Idaho and Washington

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Ponderosa State Park

We left Salt Lake City on July 8th and headed toward the northwest area.  We stopped off in Mountain Home, ID for one night and then off to McCall, ID to visit with our friends Buzz and Ruby McCoid.  They live in McCall during the Summer and Winter in Las Vegas. We stayed for three days at the Ponderosa State Park. and three days at the Chalet RV Park in Donnelly, ID.

McCall is a resort town on the western edge of Valley County, Idaho.  It is situated on the southern shore of Payette Lake, near the center of the Payette National Forest.  McCall is now an all-season tourist destination for outdoor recreation. The resort town is known for its Winter Carnival, extended winters, and the highest average snowfall in the state.

We played golf at the McCall Golf Club and ate lunch at the Shore Lodge.

This is a beautiful area.  We could only stay for three days at Ponderosa, so we moved to Donnelly for the last two days before we left for Seattle.

We really enjoyed our visit and the McCoid’s have become lifelong friends.  We look forward to seeing them in Las Vegas.

We left McCall on Monday the 15th of July and headed to Levenworth, WA.  We stayed in this cute Bavarian town for two nights.

“Leavenworth was officially incorporated on September 5, 1906. A small timber community, it became the headquarters of the Great North Railroad in the early 1900s.

The city struggled until 1962, when the a committee was formed to transform the city into a mock Bavarian village to revitalize its economy.  Owen and Pauline Watson, owners of a business on Front Street, formed the committee after visiting Solvang, California in 1958 and thought it was an excellent idea for Leavenworth.

Leavenworth is home to the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which opened in 1995 and contains more than 5,000 nutcrackers dating from prehistoric to modern.[7] Leavenworth hosts an annual Oktoberfest celebration.[8] Leavenworth’s transformation into a theme town was inspired, and assisted, by Solvang, California. Later the Washington town of Winthrop followed Leavenworth’s example and adopted a town theme.[9]

In November 2007 Good Morning America went to Leavenworth for Holiday Gifts for the Globe where GMA helped light up the town for the Christmas Holiday. Leavenworth was also named the Ultimate HolidayTown USA by A&E.[

July 17, 2013

We are now at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.  What a beautiful fam camp.  We are right on the beach of Strait of Juan De Fuca, just below Oak Harbor.  The weather has averaged between 65 and 75 degrees.  It’s windy or breezy most days and there is fog most mornings until around 11:00.

7/20/2013 –  Today we drove over to Anacortes and happened upon their flea market being held on their main street.   It’s amazing how many things you see that have come and gone in your own life…. like picture plates you hang on the wall, old-style kitchen things, old dishes that really look familiar….jewelry boxes, etc.

7/23/2013 — Today we walked onto a ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on the San Juan Islands.

“The San Juan Islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The San Juan Islands are part of the U.S. state of Washington.

In the archipelago, four islands are accessible by passenger ferry operated by the Washington State Ferries system.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) defines the San Juan Islands as the archipelago north of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, west of Rosario Strait, east of Haro Strait, and south of Boundary Pass.To the north lie the open waters of the Strait of Georgia. All these waters are within the Salish Sea. The USGS definition of the San Juan archipelago coincides with San Juan County.”

Friday Harbor is made up of little clothing shops, art galleries, restaurants and many other miscellaneous type shops.  We enjoyed our day looking around.

“The Deception Pass Bridge is a two-lane bridge on Washington State Route 20 connecting Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in the U.S. state of Washington. It was a Washington State Highways project, and included project elements built by young workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps. Completion of the bridge (dedicated at noon on July 31, 1935) was a factor in the decision to build Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and helped Oak Harbor, Washington flourish. The bridge is a commonly-photographed landmark of the Puget Sound region.”

We have enjoyed playing golf at the NAS Whidbey Island Gallery Golf Course.

We took a day to drive over to Coupeville and go through the Admiralty Head lighthouse.

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Well our time at Whitbey Island is over.  It was a beautiful area and someday we hope to come back.

July 31, 2013  We ferried the rig from Coupeville (Oak Harbor) to Port Townsend.  This took out about three to four hours driving time.  The ferry took 40 minutes.

Mis-adventure:  While on the ferry, we left the rig and walked up to the observation deck and enjoyed the views of the strait and the other islands.  When we pulled into the KOA campground, I noticed that the spare tire on the fifth-wheel was missing.  Someone got under the rig, unhooked it and stole it !!!

We stayed for two days at a KOA in Port Angeles and then moved to the Elwha Dam RV Park (which is still in port Angeles).

This dam is famous in that it is the largest dam removal project in US history and began on the Elwha River in 2011.  This year both the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams are gone.  The Elwha River will flow freely from its headwaters in the Olympic mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the first time in 100 years.  With the dams gone, the salmon and other migratory fish can return to 70 miles of spawning habitat, bringing with them the promise of a restored ecosystem and a renewed culture.

Elwha Dam.jpgPicture of dam before is was dismantled

What remained of the dam as of February 14, 2012
Elwha Dam after demolition, May 2013
A muddy depression with lots of stumps and a small stream running through it in a forested areaLake bed and river in October 2012

We drove up to Hurricane Ridge and later in the week enjoyed the views of the Olympic mountain range.

We drove 12 miles from sea level up to 5,500 feet.  It was beautiful to look out over the glacier capped mountains.  The road was steep and windy with lots of lush pine trees and evergreens along the side.  These pictures don’t do it justice.  It was breathtaking.

August 16, 2013

We chose to stay in Port Angeles because it is right across the harbor from Victoria BC.  We took the ferry over early and spent the whole day enjoying the sights.

As soon as we got to shore we boarded a tour bus to the Butchart Gardens.  The history of how this garden got its start and has developed over the last 100 years is very interesting.  Go to the website   http://www.butchartgardens.com

This place is beautiful.

Fun Story —  When we got off the tour bus the driver told us the best place to enjoy good fish and chips was up a couple streets and on the wharf.  He couldn’t remember the name of the place.  We couldn’t find a restaurant right on the wharf, but there was a food truck looking outfit that advertised fish and chips and they had quite a long line.  We decided to take a chance.  John ordered fish and chips, I ordered salmon on a bed of lettuce.  The next day we were reading while kinda watching a program called Eat Street on the food network station on TV.  I looked up and saw a man being interviewed about his special batter and technique for his fish and chips.  He explained about his special coleslaw and pickled onions.  When it was all put together, it looked just like the fish and chips John had the previous day in Victoria.  I started paying attention and come to find out, it WAS the same place we had just eaten at in

Victoria….Red Fish Blue Fish !!  I was amazed. 

“Red Fish Blue Fish is an outdoor waterfront eatery in an up-cycled cargo container on a wooden pier in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.  It’s a unique, fresh, and sustainable approach to the old fish ‘n’ chip shop.”
Today we drove out to the area of Forks and LaPush, WA
Sound familiar to any of you Twilight fans?   That’s right, this is where the book and film were based.  I understand when the movie was first released you couldn’t even get around in the town.  Now, however, it’s quiet and there are only a couple trivia stores.  We could have found where Bella’s Dad lived and where the high school was, but John wasn’t interested and I was just happy that we drove through the town.
The beach we drove to in LaPush was very interesting.  It is lined with old petrified logs and the beach is made up of rocks, not sand.  The rocks are all about two inches around and flat.  Very unusual.
“La Push is the north-most point of Washington’s Pacific Coast beaches. From La Push to Cape Flattery, the most northwest point of the continental United States, lies the Olympic National Park’s National Wildlife Refuge. The beach lies on the south side of the Quillayute River’s outlet into the Pacific Ocean at the north edge of the Quileute Indian Reservation. The beach, called First Beach, is a wide, crescent shaped, sandy beach with sea stacks between the beach and the western horizon. During migration, whales can be seen from the beach.”
Well that was fun.
August 13, 2013
We have enjoyed our stay in the Port Angeles area and are now moving on down to Ft Lewis in the Tacoma, WA area.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound region, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is the Defense Department’s premiere military installation on the West Coast. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) provides world-class installation support to more than 40,000 active, Guard and Reserve Service members and about 15,000   civilian workers. The base supports 60,000 family members who live on and off   base, and nearly 30,000 military retirees living within 50 miles.

JBLM was formally established as one of 12 joint bases worldwide on Oct. 1, 2010. The merger of the former Fort Lewis (est. 1917) and McChord Air Force Base (est. 1947) was directed by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.”

The ‘travel camp’ is located on Anderson Lake.P1040809

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View from camp spot in Ft Lewis

Today we drove over to Mt Rainier National Park.

“An Icon on the Horizon

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Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.

While on the way to Mt Rainier, we came across this cute Hobo Inn …. railroad cars used as rooms…

We spent the day in Seattle enjoying the sights and sounds of the wharf.  We walked along the ‘underground’ and ate lunch at Ivars Sea Food.

We enjoyed golfing at the two golf courses on JBLM – Whispering Firs and  Eagles Pride.   Eagles Pride was voted in the top 10 of military golf courses by Travel and Leisure magazine.

So our time is up in Washington.  We are going over to Astoria, OR to the Rilea military camp.  There we will be meeting up with our Colorado friends and enjoying some sights.

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