The Signpost Forest

Signposts010Our campground in Watson Lake had an area to wash cars and RVs so we washed the car in the morning. Then we blogged some more and headed to the visitor center museum and the signpost forest.Signposts013

Signposts012The signpost forest is pretty amazing. Thousands of signs from all over the United States, Canada and many other countries on countless posts. Continue reading

On Beautiful Muncho Lake

Muncho041Muncho044We spent the next few days on beautiful Muncho Lake, combining relaxing and enjoying the view with some driving tours, some hiking, some kayaking, and, of course, photography.Muncho043

At 7 ½ miles long, Muncho Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in the Canadian Rockies. The Terminal Range west of the lake is the northernmost section of the Rocky Mountains. These and the mountains east of the lake, the Sentinel Range, climb to 7,000 feet. The views of the lake framed by these mountains are spectacular.Muncho045Muncho016

Since it was raining and we did not see any wildlife during our drive to the lake, we doubled back in the car once it cleared for another opportunity to spot some wildlife. We drove back as far as some spots that are known for wildlife and had much better luck.Muncho002Muncho009 Continue reading

On to Muncho Lake

AK Hwy Day 4010Day 3 on the Alaska Highway is a record for us, four driving days in a row. Although it is not the way we usually prefer to travel, there are a lot of miles to cover. But we plan to slow down at this point as we head on to Muncho Lake.AK Hwy Day 4001 Continue reading

Perfectly Good Airplanes

Skydive  025Skydive  042We have some good friends from Denver who came to visit Southern California last weekend. Malcolm and his daughter Natalie are wonderful folks who are mostly quite normal except for this peculiar tendency that they have to repeatedly jump out of perfectly good airplanes.Skydive  002

So while Brenda visited with Angel at the hospital, I went up to the airfield to check out the action.

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There is more than one way you can get hurt ...

There is more than one way you can get hurt …

They are expert and very experienced skydivers of course.  The thought scares me to death, but they absolutely LOVE it.

Natalie happens to be a world record holder for an all women’s heads down group formation (63 jumpers, smashing the prior world record of 41!!) and she just celebrated her 1100th jump.  Rock star!  See videos of the amazing stunt here and here.

They came to Elsinore, Ca where there was a skydiving event with 4 aircraft flying repeatedly to deliver groups of these mildly unhinged enthusiasts to 12,500′ above the landing zone where they all then willingly jump out the window.Skydive  049 Continue reading

Pima Air Museum and the Airplane Boneyard

pima14  001pima14  030Well, I did it again, I let Hector talk me into going to look at more airplanes. Last year, we spent an afternoon at the Pima Air and Space Museum, and Hector took lots of great photos. But we missed the Boneyard/AMARG Tour, a separate bus tour of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.pima14  002

The AMARG facility is managed by the U.S. Air Force Material Command.   Most aircraft boneyards are used for storage of aircraft for reclamation of spare parts or eventual disposal.

The AMARG facility stores almost 5,000 aircraft and other types of military equipment.  Some are kept fully flight ready, others are used for parts and lastly they get scrapped.

The parts operation is huge, shipping all these parts makes the AMARG is one of the largest users of plywood in Arizona!

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Campbell River

Campbell River  005 Campbell River  002We traveled south to our final destination on Vancouver Island, Campbell River, about halfway between Victoria and Telegraph Cove. We’d booked a waterfront campsite, a bit of a splurge, but it was to be our last campground near the ocean for a while.Campbell River  004Campbell River  003

Campbell River is a pretty large town with a population of over 31,000 people and is a supply point for Northern Vancouver Island and a couple of other islands. The river, which the town is named after, drains into Discovery Passage, a channel separating Vancouver Island and Quadra Island.Campbell River  008

The channel links Johnstone Strait with the Strait of Georgia. It is part of the Inside Passage to Alaska.

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Stately Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria  021Victoria  023Stately Victoria, British Columbia sits on the southeastern end of Canada’s second most populous island, Vancouver Island, with the Olympic Mountains as backdrop. This city, with its lovely Inner Harbour, has a population of over 80,000 people in a metro area of over 360,000, and is quite cosmopolitan.

It’s also the capital of Canada’s third largest province, British Columbia. But for us, what makes it stately is its British flair – double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages and lots of tearooms and formal gardens.

 

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A Fun Day in Seattle

seattle  004seattle  011While staying in La Conner, we had a fun day in Seattle on the fourth of July.  We met my friend, Veronica and her husband, Carl at the iconic and “world famous” Pike Place Market.seattle  006

seattle  007We arrived a little early so that we could enjoy the market. On the walk over from our parking spot, we noticed a really cute umbrella store. With very interesting umbrella designs and photos of wedding parties with umbrellas. But we found out later that the store sells mostly to tourists since Seattleites don’t use umbrellas 🙂seattle  002

seattle  012Pike Place Market is Seattle’s original Farmers Market, established in 1907. It’s a colorful mega farmers market with produce, meats, specialty foods, crafts, restaurants, flowers, fresh seafood and more.seattle  009

My favorite vendors when I visited in the past were the Pike Place Fish guys who throw the fish and yell. Unfortunately, they were not there. Good for them that they took the fourth of July off, but I missed them.  There was other wonderful seafood though not quite as entertaining.seattle  013seattle  010

We met our friends by Rachel the piggy bank, a 550 pound bronze sculpture that is the mascot of the market. “Legend has it that if you rub Rachel’s snout and make a donation, you’ll have good luck.”

People line up to put money into this piggy bank (while being photographed of course). Donations support the Pike Market Food Bank, Senior Center, Medical Clinic, Child Care and Pre-School and an assisted living facility. Rachel has raised over $200,000. Brilliant!seattle  005seattle  008

seattle  014And near Rachel the pig was a guy playing a saw with a bow. An interesting sound.  Sort of like a B science fiction movie aliens metallic sound.seattle  001

seattle  016seattle  015Veronica, Carl, Hector and I had lunch at a brewery where I had another beer flight. We had a marvelous time together and we promised we’d spend a little more time in Seattle on our next visit.seattle  017

seattle  018seattle  019seattle  020As we left, we spotted a wedding couple with their wedding party being photographed. Hector and I come across weddings all the time, and, of course, he always takes a photograph. This group was especially cute because the bridesmaids all had orange umbrellas. Such a cute idea!

seattle  046After lunch we stopped at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.  One of the largest private air and space museums in the world that Hector really wanted to see.  I’ll let him take it from here.seattle  023

seattle  022Hector here at the keyboard instead of the camera 🙂  Well, Seattle is Boeing country and this museum is located adjacent to Boeing Field.  A general aviation airport also an airport used by Boeing for various purposes over the years.  Currently they use it for final testing and delivery operations of new 737 aircraft.seattle  047

Although the museum is not a Boeing museum, as you might imagine, Boeing is well represented in the collection.  Including a couple of interesting artifacts like the first Boeing airplane factory now displaying the history of Boeing (the red barn) and the prototype of the 747, serial number 1, made so many years ago.  Cool.  seattle  042

A Lockheed Super Constellation.  Such a graceful airplane.seattle  034A B47 bomber from the Strategic Air Command scary cold war days.seattle  037 seattle  036seattle  040seattle  041And the first jet Air Force One.  A Boeing 707-120 delivered in 1959 that replaced Eisenhowers’s Lockheed Super Constellation. It was used as the presidential aircraft by Eisenhower, JFK, Johnson, and Nixon. And then in the VIP fleet until 1996 carrying Kissinger, Nikita Krushchev and many others.

There is a British Airways Concorde that you can walk inside.seattle  045A well done collection of military aircraft through the years.  From WWI early flying machines.

To WWII Warbirds.

An impressive collection of kiddie planes that could be “flown” at an adorable little “airport”.  Built by one of the volunteers!

And the impressive Great Gallery with a broad mix of artifacts hanging in mid flight.seattle  054

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And a space gallery with a collection of hardware.  But the centerpiece was the shuttle simulator used by all the shuttle crews and moved here from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Brenda was a great sport being dragged to yet another airplane museum.  My appetite for this stuff is pretty high 🙂

seattle  003All in all a really fun day in Seattle.

Note:  As we publish this post, we’re about to enter Canada to spend a few weeks there. Our next post will be about the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, our last stop in the U.S. before crossing the border.  

~ Brenda and Hector

 

 

 

 

Seaside Towns of Northwest Oregon

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seaside  004We arrived in the town of Seaside, Oregon’s first seashore resort. A brief tour of the town revealed shops and art galleries as well as carnival rides, arcades, bumper cars, paddle boats, a carousel and an oceanfront promenade. It’s also a great location from which to explore the other seaside towns of northwest Oregon.  The area where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean and where Lewis and Clark ended their journey of discovery.seaside  001

And we continued to discover deserted beaches on the coast, enjoying having them all to ourselves.seaside  032 Continue reading

Pima Air and Space Museum

F4 Phantom in USAF Thunderbirds markings

McDonnell Douglas F4E Phantom II in USAF Thunderbirds markings

Airplane geek alert!!  Tucson is home to the Pima Air Museum.  This is one of the largest private aviation museums with over 300 planes on over 80 acres and in several enclosed hangars.  Brenda was having a hard time containing her excitement at being dragged to yet another aviation museum. 🙂

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