Saturday, September 24, 2011

It’s late September…..


. . . . and while we aren’t back in school, the season is clearly changing, and we’re trying to get in some last summer activities before the fall weather keeps us inside.


Two weeks ago,  Cathryn, friend Jim, and Jim’s 35-year-old nephew Ben left home at 5AM and drove to Paradise, on Mt. Rainier. Ben lives in Honolulu, poor boy, and wanted a snow fix.  Five hours climbing the 4 miles up to Camp Muir at 10,000 feet of elevation, the high camp for people continuing on to the summit, then three hours back down, glissading every time the steepness of the slope afforded an opportunity; add that to 6 hours of driving round trip, and we had an exhausted, stiff, but happy Cathryn Friday night.


The next weekend we met up with our Canadian-Baja friends Doug and Jill in Leavenworth, in the Methow Valley of eastern Washington. They were just beginning a month-long road trip in the U.S., so we took the opportunity for one last visit for the year.  On Sunday we hiked the Icicle Ridge trail, which is just out of town. IMG_1464

Two and a half miles and 2000’ feet up the ridge, we arrived at a grand view overlooking Highway 2 winding its way up to Stevens Pass. Perfect weather and good company, including Lua, their well-behaved German Shepherd.


Next up was Cape Flattery, just west of the tiny town of Neah Bay at the northwestern extremity of the “lower 48”  in the U.S. We don’t believe people who travel the world over have seen more beautiful scenery than this, right in our own “backyard”.  We’re astonished at the number of long-time Washington residents who have never been here.


This is one of our favorite places on earth, no matter the weather.  Which is good, since this weekend’s weather was what you might expect when you visit a rain forest when it is officially Fall!

We were traveling with Lynn and David and drove up one day, did the Cape Flattery hike, then stayed the night at the Cape Motel in Neah Bay.


Let’s just say that it’s supposed to be a lot better than the other Neah Bay alternative, the Tyee Motel, which one review on Trip Advisor recommended be condemned, then burned.


The next morning we started our hike to Shi Shi Beach in the  Olympic National Park.  It’s about 2 miles in, through the rain forest, and the weather fit the name.


A beautiful spot, but the rain lead us to wolf down a quick lunch, engage in some brief exploration of the beach and then head back to the car.


Despite the rain, it was worth the trip. Shi Shi has been on our list for a long time, and we’ll go again, perhaps when the weather is dryer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Check-in/OK GoreTex AKA Shi Shi Beach

GPS location Date/Time:09/23/2011 09:56:28 PDT
Message:We are happy, well and having fun.
Click the link below to see where we are located.
Beautiful; but wet.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Check-in/OK Cape Flattery WA

GPS location Date/Time:09/22/2011 16:45:10 PDT
Click the link below to see where we are located.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


You probably noticed we have a new photo at the top of our blog. It’s of Atlin Lake in the northwest corner of British Columbia, taken during our journey to Alaska in May 2010.


Since we retired in 2007, we’ve done the majority of our travel by road, logging more than 25,000 miles over the western half of North America. From the village of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories on the Bering Sea, to Todos Santos at the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico, we’ve traveled in a couple different trailers.


We started out in our 6’ x 12’ Chalet that we hauled behind our Toyota Rav4, and after the first winter in Baja, one of us decided we were not doing that again without our own bathroom.


So we moved up to our 21-foot Arctic Fox 5th wheel.  Altogether we spent, 12 months living in these two RVs over a 4-year period. 


We’ve seen some extraordinary places.


And we’ve made new friends that we’ll probably keep as long as our memories of our travels.

But . . . . it’s time to move on to the next idea.  We’ve sold the Arctic Fox trailer, and following our travel to Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangkok and Hong Kong next month, we’re moving on to the next big adventure:  “The Great Loop”. 


We’ve mentioned this in passing over the last few months, but between now and the first of 2012 you’ll see the blog transition into a “Loopers” blog.  Hope you’ll enjoy our transition from trailer trips to a 6,000 mile boat trip.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Check-in/OK Camp Muir, Mt Rainier National Park

GPS location Date/Time:09/09/2011 13:08:40 PDT
Click the link below to see where I am located.
Cathryn climbed to Camp Muir today!  Photo's to come.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Great Sailboat Rescue!


It all started with a knock on the door.  Bob answered and found our neighbor Marc, who said, “Is that Jim’s sailboat out there? I don’t see him in it.”

In fact, 3/4 mile offshore, there was Jim’s boat bobbing in the wind, 1-3-foot waves, with its sails down.  We called Jim, who answered his cell and said he was 8 miles away at Home Depot and would come to our house as quickly as possible. 

Unfortunately our dinghy was tied to our buoy offshore, so Bob went out in a kayak, retrieved the dinghy, installed the 2 horsepower motor, and went out in the wind and waves to mount a rescue.


It was a long way out there (this pic taken with a 200 mm lens), and seas were rough as the wind was blowing hard.  The good news/bad news was that the wind had caused Jim’s anchor to slip, and the 60lb anchor, 30’ chain and 60’ of rode was all there hanging off the bow.


Bob struggled to pull the chain and anchor into the dinghy, but was unable to for fear of capsizing the dinghy. He had out his pocket knife and was just about to cut the chain and anchor away, when he looked up and saw a small tug approaching.


The 2-man crew on the tug stopped to ask if everything was OK.  Bob asked if they would tie onto the chain and anchor and haul the sailboat back to shore where we could deal with it.  They agreed, and off the flotilla went.


Just as the tug  got to shore, Darren and Steve, two other neighbors, showed up in Steve’s motorboat.  Still another neighbor, Francine, had called Darren to report she’d seen the boat drift away, so Darren grabbed Steve to launch a rescue.

After we got Jim’s boat tied up to yet another neighbor’s buoy,  all the guys went off north of the Point to reset the anchor on Jim’s buoy system. We’ll hope it bites solidly this time.


So, that’s the story of the great sailboat rescue, and the explanation of all the activity in this picture.  We guess there are a number of scenarios in which the saying “it takes a village” applies – 7 households from our street made this work, plus the tugboat guys! Happy ending.