Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Washington State Visits & Paige's Graduation
June 11, 2013 It is raining here in Chimacum, WA at the SKP park as I am writing this. We have driven here so that we can get ready for our upcoming Alaska cruises. On Thursday, we will park our rig at the Port Townsend Elks and drive our car to the ferry so we can cross over to Whidbey Island and ultimately catch the highway to Vancouver, BC, Canada. Friday we board the Radiance of the Seas for a 7 day cruise up to Seward, Alaska. Then we will stay on board for the 7 day return cruise. We have come here from Centralia, WA where we were parked at Brazel’s RV Performance repair shop for 3 days. Last weekend we had stopped at Castle Rock, WA to visit with Mike & Marilyn Harrison who were there for their grandson’s high school graduation. This is us with Mike & Marilyn We all stayed on the property of Darrell & Barb Harrison, whose son Ben, was graduating and their college daughter, Brittany, was home for the event: Their daughter, Darcy, had also flown up from Phoenix for this event. Because their place was just off the road leading up to Mt. St. Helens, Elaine and I drove up there to see it, since we hadn’t been there for about 20+ years. The last time we saw it was just a few years after the May 18, 1980 eruption, and the entire area around it was really devastated. This is a picture of what it looked like during the eruption: Today the area around it has recovered quite a bit, and looks very beautiful, largely due to all the trees that were planted shortly after the eruption. Spirit Lake, which was a very deep, beautiful lake located near the mountain, was lifted over 200 feet because of all the debris dumped in it, and looks like this today: Elaine and I went for a hike on the Hummocks Trail and took this picture of the mountain from the trail: This is a picture of one of the hummocks on the trail, which were created during the eruption: After a very nice visit, we left on Wednesday and because the hill coming down from Darrell’s place was steep, we stopped in Castle Rock to hook up our car. That was when Elaine saw that our right rear wheels were smoking very badly, and we drove to Brazel’s in Centralia. Turns out that we needed all new brake pads, rotors, seals, wheel bearings, calipers, shocks, and we had several other items done while we were there. All of this cost nearly $5K!! Ouch! We had to sleep in our rig inside their shop Wednesday night, and out in their RV spaces Thursday night. Friday by noon we were finished, and we drove to Seattle to spend the weekend visiting friends and family and attending my granddaughter Paige’s college graduation. We stayed with RV friends Terry & Vicky Webb They have a large and comfy home, which is heavily decorated with artistic and lovely quilts made by Vicky. Here is one hanging in their living room: They also have a wonderful sense of humor, so funny signs like the following were on the walls as well: My daughter, Laura, and her fiancée Dennis, stayed with her daughter, Paige, who was graduating from Seattle Pacific College. This is Laura & Dennis: And here is a picture of me (the Gramma),Laura (The Mom), and Paige (the graduate): Paige is living with Allison, who is a teacher in the area, and they have a cat named Porkchop: Of course, the other Gramma, Elaine, was very proud of Paige too, and here we are with her just before the ceremony: The graduation was held at Key Arena in downtown Seattle, and it is a huge pavilion where big sports events are usually held. This is what it looked like when all the graduates were in place: The actual stage where degrees were awarded was so far away from where we were sitting, that the only good picture I could get was this one, taken on the huge screen hanging in the middle of the arena: After the ceremony, we all went to the Kickin’ Boot Whisky Kitchen in Ballard, not far from Paige & Allison’s apartment, where we had a very good meal, and some family schmoozing. Dino, Paige’s Dad, had flown up from San Jose for the event. Here he is with Allison, Paige, and Laura at the restaurant. We left before the party actually broke up because we had a 2 hour drive back to our rig in Centralia. The next day we drove up here to Chimacum. Happily, our rig is now driving quite well because of the new shocks, and stopping quite efficiently because of the new brakes. Since we arrived, we have had an enjoyable Happy Hour with about 8 of the RoVing Rods who have lots in this SKP park. Yes, I know, I still need to write the blog about our trip to Myanmar. That will have to happen when we get back from Alaska, after June 28.