Monday, October 29, 2007


A couple of beach scenes on Maui

Diane has asked for some photos of the ocean. I have some and will post more after we get home and have more time to work with them but I did go ahead and do a couple of them quickly tonight, so here are a couple for Diane.

Maui 10
This is a scene alongside the road north to the old Hawaiian Royalty's favorite place to entertain, and later the whaling town for sailors, Lahina. This location is just a few miles south of Lahina and is a pretty good representative of many of the beaches around Maui. Some are clearer of trees and some have more sand. We had just pulled the car over & gotten out to take some photos when these people came along and I thought they added to the photo.

Maui 11
This near sunset photo was taken at a location close to the last one, but a day later. There is so much beauty here that it is almost hard to take a bad photo. We are doubling our chances with both Pat and I taking photos with two different cameras. Tonight we spent some time looking up a source for blank DVD disks to burn photos onto so we can free up the three memory cards Pat is using. I have all the photos on the computer hard disk but I like to have redundant backups, so needed the DVDs. There are now over 4Gb worth of photos from this trip, between us. We take some of the same things but she sees things differently and more likely will end up with a different photo of the same subject than I do. Again, we will try to post more of both of ours after we get home and have more time to work on them without cutting into our tourist activities. We only have one more full day on Maui before we have to return to the cold frozen north. Well, it isn't that bad but the weather sure is not what we have here!

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Saturday, October 27, 2007


The condo at Kehei, Maui

Our flight on Wednesday, Oct. 24th from SeaTac Airport in Seattle to the Hawaiian island of Maui was pretty uneventful. It left on time at 10:35 PDT and landed on schedule in Maui at 13:25 after a 6 hour flight. Wait, that doesn't add up does it. But it does since Hawaii is two time zones west of Seattle and Hawaii doesn't do Daylight Savings Time, so it is three hours earlier here than it is at home.

The day before we left we had temperatures in the mid-70s which set records for high temp. The day we left it was 20 degrees cooler. When we got off the plane on Maui it was 87F. But it does cool down to about 70 at night and the trade winds are blowing all of the time so you kind of have natures AC at work. But it does feel hot to just sit in the sunshine!

We are staying on the south-west side of Maui on the dry side of the island in an area called Kehei (key-hay), in a unit in a condominium called Kamaole Sands. Kamaole Sands is on a 20 acre lot with a road that winds around the perimeter & has ten buildings located around the sides in kind of a horseshoe shape. The complex is about 20 years old so the plantings are beautifully matured. Each building is 4-stories high with an elevator. We are in a one-bedroom unit on the third floor of Building 10. There is a nice living room, dining area, kitchen, two bathrooms and one bedroom. The unit also has laundry facilities. There is a walkway on the front (south) side of the unit and each has it's own lanai or deck facing the central garden area.

Maui 01
This is the front of our condo building showing the main entrance with the elevator ahead to the left. Our unit is 302, the second from the end at the left. Looking at the left of this photo you can see the gates to exit the property and just across the street is Kamaole Park III and the Pacific Ocean.

The central area of the complex is a beautiful garden. On the day we arrived they had free mai tais at the swiming pool area so we attended.
Maui 02
Here is Pat walking back to our unit which you can see ahead at the left side of the photo. The area ahead along the road is like the open part of a horse shoe that runs along the road. The park is just across the road and the ocean right there. There is also Kamaole reef III which is a good place to snorkel.

Maui 03
There are some ponds in the garden, this one with fountains that are lighted at night with color changing lights.

Maui 04
This waterfall is a part of the upper pond system in the garden. There are two foot bridges over these connecting one side of the garden to the other.

Maui 05
This is the swimming pool complex where we went for the mai tais.

Maui 06
This is an early morning view of the garden area from our third floor deck. The fountains have not yet started spraying water- they turn off over night.

Maui 07
This is another view from our deck with the telephoto lens of the bigger pools and one of the foot bridges across the ponds.

Maui 08
This view is looking to the south east from the entrance side of our unit, on the third floor. You are looking at one other building in our complex and many other buildings in the next condo, plus the foothills in the central part of Maui. This is the edge of Haleakala, the 10,026 foot tall volcano that formed this part of the island. It has been dormant since 1790 but geologists say it is past due for another eruption. Probably not before next Wednesday.

Maui 09
This is from about the same place as the last view, but is looking west across the Pacific Ocean to the two other islands that are just offshore from Maui. I believe they are Molokini (the smaller one) and Kahoolawe.

You now have a bit of an idea what we see each day as we come & go here. More later but at this point these are all the photos I have had time to work with. We are having too much fun to sit inside with the computer! Time now to go to Fred's Mexican Restaurant for dinner, then to the nearest ABC Store.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We are off for Maui

Just a short post to let everyone know that we are leaving early in the morning to head to SeaTac Airport for our Hawaiian Airlines flight to Maui. The plane leaves here at 10:35 and arrives there at 13:25, after a 5 hour 50 minute flight. They are two hours behind us in time, plus Hawaii does not have Daylight Savings Time, so that makes them 3 hours behind.

I am taking the laptop PC and expect to be able to get online while over there, so may be able to post here. Maybe even with a photo or two although I'll probably wait until we get home to work on most of them.

Until tomorrow, Aloha!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007


YMCA trip to Leavenworth, WA

On Friday, October 12th my Skagit Valley YMCA took another day trip via tour bus to the Bavarian themed town across the Cascade Mountains of Leavenworth, WA. This is a town I visited with this group on Oct. 1 of last year. This year we were nearly two weeks later and the fall color of the leaves in Stevens Pass especially was brilliant. We have many evergreen trees here in the northwest so the colored leaves tend to stand out in groups among the dark green of the fir and spruce. They are especially noticed along streams and in the avalanche chutes in the mountains. Pat went along of course and there were 45 others plus our driver from Hesselgrave Tours.

We left the Y at 8:30, drove south on I-5 to Everett where we picked up the highway US-2 to travel across Stevens Pass. Leavenworth is located on the east side of the summit along the Wenatchee River and on US-2. By the time we started up into the pass we were under clouds and had periodic drizzle type rain all the way across. That cut the amount of light available so, even with the ISO raised to 400, there is noticeable blurring in the photos, especially of things close to the bus as we were moving along the highway.

Leavenworth II - 03
This first photo is on the west side of the summit but not too far below it. The road runs along a deep valley which allows you to actually look down on the trees below and see some clouds in the air, too. This shows some of the brilliant colors and remember that it is heavily overcast so there is no sunshine. Think how these colors would jump out if it had been sunny!

Leavenworth II - 01
Looking out the bus window at the ski area at Stevens Pass. No snow yet as of the 12th but it has come now, although not enough yet to open the ski area to skiers.

Leavenworth II - 02
A scene inside our bus. I've tried to expose for detail inside so everything outside the bus is burned out by over exposure. You can see our leader, Ginger, at the right side of the photo in the front of the bus with her arm raised in the aisle.

Leavenworth II - 04
This was taken on the east side of the summit and not too far outside Leavenworth. The river is the Wenatchee River which the highway follows into town. You can also dramatically see the damage done 5 or 6 years ago by a forest fire. The forest will recover but it takes quite a few years to do so.

Leavenworth II - 06
Pat is looking out the window at the colors of the leaves. You can actually see the salmon (fish) swimming up the river to spawn. They show up a lot better in the calm areas but can sometimes be seen jumping over rocks in the rapids.

Leavenworth II - 05
We arrived in town about 11 and the rain was still coming down in a drizzle. We are kind of early folks so we decided to have lunch first. It was just a matter of deciding which of the many restaurants did we want to visit. We settled on Cafe Christa, a place we had lunch one day while here on our honeymoon at the end of April. By the time we finished and came outside the rain had stopped and the rest of the day was pretty nice.

Leavenworth II - 07
There are a couple of Christmas stores in town that have tree ornaments and other Christmas decorating things all year. They have always been one of my favorite places to visit. Here is a display of many tree ornaments, many of which are large. I think most are glass so they are pretty fragile. And expensive as all are imported from Germany.

Leavenworth II - 08
This was something we considered buying to take home for Pat's daughter to use in decorating her new, large home. Until we thought about where would we put it on the bus- it is over 5 feet tall. And then we looked at the price. Nearly $600. It is still there in the store.

Leavenworth II - 09
Here is one way of getting around town. The top is up because it had been raining but they are usually open topped. I think the cost was about $20 for a ten minute ride around the downtown area. We just walked.

Leavenworth II - 10
This is our group, less the two who were late getting back and our driver who used my camera to take the photos. Part of the downtown area is visible in the background. The timing for this trip was perfect as it is Octoberfest in Leavenworth. There were street merchants selling many craft type things. You can just see the tents to the left (right side of the photo) of our group.

Leavenworth II - 11
I had mentioned The Alps to Ginger and she arranged it for our bus to stop there about 20 minutes on our way back. The Alps is that candy and gift store that my car just always seems to turn into whenever I drive by. It is right on the Wenatchee River and about 5 or 6 miles west of Leavenworth. This scene was taken from their deck and is looking across the river to the hills beyond. Again you can see the fall colors and the remanents of the forest fire of a few years ago.

Leavenworth II - 12
Looking down the river from The Alps deck. I took a similar photo while on our Honeymoon at the end of April and if you want to look back in my archives you can dramatically see the fall color difference.

The remainder of our trip back was uneventful. We were surprised to get home into brilliant sunshine. Usually we live on the "wet" side of the mountains but I guess that on this day there was more sunshine on our side than on the east side. The trip was fun and we are looking forward to taking some other day trips with this group. If you ever have the chance to visit Leavenworth, WA, go for it!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007


Sunrise over our house

This time of the year we do get some spectacular sunrises and since our house faces east we get to see them. Plus, we tend to be fairly early risers so are also up and about at that time. Last Tuesday was a great example. Pat had already left for her every Tuesday volunteer job at the hospital when I noticed what was going on about 7am and went out with my camera. I took a lot of photos but have managed to narrow them down to just four to post.

Sunrise 00
In this first photo the high clouds are well lit while the sun is just beginning to kiss the surface of the low clouds near the horizon. This view is looking mainly east but a little to the north. The houses shown are those across the street from ours.

Sunrise 01
I have darkened these just a little as the camera light meter tends to lighten them to a standard which makes them too light, or lighter than it actually was. The sky areas are still quite dark as the sun is well below the horizon yet.

Sunrise 02
Here is a closer view of some of the most brilliant areas of clouds, taking advantage of the 200mm telephoto lens to reach out there.

Sunrise 03
And here is a wider angle view of that area when it is near it's peak of brightness. It is hard to narrow it down to where to aim the camera as it is all beautiful and of course the sky is constantly changing as the sun moves closer to the horizon & breaking out in full view. It is this angle light that gives the clouds the highlighting with the dark sky behind, and with the low angle of the sun making it's light shine through a lot of our atmosphere, the color of light tends to the red spectrum.

This morning there was another spectacular sunrise and I again took some photos but haven't had the chance to do anything with them yet. This time there was no noticeable fog until the sun rose so I was able to pull in Mt. Baker, our 12,000+ foot tall volcano mountain, with the brilliantly lit clouds around it. Baker was not visible due to the already formed fog when these were taken last week. I will post one or two later after I have time to work on them. I also have a lot of photos from Pat & my trip Friday with my YMCA group back to the Eastern Washington town of Leavenworth. More later.

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Monday, October 08, 2007


Port Townsend, Washington

I have finally gotten the chance to go through and edit down some of the photos from our trip to Pt. Townsend, Washington on Wednesday, September 26th. I was over there in early October of last year with two RVer friends who were staying in a campground near there. This time I was with Pat and our neighbors, D & B and we were staying in our RVs at the campground at Fort Casey State Park on Whidbey Island. Pt. Townsend is across Puget Sound from there, accessed by a ferry boat ride normally of about 20 minutes.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 01
This is the waterfront of town looking east from the ferry as we were docking.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 02
Out west here we don't have the long history of things back east but Pt. Townsend is one of the oldest communities in the state and there are many stately buildings. We were just walking so didn't have the chance to get around to see many of them but this one and the next were on the bluff above the ferry dock. I think this is a government building of some sort but maybe someone reading this will know for sure and can enlighten us in a comment.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 03
There are many beautiful and well restored mansions in town. This is one easily seen as it is just above the ferry dock.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 04
Here is a street scene from the main road that runs east into the downtown area from the ferry dock. There are many little shops that sell various things. Pat purchased a new purse and strangely enough, her daughter who was on a vacation trip to Leavenworth, WA, on the other side of the Cascade Mountains, bought an identical purse over there. They both like small purses but had gotten to the point where they needed one a little larger than they had.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 05
Another street scene. The building with the parts that are outset from the wall is a condo. Anyone want to buy a half million dollar condo in downtown Pt Townsend?

Pt Townsend 2007 - 06
This is my favorite building in town. It was constructed in 1889 and is beautifully restored. I have a photo of this from a different angle in my set of photos from the previous trip to Pt Townsend in my archives for Oct, 2006. I sure wish the town would spend the money to put those ugly power & phone lines underground!

Pt Townsend 2007 - 07
There is a lot of artwork around town and this is an example. This turtle is fairly large and has a map of Whidbey Island inlaid into it's shell. If anyone wants to buy it I have a photo of the sign with the contact numbers for the artist. I don't know the asking price.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 08
I didn't have my macro lens along but when we found this little caterpillar on a pole I wanted to get a photo. It looks like it has two heads!

Pt Townsend 2007 - 10
This piece of artwork is a metal dragonfly.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 09
And here is a bouquet of glass flowers that were in a large vase outside one shop.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 11
Pt Townsend does have some quiet places along the waterfront in the downtown area and this is one. You can see the ferry slip in the background and a sail boat a bit farther out.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 12
Much of the driftwood along the Sound gets picked up and taken home for souvenirs but I think this one is a bit too large to handle, so it has stayed in place.

Pt Townsend 2007 - 13
The ferry Klickitat is coming out of the fog bank and heading toward the slip in the late afternoon sun. We were on the dock waiting for this boat which was to be the last one of the day as the low tide later in the evening would keep the boat from getting into the slip at Keystone on Whidbey Island. When the boat docked & had unloaded, the Captain made a public announcement that said they would load us and attempt to find and get into the slip at Keystone, but it was possible they might have to bring us all back to Pt. Townsend for the night. That didn't set too well with us as our neighbors had their parrot in their RV and she needed to have the windows closed up and some heat overnight. Plus it would have been a real big expense to have to buy housing and extra meals.

The boat loaded and left & was soon into the fog bank. Then it got dark. It is a bit eery out on the water in the dark when you can't see anything. The boat does have radar but I guess it isn't good enough to locate the small entrance to the harbor at Keystone. When they got close enough to see the shore, they were about half a mile too far south. They proceeded north and as we got near the slip, enough of the fog lifted to make it show up clearly and we went in.

Ft Casey 09
This photo of the boat in the slip loading for the return trip was taken while we were walking in the campground to our rigs, alongside the ferry slip. It is hard to imagine from this view that there is dense fog not too many feet out from shore, but there sure was. Anyway, our trip to Port Townsend was fun and ended on a rather eventful note.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007


Were are back home

Pat had a pretty bad cold that started just before we left Tuesday on this trip but has been a real trooper to go along. But I knew she wasn't feeling very good and really want her to enjoy our RV travels. So, we decided to head for home after the solar install rather than for the Oregon Coast. I guess that was a good deal as now I have the cold and I am not as "good" of a patient as she is, plus I am the driver of the RV.

We got home yesterday afternoon, unloaded the rig, parked it, then a bit later went to dinner. By the time we got back from dinner I was not feeling good and am still not. I will try to get to some of the photos tomorrow and make a post on the Port Townsend trip and our solar system. We do have some photos the shop took of the system and some photos of the RV parks where we stayed.

Now I think it is time for another aspirin and Benedryl, then a snooze as that is what Benedryl does to me.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Hi from Coburg, Oregon

We left home this morning just after 08:30, stopped & got my mocha for the road, then headed south for Oregon in our RV. There was a slight delay in Everett and a BIG one in Seattle that I think was caused by lane closures to check the condition of a bridge on I-5. We stopped to fix lunch in the first rest stop south of Olympia and left there as the rain started coming down harder. Much harder. There was rain until south of Chehalis and it started again south of Portland but had ended before we arrived at Coburg about 16:30.

Coburg is about 10 miles north of Springfield, where we have an appointment tomorrow morning at AM Solar to have the solar panels that I kept from my Sea Breeze motorhome installed, along with a new controller for them and two 220 amp hour 6 volt AGM batteries. These should give us a whole lot more boondocking capability and probably prevent any risk of running down the engine start battery, as the controller will also supply a trickle charge to them. In some ways I'd like to have an inverter but don't think I will get a big one like I had before as I really don't need it or have the battery capacity in this rig to support one. It just takes too much power from the batteries to run the microwave and that is about the only reason to buy a large one. They won't run the air conditioner. Something smaller will easily run the TV & sound system and charge camera, phone, etc. batteries.

I had planned to use some of our membership campgrounds after tomorrow to visit the Oregon Coast but it seems they are full with those in our travel group. I belong to Resorts of Distinction for which I pay about $160 a year in dues (that includes a couple of other things.) For that I can stay so many days for free in the campgrounds that belong to the ROD group. But they do limit how many ROD spaces they will reserve for any given day. I thought there would be no problem with this being a mid-week day after school started but I guess there are so many fulltime RVers who use this program and do plan well enough ahead that all the available spaces have been taken. I may have to rethink my use of some of these plans. I have a couple of others that may work & will try them tomorrow. Today I was mostly driving so didn't have much time to spend on the phone.

Anyway, the RV park we are in tonight (Eugene Kamping World) is a private one open to anyone but the fee is fairly high. It cost us $25.50 for the one night whereas if we were able to be in an ROD park there would be no additional charge. I had planned to stay in a private park in Tillimuk as we want to visit the cheese factory there and I may do the same thing at Cannon Beach. I'll see what I find tomorrow from Coast to Coast and AOR. We have the news on the TV now from Eugene and it looks like rain the next two days, then showers Friday and probably fairly nice Saturday & maybe Sunday. On Monday we will be driving home from wherever we end up Sunday night. So we will be home Monday night.

I don't have the photos from Pt. Townsend along with me on this trip so will have to wait until we get back to do that second post about our last week's camping trip. I may be able to post a few from here on the road while we are traveling but should at least be able to make a few text posts. We are comfortable in a full service campground tonight. I don't know where we will be tomorrow night but will find out tomorrow!

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