Lyle's Blog

Day Two

June 27, 2012

We awoke to rain, loaded up the rig, and headed towards the northern Washington Cascades. I had already mapped out our route, picking up the highway around 20 miles north of Grand Coulee.  We stopped just up the road to have one last look at the grand site and then off we went.  We stopped at a wayside for Chief Joseph and wondered just how far the chief had walked as we had been to his grave in Wallowa a few years back.
As we drove down the road, we noticed metal sculptures in spots.  One was of what looked like indian women planting.  Judy asked me to turn around when she spied one and we found what looked like a sasquatch that was created on a rock over looking the road.  She took a picture of it for Jayden.
As we approached the cascades, it was evident of their grandeur even with the heavy haze around us.  We could see large grand mountains peaking out at us through the fog and clouds.  As we rose higher and higher, we begin to drive amongst glacier like chunks of snow.  The pass twisted up a mountain side and we stopped a couple of times to take pictures of the road and the many waterfalls along the way.
We dropped down into a valley and drove through a place called Winthrop that reminded us of Sisters. It was jammed with tourists just as Sisters is in the summer months.  I noticed a model T looking car parked along one of the streets and after leaving the town began seeing many more.  We noticed that all of them were European with the steering wheels on the right side of the car.
We began to drive through the Northern Cascades National Park which, like the previous pass, was shrouded but beautiful.  We stopped at a canyon bridge where the water rushed below a open metal bridge that you could see down through.  Judy walked over the bridge taking pictures while I drove to the other side and the car park there.  I parked next to one of the old cars and figured on talking to it's occupant but Judy yelled and waved me over to where she was at.  "Don't bother talking to him", she said, "He is a grump".  She had tried talking to him and it was evident that he did not want to talk with anyone.  He was sitting idle in his car, off from all of the rest, facing straight forward with his arms crossed.
I walked over to the bathroom and asked one of them of their event.  They are all European cars and come from all over the country.  Every year, they meet and take a drive together.  One of them was a beautiful Pierce Arrow.  He was having problems starting his car.  I heard him yell out, "Hey Pete, do you know anything about air starters?".  Pete's reply was "Well, I know if they don't work, you can always push.".  I headed that direction but before I could get to them to help, I heard the familiar grasp of tires on the road and the sound of the engine that reminded me of the Model A's.  "Hooray!", they all yelled as they began to move out.  Grump started his car and followed them out of the parking lot.
We then dropped down into yet another valley and began to look for a place to have some lunch.  I joked that we could always look for a Safeway.  We stopped at what looked to be a locals spot and walked into a little restaurant ran by what looked like a mother daughter team.  There was a local sitting at one of the tables engaged in conversation with both of them.  It reminded us of some of our customers who come in to eat and talk.  We ordered a sub sandwich to split and the lady asked us if we wanted it cut into fourths.  We said no but realized why after we had taken off.  The sandwich was so huge that a fourth would have sufficed.  I ate about two thirds of my half and then gave up.
As I drove down the road, my phone rang.  Upon answering the lady's voice said, "Hey, come on over and have some fresh lobster.".  "I can't", I returned, not knowing who I was talking to, "I am kind of out of town".  "Where?", she asked.  "Seattle", I returned.  "Is this Pete?", she asked.  "No, this is Lyle".  It was Bob Shotwell's wife, Carol and it was her birthday.  She was inviting a friend over to help them eat the crab that Bob had bought her.  After I hung up, Judy said, "Darn it, I love lobster".
The road took us through lush forest and rolling hills seemingly changing from mile to mile as we drew closer towards the coast.  We crossed over I-5 and were heading into Antecordes where we were hoping to catch a whale excursion the next day. We drove into the town and then decided since we were so early, we would drive down the islands a bit.  We drove to what is called Deception Pass.  It is where a large bridge span was placed between the islands allowing traffic to drive onto Whitby Island.
We stopped and walked across the huge structure and took a few pictures of the beauty around it.  The day was clear and warm allowing beautiful views of the bays surrounding. Walking on the bridge so high up was a bit on the freaky side but was fun.  Their was not allot of room to pass by others and the cars seemed to run inches from you.
We drove onto Whitby Island and ran across a restaurant called "Frank's Place". The restaurant must be owned by a Marine named Frank and proudly announced that Spam was served there.  It had closed on Sunday afternoon and I looked through the windows at the decor inside.  There was one section for cups for the guys just like we have in our back room at Jake's.  I wished that I could have been there when it was open so I could drop in with my Band of Brothers gear on.
We continued on down to a small town known as the town where sea captains lived and then turned back north towards Antecordes to find lodging for the night.
As we drove on the main drag of the town, I noticed a Whale watching store so we stopped to inquire.  The lady was very friendly and told us that the tour that day was very successful and was just coming in to dock so we could drive down and look at the boat and decide if we wanted to take her out the next day.  "We are not even half full for tomorrow so there is no rush", she said.  We asked of lodging and she gave us two places that gave discount and sold discount tickets to their tour the next day if we wished.
We drove to the pier and watched the happy people as they disembarked from the boat.  We loved the look and size of the boat and decided right then and there that was what we were going out in.
We drove to the first lodging but it was on the main road so we drove down to the second.  We were pleased to find a beautiful setting that was overlooking where the ferrys come and go to the outer San Juan Islands.  The setting looked so peaceful and the rate was so reasonable that we snatched up a room and asked the lady to book us on the boat the next day.  "You will love it!, she said, "Bring your own food.  Just place it on the table where you want to sit and then go outside and enjoy."
She gave us some ideas for supper and we decided to split a pizza.  I got in the car to go get it and as I drove out of the parking lot, my phone rang.  Judy was calling from the office who told her to just let them deliver to us.  I thought that pretty good so I returned to the room, looked up their number and ordered a medium size combo pizza letting them know that I had the card that they left giving us a 20% discount.  "That will be $22.95", he said. I looked at Judy with shock and mouthed "$22!".  She said "No way". I reminded them that it was just a medium pizza and asked if the 20% had been worked into the price.  "Yes sir", he said, "But you have tax and delivery charge added to it".  "Please cancel my order.", I returned.  "Ok", he said and hung up.
We looked over the remaining menus that were there and I decided to drive back into town and get some take out from a small diner called the Rock Fish. I quipped that I could always go to Safeway.  There was a concert going on next door to the Rock Fish and it was quite busy. I could not find a parking spot and ended up parking in a spot a block or so away that was a tow away zone for another place.  I figured to get in, make the order, and then wait at the car so it would not get towed.  Two people were waiting to get into the busy diner.  I stood next to the small greeters stand.   "We will be right with you" came from a variety of the busy workers so I felt that it would not be too long. The greeter came over and grabbed the two others calling them by name but did not bother to say anything to me and did not return.  I caught the eye of the bartender who said, "We will be right with you".  I know busy and they were fairly brisk.  I waited for a few minutes and then began to worry about the car.  I slowly walked towards the door hoping that someone would see and come over and come over but no one came.  I lingered at the door for a second, gave up, and left with no one noticing.  I logged it in my head.....a learning experience from the other side.
Not knowing what to do or where to go, I turned into Safeway.   It had to be different than the one the day before.  I stood at the counter of the deli and waited as the lady there was helping out another employee.  She needed to bring over a supervisor to ok the transaction.  Afterwards, she just turned and headed back to her counter leaving me standing and waiting.  My shoulders dropped and I turned to go see what I might find up one of the isles. "May I help you", she said as she noticed me beginning to leave. I ordered up a Panini for myself and noticed some lobster shushi that I hoped Judy would like remembering the phone conversation from earlier.   I watched her as she made my sandwich and took note that she was wearing the same type of glove under her plastic glove as the guys from the day before. I was going to ask her if that was some sort of Safeway policy but took note that she was not very friendly or talkative so I just let it go. I watched her place my sandwich in the oven and toast it.  Now, that is not a Panini....a Panini is pressed or flattened.  But, I was hungry so I took my toasted ham and cheese sandwich and was grateful.  I said thank you and she just turned and walked away.
I arrived back at the room and sat out on our patio overlooking a grass field below us and the ferry termnal in the distance.  We ate our supper in the peaceful setting while watching a mom play soccer with her two small children on the grass.  The giggles of the youth just added to the peaceful setting.
A long day.....a long drive.....and I ate my unpressed but toasted ham and cheese and was grateful.  We drifted off to sleep with the sound of the announcing of the 11 o'clock ferry.

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