Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pictures from Corvallis, Cabelas, San Juan Bike Camping and more!



Newest niece, Danica
Cabelas in Lacy, WA
Waiting at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal

Roche Harbor on San Juan Island
Bald eagle on San Juan Island

Mona, the camel
Odlin County Park on Lopez Island
Cinnamon roll from Holly B's Bakery on Lopez Island
Spencer Spit State Park
Ferry ride

Monday, June 27, 2011

Loving Lopez Island

Day two at Lopez Island and trip three to Holly B's Bakery for a sweet fix.  Emil loves their cinnamon rolls filled with sliced almonds and plump raisins.  I enjoy their savory treats.

All is going well, and we're having a great time biking all over the island.  Went to Spencer Spit State Park yesterday and walked on the beach.  Today, we are hanging around Lopez Village and will bike to Fisherman's Bay after lunch.  By tomorrow morning, we will have biked 80+ miles in less than a week.  Woo Hoo!  Pretty good since I'm not a biker.  And, I don't like biking.

We'll try to load some pics once we are settled somewhere with Wi Fi and have our laptop. 

Next stop:  Everett, WA to visit Emil's Uncle and then off to a cabin on the Olympic Peninsula for a few days.  For all you "Twilight" fans, the cabin is three miles from Forks, WA.  Go Team Jacob!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

San Juan Island

We made it!  At least to the first island.  I slept the whole ferry ride since I get motion sick on boats.  It was a smooth ride, so I'm told.  Hopefully, I won't need Dramamine for the rest of the ferry rides...I'll just hang outside and focus on the horizon for the short duration.

Lakedale Resort is 5 miles from the ferry terminal, and it's a gorgeous ride, uphill.  Halfway to Lakedale, the hot sun and heavy (not super heavy) backpack was making me see things.  I swear I saw a camel sitting in a field, across from the San Juan Vineyards.  Turns out, it is a camel, and the winemaker has a wine named after him.  Interesting.

The resort is really nice with several stocked lakes, a cute general store, clean showers, and lots of privacy.  We are the only crazy ones camped out in the hiker/biker area of the campground.

Today, we biked into town to look around and to plug in the iPhone and iPhony at the library.  Yes, we are addicted to our technology.  We'll look for a cafe for lunch and maybe check out The Whale Museum or Lavender Farm later this afternoon.  Rumor has it they feed eagles and foxes at 5 p.m. a couple of miles away from the Resort.

I looked in our Moon Guide and realized the campground on Orcas Island is 14 miles from the ferry terminal.  Who was in charge of booking that one???  Oh yeah.  Me.  Guess I should've researched better for a closer campground since I'm pretty wimpy at biking.  We'll probably spend an extra night here on San Juan and maybe an extra night on Lopez Island.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Plan

Okay, we don't exactly have a plan beyond two weeks from now, but who cares?  It's called adventure.  It's called winging it.  I'll be praying something comes our way, and I'm confident the summer will be great.

We head out tomorrow morning to Corvallis, OR to see Emil's brother and family.  Then we'll find a place to camp near Portland.  This part is crucial!  We have to be close to Pine State Biscuits in Portland, so we can go there for breakfast.  I'll order the Mcisley, and Emil will have the Chatfield.  Maybe throw in an order of fried green maters.  Mmmm.

Next, hit up Seattle to surprise a friend and then meet up with Kelly and Jens' friend who is lending us a cabin on the Olympic Peninsula after we return from the San Juan Islands.  And, spend time with Emil's Uncle Kevin in Everett, WA who is kind enough to put us up for the night.

What??  San Juan Islands?  You betcha!  Six nights camping and bike touring San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Island.  Just us, the bikes, bike trailer, and 50 pounds of essentials.  Ferry tickets are purchased, and good weather is ordered for the week.

After our adventure in the San Juan Islands, we'll head to the Olympic Peninsula to fish cutthroat on the Sol Duc, Bogy and Hoh rivers.  Maybe try for a summer steelhead??  It will be fun to explore an area new to both of us!

So, there's the plan.  Full of potential.  Some possible engagements down the road:  visiting Wendy and family in their new digs (Grand Rapids, MI), seeing Tom on his next R&R, visiting with his family, working on Ted and family's farm, building a trap for to catch the snapping turtle in their pond, camping at Hocking Hills, spending time with my 96 year old Grandma, seeing all of Emil's friends in Providence, and many more.  For sure, we'll attend a wedding in August at Estes Park, Colorado.

Phew.  I better start packing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


That's the term Emil uses to describe our camping trip last night.  I prefer dry run.  We loaded up our San Juan gear (camping, bikes, trailer, etc.) and camped at Smith Rock.  It's only seven miles from our house, but we drove there with our gear, unloaded, and then loaded everything onto our bikes and trailer.  Biked 6.5 miles around the backroads and saw two deer, one HUGE dead frog on the road, and one dead snake.  Set up camp around 7:30 p.m. and tried out the chicken fajita Mountain House meal.  Not too bad.

The camping area at Smith Rock is super nice.  Central cooking area, showers, clean facilities, dish wash area, and friendly folks from all over the world to rock climb. It's one of our favorite places to hike and take out of town guests.

My bike

The set up:  trailer, bike, and Emil hauling it
Almost a full moon and gorgeous clear skies.  Headlamp not necessary on my multiple trips in the middle of the night.  I'm not a sound sleeper at all when we camp.

Water break, pedaling break, phew!

Two person tent.  Really?  Maybe really skinny people.

To quote LoMo...."Gorgeous!"

Sunset at Smith Rock
Now, it's time to really look at what we packed and purge.  Say goodbye to new friends, finish packing for the round the U.S. trip, clean, mow, pull weeds, water the grass, and finish chores!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Book Edits and Good Eats

Yesterday, I gulped down a McCafe Mocha, grabbed the laptop and started looking at Emil's edits on my book.  250+ comments.  After making the easy edits, I am left with 97 rewrites to do. 

Couple of observations:
1.  I spelled "peek" wrong every time I used it.  How does one "peak" around the corner and spy on a cute guy?  Exactly!  I know the flippin' difference, yet I spelled it wrong.  ARGH!
2.  I love using the word "munch" in lunch and dinner scenes.  Are my characters rabbits munching on lettuce?  Gosh, I hope not.
3.   Love starting sentences off with "Course."  Why do I do this, and what happens to the "Of?"  Must be a South Carolinian thing.

Lots of work for me to do and only a little time left before we take off for our adventure into the unknown.

Tonight, I tried out a new recipe for Pulled Pork.  Pretty darn good, though I didn't follow the recipe.  Email me or call me before you make it if you want my changes.

Fork tender pulled pork

Hawaiian sauce, pineapple, carrot and onion

Soft Rhodes Rolls which sat in the sun to rise a bit too long

Our freezer and fridge is slowly emptying out.  The van is clean on the inside and ready to haul fishing gear, camping supplies, and more.  Last care package to Tom is going out tomorrow, full of wet wipes and hard candy.  He said not to send chocolate, as it's 100+ degrees.  Whew!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

High Desert Rhubarb Festival

Today, we drove to La Pine to check out the High Desert Rhubarb Festival.  The temp is in the 70's, so I think summer is finally here.  We arrived around 1:30, and most of the rhubarb treats were sold out.  Lots of craft booths and some good pulled pork for lunch.  Emil noted there were more guns for sale than rhubarb.  Hmmm.

At REI, I picked up a water bottle and some bike shorts for our bike tour adventure in the San Juan Islands.  Guide books will arrive on Monday, so we can plot our trip.  In my current fantasy in La La Land, we end up with summer jobs up there until August 15th, then we head to Colorado to attend a wedding.  We'll see how that fantasy works out.  An alternative fantasy is driving across the US towards Ohio, checking out the Upper Peninsula (with recommendations from LoMo and her Mom), seeing my friend, Wendy, in her new digs in Grand Rapids, and then down to Cincinnati.

Here are some pics from the gorgeous day:

Lovely pickin' and grinning music.  I love the banjo!

Win this old truck.  4 speed, 350, something or other.

Pulled pork and coleslaw, y'all!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Summer Plans and La La Land

In my head (La La Land), our summer plans will involve stress free camping and bike touring, always sunny weather, cheap food, and friendly people.  This is why I need a sharp jab in the ribs. 

So, what exactly are the summer plans?  Kind of vague and fly by the seat of my pants.  I know, right?  Doesn't sound like me at all?  I'm the Type A person with spreadsheets, lists, itineraries for visitors completed three months in advance with meals and shopping lists.  Back in March, I could tell you what we were planning to do with my Mother and nephew when they visit in May and what lunch I was going to make on Monday, May 23rd.  Scary, but true.  Hope this doesn't scare off potential visitors.  Or maybe you would appreciate this kind of hospitality.  Blame my Mother...she taught me true Southern hospitality.

Back to the plans...we are taking our bikes and camping gear and heading to the San Juan Islands for a week or so.  Then, we have no plans.  None.  Zippo.  Zilch.

Course, we are throwing around some random ideas, but none have really stuck yet.  Here are some of the ideas:

1.  Car camp and bike our way across to Cincinnati to see my brother and his family.  They have kindly offered to put us up for awhile.  Emil can do house/farm projects.  Me?  Build a trap to catch a snapping turtle in their pond.

2.  Find another house-sitting gig over the summer.  So far, my inquiries haven't produced anything yet.  I am still hopeful.

3.  Car camp and bike our way across to South Carolina and visit my parents and brother and his family.  Although Tom isn't coming home from Afghanistan until November, we could catch him on his next R&R perhaps.  I'm not a fan of hot weather.  It was 102 degrees there on Tuesday. 

4.  GO BIG!  Car camp and bike our way across to Rhode Island to see Emil's friends, then head south to Ohio and South Carolina. 

5.  Drive back to Alaska and see our friends.  Spend the summer salmon fishing.  Hello Kenai Flip!  Bring back some of our spinning gear and my beloved microplane that I really miss and need to make proper lemon cookies.

6.  Find a place to hole up around Colorado.  We are attending a wedding in Estes Park, late August.  There's great fishing and mountain biking there, so why not spend the summer there???

Any other grand ideas?  For now, we are busy packing up our stuff.  Three piles:  leave it here, take on the San Juan trip, take in the van for general camping/biking/living. 

First and foremost, I need to finish the edits on my book, so I can print it and send to my beta readers.  But, it's a gorgeous sunny day.  There's mowing to be done, weed pulling, chick watching, and fishing to do.