My sister Pauline is in town for the week. She arrived today and brought with her plenty of California sun. After picking her up from the airport, we went straight to business. We walked all over downtown Seattle.
While the boys are on Pier 57, Pauline and I get lost (in purpose) at Pikes Place Chowder on Post Alley. We had clam chowder, sourdough bread and crab roll. It was really fun just hanging out with my little sister before she gets married in December.
August 28, 2014 Thursday
Today, Richard and I are on an overnight date. We bought burritos from a food truck, stuffed them in my purse and had lunch at the movies! Shhhh, don’t tell them. We saw “Lucy” (Scarlett Johansson) and was blown away. We had a lot to discuss the moment it ended!
We went on a 1-hour bike ride just 5 minutes away from the campground. This paved trail was beautiful. We went under canopies of trees and saw many shades of green.
The the next day, as we rode our bike around the campground, we discovered black berry bushes. We picked to our heart’s content and nibbled on them. I made blackberry jam and the boys enjoyed it on their toast.
Carla from American Heritage Campground gave us a list of neighboring towns, highlighting shops, restaurants and fun things to do. We 86’d our hiking plans and explored instead.
STOP 1: Mima Mounds, Little Rock.
STOP 2: Rock Quarry Pool, Tenino. There’s a serene wading fresh-water pool with a waterfall for Owen to play in but we got sidetracked. There’s more to this gem we still have yet to discover and share with everyone.
STOP 3: Lattin’s Country Cider Mill, Olympia. This wonderful discovery led us to this charming farm-store with free petting zoo. It reminded us of Riley’s Farm back home. We look forward to returning in the fall.
We have revised our winter plans. Originally, we were going to make our way down to New Mexico and stay there during winter; however, we’ve grown to love Washington and don’t want to leave yet.
We decided to hibernate for the time being. We want to see how the rain will affect us should we decide to make this our semi-permanent home state.
On that note: we found a house for rent here at Olympia, WA. It’s fully-furnished, 2 bdrm, 1 ba, 2-car garage and a backyard for Owen. There’s also a parking space for our travel trailer, in which Richard is very happy about.
There’s a biking trail nearby and this area we found is nothing but green. Our landlady is very kind and pleasant. We connected immediately upon meeting her. Marilynn Stephens from olympiafurnishedhomes.com owns other properties in the downtown Olympia area. She has tenants like a legislator renting out her homes within walking distance from the Capitol.
We are confident our stay here in Olympia is a good move. We look forward to settling in for winter. It’s even better that we’re close to our friends in Tukwila and new friends we made here at our campsite.We check out of American Heritage Campground September 9 and we move into our rental the following day. I’ll be posting our mailing address on our facebook page for friends and family. We love keeping in touch with all our friends, by the way. It truly makes a difference in our days.
Owen says he’s excited to: have a new room, explore the neighborhood, play in the rain in the backyard that has trees.
I’m looking forward to being in an open indoor space where I can stretch out my arms when I sleep; watch TV and home-educate Owen for longer sessions. But mostly, I am looking forward to having kitchen space where I can cook and bake like a top chef. Blueberry muffins, roasted root vegetables and pumpkin pies are on my top list.
It’ll also be great to have family/friends over from California. If you’re looking to experience Washington during winter and spring, let us know! We’ll welcome you with open arms, hot chai tea and fresh-baked goodies.
The drive from Anchorage to Denali National Park and Preserve was a long 5-hour drive. This area in the summer is very green. We crossed countless creeks and rivers. It was flat, no reason to get car-sick. Aside from seeing Denali and learning about the early settlers, we came all the way here because Owen wanted to earn a Jr. Ranger pin from Alaska and this was the closest one.
This was Owen’s favorite: the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel- the longest (2.5 miles) highway tunnel in North America, and the first designed for -40 Fahrenheit temperatures and 150 mph winds.
The one-lane tunnel must be shared by cars and trains traveling in both directions, and i t usually needs to be aired out in between trips with jet turbine ventilation. This unique design that enables a single lane of traffic to travel directly over the railroad track saved tens of millions of dollars over the cost of constructing a new tunnel.
The drive was only 10-minutes but it was the longest ride for someone who is claustrophobic. I had to “escape” the dark tunnel and look over my happy pictures in my camera.
And yes, there was light at the end of the tunnel….
This area originally was part of the portage route for the Chugach Indians of Prince William Sound traveling to fish the Turnagain Arm.
Later, the Russians and Americans exploring the region also used this passage. It was used by prospecting miners during the gold rush as it was the quickest passage from the Sound to the Cook Inlet and Interior Regions.
The City itself is a historical area, established by the US Army during World War II. The Federal railroad to Portage was completed in 1943 and became the primary debarkation point for cargo, troops, and dependents of the Alaska Command. (I love history and this was so fascinating to me!)