Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Our Little Tiny Tree
Our Little Tiny Tree

Hard to believe but this is our 3rd Christmas out camping.  The two previous ones both were on the gulf coast of Texas. One a couple of years ago and the other 16?? years ago.

We are posting at this time to express our wish for everyone to have a great Christmas season with family and friends near and hope that the new year brings wonderful things.

It is extremely unlikely that we will be in our new home before mid January and maybe not then but some progress is being made and Bertha continues to keep us warm and dry.

Unfortunately, as we did not expect to be “homeless” this long, many of our friend’s addresses are locked away in storage and unavailable making it impossible to send many of the cards we would liked to have sent.  If you did not get your usual seasonal missive it was not because you were forgotten.

If you would like our new address, send a comment (with your email address in case we don’t have it) and we will reply.

Your random rovers in Sequim Washington,

Elaine and Gordon

A Trip To Forks

This year has been all about moving on and mostly about setting up a new home base, but a few breaks need to be taken.  When a chance to participate in a mushroom foray with the local mycological society here on the Olympic Peninsula came up, we packed up went to a very wet place during a very wet season to look at fungus.  Hmmmm?

Our Site at Three Rivers
Our Site at Three Rivers

We met at the Three Rivers Resort about 8 miles west of Forks, WA.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable and educational outing.  I learned enough about a couple of mushroom species to try collecting them.

A mushroom log
A mushroom log

 

Amanita Muscaria
Amanita Muscaria (Do Not Eat These!!)

 

A rather nice coral mushroom
A rather nice coral mushroom

To say we saw lots of mushrooms would be an understatement as we saw literally thousands of them and many varieties.   Among the good to eat varieties we found Chanterelles, Winter Chanterelles, and Boletus (some edible and some not)  I should have taken pictures of the edibles and some of the people we hunted with but I didn’t. I was too busy having a good time.

We actually went a day ahead so that we would have some time to ourselves which worked out well as we were able to do a little non-fungus related exploring which will pay off as it is a different world on the Pacific side and only 80 or so miles away from where we will be living.

Rialto Beach
Rialto Beach

The rugged beauty of Rialto Beach captured our imagination. We also saw a very nice gallery of local art, and did a little shopping.

Intrepid must mean: Not smart enough to stay out of the wind and rain.
Intrepid must mean:  Not smart enough to stay out of the wind and rain.

It was cold and windy and raining but we just had to take a look at Rialto beach during a storm. We are glad we took a break it might have been good for our sanity.

Your Intrepid Rovers

Gordon and Elaine.

The First Step For Our New Rural Home

The title for this post is not entirely accurate.  Before we even got to this point we eliminated many existing homes and locations,  selected the piece of property, selected a builder, decided on a floor plan, created our plot plan so that we preserve the view, have our gardens and trees, and access to the shop and RV pad, and redesigned the master suite and kitchen.  Now things are happening.  Our purchase of the property was partially contingent on our acceptance of a percolation test for a septic system so we have already had that done and accepted a plan for a system.  This step is the process of getting a well drilled and then getting the water accepted by the county as being potable.  So obviously we start with the well.

Drilling The Well
Drilling The Well

The crew has drilled down around 90 of the projected 160 feet. As you can see in the photo above they have found water already.  We will continue on to get better water and a more stable flow rate.

Welding The Well Casing
Welding The Well Casing

This is obviously hard and dirty work. I am glad that I don’t have to do it.

Tag on Well Head
Tag on Well Head

Good water at 165 feet! The well has its official tag and the water sample is being checked. Soon we will be able to get the permits and start to really “get-r-done”!

Looking Forward To A New Home Base,

Your Random Rovers,

Elaine and Gordon

A New Home Soon

First the important news:

It has been a long while since I have posted but we have been busy in a relaxed-retired sort of way.  We never did find a house/shop/property that we liked so we decided to build.  First we purchased one acre of land between Sequim and Port Angeles, Washington.  It took a lot of looking but I think we made good choice.  What do you think?  You can see the Olympics over the top of our neighbors house.

Lot With Olympic Mountain View
Our View From The (future) Sun-Room And Back Patio  (Hurricane Ridge is on the right)

We started with a soil test for the septic system, then settled on a plan for the house, followed by a layout to fit everything on the lot, and then refined the house plan including a complete redesign of the kitchen, utility room, and master suite, plus some misc. changes here and there, and finally selection of colors, appliances, and materials.  The shop design will be easy.  A simple metal pole barn will do fine.  Soon we will have a home again but as of now we do not have a production schedule.  The well has been ordered and hopefully will be drilled next week.  There should not be any problems but it does have to be in and providing potable water before we can obtain building permits for the septic, house and shop.  Hence no schedule just a rough time-table.

When we arrived we spent the month of May at The Rainbow’s End RV Park just east of Sequim.  It is a pretty and a well-kept park with very pleasant managers.  Unfortunately it is right on a very busy section of highway 101 and consequently very noisy.  Though the park is fairly nicely landscaped it does have a parking-lot atmosphere. We stayed one month here and moved on.

Rainbows End
Rainbows End

We moved to the John Wayne Marina RV Park where it is very quiet.  Oh what a relief!!  The picture at head of this post is of Sequim Bay as viewed from the park.  The highway is up over the hill and barely audible.  We are in our 3rd site here and will move to another site in the park on September 1st.  We are so pleased with our current site we wonder if we made the right decision.  The new site will have a very nice marine view but will be less protected from the wind.

 

Two Sites at John Wayne Marina
Two Sites at John Wayne Marina

Just a few of the things we have seen here during our short stay:

The House I Wanted But Elaine Said Was A Little Too Rustic
The House I Wanted But Elaine Said Was A Little Too Rustic

I found this lovely home at the mouth of the Elwah river overlooking The Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Great location!

North Sea Oil Platfom, The Polar Pioneer, At Port Angeles
North Sea Oil Platform, The Polar Pioneer, at Port Angeles

A lot of controversy about this vessel but no matter where you stand on the issues she is impressively huge. Those are ocean cargo ships in view behind her.

The John Wayne Marina
The John Wayne Marina

What a view and just across the road from the park!

Marymere Falls at Crescent Lake
Marymere Falls at Crescent Lake

We hiked up to the falls and had a picnic on the lake with Elaine’s brother and some of his family. What a fun day!

Elaine and Friend at the Lavender Festival
Elaine and Friend at the Lavender Festival

We went to the Lavender Festival and Elaine made a new friend.  What can I say?

Gordon at the Lavender Festival
Gordon at the Lavender Festival

And here I am out sitting in a field of lavender, ostracized without cause.

We are just beginning to explore this awesome place.  I am sure it will take up much of our non-traveling time to really get to know the area.

We got away for a weekend  and traveled to Kalama Washington for a family reunion with some of Elaine’s clan which we enjoyed very much.  We stayed at the Columbia Riverfront RV Park and took time to do a little sight-seeing on the south side of Mount St Helens.

Columbia Riverfront RV
Columbia Riverfront RV

Barge Traffic On The Columbia River
Barge Traffic On The Columbia River

An evening view of the Columbia River from the park.

Ape Cave
Ape Cave

An interesting lava tube cave on Mount St Helens.

Ape Cave Looking Out
Ape Cave Looking Out

It was chilly in the cave and I wasn’t dressed for the shift of temperature from 90 something to 42 so I didn’t spend much time exploring the 1-1/2 mile cave!

We also managed to make one trip over to Spokane to see kids and grands:

Tyler (Mr Pickoff) Hedy
Tyler (Mr Pickoff) Hedy

We enjoyed watching our grandson Tyler playing baseball.

Delaney Dancing
Delaney Dancing (Standing)

Saw dance recital with granddaughter Delaney and also saw granddaughter Paige showing off her color guard skills but unfortunately grampa wasn’t clever enough with the camera to get any good pictures.

It was fun seeing everyone and sharing a few meals.  Now that we are residing in Washington it will be much easier to see the family regularly.

In 2 to 3 months our real work will begin as we will be moving in.  In the mean time we plan to try to do a little R&R so we will be ready.

Wishing you and yours happy travels,

your random rovers,

Elaine & Gordon

House Hunting and Other Adventures

We had planned to make the Florence Oregon area our new home but sometimes the best laid plans …

Alas, I am getting ahead of myself which I often do.  In any case an update is long overdue.

Home At The Florence Elks
Home At The Florence Elks

We spent the remainder of February at the Elks RV Park just north of town. It has made a great vacation spot for us before and this time it made a great base of operations for house hunting.

Woahink Lake
Woahink Lake

We spent the month of March here at Woakink Lake RV which is a very nice park just a few miles south of Florence that backs up to the famous Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. We did a lot of house hunting, took a few very pleasant drives into the valley, and went to a wood-turning symposium (see previous post) . None of the properties jumped up and said “buy me” which was disappointing and then it was time to take a break and honor our commitment to host at Tugman State Park south of Reedsport, OR near Lakeside, OR.

At Home in Tugman State Park
At Home in Tugman State Park

We spent the month of April working at Tugman where we had good time and met a number of great people. We did some house hunting but mostly just worked and relaxed.

Lake Creek Falls
Lake Creek Falls

Shore Acres Raucous Ocean
Shore Acres Raucous Ocean

Shore Acres Serenity
Shore Acres Serenity

Lake Creek Falls, and a return trip to Shore Acres were on our agenda along with a few other side trips. We had pretty much given up on the Florence area and now had to decide what to do. We considered a number of options and finally decided to make a trip up to Port Angeles, WA, an area we had always enjoyed in the past that has a great rural feel, plenty of local shopping, is on the water and is only an hour or so from the big city for those major shopping trips. We liked what we found and one trip became two so at the end of our tenure we traveled to the Sequim / Port Angles area to start looking again.

Champoeg Campsite
Champoeg Campsite

We broke the 400 mile trip into two days which allowed time to spend a nice afternoon at Champoeg Oregon State Park. The grounds were covered with blooming wild roses and the park store/museum was a delight. Tomorrow we will be at Rainbows End RV and it will be time to get back into searching mode.

It isn’t the destination, it is the trip.
Your Random Rover,
Gordon

Oregon Woodturning Symposium 2015

We took a short break from house hunting and spent 4 nights in Albany, Oregon (about 115 miles) where Gordon enjoyed the first semi-annual Oregon Woodturning Symposium.

Parking Lot Camping
Parking Lot Camping

Here we are at our home for four nights in the parking lot RV Park at the Linn County Expo Center.  What this site lacks in campground beauty it makes up for with convenience.  We were quite comfortable here.

VertCollage HorzCollage

This is a small sample of the turnings from the show’s gallery.  I should have taken more pictures as there were pieces from most of the categories of wood-turning.  I really liked the wooden cowboy hat and of course took lots of pictures of the segmented work.  I watched about 18 hours of demonstrations by turners with amazing skills.  Hopefully a little of the training worked its way in.  I won’t know until we get settled and I have a shop again.

Vendor Area
Vendor Area

In addition to the seminars there were many vendors with great bargains most of which I had to pass up but I did get a few tools and a little bit of African Blackwood that I intend to use to make crochet hooks. The Saturday night banquet was much better than we expected in fact it was actually very good! At our table we met a very nice couple from Nova Scotia. She was the turner and he was just along for the ride. Also at the show I recognized my cousin Dave Geotz whom I had not seen or talked to for over 40 years. We did a little catching up and exchanged phones, addresses, and promises to get together. All in all it was a very enjoyable, well-organized event where I had many learning opportunities. I will definitely go in 2017 if I am able.

One good turn deserves another,
Your Random Rover.

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