We've spent the past month traveling north through Washington on our way to Canada. Tomorrow we will drive across the border into British Columbia. We've had a great time in WA.
Our last update was from our first stop (Centralia). We hadn't downloaded any photos at that time, but a few are included here of a unique place we visited. It is not a popular tourist attraction...just a private home in downtown Centralia. We headed to this location ("The Art Yard") to search for a geocache. Which, by the way, we never found. But we really enjoyed walking around the outside of this home and spent about 30 min. visiting with the owner. He has been decorating his yard over the past 25 years with various "treasures" he has collected. And it is still a work in progress. As we entered the garden, he even handed each of us an item to hang wherever we chose. But asked that we not let him see where we placed it because he enjoys walking around after folks leave to see if he can spot the additions. What a kick!
Next we stopped for a couple of nights in Puyallup. We spent one day touring the Northwest Trek Wilderness Park and Nature Preserve in Eatonville (southeast of Olympia). All of the creatures that reside here are of species that are native to the Northwest so no elephants, giraffes, etc. Instead, we saw wolves, grizzly and black bears, elk, bison, moose and a wide variety of small critters and birds. Most interesting of all was the fact that none are in cages...just fenced areas. Even the birds were not caged, which we didn't understand until we were told that they hadn't had their wings clipped, but instead were all rescued and rehabilitated after suffering injuries that prevented them from flying. Couldn't resist taking photos of the bald eagles. Although, we've seen them quite often just flying around overhead in both Oregon and Washington, they are still just so beautiful when you look at them up close.
While in this area, we also spent one day visiting a couple of museums in Tacoma. We especially enjoyed the Museum of Glass and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma, but his glass sculptures are displayed all over the World. We have seen exhibits of his in several places across the U.S. and if you've never seen his work up close, you don't know what you are missing. We've included one photo of a portion of the ceiling of the bridge over the highway in downtown Tacoma, but it really doesn't do it justice. Check out the Dale Chihuly website to see some really beautiful shots of the ceiling and walls of this bridge taken at night.
Next on to Everett. From here we visited Seattle and although we have been here before, you can never get enough of the public market at Pike Place....especially the guys flinging fish around at the seafood market. We complained a lot about the overpriced, and not-so-hot, RV parks available in both Puyallup and Everett. But, I guess we paid for the close proximity to Seattle. We learned our lesson. It is much better to stay further away and spend a little more for fuel to drive the extra distance to go sightseeing. We are at a great park now and paying about 1/3 the nightly rate. We also spent $700 on unplanned repairs on our Saturn while in Everett. We have been getting a "Service Engine Soon" light on our dash intermittently for several weeks now. The owners manual says that this indicates a possible electrical problem. We have had the car serviced and replaced the battery after it died on us a couple of times. The light stayed out for a couple of weeks so we thought our problem had been solved. Then it popped up again so we took it into a Saturn dealer to have it diagnosed before heading into Canada. Well....electrical problem indeed....we had a mouse living under the hood and he/she had made quite a nest using bits and pieces of our wiring. Not sure how long it had been there, but we think it traveled with us from Oregon because that's when the warning first appeared. As we unhitched the car at our first stop in Centralia, a little mouse came running out from under the car. I guess it just wanted to move to Washington.
Now we are in Anacortes and only about 60 miles from the Canadian border. The Fidalgo Bay RV Resort is great and the price is even better...especially if you are members of Passport America which gives you the nightly rate at 50%. We are only paying $16/night and the location is perfect. Water and mountains everywhere. We are surrounded by various bays of water in and around Puget Sound with wonderful views of the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Mountains. We are very near Deception Pass and Whidbey Island where we will be campground hosting at Ft. Ebey State Park in October and November. Of course we drove there to check out the campground. Good news/bad news. We are going to love hosting there, but like Ike Kinswa, no TV or Internet satellite reception. We even had to drive a couple of miles outside the park before we picked up a cell phone signal. So I guess we will have a four-month stretch of movie watching and card playing. Oh well....with so much beautiful scenery, who needs TV.
Tomorrow we will put our new passports to the test.
Love to all,
Kris & Scotty