Archive for June 2013

Summer of 2013

June 11, 2013


Patty and I started the summer of 2013 off in a wonderful way with our trip to the Seattle area.  We left early on the 21st of May with the Prius loaded down with fire-logs for our condo fireplace, two sacks of books to donate to Kala Point for their book sharing program and a 5-gal bucket of grape cuttings for Patty’s friend Sandy in Marysville.  After a stop at Roseburg to see Patty’s sister, Audette, who was in the hospital recovering from another diabetes-related crisis, we drove non-stop to Smokey Point Navy Lodge near Everett Navy Base.  We had wet weather all the way from Roseburg and we weren’t looking forward to our scheduled day on Patos cleaning up the place for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend opening of the summer vacation season.

The next morning at O-dark thirty (4:30AM) we were picked up at the Lodge by Sandy and we drove to Anacortes to catch the Ferry to Orcas Island.  We were bundled up with layers of clothing and it was still wet and cold.  Sandy drove from the Ferry at Orcas to a coffee shop where we loaded up on coffee and pastries and then made our way to ‘The Ditch’ where the Washington State Parks keeps their LST-type boat for carrying materials and people out to Patos.  You can’t get to Patos, the northern-most island in the San Juans, except by boat.  We met Nick, the BLM employee who works with the Keepers of the Patos Light, at ‘The Ditch’ and embarked on our trip out to the Island with five or six other crazy volunteers.  At this point the weather was holding off and, though a little cloudy and cool, it wasn’t too bad although I was glad I was bundled up for the trip over the water to Patos.  Also, Nick brought donuts, bless him!

We made our beach landing and unloaded all our gear and Nick gave us our assignments which seemed very ambitious and probably unattainable but the weather was holding and actually started clearing a bit.  I got a heavy duty weed-whacker and Patty was assigned to cleaning up the beach (which she does for fun anyway).  By the time I finished cutting the grass around the lighthouse the sky was clear and it was warm and, although I was sweating from the first real work I had done in weeks, I was really enjoying myself.  It was one of those days that you really appreciate in the Seattle area because it’s like a gift you weren’t expecting.  A beautiful day in Seattle can’t be matched anywhere on earth and on Patos it’s even better.  With the blue skies and mountain vistas and the isolation of this unsullied paradise it is a priceless experience.

We accomplished everything that Nick had hoped for and, after the boat returned us to Orcas, we all met at a brew-pub to cap off a perfect day.  Sandy dropped us off at the Navy Lodge and Patty and I left the next morning for Whidbey NAS where we had reservations at another Navy Lodge.  Before leaving we stopped in at Everett Navy Exchange at Smokey Point and the cashier pointed out to Patty that her military ID card had expired and tried to confiscate it but I wouldn’t let them.  When we got to Whidbey NAS, the gate guard took her card and directed us to the Pass & ID office on base where they took us right in and said I also needed a new ID for some legal and obscure reason.  Anyway, it was pretty painless and efficient and we both got our new ID’s pretty quickly.  The next morning we caught the ferry for Port Townsend and got there in time to have Fish ‘n chips at Doc’s Marina Grill before checking into our condo at Kala Point.

We brought the entire 8-seasons of ‘24’ with us and two boxes of fire-logs and the weather was damp and cool so we were pretty well set.  We did take time out to attend the ‘Folklife Festival’ at Seattle Center because Kai was performing there with the Bucharest Drinking Team. We met my Great-niece Lisel at the festival who we have been trying to get together with Susan and Kai for years.  Lisel works at the Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as a Project Coordinator when she’s not climbing mountains and she is beautiful and smart just like Susan so we’ve always felt they needed to be in touch.  Patty, Sue, Lisel and I all left the Folklife Festival after the Balkan Music part and found a restaurant to have some drinks and visit.  Patty and I returned to our condo and immersed ourselves in ‘24’ again except for a hike to ‘Glass Beach’ which is a strenuous hike of about 1½ hours from North Beach in Port Townsend.  We got through the first four seasons of ‘24’ before we left on Friday to go to Susan & Kai’s place in Seattle.

We spent the next two days working on projects for Susan and helping her celebrate yet another promotion to Program Manager at Microsoft.  It’s a significant promotion for her but it means she’ll be traveling a lot more to exotic places like China, Taiwan, Japan and Texas.  Well, maybe not Texas. Anyway, she’ll be working with coordinating new technologies between Microsoft and manufacturers. I DID say she was smart, didn’t I?

We got home last Sunday and we finally finished all 8 seasons of ‘24’, including the movie ‘Redemption’ between seasons 6 & 7,  just last night so now we can get back to having a life.  Watching ‘24’ through for the second time was almost as intense as it was the first time.  The first time we pulled more than one ‘all-nighter’ but this time it took us a little longer.  I know that Jack Bauer and his exploits are ridiculous but there’s something about that series that is just totally captivating.  Now, I understand, Kiefer Sutherland is in negotiations for another ‘24’.  I’ll probably be disappointed.

Patty is going back up to Seattle on the 3rd of July to work on the Iron Goat Trail and then Traci and Patty are going up to Anacortes for a wedding on the 3rd of August.  Patty also has a Springfield High School Reunion in August and maybe a get-together with some classmates at a river house on the Umpqua. Then we have another week at Kala Point and a Chris Isaak Concert at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA on August 24th.  After that, we’ve been planning a road trip to Yellowstone, Rushmore, Vermont, West Virginia and then loop home through Arizona.  So, it’s going to be a very busy summer.

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