Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].


Report 58. Day 58. Tue, July 1. Through Seattle and On to Friend Randy Cox's Home in Oregon

6:52 am. First entry of the day. O Canada Canada Day - like our Independence Day, for them..

I found last night that if I lay on my left side, I cough all night, lay on my right side, no cough.  Finally Sharon got up at 4 am, been up ever since, grateful that I was sleeping. {I know I said earlier that his cough was better as we moved through Canada but maybe not, Dang my memory}

We button up for travel and head out at 7:21 am. As soon as we turn the corner up on Highway 5, Sharon gets a Red-shouldered Hawk, with brick red horizontal stripes on the chest.

Beautiful snow-covered Mount Rainier fills our front windshield as we are in heavy traffic, heading to Seattle..

We catch the space needle through bridge cables, then get a fine view of the harbor.

We met Sharon's sister Jeane and husband Wendell in the Space Needle for dinner one night a few decades ago. {I love these pictures of Seattle. Beautiful city}

Traffic has opened up, and it's fun to see Mt. Rainier from the road.

The white steel structures below are to hold up the football stadium that the Seattle Seahawks play in. The black one is for the Seattle Mariners' baseball games. Eyecatching and elegant.

We can see the Old Rainier Brewery on our left, and Old Rainier out the front.

We make our way completely through Seattle and its suburbs, and cross the state, heading south. North of Portland Sharon snaps a roadside totem pole.

We stop for breakfast shortly after the totem, and for some reason I have a hankering for a sausage link. We scoot through a leisurely breakfast, then back on the road.

I've skied on Mt. Hood with our friends the Petricks, and it comes into view. Lots of waterways means lots of bridges.

Remarkably, there is a "ski" lift, that takes professionals from the top of a building on the left of the freeway up high on the right side. Sort of like taking a bus, only not anything close.

We refuel about ten o'clock. Sharon gets us an osprey and a bald eagle on the right abut 11:30. Then bang, 1pm and we're in a traffic jam from an accident. We use the delay to stop for lunch. Then at two or so, it's clear enough for us to hit the road again. We pass Salem, Oregon, then a couple of hours later a bit of stream with the great name Chickahominy Creek.

My high school buddy Randy Cox and his significant other, Sherry built a new home in their property we previously visited a number of years ago during (yum) blackberry season. Randy has given us instructions to get there, and one issue is a covered bridge. Its advertised clearance number is about two inches shorter than we are tall, so he gave us another, slightly longer path to get there. Which works perfectly. {Perfectly after we go down the wrong road, see the bridge in front of us, know we cannot get under its roof and have to turn around to go the "long" way. Even the GPS isn't quite sure where to take us but we figure it out}

We park and size up the location Randy has cleared out for us. We make a plan for me to go up the driveway, turn left, continue up the hill, into a meadow, then back down, above and parallel to the house, in a fairly narrow slide of natural driveway. After a couple of back and forths, which is my technique, we are in place. We get hooked up to electricity, are self-contained for water, and it's time to relax.

They have a great porch sheltered from sun and rain, and we begin the time honored ritual of spinning tales.

I like their grass-in-pots theme. They have a couple of dogs with personality. Here is a great face.

I wish I had Randy's gift for talking. I could listen to him till bedtime. They prepare us a great dinner, and man, I wish we lived closer. {You can barely see Sherry in the kitchen here. She is a retired Dr. and we have great conversations while Bob and Randy share old stories and talk photography}

We make plans for tomorrow, which will start off with Randy going to the dentist to do the last/best part of completing an implant at the dentist's.

Sleep comes easy, beside Randy and Sherry's home, with the river flowing on the other side of the gravel road, and the train passing on the track beyond the river. Maybe I'll stay here till the blackberries are ripe.

Sleep well, children,
Bob and Sharon


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