Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day at the zoo.

Location, Everett, WA

On Monday I went with the ladies to Candi’s treatment session as we planned to go to the zoo after she was done. I sat in the lobby reading until Candi was done. The Cancer Center has free tickets to different tourist things around Seattle and Candi had gotten 2 free zoo tickets. We drove to the zoo over the same route we drove on Saturday but a big difference this time as there was just normal traffic so we got to the zoo in good time.

After parking, we had to stand in line to pay for parking from an automated kiosk. What a pain. It took more than 1/2 hour to get to the head of the line and get our ticket. By then it was noon so we bought one more ticket and went right to the food court for lunch. We spent several hours looking at all the animals but eventually we were ready to leave. As with most zoos, the animals sleep in the afternoon but we did see quit a few who were out and about.

Today, Tuesday, was Candi’s chemo day so Mark came down from Lynden and took her in for the day. They had trouble getting a drip line into her arm so the session was delayed over an hour. They didn’t get back to the RV until 7 PM. Clyda had dinner ready when they got here so we ate and Mark left for home. It is over a 2 hour drive from here.

Clyda cleaned the trailer today while I dumped the tanks and after lunch we went to the Everett Mall so Clyda could get a haircut but one shop wanted $46 for a cut and the other had a long waiting line so we came home. Clyda set up her sewing machine and worked on a quilt while I had a nap.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

First nice weekend

Location, Everett, WA

With the weather shaping up for a nice weekend we planned to do a few things today. Clyda wanted to go towards down town Seattle and walk in Woodland Park and I wanted to stop at a used book store I found on-line. I mentioned that today (Saturday) might be a good day to have lunch at McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside Restaurant on Lake Union. Clyda wanted to eat there so she could take a photo across the lake of The Cancer Care Alliance building that Candi goes to each day.

As it was late morning when we left the RV Park we decided to eat first then walk. Getting to the restaurant was easy as we took the same route that Clyda and Candi travel each day to the cancer center only just a little more around Lake Union. This is not something I would do during the week with my pick-up as it is just to big to make all the short turns into the parking lot.

We ate in the bar and had fish and chips which were excellent. A nice view out the window of float planes taking off and lots of very pricey yachts with several ladies sunning on the decks. Very nice.

After lunch we continued around Lake Union into a traffic nightmare. Nothing was moving. Eventually we progressed a mile or so into another mess. It turns out that several events were going on which made a mess of traffic. We gave up on the idea of walking in Woodland Park and drove north on Hwy 99 to find the bookstore.

Seattle street naming convention defies logic until you have been here several years, I swear, so finding the book store took some time. Find it we did and bought a few books.

On Sunday we shopped for vegetables at a nearby stand, actually a store I guess. We wanted to walk some where so drove to Silver Lake, a 102 acre lake across I-5 from us. We took a round-about way and once again, got lost in the mix of roads that went no where. Eventually, I got on the I-5 and took a road I knew went to the lake. We walked part way around the lake on the walking path before coming back to the RV.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Not too much happening

Location, Everett, WA

I missed a few days of posting. Not much new going on here. Every day Clyda and Candi leave shortly after 9 AM for Candi’s treatment . Depending on traffic, it takes about ½ hour for the drive. They are usually back around noon.

Today I went with them and sat in the lobby and read the paper and my book. When Candi was through, we drove east of Seattle on I-90 to Snoqualmie to see the falls. There is still lots of water going over the falls and the noise is loud enough to make the viewing platform shake. We checked out the upscale Salish Lodge(http://www.salishlodge.com ). Our friends Cindy and Gary’s daughter used to work here years ago. We had a picnic lunch at a table in the park associated with the falls then drove north to Monroe and back to the RV Park. We stopped at DQ for a small treat and finished up by doing some grocery shopping.

Candi and Clyda at Snoqualmie Falls overlook.

Salish Resort next to Snoqualmie Falls.

This is an interesting RV Park as they have had two large 5th wheels parked in front of the office for the last 2 weeks. The RV’s are actually in the road, sort of. One was moved today to a site across from us as it has been sold and the people will move in tomorrow. My truck has been parked next to the office in what are overflow parking spaces. Today I was asked to move my truck tomorrow as they are going to park the other 5th wheel there. No offer was made as to where I could park my truck. For this weekend, it will fit in my site but I’m not sure where we will park Candi’s car on Sunday. I’ll wait and see if there is any place left next to the office.

Update on the Acer Net Book Computer: So far the Net Book is doing fine. The keyboard takes some getting used to as the keys are smaller. Lots of mistakes in typing but spell check takes care of those. I have used the LG GP08 DVD/CD burner I bought to burn DVD’s, CD’s, watch a DVD movie and listen to a music CD . I bought a Logitech wireless Mouse which I love. The touch pad was fine but both Clyda and I prefer the Mouse. From my working days using an Engineering Work Station which extensively used right Mouse clicks for action items, I am hooked on the mouse.

I have avoided downloading too many applications as I don’t want to slow down this machine, however, there are some things I still need to put on it. I want Open Office for word processing. I will delete Microsoft Office which is a trail version after I get Open Office installed.

I did download the Image Resizer from Microsoft which allows you to resize a photo with a right mouse click in any application. This is really handy when you are inserting photos within text such as within Blogger when I am doing the blog.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

Location, Everett, WA

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers. I called my dad today who is 96 and slowly failing. He spends most of the day sitting in his chair as his hips and legs are giving him problems. Both my sons called to wish me a Happy Fathers Day. I really enjoy that. I received a gift from son Tim wrapped in plotter paper with a topographical map on it. One of his favorite wrappings. Appropriate for a geo tech. The gift left me a little puzzled but I am sure there is an explanation. When the boys were young, we played a card game called Mille Bornes. I received the original game we played for fathers day which also had an original score sheet included. I will wait for the explanation.

Yesterday we went to Fry’s Electronics in Renton and I purchased an LG DVD/CD burner. I burned a back-up of the Acer operating system, listened to a music CD, and looked at a DVD movie. I haven’t burned a CD yet but will soon as I want to put all the photos from the graduation ceremony last weekend on it.

After Fry’s we stopped at a few wineries (Chateau Ste Michelle and J. Bookwalter) in Woodinville. Chateau Ste Michelle is large and sprawling and has huge very old trees on the property. The Woodinville area has dozens of wineries and I am sure we will be back again to visit more as it is close by.

Today I went to a local church about 15 minutes away. There are several Catholic churches nearby and I may try them over the next several weeks.

After a nice pancake and bacon breakfast, we drove to a nearby Safeway store for grocery shopping., a necessary chore every few days due to the limited space in the refer.

In an earlier post I mentioned the close spacing of the RV sites in this park. Someone on the internet was complaining about the same thing but the photos he showed were not even close to our situation. I am not sure you can see how tight this spot is. There are trees on both sides up against the rig. I had to push the rig back exactly so the tree on the door side wouldn’t interfere with the water heater or the refer vent. Touchy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Final move

Location, Everett, WA

Well, one week down with 5 more to go. Candi has done very well this week with radiation and chemo and drove home this afternoon to spend the weekend. She will be back late Sunday evening to begin another week.

Meanwhile, yesterday I moved the RV to our permanent spot. It is a level pad near the entrance which means a little more road noise as well as vehicles leaving early for work. Not too bad however. The good thing about the move was better WiFi. We went from Low to Good on signal strength.

We have room for Candi’s SUV next to the RV while my truck is in a spot near the office. If I can keep the truck there for the duration of our stay it would be very nice. If not, then we will be really crowded.

This park calls itself an RV Resort and it is nice compared to the park next door but it really needs a little more space. They do pack RV’s in which is ok if you are desperate for a place to stay as we were. They worked with us to make sure we could stay here as long as we needed and we are grateful for that and have let them know. They options for this area a few. We visited several other parks which would be classed as “white trash” parks by any ones imagination.

We are about ½ hour from the cancer center which isn’t bad. We are also close to the I-5 freeway which makes travel north or south easy. There is lots of shopping with 5 miles in any direction including the big Alderwood Mall just south of us. We can got to several Costco’s, Safeway’s, Albertson’s, Wal-mart’s, etc. There are Trader Joes, Harbor Freight, and best of all, a couple of Dairy Queen’s for the all important Blizzards.

We need to make a list of places we want to visit while we are here. The cancer center has free tickets for some events and places so we will use those when appropriate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Geting settled in

Location - Everett, WA

Now that I have a computer again, I find my days taken up by it. I can send emails and surf the web but I don’t have access to many of the programs I normally use as the CD’s which contain those programs are at home. I have the tools but not the drivers for the hardware. I need to see if they are available on-line I guess.

This morning I went shopping. I am finding my way around the area and almost every thing we need can be found within 5 miles. The traffic however can be daunting around noon and later. There is no such thing as a square grid of roads here as they run in all directions, intersecting and crossing everywhere.

Tomorrow I need to move the RV to our permanent spot. The park is very full with extra vehicles parked where ever they can at night. Lots of people here work during the day so vehicles leave early in the morning. Still, it really is quit quite most of the time. We are just glad that they could accommodate us as there isn’t really any place else to stay that would offer us the amenities we have in this area and the easy access to the freeway and the cancer clinic where Clyda’s sister Candi needs to go every day.

We opted for a cable box so we could get more TV channels. There is no charge for it just a deposit which will be returned when we leave. Even with the extra channels there still isn’t much on TV.

As time allows and depending on how Candi is doing, we will explore the surrounding area.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bringing the blog up to date

Location, Everett, WA

Back on-line at last! My laptop quit again with the same symptoms so it looks like I may have wasted $139 on the new battery. I just put it aside as we traveled north until I could find a replacement. That happened yesterday when I purchased an Acer Net book, the 10.1 inch version. I have spent most of the day setting it up. Actually it hasn’t been too bad so far.

I am missing some photos as they are on the old laptop. I can recover them later from the hard drive so they are not lost forever but I don't have them for the blog. I also miss my re-sizer for reducing the pixels on my photos. I need to search the web for that.

A quick synopsis of our trip since my last post is in order. From Tionesta, CA we drove to Collier State Park north of Klamath Falls, OR for 2 days while we visited Diamond Lake and Crater Lake. Lots of snow at Crater lake.

The next stop was Bend, OR at the Elks club where we ate dinner and celebrated someone’s birthday and even got a piece of the birthday cake. Nice, friendly folks.

Next we camped at Peach Beach, WA, one of our favorite spots because of the fruit stand nearby. Alas, no ripe fruit at this time but the wind did blow up the Columbia Gorge all day.

We moved to Toppenish, WA and the Yakima Nation Indian Casino campground for two days. Toppenish is the town of Murals. Every available wall in town has a mural painted on it. While here visited a few wineries which are doing very well. How about visiting your local winery riding your horse? Maybe you won’t get a ticket if you drink too much while riding your horse.

From Toppenish we moved north of Cle Elum and camped with our friend George at Cle Elum Lake while he work camped as a campground host and maintenance man. George drove us around to all the campgrounds he works at (five) and then I rode with him for 2 days and helped getting the campgrounds ready for the summer rush. We had the most beautiful camp site on the lake. What a front yard. Notice how high the water is?

After 4 days we drove to Maple Grove RV Resort at the south end of Everett, WA for a 6 weeks stay while Clyda’s sister Candi has radiation and chemo therapy for cancer. We will provide a place for her to stay during the week during her treatments.

On Sunday we attended our nieces college graduation from Seattle University with a BS in Diagnostic Ultrasound. She was bummed that she missed graduating with honors by .02 points but as we all reminded her, SHE HAS A JOB! It was a great day!

The Graduate with her mother and father and her brother.

Dawn with Clyda and I.

Dawn and her boy friend Matt.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lava Beds National Monument

Location, Tionesta, CA

What a great day!!!!! I was up past midnight last night checking email and doing the blog so we slept in this morning until 8:30. Wow! That never happens.

We finally packed a picnic lunch and headed to Lava Beds National Monument by way of Tule Lake. I had forgotten to fill the extra fuel cans before we left Carson City so a fuel stop was in order. Diesel was $2.92 per at a small local market.

The weather has been cloudy with short thunderstorms but today more severe weather with hail was predicted. We hope it will be somewhere else instead of here. We drove to the monument, stopping at turn outs, reading the kiosk info and taking a few photos. We eventually reached the visitor center and checked in with our Golden Age Pass. There are lots of caves near the visitor center which were caused by lava flowing and as it cooled a tube formed.

The nearest tube to the visitor center is called Mushpot and has metal steps going down 20 feet to a cement walkway which is lighted by red rope lights. Very cool! In places the ceiling is low and hard hats are recommended as well as a big flash light. We followed the path to the end, took a few photos and returned to the entrance. Oh yes, it gets very chilly as you descend down the tube. In many caves here there is ice year round.

We walked to the next tube called Indian Cave which had steps made with the lava rock. I walked down but Clyda didn’t want to do all the steps so we turned back. About that time it started raining so we hurried back to the visitor center a little wet.

We drove to the campground and had our lunch sitting in the truck.

We drove out a different way and stopped at a petroglyph site which at one time was surrounded by water and only reached by boat. While driving we watched a thunderstorm over Klamath Falls which dumped a lot of rain and hail. It soon moved out of the area. We did get some pictures of the rain storms as they passed over the valley.

We drove back to Tule Lake for a soft ice cream before driving back to the camp ground.

For the next few days we will be without internet as we will be staying at Collier State Park north of Chiloquin, OR.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Travel and Computer problems

Location, Tionesta, CA

Oh, how we are hooked on our computers!!!!!! Mine died last week while we were in Mammoth, CA after I had used it for an hour at the library. I tried to turn it on back at the RV and it would immediately turn off. I suspected the battery but a check of the AC power cord with a multimeter showed voltage to the battery so that meant the battery itself.

This weekend our friends Cindy and Gary drove over the mountains from Walnut Creek to Carson City where we were staying at Silver City RV Park to spend the weekend with us. We did some testing of the laptop and browsing of the internet which convinced us that the battery was dead. Gary did more research on Sunday after he got home and told me of a Batteries +Plus store in Carson City. I called them this morning and drove to the store which was 10 minutes from the RV Park. The new battery needed a 15 minute charge before it would work but it did the trick. Back in business again but with my billfold depleted by $139. That is still cheaper than a new laptop by far.

To bring the blog up to date I need to go back to Tuesday May 26th when everyone left Bishop. Here are some pictures of the "Cottonwood Snow" around our camp before we left on Tuesday.

Cottonwood in the air.

Making "snowballs".

Everyone else was going south while Clyda and I were headed north towards Seattle. After saying our goodbyes everyone pulled out and we were the last to leave. We drove to a forest service campground between the town of Mammoth and June Lakes for a few days of R&R. The campground is one we have used before but this time there were few campers and no campground host. We picked a spot that Budd and Brenda and we had used 2 years ago. We went to the town library to send and receive email and update the blog and later bought groceries.

We drove around June Lake one day and checked out a forest service campground for future reference. There is lots of water falls from the snow run off and the lakes are full with few fishermen around. In fact there were few tourists in Mammoth or June Lake. The mountains still have lots of snow and the Mammoth Mountain ski area is still running two lifts for the few skiers willing to ski “corn snow”.

June lake from Oh! Ridge.

Snow on Mammoth Mountain.

We left Mammoth on Friday May 29th and drove north on Hwy 395 up Deadman summit, Conway summit, and up the Walker River drainage to Carson City. Gary and Cindy arrived late Friday afternoon and we talked and relaxed the day away. I BBQ’ed a pork tenderloin for dinner. We played Dominos until bedtime.

On Saturday after a lazy morning we drove to Virginia City east of Carson City for the afternoon. It was a very pleasant day as we strolled the streets of the old town poking our heads into shops and checking out the merchandise. Later, we rode the steam train to Gold Hill which takes about 35 minutes round trip.

On our way back to the RV we stopped at a DQ (Dairy Queen) a favorite way to end any trip.

Later that evening we drove a few miles away to a newer casino for a prime rib dinner which was very good. Later, the ladies played a few slots before we went home. No big winners this night unless you count the casino as a winner.

On Sunday morning we drove to another casino for breakfast. Afterwards the slots again were calling so we spent a few hours feeding the machines while it poured rain outside. Clyda played for a few hours on $3 while Cindy played a slot machine with Siamese something in its name. She couldn’t figure out the play but punched a few buttons and then decided to cash out thinking she had won $20. The ticked was for $102 and we still couldn’t figure out the machine. Maybe all our slot play should be on a machine like that.

Gary and Cindy left for home about 2 PM so Clyda went to do t he washing in the parks laundry while I cleaned the trailer. As I walked to the laundry room out of the corner of my eye I noticed a Blue Chevy Tracker driving towards me. The driver beeped his horn so I turned to look as they drove up. Much to my surprise it was Tony and Joanne, friends of Budd and Brenda’s who I have met several times as we camped in Quartzsite and Death Valley. It was a real surprise. Budd knew they were going to camp at Minden, NV so he told them we were at Carson City and they should look us up. What a surprise. Nice people!

Today, Monday June 1st, we left Carson City and drove to Tionesta, CA which is between Alturas, CA and Tule Lake, CA. We are at Eagles Nest RV Park which is 2 miles off the highway on one of the roads to Lava Beds National monument. We first found this park several years ago on a day trip around Lava Beds. Our friends Jack and Judy later stayed here. There is a new owner but he seems nice enough and even has WiFi. He moved a repeater antenna so I could get a signal inside the RV. We are the only people here tonight although he had 150 school kids and parents here last weekend. Jack and Judy, it is not as nice as when the two old ladies owned it.