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

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2015

Elk Creek Resort --- Campground --- Fish Camp -- that's it, Fish Camp

Susan and several women from Casting for Recovery have had this fishing weekend planned for months. Hot weather and some other commitments had some (many) of the women cancel out. So then there were four until one went home after the first day due to the heat and then there were three (we do not count me).

To be fair, it is a bit more than a Fish Camp as there are cabins, RV spots and a tenting area. But -- it is dusty and dry and the wasps have been swarming us relentlessly. Thank goodness for our screen tent. Susan and I came here about four years ago and at that time I was more intrigued to take a ton of photos of all the old farm things and western stuff. This time not so much. So -- not much in photos.


Where we all gathered for each meal and social time to shield us against the wasps.




One of many old vehicles strew about


Sign of the west


On our second full day here, the three fisherwomen went ... fishing. The river that this camp is directly on is too low so off they went in Daneen's jeep to explore and find several fishing holes. They traversed treacherous ground before coming to a lake none of them had known about. And they each had success in catching several fish. Decent size brook trout that -- of course they released.


The hidden lake with many fish

I got to take a bike ride ;'-)


On the Mather Memorial Parkway (Route 410)


Mountains surround us


Nice scenery on a bike ride

My plan was to ride a bit further than I did, but the shoulder ran out to become just the white fog line, the road became winding, and the traffic, that included many large RVs, picked up. That inclined me to turn around a little earlier than planned but it was a good thing as the temps were rising to the 90s and I was hungry! Once the fisherwomen returned near dinner time, we got ourselves spruced up and went for pizza and beer/root beer at a nearby Brewery.

Susan's two fishing buddies left for home the following morning (today actually). We thought they would join us on our exploration of Boulder Cave, but we ended up going on this adventure ourselves. The two mile round trip hike was on soft trail and had only a little bit of incline. We had not known that this is a bat cave, so were warned by signage to be quiet while in the cave. And I had to shush a couple of loud people. In the winter season the cave is closed to visitation.



Looking down at the canyon. Look closely in the right hand third of the photo and see a person way down there.


I first thought this was the cave. I was refusing to scramble to it.


There was a much bigger cave and in we go


Light at the end of the tunnel


Exit tunnel. It was too dark inside (we had our headlamps) to take any photos -- and not much to take a photo of.


Climb out and back onto the trail to return



Meet Sage (Susan named her) who joined us at trailside at the very start. She will now be my bike mascot

We returned to our empty camp. It is always a little sad to me to be the last ones left at camp for another day while the others have checked out. I miss the camaraderie, some commotion and simple activity happening. Same today. Susan and I relaxed, read a little, will play a little rummi kub and have dinner and then start thinking about our morning departure for home. And now it has clouded up, the wind is picking up and it looks like rain.

So not to think we are suffering, here is an idea of how we are "glamping" (glamorous camping):


If we want electricity we just plug into a tree


Tea and crumpet time includes loose leaf tea


Well, just who does not take a microwave camping?


This will end my posts for this adventure. We head home tomorrow.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

June & July 2015 Catchup

In addition to the bigger trips and adventures we had in June and July, we did some local adventuring as well.
Susan often finds things that are going on or things she simply thinks will be a good outing. The trip to the zoo was one of those. There was a "wildlife" weekend event being held at our zoo, and teachers (Susan) had free entry tickets and could bring a guest (me) for half price. We had a grand time.
The most interesting part for me was learning about Karelian Bear Dogs. They are a special breed that come from the Karelia region of Finland. Historically they were bred to hunt down brown bear and moose. These dogs are incredible! They are docile and friendly to humans and agressive and strong against bears.
The ranger demonstrates the need to keep our garbage covered securely


Savute prepares to chase any released bears away from here and into the woods where they live.



The dogs are used to help Department of Wild Life do the work of "hazing" animals away from civilization, capture work, and education. The program helps with mangement service and in assisting with wildlife conflicts in Washington. Among other helpful work, the dogs are brought to chase bears away from residential homes, and consequently have helped avoid the bear from (unnecessarily) being killed.

There was a campsite set up that was poorly kept and showed how the bears will ransack it for food as a natural way to feed themselves.

There's a bear nearby...


...and he smells the hanging salmon...


... so he considers this an easy catch for dinner.


The lesson here is to KEEP A CLEAN campsite. And don't feed birds or leave food in your back yard in the spring and summer months when the bears have awoken from hibernation HUNGRY.


The summer months had been abnormally hot this year. Susan set up our patio for some relaxing in the shade.



I of course had some nice bike rides -- alone and with others.

A sample of the tile are along the bikeway to Arlington


A walking path that Lynne and I took at Mill Creek on the way to lunch at the Rusty Pelican


The flowers that Connie bought from a roadside truck brighten up her pannier on our Rainbow Ride to the Red Barn


A solo ride takes me by the elementary school vegetable garden


The scarecrow keeps the garden growing


Dorothy and me at the gnome home.


A little whimsey along the trail that Dorothy, Bette-Ann and I rode for tea and crumpets

One more adventure in July just before leaving for a week out of town. Susan and I joined Sarah and the Grands for a bike ride from their house. We cycled some back roads, carefully crossed a main road and reached a park with a pond and a playground. Riding around the pond, we dubbed that as a circumnavagation of a "lake".

Oh yeah -- Higgins joined us for this outing...


Kaitlyn has company in the chariot


Lucy takes Higgins down the slide


Higgins and Kaitlyn snuggle for a swinging time


Higgins is pretty good about walking on a leash

The interesting thing is that Higgins would rarely allow adults (except maybe Jeremy) pet, hold, carry and be terribly close to himself, let alone sit quietly in any space near a human. The children in his family are a different story.

Ending July 2015 (Part 3c)

I couldn't resist two more elk shots...


On our bike ride


At our camp

The next day after exploring Mount Rainier we had a DYOT (Do Your Own Thing) morning. Susan drove to a fishing place -- and caught several (little ones) and I caught up on my blog and did some reading, as well as prepared lunch for when Susan returned. After lunch and some relaxing together -- cooling down in the heat -- we took a short (very short) bike ride.

Susan had asked at the Visitor Center for a map of the town. This turns out to be a joke as we find so few streets in the town, but we didn't know that and Susan was trying to find a bike ride for us. The guy was just closing up the visitor center and they don't really have a map -- well, he has one but the road names are so faded you can't really read them. But he suggested we ride up to the Hydroelectric Dam as a nice short jaunt. There is no fishing there, but people catch cray fish in a small trap contraption they put onto the end of a pole. We didn't do any of that, but had a good ride.


What? A tea & crumpet stop in Packwood? (They serve tea in coffee shops ... sometimes)


The wall by the Bakery was the draw for me as well as the tea


We found that this guy was not dead drunk...


...he was dead.


The mountain is clear on this day as seen through some yard art


Apparently tennis is a lost art in Packwood


We rode long enough for Taco Night to begin at the Blue Spruce Saloon. Arriving exactly at 6:00 when they started serving, we were surprised to walk in to a crowded saloon and took the only two seat stools that were available. We would never have guessed that there were this many people in Packwood! Several had to be turned away -- perhaps to return a little later.

The following morning we would pack up the tent and gear and depart Packwood. I got to do a bit longer ride while Susan got things started. The Visitor Center guy had started to tell us to take the nice ride out to the Country Club, then stopped and said no, there was now newly laid gravel that would not be good for biking. This morning I went to see how that was and lo, it was fine for biking. Not only was the gravel not new, it was now hard packed chip seal. This in itself is not great for biking -- but the gravel layers had not oiled and laid any on the wide shoulders! How ingenious. I had a great ride in the woods on smooth pavement with very little traffic and no actual hills (like we had yesterday).


First a little ride through town -- skiing is big here...


From a side road in town. Cannot get much more clear.


From a bridge on the way out of town


On the country club road


I thought it prudent to stop here and return home.

Goodbye Packwood. Goodbye Elk.