stubbs Stewart park in Oregon.

It’s Thursday evening and we find ourselves in the L.L. Stubbs Stewart State park in Oregon.  Perched on top of a high hill and close enough to the ocean that the breeze is cool and constant.  Blew the smell of our mahogany barbecued bone-in pork chops all over this campground.   In addition to pork chops, I made homemade applesauce and coleslaw to round out the meal.  Yum.

The last few days have been a whirlwind.  When we left Whistler, we drove the Canadian/U.S. Border while remembering the tale of a couple that had crossed not a week earlier and it took them 4 hours with search of their RV included.  We were dreading it.  So, this is how it went.

We took a more obscure crossing location.  Did not want to use I-5.  When it was our turn to be grilled, I drove up to the kiosk, handed the man our passports and waited.  Turned out, he was a friendly sort.  So friendly that we were informed that he had moved up to Lynden, WA not too long ago from San Diego.  He had been to Morro Bay many times and Cambria too.  He’d been married twice.  Now lives in a 2500 square foot condo in Lynden and is very happy with his new life.  Without asking we heard all about his travel plans with his children to go see the eclipse.  When he asked what we had done for work before we retired and we replied “Stockbroker.  Both of us.”, he became very animated.  Told us, “I bought Apple and doubled my money but I sold out too soon.”  He went on to tell us how he studied stocks and how well he was doing in the market.

Getting back to business he asked if we had fruit.  Yes, we had fruit.  We relinquished all our citrus to him and he was quite pleased.  He then gave us directions to the campground in Lynden, just a few miles down the road.

The only thing he knew about us is what was in our passport and our last job.  His information was much more interesting than anything we could have offered.  It was a hoot.  And then we drove away.  Sort of reminded me of the pitcher’s mound.  You know, when the manager comes out and the catcher struts to the mound.  A long conversation ensues.  We always wonder what they are saying.  Are they discuss their stock picks?  contemplating a move to Timbuktu?  So, the truck driver must have thought we were getting the interrogation to end all interrogations.  Not.

We spent two days in the KOA at Lynden.  Nice little ‘Norman Rockwell’ kind of town.

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On a main street in Lynden, WA

Agricultural place with the last night of their fair going on when we arrived.  Everyone in town was there.  We particularly liked seeing the square dancing couple…her in her bright yellow shirt that stood perpendicular to the sidewalk she was strutting on.  All those starched petticoats underneath.  Brought back memories.

And remember the hoops?  When I was a Rainbow girl, we had to wear formals and we always wore hoops under them.  So, when you sat down, if you weren’t careful, your underwear would be exposed when the hoop sprang up skyward.  Finesse was required.  And practice.

But I digress.

While in Lynden, a small homemade RV parked next to us the second night.    Here it is.

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12 years and it came to this!! Awesome.

It turns out, a young girl of 12 years of age and her father, made the RV and it was her inspiration.  We were extremely impressed and it buoyed our spirits to know that there are bright spots everywhere!!  And she was a definite bright spot.  That girl is going places.

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She also did the decorating inside. It not fully finished says Mom. We were duly impressed.

 

Leaving Lynden, we headed back to Silver Lake Cove RV park near Mt. St. Helens.  Loved it the first time.  Really loved it on the return because it was almost empty.  And because we saw an osprey…killing another bird in the tree.  Nature and all.  But this time,  Silver Lake Cove was a two day stopover.

We left there today and made a stop in Vancouver, WA to get our RV repaired.  And here we now are on the hill in Oregon.

Rayman had a day of accidents.  He stubbed his toe, cut his chin while shaving, hit his head, braised his thumb, tripped going up the stairs into the RV.  I don’t know what to do?  Buy a life insurance policy, refuse to let him drive, invest in Johnson & Johnson (band-aids etc), or hope tomorrow is a safer day.

Speaking of tomorrow, we are meeting up with my cousin and her husband for Chinese food in Beaverton, OR and a movie.  We’re not to far out of Beaverton.  You go from major metro area to country in no time at all.

We’re here for a week, without TV.  Nice.  And we saw on the bulletin board that this is star gazing territory because of the absence of big city lights.  Looking forward to seeing the Milky Way tonight.  But I’ll be carrying my driver with me.

Bears and Berries

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The lake, the mountains and us.

Good day, dear readers. It’s been a few days since I have had a chance to pontificate….ehr…author a blog.

Dining out and drinking wine have taken place. We’re up in Whistler, B.C. It’s like a playground for those with money. Saw a lot of Tony Burch shoes. Prada. Mixed in with a lot of expensive dirt bikes. Gondola rides are $50 smackers. Main courses on the menus start at $35. Salads will run you about $17. And all the beautiful people seem to be here. And they all parade around the main village square coming and going and going and coming. There are poses struck. The dirt bikers have interesting headdresses on. They remind me of gas masks. Perhaps to keep the dust to a minimum.

We, of the older set, mosey along, mostly dodging foot traffic to get to the various eating establishments. We feast on the eye candy. Oh, to have tight skin again…like high school. No wrinkles or hitches in our get-alongs. We spend time getting lost because we excel at that. We also excel at repeating ourselves. But, what can you do? Have fun with it.

The other thing we do is play golf now that the smoke has cleared. You can now see the mountains.

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Me and Ruthie pause for a photo.

My heaven’s, they are beautiful. All roads wind along the rivers here. Everything is located at the bottom of canyons. More eye candy. The mountains. They surge up from the rivers and lakes like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Many are snow capped. A sight for sore eyes. The mountains are littered with forest and aspen and other species I don’t know. Must be beautiful in the fall with gold and red leaves on the trees that are not conifers. It’s entirely green now.

But I digress.

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We traveled north out of Whistler to the town of Pemberton. A farming community with several new buildings like the city library, the school. And then there is the Big Sky Golf course. It was hard to keep my head down when I took a rip at the ball. Those mountains were so beautiful, I longed to look up. One of the prettiest mountain courses I have ever played. We were having a grand time until the Rayman drove his cart where he shouldn’t and then hightailed it over to the loo. The golf cart trail did not lead by the loo which is unusual. About that time, the women playing behind us arrived and took note of his transgression. The one woman, let’s call her Blondie, reprimanded our friend Tom. Her tone was antagonistic. Tom told Blondie he did not park the cart there. Then she spoke to Ruth in the same tone. Ruth informed her that Tom would not do that. Then Blondie said, “And speed it up while you’re at it.” And where was Rayman? oh, that’s right. In the loo. When he returned, he knew nothing of these exchanges. It was only when we had teed off (perhaps in more ways than one), that he was brought up to the speed.

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Sculpture at the gate leading in to the golf course.

Rayman was madder than a guy who found his wife having a drink with another man. He wanted to go back and have words. He was disabused of that notion by the rest of us. Then at the turn, we went by the starter’s shack and Rayman jumped out and talked with the starter. The starter said that the women were members of Big Sky and sometimes get overly protective of the course. That’s when Rayman informed her that we had paid a lot of money and come from a great distance and we didn’t appreciate Blondie’s attitude.

For the rest of the round, people came by to make certain that we were happy, that everything was okay. The staff really bent over backward to make us happy. We had a happy ending!!

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Ruth and moi at Whistler Chateau.

Then, we played Whistler Chateau golf course. On the third hole as we were getting ready to hit our second or in some cases fourth shot, a bear came lumbering out of the trees onto the fairway at a distance of about 100 yards with a creek between us. What a thrill. That bad boy was big. He looked healthy and strong enough to kill and eat someone. No one had their camera so we missed the photo op. Biggest disappointment of the day. This course had stunning scenery on every hole. One thing we did not do was go in the trees to take a leak (man joke), or go in the trees to look for our balls (also a man joke). Bears might be lurking.

Today, Rayman and I drove to Pemberton to go to a laundromat so that we could get all our laundry done in a short period of time. Three loads. While there, a man and his dog came in. The man, let’s call him Willie, told us dogs were allowed. He also told us about the local park. Once the clothes were in the washer, we drove down to a lovely little park so Beau could have a good run. That’s where we ran into the Indian woman. She was just returning from picking blackberries, did we want to buy some? Sure, we said. Then she told us the story.  I have nicknamed her Listening to Crows.

Listening to Crows was out in the fields where the blackberries grow. She picked about 5 quarts and she had sold all be one, would we like to buy it she inquired. “Sure”,  I said. So, while we were buying all these freshly picked berries, I told her I really liked her town. She was quite pleased. She said she would have picked more berries but the crows started, well, crowing. Loud and often. That’s when Listening to Crows informed us that she had to leave. In a hurry. The crows were a warning sign that a bear was in the area. Good local knowledge that could save a life. She was convinced and I’m  convinced that Listening to Crows knew her stuff. So, the next time you are out in bear country, say, Morro Rock, keep your ears open for the sound of crows. And listen to them. And head away from the Rock.

Then it was back to the laundromat. The laundromat was now teeming with people and the same dog. Thursday must be laundry day in Pemberton. Anyway, Willie told us some interesting facts. Whistler he said, was a place the stars used to come to for R and R. Sort of like Vegas, perhaps. Oh, yes, he assured us. This explained why the laundromat had framed pictures of Hollywood stars all over the walls. He then said that Pemberton was a no-where town. A potato growing town. But they don’t eat the potatoes. The potatoes get sold to people far away. Rayman in sympathy, said, “That’s too bad. So where do you get your potatoes that you eat?” Willie said, “We grow them.” Okay, then.

There were also two men there in the laundromat discussing the finer details of clothes washing. One man, let’s call him Arthur, wanted an explanation of why he did not see suds in the washer. The other man, let’s call him Henry, explained the several different reasons that might occur in a very deliberate manner with ideas on how his theories of low suds could be proven or not proven. It was like Henry was the PhD of Laundry Science. This conversation was still going on when we folded all our clothes and walked out the door. It’s 10:18 p.m.now and this was at 1:30 p.m. It would not surprise me of they were still talking.

YAHOO OH, MY GOD…and other blood curdling screams. What do they have all on common? Give up? It’s bungie jumping. The four of us rode south of Whistler and found the dirt road that led to the sight of bungie jumping. Spectators were welcome. The Honda Fit, not so much. There were potholes the side of an old O’Keefe and Merritt oven. The Honda can hardly make it through a mud puddle.

But I digress.

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Rayman, Tom and Ruth, standing atop the bridge.


We arrived at the scene of the insanity. I mean, really. People strapped into a halter sort of thing, clipped to a “line” that looked like scrunched up purple (or was it green?) plastic. Presumably the rope is inside. Then the jumper’s arms are held out so the jumper resembled a human cross. The bridge straddled the gorge with a ranging river below. The gate was opened. And the leap began. Followed by heart-rendering scream of full-on terror. Here are some pictures.

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Like a fish on the hook.

Heck, the walk out on the bridge sent my heart a flutter. It had a grate bottom so you could see down to the river below. Several times, I caught myself inspecting the safety of the infrastructure (bridge) on which we were perched. While up there I met a young man who was the Whistler Bungie Jumper photographer. Yes. They take pictures of the people before and during the leap (could that be for body identification?)  . He asked me if I came to do the jump. “Nope. Not his kid”, I said. He urged me to try it. That’s when I had to officially inform him that my ophthalmologist told me not to do jolting activities. Now, being a person that can be very literal when required, I took that to mean I should not ride a rollercoaster (actually the Doc told me that was a no-no). But I also took it to mean no heavy vacuuming, no window washing, and certainly, no bungie jumping. The kid indicated that he got my meaning.

Then as we continued our chat, I found out that he was working the bungie jumping official photographer gig near Queenstown, New Zealand when we were there. Frankly, he didn’t look that old. And then to continue  this riveting conversation, I discovered that the kid had done 29 bungie jumps himself. Now, what would ever possess a person to put their life on the line 29 times by jumping off a bridge into a deep canyon with water gushing? He didn’t seem daft. So, I continued exploring much like Margaret Mead may have when she ran across that matriarch tribe somewhere exotic. “Did you just get used to it? These people doing this look fairly calm. If I was about to do it, I’d be wired for sound!” He replied, “Oh, no. You never get use to it. And believe me, they are really, really scared.” So, I guess there you have it. Makes no sense at all. But if you are a contrarian and decide that it can’t be that bad and you’ll have a go to find out for yourself… Well then. Good luck to you.

Oh, one last thing. It only costs $140. per person/per jump. And in the spirit full disclosure, we didn’t see any crash and burn. However, we did pass one of the jumpers with his family. He had a cold pack on his shoulder. He was about 23 years old, maybe. His mom did not look at all happy or well. She looked a bit pale…with pursed lips like she was biting the side of her mouth repeatedly.

So, as I said earlier. That’s what happened when we went bungie jumping watching.

But alas, tragedy struck. We lost our credit card. It has been so painful because I am the culprit meaning I had it last and when a credit card goes missing, it’s a big deal. Hours of 1. looking for the darn thing like going thru every pocket, every drawer, under every seat. In the glove box. In the cabinets. 2. talking with the credit card people on the phone with many layers of “proving you are who you are”. “What’s your father’s maiden name? 3. realizing that many bills are paid automatically with said credit card and when you go on line look at your statement (paperless statement), you can no longer access the info and therefore, you have no earthly idea which bills are paid with the card. It’s even more complicated but there is only so much in the way of pain that I can even talk about right now. It is too frustrating to lay it all out, like telling the story of when you got that flat tire and were stranded on the roadside for hours in the rain kind of frustrating.

On the bright side of things, we didn’t get mauled by the bear and the neither did the Indian woman, Listening to Crows and we had some great berries for dessert tonight because it all came together just this way.

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At a road side market near the golf course.

 

Vancouver Wildlife

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So, here we are in Vancouver, hemmed in by the gray smoke of summer.  Haven’t had a clear day yet.  Sad.

The picture of the golf course tells the story.  That was taken at Whistler last week.  The pic below it is Hollywood types filing a movie, Carribean Blue.  The star, can’t remember his name, waved at us.  I know he was the star because Ruthie told me!!

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The most interesting thing that happened to us is after Jack and Sue (friends of the Donnollys, and now ours!) arrived, we went to dinner.  While seated, a couple came in and sat down across from us.  Jack noticed that something fell out of the man’s pocket.  It was a wad of money.  Jack-be-Nimble jumped up and retrieved it and gave it to the man.  The man sent over a bottle of wine.  Nice.   Tom later reciprocated by sharing some shrimp dumplings.  And everyone may have had too much wine.  We couldn’t be rude and not drink it, now could we?

I’m experimenting with my blog and it may not work.   Okay.  It did not work.

But I digress.

Between the time that Trump threatened Kim with nuclear war and restating his position to make it even worse, we were suffering from smoke gets in your eyes syndrome.  Here’s a pic.

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Sun or moon? I report, you decide. One thing is for sure. It’s smokey.

Yesterday, we rode the SkyTrain.  A few observations.  It is much better than Portland’s system because it is almost all elevated so it goes much faster.  Doesn’t have to worry about car cross-traffic.  And much of it sits in the freeways’ meridian.  So you can sit, ride and feel really smart for taking the train.  That’s because the freeways are clogged, adding fumes to the smoke to create a delectable toxic cocktail.

Second observation is that they made the same mistake with their parking for rapid transit users.  Not enough parking.  So people use their cars too much in lieu of the train.

Other than that’s it a dream.

Yesterday we road the False Creek ferries from one side of False Creek to the other and back several times to several different docks…that was fun and cool.  Cooler on the water and the “ferries” had roofs.  All the better to shade you with, my dear.

We agreed to meet up with the others at 12:00 at the Dr. Who (or whatever’s) Chinese Garden.  Only while riding in Ruthie called to say the plan had changed to 12:30.  Then she called again and said the garden looked disappointing so they were headed to the water.  Okay, so while riding the rail, we were perched in our seat looking at two maps while carrying on a conversation on the phone.  We were so rude.  After much hemming and hawing and saying things like, “I don’t see THAT on the map”, Tom said he would just pick us up at the Stadium train station.  Okay, then.  When we arrived, Ray and I had a myriad of ways to exit the station.  We picked one and rode the escalator down and walked toward one of the exits.  And there he was.  In all in glory.  Holding his arms in the air as though a touchdown had just been scored.  Tom.  It was him.  What were the chances?  It was a miracle.  God, we’re good.  All of us.

 

But wait, there is more.  There were 6 of us.  So, we crammed ourselves into a 5-seater SUV and drove a block and half (didn’t know the casino was that close.  Honest.)  The short trip included us passing a cop in the street.  He was distracted.  None of us had seatbelt on.  How old are we?

So, those are the highlights.

Wild Thyme

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/baby_driver/pictures/#&gid=1&pid=n-1662230

Click on the above link for a cool picture of the cast (eventually).

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The big activity for today, Friday, was going to the movies with dinner to follow.  This is how that went down.

As a recap, we are here in Vancouver with our friends, Tom and Ruth.  They are staying in an RV park right downtown Vancouver, almost under a bridge.  We are situated in an RV park in Burnaby, a suburb east of downtown Vancouver, almost under a bridge and right next to the train tracks.  We are approximately 15 miles apart.

Ruth and Tom picked the movie to see.  Baby Driver.  They picked the theater.  We agreed on a time….1:40.  We would meet.  What we didn’t know is that the cineplex was located in a mall.  Quite possibly the biggest mall in the Western Hemisphere.  All we had was the address.  So, off we went.

Our Apple Maps GPS specializes in taking us hither and yon.  Never ever in a straight line.  Nope, it winds us around and around like a snake.  Say, did you see that story about the guy in L.A. that had 3 deadly cobras sent to him in potato chip cans?  Wonder how the authorities found that?

But I digress.

So…we took the most circuitous route to the movie house.  Not knowing exactly where it was at the mall, we slipped into the underground garage and parked at the first space available.  Then we entered the mall.  Being the good tourists we are, we stopped at the Information Desk and asked about the theaters.  Down the mall to the MacDonalds and up two floors.  Okay then.  Off we went.  We walked and walked and walked and as the steps increased, so did our doubts.  We ducked into a jewelry store and received confirmation that we were headed in the proper direction.  Then we walked and walked.  Ah ha.  Spotted a kiosk with a map of the mall.  There was no indication that a cineplex existed.  WHAT?  So, we decided to keep walking.  Long story longer, we found it finally.  In the meantime, Ruthie called and they were having the same problem.  We told them to stop and ask people.  That we thought we were on the north end and that it was upstairs.  I then purchased the tickets at the ticket kiosk.  And that is when I noticed the theater called itself, Silver somethingoranother.  It was the darnedest thing.  I alerted the Donnollys of the name.  The Donnollys finally arrived.  We checked in with the ticket taker and then Tom exclaimed, “Atomic Blonde?  We were going to see Baby Driver.”  Oops.  I had purchased the wrong tickets.  We debated.  What to do?   I decided I needed to right the wrong and headed back to the ticket agent.  There was a line.  It was slow.  The movie was about to start.  When the nice lady with her young daughter picked up that we were in a hurry, she offered to let me go first as she was quite early to see the movie they were going to see.  After I took cuts and exchanged the tickets, I gave the ticket agent a $5 bill and asked him to apply it to their ticket.  And off we went to see Baby Driver.

From the opening scene to the end, this movie was a kick in the pants.  With a great soundtrack and terrific acting.  Go see it.

Oh, and then there was Titus.  He was the young ticket taker.  I stopped to get his advice on how to correct my error of buying tickets to the wrong movie.  We developed somewhat of a “relationship”, he was so fun.  While I was exchanging the tickets, Titus told Tom, Baby Driver was the best movie in the entire group of movies that were currently playing.  When we left, we thanked him profusely.  He was feeling proud of himself when we left.

From there we jumped into our car after the long walk back and drove to a restaurant called, Wild Thyme.  That’s where I received the parking ticket for parking too close to the intersection.  A chicken shit parking ticket if you ask us.  So, we had a built in conversation subject for dinner.  Tomas, the retired cop, advised us not to pay it.  He told us a story of a colleague that once received such a ticket and sent it back to the authorities with a note attached, “F%&K you.  Angry letter to follow. “  Ruth said maybe we should pay.  Ray was incensed.  He had discovered the ticket when he went back to the car to get his hat as we ate outside.

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Then the guy from the restaurant came out and struck up a conversation with him.  We had selected the restaurant from Yelp.  It was, it turns out, Lebanese.  Couldn’t tell it from the name.   The fellow that waited on us, was the owner.  He had two women in the kitchen doing the cooking.  I asked, “Are you from Lebanon?”  No.  Well, sort of.  He came to Canada via France.  He got two degrees in France and then migrated.  We told him we found him on Yelp.  “You have reviews on Yelp.”, we enthused.  He then turned glum.  He just had a bad review from a woman (with a head scarf).  He explained he had good friends that were Muslim.  Religion had no meaning for him.  She was just a rude woman with an attitude.  He explained she had come one other day and had been rude to his employees.  She revisited his establishment.  This time she was very unhappy that, get this, his employee had given her a brown paper napkin while customers had received white napkins.  And the worst of his story was that she was going to ruin his business by bad mouthing him on social media.  He was beside himself.

And with that he regaled us with wonderful food accompanied by white and brown napkins!

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It was splendid table.  Here’s some pics.  Boy were we scoring big time in the eating out competition.  Smokin as they put it.

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This was fresh pita bread, Lebanese sausage, Lebanese white cheese melted, and a glorious bunch of fresh veggies on top.

 

After we consumed all we could, we waddled back to the car with the ticket on it, measured the space from the intersection.  Swore a lot.  Piled in.  Zipped back to the mall.  Dropped off our precious cargo.  Ziggied back to the Burnaby Cariboo RV park which is located next to the railroad, almost under the bridge.  Poured some wine (second meal in a row without wine or beer because the restaurants didn’t offer it), and settled in to watch Bill Maher.

Quite a day.   Wild time, I’d say.

p.s.  I used all those onomatopoeia verbs because of the movie.  My driving was instantly more aggressive.   It had an effect on me! https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onomatopoeia

Read the Writing on the Wall

 

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Downtown Seattle near Costco

Hi folks. Reporting in from smokey, hot Vancouver, B.C. Arrived yesterday having suffered all day from various anxieties. But before regaling you with those stories, let me recap a few days of travel in the great northwest.

From the shadows of Mt. St. Helens, we headed north toward Seattle, this time taking the freeway. Freeways are such a hard drive. No use dwelling on the obvious. This time I was at the wheel. We were both sad to leave Silver Lake Cove. It was darn near perfect. However, we had a schedule to keep which is one of the disadvantages of traveling when everyone else on earth is traveling. My heavens. Cars loaded to hilt with bikes, scooters, paddle boards. It’s a zool. And so are we!!

Anyway, first stop was a rest stop. While wandering the grounds, we discovered an old cedar tree that was enormous. And you could walk thru it. Seems the entire area was covered with these magnificent specimens. Oh, well, quite possibly you have a cedar-lined closet. Or a cedar chest. No more cedar trees in this area. This one had been cut down a very
long time ago and the trunk was so impressive, they somehow decided to save it and relocate it by the road for all to see. There was no freeway heads-up sign announcing it. We just stumbled on to it.

Rayman then took on the driving chore. The plan was to go to the Costco near Seattle to buy gas. He researched it the night before. Had the location all figured out. About 10 miles into his drive, I asked him if he had programmed Costco into the GPS. Oops. No. Okay. Well. I tried to “retrace” his steps by looking at the iPad to locate the location. I picked one. No, he said. “That’s too far from the freeway.” Okay. So, I then located another that was close to I-5. That must be it. And that’s where we headed.

The GPS took us there via every strange street available. We wove around UPS facilities, oil refineries, office buildings, railroad tracks. This did not go over well. And rosy me, I kept saying, “Turn left here.” “TURN LEFT THERE? WHERE THE HELL ARE WE GOING?”, fussed the driver. Finally we arrived. The gasoline station was cramped. This is never good when you are 33 feet long and pulling a car. “I PICKED ONE THAT HAD AN EASY IN AND OUT. HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET OUT OF HERE?”, he barked. I scrambled out of the RV and talked to the attendant. He said we could do it. So, we did. And when we got ready to leave Rayman asked the attendant how to get back to I-5. We were literally 3 blocks away from entrance to the freeway.

Well, I was madder than a wet hen. And I think we will leave it at that. You can fill in the blanks!!

Such is the life on the road. Stuff happens.

 

We managed to arrive in Anacordes, Washington, without killing each other. A true testament to working things out. And we set up the RV. That evening, we had an invitation to my Uncle Jimmy’s house for dinner. It was a lovely time and we caught up on everything going on in our lives. Great dinner. Great conversation. Lovely end to a stress-filled day.

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Anacordes is a water-rich community. Water everywhere. An island location. And we took total advantage by arranging a whale watching adventure for 1 p.m. the following day. Had a fabulous time and saw many orcas. And it was a beautiful day. Warm. Clear. The water sparkled. The orcas performed. The day before, the tour guide relayed to us, they saw not one whale. The day was wonderful. We were on a roll.

Uncle Jimmy and his wife, Christel, took us around the area the following day. We had drinks on a rooftop and then we ate dinner on a dock by the bay. Jim and Christel must work for the Chamber of Commerce because they told us all the virtues of living in the area. They even drove us around a neighborhood of houses. They would like us to move up. We were full of questions. They had the answers. It was a fun afternoon. Again!! That was Tuesday.

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On Wednesday, we packed up and headed to Canada to meet up with our friends, Ruth and Tom. Before we left we had received a few warnings. First, my brother told me Canada used drug sniffing dogs at the border. Okay. So we left our grass and edibles in Portland with Ryan. Second, Tom met the border nazi when entering the country on Tuesday and he told us the tax on bring in wine was horrific. So, we left all our good wine with Jim and Christel. Finally, Ruth called to say that Vancouver was shrouded in smoke. Fires were burning and the smoke was causing big problems. We were bound and determined to go anyway.

We took an out of the way border crossing off of Highway 9 entering at Abbotsville. We were very fortunate because the border guy was reasonable. The sad thing was we had to ditch all our fruit with pits. We had nectarines, peaches, cherries that we had just purchased in Anacordes. Drats.

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Canadian border crossing.

Ruth and Tom came over (they are in another RV park). Tom was beyond disappointed that we left our “good” wine and lamented that he should not have called us!! We came across with 12 bottles. They did too. No problemo. After drinks and pupus, we ventured out for dinner with the help of the GPS. The restaurant we wanted was packed. We ended up in a strip mall next to an abandoned gas station at The Smoking Pig. It was a Korean restaurant. And it was a Korean restaurant. And it was wonderful.

We now feel back on track after a day of laundry and reading and doing some business. Tonight we will have a planning session over dinner at the Donnollys. There are places to go and things to do. And we’re here for a week. Hoping the smoke clears.

Oh, and we went to Whole Foods today in Vancouver. It had underground parking. When leaving, we rode the elevator down and when we got out, we could not find our car. It took us three floors to find the car because we didn’t read the writing on the wall. Guess we need a GPS to locate our car too.

And that’s all folks.

 

Got My Goat

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View of the tributary from our table.

We love Silver Lake.  It’s located on the road to Mt. St. Helens and it is where we are “camped” for four nights.  This is our third night.  What do we love about it?  Let me count the ways.

Weather – the days are warm, nights are cold.

Location – 30 miles from Blowback Mountain (Mt. St. Helens joke).  It is 10 miles from the freeway, Interstate 5.

RV park is ideal.  There are waterways encircling it.  There are hawks in the trees and maybe we spotted a bald eagle…too far away to see for sure.  The space between RVs is more than generous compared to the average RV park this summer.

Satellite reception.  We have it.

So, what did we do today?  Rayman got a haircut.  He looks much better now.  Just saying.

I worked on trust issues, walked the dog, blogged (and I’m still blogging).

The fun for the day was the kayaking.  We went to the office, filled out a form promising that we would hold harmless the establishment if we were to drown.  And then we went to the bank of the tributary about 200 yards from our RV, met a guy with the kayak and the oars and the life jackets, stumbled into the kayak and the guy shoved us off into the tributary.  Away we floated.  He mentioned that we would pass an island and if we were lucky we might see the one goat that lived on the island.  Okay.  Right.

So, we paddled around a few bends and by houses that were situated right on the water (sweet).  We went by the island and we heard the goat but never saw him.  By the time we emerged onto the main body of the lake, I was drenched.  My pants were soaked.  But it felt good because the breeze was warm and sun was hot.  We steered our kayak to a spot on the lake that afforded a view of Mt. St. Helens.  Very cool.  What wasn’t cool was that we left our cameras in The Dog House along with Beau.  No pictures.  But I think you can imagine how pretty it was.

In addition to us on the lake, there were geese and ducks.  And they floated right by us and didn’t mind our presence at all.  Very nice fowl.  They didn’t mind each other either.  Maybe the political parties should change their logos from donkey and elephant to Ducks and Geese.  This might inspire new behavior on the part of our elected officials.

But I digress.

On our way back to the RV park via the river tributary, we again went by Goat Island (that is what I named it).  We heard the bleating.  Is that what goats do?  So we paddled up close to the island, and there he was.  The goat, Billy.  While in our boat we saw the goat!!!  And you know what the goat did?  He talked to us and followed us as we floated by.  The entire length of the island.  Poor Billy boy was bored.  He lives alone on the island.  He wanted company.  So we hung out at the end of the island and conversed with him as one does.  “Hi Billy Goat!”  How are you Billy Goat?”  He talked back to us.  “Behahahah.”  It was a hoot.  We loved it.  I think he loved it too.

We made it back to where we started.  We struggled to get out of the kayak without any assistance (it was not pretty).  I went first.  This involved my standing up on a kayak still in the water, and placing my left foot on the ground next to the kayak without getting wet.  As I did this, Rayman and the kayak started moving away from the ground as I was standing on.  Have you ever seen the splits performed in such a manner?  “Rayman, move the kayak back!”, I barked.  “You are pushing it away!”, he announced.  OMG.  I thought I was going to fall in to the mud.  Luckily, he got the kayak heading toward my foot that was on dry land and I jumped out.  Then, it was his turn.  I hauled the kayak up on the shore and he sprang right out.  THEN the guy that set us off into the water showed up.  “Sorry I was late.”, he exclaimed.

We went back to The Dog House, fed the dog, and we all jumped into the car and headed to Castle Rock, the closest town.  Bought chicken and corn and came back to barbecue dinner.  It was grand.  I served it with the best fruit salad.  The watermelon, the plums, the nectarines and peaches were all perfection.  Oh, how lucky we are.  It was a great day.