5 1/2 Months — Week 11




More than once I have told you about the beautiful drive through parts of the USA. Today’s drive on Highway 97 to Highway 2 through the Wenatchee National Forest has to be one of our best on this trip. Ellensburg to Leavonworth is an hour and 15 minute drive. The little town of Leavonworth is a tourist trap town duplicating authentic towns in Germany, or so they say. I would guess, probably not.


Tuesday was a special day for me. Fisher and I spent three hours together at the Swinomish Golf Links. I got in 14 holes and Fisher was my caddie. He drove the golf cart choosing to head into the mud holes not around them. He learned a little bit about the game of golf. Shared excitement with my good shots and hung his head with my bad shots. Really a GREAT TIME.

Tuesday, April 24, 6:00PM Opening Day for the Anacortes Ravens!

What a game…we had eleven hits in four innings. We actually threw out two runners at first base. The machine pitcher struck out 10 of their batters and 12 of ours. It was an epic pitching dual  won by no one since runs scored are not kept. But, I was the score keeper coach, so I know we had two runs.

Wednesday was another beautiful travel day. Brian, Fisher, Sandy and I drove along the Chuckanut Highway to the historical Fairhaven District of Bellingham.


We enjoyed a great walk along the water edge and then a very good lunch at the Boundary Bay Brewery. What a fantastic fun day!


Thursday was game two for the Ravens. The Ravens had twelve hits, scored five runs, two kids crying after striking out, one center fielder who left the field in middle of the game to go pee, six coaches to manage nine kids with three no shows. two line drives caught, no one thrown out at first base in the entire game. You gotta see it to believe it!


5 1/2 Months—Week 10


We begin week #10 by moving from the Baker House on Guemes Island Resort, where we spent the weekend, to our new place on the West Shore. The resort faces east looking at Lummi Island with a view of the snow capped Mount Baker in the background (when clouds don’t interfere). The west shore of Guemes faces Lopez Island, then beyond is San Juan Islands, then the Cascades and further southwest is Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. Of course, you would need a boat or a plane to jump over a bunch of islands in order to get there. We been to them all. Its worth it.


The new place is an older spacious 2 bedroom cabin with a large kitchen, large deck, and a magnificent million dollar view. This is where we will live for the next six weeks–where we will have that first cup of coffee in the morning. In the evening, after a short walk down the hill, we can enjoy the sunset walk on the beach. We’ll look for agates.

One of the things Sandy and I noticed this morning is how literal the street names are here in Skagit County. The drive along Best Street will take you to Tulip Town. If we went the other direction we would be driving on Market to Farm Road. We past Church Road and School House Road yesterday. There is also Beaver Marsh, Bay View, and Swinomish Casino Road. it takes you right to……well, you get it.

This morning, I discovered Mary Anne’s Kitchen. She made a delicious breakfast that was just like eating out of your best friend’s kitchen. So, this what living in small town America is all about. This month is the Tulip and Poetry Festival. There is live music from local bands every weekend at an Anacortes venue or at the Guemes Island Store, or both. If you like live theatre there is the Dolly Parton, 9-5 live musical at the Anacortes Community Theatre from April 5- 28th. It’s hard to miss an event because there are promotional fliers on local business poster boards all over. And, it’s hard to get lost here. Most streets in the City are on the grid A Street through Z Street crossed by 3th Street- through 36 Street. Sometimes they mess you up by throwing in an Avenue. But, lets not get into that. Kelly and Mark live at L and 7th. Brian and Emily are at 12th and just past A. And, Kerry and Kris, live way out there in Mount Vernon. They live off Avon-Allen Road. Of course, that road connects you to the two towns of Avon and Allen. BTW the tulips were beautiful this morning. I wish I could send more pictures. Gotta go…leaving the Anacortes Library now to pick up Sandy. She was volunteering at the Fiddlehead Montessori where Rumi and Teo go. Then, we have lunch by the Bay. Babysit for Anamya at 2;30pm. And, then Ravens baseball practice from 4:40-6:00pm.

It‘s Friday afternoon and we have just arrived at our Holiday Inn Express in Ellensburg, WA. We drove down through the Mount Baker National Forest area. It’s a nice three hour drive with magnificent scenery much of the way. The Mountain’s still have lots of snow but it melts fast at 3000 feet we had 65 degree weather today. So, we saw some nice small waterfalls; lakes, rivers, and creeks full of water. We are meeting Brian, Emily, Fisher and Amaya at the hotel. Tomorrow morning Emily competes an a 50K mountain running event. We will be there at the finish line. Hopefully, I’ll have time to add a few more pictures before this article will post on 4/22.

Emily started her run at 8:00am. At the five k mark she fell for the first of three times for the day. When she crossed the finish line the first thing she said to me was “Happy Birthday.” She was hardly panting and other than some cuts on hands and knees you would have never known she just finished a grueling 50K race–the toughest course of her life. CONGRATULATIONS EMILY!!!


                                                        We moved on to the Guemes Island Resort, owned by our son-in-law, Mark Linnemann this past Sunday. Thanks to his generosity we will be living comfortably with a magnificent view of Mount Baker as we look east each morning.

Our home for the next week is special. It is a deluxe cabin built by our son, Brian. It features a beautiful kitchen, bedroom, living room and steam bath in the shower area. There is a private deck with hot tub in the back surrounded by trees. We are making good use of that already.

The remainder of the resort is somewhat difficult to describe. It offers rustic two-bedroom ocean front cabins, modernized cabins like ours, two large homes for extended families , and it even offers one “tiny house” for rent. And, if you are a camper there are yurts to rent with nearby bath and shower facilities. This is an awesome place for family gatherings, fishing, hiking, kayaking,    biking, clamming and more.

This is the kind of place where you go to “chill” — read a book, get off the grid, have some quiet time for yourself, leave the stress of work or other obligations behind. Try it, you’ll like it. http://www.guemesislandresort.com

Monday morning we decided to get off Guemes and the Fidalgo Islands for a scenic drive over Deception Pass to Whidbey Island. We traveled Hyway 20 through Oak Harbor and eventually visited the small historic town of Coupeville. Worthwhile. Fun time.

One of the investments you have to make when living on Guemes Island is the $136 senior discount auto pass which gets you 20 trips to Guemes by ferry boat. Then, there is the $40 senior walk-on pass for 25 trips. After that investment you have to learn the ferry departure times and the nuances. For instance, Tuesday morning we were surprised by the long line of cars departing Guemes. We got in line at 9:49am and we missed the 10am ferry. We got on the 10:25am arriving Anacortes at 10:40am. So, its not a good idea to be in a hurry to anywhere at anytime. Remember…..just chill.

Sandy has volunteered to work at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church rummage sale gathering and organizing items. After 4 hours work she is allowed to “rummage” before the general public. If you know Sandy you know she is motivated by a good bargain. I think she volunteered so that she can bargain shop for Brian, Kelly and Kerry.

I have volunteered to join Kris and Kelly as coach of an Anacortes Little League team. Two of the twelve players on the team are my two seven year old grandsons, Teo and Sebastian. We had our first one-hour practice Thursday night. This team has moved up from T-Ball to machine pitch. All twelve players had a chance to bat off of a pitching machine for the first time ever. I believe one kid hit the ball in play. If it doesn’t rain next week we have two one-hour practices to get our “Purple Ravens” ready for the first game.