Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Olympic National Forest

Okay, more about food. Yesterday we went to Rod's mom's house and she treated us to dinner. She was originally supposed to cook dinner but we heard about this burger place so she decided she wanted a burger. That was fine with us, we love burgers. Off we went to the Eighth Street Bridge's Grill. I thought the name came from being in between the bridges but it's actually the name of the owner. He is kinda on an "island" in between the two bridges in town that connect one side of the town to the other. After the Minnesota disaster they were ordered to be inspected and they didn't pass so they've been closed for repairs ever since. They were supposed to open on November 1st but that's not going to happen. The guy who owns the restaurant decided to have a contest after so many people asking him when the bridges were going to open. The first ten people who guess the correct date that the bridges will open get a free meal. According to the paper it won't be until January or February. Rod's mom guessed November 18th. We'll see. Anyway, the burgers were absolutely fantastic. We'll probably go there again before we leave here.

Hmmmmmm, what to have?

Today we stopped in the little town of Forks (pop. 3,100) on our way to the Olympic National Forest. We wanted to go to Forks because I had never been there before and my daughter Michele has been reading this series of books by Stephanie Meyer based on people who live there. The books are about a girl named Bella Swan who is in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen who live like a normal family in Forks. It has pretty much put Forks on the map. Tourists go there all the time just to photograph places from the book. I don't know anything about the books but the guy in the Visitor's Center knew all about it and even gave us a packet that had all the places to look at. So these pictures are for you Michele. There also is a movie coming out next month.

Bella's family's home

Edward's family's home has been turned into a B&B but the name is on the mailbox

Bella's father is the Chief of Police

I don't know what the significance of this is but it was on the map about the book. I think it's where they went to school

Lake Crescent was also on the way to Forks. Rod had been hoping to go fishing here when we first got up here but we found out it is now a "catch & release" lake. At least the part that's in the National Forest. Part of the lake is not but I think you have to have a house on the lake to gain access.

The lake is gorgeous

The leaves are definitely changing

We also drove to Sol Duc hot springs. This used to be a very popular resort with a huge lodge and now it's little cabins but still pretty popular. There were quite a few people there.

They used to have to take a ship from Seattle then somebody would drive a caravan to the hot springs

After that we drove to the Sol Duc River to watch the salmon spawning. There weren't very many but we did see a few jumping up the falls. Pretty cool but there was no way I was going to be able to get a picture at just the right time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

LOTS of Visitors

Boy, what a weekend we had! It was so much fun to have so many visitors. Janet and Paul showed up Friday at about 2:00 in the afternoon. Robert (a friend of theirs) whom we had met before showed up about an hour after that. Robert is a county worker so he does camp here a lot. We had met him when he was camping during the cross country meet. He has a brand new toy hauler which made the 5th rig he has had in four years. LOL He just can't decide what kind he wants. Janet had cooked up a big pot of hamburger stew with some really good bread and I added a Caesar salad with homemade dressing. For dessert Janet made brownies. What a feast we had. We all stayed up visiting around their campfire until about midnight.

Janet and her hamburger stew

Robert's digging in

What a nice campfire

Paul says the sunglasses keep the smoke out

Some other people that Janet knew came in to camp for the weekend also. These people have known each other practically all their lives. Sue and Jerry were in their 5th wheel and right next to them were Terry and Ken. We just went from campsite to campsite all day visiting. They all wanted to see our big "house" so we gave everybody the nickel tour. We also toured their rigs so it was almost like we were at a RV show checking out all the rigs.

On Saturday I cooked up a huge pot of spaghetti and Janet added the salad and bread so again we stuffed ourselves and had a good time afterwards at another very nice campfire. I made an apple strudel but we were all too full to eat any.

Robert ate the leftover soup for lunch but his spoon kept falling into the bowel

Terry with Janet's dog Chelsea

They all decided to stay one more day so on Sunday we combined our steaks and had salad, fried potatoes and bread for dinner. We had such a good time with all these people. It made for such a GREAT weekend.

Can you see me through all the smoke?

How about the guys?

Everybody (except us) left this morning so we are all alone again tonight except for two other rigs. Even for the weekend there were only seven rigs. Thanks everybody for a fantastic weekend.

Tomorrow we'll be going into town to visit Rod's mom. We're going to this hamburger place that everybody's talking about. They're supposed to have the best burgers in town.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lake Ozette (The Seven Mile Hike)

Yesterday we decided to go to Lake Ozette. It's the third largest natural lake in the state of Washington behind Lake Chelan and Lake Washington. We didn't actually go TO the lake because our mission was to hike the three and a half mile trail that starts at the ranger station and ends at Cape Alava which is the westernmost point in the contiguous U.S. Even though it was a three and a half mile hike the info we had said it was an easy level hike so we figured it would just be a stroll. Yeah, right. The trail started out okay with gravel and then it became a cedar planked trail with stairs going up and then coming back down. Over and over and over again for three and a half miles! We really should have taken our Garmin with us because there were no trail markers so we didn't know how far we had gone or how far we had to go. This became important because it started to rain. We figured we couldn't go back because if we only had a short distance to go we would kick ourselves for not completing it. We looked at the time when we started so we figured we had been hiking for an hour when it started to rain. We HAD to be close. It ended up taking us only another half an hour to get to the end of the trail. Then we had to climb down the steep, muddy cliff to get to the beach. When Rod came here some fifty or so years ago there was a sign on the beach that said you had reached the furthest most western point but it was no longer there! That was a bummer. By the time we started back it was 3:30 in the afternoon so we knew we had to hurry because we didn't want to be out in the forest after dark. We figured it was going to take us longer to get back because we were so exhausted. Really it didn't seem as bad going back because we recognized some things we had passed before so we knew how far we had to go. Plus, we knew how long it took us to get to the beach. I had on waterproof hiking boots so at least my feet didn't get wet but the everything else was soaked. We figured we must have been carrying five extra pounds with us because of our wet clothes. By 5:30 we were on the road back to our campground after eating the rest of our lunch and warming up some. We were both incredibly sore and walking around the rig like a couple of eighty year olds bent over at the waist and shuffling around. It was a long hike and we probably shouldn't have done it but at least now we know we can.

This is called Pillar Point. Rod used to come here with his dad some fifty years ago to fish for salmon

It says 3.1 but you had to hike a little bit to get to this point

The trail started off okay

Some of it was level with cedar planks

It got worse

Finally made it to the beach

Wonder where the tree came from

Not the prettiest of beaches

We have to climb back up the cliff to get back to the trail

Do I really look happy to be there?

We had to get up early this morning to get to the Ford dealer. We dropped the truck off and went to Rod's mom's house and did laundry while we waited. She had a dentist appointment so she dropped us off at this little cafe where we had breakfast. I had a Denver omelet (without the onions of course) and Rod had pigs in a blanket. Sorry Jolene, no pictures. LOL Then we walked the four blocks back to her house. Jeez, are we seeing a pattern here?? We finally got our Sirius radio fixed so we're good to go to Texas on the 1st of November. YAY!!! I've been checking the weather forecasts for the places we're supposed to stop at and so far it looks like we'll finally be getting into some warmer temperatures. I can't wait!

We're going to have visitors this weekend. Rod's sister Sue's friend Janet and her husband Paul are coming to camp tomorrow so that'll be fun. There are only four rigs here right now so we're pretty empty. Hopefully they'll be pretty close to us so we won't have to "shuffle" very far.

Okay, I started this on Thursday night but I left the camera in the truck so I'm not publishing it until today (Friday).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still Here

Yep, we're still here at Salt Creek in Port Angeles. Still doing our camphosting duties and dodging the rain. Well, it really doesn't rain here, it just kinda "spits". It's a constant drizzle when it does rain. We were supposed to have a really bad wind storm the other night. The ranger (not Rod) went down to the lower loop and had the one and only camper move to the upper loop where there are not as many trees. They really didn't want to move until she convinced them they really didn't want a tree in their living room. Jeez, some people just don't get it. Well, we never did get that windstorm. I can't imagine what those people were thinking then, they left the next day. Our campground is really full this weekend. I sure don't know why people are still camping when it's this cold. We're down in the upper 30's and low 40's at night now and barely hitting 60 degrees during the day. BRRRRRRRRR

We had lots of visitors this week. Rod's sister Sue and her husband Rich came out to visit for the day on Tuesday and brought Rod's mom with them. They live up in the mountains near Leavenworth here in Washington and were visiting Rod's mom in Port Angeles for a few days. Sue's friend Janet also came out for a little while. The weather cooperated for most of the day and we had a really nice time with everybody. We barbecued burgers for dinner with potato salad and of course for dessert we had blackberry cobbler. I just had to make another cobbler. It got quite cold outside later and even with the campfire Rod's mom was getting pretty cold so Sue & Rich took her home. It was great to see them all. Sue and Rich will be going south to Yuma late next month to their RV Park there. Thanks for visiting you guys, it was great!

Rich, Sue, Arlene and Janet

Does she look cold???

Everybody's enjoying their blackberry cobbler

Rod, Arlene and Sue

We got the radiator fixed (brand new one) on Thursday. We had an appointment at the Ford dealer for our Sirius radio on Tuesday but on the way there the truck started overheating so we left it there overnight for them to diagnose the problem. Apparently it was something they already knew about and had a radiator in stock. So, we still haven't had the radio fixed. They said they are ordering the part on Monday so I guess we'll see. We got back to the campground just in time for Rod's daughter Kebra and her husband Dan's visit. Since they had just arrived at about the same time as us we decided to take them out for a fish and chips dinner. We owed her a birthday dinner anyway. We went to this place we knew had really good halibut and chips but they were out of halibut so we had to have cod. It was still good but I don't know what has happened to all the halibut this year. It's not even in the stores or the fish markets. We had a nice visit with them that night around the campfire but everybody was too full for S'mores.

Kebra and Dan

On Friday morning they went out for a jog around the campground and down to Crescent Beach. That was a really long and cold run but they're getting ready to do a half marathon so they're "in training". They got back to the campground about the same time Rod and I were getting up. LOL We all had breakfast and then just hung around getting caught up on everything. Rod, Kebra and Dan all went up to the place where our wood is kept and split some more wood for the campfire. Kebra and Dan then drove into Port Angeles later that afternoon and picked up Rod's mom and brought her out to have dinner with us. I baked a salmon, fixed a salad and some rice. Rod's mom brought a homemade chocolate pie for dessert. It is a favorite of all of us and is always requested when asked, "What can I bring"? AGAIN we were too full for S'mores around the campfire. We ended up having S'mores for dessert after breakfast this morning. I know, it sounds weird but they sure were good. I couldn't go outside like the rest of them did. It's just too cold for me when it's only 43 degrees. Rod brought me one and the chocolate didn't even melt because the marshmallow cooled off too quickly. Oh well, it was still really yummy! Thanks Kebra and Dan for driving all the way out here. It was really nice seeing you.

Father and daughter enjoying S'mores

I will close with some pictures I took around this area. The people here really do have a sense of humor.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Another Lazy Week

I love Sundays in the fall. I'm a HUGE football fan so Sunday's my day as much as it is Rod's. I like College football too but there's always too many of them on TV on Saturday. I don't have time to sit and watch all day on both days so I pick Sunday. My Chargers (San Diego) and Rod's Seahawks (Seattle) aren't doing so well this year. That's always disappointing but we'll both still watch. I'm a big baseball fan too and we have the playoffs now too although neither one of our teams is in it. It's kinda hard to decide whether to watch football, baseball, or have a campfire. There's also the new TV shows on at prime time. Jeez. One thing we do have going for us is the satellite dish we have is capable of getting east coast feeds and west coast feeds so if we want we can watch prime time shows at 5:00 because that's 8:00 on the east coast. Also, if we miss a show we can always either watch it later or record it on the DVR. That's a lot of choices. Now if I could just remember what part of the country we're in and what time my shows come on. Sometimes I even set it up to record just to remind me that a show is coming on.

This has been a really slow week. I haven't really done anything since I got back from San Diego on Wednesday. Part of the reason is that it's so cold and rainy and windy here. I hate this kind of weather. I did get my phone straightened out. We got charged $65 on our T-Mobile bill this month for Canadian international rates. Canada is only 12 miles across the water from where we are right now. From what I've heard their towers are stronger than the U.S. ones. If we drive up the road about a mile or maybe even a half a mile outside the campground we can get a U.S. signal. I told the lady at T-Mobile that we are not in Canada and we were going to be here for another month and I don't want to pay international rates. She said, "no problem, we'll remove those charges from your bill." Wow, that was really easy.

Our campground has been really, really empty. We did have this one guy come in on Friday and paid for three sites. His kids were coming out later that evening. The thing is that he took the site right next to us and the two after that. There were only two other rigs in the entire campground and he had to park right next to us??? I don't get it. Anyway, those people all left today and five more rigs came in. They all parked down in the front row right in front of the water. That leaves our entire row empty again. There's those five in the front row, one rig in the middle row and us in the top row. That's it. The only problem with the rigs in the front row is that it's right by where Rod picks blackberries. There are signs on the fence that say not to go over the fence but he does it anyway. Somebody came up to our rig one day and told on him. The guy said, "There's some idiot on the other side of the fence picking blackberries". I had to tell him who it was.

Across the water you can't even see Canada

Foggy, ugly weather

Our empty campground

I actually started this on Sunday afternoon but now it's Monday morning and I'm still working on it. I think I've said this before but I'm really not a writer and I just say what comes in my head. We went out last night and had a campfire so that's another reason I didn't finish it yesterday.

Rod's mom is coming out tomorrow along with his sister, Sue and her husband Rich. Janet (Sue's friend from high school that we met here) is also coming out to see Sue. I was planning on doing burgers but the weather is supposed to be really bad. It's going to be kinda crowded inside our rig with that many people. There is a big Day Use building that has a big fireplace so we may just use that instead. We'll have to wait till tomorrow to see how bad the weather will be.

I have to say I'm ready to move on. Sitting for two months in the same spot isn't so bad if you have nice weather to go along with it. I think maybe we should have left at the first of the month. The weather changed in a matter of days. Oh well, we'll be heading out on the 1st of November but until then we still have more visitors coming later in the week.

More pictures of our daily visitors

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Back From San Diego

The Memorial

God saw that you were getting tired,
and a cure was not to be.
So He put His arms around you,
and whispered, "Come with Me."
With tearful eyes we watched you suffer,
and saw your life fade away.
Although we love you dearly,
we could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating;
hard working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.

Rest in peace, Michelle

Thank you to everyone who sent condolences. It really means a lot to me. I got back from San Diego late last night and I have to say it was a fantastic trip. I have five brothers and sisters and the last time we all got together at the same time was my Dad's funeral which was about twenty years ago. We've all seen each other here and there but not all at the same time. It's too bad it takes a death in the family to accomplish that. I think I'm going to try and see if we can all get together for some kind of family reunion every few years anyway.

My family from left to right, Jolene, Cathy, George, Donny, Joyce, Rick, Me & Art

The Service for Michelle (my sister-in-law) was Sunday at 2:00 and was very sad but it was really nice to see all the people that did come to celebrate her life and offer my brother Art their support. After the service we all went to her brother Eddie's house for food and drink. My sister Cathy had to be at the airport by 5:00 so we weren't there that long. After we dropped Cathy off we headed up to my sister Joyce and her husband Rick's house where I was staying. My brother George and his wife Jolene followed behind. My brother Donny stayed with Art.

One of the things I miss about San Diego is the food. I was born and raised there so I grew up on Mexican food. I really have to have it when I visit there. Another thing I miss is In-N-Out Burger. It's a greasy, yummy burger and I just had to have one of those too. They're only located in California, Nevada and Arizona and it's been a whole year since I've had one. Some people don't understand the big deal about it but I guess it's the same as having to have a Krispy Kreme doughnut or a Starbuck's coffee (which I also LOVE).


On Monday everybody came over to Joyce's house. She fixed some really good fajitas with all the trimmings. We all had a good time reminiscing about our childhood. We are a very animated group anyway but throw in some alcohol and we got pretty loud. It was a great stress reliever and I definitely think it did a world of good for Art. His daughter took away his keys and told Joyce not to let him leave so Donny and Art stayed at Joyce's house that night too.

Honestly, more pictures of food for you Jolene. (HA HA)

A good time was had by all....

Tuesday Jolene woke me up at 8:00 to say good-bye as she and George were leaving for the airport. After they left I went out on the patio where everybody was having coffee and Joyce told me to look up in the tree. Right off her patio is this medium sized tree. I looked up and there was a HUGE owl looking right back at me. It looked like a fake owl but then his eyes blinked. HOLY COW!!! I was only about three feet away from him! He had already been up there for quite some time and stayed for about another half hour.

Wednesday Joyce took me to Art's house. I stayed there for a little bit and then he took Donny and I to the airport. Donny flew with me as he lives in the Seattle area. We got in at 5:30pm and had to wait for Rod to pick us up. Rod and I dropped Donny off at his home and then dropped off Rod's mom's car at her house at about 9:30 pm. We visited with her for a little bit and then headed home. We were home at 10:30 and had to open the gate. It closes at 8:00 pm now. We had to unlock the little office and locate the remote. That was interesting as we had never had to do that before so we didn't even know what we were looking for. We finally found it, opened the gate and locked up the office. As we were getting back in the truck the gate shut! Good grief. Went back in the office, opened the gate AGAIN and quickly drove the truck through before locking up the office again.

It was a great visit but it's always so nice to get home and sleep in your own bed. Today it's raining and 59 degrees. Yesterday in San Diego it was sunny and 95 degrees.