February 12, 2015

February was a busy month....

After retrieving our vehicle from the clutches of the mud monster, we had clean-up. packing, and provisioning to do.  We spent some time getting the rest of the mold and mildew out of the camper, putting our clothes, bedroll, and a few food stuffs back in, and then we were ready to roll.

Our first stop was to Bellingham, where friends of Bill, the Tanners have their home and business. They had been buddies about 15 years ago, and refreshed their friendship at the Seattle Boat Show. Mark and Diana are the owner/operators of Tanner Manufacturing and Design, and they make mirror stainless tubing for all kinds and sizes of boats.  The tubing is used for railings, davits, solar panel mounts, radar arches, or any kind of use and design you and they can come up with.  It was a fun visit, to get to know new friends (for me), and see their lovely home, and work environment. Good food, good beverages, great hospitality, and friends, perfect.  We positioned the truck in their driveway for the night, slept in the camper, and said our goodbyes the next morning.  Then we headed for Oregon.

Our next destination was Portland to visit with one of Bill's staff (in a previous life), Aida, her husband Seth, and their two boys Emile, and Marc. Their home is beautiful, it is new construction, but built in the style of their older neighbors.
A warm Portland day.
The amount of food that was consumed in two days time was monumental! O M Gosh, Aida cooked us an authentic Kazakhstan dinner, (absolutely delicious), and then took us to Indian, and Mexican restaurants, and a German Deli. We loaded up on some German sausages, jerky, and mustard. Both Bill and I have to say, the jerky is the best we have ever had.

Aida still works for UAF from Portland so during the day, we went out to see some sights. We drove along the Willamette River for a couple of miles, they have a scenic path for walking and biking next to the river, but we couldn't find a place to park and access it. So we went to a park that is just over the hill behind the house, as we needed to stretch our legs and get some exercise.

Tall trees
The Mexican restaurant had some pretty strong margaritas, and I was a bit worse for wear the next day.....we went back for lunch, and after a bowl of homemade chicken soup (Mexican style), I was good to go.  Thanks to the de l'Isle family for a fun two day visit in Portland, we have many more restaurants to sample, with your recommendation, and accompaniment, so we will be back. :-)

We were off to Corvallis next.  One of our peer managers at the university (Pete) had taken a position with Oregon State recently and had moved there with his wife Cyndi.  They landed in a really nice home and had room for guests.  We wanted to stop at a grocery store before we showed up and EUREKA, there was a Trader Joe right nearby. We LOVE Trader Joes!  We got some great wine, beer and snacks for our stay.

We stocked up on other items as well, because we wanted to have easy meals, and treats for our road trip to Prince Rupert later in the month.

Downtown Corvallis is very quaint, with older architecture.  Doesn't this remind you of "Back to the Future"?
Misty evening
Pete drove us to the coast town Newport, about an hours time away, and we enjoyed a days outing.

Donna and Bill at the beach.

Pete and Cyndi at the beach.

We ate out at the Rogue's Brewery, good food, good beer.

Another great visit with good friends. We look forward to hosting you on Denali Rose in the near future.

Now it is back to Seattle to move the trailer out of the hopefully dry back yard.  Ralph, meanwhile, had used his engineering degree to take a shovel to the ruts, smooth them out, and put tarps over the whole area so that it could dry out.  Again, I'm sorry, and thanks for helping out.

The trailer is free!
We parked the trailer in the front yard on the pavement, and then headed to Vancouver for our Nexus interview.  The Nexus card gives us expedited border crossings at the US and Canada borders and also gives us TSA pre-check. We choose Vancouver because we could also get a retina scan at their office, which gives us expedited customs for air travel in Canada as well.  In our cruising life, we may be crossing into and out of Canadian waters, so when we call from the boat into Customs, they will have us in their database, and may elect to record our information, and then send us on.

While in Vancouver, we also got to go to the Feathercraft factory and drop off our two collapsible kayaks for a new retro-fit to current technology.  We got to see their new inflatable kayak, and we were kind of smitten. We had driven away, but almost returned to buy 2 of them.  Don't be surprised to see a post in the future that announces the addition of two more kayaks to our fleet.

Due to time constraints, we had to put off another visit to our friends on Gabriola Island, but we will be back....(is that a threat or a promise? hehe )

Back to Seattle again, for the last time, as we gather up all of the rest of our belongings and head north. It's time to let Rohwer South have their spare bedroom, their backyard, their front yard, and their life back. We can't express how much we have appreciated their help in this transition to the life that we have chosen. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you

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