Friday, July 29, 2011

Moran State Park pics

Further evidence of the beauty of our present volunteer assignment at Moran State Park.

Easterly view from Mt. Constitution on a clear day, with Mt. Baker standing tall in the Cascade range.

Northerly view of same range.

Our gift shop.  Formerly a fire lookout living quarters.
Picture two rooms chockablock with nice souvenirs, clothing, and park information.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nomads on an Island

One week on Orcas Island now.  A moment's reflection.  Plenty of time for reflection, actually.  Comes naturally in such a place.  Peace and quiet.  Fresh air. Times Square [look it up.]

Orcas Island, the largest, by one square mile, of the San Juan Islands, contains under 5,000 inhabitants.  Filled with pastoral valleys and hills, lakes and ponds.  Topped by Mt. Constitution, the tallest mountain in the islands, our worksite.

We have seen just two of the few towns on the island.  EastSound sits on the connecting point of this horseshoe shaped island.  It combines the charm of a small town with the [slight] bustle of a summer tourist community.  One food market plus a food coop, two local hardware stores, a bakery.  Many restaurants and gift shops, tho most are probably open only in summer.  Not one franchise business in the place; no fast food, no shopping center.

Olga is a tiny town. Two sentences will do.

As for our home, we have parked on the south side of this popular state park.  We enjoy walking through a meadow just below our site, where several deer often graze next to the chickens our park ranger host keeps.

Two or three times per week, we drive to the top of Mt. Constitution, to work at the small Friends of Moran gift shop and information center.  In the two days we have spent so far, we've seen a steady stream of visitors come through.  Happy people enjoying a day hiking, biking, or just relaxing on the mountain, enjoying the spectacular views.

With a 270 degree view, pictures cannot do it justice.

We can endure.

Other benefits - highs in the 60s while most of the country roasts under record setting heat.  Just down the hill is the lake side swimming beach.

More pics in the future.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Island Times

We have veered north.  Way north, to the border of the contiguous United States.

We found a hosting job with the Washington State Park Service. We will work as gift shop and information hosts at Moran State Park on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands!   Haha!!  At the 2,400' top of Mt Constitution.  Hahahahaha!!!

What a lucky break.  Those of you who have traveled to the San Juan Islands can furnish your own superlatives.   From the sublime ferry boat ride to the amazing opportunities to view Orca whales and dolphins and puffins to the chance to visit Victoria Canada, this place can't be beat.

Those of you who have not seen the San Juan Islands need to get your priorities in order.  I'm talkin' to you!!

We will have no cell phone or internet service at our site.  We have been promised service at the top of Mt Constitution, so will conduct our business, phone calls, and blogging from there.

Onward and upward!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jacked Up in Olympia

Don't you get tired of reading about our repairs?  Well, think about my feelings when I write about them!

While in Astoria, we found that the problem front hydraulic jack was not working well enough, even after the bozo repair one week ago.  Didn't support the weight of the trailer. 

Discovered this after unhitching.  Thus might not hitch up again.  You know, like at Collier State Park and Tucson.  Luckily the jack did work, tho I put a bottle jack next to it just in case.

And scheduled a repair in Olympia, our next destination.  They [hopefully] fixed it today. 

Oh yeah, also a [costly] repair on the truck brake controller today.

Poorer and no wiser.  Onward.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Passing Thru Nehalem Bay State Park

We arrived at Nehalem Bay State Park for our two month volunteer position.  And discovered that our  assigned RV site was too unlevel to enter and to use.  Way too unlevel!

The park staff could not fix it or give us a different site for the duration.  We would not take the chance of damaging our trailer.  So we departed after only a week.

Too bad.  It's a beautiful state park right along the beach.  And we enjoyed our few days working in the information booth.   Too few days to even take a picture.

And so we have revised our plans. 
  • A few days in Astoria, visiting friends from our prior volunteer job at Fort Stevens, as well as meeting friends from Olympia.  
  • Then a stop in Olympia to visit other friends. 
  • Finally on to an Escapees park in Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, southeast of Port Townsend.  Tho we have traveled through that area many times during our seventeen years as Washington residents, we never saw this park.  Time to remedy that oversight.