Sunday, September 6, 2009

Last Stay in Washington

Nanc and Dave catching up on the last forty years.
The Scott family
An example of Preston Singletary's work.
The Chihuly Bridge
Glass sculpture in the plaza.
John de Wit and an assistant work the glass.

We are now at the Olympia Campground in Olympia, Washington. This park is owned by the same people who own the American Heritage Campground where we stayed five weeks ago on our way north. This one is supposed to be a couple dollars a day cheaper but turned out being a little more expensive because they gave us the FMCA discount on the weekly rate at the other place. The pricing systems used by parks is always a mystery. Both parks are pretty nice with this one being easier to navigate with the big rig and the other one having bigger sites that are divided by vegetation. AFTER I WROTE THE ABOVE IT STARTED TO RAIN AND WE AWOKE TO A LAKE AROUND THE RIG BECAUSE A DRAIN WAS PLUGGED. I COMPLAINED BUT IT DID NO GOOD. DON'T STAY HERE IF THERE IS A CHANCE OF RAIN!!!!!!!!

We are staying a week here so we can spend some more time with Dave, Kazuko and their family. This is the fourth time Nanc has seen her brother in four years after not seeing him four times in the previous ten when we were working. Most of those times were related to funerals or other family events so this has been great. One evening after dinner we just sat on a bench overlooking the water in Olympia and told stories about what we have been doing the last forty years. It is fantastic to now have the time to do this.

One day we visited the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. They have a great permanent collection where they contrast the use of glass using such categories as transparent/translucent/opaque, hot/warm/cold, factory/studio, vessel/sculpture and several others. This gave a number of different perspectives and was a unique way of looking at a material we take so for granted. A temporary exhibit Echoes, Fire and Shadows by Preston Singletary, a Tlingit Indian, had items made of glass that were based on the woodcarvings of the native people of Alaska. He has produced everything from mythical creatures to bentwood boxes in glass. We found this very interesting since we have seen so many examples of these native works at the museums in Vancouver and the Makah Nation. The Tlingit Indians were also the visiting tribe we watched perform at the Makah Days Festival we attended. Outside the museum the plazas have many glass sculptures and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass that contains the work of world famous Tacoma native Dale Chihuly. We had seen many examples of his wonderful work in the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The museum has a large hotshop where you can get up close and personal with the museum's team of artists and visiting artists. We watched the team blowing martini glasses for a fundraiser they are having next week. John de Wit, a Whidbey Island artist, was working on glass sculptures that he would later paint. Everyone was willing to take time to explain what they were doing and answer questions.

This is our last stop in Washington and we have really enjoyed the things we have seen and done while here. The pace of our travel has been just about right with stays of a week at most places which gave us time to explore the area. As usual we did not do everything we planned and we will be back here in the future. Nanc's brother Dave said we should tell people the weather here is not the best but we can not tell a lie, for the most part it has been fantastic with cool nights and warm sunny days. That said it has rained a lot the last two days and they are reporting sn_w above 6000 feet in the mountains so we will be heading to the lower latitudes very soon.

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