Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Time on the Beach and time in the Saddle

Friday, November 28, 2014

Most of us geared up for a drive to Rialto Beach and a hike toward Hole in the Wall, a natural sea arch covered by surf and wind. No rain this morning and we had sun peeking through the clouds for much of the day, so outdoor activity was more fun than when fighting the pelting weather yesterday.

Jim, Susan and Mary seeing something out in ocean
Mary returns some of the debris back to the sea

The surf was wild and the waves were big and powerful. We were there at high tide, we thought, but apparently the tide was still coming in on our return hike. Dodging the pounding surf became a side activity! We were privvy to some spectacular scenery along the Olympic wilderness beach: the sea stacks, the GIANT logs strewn about the beach, the windswept stones and rocks lining our walk. All evidence of just how powerful that surf and wind are.

Sea stacks in the distance

I turned around at the big (huge) tree trunk "bridge" that crossed Ellen Creek (this time of year, more of a river) as I must pick and choose my activity to avoid aggravating my back issues, and falling would not be a good thing. The others did cross the river and only two fell! I was apparently smart to not walk the slippery plank! Several of them did make it to the Hole in the Wall, and apparently it isn't all that exciting so I don't feel I missed much by retracing the beach back to get on my bike. I have Susan to thank for suggesting I take along my bike gear this morning and bike back to the hotel.

They explore how to cross this river. The huge tree trunk is behind me and there they must cross the slippery plank.


My ride back was delightful with very few cars, only one climb, and more sun to warm up the day. And though the distance was relatively short, it was just enough after my two mile walk in the sand.

Quileute Land
A bike stop
View from a bridge crossing by bike
Amazing what some people will do to entertain us with yard art. These are old motorized bikes of sorts.
Once everyone made it back "home", there was a little kite flying out on the windy beach.
Amazing what some people will do to entertain us with yard art. These are old motorized bikes of sorts.
A view of Bill's kite, taken from our oceanside porch.

And then of course the eating of leftover T-Day food with a choice of three different soup offerings. A fine repast and time together for table games, reading and relaxing to end our fine weekend at the sea. We will pack up and head home tomorrow, hoping that the forecasted snow will not hinder our drive! Snow? That's what they say.

Until next time, thanks for joining me on this adventure.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bill is always full of ideas for play, activities and projects. This day is no different. He has brought a project and supplies for each of us to make our very own "survival bracelet", and this morning he is "practicing" with his jig so to be able to lead us through it.

Good morning Billy -- Happy Thanksgiving
The intricacies of our upcoming project

And I chose to be the first to make mine.

And here is how one can survive by using these handy bracelets...

After a bit of crafting, we were called to Mary and Phil's unit at the other end of our building for pancakes, bacon and eggs ala "chef extraordinaire" Phil. Yum. Many of us felt a need for some movement after this scrumptious breakfast and each set out at our own time on our own excrusions.

Susan and I walked to the big tree where we had played with the kids this past June.

Susan dons her sou'wester agains the windy spray from the sea
Rough ocean waves rush to shore


The beached tree that everyone loves to play on. James Island in the background
Same tree this past June


Winter storms carry huge tree trunks to the shore by the cabins.

And soon -- after some rest and Mary getting her bracelet complete... it was time for, you know, Thanksgiving dinner.

Mary being very precise in bracelet making


People gathered

Hard to believe that we could have such a feast prepared in such a small kitchen and working space. But a feast it was.

Early evening came before we knew it and Bill was on the hunt for the ("most important of the year") Seahawks game. He will try the bar and grill in Forks first to see if it is open, if not he will drive -- maybe even the hour and a half back to Port Angeles. He is that determined, and that much of a fan. Susan, Jenny and Laurent may go with him. I will stay dry and cozy curled up with my book on this windy and cold night.


Thanksgiving 2014 at La Push WA

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Susan's sister Mary has wanted to return to La Push to experience Thanksgiving as their family had done in the past. There were several Thanksgivings that mom and dad brought them here to the ocean and rented a cabin at the beach. The family would romp on the sand, dodge the waves (often not dodging quickly enough), play games and enjoy the rugged coast. This year Mary has gotten her wish fulfilled, and we would all gather here for this holiday.

With Susan having the day off from school today, we would be the first to arrive, which was a good thing as I do believe we had the MOST to unload and store. We all know that Susan does not pack light! But we were only half unpacked when brother Bill and Darlene arrived with almost as much stuff as we had, and in a MUCH smaller car. Is not traveling light a genetic trait in this family?!

Disorganized organization!


One of our first hightlights was to see the herd of Elk watching us, and the other traffic, as we watched them lying in the field in Sequim. This is a home for Elk but we don't always see them when we drive through here. Lucky day today.

Once in Port Angeles we had to hit all our haunts -- Brown's outdoor store, Waters West Fly shop, Bike and Kayak shop. Each store person was bubbly, nice, friendly, and informative, and of course Susan conversaton with each one. We got a suggestion from the Fly shop guy to take a little detour up to the de-construction site of the Elwha dam. This was another highlight for our day.

What was once Lake Mills (see map below)
Part of the dam in partial de-struction.
Looking from the other side of the dam toward Lake Mills
The slough from the dam heading to Elwha River
Fast moving Elwha below us
See former Lake Mills

Here is a photo of the dam from a book Susan has. The lake is no longer there.


We enjoyed the drive to the dam and seeing all the moss laden trees as part of this Olympic National Park.

Indeed, proof we are in the rain forest, and...
...that Olympic Rain Forest is one of three temperant rain forests in the world. Chile and New Zealand (I think) are the other two.

The removal of the dam helps the natural salmon run, but now there is a rock quarry being dug that will potentially (and probably) interfere with the good that the dam destruction has done. There are signs around town urging the stop of the quarry proceedings.

Bill had brought two boxes of reel tape movies from family childhood and young adult years, and right away set up the projector for some home entertainment. Mary and Phil (and son Jim) had not arrived yet but there were enough movies for them to view when they got here a few hours later (and enough to continue the entertainment tomorrow, and a few more days!). Jenny and Larurent and baby Etienn arrived in the night sometime, so we were all here at the Quileute Oceanside Resort and RV Park on the beach of the Olympic's wild coast.

The question of the day became -- how is everyone going to survive not being able to see the Seahawks play the Forty Niners on Thanksgiving Day!!???? No tv, no phones (nor cell coverage for most of us), and wifi only in the the computer room across the yard. Ah, the struggles in life! The search will be on to see if there is any place to go to watch the game. Any coverage somewhere? Any bar open on Thanksgiving? We shall see.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Roundup of 2014 "teaneuring"

Here is a summary in photos of my 14 teaneuring stops for the fourth "Coffeeneuring Challenge 2104". To see any and all details -- scroll down the blog to the "Coffeeneuring" title under October posts.

#1 SNOHOMISH FITNESS CENTER -- Snohomish, WA 10/6/2014

#2 WITHOUT WALLS AT RED BARN -- Bryant, WA 10/8/2014

#3 STAR MINI MART -- Perrinville, WA 10/12/2014

#4 SNOHOMISH SENIOR CENTER -- Snohomish, WA 10/13/2014

#5 WITHOUT WALLS -- The Farm Pumpkin Patch -- Snohomish, WA

#6 PIROSHKY'S BAKERY & CREPES -- Everett, WA 10/20/2014

#7 WHIDBEY COFFEE KIOSK -- Mukilteo, WA 10/26/2014

#8 SEAS THE DAY -- Everett, WA 10/27/2014

#9 FROST -- Mill Creek, WA 11/2/2014

#10 UNDER THE RED UMBRELLA -- Everett, WA 11/7/2014

#11 CORNER COFFEE BAR & CAFE -- Perrinville, WA 11/8/2014

#12 PEET'S COFFEE & TEA -- Redmond, WA 11/10/2014

#13 RED CUP CAFE -- Mukilteo, WA 11/15/2014

#14 THE FRENCH BAKERY -- Everett WA 11/16/2014

A few words of recap:

I loved this challenge and will surely do it again next year. And in fact, will make a tea run periodically if and when I am having difficulty getting out there for a ride (as in these past two COLD mornings). I do like to have a goal and a destination, and a tea ride will serve as a motivator for me.

The challenge got me out and riding even on not such good weather days (a few drizzly ones), but surprisingly the weather has been very good to me these weeks. Living in the Pacific Northwest, Fall weather normally brings a lot of rain. We have definitely had our share of rain, but I squeaked in between most of those days with a sunny ride.

With this year's rule for retirees allowing any two days for the ride, I added to my challenge to do two (the max allowed by rule) a week and get 14 rather than the required 7.

Coffee drinkers have the added pleasure of latte art! Before now I did not know there even was such a thing, and have enjoyed seeing photos of the different creative art by foam! (Makes one almost want to become a coffee drinker!). Also, since these are mainly "coffee shops", there are usually quality drinks as part of the selection. We tea drinkers do not get "tea art" in any form, and the quality of tea is not as often top notch.

My top two tea places that I visited during this challenge are First Place: Piroshky's Bakery and Crepes and Second Place: Peet's Coffee & Tea. These were the only two places that served loose leaf tea. I have at least one that I did not visit this time to add to my list for near future trips. I would give Third Place to Corner Coffee Bar & Cafe as they have Republic of Tea. Although this is tea in a "bag", it is decent tea, better than Stash or Lipton. Problem for me was that they did not have an unflavored Green Tea for my taste.

Some of the shops and cafes were fairly close by, but I added miles simply because. Consequently I amassed about 333 miles during this seven week challenge. I rode solo for ten of the fourteen trips; did two trips by adding miles after a ride with friends; and did two trips as part of a ride with friends.

Can hardly wait for Coffeeneuring 2015! In the mean time I will be looking for the start of Errandannee in the Spring. Thank you "Queen Mary" Geremalena for coordinating, tracking and hosting this challenge.