Days 13-19 – A Long and Quiet Visit With Good Friends

Magic Sky at Dungeness Spit

Magic Sky at Dungeness Spit

Monday August 18 (Muriel)

With Friends (Mait and Doris) in Good Health with Granddaughter

With Friends (Mait and Doris) in Good Health with Granddaughter

Nature's Sculpture and Dungeness Spit

Nature's Sculpture at Dungeness Spit

We left our Hood River hotel in a driving rain….  Well, we tried to leave, but the RX330’s battery was dead.  Allan had driven us back to the hotel from dinner and wasn’t very familiar with the light switches on my car.  With the battery dead, we were unable to open the lift gate to stow our suitcases.  So we waited with our luggage on the sheltered hotel entrance.  Fortunately the AAA arrived quickly and jump-started the car with no difficulty.

We drove west along the Columbia Gorge to Portland and turned north on I-5.  The rain let up after a while.  I-5 through Washington is overloaded with trucks, so we took the slower but more pleasant 101 to the Olympic Peninsula.

We arrived at the home of our old friends Maitland and Doris Hardyman, in suburban Pt. Townsend.  We settled in for a longer stay in their familiar guestroom.  It was wonderful to see Mait and Doris for the first time since his very scary experience with his second heart valve replacement this spring.

Tuesday August 19 – Sunday August 24 (Muriel)

We enjoyed spending these six days at Mait and Doris’s home outside of Pt. Townsend.  We enjoyed chatting, watching the Beijing Olympic Games, going into restaurants in town or out-in-the-country, collaborating on meal preparation at home, and chatting some more.  Weather ranged from very wet and surprisingly autumn-like to beautiful and sunny.

Allan and I enjoyed a trip out to the Dungeness Spit.  We found few birds on the spit, but the walk from the parking area through native vegetation was lovely.  The sandy spit is covered with cobblestones and driftwood, extending five miles into the Straits of San Juan de Fuca.  We only walked a small portion of the spit, with the few birds being barely seen in Allan’s telescope as they were so far offshore.  One of the birds was a Red Necked Grebe which was a real if distant treat.

Another bird and nature search took us to Fort Worden in beautiful weather.  This picturesque former army fort was the setting for the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” and is now a Washington State Park.  From the jetty we found a few interesting birds and a series of educational signs about Eel Grass and its ecological importance.  Why did Muriel get the impression Allan found the signs less than fascinating?

From Ft. Worden we went to the Pt. Townsend Lagoon, where Great Blue Herons posed fetchingly and a small group of Greater Yellowlegs scampered through shallow water to catch and munch small invertebrate snacks.

Early Sunday afternoon, the Hardymans and Kotins headed to the ferry to Seattle, as the rain became increasingly heavy.  We waited in the monster parking lot to embark on the ferry, each couple in its own automotive cocoon.  Finally we got to drive aboard and travel across Puget Sound to Edmonds in the shelter of the ferry.  Next was a drive along I-5 in driving rain that pooled on the highway and made travel difficult, until the GPS directed us off the highway and to a hotel in the University District.

After we dried out a bit at the hotel, Mait drove us to the home of the Hardymans’ daughter Laura and her daughter Alice.  After a pleasant visit with them and Alice’s dad, we adjourned to an excellent nearby Indian restaurant.

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