Monday, October 20, 2014

Wally World -- 10/9/2014

The morning greets us with sun on the Autumn leaves of the RV Park as we leave. 

Our eyes feast on gorgeous rolling hills, dotted with farm houses, a few trees, but mostly pasture lands as we leave Missoula at 35 degrees cold to head toward Sheridan WY.

I ask Herb, "With the Summer cruising behind us, what are you most looking forward to as we go south?"

He replies, "Our next trip back to the PNW!"

I laugh and admit it is not the answer I expect, which could have been, "warmer WX or triple digit temps."

But today we look forward to more beautiful scenery in the states of Montana and Wyoming.

6% Grade

Love the Rock!

Snow Fence

Some things just don't work out.  We search on line for a suitable RV park at the location where we expect to be, but no luck.  However, we know a Walmart parking lot is always a fun place to be.  They saved our place along the curb where we can put out the starboard side slides and Dr. Jake will have a nice grassy area to walk.

An added benefit is an easy stop for a milk and bread run.

Find Sweet home in Sheridan WY.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

On to Jellystone in Missoula -- 10/8/2014

On waking, the ambient temp is 59 degrees.  Are we south yet?

Moving on today -- at 9:37A we head toward Billings MT, but this destination may be a bit ambitious.  We'll see.  

The scenery in this part of the US is absolutely awesome with its mountains, evergreens, streams and farmland in many areas.  

I also love the cityscapes; this one is Spokane.

More countryside --

Lookout Pass Ski Resort Viewpoint

I confess to thinking of one of my favorite cousins, Jay, who works with and loves trees as much as I.  The camera is not fast enough to grab the posted signs for the Forestry Department, but maybe this one will do.  

For Jay -- 

More beauty along the highway brings us to our destination of Jellystone RV Park in Missoula MT.

Coeur d'Alene River

Jellystone RV Park

Find Dr. Jake....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday, October 8, 2014

No Boat at Moses Lake -- 10/7/2014

Willie's Tug is secure, Sweet Caroline is loaded and we begin our travel south as we leave Anacortes at one in the afternoon.

Ready for a Long Winter's Nap

Light fog descends upon us -- we have no radar -- we drive a safe slower speed until it lifts.

The lingering Fall colors are brightened by the sunlight into beautiful oranges and yellows,  and confirm that we are heading in the right direction. 

Snoqualmie Valley

We also see signs warning of high and gusting winds, as well as deer crossing the highway -- two important road hazards to avoid.  Fortunately, we have an uneventful trip and enjoy the scenery of my favorite things -- rock and trees.

Did I mention water?

Columbia River

Columbia River Bridge

From our search on we select Suncrest RV Resort in Moses Lake WA and call ahead for availability.  Jessica says if we arrive after 6P, we should find a site and pay in the morning.  At 6:02 we arrive to see she is still in the office, so she asks if we want trees or open for better WiFi.  

Explaining that her family is the new owner of two weeks and doesn't have the credit card machine yet, she writes down our billing information and says she will run the card tomorrow at a neighboring business.  

The clean, well kept park is beautiful, and amenities include pool, spa, walking trails, horseshoe and volley ball pits, and boat launch to the lake.  We wish we had more time to stay.

Find Sweet Caroline still in Washington....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Breaking Up is Hard to do! -- 10/4/2014

With Willie's Tug safely out of the water and blocked for the Winter, we spend some time -- actually four days -- moving some contents over to Sweet Caroline to take back to Texas.  Why four days?  I confess I brought a lot of clothes and household items I found I really didn't need, so next year the boat will not sit quite so low in the water.  Fuel mileage will improve.

Oh, and during these days she gets cleaned and shined!

As I store a few things in the master of the motor home, I look longingly out Sweet Caroline's window at my boat.  Breaking up is hard to do...but it is only temporary.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Surprise! -- 10/3/2014

Morning comes and with it are the two guys to take Willie's Tug out of the water for the Winter.  To my surprise, Herb and I are allowed to remain in the boat during the maneuver.  One driver backs his ceruleon blue trailer down the ramp into the water, while the other drives Willie's Tug onto it.  I think I sense Herb saying, "Don't hurt my  boat, please."

I should be driving!

Driver of the transport vehicle concentrates hard on which way he should direct the man at the helm.  A little more this way, now a little to port.

We make progress now and I look back to see how far up the ramp we have come.

We made it.  Willie's Tug is high and uh, not so dry!

She gets a pressure wash to remove all the stuff that grew while in salt water.

Wash Down

Now squeaky clean, she is hauled to North Harbor Diesel storage yard, where Sweet Caroline is. 

Ray takes Herb to get his truck from the parking lot near Cap Sante Marina, and we are ready to make the transition from boat living to motor home living and gaining 11 more feet of space than we had all Summer.  

                                     Photo Courtesy of Ray Perry

Surprise!  Surprise!  Upon his return, Herb says, "Guess what I found on the windshield of the truck!"  

Surprised, I read this note, "You can run slash cruise, but you can't hide!  Yet never hurts to know how! "
                                                        Signed: Bob and Dil.  

We laugh out loud as we think of them fondly. 

No, we can't hide....and never would we hide from you two!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Friday, October 3, 2014

Last Day on the Water for 2014 -- 10/2/2014

We depart Elliott Bay Marina at 8:45A, seeing low lying clouds to the West, but sunny and clear skies to the East.  Seas are light swells.  There is a three to four knot current against us, but we must go.  Winds are light, which promises a good day.

The Needle and downtown Seattle skyline bid us so long for now.

As we head to our destination of Anacortes, we have Bainbridge Island on the port side and Magnolia Bluff is on the starboard.  As usual, there are many vessels on the water and after today, we will not see them for a few months.

We get a phone call from Tym in California, who tells us to watch for the log on our starboard.  He sees us on Marine Traffic and tells me not to worry about that huge ship in front of us, as she is anchored and not sailing full speed toward our bow.

Thanks, Tym!  We relax now as he will monitor us and we no longer have to watch for logs.

As  we cruise along at 7 knots we have some swells, some rippling.  

Quite a few fishing boats idle near Edmonds.

Continuing north, we pass Whidbey Island to the East as we go into Admiralty Inlet near the head of Hood Canal and south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  We get a noticeable wake from tug Pacific Eagle and her tow.

NYK Daedalus passes in the shipping lanes going 20 knots and leaves us in her dust.  Listening to the Traffic Channel, I am impressed with the communication and courtesy shown by the commercial vessels. 

"I'll overtake you on your port side, if that is OK."

"Roger that and I will move over to give you plenty of room."

We get close to the East Entrance of the Strait and I see calm water.  Yea!

The green buoy marks the location of Partridge Bank as we enter Strait. It is usually rough cruising here, but today is only rippled and in some places less than 1 foot.  Flat calm in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Amazing!  What a great day!  We should buy a lottery ticket.

So the trip is rather uneventful until we get into Guemes Channel.  Happily we do not encounter the many, many boats, as it late in the season; however the whale watch boat, Mystic Sea, is alive and well -- gives us a good wake as she speeds by!

We see a little chop near Cap Sante Bluff and continue on to the dock for North Harbor Diesel, who will haul out Willie's Tug tomorrow.  Ray is waiting on the dock to show us where we should tie up, and he and Jocelyn join us for Happy Hour.

We are home once more....

Find Willie's Tug....

Afloat at North Harbor Diesel Dock

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, October 2, 2014