A Travellerspoint blog

home again, home again

storm 0 °F

we wanted to take a different way back to seattle, didn't have the time to do the whole cascade loop, so we took hiway 97 to cle elm and roslyn and i 90. it was a lovely road. we stopped at an unassuming produce stand and got cherries, sugar peas and apricots. the hiway wound through the wenatchee national forest most of the time. toward the ens of the cutoff the cle elm we passed several bison in a pasture, the a sign saying "buffalo meat". we took the next turn onto a gravel road. stopped at another sign on a fence with a phone number on it. i called, got the matriarch of the family who said to go on in as her son was there and would be happy to sell us buffalo meat. he was about our age, sold us a couple of steaks and some ground meat. he showed us his skulls, showed us the difference between a 30 month old bull and an older bull. he had a bison head on thewall. it was 11 years old. he said it had been very gentle for most of its life, then suiddenly became violent. it started killing the younger bulls, which they couldn't afford, much as they loved him by then. when they killed him and butchered him, they found a small piece of wire in his stomach which is probably why he changed. they sell the skulls for $200, but he gave me two bison jawbones because it like bones so much.

we went into cle elm, had a chocolate shake from a local drive in. vivian got the shake while i took pix of the wagons across the street. we went through cle elm to roslyn. most of the town was closed that late on a wednesday, probably recovering from a music/arts festival the previous weekend. we went to the bricks to use the restroom. it is washington state's oldest operating saloon. the bar is over 100 years old and the tables and chairs are original, from sears. more stable than the tables in newer places i could name. there is still a spitoon running along the bar, a shallow trough with water running down continuosly.

the worst part of the trip happened shortly after we stopped for gas at snoqualamie summit. as we drove toward home it started to rain. first just spotting, then progessivly harder. by the time we got to issaqua vivian could not really see where her lane was going. no one was going faster then 40 miles a hour. we finally turned off onto lake sammamish parkway and drove to redmond. we took a street that looked like a major arterial. it took us past the microsoft campus to 520 and home.

it stormed all night and is still raining and thindering today. wild weather!

Posted by drque 00:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

touring leavenworth

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we woke wed morning, got up and i went to the exersize room to work out a bit. v and i met up in the solarium breakfast room for our full breakfast, even made to order omlettes. french toast, hot cereal, bacon, fresh and canned fruit, yogurt, etc, etc etc. while eating we were serenaded by an alpenhorn concert. the guy has been playing 25 or 30 years, "most of my life". he's in his late 60's, i think. he played two sets, each time he played a couple of songs outdoors then a couple of songs indoors.

when we went to visit the nutcracker museum we were saddened to learn it didn't open until 2 pm. while i browsed the nutcracker and tchatchkela store dwnstairs, vivian went out to use the facilities. when he came back the man who runs the museum was picking up the mail. she said something about how it was too bad they didn't open until 2 as we would be gone by then. he said "come on up" and they opened up the museum just for us! we saw an excellent video on nutcrackers and toured the museum. there were nutcrackers from all parts of the world, some dating back thousands, yes i did say thousands of years. there were nutcrackers made of wood, of course, nutcrackers made from bronze, steel and iron, ivory, porcelain, inlaid, as animals, people, in walking sticks, from 1/2 inch tall, it works but can't really crack real nuts, to 6 feet tall, it can crack coconuts. there were nut sized holes in rocks, photos of the oldest found nutcrackers, found in israel with nuts from extinct nut trees. Some of those nuts have been planted and have sprouted. jurassic park!

there were many nutcrackers of the familiar variety, in a multitude of costumes. they are originally from a small part of germany near the czhech border. a few villages made them, still do, and have handed the craft down in the same families. originally they were miners, the industry of the area, then became kings and soldiers. the hats differ in shape between the villages.

when we asked some locals where was the best place to eat, they all said to go to a mexican restaurant. we did and had great food. i loved the sauce so much the waiter gave me a container to take some home with me.

it was oppressively hot. we went back to the car, didn't tour as much as we would have because it was soooo hot.

Posted by drque 00:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

adventures in leavenworth

sunny 0 °F

we are on vacation this week so we decided to go to leavenworth as neither of us had ever been there. we made reservations at the enzion inn, right downtown. the drive up was lovely, altough they were doing road work at a few places so our progress was slowed a little. when we got to deception falls we decided to stop. there were two trails, a long loop trail of .5 miles and a short one, .2 miles. we took the long one. it was beautiful. i took lots and lots of pix. when we were in view of the parking lot we came to a place where there was a ford in usually shallow water, but because of our huge snowpack this year it was no shallow at all. there were some branches across the water but they were not very stable. we went back the way we had come, took the short loop trail and saw an exceedingly violent falls. itwas impressive!

as we had been following hiway 2 we had seen several bicylists with bright green vests, all the same color. when we got to steven's pass, there were support vehicles parked in the lot, so we knew there was a bike trip of some sort with many riders. as we went down from the pass, we saw some bikes stopped at the side of the road with one of them sitting down holding her head. vivian was thinking of stopping as it looked like someone was not well when i said "stop the car." I went back and asked if she was ok. the other woman said "no". The woman sitting on the ground had fallen and her handlebar had hit her hard in the chest. she was crying and in shock. as they were all heading to leavenworth, we took her and her bike in our car.

they are on a coast to coast bike trip, called sea to sea, to raise money to fight poverty. we delivered her to a nurse at the sea to sea camping area at the leavenworth cascade high school. as she was having pain on breathing or laughing, i just hope she doesn't have a broken rib.

we checked into our hotel, ate dinner at a german restaurant and walked around town. we had dessert at a crepe place, i liked it better than the place we had dinner. we went back to the hotel, listened to the nightly piano concert and read our book club books then went out to the pool. it had started as an overcast, cool day but had ended up quite warm. as we swam we looked up at bats flying overhead catching bugs. good for the bats!

Posted by drque 00:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Birthday lunch with Mom

If you are ever in Shelton do not eat at Blondie's!

overcast 55 °F

My partner, Vivian and I took Mom to lunch in Shelton on Sunday. I know, her Birthday is on Tuesday this year, but we both work then, so Sunday was the day. We had to get up early anyway to get a friend to her pick-up point for an Alaska cruise, so we took off for Shelton right after that. We like to got to Tacoma to get there as the Tacoma Narrows bridge does not have a westbound toll, and take the ferry back because we only pay for the car eastboud on ferries and we don't have to drive so far. We get to rest most of the way back and have spectacular views to boot.

The green this year is alomost aggressive, with a narrow band of psycotic yellow Scotch Broom along the roads. The rododendrons are quite late this year because its been so cool most of the time. We saw a lot of those as well as irises, flags, roses, etc. The tide was way out, common for this time of year here in the NW. Ferries are having to cancel trips to shallow docks because of the low tides.

We had a nice visit with Mom and Penny, then Vivian, Mom and I left for lunch. Penny decided to stay home and have some time to herself. Mom wanted to eat at either El Serape mexican restaurant or Blondies. We got to Blondies first and it had moved up the street, so we decided to try the new location. They had liver and onions on the menu so Mom was happy. Friends of hers were there and she lkied that as well. We ordered, and waited. And waited. Some more friends of hers came in and they talked. They got their food. We waited. !/2 hour after we ordered, a waitress came by and told us that the stuffed potatoes we had ordered weren't served until after 4 pm. It didn't say that on the menu. She said she would get our waitress to come get our new order. 10 minutes later she showed up. Its a good thing we ordered salad because that came quickly. The rest of our food didn't show up for another 1/2 hour!! Mom's freinds had left by the time we got our dessert, rasberry pie with ice cream. That at least came in a relatively timely manner. We sang "happy birthday" to her, did not sing the birthday dirge mandatory at all Johnston birthdays because I don't think she really likes it much.

We took her back home, 2 1/2 hours later, had a lovely visit with Mom and Penny, and went home to rest.

Posted by drque 11:02 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

News from NZ

Beth and Lyndon and Girls

I wrote this a day or two ago and didn't realize, until Jeanette pointed it out just now in an e-mail, that I apparently did not hit the right button that I thought I hit, so it did not get out there for the family to read. I'll try again.

This may be the easiest way to let the extended family know that Beth and Lyndon and the girls (now 10 and 8) have decided recently to move permanently to NZ, having enjoyed their year there very much. The symphony there voted unanimously for him to stay as assistant concertmaster, and his resignation from the Philharmonic will be effective November 2. Beth has accepted a new job: director of research for the Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington, 20 hours a week, with a patient clientele of about 150 a month, and with prospects for maybe expanding into a consortium of the 36 hospices nationwide for research. She has submitted her resignation to LLU. The girls have been happy in school there and will continue. They like the fact that they can walk to school, whereas in their lovely CA neighborhood it still was not safe to let them go unaccompanied. There have been many pros and cons both ways to weigh, and it was an agonizing decision, but they have thought it through carefully, prayed for guidance, and feel at peace with it.

They all will leave there for CA July 9, to pack, sell their house, visit relatives, and do the Hollywood Bowl season. They'll return to Wellington in September, and she will begin the new job. He will come to CA again for Salonen's final gala concert as music director and to go on their two-week tour of Asia the end of October. Beth and the girls may join him for that. They will see Bob, at least, in Seoul, as he plans to teach there the whole fall semester (if the right papers come through in time). I may or may not go.

They are budgeting for two trips to the States per year, so perhaps we'll see them almost as often as before.

Posted by msj 07:12 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

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