Well, Saturday came all too fast. We woke up at 8am, which is really early for Saturday! I've been wearing "the mask" at night for a few weeks now, and it's starting to work! I can actually wake up coherently before noon these days. Ron took another day off work and we drove up to Washington to our property. No progress was made since the last picture I posted, so we decided to stay in a B&B called The Harbor House, which is just down the road from us.
This is the bedroom we booked:
And this is the view from the balcony:
It's located in a cove called Pleasant Harbor Marina that is just down the street from our property. (Like, literally a block away, if travelling by water). There is currently a permitting process underway for a new golf, spa, and shopping resort (see Statesman Group's Pleasant harbor developement website for details) that we are really excited about. Not just because it will increase the property values of the whole town, but also because it will bring something to do in Brinnon. Don't get me wrong, the serenity is nice. But too much serenity can drive a person crazy... :) I think they're going to start building in 2009. FUN!
On our way up, we stopped off in St. Helens to visit some friends of ours, Julie & Jared & their two boys Evan (3) and Mason (1). We spontaneously invited them with us, and I'm glad we did because we had such a good time. The whole town was booked (not like there's much choice to start with), so they shared our room.... A little bit of drama, but worth it.
The first night we got in pretty late, so we just went to bed. Then next morning, Ron and I took Evan down to the dock to find marine treasures at low tide on the pylons. Let's see, there was a whole bunch of sealife, including starfish, mussels, oysters, crab (in the water), seaweed, little fishies, birds, even a seal that was making his rounds, patrolling the marina. It was too far out to catch Evan's attention, but I think it was funny how it would swim underwater for a bit, pop its head out, check out the perimeter, then go underwater again. It went around 2-3 times while we were there. It stayed an extra long time at the newly-built boat launch (which is a reallly nice one), probably wondering where all the traffic came from.
For lunch we went to the Timber House in Quilcene. The food there is excellent!! If you're ever in the neighborhood, we should go! The clam chowder is the best I've ever had. It was made with ingredients that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but was sooo yummy. I always get the seafood platter. Even though it's breaded and fried, I still get to taste a little bit of everything.
Evan had his heart set on going for a hike over the weekend, so after lunch we went up to Fallsview Falls where there's a short trail to a waterfall. It was fun, although the falls weren't flowing very heavy. Probably the wrong season (after all, we've had a dry summer relatively speaking).
Julie & Jared, Evan & Mason Bradfield
When we went around the whole loop (probably 1/10th of a mile total), Evan decided he wanted more hiking. So, we drove up to Mt Walker view point where there was a nice lookout and another trail head (this time, a 2-mile trail, but we weren't planning on hiking the whole thing.
Actually, when we got to the top, we saw a bunch of birds hanging around. Jared had a granola bar, so he crumbled it up in his hand and helped Evan feed the birds. We have TONS of shots of birds flying in and out. They would take these huge pieces that were almost bigger than their heads, fly away and come right back. You know they weren't eating all of it. I bet they were stocking up for winter.
Here are some of my favorite bird shots:
(4 calling birds, 3 french hens, two turtle doves...... )
And a partridge in a pear tree! not really, but there were a lot of birds.
Are we feeding the boy or the birds??? :)
I like how I captured the bird mid-flight and it's not blurry! most of the flight shots I got were blurry!
The fabulous view
Token shot of me and Ron. Yes, it was chilly 2 miles up in the air....
After hiking came naps. Ron and I went over to the property to fix the other paddle boat while the kids took a nap. It took us 2 hours to saw that solid iron bar out of the boat. It was completely rusted through, and the boat wouldn't paddle anymore. At least, not without making a terrible clicking noise and leaking profusely through the pedals. We fixed it, then took it over to the boat launch (The first boat was already docked at the B&B). When the boys woke up, we all got in a pedal boat (two total) and pedaled over to our beach. From as far back as the B&B is in the marina, it took us a good 40 minutes to pedal over. Jared mentioned that as they were pedaling out, a man in a beautiful 90 ft yacht yelled over his balcony, "No Wake!!" and laughed smugly. hm... mean man! I'm sure Ron and I were getting plenty of stares ourselves as we lowered our 8 foot bright yellow and blue pedal boat into the water and the boat launch.... maybe someday when we win the lottery we can have a nice, big yacht and pay someone to maintain it! :)
I was sad we didn't have the camera to take shots in the boats or at the beach. We've never done a bonfire on the beach before, and it was actually quite fun!! there's always plenty of driftwood to use. I remember when we first bought the place, I had big plans for cleaning up the beach and getting rid of all of the driftwood. That is, until I saw how the tide brought in new loads every day.... not that much, really, but the tide will bring it in, and the tide will bring it out. I was very overwhelmed after the first big storm that we had when there were huge logs all up and down our beach. Until, after the next storm they were all gone. The tide bringeth, and the tide taketh away...
We got a good fire going, and we roasted hot dogs, sausages, and marshmallows. yummy! It got late (and dark) much too quickly. None of us wanted to leave, except Mason was up way past his bedtime. He definitely wasn't happy to still be there. So, since we all paddeled over there, we were trying to figure out how to get back. Luckily, the boys rescued us. Ron, Jared, and Evan all did a super-pedal back to the Harbor House, jumped in the car and raced back to pick us up. Julie and Jared took the kids back to get in bed, while Ron and I finished cleaning up the campsite. Then we pedaled the other boat back over. What a great night!
Jared was SO curious about the oysters. We told him he could take as many as he wants from our beach. We have TONS (360 feet of beachfront with a strip of oysters approximately 20 feet wide. that's alot of oysters. Jared got up really early because he didn't know when low tide was. (We were silly enough not to bring a tide table. oops!). He went over to start harvesting some oysters. When Ron woke up, he got a little nervous since those oysters can be sharp! He told me later that when he arrived at our beach, Jared was this lone man wading out in the water, plunging for oysters. If he had waited another 2 hours, the oysters would have been exposed and no swimming in the COLD water would have been necessary. However, I think he was kind of looking for an adventure anyway, so he was happy to swim. He took a chest full of carefully selected oysters home to enjoy. Ron and I haven't been brave enough to try them yet. Although we're told they're delectable. Jared agrees. He cooked them on the grill, then sprinkled them with lemon and garlic butter. They were very tender, not chewy, and not gritty at all. Jared shared them with all of his neighbors and now he's very popular. :) Who doesn't like fresh oysters? I guess you'll have to try them, too, if you come to visit.
We headed home after lunch and got back in time to relax before going back to work the next day. Well, not Ron. He doesn't work on Tuesdays.
"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Gavin and Brett Sports 2016
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