Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunny in Seattle

Kazuko, Dave, Braeden & Allan
Nanc mastering the left handed chopsticks.
Mt. Rainier from 60 miles away.
The Tatoosh Range from Mt. Rainier.
It was spring and the flowers were blooming
Christine Falls
Up close on glacial covered Mt. Rainier.
From the bridge looking up the Nisqually River at the debris in the glacially carved valley.
Looking down the same valley as the picture above. In 1840 the glacier extended to the bridge you can see in the distance. What is climate change?

We are not really in Seattle but at the American Heritage Campground in Olympia, Washington for a week visiting Nanc's brother Dave and his family. What a difference a year makes. Last June when we visited the headline in the Seattle paper read, "Colder than Siberia" and it was true. Since arriving, it has been nothing but blue skies and sunshine with temperatures getting to levels where we are expecting to read a headline, "Hotter than Florida". With the clear skies the mountain (Rainier) is out and at over 14,000 feet it just dominates the Eastern horizon. You get so many glimpses of it, all you can say is WOW!!!

We have had a grand time visiting with Dave and Kazuko and had them over to our place for a cookout on Saturday along with their son, Allan, his girlfriend Stephanie and Allan's son Braedon. On Sunday we went to their place for one of Kazuko's wonderful Japanese meals. She is a great cook and she made us sukiyaki. Delicious!!! We have seen more of them in the two years we have been on the road than we did in the last thirty years. They were overseas or stationed far from PA for most of Dave's army career. Dave is retired military but is working at Ft. Lewis handling the logistics of moving equipment from place to place. We've spent our evenings during the week with Dave while Kazuko works at the base hospital. Even though they both could retire, neither one is ready and both love what they are doing. We suggested they retire and travel but they said they did enough traveling during Dave's army career, moving nineteen times. They love living here and are very content. Nanc was happy to see Dave because he had some health issues earlier in the year and it was good to see he is doing well. Again, one of the neat things about this lifestyle is to be able to meet up with friends and family along the way.

We have also taken advantage of being in a large population center to do a few tasks. Nanc picked up new contacts at the same store she went to last year for her eye exam. We found a specialized running shoe store and bought new shoes since we have both worn ours out. We upgraded our Verizon Internet and extended our cell phone contract. The plans we have are working well so it was just a matter of signing new paperwork. After two years we have found a good place in the motorhome to set up the PC we have been carrying and not using. We had purchased a desk in Santa Rosa that would fit in the bedroom, but we had to get rid of the recliner we have been using as a clothes rack. Allan took it off our hands and we put the desk together and are in the process of hooking up the computer. We had a router delivered here so we will be able to use both the PC and laptop on line. I spent ALL day Tuesday getting the PC hooked up, the router working and updating the Internet security on the PC. The first two jobs were easily done with only one short and very helpful tech support call to the 3G Store, but the security update took hours of frustration to convince Norton that we had a current subscription that was valid for the PC. After chatting and then turning the computer over to Mohammad we are now secure and Nanc and I each have our own computer.

We made a trek to Mount Rainier National Park to get a closer view of the monster of the Northwest. It is so different from the Rockies because it is a volcano and it soars impressively above all the surrounding mountains. The volcano is still active though it is only evident to those few who climb the 14,410 feet to the summit where you can smell the sulfur gases being vented. We took a hike that was only about two miles each way, but climbed over 1100 feet in elevation. The views were just spectacular with many spring flowers, waterfalls, snowfields, glaciers and distant peaks. This is the nearest we have been to a glacier and the blue green color of the ice was beautiful. The power of glaciers is shown by the Nisqually Glacier that carved out a valley as it pushed debris down the mountain and, as it melted, has left behind a rubble filled valley with a river that is still reshaping the land. The river water is a chalky white with glacial flour, fine particles of rock in the melting ice. In the winter when the mountain is getting its 600 + inches of snow and the glacier is frozen the water in the river is blue and clear. We are so glad the weather has been sunny and we are able to see this great mountain.

1 comment:

MarkandRenita said...

Awesome Seattle pic of Munt Ranier!