September 24-26, 2014 Alder Lake

Wednesday, September 24th

We woke to rain, rain and more rain.  We packed up and were on our way east and north to Alder Lake – and it rained all the way.

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We made our way to Alder Lake, found sites and set up – all the time it poured and we were soaking wet.  Here are our sites:

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And, murphy’s law, when we were all done setting up, it cleared and then the sun came out – LOL!

The nice thing was we were able to enjoy a wonderful campfire in the evening – Smile

Stats for today:

Miles Traveled: 41 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Washington:  Hadaller Road; Winston Creek Road; US-12; SR-7; School Road

Thursday, September 26th

It rained off and on thru the night and in the morning so Sue and I took off to the Yelm Wal-Mart to stock up on supplies.  When we came out of Wal-Mart, the rain had stopped and the sun was out – YEA!

We just hung out during the day  - even took Dusty for a walk:

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And even enjoyed a campfire – another great day.

Friday, September 26th

We woke to rain, rain and more rain – this is getting depressing Sad smile..   So when the rain stopped after lunch, Andy and I decided to take a walk around the park.  We picked up Molly, Bruce and Sue’s dog, and away we went.

Our first stop was the picnic area by the lake. Alder Lake is part of the Nisqually River Project.  Five glaciers on Mount Rainier feed the Nisqually River, which flows 27 miles before reaching Alder Lake.  Those glaciers are what gives the lake its turquoise color:

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The swimming area – lake is really low at this time of year:

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On our way to the dam overlook – the trees are huge:

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Information on the dam:

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And here it is – 330’ high – WOW!

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If you look real close in the above picture, there are three does laying down (lower right side).  I did not see them until they started to move away.  Here is one – isn’t she cute:

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Lots of moss on the trees – and even on the fence:

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Another view of the lake:

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We slowly made our way back and when Molly saw Bruce, she just took off running:

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And then back to us – isn’t she cute:

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What a nice walk.

It rained off and on the rest of the day so we just hung out.

Tomorrow two of my friends from PA are flying in to spend a few days with us.  Can’t wait to see them.  Smile

Stay tuned and enjoy today.



September 2014 The Star Spangled Banner Story

Happy 200th Birthday to our National Anthem.

Thanks to Bruce for sharing.

September 21–23, 2014 Our time in Mossyrock Washington

September 21st

We hung out a little this morning because our space at Lake Mayfield was rented until this morning and check out time was 11 AM.   So round about that time, we hooked up and headed south then east to Lake Mayfield Resort in Mossyrock.

Scenes along the way:

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The resort is nestled in that cove:

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Another view of the lake:

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We checked in to our site next to Bruce and Sue, set up, and hung out the rest of the day.  We ended the evening with a great campfire – Smile.

Miles Traveled: 33 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Washington:  Floral Street; Gold Street; National Avenue; Commerce Way; I-15; US-12; Winston Creek Road; Hadaller Road

Monday, September 22nd

We took off this morning to check out more campgrounds in the area.  I have friends coming to visit this weekend and we wanted to make sure the Alder Lake Campground was really where we wanted to be.  So off we went.

We checked out Lake Mayfield Campground – nice place – and then continued to Alder Lake.  It is a nice campground so we will be moving there on Wednesday.

On our way back, we decided to have lunch at the Mount Rainier Railroad Dining Company:

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The company has a number of old trains and cabooses converted into hotel rooms, lounge, and dining area.  Here is the car where we had lunch:

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Lunch with Sue and Bruce:

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More information can be found here: http://rrdiner.com/about-us

We slowly made our way back with a stop at Ike Kinswa State Park – they also have a nice campground.    We ended the day with another great campfire.

Tuesday, September 23rd

We woke to rain, rain, and more rain.  So I cleaned and did laundry in town and Andy went with Bruce to get wood.  The rest of the day was spent hanging out.

Tomorrow we head to Alder Lake so stay tuned and enjoy today.


September 17–20, 2014 Our time in the Centralia area

On September 17th, we packed up and left Sandy and Mike’s home (thank you again).  We first made a stop at Fred Meyer’s for gas and then at the first rest area to dump our tanks.

Seattle area is a growing area and the traffic is always crazy.  I did not take any pictures but those who know me can only imagine how I was in the traffic.  Yikees.  My Andy did a great job and got us safely to Centralia, Washington where we are staying at the Moose Lodge.

About an hour after we got here, our friends Bruce and Sue came in and we spent the rest of the day getting caught up with each other.  So great to see them.

Stats for Today:

Miles Traveled: 128 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Washington: SR-9; 56th Street; Bickford Avenue, US-2; I-5; I-405; SR-167; SR-512; I-5; Harrison Avenue, Main Street, SR-507

Thursday, September 18th

Not to far from this Moose Lodge are BUSY train tracks with crossings.  Lots of horns at those crossings.

So we decided to check out some of the local parks to see what our options may be.  The city park is nice but also near train tracks.  There are two RPI parks near Mossyrock that are nice so we made reservations to go there on Sunday.

The rest of the day we just hung out.

Friday, September 19th was a hang out day for me.  I had to get some business done on the internet and the phone so we were able to do that in the morning.  In the afternoon, Andy and Bruce went to the Veterans Museum while I continued to get caught up with things.


Saturday, September 20th, we took a little trip to YardBirds.  It is a shopping warehouse that is part grocery, part mini-mall, part antique shop, and part yard sale/flea market.  Andy and Bruce made it thru in record time and sat in the indoor “yard” area as we looked thru all the stuff that we didn’t need.

The boys waiting for us:

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We finished the evening by going to the Elks for their happy hour and steak dinner – YUM!

We have had a nice time here and would stay longer but the constant train whistles ALL NIGHT LONG have made us weary and I think we all need a good quiet nights sleep.

Tomorrow we are heading to Mossyrock so stay tuned and enjoy today.

This is for you, Gary “Little Buddy”, from the Capitan



September 8–16, 2014 (Part 2) Sightseeing and Friends

Our time was mostly spent with family – see part one.

One of the days we met up with friends, Bonnie and Ron, for lunch.

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We met them five years ago when we were visiting here and Mount Rainer and then saw them again in Yuma about two years ago.  It was great to get caught up and hopefully we will see them again this winter.

Another one of the days, we played tourist in Seattle.  Our first adventure was a ride on the “Ducks”

The “Duck” is a WWII amphibious vehicle and the tour took us around downtown Seattle and out on Lake Union.  More information can be found here:


The “Duck”:

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Our tour guide was wonderful – funny, interesting, and kept the tour exciting.

The Space Needle in the distance:

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We were stopped at a red light and our tour guide was playing music so this guy decided to get up and dance.  His shirt says “Sugar Mama Needed” – how funny.

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Many areas of Seattle have different forms of art displayed:

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Into the water for the boat portion of the tour: Ducks in the water

We went past house boats:

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And homes on the water:

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Past the gas works that is now a park:

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“This 20 acre point on Lake Union was cleared in 1906 to construct a plant to manufacture gas from coal - later converted to crude oil. Import of natural gas in the 1950's made the plant obsolete. The city acquired the site for a park in 1962. The park was opened to the public in 1975. The boiler house has been converted to a picnic shelter with tables, fire grills and an open area. The former exhauster-compressor building, now a children's play barn, features a maze of brightly painted machinery.”

More information can be found herehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_Works_Park

The Seattle Skyline from the water:

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The “The Sleepless in Seattle” Houseboat, which just sold for 2.2 million:

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More homes:

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Many float planes:

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And even more art:

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Check out this store – Kilts for Men:

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This woman was really grooving to the music too:

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What a cool tour and I highly recommend it if you are in this area.

Downtown Seattle:

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From there we met up with Chuck and Deana – Mike’s sister and brother in law and had lunch at the famous Ivar’s Fish Bar on the waterfront – Yum!

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Our next adventure was to the Seattle Big Wheel - http://seattlegreatwheel.com/

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Where we loaded up on a gondola and away we went.  Scenes from our ride:

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What a beautiful day for a ride.

This building has a great history – the gold rush fever of 1897 started here when the S.S. Portland arrived with over a ton of gold from the Klondike.  Some info here and on the internet: http://www.minerslanding.com/history

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Our last stop was to be the Pike’s Place Market.  As we made our way there from the waterfront, we went through Post Alley:

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Where we saw this:

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Cool! But what is it?  It is known as the Market Theater Gum Wall.

The Market Theater Gum Wall is a local landmark in downtown Seattle, in Post Alley under Pike Place Market. Similar to Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California, the Market Theater Gum Wall is a brick alleyway wall now covered in used chewing gum. Parts of the wall are covered several inches thick, 15 feet high for 50 feet.

The wall is by the box office for the Market Theater, and the tradition began around 1993 when patrons of Unexpected Productions' Seattle Theatresports stuck gum to the wall and placed coins in the gum blobs. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up after market officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999. Some people create small works of art out of gum.

It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone.”

Think about it – USED gum – oh my.

The wall is right by the market.  This is the famous fish flying place but we did not see any flying.  The workers though have this cute little routine.  Fun to see.

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Very interesting to walk thru.

What an enjoyable day – Smile

Thank you Mike and Sandy for the fun time here.

Tomorrow we continue our travels so stay tuned and enjoy today.