Whistler to Seattle, WA
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Gorgeous day, mid-80s
This day we would end up in Seattle to visit Bill’s sister, Margaret, and her partner, Marcia. The day’s route is known as the Sea to Sky Highway and it is. Our first stop was at Shannon Falls Provincial Park. Third tallest falls in BC, it is beautiful. We took the walking trail through the forest of huge hemlocks, firs and cedars along Shannon Creek which lead to a viewpoint.
The road from Squamish to Vancouver winds along Howe Sound. The road is hemmed in between beautiful mountains and the water of the sound. At times the turns are uncomfortably tight to drive. We stopped at Horseshoe Bay, a neat little harbor and village overlooking a well protected marina. There is a major BC Ferry terminal in town so the town gets a chance to cater to travelers. Subsequently, there is a nice selection of eating establishments. We had lunch at a small Chinese restaurant. Sandy had delicious-but-much-too-big chicken and veggies in lettuce wraps. Bill ordered their “Western” food, fish and chips. That, too, was very good.
Welcome back to city driving! This was the first heavy traffic we’d encountered for more than two months! We endured the drive around Vancouver and into Seattle, arriving at Margaret and Marcia’s about 6:30 pm.
Margaret is an excellent cook but she put her dinner on hold and we used the remainders of Sandy’s lunch and Wednesday’s leftover nachos for dinner.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Overcast all day
Welcome to Seattle; after many days of sun, it was overcast all day! We had a relaxing morning. Sandy took a neighborhood walk. Then Marcia & Sandy went shopping while Bill & Margaret washed our car and camper.
Margaret made the dinner she’d planned for the previous day; noodle bowls with marinated flank steak with an Asian sauce. It was delicious!
It was great to be with family, to relax and to have a real bedroom with our own private bath. AND NO GRIT!
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Overcast with slight drizzle, mid 60s, clearing later
Bill’s sister, Margaret, has owned and trained border collies for a long time. She wondered if we’d like to see the Vashon Sheepdog Classic, a sheep dog trial on nearby Vashon Island. We’d never seen one, were intrigued and said, “Yes!”
I’m guessing most readers have no idea what a sheep dog trial is like. I’ll make it short. The course was laid out on a rolling field. The dog handler is stationed at one end and must remain near a post in the ground. Commands are given to the dog vocally or with whistle signals. Four sheep are at the far end of the field, about 300 yards away. The dog is directed to leave the handler’s feet and to go to the far end of the field and to position itself behind the sheep without disturbing them in. This phase called the “outrun”. In the “lift” the dog makes contact with the sheep and establishes their relationship. The “fetch” is an imaginary narrow path from the initial location of the sheep, through a halfway-point gate and to the handler’s feet. The dog is move the sheep along this straight and narrow imaginary path. In the “drive” phase, the dog is directed move the sheep through two additional gates, first away from the handler and then across the field. In the “cut” the handler leaves the post and assists the dog in cutting the flock in half, two in one group and two in the other. As it sounds, the “pen” phase requires that the handler and dog move all four sheep into a pen and close the gate. Finally the dog and handler “shed” one of the sheep from the other three.
Each phase is scored by deducting points from a predetermined number of points for each phase. In this trial the time allotment to complete the course was 11½ minutes. More than 60 handler/dog teams competed and not many actually completed all the phases. But is was fascinating watching the extremely complex and interesting interactions between sheep, dogs and handlers. It didn’t take long to begin to recognize the different styles of handlers and dogs. What an interesting and challenging sport!
Back a the house we were visited by Bill & Kay, fellow campers we’d befriended in Alaska, and who are now staying in the Seattle area. Margaret and Marcia prepared a delightful dinner of grilled leg-of-lamb, roasted veggies and salad. Dinner was complimented by great fellowship as well as plenty of beer and wine.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Overcast, some light showers
Sunday began by attending church services. Both Margaret and Marcia are very involved with their church, University Congregational UCC. Marcia is in their outstanding choir while Margaret is heavily involved in their financial planning and with youth programs. It’s a big, active church with lots of attendees at Sunday services. It was “Homecoming” Sunday and the sermon was given by Catherine, a border collie fan who we’d met the previous day at the trials. Catherine is also Margaret’s friend of many years.
Lunch was at Vios “Greek” Café in nice bookstore not far from the church. That evening we joined friends of Margaret and Marcia’s to see Will Eno’s play, “Middletown” at the ACT Theater in Seattle. It was a “different” kind of play, nice acting and production.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Overcast, mid 60s
At some point we knew we’d have a work day and this was it. Laundry was first on the agenda followed by grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and at Walmart. Afterwards, Sandy worked at cleaning out the camper and organizing provisions. And, whatever Bill did afterwards was apparently forgetable!
Dinner was Bill’s grilled teriyaki shrimp, steamed broccoli and corn on the cob.