We’ve been very bad bloggers. I don’t mean like bad people, just not great bloggers the last couple of months. So this is a catch-up blog, or a KETCHUP blog as my sister-in-laws calls it. Cute, huh? Makes me hungry for a burger….
We last left you hanging on the Mudd Huts in Arlington, Washington. Just before Arlington, we stayed in Coeur d’Alene Idaho for 5 days over Memorial Day weekend to have a nice visit with one of my best buddies, Tom. He has a very impressive and large house on the Coeur d’Alene lake front.
Tom is a hunter, and spent a good deal of time in Africa hunting big game. And no doubt a much greater amount of money having 50 or more trophies mounted for display in his house. It’s kind of creepy being watched by all these dudes; I swear their eyes follow me as I walk around. And it’s even more unnerving to Wendy. See for yourself!
We stayed in Arlington for the month of June so we could check it out as a possible landing pad when we graduate from full-timing back to a house with a foundation. We enjoyed meeting some new friends (Hi Jim and Carol!), visiting with our soon-to-be in-laws in nearby Marysville (Hi Naomi, Karalyn, Eli, and the mysterious Baron!), tons of nearby shopping including Costco and (yes!) JoAnn Fabrics (Wendy was delighted).
We hunkered down at a very nice, clean, and inexpensive park, Smokey Point RV. We visited Kayak Point for some shell and beach glass combing.
We sunned ourselves (on the few sunny days) at Lake Goodwin (where the heck was summer anyway?).
We looked at about 50 properties for sale, and tried to buy one of them (discovering the NEW world of real estate lending). And at the end of June, we hitched up and headed for Orcas Island.
We spent the month of July at my brothers on Orcas. This time there was no Kaboom! for our electrical system, and all went smoothly when we hooked up on our makeshift RV pad next to his shop. Since we were there last February, Jim has retrieved the Gypsy Wagon he and Walter (who married us!) built for Dorothy, Jim’s ex-wife who passed away during our last visit.
We were also introduced to Victor’s rooster, who freely roams the neighborhood doing what roosters do, except he does it all day long. Victor unfortunately wrapped his pride and joy, a 2008 Dodge Challenger R/T, around a tree 3 days before our arrival and has gone to meet his maker. Never a dull moment on “The Rock”.
The weather got a little more cooperative but didn’t exactly warm up to the temperatures we are used to on Orcas in July. We eagerly awaited the opening of crab season on July 15. While we drooled and waited, we got busy building the bamboo chuppah (wedding canopy) for Rachel and Greg’s wedding. It had to be built so it could be taken apart, bundled and transported, then reassembled in the soft sand in front of the beach house they rented for the ceremony in Lincoln Beach, Oregon. When that job was done, I fetched all the crab traps from my sister’s house near Grindstone Harbor (an excellent rental BTW, see it at http://www.vrbo.com/55482), and got busy rebuilding and refitting them. Even though Spot Prawn season was already over (it lasted one day this year), I also fetched my brother-in-law’s new shrimp pot and fitted it to set out by the Westsound public doc for an overnight soak. That didn’t work out well, we got a total of 2 (that’s right, two) dock shrimp about the size of your thumb. We did, however, cook and eat them! Delicious, but not too filling.
We took some little kids fishing in Cascade Lake with my brother Jim and his canoe, and nailed a nice 14” rainbow trout that sent the kids squealing home like victorious warriors.
We had lots of visits with our niece (Hi Pearl!) and family (Hi Jim, Johnnie, Sharon!) and our extended family out at West Beach Resort (Hi Linda, Dan, Paula, Howie, Kaylee, Mike, Melissa and Brooke!).
We missed our great friends Roy and Jeanne Stevens, the parents and grandparents of all that extended family. We went hiking (Obstruction Pass State Park, Turtleback Mountain, Cascade Falls), boating (Roche Harbor, Friday Harbor, all around Orcas), and even sunned ourselves at North Beach (while the sun shone anyway).
And on the brisk morning of July 15, we started soaking crab pots at our favorite spots in Massacre Bay. Lots of limits of big, juicy Dungeness crab were taken and most of it got cooked and/or shucked and frozen so we could deliver a feast for the pre-wedding cookout at the end of the month in Oregon.
We had heard rumors that the Humpies (salmon) were arriving early because of the very wet spring and tried a little “buzz bomb” fishing in Open Bay, but without any luck. We packed it all up and caught the early “red eye” ferry back to the mainland on July 28.
The wedding was set for Sunday, July 31 at the beach house on Lincoln Beach (near Depot Bay) in Oregon that Rachel and Greg has selected for the big event. We had found a great RV park nearby (www.sandandsearvpark.com) that was super nice, clean, and inexpensive for a full hookup site (hint: Good Sam discount!).
It turned out to be less than a quarter mile door-to-door by walking down the beach, very convenient. To time our arrival properly we killed a couple of days at the Olde Stone Village RV park in McMinnville, OR (www.oldestonevillage.com) which is a very, very well maintained and run park (and inexpensive too!) that is immediately next door to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. We stayed there in case the grandkids (Hi Brandon and Dylan, and Dana and Jeff!) wanted to cool their jets at the new waterpark (Wings and Waves, http://www.evergreenmuseum.org/waterpark) that the museum just opened. You can’t miss it, it has a 747 jetliner parked on top of a building that is an integral part of the waterpark (very cool!). The museum is pretty nice too; they even have an SR71 Blackbird spy plane hanging from the ceiling. If there were any flying today (all have been obsoleted by spy satellites), it would still be the fastest and highest flying aircraft in the world at Mach 3.3 (2,200 mph) and 80,000 feet.
To say that the wedding was fun, lively, and moving is a dramatic understatement. The food rivaled what you would find on a high-end cruise. The guests, Rachel and Greg’s immediate families and close friends, were amazing. Everyone took a part in the preparations, and it all went like clockwork. Nicole and Betty, the neighbor/caterers, strapped the feedbags on everyone all weekend with super-delicious feasts of American and Mexican food. There was enough beer, wine and booze to keep a whole beach town in a party for a weekend (let me hear you shout Maaaaargariiiiita!). I got the opportunity to take Brandon and his new friend MacKay crab fishing in Newport. MacKay’s mom, Bryce, went along for the ride (and fun!) and in addition to the crab and sculpin we netted, we snagged some Tillamook ice cream for the kids (one of my top favorites) and some Mo’s clam chowder for us (my all-time favorite).
The weather cooperated very nicely, and the ceremony was beautiful. The happy couple is, as we write, enjoying a 3 week honeymoon in the South Pacific.
We took the opportunity to stay on in Lincoln Beach for a few extra days after the wedding. The weather stayed gorgeous and we got in a good sightseeing day at Cannon Beach (as Homer would say, “meh”) and some ice cream from the Tillamook Creamery (as Homer would say, “MMMMM, ice cream”).
We also took in a 5 hour ocean fishing trip where we scored 4 very nice rock fish (Wendy had the largest fish of course, a China Rock bass). Can you say “Mmmmmm, fish tacos”? All in all, a very relaxing 4 days.
We split the Lincoln Beach scene on Friday August 4 and cooled our jets for 2 nights at Jantzen Beach RV (www.jantzenbeachrv.com) in Portland. We left there on Sunday morning and met up with our friends Jim and Linda Schrankel who were camp-hosting at Toll Bridge County Park, a great secret find for RVer’s at the base of Mount Hood on the Hood River. What a great place to camp! And what great weather! We have been on 3 hikes and 2 fishing trips so far, and are totally enjoying the great summer temps and the sound of the river splashing past the campground.
As an added bonus we got a full-on view of Mount Hood to the south, and Mt. Adams to the north.
On Friday we hiked up the High Prairie Trail to Lookout Point, where we got a panoramic view of all the Cascade peaks from the Three Sisters (near Bend in central Oregon) to Mt. Rainier (near Seattle). Photo opportunity!
Wendy continues, of course, baking and crafting, almost nonstop. We sprinkle almost all our neighbors with cookies, cupcakes, and coffee cake. More recently, mostly because we hauled a TON of leftover bread away from the wedding, she added bread pudding to the mix, and I am delighted. She studied up on the internet and made her first rag quilt that we donated for use on the table in the chuppah.
We are drifting out of Toll Bridge Park on Sunday August 14 and will spend another 4 days at Jantzen Beach before heading south to dry camp one night at Valley of the Rogue State Park, another of our favorites with the Rogue River at our back door. Then it’s on to Sacramento to see more grandkids (Hi Carly and Shayla, and Jeanine and Trevor!), then finally on to Park Sierra in Coarsegold, the end of our line for the time being. That’s a lot of driving over the next 2 weeks, enough to call for a nap!
We also want to give a shout out to Jay and Mom. We’re delighted Jay is on the mend and wish him a speedy trip home and recovery! Oh yeah, here’s Tippy!