Sep 29, 2010


It's been a quiet week.  We've had a lot of rain up here, and that tends to put a damper on outdoor activities.  So we keep ourselves busy with other tasks.

We  took the ferry over to Seattle last Friday, and did some shopping.  We stopped at the REI flagship store and we each bought a new pair of shoes and a couple pairs of socks. See I told you we have an exciting life. Then it was on to the camera store to pick up a replacement lens cap and then we had lunch at a local specialty gluten free bakery.  I don't like to write bad reviews so I won't go into details, but I don't think it will stay in business much longer.  Either that or our standards are very different from the locals.

We then headed north to Edmonds to stop at PCC, one of our favorite grocery chains in the Seattle area.  It's like a small Whole Foods.

We were only a mile away from the ferry, but since it was Friday there was a long line.  We took our place in a line of at least 50 cars.  And proceeded to inch ahead.  It kind of reminded me of being in a Chicago rush hour.  As we inched closer to the ticket booth we saw a car zoom around everyone and cut in line.  We couldn't believe what happened next.  As the driver approached the ticket booth, the driver who was cut off jumped out of her car and ran up to the booth.  After some pointing and gesturing, she returned to her car.  When the line cutter pulled up to the booth, it was apparent that she was being told to return to the end of the line.  After several obscene gestures, the driver realized she was not going to win any argument, and left.  As we pulled up to the booth, Judy noticed a sign saying to report anyone cutting in line.  They take line cutting very seriously out here.

On another note we paid for a month at the Evergreen Coho Escapees Park, which means we should be leaving tomorrow.  Well we are moving, but only about 100 yards over to a different site.  We are currently on a leaseholders lot and pay a monthly fee and our electricity.  Since we are only going to be here for 2 more weeks we are moving to an area reserved for daily and weekly rentals.  The fee is higher but includes electric. 

Judy has been fighting some stomach issues since last winter.  When we were back in Michigan, she visited our primary care doctor and he prescribed the normal medicines ( the expensive purple stuff you see on TV ads), and said to try that for a while and if it didn't get better they would run some tests.  Don't you love modern medicine.  The problem has not gotten better, and we decided to see a doctor here in Port Townsend.  This doctor took an entirely different approach, including running some tests for food allergies.

So we are here waiting for the results.  We will be here another 2 weeks before we can hit the road again.  Meanwhile, Judy is to avoid coffee, foods containing gluten, and dairy products. Judy loves her coffee so giving that up has been especially hard.  So you might ask, what can she eat.  Simple whole foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, and chicken.   So we are eating very simple foods right now and not eating out much.

We are both getting a bit of hitch itch.  We still hope to spend some time in central California before heading SE.  We want to spend a few more days with family in Portland, so I think we'll throw the AeroBeds in the back of the car and go and camp out in Portland this weekend.  Then when we finish up with appointments we'll be ready to hit the road.

On a closing note I read a really funny blog entry from another full-timer.  It's entitled "Whats in a name?"  Go take a look. It will put a smile on your face.

Until later

Sep 21, 2010

Newborns, Pizza, and Goat Cheese

The longer we are here in this area the more we like it. Not only is the scenery spectacular but the food is too. Restaurants are proud to serve local and seasonal food, and the Port Townsend farmers market is enjoying large crowds and record sales. Apparently this area is becoming known as one of the most successful models in the local food and farm movement. On Sunday we went on their 8th annual WSU Farm Tour, which they were calling 'a celebration of local food'.

Our first stop was to pick up a map and then we headed out to Marrowstone Island to visit Mystery Bay Farm.  The focus was on goats and the great cheese they produce.

Then it was on to Red Dog farm an organic farm which grows over 150 varieties of carrots, beets, corn and broccoli.  While we were there we shared a scoop of Basil Balsamic Strawberry ice cream from the Elevated IceCream shop in Port Townsend.

Next up was Bishop Dairy.  This farm is over 100 years old and inspired the famous book "The Egg & I"  by Betty MacDonald.  We were able to see a couple of calves, that had just been born that morning, take their first wobbly steps.

Our next stop was Wild Harvest Creamery.  Another family run operation, they milk goats, sell cheese, have pigs, beef cattle, duck and chicken eggs, and you can even order a goose for Christmas.

It was time for lunch, so our next stop was Finnriver farm.  They grow berries, apples, and other assorted vegetables.  You could try your hand at a bike-powered grain mill, watch a blacksmith demonstration, or listen to local musicians.  But we were there for the pizza.  We prefer Italian style, thin crust pizza with only a few ingredients and we were not disappointed.  Dented Buoy Pizza has a wood fired oven mounted on a trailer and travels around to the local markets making pizza.  They were certainly doing well at this location.  And yes the pizza oven was made from an old channel buoy.

Our last stop was Wildfire Cider.  There we were able to taste 4 different hard ciders paired with local cheeses.  In between rain showers we toured the orchard of 900 apple trees, all pruned and trained on trellis wires.  These apples are specifically chosen for their flavor in producing cider.

It was a lot of fun to see these farms up close and we had a great time. For more information regarding these farms click on the links and it will take you to their website.

Until later.

Sep 17, 2010


This morning we boarded the 9am ferry for a short 35 minute ride to Whidbey Island.

  This is one of the smaller ferries in the Washington State Ferry system and you are advised to have a reservation.  We had one for the morning ferry but did not make one for the return trip.  More about that later.

It was a smooth but foggy crossing.  When we arrived we headed next door to Fort Casey State Park.  We wandered around the gun placements and Mollie enjoyed stretching her legs as well.

While we were at the park we could see the ferry heading back to Port Townsend.  We watched as it disappeared into the fog.

We then headed north to Coupeville.  We picked up tourist info and maps at the visitor center and continued our drive north.

Our next step was Deception Pass and the beautiful bridge over it.  We watched as a small sailboat made it's way through the narrow pass fighting tricky tidal currents.

 Once you cross the bridge you are on Fidalgo Island.  We headed to the north end of the island to the town of Anacortes.  Anacortes is a commercial boat building town as well as the stepping off point for the Ferry to the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island.

It was time for lunch but first we made a quick stop at  LensWork Publishing.  For years I have been a subscriber to their fine art photography journal focused exclusively on black and white photography.  While the owner was not in I did get a quick tour from one of his designers.

After the tour we headed to Adrift, a local restaurant that the designer had recommended.  We love eating local, and we were not disappointed.  We shared a salad,  and a plate of 3 pork and sweet potato tacos. We also shared a bottle of locally produced hard cider.  

Not only was this a local restaurant, but it proudly listed the local farms which provided the produce and meats they serve.  We don't mind spending money to eat out when it's like this.

After lunch we headed over to the local ship yard.   This yard builds some really big boats.  As I stepped up to the fence to try and take a couple pictures a security guard approached me.  I figured I wasn't allowed to take pictures and started to turn away.

He stopped me and said I could take better pictures inside the gate and proceeded to open it for me.  Wow!!  He then talked to me for several minutes explaining who the boats were being built for and how they would be used.  What a neat experience. 

Our last stop before leaving Anacortes was a park overlooking the harbor and marina.  Even Mollie enjoyed the view.

We headed back to Keystone hoping to catch the 4:30 ferry back to Port Townsend.  We arrived with 5 minutes to spare, but since we didn't have a reservation we had to join the standby line.  Our luck didn't hold out though.  We were next in line when the ferry was full.  It was frustrating watching the ferry leave knowing it would be one and half hours before it returned, but we also could relax knowing that we had no deadline or appointments to make.  The good news is that a new larger ferry will be going into service next month and reservations probably won't be necessary except for peak times.  Another great day messing around with boats.

Until later.

Sep 14, 2010

Caffeine Jitters

Our trusty french press glass carafe bit the dust or maybe I should say, hit the sink.

This french press is the only coffee maker we have so I was forced to drink hot tea with my oatmeal this morning. I like tea. There are times I love tea, but I love coffee especially in the morning.

So we drove into Port Townsend hoping we could find a replacement carafe. Port Townsend is a small town but we remembered a couple of kitchen gadget stores along the main drag. The first store we went into had a lot of (pricey)gadgets but no Bodum carafes. The second store had the replacement we needed. The price sticker said $20.  Huh, we didn't pay much more than this for the entire french press. We almost bought it anyway until the saleslady showed us this.

We had mentioned to her earlier that we lived in a motorhome and she thought this would be perfect for us. We had never heard of the AeroPress but apparently anyone who has one of these just loves it. At least that is what she said. It isn't made of glass so that eliminates the breakage factor and it is much easier to clean.  So we bought it and brought it home. And made coffee.

It made great, smooth, rich coffee. I get coffee for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Until later

Sep 12, 2010

Messing with Boats

Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on dreamily: `messing--about--in--boats; messing-----about in boats--or WITH boats, `In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?'

 The Wind in the Willows  by Kenneth Grahame  

In our former life we were boat owners.  They say the two happiest days of a boat owners life is when he buys the boat and when he sells the boat.  In between, there are mostly good memories.  We started with a 22 foot S2 sailboat, quickly outgrew it and moved to a 28 foot O'day. We then bought a boat big enough to live on, a 40 foot Endeavor cruising sailboat.  We sold our home in Michigan and headed south.  Our trip took us down Lake Michigan into the Illinois River and down the mighty Mississippi. At Cairo, Illinois we turned left to follow the Ohio River to Paducah, Ky. We then turned right to head down the Tennessee River, which took us to the Tenn Tom Waterway.  Countless locks later we entered the Mobile River which took us to Mobile, Alabama, and on to Florida.  There we decided that a 40 foot sailboat was not the best choice for a family with four kids.  So we sold the sailboat and bought a slow cruising trawler, a Gulfstar 43.  We kept this boat for 8 years and finally sold it when the kids were in college and we no longer had time to use it.  I think it is safe to say that our children have more family memories about boating, both good and bad, than almost anything else.

A year ago April we were privileged to spend 10 days on a small boat cruising the Canal Du Midi in Southern France with our friends Bob and Linda.  This only served to cause the glowing embers to reignite.  I had forgotten how much fun it was to simply "mess about in a boat".  In spite of rainy days, toilets that didn't function well, and cramped sleeping arrangements, we had a great time. Bob and I got to play Captain, and Linda and Judy were our able first mates.  We learned how to navigate the locks quickly and showed our fellow boaters on the canal, Italian and French, that the Americans knew how to handle a boat.

Why do I tell you all this.  Well, we are staying on the Olympic Peninsula right now with lots of water and boats nearby.  I must tell you the siren call of the sea is strong and loud.  I think Judy is hoping we can hold out for a couple more weeks until it is time to leave.  We poured gasoline on the still smoldering fire when we went to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend yesterday.  Wandering the docks brought back lots of great memories.  Then Judy reminded me about bottom paint, zincs, bilges, barnacles, and taking care of teak. I hate teak!!  Oh well..... it's fun to dream a little.  My grandson Nemo has promised me that when he grows up and is rich and famous he will buy Grandpa a new trawler.  "Nemo, I am counting on you"  and don't forget the hull should be dark navy blue and no teak.

Until later.