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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 2015 Part 3b

Mount Rainier meandering.

Packwood is in the south foothills of Mount Rainier, which is a short drive away.


We enter Mount Rainier

At first the mountain appeared clear and fully in view. As we got near, it was a different story.


We all know that The Mountain makes her own weather

We drove first to Longmire where we could reminisce about our hike of 50 miles on the Wonderland Trail, and Susan could buy her "I Hiked the Wonderland Trail" a mere 14 years later. And I could buy a pair of earrings since I forgot mine at home.

We went on to Pardise and joined the crowds.


Susan descends into the hordes

Neither of us (especially I) was up for a big hike, but I agreed to the .8 mile hike to Myrtle Falls.


Not exactly wilderness for this hike, and we were joined by many


On the way to the falls, a heart opened The Mountain


Myrtle Falls

On the return from the Falls hike we got to spot this relaxing deer.


And as we ended our day on the road, she started showing more of herself.



We had a great time visiting and then headed home to Packwood. The next day we got lots of good clear mountain views that I will share in the next post. Now I must return to the campsite from this nice tea & crumpet shop I was able to finagle, and help with packing up for our next stop at Naches.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 2015 Part 3a

July 27-31, 2015

Packwoood first,

In some reviews that Susan had read, some say that Packwood, WA is like being in The Northern Exposure TV series. Others have said it is a great place to retire, and a cute little town. So far, I can agree with the Northern Exposure part...


As elk walk in front of our campsite each early morning and mid-evening


The buck lead his gals to breakfast


In case you are on a hike and want to identify elk droppings...


Silhouetted, but I could not resist this one of them looking at me.

The elk are very docile, and would let you feed them (management does not encourage this, and we do not feed wildlife) and they like apples -- but you have to slice the apples for them.

As far as retiring here --- I don't know what I would do with myself. I would have to want to drive somewhere to fish (which I don't do), get invloved in bingo (which I hate), join the locals at the Tavern for drinking and Wii Bowling (Ha!) or learn to crochet (my mom was never successful in getting me to want to learn).

The cute little town part leaves me wondering where those review people came from. The town is basically a few businesses along the highway -- some not even open. The one glimpse of a "cute" town is Andrew. He is the young gas station attendant who came out to not only fill our tank, but to clean our windshield. This prompted me to ask Susan if unbeknownst to me we had crossed into Oregon (where they do not allow individuals to pump their own gas). No, it must be a Packwood thing. It is always such a treat to have someone do the gas station tasks. Anytime we need gas, we will be returning to Andrew (one of two gas stations in town).

Arriving at the Packwood RV and Campground, we felt a little like we were entering the twilight zone.



The back end of the office


Near the check in was this building. When we saw someone walk into one of the doors felt eerie



Another moss covered dilapidated building


Fortunately, we had a choice of where we wanted to set up our tent trailer...

We chose not to set up here - we may have become decadent, but have not reached this level.

Our choice was simply across the little gravel path to what seems more like a "forest". And we have had the entire forest to ourselves (and the elk). We have had a visitor or two stop by - a woman from Indiana (in one of the big rigs with her husband) who was curious of our "rig" as we were setting it up; and a young hiker (Jen) who is laying over here for a couple of days before continuing her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.


Our set up


Our forest setting

We don't get cable tv and the wifi is spotty in the forest, but we have electricity, the bathrooms are a short walk away, and we always have hot showers! As I say -- decadent.

And so, we are here in Packwood for another night before heading to Naches and fly fishing ;'-)

I will close this page and post more about our meandering around Mount Rainier (yesterday) a bit later. This page is long enough, and as well, the spotty wifi is making it a challenge to upload photos and complete the post.

More later...



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 2015 Part 2

Hiking, kayaking and a visit to Indianola oh my

After our little respite from the east coast trip, Susan was chomping to go camping. Last minute reservations were found at Verlot Campground on the Mountain Loop Highway and we packed up for a two night stay.

Being a mere hour drive away from home, Sarah and the grands joined us on Thursday, my birthday. We celebrated with a mile hike up to Boardman Lake where we had our lunch, that Sarah had brought, and birthday song! Last year I had my birthday swim with Lucy, this year a hike with Lucy -- and all the rest of the family! I'm a lucky gal.


Birthday card by Jaydon. Bike rider is complete with helmet.


Birthday card by Lucy. So colorful.

Thankfully our wonderful hike was just under a mile one way. Those little people's little legs did get a workout, and after playing at the lakeside beach, crawling over logs, taking a swim in the lake, and doing some "bouldering" they were able to complete the hike without complaint. Awesome I say. And this was a perfect distance for my back issues!

Gearing up


Get those shoes tied just right


The photographer checks her gear
Kaitlyn snuggles into her back pack


Up a few inclilnes


Ah, finally some barefoot beach playing


Gotta cross these logs to get to the real swimming part


And climb these steps


Into the wilds they go

It was a full day with the grands and their mom, and soon it was time for them to drive home. Susan and I had one more night at Verlot before we would pack up and head for Baker Lake. When one is in a kayak it is impossible (for some) to take photos, so I got only a glimpse of this adventure on "film".


We prepare to unload the boats


We will launch at the end of this spit for a day on Baker Lake


There were no less than 25 boats in our group and once the photos were taken Susan and I drifted off for our own paddle adventure for the day. We (especially I) were not up for the miles long paddle they would all do, so we spent a few hours meandering around the coves and inlets and enjoying the warm, blue lake. After our paddle, and a little fishing for Susan, we relaxed at our campsite until potluck time. We had lots of food (those 25 boats means there were at least 25 people) and mingled with many of the great people on the trip.



Someone else got a photo of us


Paddle up!


We then came home for a day -- mainly to drop off the trailer, then took off for a visit fo Jenny and family in Indianola, which is on the Kitsap Peninsula and requires a ferry trip to get there.

Taking Etienne for walk

The walk brought us to the Indianola Store and... cream


Who liked the ice cream best?


We ate our ice cream as we walked the pier of Port Indianola


The tide is out!


Jenny, Susan and Etienne enjoy the sun at the end of the pier.


Jenny points out this giant plant that looks like it belongs in Jurrasic Park. It's name is Gunnera.


A long day for Etienne as he passes out during dinner.

I got more birthday wishes and gifts AND fresh steamed crab caught by Jenny and Laurent for dinner. Then it was time to call it a day!


Happy birthday from Jenny (& Laurent not pictured)


Good night all...


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 2015 Part 1

We arrived home from our southeast jaunt on June 30th, and I spent the first week of July basically caring for Sarah's cats while they were in Alaska spending time with Jeremy's parents.
Lily in her lion's cut
Higgins who always thinks the only reason I am at his house is to feed him

I knew that Higgins and Lily missed their family and all the busyness that surrounds them every day, so I tried to make some "noise" while I stayed for an hour after feeding them. I say noise because some of it was my singing which some would consider noise. Other was talking to them about silly things. I doubt any of this made much difference to them, but it made me feel better.

I chose to ride my bike to their house for feedings, and so added a few extra miles going to and from. A couple of those miles meander around the county airport and the Flying Heritage Museum. I did not choose to enter the museum (time and cost) but got a view of an airplane in the hangar that I never get to see on other rides through here.

There's a plane in that hangar..
.... and here it is.

A ride through the country side. Mount Baker in the distance.

In addition to my bike rides to Higgins and Lily, I had a few other rides with friends. This is a mixture of some of them.

Riverside lunch stop
Parked bikes by the river for our lunch stop

A different ride brought us to Padilla Bay at low tide
Crossing UP and over the bridge toward Anacortes


View from the top of that bridge of a long ago sunken boat


A favorite sign as we wind through the country roads on the way to Mount Vernon

Fortunately we were home in time for my monthly movie/llunch outing with Pat. We saw "SPY" which was surprisingly good. I am not the biggest fan of comedy, but this one was quite good. I knew that Susan and I would be taking off again for much of July and August, so I did as much with friends as time allowed before packing again! And now it is time for me to complete that packing as we take off this morning for the first adventure! More later.

Happy Summer.