August 6

We've made it to our destination - Gig Harbor, WA.
August 7

We got up this morning at Lucas and Betsy's and were off early for SHOPPING. We had done some shopping yesterday and then, since we are trying to get food for 24 people for 5 days, shopped and shopped some more.

As I write this late into day two someone has gone to the store many times already for items on the list and forgotten and items that never made it to the list. I can see into the future...more trips to the store.

Night one, Pizza Night!
After dinner we went on a trek around the property and it really was very cool. At one point we had to make it across a crevasse from one steep and slippery slope to another.

The boys lent many hands. I needed for each arm and one to push.

Darryl, Lona, Lucas
On the way back from the walk the kids discover a huge blackberry hedge. Huge enough for a blackberry stuffing session and so so many more we are going to be stuffing ourselves with blackberries for days.

Chrsta, Lilly, Darryl, Xander

This was the blackberry hedge near the pond with gallons and gallons of blackberries and around the property, in almost every direction actually, there were more more more.

Trevor, Darryl Charis, Lilly, Anya

Kaitlin, Lilly

Darryl and Angela...Hi!
And there's MORE. All the kids took turns going for a boat ride on our pond.

Xander, Kaitlin

Charis, Xander, Lilly
Having fun!

Kaitlin, Xander

Travis, Lainee, Cali, and Jack hadn't made it yet - they arrived well past midnight and I was long gone sawing zzzs by then.
Darryl's, picture and sculpture, one a day for a year, one unbroken wire, day
August 8

Good morning! Betsy led us in a nice long good morning stretch. That feels good!
Hot tubbin' with all the kids, and Trevor.

Cali, Anya, Charis, Trevor, Christa, Lilly, Kaitlin, Caleb, Xander, Jack
He's eating our apples!
Everyone was trying to catch a fish. They used bread, cheese, even carrots.


Caleb, Jack, Lilly, Kaitlin, Lucas, Xander, Trevor, Lucas, Christa, Anya

Caleb, Anya, Kaitlin, Charis, Lilly, Cali, Travis
WOW. We had blackberries for lunch! The kids went out and picked them all. WOW!

Lilly, Jack, Kaitlin, Xander
The girls playing a rousing game of Uno.

Anya, Lilly, Charis, Cali, Kaitlin
Lucas is coaching Lilly in the finer points of Guesstures, a charades-like game.
Go Lilly!
Lona will NEVER forget how she was Robbed, ROBBED I tell you, when she lost the grip on one of her cards.
Jack is Mr Flyswatter, King of the Flyswatters, Flyswatter Extraordinaire!
Jeff was persistent in his efforts to catch a catch-and-release fish and in fact succeeded later in the day with a piece of cheese for bait although the release portion of catch-and-release might not have been wholly successful which called a halt to any more fishing.
The kids are off for a round of geo-caching with their trading trinkets in hand.

Charis, Lilly, Anya, Cali, Jack, Xander, Kaitlin

Geo-caching can be a big adventure!

Heading back to the car empty handed this time.
Beth, Janice, and I took a leisurely stroll around the woods and beautiful it was.
More fun in the pond.
Night two, BBQ Night!

Lucas, Windy, Travis
Lainee and Jack out for a row.
There were evening games of course and much hilarity followed by the bedtime distribution of light whirly things from L&H for the amusement of the young ones, Caleb being not so entirely young as he is off to college at the end of this vacation.
Darryl's, picture and sculpture, one a day for a year, one unbroken wire, day 134.

This reminds me that I don't have any pictures of all the rousing games of pool and the even more rousing games of Horse, a pool table game created up by Caleb and played every day with vigor and enthusiasm by all.
August 9

Good morning...and the adults awaken to a dorm-wide pillow fight. It was the smaller kids vs Caleb and Xander. Caleb and Xander had themselves barricaded in the game room and only came out for sneak attacks.

Then the smaller kids hatched an underhanded and entirely clever plan. They sent Jack up to the door who pleaded 'let me in let me in and it can be the boys against the girls' so Caleb and Xander opened the door and all the girls poured in on the attack.


It was Pancake Morning so the kids went out again to bring us blackberries to go with the pancakes.

Kaitlin, Anya
As soon as we cleaned up from breakfast everyone started packing picnic lunches...

...and we were off to a local reenactment event. We rode back and forth across this bridge a few times - it's especially handsome while you're on it too.
Hudson Bay Company Fort Nisqually, built in 1827 as a base for the fur trade.

The reenactment was so well done and so not crowded - we had a very good time!
A view of the compound from one of the watch towers.
Here come more of the folks dressed up for the reenactment. Love that little privileged sneer. Good job.

He makes me look small!

The kids howled and cheered at the Punch and Judy show.

Cali and Christa, dressed up for fun.
And more!
Here is Caleb undoing his gummy bear graduation lei much to the delight of all the kids.

We broke up into three bands - geo-cachers, walkers, and driving arounders. And a fourth group, me, who went to the store.

Lilly, Jack, Kaitlin, Anya, Cali, Charis

The geo-caching group.

A view enjoyed by the walkers. I don't have a picture from the driving arounders. Anyone?
Back at the house this view made me stop on the long driveway...Stop...Take My Picture!
Then we took 10,000 of these in 1,000 configurations.

Jeff, Windy, Darryl, Angela, Kaitlin, Lilly, Jack, Anya, Cali, Charis, Trevor, Beth, Janice, Travis, Lainee, Betsy, Lucas, Xander, Caleb, Christa, Lona, Hartley, me.
Night three, Taco Night!

I hope someone has a picture of Taco Night.

Christa taking a break from medical journals for a little Louis L'Amour.
An epic foosball competition has been raging and I see no end in sight.

Travis, Trevor, Caleb, Darryl
Hot Tub Hands!
Darryl's, picture and sculpture, one a day for a year, one unbroken wire, day 135.
August 10

We again had the pleasure of Betsy's stretching class this morning followed by Travis teaching us all a grappling move that was a total kick (kick...ha!). I have the name of the move but it's in the car so I'll write it soon!

I think this was bacon and eggs morning with the four trays of baked bacon slabs which were yumm yumm good.

Christa, Caleb, Travis, Jack, Xander, Beth, Trevor, Charis, Anya
Bye Jeff .. we are all so glad you could make it!

The Thrift Shoppers! Almost everyone came home with an exciting treasure.

Lona, Charis, Lilly, Windy, Kaitlin, Anya, Cali

The kids just loooved paddling around on the pond. They came and went entirely on their own, making up games, leaving each other on the raft or on the shore, taking turns rowing...we are all Tom Sawyer up in here.

One of the many gorgeous peaks you can see on the flight into the Pacific Northwest, and another great view of our pond.
The girls went out in search of just the right sticks for a round of s'mores...

Cali, Lilly, Anya, Charis
...and look what I came upon - Xander teaching Jack how to sharpen the s'more sticks with a pocket knife.

No, Jack did Not cut himself and cover the wounds with duct tape. He put the duct tape there 'for later'.
Lucas made us a most splendid magic show. The kids were gaga...
...and cried out Lucas's signature abracadabra - Presto Bismol!

Lucas, Kaitlin
Night four, Pasta Night!

But we never did get to do s'mores for one reason and another, one reason being Travis Black, Cookie Monster!
Darryl's, picture and sculpture, one a day for a year, one unbroken wire, day 136.
August 11

After our always happy help-yourself breakfast (although we did have Pancake Morning and Bacon and Eggs Morning) we got arranged for our Mystery Theater Performance. Everyone had parts and it was great fun.

Then the plan was to take lunch to the beach and have a surprise activity for Anya whose birthday was the next day but everyone was feeling it for staying in, this being our last day so we did our...
...Surprise! Happy Birthday Anya!! there at the house.
Eleven years old. Why, I remember you when you were born.
Dragonflies were everywhere most more lovely than this one but at least he was sitting still.
Enjoying just another one of the dozen places to sit.

Betsy, Darryl, Beth, Angela
Freesbie! and with Christa and Caleb leaving here to go straight to college...some ULTIMATE Freesbie was required.
Oh no! Lilly! She got stung twice!
Finally FINALLY! I've been gazing at our pond hour after hour and day after day with wide longing eyes. I reeeeally wanted to swim in that pond but I couldn't bring myself to be the first.

Travis! Yay Travis! Travis did get out without swimming though because he said it was so cold he couldn't breathe. Not a rousing recommendation.
And as Hartley said, like lemmings (that's Caleb doing a flip)...

That's meeee.
...more and more jumped in until we had a regular pond party going. I can't express sufficiently how totally entirely completely utterly happy I was that swimming in the pond actually happened...

(the arrow points to ME. I can't tell who else is in the picture but many had a go, even Kaitlin had a ride on Caleb's back and Cali jumped off the board three times.)
...although I did need two big guys to help me get out!

Then we ended the day with Lona leading the gang in a rousing rendition of Rinky Dinky Doo. I'm putting her version below. The Boy Scouts of America have a different version...:

"Me hand on meself, what is dis here
Dis is me hat-racker, me mommy dear.
Hat-racker, hat-racker, dinkey dinkey do,
That's what I learned in the zoo.

followed by:

Sweat-boxer; Eye-winker; Nose-blower; Food-gobbler; Chin-chomper; Head-holder; Chest-thumper; Bread-basket; Sit-downer; Knee-knocker; Foot-stomper

And of course the last line: That's why I'm still in the zoo!"

Night five, Thai Night!
Darryl's, picture and sculpture, one a day for a year, one unbroken wire, day 137.
August 12

It's our last morning, people are packing up, and Lilly asked if please she could sit in the big chair for her last breakfast. Sure!
This is Kaitlin's last breakfast - leftover pancakes heated up in the toaster, syrup and buttery-spread and a good serving of the last round of our magnificent blackberries.
Jack urging forward the banana slug on our front porch.
The first group to leave. Bye Bye Bye Blacks it was SOOO GOOD!
From Travis and Lainee: "Best farewell ever."
With suitcases piling up in the entry Anya creates stylin' braids in Kaitlin's hair...
...and Lilly does up a do for Xander. Someone said that must be a first for Xander but Betsy said he was very used to it since he did after all grow up with a sister.
Then...Thunder...and Lightning...
...and Rain, for a few minutes, and then it stopped and everyone was off. Oh my, what a time we had.

(Someone else took this picture with my camera...who are you?)
Here are all of the wire sculptures Darryl made while we were together and the souvenir button we made for everyone.
I smile because you are my sister; I laugh because you can't do anything about it.
We the Grandmothers Three say Hey Family, Let's Party!
Gig Harbor, Washington 2015.
August 2

Road Trip! Windy and I motored up the I5 straight into Sacramento for a stroll through the Sacramento Old Town and a night at the Vagabond Inn.
This is Old Sacramento State Historic Park.

This park is located at the edge of the Old Sacramento Historic District. The area was developed as a tourist attraction in the 1960s and is named in the National Register of Historic Places.
It's very cool and not so much Disney-i-fied as it could have gone, probably because the buildings are more restored than rebuilt and not all the angles are 90 degrees or all the lines so parallel.

They did move some buildings here from other parts of town and demolished the ones that couldn't be repaired.
We had a tasty dinner on the deck of the Delta Queen on the Sacramento River pulled up alongside Old Town.
Looking back.
The center section of the bridge in the background raises and lowers on cables.
Our state capitol...we'll swing by in the morning.
Windy did a little browsing through the shops while I sat out on the boardwalk eating a tub of ice cream, Oh it was good, and enjoying some clicks.
I copied this from Wikipedia because I think it's interesting.

"While the architecture from this period (mid-1800s) is commonly attributed to Victorian gold miners, characteristics of West End, such as multi-storied buildings, large arched doorways, full-height balcony windows and the use of decorative wrought-iron balconies, were most ubiquitous in parts of Spain and the Spanish colonies. This influence may be attributed to the fact that the period of Spanish rule in California enjoyed immigration from all over the Atlantic, including Spain and the Canary Islands, and the Spanish colonies.

The architecture of Old Town Sacramento (formerly known as West End) exhibits observable characteristics similar to that of San Juan (Puerto Rico), Havana (Cuba), Tampico (Mexico), Seville (Spain), Santa Cruz de Teneriffe (Canary Islands), Madrid (Spain).

While the architectural style of Old Sacramento, with its wrought iron balconies and evenly-spaced full height windows may remind one of Paris, it should be noted that Sacramento's oldest buildings predate the Haussmann Projects that renovated large areas of Paris in that style."
August 3

There are a lot of Chinese influences present here in the Gold Rush territories. This is Sacramento's entrance to their Chinatown.
On a morning walk to see the cathedral and the capitol buildings.
A view of a side entrance.
Gracing the roofline at the front.
All along our walk we were seeing these large boxes with various decorations and all referencing

From the website: "Artists were selected based on past work and paid to create a design (or designs) that was transferred to vinyl, and wrapped around a City of Sacramento traffic utility box. The vision is that by using these “blank canvasses” as a platform for the artistic community graffiti will be eliminated creating a beautiful, safe, inclusive, and interesting environment for pedestrians and commuters alike."
In front of an office building.
On our way to Eureka, oh no, FIRE. We are turned back! and have to take an alternate route that takes maybe only an hour longer but that hour we spent in mountain switchbacks.

That's smoke!
Since we were on an alternate route I hadn't looked into anything we might find along the way so when we came upon the dang cute little town of Weaverville we decided to check out their museum.
It was fun especially because the ladies running the museum and gift shop (gift shop of course) were so full of enthusiasm for Weaverville.
Our hotel in Eureka, the historic Eureka Inn is, let's say, an experience...a perfectly fine one, interesting, historic even, and we enjoyed an entertaining dinner in their bar.
August 4

We're into the Redwood National and State Parks swath of the California coast. We stopped off here at the Visitor's Center for maps and a stroll.
We decided to take the short and gorgeous trail to the Lady Bird Johnson grove. This is all fog - no evidence of the fires this far north.
He was our first informant, all about the rings on a felled tree, but not our last by many because everyone along the trail was full of chatty stories and if we were to be standing to look at something, it would surely bring a story by a passer-by.
For example we learned from another guy that these are Sitka Spruce.

From the interpretive walk brochure: "Capable of ascending to heights over 360 feet, coast redwoods tower over all living things on the planet."
From the internet: "President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill authorizing the creation of the Redwood National Park in 1968. His wife, Lady Bird, officiated at the dedication of the park.

In 1969 the newly elected president, Richard M. Nixon, dedicated this grove to Lady Bird in recognition of her devoted service to the cause of preserving and enhancing America's natural beauty for the enjoyment of all the people. A short easy interpretive trail loops you around the grove and features interpretive signs talking about the trees and how Lady Bird helped save the grove from being logged."
A 'well-oiled' group of young people suggested this photo. Good job kids.
Really, gorgeous.
The California Bear guarding the bridge.

According to the Klamath Chamber of Commerce: "The Golden Bears on the Klamath River Bridge weren't always golden.

Sometime in the late 50's or early 60's mysteriously the cement bears on the old bridge would turn golden over night. Despite efforts of the State Highway Department with buckets of turpentine swabbing off that golden color, overnight the bears would be returned to their golden hue."
Hi guy.

A club had formed in town to keep the bears gold...the Golden State Bears. They are now however in need of a bit of refreshing.
Over the border...over the drought!
Oh YAY, a Roadside Attraction! The Trees of Mystery! They have a ski-lift style ride to take you through the forest and presumably learn the mystery of the trees.

We didn't do the ride because seeing these guys was enough for us. A man with a microphone could control the characters, wave his hand, blink, smile, and he could see the whole scene and make comments to the posing tourists.
On the Oregon Coast you can see the trees growing right up to the water and the beaches full of driftwood. We travelled over the bridge there in the distance and the drive was gorgeous.
There are a few people standing there half-way down in the right third, by the opening, for scale.
We're here at Captain John's for the night, in the little fishing village of Charleston outside of Coos Bay, Oregon.

(internet pic)
August 5

We were up for a country breakfast this morning and we got just that here. On the sign it says "You can't say Yummy enough."
Nice on the Lighthouse. Not surprisingly there are many lighthouses all along the Oregon coast, rocky as it is. I'm not sure where either of the ones I took pictures of are.
We enjoyed many a delightful bridge most having been built in the 1930s and looking like grand projects of the WPA.
I do always appreciate these hyper-telephoto hyper-blown-up pictures at the beach.
Another lighthouse to check on. We stopped here for a stretch and a pee break.
We're having an early night at Seaside, OR, a popular vacation spot they say about themselves and...
...the point where Lewis and Clark first reached the Pacific Coast.

A Wiki Fun Fact: "On November 24, 1805, the party voted to move their camp to the south side of the Columbia River near modern Astoria, Oregon. Because Sacagawea, and Clark's slave York, were both allowed to participate in the vote, it may have been the first time in American history where a woman and a slave were allowed to vote."
HomeUSA the West • '15 Aug: Reunion and Road Trip Ca-Or-Wa-Or-Ca

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