Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back to Remotness

We got back to Hoonah yesterday on the ferry, the water was a little rough in places but not too bad. It was nice having people on the ferry we knew and seeing landmarks we've come to love. Kitties are good, Maureen did a great job of taking care of the house and cats, but I know she was ready for us to get home. We couldn't have made such a long trip without her staying at our place. She had her satellite hooked up while we were gone so we have TV now! We may have to option of buying the satellite and keeping the service so we're considering that, it would be nice. The post office was glad to see us too, they'd been putting our mail in a box and that was getting full! The weather has been pretty rotten so there hasn't been a mail plane in a couple of days and by the snow that is coming down now there probably won't be a plane today either. My edge card seems to be working now that we are home and I've ordered another one, but the internet is very slow, we got spoiled by having a fast wireless connection while staying at Jacque and Peters. Jacque spoiled us more then just the fast internet, they made our stay in Juneau extra nice. It's so good to have such great friends, not only in Juneau, but also in Washington. I'm sure Coach and Sally were ready for us to leave so they could have their space back again. Frank and I are getting back into our routine, but I have ideas for downsizing our junk, so that should keep us busy for a while since we have so much junk!

This eagle didn't seem to mind the ferry docking right next to him. They wouldn't let us out on the deck to get a better picture since it was so icy.

This is the view outside our kitchen window this am. Notice the patch of blue, it's gone now, replaced with snow clouds. Currently it's snowing lightly.
You can't even recognize our van! Looks like we got some snow last night. It doesn't seem so bad since we really haven't had any winter weather in our travels.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Over the Mountains

Snoqualmie pass was so much better then I thought it would be. We left Tri-Cities at 10am, kind of late, but with no problems that would give us plenty of time to get to Bellingham and the Ferry by the 3pm check in. The pass was great we even got sun at the top which stayed with us until we got on the ferry. The frost was very heavy starting at the Yakima Firing range, you can sure tell which way the weather comes from.
Top of the pass, sunshine!

Missed the I-5 exit, I was thinking we would be taking 405 all the way to Bellingham, so when the I-5 came up we couldn’t get through the traffic and onto the exit. (Not a pretty sight, both of us yelling, and at who?) And of course it wasn’t a simple turn around, no taking an exit, go over the overpass and back on, NO, we took the exit, ran into a mall, had to figure out how to find our way back to the freeway, hit road construction then finally found our way back to the right direction. We checked in at the ferry office at 3:30pm and the lady was like, “you’re late, we could give away your tickets when your late” I was ready to reach across the counter and strangle her. At home we get to the ferry at 5 minutes till it leaves and they never have anything but nice things to say to us, and this one didn’t leave until 6pm!!! I thought we were doing darn good. Then she says, you’d better hurry and get in line, don’t go and do anything else. So of course like idiots we went and got in line. Sat there until almost 5:30pm. They really could use some bathrooms and maybe a concession stand in that line. What was that rush about? The ferry was full, of vehicles anyway, they had us move our car more then once, and almost everyone else had to come back down to the car deck to move their cars closer together too. When we moved ours there were at least 4 cars on the ramp trying to get on, I don’t know where they found the room for them. We went to where we had slept on the way down, but the firewatch guy made us move this time up to the top level. OH boy, a mom with 3 kids all by herself is up there too. The kids aren’t bad it’s her yelling at them that is annoying. I’m voting her off of the ship, so tomorrow at Ketchikan she has to get off………oh, I guess that is her stop anyway. And since when did they stop giving free refills on coffee on the ferry? The sign is always there that says no refills, but when did they start enforcing that? This is a totally different crew this trip, I don’t like them. Where’s the guys we know and love? There’s also a lot of “strange” guys on board this trip, and I’m not talking about the military ones………I think these guys must be going to work in the processors, either that or they are running from the law in some state, I’m not impressed, and they are sharing our dorm with us! Don’t they know the showers are FREE! I keep wondering if this is a miserable trip because I’m really not ready to head north yet. One good thing, this is a shorter trip, no stop in Sitka and only 1 hour in Ketchikan, so we’ll be in Juneau on Monday morning.
It sure was a beautiful drive over the pass.Dog at work, in line at the ferry in Bellingham. He sure worked the cars fast and didn't find anything! Arrived in Juneau this am, 29 degrees and snowing...............

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Party is Over

Yup, time is up, the tickets say we have to be in Bellingham by 3pm tomorrow. So far the passes have been clear and wet, but I did notice snow on the mountains around the Tri-Cities today. I'm sure we'll leave with plenty of time for traveling tomorrow. It's been great seeing our kids, grandkids and friends, staying this long is making it a lot harder to head for home. But, in the real world, taxes are calling, cat's are in need of love, the house sitter is tired of shoveling snow, and we spend way too much money with access to all of these stores!
Our grandpup, Autumns doggie Sierra.
Autumn with Kyler (JC's son). At least I got to spend the last day here with the kids. I'm already looking forward to seeing them again in April.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Last Week of Birds

For Frank anyway.............Coach, Max and Frank managed to get out 3 mornings this week to get some duck and geese hunting in. I know Frank really misses this from living in Alaska. Since we have left Washington most of the places left to hunt are "Pay to Plays", meaning you have to pay to hunt on the land. There are some public lands (CRP) that are free to hunt, but they are farther away then what they want to go for a day.
Frank and Coach with the ducks, and Max's dog Betsy. Frank really enjoyed working with Betsy, I know he would love to have another lab.
Coach in the goose blind out in the middle of a winter wheat field.Looks like they got a great shot of some geese, but these are just the decoys.
These were some BIG geese. This was a "pay to play" field, with about 8 guys on a "guided" hunt. Frank didn't shoot but just went as an observer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lewis and Clark Camped Here.....

Is there any place in the Pacific Northwest where they didn't camp?! From the looks of this area up Patit Creek near Dayton, things haven't changed too much, at least there are not a lot of condos all over the place.
This is one of the Lewis and Clark camps on their way back to St. Louis, this picture is probably too small to be able to read on the blog, but that basically sums it up.
I really like how the metal cutouts look so real from a distance. This is kind of an out of the way place to find. It's really not on the way to any town, we just happened to be out driving when we came on it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

You Call This Winter

It's getting harder and harder to think of heading home. 50 degrees here or 5 feet of snow there! Normally, this time of year is the coldest in the Tri-Cities, a couple of weeks ago it was cold, snowy, just like normal, then it warmed up and now it's flood time! Coach and Sally live on the Yakima river, but not right on the bank so they haven't had to worry like others have. I did forget that the wind blows most of the time here though. Always something......
This is Coach and Sally's back yard, you can see the Yakima river thru the trees. It didn't come up much farther then this.

This is the Touchet river that runs through Dayton, Washington. We spent the week-end at Svens house, this river runs behind his house too, he said it's the highest he's ever seen it since they lived there. Very muddy.

With the nice weather, all the wild animals were out like it was spring. Frank loves seeing all of the turkeys. He enjoyed seeing all of the deer until he almost hit some driving home! He said he saw at least 40 deer along the roadway waiting to jump into traffic! At one time he went between 2 deer, one in the center of the road and one on the shoulder.

We took a drive up Pattit Creek Rd out of Dayton, it was so beautiful. Then got to the top of the bluffs is a whole herd of windmills! They're everywhere!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

More on the Gorge

There was a lot of standing water on 84 East, combine that in the ruts made by the big rigs, and I'm just glad Frank was doing the driving! Rained all the way to Boardman, but that was so much better then black ice. The water falls were really putting the water over the sides of the hills.
Multnomah Falls was roaring as we went past.
There were a lot of water falls that are normally dry.A renewable resource........pulp tree farms for paper products. These have really grown since we've been gone. There are miles of these trees just outside of Umatilla. I think most of these have been harvested at least once already.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Guess where we rang in the New Year? We had to celebrate Franks 50th birthday too, so he chose a bubble tub room in Portland. It was nice, a great dinner out, then back to the room. Of course we didn't make it until midnight..........but this room was so quiet we weren't even woken up at 12pm, guess not too many people shoot of guns in the big city on the New Year!
We are heading back up the Gorge, snow is mostly melted so we have a nice window for traveling, we've been very lucky on this trip with being able to drive where and when we want. Last week the Gorge was closed due to snow and ice. We will be back in cell and internet service, YIPPY! Don't realize how much you miss it until it's gone.