Sunday, 29 April 2012

Anacortes Week 3

It has been a busy week in Anacortes as I prepare to head north to Alaska tomorrow, on Monday 30th April. Deer to dinner, working on the car, haircuts, incidents with Alice the Moose, picnics in Washington Park, and a few family photos before everyone disappeared home.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Anacortes Week 2

Despite the best efforts of the local weather forecasters to tell us it is going to rain every day, so far we have had mostly fine weather here. The last 2 or 3 days have been superb, with a wintery 5-6 deg C early in the morning rising to about 15 - 17 deg C in the afternoons.  So we have been getting out for more walks, and today attended an MG organised Car Rally over in Burlington as part of the Annual Tulip Festival which is currently underway. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mulga Bill's Bicycle

I love Banjo Paterson.   For those of you who do not know him, he was a famous Australian Bush Poet who lived at the end of the 19th / early 20th century, and wrote some wonderful poems about Auatralian life and characters, the most famous of which is probably "The Man from Snowy River" which was of course later adapted to become a wonderful Australian movie.
But one of my favourite poems of his was about a man called Mulga Bill, a wild bushman / cowboy who decided he would master the cycling craze at the turn of the century, with somewhat mixed success.'s_Bicycle
Little did I know this week how similar I was to be to Mulga Bill !!!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Portland to Port Townsend to Anacortes

Everyone at the CLNW meeting agreed that there was really only one interesting way to get to Anacortes, and that was to drive up the Oregon / Washingon west coast, around the Olympic Mountains (with a couple of peaks of almost 8000 ft), to Port Townsend, and then catch a ferry across from there to Coupeville before the short drive to Anacortes.  This would not only give me a spectacular drive around the coast, but also avoid much of the tedium of freeway and Seattle traffic if I went up the (much quicker) freeway I 5. Unfortunately this meant that I missed the opportunity to see Rod Powell at the Ridge Motorsports Park near Shelton, but I think that poor Elsie needs a rest from tracks for a while - She has a long way to go yet, and is a 13 year old lady with a lot of hard racing miles under her belt, so needs all the TLC she can get !!!    Next time.

Portland Oregon

Mark Velky, President of Club Lotus NW in Portland, had kindly agreed to show me around Portland for the day on Friday 6th April.  I was to meet with club members that night, but this left me a full day to look around Portland, a city I had never been to before.  After a quick cup of coffee with Jim, I drove into Portland to meet Mark, and we headed off to his local coffee shop for a coffee and to check emails on wifi. (Jim had no wifi at home.)  First reactions were that Portland is a little like Seattle, with lots of boutique style coffee shops and restaurants, hills, and of course the Columbia River running through the middle of the area.  I still had all my stuff in Elsie so although Mark had very bald rear tyres, we had no choice but to take his 2005 Elise and just take it easy.  And of course I had a brief chance to see his DeLorean, which seems to have taken a back seat now the Elise is there !!!

Richland to Portland OR

Up early in the morning of the 5th to try to fix the squealing brakes before they drove me crazy !  Reed and I left the house at 7 and drive over to Brad Sewart's, who had kindly offered us the use of his garage and tools, including his hoist.  And let me say, the hoist is a true godsend - Raising the car up to a workable height so there is no bending over and the associated sore back afterwards !!   I WANT ONE FOR CHRISTMAS !!!!  Objective was to get the work done as quickly as possible and then get on the road to Portland.   Thank you very much Brad - I owe you.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Missoula MT to Richland WA

Long day ahead over a supposedly scenic route over the Bitterroot and Clearwater Mountain ranges south west to beyond Walla Walla  - some 400 + miles.  Rain had been forecast, but while packing the car, the black clouds suddenly disappeared, so the roof was quickly removed, and we set off out of Missoula.  About 3 deg C, and at about 1000 metres altitude, so rugged up well for a day in the mountains !  Filled up with gas and once out of town, the road was gently rolling and zig zagging beside a river, surrounded by farming country - A great start to the morning !

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Yellowstone NP to Missoula, MT

Another cold morning in Yellowstone - minus4 deg C when I went down to pack the car - but no snow or rain - Just clear clue skies :-)
Found a note stuck on the side of the car offering me "a free cup of tea" when I got to Anacortes, signed  "A fellow Aussie".  They had seen "Anacortes" written on my box as one of my destinations, and as they lived there had asked me to visit.  Actually met them over breakfast, lovely couple Joe and Eileen and he is a keen fisherman, so they amended the invitation to "eat some prawns".  As they live not far from my sister, I shall make sure I find them !
In the mean time, off to Missoula, Montana.......

Monday, 2 April 2012

Yellowstone NP

Well the dark clouds that brought the rainstorm on the way into Yellowstone yesterday brought an inch of snow overnight !!  I awoke to a white town, although the roads quickly thawed in the sun.  But it stayed cold.  Minus 3 deg C when I went to clear the snow off the car before breakfast, and during the whole day in the park I only saw it reach about 5 deg C a couple of times - Rest of the day it was between 0 and about 2 or 3 deg C !   But clear blue skies, so I had the roof off, and the thermals on, and had a great day in the Park.  Bison, Wolves, Big Horn Sheep, and just missed a bear sighting on the road by about 10 minutes.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Greybull WY to Yellowstone NP MT

After a very pleasant and relaxing couple of nights with Jeremy and Jilaena and their girls in Powell near Greybull, I left this morning refreshed in body and soul.  A pleasant 15 degrees C and clear blue skies boded well for the day ahead, with the roof staying safely packed away yet again. We set off though some lovely swooping roads, heading north towards the Montana State Line and Yellowstone NP.