Friday, August 31, 2018

On Our Way to the Canadian Rockies

We won’t know if it’s the right decision until we get there, but after a couple of phone calls with our friends Chuck and Carla, we’ve decided to just go ahead and keep our reservations and meet up with them in Jasper National Park on September 3. Jim and Carla were leaning towards canceling, but Chuck and I really wanted to go, so they agreed to go along with what we decided. The smoke has cleared quite a bit over the past week and we’re hoping it continues, although we realize it varies from day to day and could be worse again by the time we arrive.

We finally got our mail on Monday, exactly three weeks after it left Pensacola. Don’t count on priority mail arriving in 2-3 days like they say. Our absentee ballots were there, but had to be back in Florida by 8pm on election day, which was the following day, so we didn’t get to vote. We’re just thankful it was only the primaries.

On our last couple days in Port Townsend we did a hike from the RV park up the adjacent hill to the trails at Anderson Lake State Park.


It was drizzling off and on so the lake was not very scenic.


But it’s the perfect environment for fungi and slugs.




We heard that there was a sacred native American rock somewhere in the vicinity but didn’t know exactly where it was. We finally ran into two women who were heading there and told us to follow. The trail was steep and narrow and we would have never found it had we not asked them.

Tamanowas Rock. There is a steep path with a cable to get to the top but we decided against it.



After getting our mail on Monday morning we found the Port Townsend pickleball courts and played a few games. Nice group of people, and Jim’s elbow felt much better after Art’s treatment last week. Then we walked around the port where they repair the boats. It was fascinating watching a ship being lifted out of the water. They had been hit by another ship in Alaska but were able to finish out the fishing season and make it back to Port Townsend for repairs.

We couldn’t imagine how they get it in this lift but got to see it firsthand.


This is a wooden boat but they reinforced the bow with steel so it didn’t sustain too much damage. We were told that it got pushed 300’ when it was hit but don’t know what happened to the other ship. Apparently nobody was injured.



These two workers used long poles to get it centered while the driver was slowly moving it forward.


They finally started lifting it but had some problems with the placement of the straps and had to lower it back into the water. We got tired of waiting so didn’t get to see it completely out of the water.


We had to go back to Port Townsend Brewing a couple more times before we left. One night there was a different blues band playing and we enjoyed some people watching, especially this guy that Jim called “Fire Man”, for the flames on his outfit. He was quite a dancer, and could amazingly kick a leg up over his head.


On Tuesday we boarded the ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville on Whidbey Island. It was uneventful. We didn’t hook up the car since it cost less driving on separately due to the length. We paid $71.20 for both. In 2014 it cost $68.

Jim boarding the ferry.


There is no wasted space. He got a front row seat.


Last look at Port Townsend from the ferry.


In Anacortes we parked at Cap Sante Marina where we stayed in 2014. It’s just a gravel lot with no hookups but they have improved the RV parking area and angled the sites so we had a great view.


Our view of the marina.


View of the RV sites from across the water.


It’s a great location being right at the marina and just a short walk to downtown Anacortes. Jim thought we might want to trade the Lazy Daze for this yacht that’s for sale.


I had to stop by and see the cats at the adoption center just a few blocks from the marina. They live in a house with a large screened-in yard.


We found another ship being moved.


And took a walk up to the Cap Sante overlook.


Some of the locals. We saw them in many yards in both Port Townsend and Anacortes. Not that we don’t enjoy seeing deer, but I’m hoping the wildlife viewing improves in Jasper and Banff.


We passed some very nice homes near the water.

Anacortes, Cap Sante Marina

We really like Anacortes and would have spent more time there had we not decided to go to Canada.


Next up, crossing the border.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Mail Update and More

20180823_160440                                                      Driftwood along Puget Sound shoreline

We finally had a tracking update on our mail Thursday, which showed that it had been bouncing back and forth between Portland and Seattle for over a week. Jim called the post office here in Chimacum and the helpful manager said he would call the distribution center in Portland, where it was last scanned, and see if it could be located. Lo and behold, about ten minutes later he called back and said an employee had it in his hands, was going to place it in another envelope, and send it on to Chimacum. The tracking now shows it is to be delivered here on Monday. We shall see.

In the meantime we had several very smoky days, so I’ve been using the fitness room at the RV park, which isn’t the greatest, and Jim has been a few times to Evergreen Fitness five miles up the road, which accepts Silver Sneakers but charges way too much for a daily drop-in fee for me. I am looking forward to Medicare Smile

Smoky sunset.


The antique shop owner we met at the brewery said we should stop in Vintage Hardware and Lighting in Port Townsend, so we did.


There is the Art Deco Light Museum on the second floor. Jim’s parents had an antique shop in Pensacola for many years and his mom made lamps. She would have loved looking around the museum and showroom.



We’ve been back to Port Townsend Brewing a couple more times.


One evening we met Tomas from Scotland, who’s been living in Port Townsend for four years, coming here after a suicide attempt when he lived in Atlanta. It’s always surprising to hear the things people will tell a total stranger. Here is his sweet Rottweiler, Stanley, who ate most of the peanut shells we threw on the floor.

Stanley at Port Townsend Brewing Co.

We went there another night to sit outside and listen to a blues band. The dancing was entertaining to watch. Port Townsend has a large population of retirees who are not shy about getting out on the dance floor.


A movie sounded like a good way to get away from the smoke so we went downtown to the vintage Rose Theater, which opened as a vaudeville house in 1907. Before the curtain rises an employee stands up with a microphone and talks a bit about the film that’s showing. We watched Black Klansman, a very thought-provoking and powerful movie, especially the ending. The audience was dead silent for about 30 seconds after the credits started, not something that happens very often in a theater.

Rose theater

The air quality improved on Thursday and we had a little blue sky in the afternoon so we took a drive to nearby Marrowstone Island for a walk along the shore of Puget Sound.



Driftwood is plentiful.



As are dead crabs.



There were some hidden houses high up on a bluff above the beach.





Somebody got creative with this one.


One of the couples we ran into last week at the farmers market, Art and CJ, invited us to stop by their property yesterday, which is not far from here in Chimacum Valley, where they are planning to build a small house next to his daughter and son-in-laws’ place. CJ teaches Zumba at Jojoba and Art, a former chiropractor, helps people with injuries and pain issues. They have their RV parked on the property now and hope to break ground soon. After a tour and Art giving Jim a treatment for his aching pickleball elbow, we all went to nearby The Keg and I, a new brewpub in Chimacum that we didn’t even know existed, and had a nice afternoon getting to know them better.

If our mail arrives Monday we will most likely be leaving on Tuesday, heading to Anacortes, possibly but probably not, on the way to Canada. Our friends we were supposed to meet in Jasper are in Wyoming and planning to make a decision either Tuesday or Wednesday on whether or not to go. Since Chuck is a retired meteorologist we will defer to him to decide. Otherwise, we may just stay here since we found out a couple other friends will be arriving next week. Either way, we’ll find something to keep us busy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Evergreen Coho SKP RV Park, Chimacum, WA


We visited the Olympic Peninsula in 2014 and spent a few nights at the fairgrounds in Port Townsend, WA, but this time we opted to stay about 10 miles south in Chimacum at the Escapees park, Evergreen Coho. The short term area is just a gravel lot but it’s a nice park, although it doesn’t have all the amenities that Jojoba Hills has.


It’s been a busy social week. Lazy Daze friend Jeanne is here for a month, another Lazy Daze owner, Melinda, whom we met at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, has a lot here. And Larry and Renee, who head up the Lazy Daze Morro Bay get-together, showed up a few days ago. We joined them all for happy hour the other night.

We also visited with some neighbors from Jojoba who are here for a month, and at the farmers market on Saturday in Port Townsend ran into two more Jojoba couples who are staying in the area. Also had nice visits from a blog reader, and a friend of Jim’s from Facebook and his wife, whom we had not met before.

The weather has been fairly warm, in the 70s to low 80s, but we’ve had quite a bit of haze and smoke so it’s not great for outdoor activities. On the clearer days we’ve walked around the streets and along the waterfront at Port Townsend. We love looking at the boats, interesting shops and lovely architecture.



At the Northwest Maritime Center you can watch the building and restoration of wooden boats. They are such beautiful pieces of artwork.



Jim had to educate me on Steampunk, a term I had never heard of and a fad I guess I missed, although it’s apparently been around for years. This shop sells some wild clothing.


Point Hudson Marina.





Flowers at a B&B next to the marina.

Chimacum, Port Townsend, Evergreen Coho SKP Park

You have to love a town where residents post signs such as this.


And you can pick up your monthly poem from this box. Port Townsend is home to a large number of writer and poets.


We’ve been to the Pourhouse and had a beer on their pleasant outside deck.


We also had a fun evening at Port Townsend Brewing Co., where a stranger got out of a cab and came in and bought a couple rounds for everyone at the bar. He was from Seattle, very well-dressed, blind and in a wheelchair. He asked where the best place in town was to spend the night. We didn’t get his story but one of the patrons speculated he was terminal and spending down his money. When someone thanked him he said this was just a normal day for him. We also had a good conversation with a retired mail carrier who is now an antique shop owner in town. It’s always interesting sitting at the bar talking to locals.

The rock music wasn’t that great but there was some good people watching at the Thursday night free concert at the dock.


Last week the Saturday farmers market was expanded for the Uptown Festival. They have an annual parade and we came back after a walk to see what it was all about. Another crazy small town event.



Apparently anyone can enter.


Chimacum, Port Townsend, Evergreen Coho SKP Park1


This brass band followed at the end of the parade. They were excellent and we walked behind them for a while just to listen. Brought back memories of the French Quarter in New Orleans.


We’ve done one hike at Port Ludlum, a planned community just south of Chimacum. I read that it was one of the best places to retire, so we wanted to check it out. Located on Port Ludlow Bay, with home prices from the upper $200,000s for a condo, on up to $12 million for a home, we knew it was too upscale for us. That’s okay, though, since we really didn’t care for it. It was a bit too “planned” and perfect looking.




There is a five mile loop starting near the golf course, the Timberton trail, that goes mostly through the forest with occasional views of the Olympic Mountains (on most days, according to the website).


We saw a sign for a beaver dam here but couldn’t find it. The mosquitoes had found us, though, so we didn’t search very long.


We finally came to the view but there wasn’t much to see.


I nearly had to run to keep up with Jim, who was walking as fast as he could to keep the mosquitoes away. We didn’t bring packs (where we keep the bug spray), since it was just a short, easy trail. Guess we’ll never learn.


A couple weeks ago we ordered our mail from Pensacola to arrive while we were in Portland but it sat in Los Angeles for many days and didn’t show up before we left. It finally made it a few days after we were gone so the park forwarded it to Chimacum. Still no tracking and it hasn’t arrived at the post office yet. We’ve decided to hang out here for another week in hopes it will catch up with us soon. I am still monitoring the smoke in Canada but doubt we will be going by the way things look at this point.