We are back home and uploading the pics is immensely quicker!  So here we go with Washington!

After leaving Canada we were very quickly back in the ole US of A. Here we met up with two of Tim’s buddies,from his time in Viet Nam.  Ray and Machi live on Spaokane.  She made a lovely chicken stew for dinner with homemade candies.  Ray tells me she was stressing over what to fix for meals.  She is a wonderful cook and a gracious hostess.

The next morning, a beautiful day welcomed after the chill of Banff!, our first stop was to a park very near their home.  It had formal gardens, a Japanese garden, and a rose garden with all kinds of varieties with wonderful names.  It had a little area of the most gorgeous zinnias! Ray and Machi actually were married in the Japanese garden (she is from Japan).  The large lantern had the symbols of the Chinese astrological symbols (I guess they are Japanese, too).  Oh, and if you need cannabis/marijuana, just look for a billboard to help you find a place to buy it.  Recreational marijuana is legal in Washington.

Next, we went apple-picking after a short drive out of the city.  Fall had arrived here!  And huckleberries were the fruit of the northwest, so we finished off apple-picking with some huckleberry ice cream!

Afterwards, it was back to an area in the city that used to be a railroad yard and had been transformed to a city park.  Annoyingly, the park was closed up for a Chinese lantern festival.  It was a nighttime thing so everything was locked up tight, but I managed to get some pics of some amazing “lanterns”! A little relaxing on the deck was nice before dinner.

We had a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant  (quite a variety of nationalities today!) and the next morning it was a breakfast of homemade granola, scones and fruit. Who said Machi had to worry about what to serve! Afterwards, it was time to leave for the Seattle area.

The countryside changed dramatically as we headed west. I like how they tell you what crop is growing along the highway……

Tom and Sheila live in Bremerton, a western suburb of Seattle, which means it is in the mountains/hills(?) and near the ocean. They are in a black sky area, which means astronomy buffs can come to the area for the best viewing of the night-time skies.  We had great views from their deck.

After Tom’s homemade dinner of clam chowder (another great man-cook😉) and garlic bread, we made plans for the next day.  First, was a scenic drive to a state park nearby and then to a town called Port Townsend, which reminded me of our Charlevoix area. Sheila gave the guys sitbits and they displayed them proudly!

Then we headed to Olympia National Park and Hurricane Ridge.  It was somewhat a white knuckle ride up the mountain, but I got everyone there safely.  Love my 7-passenger Explorer!  We were rewarded with more spectacular views.  Carrie, there is a glacier named after you!

That night it was Thai for dinner and talk of future get-togethers.  After breakfast at Tom’s favorite place (I found Sanders candy there!), Tim and I headed out.  We had dinner reservations at our next destination which we missed, but we passed the Mt St Helen’s visitors center so I had to stop and take pictures.  The informational film was quite enlightening.

Now it’s on to Oregon and California!