Thursday, August 15, 2013

Washington and Oregon


We returned to Monroe, WA, after a couple of years to see some old friends. But sometimes the best made plans don’t turn out like we want them to.  That is what happened when we went to Monroe.  We wanted to see our friend Bonnie who we played a lot of cards with, partied with, and shared a lot of dinners with way back when we were first married and lived in the LA area. When we called Bonnie, she answered and informed us she was in LA!  Well, that messed up that plan.  Next we called our friends Dennis and Jill to see if we could get together with them. We got their answer machine, but left a message hoping we could see them while in Monroe.  We found lots to do like getting hair cuts, shopping at the local fruit stand, and eating some delicious meals.

So after 3 days with no friends around we were getting packed up to move south when Dennis called. We really wanted to get together so we made plans to meet at the Lakewood Elks for the night. Dennis & Jill have a Class B motor home and they drove down from their summer home on Bainbridge Island. Dennis was one of Tom’s groomsmen at our wedding 51 years ago. We had lots to reminisce about and get caught up on where we’ve been traveling. It seems that Dennis & Jill had been visiting many of the same areas in Idaho that we have been only days  after us.  We ate at the Elks and heard some pretty good karaoke. The next morning I actually fixed a very rare breakfast for the 4 of us.  It was sad saying good by to our ‘old’ friends.


We continued our travels south as we were registered for the North Western FMCA rally in Albany and had a couple of stops planned along the way.  Our first was to see Tom’s cousin, John, in Longview.  We parked at the Kelso Elks, had dinner at the Elks and then John stopped by to plan for the next couple of days activities. John was not on call for the weekend, his wife, Nancy, was with friends, daughter, Olivia, was at camp, and only John and son, Joseph, was in town. The next day we drove to John’s beautiful home overlooking all of Longview.  We talked for several hours before John took us on a historical tour of Longview, one of America’s most beautiful cities.  We even got a cache along the Columbia River.


The next day we drove to Mt. St Helens and John joined us. The weather was perfect, clear, sunny and warm. We opened the top of the Liberty and enjoyed the view.


We visited the Johnston Ridge Visitors Center, saw the movie, and participated in the Ranger talk. Tom, John and I all had parts spoken by real people that were at the eruption, some died, some lived; it was quite moving.


We stopped by the Weyerhaeuser Museum on our way down from the mountain and Tom found a piece of hand made art made from Mt St Helen’s ash.  It hangs perfectly with the other Indian pieces displayed in DA PAD.




We celebrated Tom’s birthday at Red Lobster thanks to a surprise gift card from Cousin John. Getting  a very clever cache ended our perfect time in the state of Washington.



We had reservations at Hee Hee Illahee RV park in Salem meeting up with part of our Golden Spike Chapter. We were going to caravan down to Albany to the North Western FMCA rally. We had dinner at McGrath’s with the Pooles, Simons, and Schneiders.  Really great food and really great company!!!

Our time at FMCA was pretty standard, checking with vendors, attending a couple of seminars, eating out, more eating at FMCA, ice cream socials, checking out new and used RV’s.  The only thing we bought was an ‘egg’ for the back of our RV that displays our geocaching travel bug.  This was made for us by Chuck McCubbins and is available for geocachers who have their RV registered as a TB.  Contact Chuck at Frame – Rite/Plak – R to order one for your rig.


We did have one memorable event though. We had our front window replaced because while traveling across Wyoming and Montana we picked up a couple of big rock chips. One extended all the way down to the edge of the window and had black asphalt embedded in the chip.

On Sunday we drove from Albany to the Tillamook Elks with the cleanest front window we have had in a very long time. This was our 51st anniversary and we celebrated by going to a restaurant my sister, Janet, loves and we have eaten at with her and my mom before. Roseanna’s in Oceanside is always special and delicious.


Still crazy after all these years

Monday we met our Golden Spike buddies, Pooles, Simons, Schneiders for a day of crabbing.  We had 2 boats, crab baskets, gloves, and a sense of adventure. We added lots of laughter and it added up to one of the most fun days we’ve had in a long time.

We then picked as much meat from the claws and legs as we could and celebrated by have 8 small Crab Louis salads and a toast of wine. $288.00, not a bad price for 8 salads and more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Yesterday we were joined here at the Elks by Dan & Patty Chance and Nancy Kissack, more Golden Spikers. What do RV’ers do when they get together? They eat! And eat together we did: last night at the Old Oregon Fish Market, a good but not great halibut and chips dinner for all of us but Tom who had shrimp and chips.  Today we took a scenic drive along the coast and then on to dinner at the Pacific Oyster in Bay City.  We all raved about the food, all agreed we are coming back very soon, and all ate more than we should (we just couldn’t stop). So that’s about all we did in Washington and Oregon…. so far.  We started spending time with some long time friends and ended up spending time with our new friends.  Both so much fun and many more memories created.  We love this life and are so blessed to be able to do this.  More to come as tomorrow starts our Golden Spike Garibaldi to Wheeler Railroad Rally.