Fall Picnic at Camp Roosevelt

Hubby Mike and I went for a ride today. For me, it was the first ride in months! It’s been a weird year. I’ve been so busy doing other stuff, I haven’t been able to get out on two wheels much at all. So I REALLY enjoyed it. I even used The Spotwalla tracker just to make sure it still works. Maybe even so I can look back and remember that it even happened.

Rest Break

The leaves are starting to change, mostly at higher elevations, but the last several days have been quite warm. Right now it’s about 86 F (30 C). We leave for vacation on Thursday. We’re heading to Belgium to visit our friends, Annelies and Yves, who JUST moved into a house they’ve been renovating for a couple/few years. It’s supposedly been unseasonably cool there, so I hope that trend continues.

I mapped out a route for us before leaving. A simple loop that would take us to a nice picnic spot. The place I chose was Camp Roosevelt. It’s along one of our favorite putt-putt roads through a piece of the George Washington National Forest near Luray, Virginia. We’d passed the place numerour times, but had never stopped. I had no idea there was a picnic area or that it was the location of the very first Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) site in the nation.

Here are a few images captured during our picnic stop.

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Aren’t we fancy? Plates, drink goblets, a little cutting board… there’s also a cheese knife, cutlery, a blanket, salt & pepper shakers, and even cloth napkins.

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After we’d eaten, I snagged a few pics of some Fall color to share. The colors are most noticeable at higher elevations and in cooler spots, like creek-side riding through Fort Valley, one of my favorite local geographic oddities.

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All in all, it was a lovely day.

A Few Fun Pics from Washington State

Since I use this blog sort of as a photo diary and personal reference tool, I wanted to post a few more fun pics captured while visiting Washington earlier this year.

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One of two cool cows at Haggen’s grocery story in Auburn, WA.

 

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There’s no shortage of coffee/espresso stands in the Pacific NW.

 

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Hubby and the Grand Kids

 

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Unique Yard Art

 

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Hubby and Me

 

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The Puyallup Bunyan Muffler Man

 

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Me and ScooterBob

 

Mountains Are Cool

Hubby and I drove out to Shenandoah National Park (SNP) last weekend. It’s been pretty hot here, so I haven’t been on my bike in weeks.

It was about 93 degrees and humid when we left the house on Sunday. The heat index — what it feels like with the humidity — was probably about 105. It was gross.

As is typical on hot, muggy days like that, there were thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon. I told Mike we’d probably see some pretty cool skies from Skyline Drive. He wasn’t excited.

It was about 75 degrees when we reached Skyline Drive. It was still humid, but it felt much better than the temps back down on the Piedmont.

Check out this awesome quilt that was on display at the Visitor’s Center.

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Centennial Quilt

The SNP Facebook page said…

Shenandoah National Park has a lot of exciting plans to celebrate the 100th year of the National Park Service! This past winter, Shenandoah staff and volunteers created a quilt representing Parks across the nation. The quilt is currently displayed at Byrd Visitor Center. Other quilt related events can also be found on our special events page. Visit our website to learn more about the hikes, programs and festivities at Shenandoah as we celebrate our 100th Birthday! https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/special_events.htm.

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Pretty Flowers at the Visitor’s Center

We were surprised to see a very large storm cloud approaching the lodge complex from the other side of the drive.

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Hubby watches large storm cloud rolling in.

 

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The sky looked clearer north of the Visitor’s Center.

 

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Pretty flower, but I have no idea what it is.

 

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The cluster of flowers was oddly waxy-feeling.

 

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Interesting cloud formations.

 

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Storms were definitely starting to pop up in various places.

 

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More interesting clouds.

 

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Hello, Grasshopper.

 

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Blue skies to the north.

I did say we’d see some interesting skies, right?

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Check out that downpour!

 

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Seeing such heavy, localized rain intrigued me.

 

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Look how dense that rain is!

A little while later, heading north, we saw a bear beside the road. I had to turn around and circle back for a better view. Buy then, he’d gone into the brush, so I didn’t get a decent picture.

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Raven!

You folks out West will probably laugh at me for sharing a picture of a Raven, but we don’t see them often. We have far more American Crows than Ravens. So, yes, I get excited when I see a Raven.

And that was our excitement last Sunday.

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Clear skies to the East.

It’s supposed to be cooler this week. Here’s hoping the weather folks are right. I am really, really tired of being in the house.

Fun with Family

Joey (age 8)
Joey (age 8)

Our time in Washington went by way too fast. But isn’t that always the case when you are enjoying yourself immensely?

Eric (youngest kid) and his wife Kelsey weren’t able to join us in Washington. Shannon (eldest) and her boyfriend, Chris, flew up from San Diego for the weekend. Amy’s husband, TJ, had to work during the day on Saturday and Sunday (he’s in the Army), but we did get to see him in the evenings.

We didn’t do a whole lot besides hang out and enjoy each other’s company both days. It was awesome.

We didn’t need to do anything, really, besides just relax, chat, laugh, carry on a bit, etc. It was perfect. Especially since we all live so far away from each other. I would never be one of those parents who insist that their kids stay close geographically just for the parent’s sake. I am a firm believer that your children, when they are adults, need to make their own places in the world.  I do miss all of them, as does Hubby, but we try not to dwell on it.

Breakfast Chatter
Breakfast Chatter

I, of course, had to walk around taking pictures. Who else is going to document events like this?

Some of Joe's art work.
Some of Joe’s art work.

I couldn’t help but smile at Joey’s creations.

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I guess he likes his privacy.

Meanwhile, back downstairs…

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Tech support? Or online shopping?

 

Flowering Tree
Flowering Tree

I’m not sure if that’s a Rose of Sharon tree (in their front yard), but it sure is pretty. Especially with the blue-sky backdrop.

Since the sky was so clear, I decided to borrow Amy’s car and drive about seven minutes to a place from which I know Mount Rainier is easily seen. I never get tired of seeing that mountain.

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Mount Rainier as seen from Lake Tapps

Yes, I zoomed in to capture that photo. The mountain is not as close as it appears. Also, I was sort of shooting into the sun, which is why the sky behind the mountain looks so gray.

Saying “the mountain is out” (referring to Mount Rainier) is the local way of saying it’s a pretty day.

When I got back to the house, I was tickled to see Amy sewing.

She's sewing!
She’s sewing!

She apparently also favors using a machine that was built before she was born. (She borrowed the 70’s era machine from a neighbor friend.)

The Grand Kids - Brianna (15), Joe (8), and Gaige (12)
The Grand Kids – Brianna (15), Joe (8), and Gaige (12)

Joe did have a baseball game in the early afternoon, so we all went to watch. Brianna had lacrosse practice, too.

Family Spectators
Family Spectators

 

Joe is a very good catcher.
Joe is a very good catcher.

 

Interesting weeds.
Interesting weeds at the ball field.

That little guy LOVES baseball.

He's a natural.
He’s a natural.

He’s very focused, can you tell?

Joey and Amy
Joey and Amy

After the sports stuff, Shannon, Amy and I did some shopping for lunch and dinner fixin’s, adult beverages, and some other local specialty items.

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Cheers!

Then, after lunch, we got to sit outside and test TJ’s special beer coozies.

Hubby matched his coozie.
Hubby matched his coozie.

The hand-shaped coozies were fun, but wouldn’t a Sasquatch hand be REALLY cool to have? And fitting, given the area.

The next day, Joey made chocolate-chip pancakes for Hubby and I to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary.

Chef Joseph
Chef Joseph

 

Chef Joseph
Chef Joseph

 

Hubby and Me
Hubby and Me

We had to get a family photo or two. I’ve always been able to get the kids to pose nicely by letting them do a goofy shot or two at the end of the session. Chris wasn’t used to that. LOL. The goofy shots often end up being some of my favorites.

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Goofballs

Later, Shannon and I decided to walk to the park to watch the sunset.

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Orange Azaleas

I absolutely love those orange azaleas, which Shannon and I saw during our walk to Sunset Park. Yes, that’s really the name of the park.

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Gorgeous Azalea

The sunset wasn’t anything extra-special, but we did get a nice view of the mountain bathed in the late-afternoon light.

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Mount Rainier as seen from Sunset Park in Auburn

 

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Mount Rainier as seen from Sunset Park in Auburn

 

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Sunset as seen from Sunset Park in Auburn

It wasn’t long after that when Shannon and Chris had to head to the airport. 🙁

All-in-all, it was a great weekend, even if it was far too short!

Hubby and I have certainly been blessed in so many ways.

Whirlwind of Activity

Holy cow it’s been a crazy week. But GOOD crazy. Fabulous crazy, really.

A couple of posts ago, I said, “More adventures are on the horizon. Could it involve family, friends, a road trip, airplane rides, surprise visitor(s) , a voyage to another country, a boat ride? Or maybe all of the above? One never knows. I do know, however, that exciting times are definitely ahead.”

In my anniversary post, I meant to enlighten y’all a bit and reveal that we are in Washington, which is where that handsome, pancake-cooking grandson lives. But I forgot. Sorry!

I’m guessing if you follow my Instagram feed, you know — or have been guessing! — where I am. We are in Washington State. Our daughter, Amy, lives outside of Seattle with her husband, TJ, and three kids. Our daughter Shannon and her boyfriend, Chris, flew up from San Diego for the weekend. So we were just a son and daughter-in-law short of having a full house for our anniversary.

The Family
The Family

It was awesome having everyone together for the weekend.

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We drove this route counterclockwise.

Shannon and Chris left on Sunday evening. On Monday, while the kids were in school, Amy and I set off on a little road trip adventure, choosing to take the scenic route to Port Townsend (PT), a historic seaport town on the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula.

I gave Amy the option of a fast, medium, or slow, scenic ride, with me driving, of course. I was very happy when she chose the scenic route, which involved two ferries and a quick visit to Whidbey Island, one of my favorite locations in the state.

It was really, really nice spending the day with Amy. I don’t get to see her much, since we live on opposite sides of the country and all. 🙁

While we were off on our girls adventure, TJ and Hubby went to the Lemay car museum in Tacoma. Then they went to the Army base to see TJ’s boat (he’s a boat captain). The guys seem to have enjoyed their day as much as us girls did.

I’ll share pics and tell you more about PT later. But first, there’s some other excitement.

Amy and TJ had to go away for a few days, so we are in charge of the kids. Which means we need to be here to chauffeur them around to various activities, make sure they eat, bathe, go to bed on time, don’t kill each other, etc. Hubby and I are both working remotely from here, unless something else comes up.

Most evenings are pretty busy. Wednesday (yesterday) was one of the few days only one kid had any place to be (Brianna had lacrosse practice), so I decided to escape for an adventure.

Selfie in Victoria, BC
Selfie in Victoria, BC

I drove into Seattle and took the Victoria Clipper (a passenger-only ferry) up to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for the day.

Victoria is a beautiful city. I took LOTS of pics. But want to know what the highlight of my day was?

Happy hour!

Not just because it was happy hour, but because of who I got to enjoy happy hour with!

Darlene and Me
Darlene and Me

Darlene, aka Princess Scooterpie! We’ve been following each other’s blogs for a few years now. I’d been to Victoria previously, but was traveling with friends so wasn’t able to squeeze in a visit. This time, I was very determined to meet this cool lady in the flesh.

She’s every bit as awesome as I knew she would be. Our time together FLEW by. Hopefully, next time we’ll get a couple of days together, instead of two, too-short hours.

I took a ton of pictures in Victoria. It really IS a beautiful city. I’ll share more when I get back home.

But guess what? Tomorrow — Friday — Hubby and I get to meet some more moto-blogger buddies. I really shouldn’t wish my time away, but I have been looking forward to this for quite some time.

I’ll leave you with this for now…

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Sunset over the Olympic Peninsula

I captured that pic from the back of the ferry as we headed back to Seattle. It was a beautiful end to a fabulous day.

 

A Very Special Day

Twenty-three years ago today, I married the love of my life. It’s been a long road, filled with ups and downs, joy and sorrow, happiness and pain. But it’s been a fabulous ride. Hopefully we’ll have many more years together.

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Mike and Me, Christmas 1992

Look how young we looked. That picture was taken in 1992, about four months before we tied the knot.

We didn’t make any children together, but together we raised three fabulous kids.

Family trip to VA Beach, about 1994.
Family trip to VA Beach, about 1994.

We’ve had lots of fun over the years. And together have shared many adventures, big and small.

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Christmas 2014

We’ve enjoyed lots of travel together, too.

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Mike and I at the not-so-famous Treviso Fountain.

 

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Me and Mike upon his completion of his ride around the US.

 

We are both lucky to have each other. Not only have we been blessed with three children, we have three grandchildren, too.

One of those, Joseph, age 8, made use a special anniversary breakfast this morning.

Chef Joseph
Chef Joseph

Chocolate chip pancakes. My favorite.

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Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I am a lucky, lucky lady. I have a beautiful family and a wonderful husband who loves me. I love him right back.

Here’s to many more very happy years. And a whole lot more laughter.