Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012-32 Shelton Washington


Olympia Peninsula Washington
Shelton Washington

glass art in Bremerton Washington

Campground:  Elks Lodge.  Shelton WA. $15, Elect (30amp) and water.  Nice pull-thru sites.  Normally Elk members only but they will let a member sign you in for your stay.  Note the camphost came over with a welcome basket of stuff and no one has mentioned my not being an Elk member.

Elks Lodge, Shelton Washington

Camper repairs update, the saga continues:

I removed the campers battery charger and brought it into Sundance Auto and Rv.  Discovered they have a certified electrician on staff who didn’t take long to determine that the charger appears to function correctly.  So much for my deft appraisal of the situation.  I have an appointment to bring in the camper on Wed.  and the electrician said it could only be a couple of things and it should be fixed shortly.

Update two:  with the battery charger/inverter reinstalled in the camper, the technician checked out the entire electrical system and discovered it was the charger after all.  I ordered a new one under warranty and should have it in a few days.

Christine and Tom's Home

In the mean time, I’ve been doing all those little chores around the camper including getting a locking gas cap.  I may be slow but I’m no dummy.  (see previous report)  By the way I was sharing stories with my good friends Christine and Tom and was telling them that I order my batteries, especially the specialty ones online.  Like those small button batteries which I use for my tire gauge sensors and watch batteries.  Even my specialty battery for my Canon digital camera.  Just do a search online putting in the battery id number and the words “best price” and you’ll find great resources for purchasing those batteries cheaply.

A few days later, Tom and Chris picked me up on our way to The Staircase in the Olympia National Park.  The area is heavily forested as we traveled along the shores of Lake Cushman before we get to our final destination for hiking.  This area was heavily flooded a couple years back and the original walking bridge crossing the river has been washed out.  The path through the forest is full of  towering western red cedars and Douglas firs, tons of ferns and mosses thickly carpeting the forest floor.  Now I was expecting to see some magnificent falls cascading down a stair step of rocks, but instead after hiking along for a goodly distance we came to an orange netting barrier blocking our way along the river.  Now Tom told some pretty good tails about why the trail was blocked and Christine went along with those tall stories, but I knew they were pulling my leg just to get me to go on a hike to no where.  Being a weekend there were many others along on this wild goose chase of a hike so I guess I wasn’t the only one hoodwinked into thinking I’d see some waterfalls.  In the end I have to admit it was a most pleasant hike.  Perfect weather, good conversation as we each told stories better than the last one and before I knew it we were back at the car and heading back out. Later I would learn that the place was so named because early explorers made a staircase out of the red cedars going up and over a steep cliff.  Those steps no longer exist but the name does.

Christine was trying to make me laugh

At the lodge I’m staying at, they have the following saying out front:  “The faults of our brothers we write upon the sand.  Their virtues upon the tablets of love and memory“.  I thought it was a nice saying and only hope to be able to work towards doing the same.  It’s right next to the parking spot of the Exalted Ruler, or as my friends say, the Exalted PooBah.

Monkey Pod tree

Gig Harbor, no story just a couple of neat pictures

I drove in one day to Olympia to check out a Pier One shop as I have been thinking about replacing my dining table with a different style table and chairs.  They didn’t have what I was looking for at this time but boy did I see some great chairs and even couches that would fit into an Rv easily as they were what is called apartment sized chairs and couches.  All very comfortable as I tried each one out.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to buy a camper and then be able to pick out the furniture you really wanted in it?  Well I took lots of pictures of the furniture and price tags, and your right the prices aren’t cheap, but the stuff seems to be pretty high quality.  Now I’ll be able to dream about a whole new look in the living room and it won’t cost me a cent.  At this point anyway

I’d come into Olympia actually to visit my good Desert Trails friends Sandy and Eric.  They have a gorgeous home in a suburb of Olympia and we had a most fun afternoon chatting about everything from smart phones to what it’s like to full time and Sandy and Eric’s upcoming big adventure on a cruise ship from Seattle, through the Panama Canal all the way to Ft Lauderdale Florida.  A wonderful dinner at their place and I must add Eric has quite a quick wit about him.  Lots of fun.  Then it was back on the road using my ever faithful cell phones GPS.  The only thing it couldn’t do is tell me I was going to hit a traffic jam on hwy 5.  After inching along for about 15 minutes, we came upon a lot of police vehicles with their flashing blue and white lights and fire trucks putting out the fire on an old corrugated metal sided motor home that was burned out all the way to the frame.  I could see right through what was left of the outline of a motor home.  Everything they had, gone.  Quite a dramatic ending to a wonderful day.

Washington notes:

Signs indicated that it is illegal to restrict more than 5 vehicles and one must pull over to let them by.  Vehicles are permitted to travel on the shoulder in some areas.  Most unusual.  But then again in Texas they have signs everywhere saying don’t drive on the shoulder and everyone seems to ignore the signs and drive on the shoulder anyway.  Especially between farms.

Washington seems to have many homeless everywhere.  Must be that the weather is relatively mild and they can live outdoors year round.  I see them on street corners panhandling or just sleeping in parks etc.  In Seattle I saw a homeless hangout with all the cardboard signs asking for help and money, but no homeless person.  A small sign said, “back in 10 minutes”.  His business was temporarily closed.

The reforestation from the Mt St Helen explosion in 1980 took 7 years to complete.  Weyerhaeuser planted 18.4 million seedlings all by hand over 45,500 acres of mountainous terrain.  Can you imagine the back breaking job that was.

Riding on the ferry is a great way to experience the Seattle area.  And it’s free for walk-on’s… in one direction anyway.  Had a fun tour with Sandy, Eric, Chris and Tom.  We couldn’t find a tour trolley like many tourist towns and cities have, though we did see a Duck tour go by.  So Tom, Eric and I followed the gals as they trekked around the city streets.  We were near the harbor and the double decker roadway that separates the downtown from the piers and dock area.  I’ve been told they will be removing those roadways and building a tunnel for all the traffic.  For now the double decker  roadway is very noisy as the noise from the traffic echoes and bounces off the roadways and surrounding buildings.  They ‘ve begun work on building a tunnel that will replace the double decker highway and it is expected to be complete in late 2015.  They must have really fast road workers up here.  After the tunnel is built, the double decker will be removed.

Eric, Tom, Christine, and Sandy
and of course lots more pictures on Picasa, some you'll have to make up your own stories as I didn't have enough time and space to write about them here.

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