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July 27. 2009 See what we were doing last month or last year
We decide to take one more trip while here in La Conner, so we booked the Skagit Dinner Tour, the trip took us up the
W-20 East to Newhalem, WA about 2 hours from La Conner.   Since I can only ride a short distance we stopped at a roadside turn off Beautiful spot (going to make this one into a jig saw too)
Arriving in Newhalem, we were told to look for the Engine No. 6 This is the same train that carried it's workers and equipment up to the dams in 1927 and also was used for tours of the dam, the last run was in 1954.

We had gotten there early so had time to take pictures of the little town. When I booked the trip I was told to dress in layers as the area could get cool, especially on the lake.  I dressed with a 3/4 sleeve and long pants, we took along our coats and sweat shirts.  Boy if ever they were wrong.  By the time we got to Newhalem it was 102 at 11:00 AM and on the lake it reached 104.  I was baking.  I wanted to take this trip to see the North Cascades and Waterfalls.  Taking a Motor Coach across the Diablo Dam with our guide Mike telling us all about how the Dam was built and how Seattle City Lights is the owner.  Mike is a National Park ranger and I could not help wonder since this tour is put on by the Hydroelectric project how he was the guide, found out they pay the National park service some to help out. 
We headed to the Diablo Dam area where we caught the boat to tour the Cascades and Waterfalls.  The Cascades are magnificent they had some snow but there were only 2 waterfalls one of which we could see from the bus and could not take pictures and the other as you can see not much water.

Here we are on the lake just leaving the Diablo Dam
The water is so green like a deep turquoise, Mike explained that as the snow melts and flows over the rocks a dust off the rock settles into the lake but is so light it never sinks therefore the color stays at the top.


Heading on down the lake which flows into the Skagit Bay, we are told about the area, Monkey Island was named because one of the engineers of the dam bought in Monkeys to it, he would make sure people on the tours would have peanuts to throw to them, the monkeys however did not like the cold nights so they had to be taken off at night then returned the next day, needless to say that did not last long as they were taken off of the island within a year.  There is another Island right next to this one that is called Deer Island, it got it's name because the Mule Deer would swim to it from the larger Island so they could have their babies without a predator attacking their young. The Trip on the lake was about 2 hours, there are more pictures to see on the Washington photo page.  There are 32 Cascades in the area some still have snow, after touring the lake all the way to the Ross Dam and back, we then headed to the town of Diablo where there are still 40 families living in Seattle City Lights housing.  Here we had dinner in the old school house, we served by the staff of the company including the ranger, baked chicken, fresh green beans mashed potatoes and wonderful gravy, those who wanted could have spaghetti, for desert we had hand made pies apple and cherry they were wonderful.  We then headed back to the Skagit tour area to pick up our cars.  The trip would have been better had it it been cooler and the waterfalls were running.  I am glad we took the tour but for the $100 we paid I feel we should have had a steak or a buffet, and the weather was just way too hot to be able to enjoy this one.  Everyone on the tour was great including our bus driver Mary Jane.
We leave tomorrow for Elma, loved this area we are in and not liking the possible heat wave that Northern WA is having, here at La Conner it is comfortable in the 90's as there is a breeze coming off of Skagit Bay, but Elma does not have a bay nor many trees, and the weather is suppose to be in the 100's by the time we arrive.  One nice thing about being full time we can always leave. 
Try and stay cool until tomorrow Love Carol
July 25. 2009  
Fran arrived on the 14th, the days went by so fast that she has already left.   I wish there had been more time for her to stay. 
 
                                                        AS MIKE NO SPEAKS.......oooooh   yea
      Now I was informed by the boss that her sister is coming to visit us....well, that seems ok.   Then I really got to thinking about it..Here is one guy with two gals in one motor home...
      You have to realize that when ever a guy has to go to the bathroom....the wife is always in there....I swear that I am going to buy a coach that has two thrones...in my wildest dreams...but hey it is a good thought...Oh well, back to the situation at hand....Now I have two gals and me and only one bathroom....Oh did I mention that they both like to read books....Now I don't mean just the Sears and Roebuck Catalog or some pamphlet  or just some little pamphlet that you get from Camping World....Heck no!!!...They are these really thick books about sex, love and who shot who down by the river..Nora Roberts, what is it you have against us guys.  I really haven't figured out if they go in there to do something or that is the library..oh well, that is RV living.   As it turned out...everything worked out just hunky dory....
       There is one night that I really have to tell you about.. For some reason, I just couldn't sleep.  I would lay there and just toss and turn, so finally I got up and thought what the heck I will go down and get gas and a cup of coffee at the Shell Station..being that Fran is going to be leaving the next day and I am sure that I won't have enough to get down to Seattle and back..Anyhow good excuse...So up I get in the dark and try to find my clothes , being as quite as possible...sure....bump into the walls, lean and almost fall back on the bed, not to mention that I had taken everything out of my pockets the night before and here I am in the dark feeling around hoping to find everything and not wake anyone up.  With all the noise and cussing when I couldn't find something or even worse, finding everything that I didn't want and then trying to put it back and not drop in on the floor       After about a half and hour of grouping around in the dark I finally had my pants on and where my shirt was,,,,,who knows...It wasn't on the hook where I put it, ,,,,,bugger,,,,,sure here goes another half an hour....not to mention my socks...oh to heck with it,,,get a new pair, I know where the drawer...Here I open it real quite and get my socks,,,thank goodness they don't make any noise..and close the door...uh oh...the latch didn't catch...ok try it again...CLUNK...yep, that works...Carol ask are you up.....Let see, there are two people in the bedroom and she didn't make the noise, and wonders, just who might be making the noise....takes a rocket scientist to figure this one out....After feeling my side of the bed and finding out that I am not there, then the door to my sock door wakes her up, Oh yea.
      Guys don't ya just love it......Honey, someone spilled somthing or dropped something and there is only the two of you.....duh....Sure...I know...guilty. The only problem is that you are the one that did it...bummer.
       Ok, back to the late and very dark night of getting up...All dressed and very quietly get to the living room.  Found the keys where they were supposed to be, got my coat on and out the door I went.  All this just for a cup of coffee..Oh well.
       Racing through the night, hey nobody is up so what the heck.  Got through the little town of La Conner, hey, they really turn the lights on down there.  I thought it was daylight when I went down main street...Got to the end of town where they have one of these circle things that you have to go around and figure out which one of the turn outs that you want to take, and of course without the wife to tell me which one, I take the wrong one..But, we won't tell her anything about that..
        Speed limit is 50 miles an hour and you always go at least 5 to 10 more than that, well,  I was doing a just a little more than that...I wonder what this little puppy will do on a back, straight little road with no one around. hmmmmmm
        I am just about to put my foot on the peddle and get it on the floor, now I don't mean gentle, stomp on it..get it on...The radio is blasting and the tires are singing against the blacktop, just some nice gentle curves ahead.  Man, what a night....
         Oooops, what to I see up there at the crossroads but flashing red and blue lights......slow this little beast down, and cool it....Just as I do this, heck I even turned the radio down to a small roar...there is a speed sign, that by the way I have never seen for the last 9 weeks......35MPH....WHAT!...on a road like this...what is this....so down I go just to see what is going on...Sure enough, someone is getting a ticket at 3:00 in the morning...Hey, what is wrong with this picture...Must be drunk or something...Oh I see...You have to slow down the the little junction in the road...well, I guess that is alright..At least I didn't get the ticket...Off to the Shell Station for my cup of coffee...Whoop Pee..
         CHIT!  Wouldn't ya know it.  There closed..What Shell Station with coffee and stuff like that would close up at night...Yuk
          Oh well, back on the road and get back to the Motorhome....hey, I know that 35 mph place now....slow down I do, and wouldn't ya know it.  The cop is sitting right there at the cross roads just waiting for some sucker like ME.   Ha Ha....fooled ya....Not tonight...
          Finally get back to the coach...and as my hand hits the doorknob I get to thinking....Fran is in a strange place, sleeping on the couch, the door opens real slow not to make noise, and this black, dark figure starts to enter the coach.  hmmmmm, does she sleep with a base ball bat,  a sharp object, or just a load schreak. 
         Well, just to break all your bubbles....if she woke up.  She played possum. or possible heard me leave. Any how I just stumbled in the bedroom and being that it was probably around 4 in the morning I was really tired by now...Hit the bed and went to dream land.

Isn't this retirement just peachy

Yep

Mike


Mike was a peach in taking us everywhere we wanted to go, first it was La Conner, where we said we would only be about 1 hour, of course we had to stop into the shops to see everything and maybe do a little buying. The Courtyard Gallery is so wonderful we ended up spending about 1/2 an hour there, it has wonderful sculptures, and artistic jewelry, glassware and too many other wonderful items, I suggest if you ever get to La Conner you have to stop and browse,

Town of La Conner Courtyard Gallery
The Wood Merchant has handmade art from local wood artist The Woodpecker to the left looks real,  in fact just the other day one flew behind our RV at the Thousand
Trails Park.
We spent about another 1/2 hour there,
then we decided to call Mike's cell to tell him we would be about another hour, he answered Mike's taxi service, so we knew we were ok as he was having coffee. With that we decided time for him to have lunch so we took off to the PUB where we Fran had the Clam strips and I had the Tempura Fish.  They were delicious, from there
we did a little more walking around


 
The next day we decided to take it easy, so stayed around the RV where Fran could look around and just relax.  That was Thursday, on Friday we went to Friday Harbor, taking the ferry from Anacortes to the Island, all of us love taking the ferries they are relaxing and comfortable to ride.  We took the car so we can see more of the island, Fran had said there was a sculpture Garden so off we went.
   
All of the grounds have sculpture that are made
by Local Artists.
We then drove back to the port, which by the way, was only about 1/2 hour, the island is real small and I imagine you could go around the whole thing in a matter of an hour.  We decided to eat at a restaurant that Mike and I had eaten at a couple of years before, since the food was
good then and you could set out looking at the port watching the boats come and go.
Of course what is exploring with out shopping

We went to the Souvenir Store across from the Restaurant
and we found some wonderful jackets that as Mike said had better be wind proof and they were, not only were they a jacket, but you could take the sleeves off and the hood and have a vest, also they were revisable, and the best was the price each were $49.95 because Fran and I were buying 3 we got them for $45. each, the owner was wonderful she had this dog who just laid in front of the counter and never moved, as you can see in the picture, I had to bring the dog to the front so you could see how great he was in having his picture taken.

We then headed for the Ferry, but first had to find some ice cream after all it was a very hot day, around 80

Wow the time is flying, we decided to show Fran Birch Bay where we had thought of staying, the drive was nice and cool plus you got to travel through the mountain area, Blain where Birch Bay is about 1 hour away, we got there and since it was time to stop for lunch we parked at the Beach House right in front of the bay, The food was not that great but the view made up for it after eating we walked across to the bay here we are the tide was still out, by the time we left the area the tide had come all the way to where we are standing having Mike take the picture.


Gee one more day and Fran leaves, Fran wants to go back to La Conner to have those Clam Strips she fell in love with.  We tell Mike to go get a cup of coffee at the PUP and we will meet him since there was a couple of shops we had not been into yet.  OK you guessed it, it took us another 2 hours to get to the PUP and Mike was wonderful to wait, he had the view of the boats and his coffee.  We had found a shop Caravan Gallery, which had wonderful jewelry and the prices where great, it took me a great deal of time to decide what I wanted. Fran knew as soon as she saw the ring it was for her. 

We also found a shop that had handmade tops painted that were so beautifully done, we had to see them all.  If you ever get to La
Conner plan on at least 3 days to go, as you will want to look at all stopping along the way for meals, make sure you go after 11 AM as that is when the shops open and most are closed on Mon.  The parking is hard to get so I suggest you go before 10 AM and go to the Calico Cupboard which makes healthy muffins, breads etc.  Park on the street this way you can walk to all of the shops on the main shopping area.

I am missing her as I write this as I think there might have been a shop or two we did not go into.  We had a great time and it was so good to see her, she is fun, loving and a wonderful friend to be around, even if she is my sister.  Love ya Fran.

We leave on Wed. but before we do we are taking a supper cruise on the North Cascades.  It is about 70 miles to the River Gorge and the North Cascades wilderness. we will be on the boat looking at waterfalls in the Diablo Lake.  Will have pictures for you to see. 

Until then have a great day and summer.  Love Carol
July 05. 2009  
We are back in La Conner, we arrived a day earlier then we planned.  Mike and I came over here on the 7th to see what sites might be available on the 9th, when we saw that 268 was leaving on the 8th we changed our reservations and came on in.

You have to understand Thousand Trails does not allow specific sites to be held nor do they give you a site when you enter the park, you have to find one you like for yourself and rig, if there is a site you want and someone is in it, you put your name on the list, come to the gate every morning by 10 AM and see if you get the site.  We loved 268 as it was by the water we could get internet through Verizon and phone is you went behind the rig but no TV and the site had full hookups.  The view and site are worth it.  Now most of you know Mike sleeps till 11 AM and when I suggested we try to get here at the park by 10 AM he said we will try but not to hold my breath as he just know someone would take it.  I got here at 9:54 AM (Mike was about 10 min. behind me). Asked for the site and was told 5 people where ahead of me on the list, so I waited to see who got it, no one showed except one gentleman who wanted a different site, and so the site become ours. 

I wanted to jump with joy, it is the best as you can walk to the beach climbing over lots of logs, but you can set right by the rig watch the sunsets, and the water it is so great, and after living in Benson, AZ and Tucson for over 60 years you want to see water!!!  See what I mean by the sunsets.
Fran will be here on the 14th, we plan on doing a lot so if the web site is not updated, I know you will understand.  Hope all are enjoying the good life and having a great summer.  Love Carol
July 05. 2009  
Pam & Ralph read our web site and found that we were going to Anacortes for the fireworks, they are staying on Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes, and invited us to come see them from their RV park. This also gave us a chance to see Cookie ( the puppy we gave them 2 years ago). What a treat we were right on the waterfront and had a spectacular view and of course had wonderful company to see the fireworks with.  I could not have asked for a better time.

Refinery at night

Fireworks being set off at the docks of Anacortes
   
July 03. 2009  
Finally got to Seattle via ferry to Bainbridge Island from Edmonds.  As a lot of you know I make personal cards for RV'ers to exchange, will Pat & Sam Passamonte had run out of theirs, and they saw that we were in in Mt. Vernon which is not far from their now home of Bainbridge. 

I loved the idea of delivering them since we were close & not only getting to see Pat again but also an adventure to a new area.  It  turned out to be a wonderful day weather wise and travel.  We headed to Edmonds which is about 1 hour from Bow, then onto the ferry Walla Walla.  We took the car so that we could drive and see some of the area.  After a 30 min. ride we then drove from Kingston to Bainbridge.  You can get to Bainbridge from Tacoma via car and no ferry, I have to admit I loved the ferry.  It is huge and comfortable, we had decided to take the 11:35 one but got to Edmonds at 10:45 only to boarded immediately on the ferry which gave us lots of time to site see.  We meet Pat and Sam at the marina and had lunch,   
   
After visiting Pat's home and what a lovely home it is, they have bought a place in Poulsbo which is next to Bainbridge Island, the mobile park they have bought into shows the pride of ownership, and the home Pat has is just right for retirement.  They have enough room to move around in and a big enough yard to have a vegetable garden.  I would love to have found something like this if we were ready to settle somewhere.  We then headed back on the ferry but this time we took it to Seattle.  I had always wanted to stop and see Seattle but had not had the chance. 
Took this picture to the right while
waiting on the docks for the ferry.
First site for me was Mt. Rainer, doesn't it look like it is just floating in the sky? WOW how majestic is that Next was the shoreline of Seattle
We had planned to stop in Seattle but we arrived around 5 PM and the traffic was horrible, so we decided to hit home we will come back soon and explore, for what we did see of the downtown it looked so inviting with lots of places to explore.  
 We will be leaving for La Conner on the 9th, and my sister will be here on the 14th for 9 days, planning on going to Sidney, Canada and of course showing her La Conner.  Have a great 4th and watch those fire works.  We hope to go to Anacortes for the water show.

Until next time hope all are enjoying there summer. Love Carol

   
 
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