Sunday, September 30, 2012

We’re in Blaine, WA


Sunday, September 30, 2012 Lorraine writes

I’m writing just a quick up date on what’s happening with Chuck’s health problems. We finally saw his family doctor who knows us this past Monday. But before that I took Chuck into the hospital outpatient clinic and they put him to sleep so he could get the needed CT Scan. They put him out and he was asleep only a few minutes for the test.

After that test they told us he had no blood clots in his lungs. That afternoon we saw our family doctor, Dr. Hansen in Ferndale. He was on vacation all the previous week, but he had read all the different test results before we arrived, so he was aware of what was going on with Chuck.

Dr. Hansen said Chuck had no blood clots and that was the reason for the CT test. But the test showed he had water in his lungs, the left side, the bottom of the lung. Chuck had no pneumonia and no other infection that we know of. So Dr. Hansen put Chuck on two different antibiotics, hoping that will help dry out his left lung. Also he gave Chuck an inhaler, the kind you use for asthma.

We had the prescriptions filled and he started them immediately. After one hit of his inhaler, he said he could breathe so much easier. He had been to the chiropractor and his back was also feeling better. In fact, he said that he was feeling the best he had felt in weeks.

That feeling didn’t last long for him though. The next day his back had slipped back out and his breathing was labored again. It was off and on like that for the rest of the week. He went once again to the chiropractor for another bone crunch. And still his breathlessness continues, sometime better, sometimes worse.

One day we saw the surgeon who did his last hernia repair and scheduled another surgery for his current hernia repair. We had to go to the Surgery Center and preregister for that; it’s scheduled for this Wednesday morning. He also has to see Dr. Hansen again, and most likely he will see the chiropractor again.

On a lighter note, we’ve been to our Canadian friend’s 60th birthday party’ Happy 60th Birthday Dennis. We’ve been to dinner with friends from Canada coming for the party. I had brunch for Joy/Rick and Rob/Norma one morning. The gals went shoe shopping one day, we went to the casino a couple of times; and yours truly got pretty lucky on Monday night football.. We’ve gone to dinner with several of our friends and will go over this evening for a potluck. Thanks everyone for being there to help us through these trying times. We appreciate it!

So if Chuck get’s his surgery on Wednesday, he has to be here at least another week for the surgeon to check on him, post op. I hope there are not other complications.

A big “Happy Birthday” to our niece, Kerri; she is going to be 46, oh to be so young again. That’s it for me…

Until next time,


Sunday, September 23, 2012

We’re in Blaine, WA


9/23/12                                                                                                                         Chuck’s report

Damn doctors anyway, how come they have to practice on me??  A long week of doctor visits and all they can say so far is they have eliminated this/that but still don’t know why I have this shortness of breath.  I know lots of folks are much worse off than I am but it’s frustrating to say the least.  Our good friend, Mark, is on the list for a lung transplant and he is handling that better than I’m doing with my issues.  

We returned back here to see our family doctor but he’s been on a much needed vacation for the past week and his replacement doesn’t seem to “hear” me.  He has run a couple of test and sent me out to have a C T scan.  After finally getting approval from our insurance company to allow this doctor to do what he thinks is best for me, not necessarily in the best interest of the insurance company, I finally got the C T scan scheduled on Thursday afternoon. 

I had to fast for this test, not sure why but nothing for 4 hours before.  They need to run two tests, one to get a base look and the second with a dye that is injected via an IV.  I was all set up for this until I walked in the room and saw what the machine was, very similar to a MRI but smaller.  They wanted me to lay on a bed and they would send the bed through the machine, sort of like through the hole in a donut, where I would have to hold my breath for a few seconds.  Then they would get me out, start the IV thing and send me back in to track the dye, a bit longer this time. 

Well, as some of you know, I’m claustrophobic, sometimes very much so. They tried to get me on the table and into the machine but I just couldn’t do it, tired a number of times but no luck.  They had an opening for another attempt on Friday morning so I called our doctor and had him prescribe a “chill pill” for me, something that would almost knock me out yet allow me to cooperate with the x-ray tech.  So next morning I took my chill pill 1/2 hour before as prescribed and Lorraine drove us to the place for my test. 

Even though the doctor said the pill would “knock me out”, I felt very little effect, still couldn’t get in the C T machine thing.  We tried three times, waited 1/2 hour and tried again but still no luck, I’m such a chicken but have no control over it, I just couldn’t get in there. 

So Friday afternoon it was back to the doctor’s office, scheduled to get the results of this this test and see what’s next.  Of course, there were no results to review so all we did was re-schedule the test at the hospital on Monday, this time they will put me under and do the test.  This will make three times I’ve fasted for one test, all because I’m such a wimp and can’t/won’t get in the machine. 

We have an appointment with our regular doctor on Monday afternoon to review the results of this test and see what he suggests for follow-up.  If this test comes back and shows no problems, I’m thinking we will just go on down the road.  They haven’t found anything life threating so maybe I’ll live with it and see what happens and hope it gets better.  I will tell him I think this is a result of my back being “out'” and see if he agrees.  Anyone want to bet the doctor says to lose weight and exercise more??  Not that I don’t need to do that but I don’t think that is the only cause of my problem. 

On a better note, yesterday was Lorraine and my 40th wedding anniversary.  We celebrated with family and friends last month as we didn’t plan on being here now so we just had a quiet day by ourselves and went out for a nice dinner.  Lorraine sent a note out on facebook about it and received lots of replies and well wishes.  Thanks to all who wished us well on this special occasion.  And once again I’ll say, I love you Lorraine, thanks for being with me for the last 40 years!  Guess it proves how smart I am, to have picked you as my wife. 

We also went to see a movie yesterday afternoon.  We have heard about the movie 2016, about where our country could be if we continue on the path we are headed.  We both were amazed on how no one was talking when they left the movie, it was a dismal picture of where we are and where we may be going.  It wasn’t a first class Hollywood movie, in fact, Lorraine got “car sick” from the motion of the camera.  All I will say about the “plot” is that I hope we can change (pun intended) the direction we seem to be headed. 

The weather here has been nice but we can tell that fall is here or approaching fast.  We had a bit of rain yesterday morning, otherwise it's continuing with the dry spell.  The forecast is for rain on Tuesday and Thursday but the temperatures are still getting into the 70s, not bad. 

As for our travels, once again I have to say it depends on what the doctor has to say.  If nothing shows up and we get on the road, it won’t be until Wednesday or Thursday and then we’ll head South once again.

I don’t have any pictures to add, we haven’t been anywhere.  Lorraine has taken a few pictures of the sunsets with her cell phone but I don’t know how to download them to the computer so this post will be without any.



Sunday, September 23, 2012                                                                                    Lorraine writes

Chuck has written his report for the week, and I think he is being too hard on himself.  There are things that happened to him in his younger years that have made him who he is.  Neither you nor or have walked in his shoes so there is no way I feel I can judge him.  He is who he is, and I thought he was incredibly brave to try to do the test again.  We will find out what his problem is, and we will deal with it if/when we do. 

As I wrote on face book yesterday, I am thankful for the wonderful time we have had these past few years.  Wow, what a ride. Everyday is a blessing and we try not to take anything for granted.  Thank you for your steadfastness and continuing love. 

That’s it for me, until next time…


Sunday, September 16, 2012

What - - - Back in Blaine??


Sunday, September 16, 2012                                                                                       Lorraine’s report

Well, you are not going to believe this, but we are back at Latitude 49 in Birch Bay. WA. We arrived back yesterday afternoon after an incredibly scary ride through Seattle traffic. There were two big games going on in both stadiums in Seattle, the Washington Huskies were playing football, and the Seattle Sounders were in a soccer game right next door. That meant the roads were jammed full of people trying to get to their games; one great big TRAFFIC jam, and no one going anywhere very fast.

So our week was not your normal week. Last Sunday was a quiet day, Chuck watched 12 hours of football, I walked through the various tourist shops in Long Beach. It was a drizzly, cloudy day, with cooler temperatures than what we had been having. There was nothing in those shops that I needed or wanted. It also meant Seattle was one day short of breaking its old record of no rain for 51 days, only 50.

Monday, Chuck had an email from a guy he used to work with, Tom and Cheryl. They are full timers as of this past summer and they were up the coast at Copalis Beach, WA. In the email, he talked about meeting up with us about half way to where we were, in Tokeland at the Shoalwater Indian Casino.

Not having any plans for the day, Chuck emailed him his phone number, and said we would try to meet up with them. So we headed out to Shoalwater, which was about an hour forty five minutes away. It had turned out to be a beautiful day for a drive for us. And since we hadn’t been that way in a long time we decided to head out.

We got there, and found we didn’t have any phone service, so we didn’t know if Tom would come to meet us or not. Turns out he didn’t read our response until the next day, and we didn’t have Tom’s phone number to call him, so we didn’t get to hook up with them, next time?

Anyway, we stayed and played for a bit and yours truly got lucky on one machine and took out some $$$. We ate the Seniors Day buffet for $4.99,  And while it wasn’t as good as the Seniors Day buffet at the Silver Reef, it was okay. We returned home by 7 pm, after a fun filled day.

We left Longbeach the next morning, and Chuck had been saying he was having shortness of breath for several days as well as a pain in his upper middle back by his shoulder bone, but towards the middle, and the hernia he got while fixing the hydrohot heater in August was hurting him. We got into Seaside, set up and he washed the bugs.

He agreed to go to the walk in health clinic there in Seaside; he said I nagged him into going, but if he didn’t think he should go, he wouldn’t.

We got to the clinic and they had him go into the emergency room right away. They hooked him up to oxygen, put in a needle for blood work and did an EKG. The ER doctor talked with him about his symptoms, and they watched him for the next six hours. We got there at 2:30 and didn’t leave until almost 8:30 that evening. The doctor said the tests showed he didn’t have a heart attack or stroke, but they didn’t know what it was, or why he was having shortness of breath. We returned home that evening, with out any answers.

The next morning the ER room doctor called and talked with Chuck, who said he was still experiencing the same symptoms-no change.

We needed some things from Fred Myers, so we headed up to Warrenton, OR, the closest FM; also a Costco and Dollar Tree. Chuck was still feeling that shortness of breath. We had a nice quiet evening home.

Thursday was a hot sunny day in Seaside, I forgot to say I had been going to the pool directly across from where we were parked in the rig daily for a work out, so right handy for me.

The ER room doctor called Chuck again and asked him to return to the hospital for more tests and to see another doctor. Off we go again. We were there only 2-3 hours this time. With the symptoms still the same and nothing showing up on the tests, both of those doctors said we should return back to Bellingham to see his primary care doctor, so they could follow up and find the cause.

We made that decision in the hospital room and I called his family dr. for an appointment. I got him in on Monday to start the process of finding out what is going on with him.

I then called Joe/Alice to see if we could rent their lot here at Latitude 49, we have it for two weeks then will have to move as they have it rented out. If we need more time, we can go into Beachwood or back to 1000 Trails.

Joe and Alice met us and let us in to Latitude 49 yesterday. Thanks Joe & Alice for all your many kindnesses you’ve shown to us. We appreciate it!!

I called Joy after we got in and set up. Chuck said we should go to the casino, just us two, so Joy picked me up and away we went. We had fun, and I was up a bit, but not Joy.

While talking with Joy, I told her about Chuck’s pain in his back. She said when she hurt her ribs and she experienced shortness of breath from that. So she told Chuck about it. Chuck remembered one other incidence from his work days when he had hurt his back and had shortness of breath. His doctor, Peter James, said that sometimes a hurt back can make you have shortness of breath. We think this is what has been causing Chuck his problems. We will find out tomorrow. Wish him luck!

We ended up going to Bob’s Burgers with the guys for dinner, thanks Rick and Joy, loved the time we spent together, 

Saturday, September 22 is our  actual anniversary day, we will be married 40 years that day.  Wow, that’s incredible, where did the time go?  What a ride it has been-Thank you Chuck for all those years-I Love You!!!

Until next time….

9/16/12                                                                                                                             Chuck’s report

Yep, it’s true, we are back in Blaine.  We just left here less than two weeks ago, finished with our doctors and heading South for the winter, remember?  Well, once again we make plans and God laughs.  More on why later. 

Last Sunday we had a laid back sort of day.  I watched some football, Lorraine headed into town to go through some shops in Long Beach.  After she got back she made a cake and fixed a good pork roast dinner, a nice Sunday, just what we were looking for when we started out for the winter. 

Monday I got an email from a friend of ours who was on the coast about 60 miles North of us suggesting maybe we could meet halfway or something while we are that close.  I answered that we had no plans for the day and we would head up the coast to a casino we haven’t been to before, Shoalwater, and maybe he could call us and meet us there.  When we got there, we found we didn’t have any cell service and if/when Tom called, we wouldn’t even know, shoot.  But as it turned out, he didn’t check his email and didn’t know we were that close so once again we were close but didn’t get together.  We’ll try again next time, Tom, and make it one of these times, ha. 

While we were at the casino we had to try the slots, of course.  I soon lost all I was willing to lose and started walking around watching people and looking the place over.  I happened to walk back to where Lorraine was playing and watched while she got a bonus game when she got a mix of 5 guys/gals for 50 free games.  During her free games she got a mix of 5 once again, this time for 50 extra free games, WOW.  Once again during these free games, she hit again, this time 5 guys for another 50 free games, double WOW.  It took awhile to play off all those free games but it fun to watch, I’ve never had that kind of a bonus for sure. 

We then went over to try their buffet, guess it wasn’t much to talk about but for less than $10 for two I can’t/shouldn’t complain too much.  But all it all, it was a good day even if we didn’t connect with Tom.

Tuesday was moving day for us, all of 40 miles to 1000 Trails in Seaside, Oregon.  We lucked out and got a nice site with full hookups and 50 amps right in front of the lodge and swimming pool.  The place was pretty full, I heard this was the 6th weekend in a row that they were over 95% occupancy.  Once we got set up I washed the bugs off the front then sat down to rest.  I remarked to Lorraine that I had been having trouble catching my breath for two days and didn’t have any stamina.   I also had been having a pain in my back/shoulders for the last week or so too. 

Well, as anyone who is married will understand, it was easier to go along with the “suggestion” to go to the doctor than to fight.  We went to a walk in place that was a part of the local hospital and as soon as I told the nurse I was having trouble breathing and experiencing a bad pain in my back, it was off to the emergency room, just what I didn’t want to happen.  About 6 hours  and multiple tests later, they let me go saying they didn’t know what was wrong but had ruled out a couple of issue, one being it wasn’t a heart attack.

Next morning things were still the same so after Lorraine retuned from the swimming pool, she and I headed up to Fred Meyer and Costco in Warrenton, about 15 miles North of us.  While we were there the doctor from the emergency room called to check on me, still no ideas but suggested running more tests if I didn’t show signs of improvement in the next day or two.  We finished our shopping trip and returned to the coach.  Once again, I was having trouble catching my breath and didn’t have any stamina, I wasn’t much help putting things away, had to rest in the Lazy Boy. 

Next morning, the emergency room doctor called again and I told him no changes once again.  He wanted me to return to the emergency room for a repeat of the tests.  I told him I wasn’t too keen on spending 6 hours in the emergency room plus it’s more expensive there.  He then suggested I return to the walk in place and he would leave instructions with them on what test results he wanted.  So I agreed to do that. 

Well, it was three hours and multiple tests later that we left there with no ideas but a suggestion I have a stress test.  The cardio doctor in Seaside was only going to continue practice there for the next week so they suggested we return back to our family doctor back here.  We agreed that made sense, we weren’t that far away and knew we would get good care back here. 

After leaving the walk in clinic, Lorraine wanted to go to some of the shops at the outlet mall just up the road.  I called her and asked if she could go back to the hospital/walk in and get a copy of all the results from the tests they had run.  Seeing as how we weren’t going to continue our trip down the Oregon coast, I also suggested she ask the clerk at the shop for her recommendation about a good place for Lorraine to get good fish and chips.  So after Lorraine returned, we drove downtown to a place called Norma’s CafĂ© (or something like that) where she had an order of fish and chips while I had an order of pork chops.  She said they were good, just what she had been wanting.  We will return to this place when we are in Seaside.

After we ate, I drove down to Cannon Beach for our only trip to the Oregon Coast beach.  It was getting dark and we didn’t even get out of the car.  Next time!

Not knowing how long we will be back here, we contacted our friends Joe/Alice to see about staying at their extra lot at Latitude 49.  Just happens we could stay here for two weeks and if we need to stay longer we can go to 1000 Trails.  So that would give us a month here, should be plenty of time we hope.

Yesterday when we were about 15 minutes or so from here, we called Joe/Alice and they were just getting on the freeway one exit from us.  We slowed down and they caught up with us so we followed them here.  This is a secure place, requires a card to get access through the gate so it was very good timing that we were together.  We got to their lot, visited with them for a awhile then got set up. 

Afterwards, Lorraine called our Canadian friend Joy, who she had been in touch with, to see if she would like to go to the casino with her.  I stayed at the coach, washing the bugs off the front and repaired the front door - - again.  Then I drove over to visit with Rick until Lorraine and Joy returned from their casino trip.  The gals called and suggested we meet them at Bob’s for dinner so we continued our visit with these fine folks for an hour or so more.  They are going back to their home today so it was good to see them again. 

Lorraine and Joy had been talking about my aches and pains and Joy suggested that my shortness of breath was being caused from my back being “out”.  That caused us to remember an episode 30 years or so ago when I was having pains in my chest and my doctor couldn’t find a cause.  Lorraine happened to be seeing her doctor (in the same office) when I was there and told him about my problems.  He came in and “popped” my back, told me my back being out was causing the chest pains and that I was one of the “weird” ones who had phantom pain from back issues.  I sort of forgot about that until Joy talked about my issues and now I’m pretty convinced my problems are all because my back is out or I’ve lost a disk.  I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow and will get this checked out, fixed and we’ll get back on the road very soon, I’m sure. 

So, that was my week, not a usual one for sure.  Here’s hoping I get “fixed” and we are back on the road after a short detour.

The weather has been really good this past week.  We did have a couple of showers, just enough to stop the long string of days without measurable rainfall two days short of the record.  But the skies have been blue, no rain since and the forecast is for more of the same for at least the next 10 days, YEA.  The temperatures are forecast to get back to the low 80s later this week so once again the Pacific Northwest is a very nice place. 

Usually I write about our plans and travel schedule for the next week or so but right now I don’t know how long we will be here.  Depending on what the doctor says, we could be out of here by mid-week, that’s what we are hoping for.  But whatever happens, I’m sure Lorraine will be by my side, taking care of me and making sure I get through whatever happens.  Love you Hon and thanks for taking care of me all these years. 

Guess I’ll add a few pictures and get this posted. 

On the way to Shoalwater Casino.

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Drive from Seaside heading to Blaine. 

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Not too many pictures but some nice shot none the less. 

Thanks   Chuck

Saturday, September 8, 2012

We’re in Long Beach, Washington


Sunday, September 09, 2012                                                                                                 Lorraine’s report

Here we are, on the road once again. Hello from Long Beach, WA.   Yes, we’ve started to head south for the rest of the year.  It was time to leave the greater Bellingham area. We finished all our doctor visits and were starting to get itchy feet--time to move on.

We are staying at 1000 Trails in Long Beach, WA.  We got here Friday afternoon after what should have been a quick drive from Rochester, WA, where we spent three days after we left Blaine.

It turns out you can not quite trust your GPS!  This was the third time we followed directions the GPS said to and it failed us.  The GPS lead us down a small dead end road into a town the opposite way we should have gone.  The town was Ryderwood, WA and it is exactly opposite of the way we were suppose to go to get here to Long Beach.

Chuck had to disconnect the car and maneuver the rig to turn it around, hook up the car and take off, plugging in the address for here again.  This time it headed us in the right direction, without much back tracking.  That little side trip took over an hour I think.  I’ve learned I should check the paper map more frequently.

Our last week in the Bellingham area was quite busy.  Tim came over for a visit with Chuck . And I want to thank all our friends that invited us to dinner with them before we left.  Norma/Rob had us over for hamburgers one night. John and Breta took us to their favorite steak house, the Black Forest.  Joe and Alice took us to Chihuahua’s in Ferndale one night, Richard and Sandy took us to the Silver Reef Steak House, Steve and Sandy, just back from Alaska, took us to the Skagit Valley Casino’s Friday night Seafood Buffet and Rich and Joy made a wonderful homemade Chicken Stew one night for all of us, and then we spent on Sunday together exploring the Bellingham area, new to them.  We ended up eating fried Chicken from Albertsons-it was all so good!

I loved seeing each and every one of you and catching up.  I hope we will see some of you this winter, the rest, not sure when we will meet up again, but I enjoyed our time together.  Thank you all for sharing your time and love with us.  We do appreciate all your many kindnesses and I look forward to being with all of you once again. I will miss you all!

We were in Bellingham a little over six and a half weeks.  It was a very nice break from the killer heat the rest of the country was experiencing.  You can not beat the Pacific Northwest in the summer when the weather was like it was this summer.  Sunny skies, warm temperatures, mid to upper 70’s with lows into the mid 50s, and the humidity wasn’t bad at all, you have your perfect summer time weather.

If Seattle makes it to this Tuesday with out any measurable rain, Seattle will set a new record of 51 days without any rain.  After all the rain they had here this past winter and spring, these people really deserve it!

This Saturday we went to a big car show here on the Long Beach Peninsula.  There were over 1000 cars expected and most likely showed up for the show and many cruises during the day and into the evening.  The difference was the weather.  It only reached 63 degrees and we had the marine layer over cast over us all day.  It was quite cool, and the wind coming up when we left the show didn’t help.

Last Sunday after I went to church, we attended the classic car show at the Silver Reef Casino with Rick and Joy. It was a lot smaller, but the weather was absolutely beautiful.  After the show we took Rick and Joy on a tour of Bellingham.  They hadn’t ever seen the town or waterfront.  We spent a quiet wonderful day together, showing them the area.  We ended up playing the dice game, 10,000.  I can’t tell you what it means to me to have such awesome friends as you two are-Thank You!!!

I guess that’s all I want to say for now. Until next time…



9/9/12                                                                                                                                            Chuck’s report

We’re back on the road again after a long stay in Blaine for doctor visits and such.  We don’t plan on traveling far for the next month, staying in one spot for a week or less and seeing some sites in that area as we work our way down South. 

Once again we haven’t written for two weeks so will try to get caught up to date here.  Pardon my ramblings but we sometimes go back and review our blogs for info so have to do this for our sake too. 

The last week of August we managed to have dinner with friends almost every night.  On Monday we went over to Rob/Norma’s for a BBQ and a nice visit. 

Tuesday we met with John/Bretta at Jack Neiman’s Black Forest in Bellingham, an excellent place to eat by the way, and we had a very nice visit with these old friends of ours too. 

Wednesday Joe/Alice treated us to a very nice Mexican dinner at Chihuahua’s in Ferndale, thanks.  Once again we had a very good visit and saw a couple of other friends while there too, bonus.  

Thursday we met Richard/Sandy at the Steak House at the Silver Reef Casino where they treated us to a VERY nice dinner.  If you are in the area and would like a good steak and great service, give this place a try.  It’s a bit on the expensive side but maybe you could talk Richard/Sandy into treating you like they did us, ha.  We were at the table for about three hours, lots of laughter and good conversation along with the good food.  Thanks Richard and Sandy, we had a good time even if I had to wear a shirt with a collar. 

Friday we met with friends Steve/Sandy who had recently returned from their trip to Alaska.  We met them at the Skagit Casino Buffet where once again we had a good dinner and visit with good friends.  It was good talking about your Alaska trip and remembering ours from a couple years ago.  We were surprised when they treated us too, thanks a bunch and see you two down South this winter. 

Saturday we were invited over to see Rick/Joy at their place where once again we were fed.  This time we had Joy’s homemade Chicken stew and Rick’s homemade apple pie.  Lorraine brought some corn bread and corn on the cob to complete a good meal and good visit with Rick/Joy and Rob/Norma.  Sure hope to see these fine friends down South this winter again. 

Sunday Lorraine went to Church while I completed a couple of items from the honey do list.  Later we picked up Rick/Joy to go to the Car Show at the Silver Reef Casino.  We spent a couple of hours there, managed to see some friends who were there too.  Later we took a “Sunday afternoon” drive around the water front, ending up at the harbor in Bellingham.  We stopped by Albertson for some fried chicken, salad and such then returned to our place.  After dinner we played a couple games of 1000, the first couple I was thinking maybe I should have gone to the casino instead but that was short lived as we had two complete games with Lorraine and Joy each winning one, if memory serves me correctly.

And just to make it a complete week, on Monday we once again had the Buffet at the Silver Reef, senior day so it was lunch for $5 each which included dessert.  Rob/Norma and Rick/Joy were with us to once again help us have a good time.  Later everyone played the slots for awhile except for me, I decided to try the tables, should have played the slots instead is all I will say about that decision. 

We also spent some time with other friends while we were there too.  Good to see Dennis/Barb while they were down.  And Tim stopped by one day, I tried to talk him into coming down South this winter, we’ll see if I was successful or not.  hanks to all of you and others that we were able to see while we were back there.  I would name some of them but for sure I would miss someone and don’t want to do that so will just say thanks to all of our friends we met along the way while back there.  As for the ones we didn’t see, there’s always next time or if you happen to be in the same area as we, let us know and we’ll make arrangements to get together.  Now that we are on the road, I need to stop eating so much although I really enjoyed our dinners with some of our closest friends. 

So Tuesday we packed up and headed out, making the compass show “S” once again.  We didn’t travel far, just down to Rochester to yet another Casino.  We were planning on staying at 1000 Trails in Chehalis but the place was pretty full and we couldn’t find a spot we liked and would suit us so we backtracked a bit to Lucky Eagle camp ground for the next three nights. 

The second day here Lorraine and I gave the coach and the car a much needed wash.  They look pretty good but as soon as we drive through a rain storm - - - -, well you know.  And with all the cleaning that Lorraine has done on the inside while we were in Blaine, we are good to go for awhile. 

One reason we wanted to stay in this area was to drive up to Mt. Saint Helen again.  As you might remember, it erupted in May 1980 and devastated the forest for miles around.  We drove down the following year to see it for ourselves, quite a sight to see all the trees in the forest laid over like wind rows of hay in a field.  There was a couple of burned out cars covered in dust, Spirit Lake and the mountain, or what was left of it.  It sort of reminded us of a moonscape in that there was no sign of life, no green, just brown from the blast and dust. 

We’ve returned for a visit three times since, each time amazed at how it was recovering.  We haven’t been back for about 9 or 10 years and WOW, what a difference.  The grass, bushes and trees have taken hold in lots of places.  Lots of wildlife, although we didn’t see any up close, have returned to the area, the ranger said they see about 100 elk everyday.  They have a very nice visitor’s center there but we couldn’t drive some of the roads like we did the previous visits.  I guess it’s changed so much, it doesn’t even remind us what we saw during our first visit, nothing awe inspiring except for the healing. 

Friday morning we got everything put away and headed for the dump station before leaving.  The camp ground host came running over while I was hooking up the car, she thought we were some else who hadn’t paid but left anyway.  Lucky for us, she remembered us and that we had paid, otherwise Lorraine could have dug out the receipt if needed.   After leaving, I missed the driveway to the gas station and had to go around a country mile to the next road and back.  Guess I should have figured things come in three but I’m not that smart. 

The driving directions on the computer showed two ways to go to Long Beach, the GPS chose the one down South.  That was ok by me, I followed its direction.  But somehow, it decided to lead us down a couple of country roads which ended up with us on a dead end road with no room to turn around.  I had to un-hook the car, turn the coach around then re-hook the car.  This was only the third time we’ve had to do that in the past 5 years but I was still embarrassed to find us in that position.  I had even checked the map before we left but didn’t have the correct route down in my mind.  But like I sometimes say, we’ve never been lost; just sometimes we don’t know where we are.  But with Lorraine’s help on the paper map and a bit of reprogramming of the !@# GPS, we soon got back on the small country roads and headed in the right direction.  We were only about 1 1/2 hours later arriving here than what I planned.  But we did see some pretty country we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Once we got back on the main highway heading here, we saw lots of old cars, much more than in a normal drive.  Lorraine suggested there might be a car show somewhere in the area.  Once we got here to Long Beach 1000 Trails, the ranger told us about a big car show here this weekend.  Boy, two car shows in two weeks, how lucky can we get.  We got set up then went to town for a Subway sandwich for dinner and noticed lots of folks in chairs along the road like a parade route.  It didn’t take us long to figure out there was a cruise for the old cars going on so we found a spot and watched for awhile too. 

Saturday we headed out to the actual car show about 10 miles away at a fair ground.  We found a place to park fairly close then spent the next three hours walking around looking at over 1000 old cars.  Boy are there some great cars to see!!  I don’t know who I would approach if someone gave me the money and told me to pick out any car I wanted.  I know some of them would be nice to have and drive, some would be strictly for show and shine car shows and some would require some work to put them in show condition.  But seeing as how no one was there with unlimited money for me, I didn’t have to make that decision, shoot.  But if anyone wants to come up with the unlimited funds, please let me know ASAP!!!

The weather has been really nice lately.  The longest Seattle has ever gone without measurable rainfall was 51 days back in 1951.  Today was the 48th day without rain in Seattle but looks like it will rain tomorrow and Monday so the record is safe.  The temperatures have been really nice but no more 90F days.  We’ve had a few 80F days but we can feel fall coolness setting in at night, almost to the point of needed a jacket.  We don’t want to spend another winter here like last year so we will continue with our travel down South before it gets cold.  I’ve given in to wearing long pants but I don’t want to get to where I need a jacket until much later in the year. 

I think we have our plans set for the next month or so, at least a general idea.  We plan on working our way down the Oregon and part of the  North California coast, mostly staying at 1000 Trail parks along the way.  Then we will cut over to the middle of California to see a couple of 1000 Trail Parks we haven’t been to yet.  Lorraine wants to be with Kaitlyn and Susy for Halloween again this year, plus we plan on being there for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well. 

Mike/Linda, we will be in Seaside on Monday, not sure how long we will stay there but plan on going to Seaside, Pacific City, Whaler’s Rest and South Jetty over the next two weeks or so.  As usual, we haven’t made reservations, just going with the flow, staying as long as we want at any spot before heading to the next.  So once you make it in the area, give us a holler and we’ll try to see you somewhere along the way. 

Ok, enough of that, think I’ll put a few pictures here and get this posted. 

High winds make for flimsy, fast moving clouds.  Remember the song “The Bluest Skies I’ve Ever Seen Were in Seattle”?

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Our spot at Birch Bay and Lorraine getting into the coach. 

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Car show at Lummi Silver Reef Casino. 

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That’s Jack Douglas’s ‘59 ‘Vette.

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Andy Ochoa and his award winning truck, had his ‘55 Chevy convertible there too.

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John Brown and his ‘55 Chevy he has owned since high school, I think. 

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Lorraine and Joy walking back from the Casino, they just made a quick pit stop, didn’t even play the slots.


At the harbor in Bellingham.

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On the road to Mt. Saint Helen.  That’s the valley full of mud flow from 32 years ago. 

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At the Visitor’s center.  A mock-up showing the blast zone, mud flow and dust.

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A picture of what the mountain looked like and what it is like now. 

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The only wildlife we saw all day, a chipmunk.  A friend of mine used to call them “Timber Tigers”.


The beach heading towards Long Beach. 

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There is a salmon in that small inlet, the sea gulls are sure harassing it. 


Pictures of the car show here in Long Beach. 

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Lorraine really liked the black GTO and another blue convertible later. 


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A Corvette and a matching trailer. 


A Cobra, don’t see many of these around. 

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The folding hardtop, sort of like Susy’s new VW.

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A very nice black ‘57 Chevy convertible. 

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And that’s enough of that too. 

Thanks   Chuck