Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another hot day.

Location, Lynden, WA

It is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!!

Yesterday set a record for high temperatures in Seattle of 103. In Lynden it was 100.
Way to hot for this country.

Not much going on but I did get some work done around the RV in the morning. I washed the front and rear of the rig, defrosted the refer, and got the oil changed in the truck. So, we are set to hit the road on Sunday morning, early I hope.

I still haven’t picked our daily stopping places for sure but have some in mind. I do need to call two of the RV parks as they usually fill up because of their close proximity to Portland, OR. From then on we will take potluck each day and hope to find a place for the night.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

HOT and getting HOTTER!!!

Location, Lynden, WA

Not much happening here this week. Candi is doing better each day and we have been spending most afternoons with her. The weather has been HOT and HUMID!!!! We spend part of the day in the basement where it is cool and the humidifier is going. Clyda has been doing laundry and ironing. She also has been doing some work on the quilt for Candi as well as yard work

Saturday evening I drove Michael down to Mount Vernon to a friends house. They drove to Wenatchee, WA the next morning for a few days of R&R. I think there was a girl involved some where in that.

On Sunday evening Dawn invited us, Mark and Candi, and Matt, her boyfriend for dinner. She did a really good job of it. We had spaghetti , Caesar salad and garlic bread. Clyda made a cobbler with raspberries, blue berries, and black berries. It was really good. Quit different than just the boysenberries we are used to in our cobblers.

The cook in her kitchen.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get the oil changed in the truck. I picked up oil at the auto parts store on Monday. The DELO 400 was on sale so I got buy two gallons, get one free. Heck of a deal! None of the truck dealers carry DELO so I always buy it before the appointment.

I have been working on our trip south to Walnut Creek and have the route fixed but not the stops each day. I like to travel about 200 miles a day. I am not looking forward to traveling I-5 but time dictates that as the route. We have friends along the way and may stop if time and schedules permit. We will park the trailer while in Walnut Creek as we are staying with friends for 5 days. The weather will be hot all the way so we are not looking forward to that.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Moving to Lynden, WA

Location, Lynden, WA

This morning I stowed all the extra outdoor gear in the truck and trailer and unhooked all the hoses, cables, etc, in preparation for moving north. I returned the cable box to the office along with a thank you card for all their help in finding us a parking place for the 6 weeks we were there. It may have been close quarters but the park is well kept and the managers were helpful and friendly. We had good TV coverage with the cable box and fairly good Wifi for internet coverage most of the time. Can’t ask for more than that.

I left the park at 10:05 and arrived in Lynden at Hidden Village RV Park at 11:45. The park had assigned me a spot a few weeks ago when we stopped by so all I had to do was pay for the next 8 days. Our spot is under a tree which meant the roots caused one side to be high so I had to block up the other side to get level. I moved the rig forward so the solar panels would be mostly in the sun. The tree will provide shade for the back of the rig which should really help over the next week as the temperatures are supposed to be high.

After I got everything connected I ate lunch then tackled a job I have been putting off. The vanes on the back of the roof air conditioner were all smashed flat. It took me a long time to figure out how they got that way but I think it happened when we had the rig washed in Yuma in March. They used a high pressure wand to clean the roof and also swiped it across the AC unit. The solution is to use a kitchen butter knife to straighten the tabs as they are very flimsy aluminum. So far today I have about 1/3 opened up. If I don’t do this and run the AC it could over heat the compressor. We have a lot of hot weather coming up and need to run the AC.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pike Place Market

Location, Everett, WA

Yesterday was another wonderful day in Seattle. Although a little on the warm side by late afternoon, it was really nice for walking around Pike Place Market downtown. Clyda and I drove in with Mark and Candi for Candi’s last Chemo session. More on that later.

Clyda and I walked down to the bus stop and rode the number 70 line to Pine and 3rd Ave where we got off and walked 2 blocks downhill to Pike Place Market. It is really a steep downhill from 2nd to 1st Ave. We walked through the market place looking at flowers, fruits, and vegetables as well as meats and lots of fresh fish. This is the place where they throw the fish when you buy it. Of course that gathers lots of tourists and even a few folks from PETA protesting the “abuse of fish”.

Pike Place Market.

Clyda with flowers.


And more flowers.

Fresh fish.



About 11:30 we decided to get a bowl of clam chowder for lunch. It was a big bowl and along with a “chowder roll”, hit the spot.

Our next stop was the Seattle Art Museum. Candi had gotten tickets through the Cancer Center so we walked the few blocks down to it. The museum was featuring a display of 10 Andrew Wyeth paintings from his Helga series.

The entrance lobby featured 5 white well used Ford Taurus bodies suspended from the ceiling by cables with rods sticking out from the bodies in all directions, like a porcupine. Each rod had LED lights on it which flashed off and on in different colors. There were clusters of Led lights on the ends of each rod also. A very striking display.

The museum covers 3 floors with most of the rooms dedicated to modern art while the Wyeth display occupied one room. The striking feature of Wyeth’s paintings is the really fine detail. In the Helga paintings, the strands of hair look so real. The old trees and grass look more like a photo than a painting. Very impressive.

There was also a large area of African art. Two hours of looking at some of this stuff would make a grown man cry. Painting drop cloths hanging from a wall or a room covered in painted papers. A room with 1000 pieces of porcelain dinner ware. One display which was very striking was a cape made of thousands of stainless steel dog tags which flowed onto the floor in a perfect almost closed circle.

The Wyeth display was worth the price of admission , the rest, I could do without. Having gotten in for free, it was a bargain.

After leaving the museum we walked to a Starbucks for refreshments. I had an orange, mango, banana smoothie and Clyda had a Mocha latte. We believe this was the original Starbucks in Seattle.

Starbuck's and Nordstom's.

We walked up the street to Nordstrom’s Rack, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s. These are really large multi story stores and there were lots of shoppers. The women’s shoe section at Nordstrom’s was mobbed for their mid-season sale. We walked across the street to Coldwater Creek, again a multi story store. They have a stream running through the store under plexiglass so you can walk on it and large fake boulder walls with water running down to the stream. From anywhere in the store all you hear is water running. I was wondering how often the store staff went to the bathroom.

Finally decided we had walked enough for on day we caught the number 70 bus back to the Cancer Center. Candi’s last chemo session was delayed 2 hours because of a change in clinic procedures. Instead of ordering the chemo as Candi checked in they now wait until a bed is assigned and then the chemo is ordered from the pharmacy by computer. The chemo is delivered to the proper bed by this procedure but causes a long delay. I think they need to work out some bugs in this system. Thank goodness it was her last day.

By now it was after 7 PM so we decided to stop at The Spaghetti Factory for dinner on the way back to the RV park. By the time we finished dinner and drove to the RV park, it was almost 9 PM before Mark got to leave. As soon as he got on I-5 north, the traffic slowed for construction. I have no idea what time he got home.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Boeing tour.

Location, Everett, WA

This morning I did something I have wanted to do for several years and that was to tour the Boeing wide body assembly plant in Everett, WA. This plant builds the 757, 767, 777, and the new 787 which has yet to make its first flight.

Taking a chance on getting a ticket without a reservation in hand I went to the Future of Flight building near the plant. Here all tours start and end and a large display area and store show new features being used in the 787 Dreamliner. There were few people around at 8:30 AM so I had no problem getting a ticket for the 9 AM tour.

The tour begins with a video about Boeing and then we were ushered to a tour bus which took us around the end of the Paine Field runway and to the paint buildings and fuel test areas east of the runways. We actually had to wait for a short period while one of the Dream Lifter planes taxied out to the runway. The Dream Lifter is a very large plane built on a 747-400 body which is used to transport parts from around the world to Everett. It is big enough to carry body sections within the airframe. It is the biggest by volume aircraft in the world according to Wikipedia. Boeing has 3 of these planes in use with a fourth being built.

From the paint area we drove to the main assembly building and left the bus and went under ground to one of eight tunnels running under the building. These tunnels carry all utilities for the plant and are 1/3 of a mile long. We took a large freight elevator up to the 3rd floor so we could overlook the assembly area for the 747. Over night last night they had put the new 747-frieghter into the bay in preparation for final assembly.

We got back on the bus and drove to a newer section of the building and again went under ground and again up an elevator to see the 777 assembly line and the new 787 assembly line. The 4th 787 is almost complete.

It was a very neat tour and I would have loved to spend more time looking around but the tour lasts 90 minutes and our time was up so we were taken back to the Future of Flight building where I spent another hour looking at the displays. All in all, a very nice tour. I recommend it to everyone if you are ever in Everett with time on your hands.

No cameras are allowed on the tour but I did get a few pictures before I left.

Entrance sign.

The Future of Flight building.

Main assembly building. Actually, only part of it.

More of the assembly building.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the assembly building covers an area of more than 98 acres. It is the largest building by volume in the world.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sailing, Sailing, over the bounding Main!

Location, Everett, WA

Yesterday was a perfect weather day. A perfect day for sailing. That’s right, sailing! Candi signed up for 2 tickets for a day cruise on Lake Union through the Cancer Center. So, yesterday we drove back down to a parking lot across from the Cancer Center, $5 for parking, Thank You, and walked out to the Mallory Todd a classic 65 foot, 2 masted sailing ship. The cruise is sponsored by the Sailing Heritage Society and cancer patients and their families and care takers are treated to a 2 hour cruise around Lake Union.

We signed on to the ships manifest along with 16 other people and a crew of 5. We motored away from the dock and the crew raised the main sail as we cruised up the west side of the lake. The owner and captain is and old timer who built the boat mostly by himself in the 1980’s. The hull was built in Sacramento, CA. After installing the engine, the boat was motored to Seattle where the remainder of the boat was completed.

The Mallory Todd at her dock.

The boat is now mainly used for charters I suspect because of the captains age. Yesterday a young man was being trained as a new captain and did a very nice job of docking us at the end of the cruise.

Captain at the helm.

We did a lazy sail to the north end of the lake mostly using the motor because of the fickle winds and the huge amount of lake traffic. There were paddle boards, kayaks, pleasure craft, tour boats, amphibious ducks, and float planes. A very busy Saturday on the lake.

Float plane headed for its dock.

House boat used in the movie "Sleepless in Seattle".

Amphiboius Duck giving tourists a view of the lake, close up.

Looking south over Lake Union towards the Seattle skyline.

We visited the Wooden Sailing Boat docks after the cruise. There was a large amount of wooden boats on display and several in various stages of rework in progress. We ate a picnic lunch at a table in the Wooden Boat public area before driving around the north end of Lake Union. We stopped at Gas Plant Park on the north end of the lake. This is a nice park with all the old gas plant machinery still in place.

Gas Plant Park from the lake.

We continued under the I-5 bridge onto the campus of The University of Washington. Unfortunately I was in the wrong lane to go through the university center so we ended up on I-5 northbound headed back to the RV park.

Last evening we were invited to visit old friends form our early Santa Barbara days. We had not seen Donna and Ron for many years so it was good to catch up on our lives. Ron and Donna treated us to a nice Mexican dinner out and a great piece of pie later at their home. Thanks Ron and Donna for a great visit.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chittenden Locks

Location, Everett, WA

Finally,,,,,,the weather has cooperated for us to go to the Chittenden Locks. Every other time we wanted to go, the weather has been rainy or cold. Clyda and I were here years ago with son Tim. Today was perfect. I did the driving into the Cancer center today and waited in the lobby reading my book while Candi had her treatment. Clyda went with her to the treatment room. Afterwards we drove to the locks. As with most public places in Seattle, we had to pay for parking at a pay kiosk. The fee was $2.00 per hour. Ouch!! Quarters or credit cards only please! We were there for 3 hours total.

Entrance sign.

Boats coming in.

Full lock.

Boats going down as the lock empties.

Boats leaving the lock.

Boats in large lock.

Railroad bridge which must open for tall sail boats.

We watched lots of boats going out from Lake Union to Puget Sound but few coming back. The middle of three locks was in use and could handle several boats at a time but not the larger ones. Eventually the numbers of boats going out backed up so the large lock was put into use. This lock could accommodate up to 70 boats of various sizes. Today only about 17 or 18 at a time were locked through. Some were quite large and expensive. Using the large lock takes a longer transit time as each boat is individually handled and tied off before the next boat is let in. It was a very interesting few hours and there were lots of tourists watching.

Next to the locks is the English Garden with all of its blooming flowers. We didn’t get any photos but walked through the edge of it. Lots of grassy areas for a picnic lunch. This is one of the must do spots for every visitor.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunny and warm.

Location, Everett, WA

Not much is happening right now. We drove back to Everett on Sunday afternoon in very cool weather. In fact it was so cool through Monday that we had the propane heater on most of the day.

We did some grocery shopping at a local Safeway after we arrived. Monday I did nothing or at least it must have been nothing as I have no recollection of anything significant.

Today, Mark arrived about 9 AM to take Candi in for her chemo treatment so Clyda and I had all day to do something. We went by Wal-Mart to get some photos copied and pick up some from last week. We drove to the local Thrift store to look at used books. We both found some. At 69 cents for paperbacks, what’s not to like about that?

After lunch we drove to a local Dairy Queen for a taste of the new Blizzard flavor of the month. Girl Scout cookie something or other. It was very good.

The weather improved remarkably this afternoon. Sunny and warm.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sprint car racing at Skagit Speedway

Location, Lynden, WA

My sister suggested that I expand the July 7th post to include more information about the Seattle Underground tour we took. So, please check out the added post for that date.

We drove up to Lynden on Friday afternoon so we could celebrate Michael’s nineteenth birthday. Because he is working in a berry packing plant this summer and putting in long hours, we decided to celebrate on Friday evening. Mark smoked pork short ribs, BBQ’ed corn and Michael made his famous “cheesy bread”. All was to die for. Mark and Michael have the rub and smoking down pat and the cheesy bread was fabulous.

Late Saturday afternoon Clyda and I drove an hour south to the Skagit Speedway to watch Matt, Dawn’s boy friend race his Sprint car. He had just put a new engine in the car so this would be his first race since the old engine died. This also was the Mid-Season Championship race and was followed by a fire works show. We had been to this same race two years ago.

The show opened with 3 sky divers landing on the track followed by patriotic songs. A great opening. Matt only made two laps in his first race before tangling with another car and breaking something in the left front steering. They managed to get it fixed before his next race.

In his second race he was doing very well and moving up on his competition when on lap 17 of a 20 lap race he tangled with the same car he had the earlier problem with. This time however, the results were not as fortunate. His car flipped forward on turn three and bounced high up on the safety fence, hung there for a second and then landed on its top back on the track. There was a few anxious minutes until Matt got out of the car but he appeared to be ok. He tore off his helmet and stomped back to the pit area, obviously very mad. The race was delayed for several minutes while repairs were made to the fence. Thank goodness the fence was there or the car would have flipped over the wall and down an embankment.

Loading the car on the trailer.

Top sail after the crash.

Matt (back to camera on right) loading his car.

Dawn next to the loaded, slightly bent car.

After the race Clyda and I went to the pit area to look at the car and check on Matt. He was in a better mood by then but the car looked to be heavily damaged. In any case, lots of body work to be done. Fortunately, it is 2 weeks before the next race so plenty of time for expensive repairs.

The fire works show was great but it had to compete with a lightning show to the south of us. The lightning drew as many ooohhs and aaaahhhs as the fire works. It took us a half hour to get out of the parking lot so we arrived back in Lynden just after mid-night.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A perfect lunch

Location, Everett, WA

Mark had a meeting in Seattle yesterday morning which ended by noon. We decided to meet him at Claim Jumpers in Alderwood Mall for lunch. After Dawn’s graduation we ate here and at the time I said I wanted to come back and have just appetizers and dessert some time. Well, today was the day. We ordered the appetizer platter which had everything deep fried. Things such as zucchini, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, hot wings, and the best, parmesan onion rings. Yummy!!!!! Cholesterol???? A whole bunch I am sure.

After shopping for a birthday present for Michael (his b-day is this weekend) we drove east over the freeway to visit the Mill Creek Shopping Mall which I discovered yesterday. It was quit a find, especially the Central Market which is a combination of H. E. B. markets in Texas and Whole foods Market. The olive bar was 20 feet long and the cheese area was huge. They had two people just cutting cheese.

The fresh fish, meat, produce and breads were like from a picture book. Awesome!!!!!! We will go back I am sure.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Seattle Underground

Location, Everett, WA

Normally Mark takes Candi in on Tuesday’s for her chemo session. Today Clyda and I went along to the Cancer Center with them and took the city bus to Pioneer Square. The bus stops near the Cancer Center and arrives downtown within 15 minutes. We walked down hill to 1st Street where the tour begins in Doc Maynards Bar. We were in time for the 11 AM tour which cost $12 each for seniors. The tour is 90 minutes long and is fascinating.

Text added to original blog post.

The underground tour was of several blocks which had been built after the 1888 fire which destroyed 33 blocks of down town Seattle. To remove the threat of flooding during high tide, the city father's suggested building up the land with dirt from the nearby hills. Realizing that that effort would take years to complete, the merchants commenced building and most new buildings were completed in 1889 although out of stone and brick this time.

After the buildings were up, the city built a rock wall around each block and then proceeded to fill in the streets thus raising them one level. The second floors now became the first floors and the first floors became basements. To accomplish all of this required moving more dirt than was removed to make the panama Canal. To go from one block to the next required going up a long ladder , crossing the street, and descending another ladder. Not an easy trick while wearing a long dress and carrying purchases.

Eventually as streets were filled in, and doors were made in the second floor. Also, the merchants owned the property out to the street, so eventually, sidewalks were constructed over the moats. Sky lights made with glass blocks were installed in the sidewalks to let light down to the basement levels. The under ground tour follows these under ground side walks and you can look up to see the glass blocks over head. Much early equipment was left under ground when the tours were started. Old bath tubs, piping, elevator hardware, etc. It is fairly clean and very dry with few cobwebs. It is well lighted but the footing is on cement, board walks, or even some rubble. Just enough to give it some mystery.

People lived in the basements for years and today some business's still use their basements. The real problem is that Seattle is built on a base of sawdust from all the early saw mills and to this day continues to sink in some areas. The streets for instance are always in bad shape from this sinkage as were the basement floors in the buildings. The buildings themselves were built on pilings which makes them stable. When they filled the streets, anything and everything was thrown in as fill. Old wagons, carcasses of horses, wood of all kinds and anything at hand. This is causing problems as it all decays.

The tour was well done with lots of history of the city.

Underground Seattle sign.

Greyish door in the middle of this building at the cars rear bumper is an entrance to Seattle underground.

Underground Seattle entrance sign on lower left of photo.

After the tour we strolled down 1st Street until we came to Grand Central Bakery and Café where we stopped for a quick lunch. The bread was so good that we stopped back later and bought a loaf to take home. After lunch we walked out to Occidental Square towards Quest Field and then around the block stopping at the Glasshouse Studio. They blow glass here most days but I expect there is more activity in the mornings. The glass is spectacular.

We stopped at Elliott Bay Bookstore and Cafe which was the setting for the café in the TV show Frasier. It reminded me of Powell’s in Portland, OR. We climbed back up the hill to 3rd St and found our bus stop for the return trip. The bus driver grew up in Atascadero, CA so talked our arm off. On top of that, he didn’t charge us for the trip. Nice guy.

We spent some time in the 5th floor waiting room at the Cancer Center until Candi was done and then drove home. A very nice day in Seattle.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th follow up.

Location, Lynden, WA

To finish up yesterdays blog, we had hamburgers and brats along with salads for a typical 4th of July dinner and then drove to Blaine, WA, next to the Canadian border to get a good place to watch the fireworks show. We were only several hours early but we had a nice view to watch the fireworks from.

Mark, Candi, and Michael passing the time.

Candi, Ed, Mark, and Michael. Jackets are on as the sun goes down.

Because we are quit far north, the sun doesn’t set until near 10 PM so no fire works until 10:30 PM. It was a good show and it lasted for about 25 minutes. Getting out of the parking lot with all the traffic was not too bad and we were home about mid-night. All-in-all, a very good 4th of July.

A nice sunset.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Location, Lynden, WA

Happy 4th of July. Today I attended a TEA party. TEA as in Taxed Enough Already. Most of these parties were held on April 15th but the local group decided to do one today also. It was held in Bellingham, WA and organized in a vacant store lot. Flags were provided as well as signs already made up or poster board to make your own signs. There was a copy of the US Constitution to sign.

Posters ready to be picked up.

Signing the Constitution.

As people got their flags and signs, they moved down to the Guide Meridian which is the main route from I-5 to the Canadian border. Hence, lots of traffic. People lined both signs of the street waving flags and signs. Cars honked and displayed their flags as they drove by. It is hard to judge the crowd size as they were spread out, but 1500 to 2000 would be in the ball park. A nice turn out for the 4th of July.

Looking down the street at the crowd.

We will finish the day off with hamburgers and then drive to Birch Bay on the coast to watch the fireworks tonight. All in all, a nice patriotic 4th of July.