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Ecola State Park, OR

September 6, 2021 Leave a comment

Our hike today at Ecola State Park had some terrific views. And some rough spots, the trail was steep and muddy. But the views were worth it. This park is near Cannon Beach, OR.

We shortened our hike a bit as I pulled my calf muscle a few days ago and it was acting up on me. Wouldn’t have been so bad, but the steepness coupled with slippery conditions made for a more tense hike, not good for a sore calf muscle.

We started out early, right about 10AM, and there were a few cars in the parking lot. But by the time we left at noon it was almost full. And coming back down the hike we saw quite a crowd of people. Last holiday of summer, nice weather, and everyone wanted to enjoy it. I’m glad we did!

A quick story about the Tillamook Lighthouse, also known as Terrible Tilly. Construction was started in 1878, and it took almost 2 years to build. Terrible storms and hurricanes made for some awful construction conditions. Once finished, there were always four keeper at a minimum. Their “shifts” were on the rock for 3 months, then 2 weeks off, and meant some terrible conditions for the keepers, both physical and mental. Some didn’t last more than a week.

The storms were terrible. The wind would tear chunks of rock off the island itself and throw them through walls, water tanks, even the lighthouse windows. Despite enforcements everything needed frequent replacement. Floating debris would plug the foghorn, which also required regular maintenance.

In 1957 the lighthouse was replaced with a red bouy. It was then sold to a private individual, but he lost title due to some serious swindling. The island then had several owners, each a story in itself.

Eventually it was turned into a columbarium. You could have your ashes stored there at prices from $1,000 and up. Unfortunately, the last owners lost their license to store peoples remain and the rock has been sitting empty since 1999. But it still is great for picture taking..

Bellingham city

August 24, 2021 Leave a comment

We’ve been visiting the Bellingham Farmers Market for several weeks to pick up some fresh veggies and other things. This week, we took some pictures for this blog.

One of the more interesting ones was a company that sold mushrooms. They also sold kits to grow your own, these were decidedly different looking. See pics..

Since we were in the area we visited the waterfront. Like so many, it is a dilapidated area of old shipping sites, empty buildings, docks and more. But also was evident a move to clean the area up and have it eventually become the center of the city.

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Bellingham hikes

August 23, 2021 Leave a comment

Fragrance Lake: We hiked this popular trail for the fourth time. And probably the last. It starts at sea level and goes for 2.5 mile to the lake at 1,200 ft elevation – all uphill (see road level photo). Maybe we’re getting too old for these hikes.

Sure, the lake is pretty but 2.5 miles downhill is hard on the legs too. Most of the trail is just rocky, but you do have to watch out fo roots. Saw a woodpecker hard at work on a dead tree.

Stimpson Nature Preserve: a very nice 4 mile hike through old growth timber. There were cougar sightings here, but we didn’t see any (and didn’t want to). Lots of ferns and undergrowth.

Categories: Traveling

Berthusen Park

August 9, 2021 Leave a comment

In 1883, Hans Berthusen immigrated with his family from Norway and settled in Whatcom County. He homesteaded some 180 acres of dense brush and trees, and eventually added another 80 acres. The wood was very valuable, but he set aside 20 acres so future generations could see what the area looked like before it was settles. Today, some of those larger trees are worth we’ll over $50,000 in wood alone. So it is hard to find native forests anywhere.

After his death in 1944 at his request the property was bestowed to the city of Lynden contingent that the property be set aside as a park. And it now is a park with some of his original buildings and structures for all to see. And enjoy the old growth forest.

It has an extensive network of trails, so much so that you can get lost. However, no harm done, it is surrounded by agricultural land so eventually you’ll find the way out. And enjoy the old growth as you wander around.

We just missed an antique tractor and equipment show last weekend on an adjacent site, but we’re able to see some of the equipment still there. Lots of old things, and one particularly nicely restored Farmall tractor, right down to some very fancy wheels.

Mt. Baker, WA

August 7, 2021 2 comments

With the weather cooperating somewhat, we decided to hike the Alger Lakes trail on Mt. Baker. Took the back roads to get there just because I wanted to see Linden, WA. They have a large Dutch community so it was like a little visit home.

Then on the Mt. Baker. It’s a long drive but beautiful, alongside the Nooksack river. It has the unique blue-ish color of glacier fed water.

Artist Point on the top of the mountain was still closed so we stopped at Heather Visitor Center. Had a quick lunch, put on our boots and jacket, and did two hikes from the visitor center.

Hit some rough rocky sections, but navigated them without difficulty. There still is snow up there but it won’t last long with the moderate temperatures of summer. In fact, we had to take off our jackets when the sun appeared. Then back up the long hill to the parking lot and the drive home.

A nice full day of local agricultural scenery, mountain scenery, and an enervating hike.

Leavenworth, WA

Our travel today took us from Spokane on I-90 (boring) via WA 281 to Wenatchee. We’ve never taken this route before, and it was a very pleasant drive. Right alongside the mighty Columbia River, now crossed with dams and bridges.

It was obvious what the agricultural products are: hops, grapes and apples. Home to beer, wine and apple pies. The trip through Wenatchee was interesting as well. Actually, a nicely laid out city with trails, water sports and parks.

When we got to Leavenworth we had to do some fancy maneuvering through small, curvy roads until we got to our RV park. Our site is right overlooking the Icicle river, with a significant drop off in front. The river is so named because it is snow melt and the coldest water in this area. But you can still find rafters and kayakers in the water.

We went into town to appreciate the Bavarian atmosphere. We had a nice dinner at King Ludwig’s, where we enjoyed German schnitzels. Tasty, especially the red cabbage.

We ended our visit by stopping off at the local cheese house where we were able to find both Leiden and Aged Gouda cheese. Bought enough to last us quite a while.

Sacred Rim trail

As noted, we were staying in Boulder, WY for two nights. Now there isn’t much in Boulder, population 32, but it is close to the Wind Ridge Gorge. And that is where you will find many hikes of about any length or difficulty you want. As a result, even though this trail is a long ways from town, the parking lot was almost full.

We chose the Sacred Rim Trail hike, not the most well known but popular with locals. It is about 2 miles each way. We went about 1.5 miles, the altitude (9,500ft) was getting to me. But we had a chance to see the Gorge from the trail, really a beautiful area.

On the way back down from the trail head there were several magnificent views of the valley below. Didn’t realize how many lakes there were in this area!

Boulder, CO

We spent a few nights in Boulder, WY, population 32. Not much here, but it is close to the Bridger National Forest and the Wind River Gorge. The park is fairly large, but like most Wyoming parks made of gravel, and therefore dusty. But it has all the facilities you need.

There were some unusual park resident, several horses that were roaming free. As I understand it, the park owners are trying to help rescue these horses. Also noted was a most resourceful motor home, one that is known as a “schoolie”. Some people have a lot of talent to “make something work”.

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Granby, CO (Day 3)

The third day of the AIM rally had us going for some white water rafting on the Colorado river.  First was a bus drive to the rafting company headquarters, where we were outfitted with most fashionable PFD (can’t call them life vests anymore). From there, a converted school bus took us along some bumpy roads to the raft launching area.

Here we were given some instructions, which proved to be very helpful later.  We then got on our raft for initially a lazy float down the river.  But then some rapids cane along, and I kept my camera in a dry sack.  Such fun in the rapids!  Just class 1 2 and some 3 so nothing too serious.

But then, our guide showed us how to spin the boat while going down the rapids.  Unfortunately, he made a mistake and we bumped into the rocky shores.  Both Romola and I were thrown from the boat, and were now navigating the rapids – without a boat. But we recalled our instructions, pointed our feet downstream, and were finally pulled back in the boat.  

The rest of the trip was uneventful, except our clothes were soaking wet so we were kind of chilled. We were glad to finally get back, take a hot shower, and put on dry clothes. But all in all it was a fun trip and some added thrills for our trip.

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Granby, CO (Day 2)

The second day of the AIM rally had options of ATV rides or white water rafting. We chose ATV riding, and were taken by bus to Kremmling, WY, about 30 miles away. There we met the ATV rental people who got us equipped with helmets, an ATV, and instruction.

The ride was supposed to be about two hours long, so Les and I shared riving “duties”.  Navigation was easy, it was all GPS controlled, all we had to do was follow the blue line.  It wasn’t that easy, but after some mistakes we got it figured out.

The first part was on town roads, no issues.  Then we went on ATV paths, which were quite bumpy.  The further we got, the bumpier.  Eventually we ended up at a steep hill, and I drove up it… until our wheels were skidding ad we were stopped.  We were pointed up at a 45 degree angle, I was concerned about sliding backwards.  Romola, who was navigation, switched the ATV to four wheel drive and up we went.  After that, it became easier.

We switched drivers, and Les took over. There were several steep hills, which by now were no problem. But when you get to the top all you see is sky… it’s disconcerting not to see the road going down! But eventually we made it back to the start. A truly interesting day!

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