Monday, September 18, 2017

West to Seattle (Sept. 14-16)

Before leaving Cedar Mountain Farm Bed & Breakfast, we drank our morning coffee and tea on the porch and walked around to see the garden and goats, followed by the friendly cat. 

We needed to savor the wide-open space and peacefulness for what was to come, though we didn’t know it at the time.

And I wish we had this much wood already cut, split, and stacked to burn in our wood stove this coming winter!
After our day-long drive across the entire state of Washington, we arrived at our next campground on the southern outskirts of Seattle.  I won’t give the name, but suffice it to say we were packed in like sardines in an open-air apartment building.  I guess that’s to be expected in an urban campground.  The campsite we had reserved was not available, so they put us in the first line of sites right next to the highway.  When we complained, we were given ½ a site at the back, crammed between a trailer and the trash dumpster (which was at least hidden by a wooden fence, but which did not diminish the sound or aroma of garbage).  

The sad thing about the campground is that it’s not inhabited entirely by vacationers like us.  There are a number of large families living out of RVs or tents.  The parents go to work (some across the road at a giant Amazon Fulfillment Center), and some of the kids go to school while some just run around the campground unattended all day long.

We did brave the heavy traffic of Seattle on Friday to drive into the South Union Lake area to visit one of only two working steamboats in the entire US. 
I came across the Virginia V in my research of the steamboat era for my current novel and hoped to be able to take a cruise on it. However, no cruise was scheduled for this weekend, but Doug and I were able to tour the boat.  

Like the SS City of Atlanta, it does have a triple expansion engine, but it’s operated by diesel, instead of coal, and the boat is much smaller. 
It was part of the mosquito fleet which serviced the Puget Sound area in the late 1800s up until the 1930s—so named because there were so many crisscrossing the water, they looked like a swarm of mosquitoes.

All the wood is from old growth Douglas Fir, including this wheel in the pilothouse.

The harbor was guarded by this beautiful clock…

…and was busy with small boats and even seaplanes…

On the traffic-packed drive back to the campground, we were surprised by a vision of Mount Rainier in the distance.  It looked as if it was floating in the sky.  We couldn’t catch a photo then, but later we walked to a bird sanctuary behind the campground (who knew it was there?), and Doug took this photo from an observation tower.
You can also see a photo, taken from the same observation tower, of the campground against the backdrop of the Amazon Fulfillment Center.
On our second day in Seattle, we visited my good friend and Spalding MFA faculty colleague, Dianne Aprile, at her home in Kirkland, overlooking Lake Washington.
Dianne took us on a sunset walk along Juanita Bay before we had dinner.

Three nights of turtling into our sleeping bags to muffle the all night noise of the urban campground was enough for us.  We left a day early to travel down the Oregon Coast and are happy to be in a warm, dry inn for the night, as a storm rolled in today.
More about the coast of Oregon in my next post...


  1. wow you are really covering some territory. yes, we have had experiences like that at campgrounds. pays to do more research but even then you never know. sad the way some are living so poorly in campgrounds especially children. glad you could enjoy an nice inn. keep enjoying the road. can't wait to get back out. just curious what kind of pop up are you travelling in?

  2. Yes, Jeanean, we're covering a lot of territory--over 6000 miles now and 3 more weeks to go. We're camping in a Sylvansport Go pop-up tent camper. It's fairly new, and we haven't seen any others out on the road. In fact, many people come over to ask us about it.

  3. Looking forward to three more weeks of your adventures! You make the most of every day. Thank you for reminding us how important that is.

    1. Thank you, Bonnie! It's been quite a trip, and I expect that to continue...

  4. I hope you got the photos on the steamship that you wanted to take. Your friend's place sounds wonderful and I'm sure helped make up for the disappointing campground. I wonder if it was intended for the workers to begin with--otherwise, who would ever stay there a second time?!

    1. Yes, Cathy, a visit to Dianne's gorgeous house certainly made up for the campground. However, the people staying in large RVs probably weren't bothered by the noise and closeness of all the campers.

  5. What a treat to be a stop on your great adventure, Edie and Doug. We LOVED spending time with you both on your three days here in Newport, Oregon, and we look forward to the next time we meet up! Thanks for keeping up your blog, it’s so very interesting to go along with you both for the ride! - Sarah & Tim

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Sarah and Tim! We LOVED spending time with you and hope you'll come to our end of the country sometime in the not too distant future! We got home on the 8th and I'll update the blog in the next day or two. Love, Edie


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