Visiting The Relatives Has Been Fun

Our two weeks in Colorado with my family, and then two weeks in Washington with Henry's family has all been great! We were both able to reconnect with cousins we hadn't seen in a long time, and it's always good to catch up on past years.

We spent this afternoon with Henry's Aunt, his cousin, and her kids at their house for a barbecue. Great food, good conversation and his aunt even had old family photos she shared with us that Henry had never seen before. (He was pretty cute as a little boy!)

Tomorrow we begin our 2200 mile trip to Alaska! We plan on taking well over two weeks to get there as we have several stops planned along the way.
Minter Gardens, Hell's Gate, Liard Hot Springs just to name a few.

Then there are the restaurants like Coal River Lodge for a buffalo burger, Wolf's Den Restaurant, and of course Mukluk Annie's for some salmon.

We plan on taking lots of photos and notes, because I want to post every couple days on the blog.

Tulip Festival

After arriving in Bellingham, we took the jeep and drove back to Mt. Vernon in hopes of seeing the tulip fields. The Tulip Festival runs through the end of April so we thought it was perfect timing. Unfortunately, just 4 days earlier they did whatever it is they do to tulips when they are done blooming, and there were no fields of red, yellow or pink to be seen anywhere.

But, local residents had some gorgeous flower gardens, so we stopped and snapped a few pictures.


Spar Cafe, Olympia, Washington

click on pictures to enlarge-click on the title for the Cafe's history

The Spar Cafe in downtown Olympia, Washington. The second visit for Henry, the first for me. This Cafe has been around since 1935. Henry's first visit was in 1967 with his dad, where he recalls having his first chili burger.
Today we enjoyed a glass of beer and wine, and an Oyster Poor Boy Sandwich with fries. The food was excellent, the atmosphere awesome.
It still has the aura of the 1930's even though there has been some updating. Back in its day, the back room was used as the poker room, the front room was occupied with numerous pool tables, and a large display case which housed cigars and cigarettes.
The display case is much smaller today, there are only 3 pool tables and the poker room has been replaced with dining booths and in one corner the micro brewery.
I thought it was still pretty cool because there are the old framed photographs of 'back in the day', and original woodwork and bar stools are still in use. Oh, and the place was built around an artesia well, and the water served in the cafe is from that same well.


Ocean City

BlackJack was a bit unsure about the 'moving' water, but when we turned him loose, he loved running in circles on the beach.

What an awesome day!

Quinault....Rain Forest

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Rather than stay home yesterday and clean truck, trailer and jeep, we took advantage of a sunny day and drove to the Quinault area rain forest and the ocean! What a great day! Our first stop was the rain forest which are the pictures above. We hiked a little bit on one of the trails. The trees are incredibly large and every plant and growing thing is so green. What I think I loved the most are the smells. The flowers, the plants, the air, the water....

Then we went on to the ocean and drove right on the beach. We even unleashed BlackJack and let him run, which he loved!
It couldn't have been a better day!


The 'Trick' is...Dri Wash 'n Guard

I rolled with laughter when I got this email.

My mother was so funny while we were in Colorado; I had offered and did clean her shower with Dri Wash 'n Guard to show her how easy it was to use, how well it cleaned, and most importantly, how easy it would be for her, someone with arthritis and in her 70's to use.
Well, both my Dad and Mom were impressed with the results, and they purchased some product. I know my Dad has used it on one of his vehicles and was amazed at how well it cleaned. Now, my Mom has apparently used it, and this is the email I received from her.

"I have to tell you about that stuff we bought from you. It's addictive. I can't stop cleaning! I've done the bathrooms, kitchen tile and patio windows.
In the spring when I first wash that thing, I go over it about 5 times in a couple days to get the grime and streak off; it's a job. I did it with this dri wash stuff one time, sat on the chair in the house to do the bottom half, it's unbelievable. Can't find streaks, dirt, grime, nothing. I told Lee wait till the sun shines on it and we will see. The sun shone, it's perfect. What a deal!
But the tile by the stove and in that corner where I cook, I think there's a trick in that bottle. It sprays spots to clean off! I had no idea that tile was that bad, so I know those spots came out of the bottle! Boy, it's some great stuff! I love that clean window!"

I know what she means by thinking there's a 'trick' in the bottle. Dri Wash 'n Guard cleans like absolutely nothing you have ever used in the past. One product, cleans everything. And to think its original use was automotives, and now being used everywhere inside the home.
Thank you Mom!


We moved today

Still in Washington, but had an offer from a friend of a friend that we couldn't turn down. He owns a house on a couple acres. The house is vacant, and he extended the offer for us to park our rig on his property, free of charge. So, we pulled in the slides, hitched up the trailer and drove 1 1/2 miles down the road. Fortunately, the weather is nice today. No rain, and the sun is actually shining! BlackJack has tons of green grass to play on, and it's much quieter than the RV park, so life is GOOD.
We've been keeping busy visiting all of Henry's relatives (boy, there are a lot of them here!)....and have had dinner plans most every evening, which is fun, because Henry is getting reacquainted with his aunts, uncles and cousins.
Tonight, we hit the casino, which means I will put my $10.00 in the penny machine and hope the ten bucks will last long enough to entertain me for an hour or so. Otherwise, we will enjoy the buffet for dinner and call it a night.


It's raining, It's pouring...

Can you say 'RAIN?'

Yup, it's been raining every day since we arrived. I know, I know, it's Washington, it always rains. That's why moss grows on the trees bark, the roofs of houses, and everything else.
Rain every single day does get old real quick!

We've been visiting Henry's relatives , and last night visited with an old friend of his. Danny and his wife, Kim, were the ones that stood up for us at our wedding in 1989. It was good seeing them and their 2 kids, who of course are all grown up now.

This evening we will go see another one of his cousins, and then tomorrow, some work that needs to be done prior to our long trip to Alaska.

I'm hoping for time to go to the rainforest again. We had such fun there with our daughter and her friend 4 years ago, and it so beautiful that I'd like to see it again. Might as well after all....we are here, right?


Columbia River

(click pictures to enlarge)

We arrived in Olympia, Washington two days ago. We traveled West along I-84 which runs along the Columbia River and the Washington/Oregon border. It is absolutely beautiful country! Huges trees, very green, and despite the fact that it had been raining, it was gorgeous.

We spent half of our first day looking for an RV park in the area. Turns out there are only a handful to choose from, and those are primarily heavily treed campgrounds, unable to accomodate our rig. Of course, we eventually did find a place, and got setup and settled in just in time for dinner.

So, here we are in rainy Washington.


Ogden Utah

Our site in Ogden. We're taking a couple days to relax, do some grocery shopping, laundry and giving BlackJack a break from the traveling.
The sun is shining, the grass is green, and it is warm. We did have rain in the night last night, but today is sunny.
We thought about driving in to Salt Lake City and see how much it's changed since we left in 1994, but we have free cable TV, and more channels than we could possibly watch, so we've decided to stay home, relax, and find a good old movie on TV.

Dri Wash 'n Guard Comment

We are sitting for a couple days in Utah to unwind and relax. In checking our email, I received the following from a Dri Wash 'n Guard customer:

Wow. You were right. We went from Chicago to Bristol, TN and through an hour of the heaviest rain I have ever seen and a lot of wet roads. The fiver cleaned up just fine with a wet cloth, just like you said!

Then we went on the FL and back to IL and all I needed to have it looking great was a hose and my wash brush.

I plan on using it on my Volvo next.

Count us as satisfied customers!'

I love it!! Dri Wash will clean like nothing else, and I love it when customers let me know how happy they are with the results!


Snow, Ice, and BlackJack

(click on images to enlarge)

Briggsdale, Colorado

This sunset is not Briggsdale, but I felt it appropriate for this post
The church my parents were married in
(click images to enlarge)
The house my mother was raised in, and has remained in her family ever since, along with the land they have farmed for over 80 years. My cousin Patti, now owns and lives in the house.

While in Colorado, my parents had both my cousins, Bryce and Patti, and their spouses over for dinner, so that the 'young people' could get accquainted and reaccquainted. I loved seeing them all again. Bryce is the one that extended the offer for us to leave our trailer on his farm, which we accepted.
It's always wonderful to revisit old places and family. And as we all know, your life and the lives of those you love can change in a single heartbeat, so cherish every minute.

In this case, we learned just today that my cousin Bryce lost his life last evening in a car accident. Just a week ago, Henry and I sat across the table from Bryce and his wife, Jerri over breakfast. And yesterday, we were back in Briggsdale picking up our trailer from his farm. Bryce has a beautiful wife and two young daughters that he leaves behind. Henry and I both enjoyed seeing Bryce and getting to know him and Jerri again. We were looking forward to spending more time with him and his family. He will be greatly missed by us and his family.

Life is truly precious; cherish every minute.

Our flying trip to Michigan

After leaving our trailer at my cousin's farm in Colorado, we headed our truck east towards Michigan. It's always fun traveling with just the truck, but we were now going to see what the puppy thought of it, too.
We are so lucky with this dog..he is a great little traveler!! He never whines or barks! However, sleeping in the truck with two adults and a puppy did get a little crowded. The bed is slightly smaller than a twin size.

So...heading east just outside of Des Moines, Iowa, a car with two people in it start waving their arms out the window at us. As we pull up beside them, turns out they are friends of ours. Fellow HDT'ers who live in Iowa. We run up to the next exit, and enjoyed ice cream and a great catch up visit with them.

Another friend of ours who drives truck for U.S. Express just happened to be in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so we met up with him for pie and coffee. We hadn't seen him in over a year, so it was awesome!

The visit with Henry's brother was really nice. We spent two days with him and were glad we drove the distance to see him.

THEN, came the trip back to Colorado! That would be the photo above. First it was rain and wind in Michigan, so we ran in hopes of getting in front of it, only to be met with snow and more wind in Nebraska.

There were some bright spots though. As we traveled back through Iowa, we stopped in at our friend's house (the ones we ran in to on the Interstate). We visited for a couple hours with them, then continued on and this time it was our turn to spot someone we knew on the highway. The same friend we met on the way in, was now hauling a load to Lincoln.....the Flying J Truck Stop was our stop for a quick lunch together.

What a great time!