Anacortes Weekend

Old post

This is an old post I wrote but couldn’t post since the Internet connection was sooooo bad.  I don’t remember the exact dates.

Chica has the shits

Not sure what happened, but I think it was something she ate (maybe a bug or something) but Chica came down with the shits.  What a bummer for her and me.  She wasn’t a very happy camper for a few days as you can see from this pic.

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I took her to the vet and she checked out A-OK there.  They gave me some medicine for her tummy and she is much better now.

Met up with Marti and Charlie again

Marti and Charlie wrote that they were going to Anacortes over on Fidalgo Island and wanted to know if I could join them.  I made plans with my other hosts to fill in for me and off I went late Sunday afternoon.  The weather here had been raining all week so I called Charlie to make sure they were still going.  They were already at Anacortes and the weather was nice and sunny so I headed over there.

Parked at the marina

They already had a spot at the marina so I pulled in next to them.  What a gorgeous view!  I forgot to take a pic during the day so this will have to do.  Quite a difference from out in the woods where I have been all summer.

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Ferry to San Juan Island

On Monday morning we walked down to the bus stop where we caught a bus to the San Juan Island Ferry.  The ferry ride is well over an hour to get there as we passed several islands on the way.

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Friday Harbor on San Juan Island

We got off the ferry at Friday Harbor, the main town on the San Juan Island where we climbed aboard a tour bus.

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Our first destination was English Camp.

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This is the only place in America  where the British flag is the only flag flying.

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The gardens there are really beautiful and well manicured.

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On to Roche Harbor

Boarded the bus again and went on to Roche Harbor.  You pay one fee and you can get on or off the bus anywhere you wish.  It was great for seeing different sites on San Juan Island.

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What a beautiful harbor.  Lots of yachts and a beautiful hotel.

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Here is a great pic of Marti and Charlie in the garden path in front of the hotel.

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A pic of yours truly after landing his yacht in the harbor.  HA!!

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Then we boarded the bus to return to Friday Harbor.  We stopped and had a drink just before boarding the ferry for our return trip to Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.  I got this pic of a taxi out in front of the bar.

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This is our ferry.  If I remember right it was about a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride back to Anacortes.

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Our final day in Anacortes we got out the bikes and they showed me some very neat spots on the Island.

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Thanks Marti and Charlie AGAIN for such a wonderful weekend.  You guys are the BEST tour guides in the Seattle area.  I had a wonderful time.

Back in the Saddle

Back in the saddle again

I just today realized how nice it is to have great Internet.  I finished up my workamping contract with Hoodoo on Friday and hit the road on Saturday where I spent the first night in Ellensburg, WA.  Then I drove to Redmond, OR the next day where I stayed in Crooked River Ranch at the River Rim RV Park.  I have stayed here many times so know the area and besides it is a Passport America park so saved some money to boot.

Tuesday morning my destination is Alturus, CA and finally arriving in Reno, NV on Wednesday.  I have checkups with my doctors in the area so will probably even get down to Fernley, NV.  I may even get to see some of my friends who worked at Amazon in the previous years.  Of course I have already decided to NOT work at Amazon this year.  I don’t want to go through another winter like last year.

Life without GOOD Internet

Since I arrived at Panorama Point on Baker Lake back in May I realized that Internet or cell phone usage can be very frustrating.  I was able to access the Internet using my Wilson Sleek booster, but I was only able to get a poor 3G signal.  I could not upload or download any pics and reading other blogs was out of the question let alone post my own.  Besides I was working, which took up a great deal of my time.

The worst part was when it rained.  Then I had absolutely no Internet even with my booster.  Yes, it does rain quite a bit in the Northwest.  I had no cell phone usage either unless I utilized my booster.  Sometimes in certain areas I could receive a 1 bar signal which at times would be enough to receive a text message, but not enough to make a phone call.  So communication was very poor.  At least I had a booster unlike the other hosts, who had to drive 10 miles just to make a phone call.

More to follow

I have many pics of my summer I would like to share once I stop traveling and can put together a post.  I just wanted my readers to know that I am fine and enjoying not working at this time.  I am not sure where I am headed after Reno, but will figure that out soon enough.

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Still alive and Kickin’

Sorry for not posting

I had to look up the last time I made a post and found it was July 3.  That is awful!  You know I am not one to post every day as I feel I just don’t have too much to say.  But still I should do better then I have been.

I am still camphosting in the Mt Baker Snolqualmie National Forest and loving it.  However I am working a bit more then I thought I would.  With that said I am usually very tired at the end of the day and just want to relax with Chica.  My hosting job will come to an end shortly after Labor Day and the it will be back on the road again.

Lousy Internet

My Internet up here is nothing to right home about.  If I didn’t have a Wilson Sleek booster I wouldn’t even be able to send this.  It is extremely slow and I can’t upload pics without going into town.  When it rains, as it does quite often, the Internet goes down the drain.  Then I can’t even access the Internet.  I can get good 4G in Concrete, but I am usually busy shopping or doing laundry.  Trying to upload pics is almost impossible.

Chica doing great 

Chica is doing great but misses me during the day while I am attending to campgrounds.  She loves to run around up here in the woods.  It will be nice when I am no longer working so I can spend more time with her.

Very busy days

My work days are usually 8-10 hours depending on the day.  Normally I take care of 3 separate campgounds and have to visit each at least twice per day.  It involves a lot of driving.  Two days a week I have to fill in for another camphost who has those days off.  Then my days get really long, so not really too energetic about writing a blog post.  But it has been worth it as I have been able to save some money and decided not to work at Amazon this winter, but go south instead to AZ.

I have had some great times with Marti and Charlie and will still post later on a couple of Anacortes trips.  This area is really beautiful.

Till later,

Jim

Sleepless in Seattle – Part 2

Continuing my Seattle Weekend

This is a continuation of my weekend with Marti and Charlie in Seattle.  I would have posted it much sooner, but I have been experiencing Internet access problems.  I finally got them straightened out and will mention that later.

What a statue!

This guy painted himself grey and was posing in front of a shop just outside Pike Place Market.  You could not tell if he was a statue or a real person until he moved.  It was really amazing.

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Ferry to Bainbridge Island

After we ate lunch we walked down to the pier where we hoped the ferry over to Bainbridge Island.  It was just a short ride over but you really had some nice views of the city.

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Marti took a pic of me with Seattle in the background.

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Here is a pic of the island.

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Once we got to the island we turned around and took the ferry back.

Great view of Seattle

Then we took a bus back to the car and drove over to Kerry Park in the North Queen Ann section.  There I could also get some great pics of the city.

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Charlie and Marti overlooking the city.

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Theo’s Chocolate in Fremont

After that we drove to the Fremont section of the city and checked out Theo’s Chocolates.  They were the first free trade organic chocolatier in the US.  I had to get some while I was there and am still enjoying it.

Ballard Locks

The locks were very interesting.  They connected Lake Washington to the ocean.  There was a large tour boat going through as we were there.

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They also have a fish ladder for the salmon going upstream to spawn.  You could go under the lock and see the fish migrating, but there were no fish moving through at that time.

Seattle Mariners baseball

The next day we drove down to the Hospice where Charlie volunteers to meet some other people.  Charlie had organized an outing to see the Seattle Mariners play the San Diego Padres.  We all walked over to the Safeco Field just a few blocks away.

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Charlie and I were very lucky as the only people who joined us were girls.

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It was a great time.

A really great weekend

It was a very busy weekend and Marti and Charlie took me everywhere.  It was really terrific that they showed me so much of the great city of Seattle.  Thank you both again for being such great tour guides.

More Northwest adventures to come.

 

Sleepless In Seattle

Invited to visit Marti and Charlie

After staying at my campground at Panorama Point, Marti and Charlie invited me to come and see Seattle where they live.  So Chica and I took off in the RV around 2:30 Sunday afternoon and headed west.  We arrived at their home about 6:00 and Charlie parked my rig in the space in back of their RV.  It just fit with inches to spare.

Marti fixed a delicious vegetable soup and then we talked about places we would visit the next day.  What a day it turned out to be.  We were on the go all day.

REI’s Flagship Store

I have been in a few REI stores in Southern California but nothing that could even come close to this one.  This is a waterfall as you walk into the store.

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Here are Marti and Charlie at the entrance.  I was like a kid going into a candy store.  What a place.

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Looking for a kayak?

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How about ladies tennis shoes?  Every color of the rainbow.

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For anyone purchasing hiking boots you can see how well they can fit your feet using this special rock surface.

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I could have been very happy spending the entire day in this store, but we had lots of ground to cover so had to move on.

Monorail to downtown

Charlie parked the van and we walked to the Seattle Center where we road the monorail to downtown.  This is the same monorail that was built for the Seattle World’s Fair.

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Once downtown we walked to a place called “Inn At The Market” where Charlie explained that there was a famous scene filmed there in “Sleepless In Seattle”.  Rob Reiner tells Tom Hanks that girls like guys with cute butts.  Then Rob proceeds to tell Tom that he has a cute butt.

Of course Charlie is playing Tom Hanks and I am playing Rob Reiner who tells Tom that he has a cute butt.  HA!  This pic was the same spot that the movie was filmed at.  Aren’t we both great actors?

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First Starbucks

These next few picks were taken outside of the VERY FIRST Starbucks.  Check out the logo as it is much different then the present logo Starbuck’s uses.  The place was packed to the gills and you couldn’t even get in the front door.

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Pike Place Market

Then we took a walk thru the Pike Place Market.  What a place!  They had anything and everything you could think of there.

Flowers anybody?

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Meat?

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Athenian Cafe

This is where Rob Reiner and Tom Hanks were sitting while filming “Sleepness in Seattle”.

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Marti and I sitting in the same seats.

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Fish Throwing

In the fish market when someone would purchase a fish one of the employees would pick it up and throw it to another employee who would wrap it up.  Everyone would stand around a cheer and it got the crowd very excited.  It was something to see.

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If you look close you can see the fish on it’s way to the wrapper.

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World Famous Gum Wall

National Geographic wrote an article about the most unsanitary tourist attractions.  The gum wall was 2nd only losing to the Blarney Stone.  This wall was made because a comedy club told everyone at the entrance to get rid of their gum before entering.  So everyone started this huge gum wall.

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Then after seeing this gross work of art we went to lunch.  HA!  There was just too much packed into this one day to cover in one blog post so I am going to pick up later and finish our adventures.

 

Spotted my first bear

Getting settled into job

I am finally getting into a good routine with my camphosting job.  My day is busy but I am able to schedule all my duties without killing myself.  I make 2 rounds of each campground checking to make sure everyone has paid and are in their correct sites.  Then there is 2 pit toilets per campground that must be attended to.  Also each campsite must be cleaned and raked after each camper leaves.

But Washington is so beautiful and it makes my job so much better.  Everything is really green up here and when there is no rain it is fantastic.  It is so nice to be parked here for the entire summer.

Hi Yogi

I saw my first bear while driving on the road just about a 1/2 mile from one of the campgrounds I am responsible for.  He/she was going up a ravine just to the side of the road.  I didn’t have my camera handy so couldn’t get a pic.  Bummer!  I am sure that is not the only bear I will see up here over the summer.

I did come within 10 feet of a deer and he did not appear to be the least bit frightened of me.  He just strolled off into the bushes.

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Checked out a forest service road

There was a forest service road across from one of my campgrounds so had to see where it goes.  I get a lot of hikers wondering where are some good hiking trails so I do my best at finding the trailheads just off of forest service roads.  This one was just a one lane dirt road that lead way up the mountain.

I followed this road up about 3 miles where the road ended.  The scenery was magnificent.

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Relaxing in the sun

This is Chica’s favorite spot.  She loves laying in the sun.

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Weekends are busy

On the weekends the campgrounds are almost full.  This past weekend was a free fishing day.  Not sure what that meant but there were certainly a lot of fishing people.  Then on Sunday night everyone goes home and it is usually slack through the week.  However July 4th is approaching and it should be very busy.

New Jetpack

I just upgraded to the latest hotspot Millenicom offers in the hopes that my connection would improve.  I had one of the very first hotspots they sent out.  It was a Samsung and there was another upgrade after that which I didn’t get.   Using my sleek I do have 4G occasionally but not very often and sometimes even the 3G was quite slow.  Not enough to upload pics.  I will find out later if there is an improvement.

BUSY, BUSY and a visit from friends

Very busy

Since my last post it has been a very busy couple of weeks.  I am learning each day how to handle visitors, cleaning pit toilets,fire pits, extra vehicles, Day Use areas, etc. etc. etc.  It has been very busy to say the least.  Even on my days off I find myself working doing this or that.

Covering 3 campgrounds

I am parked at the Panorama Point Campground, but I am also responsible for 2 other campgrounds as well.  The first is Boulder Creek Campground with 1 group site and 9 normal sites.  They also have 2 pit toilets.  Boulder Creek is only a mile down the road so I can usually check on everything there in a short time.

Shannon Creek Campground is 4 miles north with 3 miles of it on a dirt road.  This campground has 18 sites with 2 multisites.   A multisite is a bigger then normal campsite with room for several cars.  Shannon Creek also has a boat ramp with a day use area.  This seems to be one of the campgrounds most popular with tent campers although there are a few larger sites for RV’s.  Here are a couple of pics heading north to Shannon Creek.

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Covering 3 campgrounds makes it a very busy day on the weekend as I usually visit each campground twice a day.

Extra Vehicles

I find I spend a majority of my time checking on those campsites with extra vehicles.  One camper reserves the site and then invites a lot of family and friends to join them.  This makes for cars all over the place and I have to see that they either pay a day use fee if just spending the day or an extra vehicle fee if they are staying overnight.  Some campers can fit 4-5 cars in a campsite.  HELP!  But most people have no problem paying the extra fee.

Memorial Day Weekend

Most of the campsites are reserved online through recreation.gov.  I have to put up signs showing that the person indeed reserved that site.  I don’t have to collect any fees for these sites since the customer already payed online.  I just have to collect the extra vehicle fees.

Both Panorama Point and Boulder Creek were totally full with only a couple of sites left in Shannon Creek.  Friday it poured rain all day and I think it kept a few campers away.  Saturday was beautiful and then it rained on Sunday and Monday.  LOTS of MUD.

Concrete, WA

Concrete is a very small town and located 19 miles south of the campground.  Prior to the Memorial Day, I spent my day off in Concrete doing my laundry.  It is a great laundromat and also met one of my fellow host’s who was also doing her laundry and another workamper who works down the road at an organic farm.  She was very interested in working at Amazon so I had to fill her in on workamping there.

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More pics of Concrete.

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It is a rather old town but has most of what I need such as small grocery store, post office and a great little diner.

Mount Baker

On my way to the Boulder Creek Campground you cross a bridge over Boulder Creek.

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When driving south on the bridge on a clear day, you have a fantastic view of Mt. Baker.

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My friends drop in

This past Monday Marti and Charlie as well as Kay and Paul all dropped in to see me after attending a Lazy Daze Northwest rally.  It was really good seeing them but the weather was not cooperating.  They set up a tarp in the Day Use area and we had a great Happy Hour.  I got lots of tips from everyone for places to see up in this area.  After Happy Hour they picked up the tarp and walked it down the road to my campsite where Marti and Charlie are letting me us it this summer.

DSC_0455I wish I had my camera with me as they were walking it down the road.  It was a riot. to see.  Thank you Marti and Charlie for allowing me to use it.  Also thanks for the wine and brewskies.

I am posting this from the Burlington, WA library.  There is also a Fred Meyer here as well where I will be doing any major shopping.  I will try to post more regular, but I have to go into Concrete where I can get a 4G connection.  The connection is 3G at my campsite and that is with a booster, but it is very intermittent.