Saturday, September 16, 2006 … 0 Camper Miles – Total 7,991
Sunny, beautiful, high 70s
While Bill spent most of the day working on this log, Sandy headed off to the next town down the road called Twisp. There, she checked out the nice farmer’s market where she picked up wonderful peaches, nectarines, apples and corn on the cob. The market also featured local artists. Market is definitely the big event each week in Twisp! After doing a couple of loads of laundry, she headed back to downtown Winthrop where she cruised the shops. This small town is delightful, carefully nurturing a western flavor. It was pretty busy this weekend, hosting a classic car show. There were nice art galleries, restaurants, and shops.
Back at camp we had a quick dinner of sandwiches and leftovers before heading off to the biannual “Dollar Watch Cowboy Jamboree”. This event raises funds for the local high school and is held in the town auditorium called the Winthrop Barn. (Doesn’t EVERY little town have a nice auditorium?) The show was similar to Prairie Home Companion, complete with bogus sponsors with jingles, local “news” and bonafide musical acts. The writing and acting was impressive and hysterical, especially the news interview about recent forest fires with local fire-fighter, Forest Stump. He did a perfect takeoff on Tom Hanks’ Forest Gump character’s speech mannerisms. The musical acts included Horse Crazy, a local female trio on guitar, mandolin and bass, and Back Porch Swing, a five-person group. Both were excellent. We had a ball.
Silverline Campground to Newhalem Campground, North Cascades NP, Newhalem, WA
Sunday, September 17, 2006 … 79 Camper Miles – Total 8,070
36 deg at 7:30, partly cloudy, nice afternoon
We were showered, had breakfast, and were on the road by 9:30, headed across Rainy Pass to North Cascades NP.
North Cascades NP is in two parts with a National Recreation Area you drive through that bisects the park. The park protects a huge number of glaciers and old growth forest and you don’t really get into the park, proper. The drive through the passes, though, is beautiful. We walked the two miles to Rainy Lake through lush green forest. The lake, itself, is outstanding, set in a lovely glacial cirque. Also, along the way we passed Ross, Diablo and Gorge Lakes. They are a linked series of hydro projects built and owned by Seattle Power. They are beautiful with green-blue water and unspoiled shorelines.
We toured the tiny Gorge Lake power house and walked the short loop trail in the vicinity to Gorge Creek Falls. The head of Seattle Power used the area as a tourist attraction with beautiful gardens and lighted trails for evening entertainment. Crossing a suspension bridge below the power house, we watched salmon spawning in the water right under the bridge! Today, the power house and dam prevents salmon from getting any higher in the river. However, the river was so swift above this point that salmon never were really able to get any higher anyway.
Returning to the parking lot, we noticed a group of classic cars getting ready to leave. It turned out to be a Packard owners club touring out ot British Columbia. Some of the cars were a bit rough but most had been beautifuly restored.
We camped at the Newhalem Campground. We were nearly alone with only one other site occupied in the whole campground. We’re definitely in the tail end of the season around here! We had a pork stir-fry along with yams mashed with butter and brown sugar.
Newhalem Campground to Margaret Stine Home, Seattle, WA
Monday, September 18, 2006 … 147 Camper Miles – Total 8,217
Heavy overcast, light rain on and of all day, low 70s
We had steady rain after midnight and we slept soundly until 8:15. When we finally got it together, we broke camp and headed in the general direction of Seattle. We stopped for breakfast at the Eatery in nearby Marblemount. Then we drove through the town of Sedro-Woolley, a small, historical lumber town known for its building-size murals and life-sized wood carvings that line the downtown streets. Heading toward the coast, we dallied in LaConner. This is a charming town on the Swinomish Channel along the Washington coast. Its narrow streets are lined with upscale shops, galleries and eateries. It is clearly a darling of the well-heeled Seattle set … an easy afternoon drive to idle away the time and dollars.
After arming ourselves with a dozen ears of corn from a small, roadside stand, we headed for Seattle, proper. We finally pulled up in front of the home of Bill’s sister, Margaret, and her partner, Marcia, late in the afternoon. The camper looked cute set up on the street in front of the house. Across the narrow street is a park crowded with kids’ sports teams. Kids and adults, alike, seemed fascinated by our little home. We gabbed like crazy with Margaret and Marcia while we prepared and consumed the corn, Margaret’s roasted chicken and Marcia’s salad.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 … 0 Camper Miles – Total 8,217
Rain with occasional clearing, high 60s
Blackberry bushes are everywhere and Margaret had picked some every day when she walked her border collie, Kess. Naturally, they found their way onto breakfast cereals. Bill spent much of today working on the log while the girls went to Magnusson Park for a walk and stopped by Whole Foods to get salmon for dinner. Dinner was terrific and we sat around and talked while watching the antics of Kess and the neighbor’s cat, who visits twice a day.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 … 0 Camper Miles – Total 8,217
Rainy and raw all day, low 60s
Bill finished several log episodes for the web site and headed to the library for WiFi access to post them. Margaret then took us on a driving tour of downtown Seattle. Highlights included Pike’s Market with its famous fish market where they throw the fish, the Ener-G Bakery factory for gluten-free pretzels for Sandy, the homes on Capitol Hill and several other areas of town and, finally, the Washington Park Arboretum. Conclusion: Seattle is a fascinating city with much to offer.
For dinner, Margaret prepared a rack of lamb, rosemary roasted potatoes, sautéed kale with garlic and onions. (Mom taught all her kids to cook for themselves and it seems the lessons certainly took with Margaret!)
Thursday, September 21, 2006 … 0 Camper Miles – Total 8,217
Raining, on-and-off, again! High 60s
Heading out to the car, Bill noticed that one of our tires was very low. What is it with these tire woes? He had the tire checked (leak between tire and rim). Then we went out, Bill to get the oil changed and tires rotated and Sandy to stop by a knitting shop to get some help with a project (and some pretty new yarn).
We used some gluten-free shells from Whole Foods to make pizza for dinner. They were very tasty!