Thursday, October 4, 2018

Leaving the Seattle Area

Posted from near Coarsegold, CA

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To view additional pics not in today's blog click on a link below:
Mount Ranier National Park
Seattle Mariner's Baseball Game

I'm running way behind in making posts about our travels this summer, but I guess it will give me something to do when we're sitting in one place for the winter months.

This blog will conclude our visit with our good friends Bill and Debi and touch on a few more sites we visited before leaving Graham, WA.

On August 19th Bill and Debi came over to our campground at Ranier View RV Park and led us on an all day excursion into Ranier National Park and the surrounding areas. The smoke had been so bad for several days now that getting a good view of the peak was a rarity.

We were able to capture several views of the peak from a couple of pullouts along the road inside the park.

A bit further down Paradise Road and we hiked down a short trail to view the Narada Falls.

This is a view of Mt. Ranier from the Henry Jackson Memorial Visitor's Center. Several trailheads begin behind the visitor's center, even some treks up to the peak itself.

Today we limited our hiking to a few short walks because we wanted to get to see the entire park (via main roads). This was one such short walk around a small, but pretty lake.

The weather was great today, but by late afternoon the smoke was beginning to roll in again and limit the views.

On our last night in the Seattle area, the four of us grabbed the light rail and headed in to Seattle to watch the Seattle Mariners play the Houston Astros.

At this point in the season, the Mariners were still in contention. (Like my Washington Nationals, however, their hopes for a playoff spot wouldn't last too much longer.  This didn't deter us from having a good time at the ballpark, however.

Safeco Field has a roof which can be closed, but even with all of the smoke from fires, this night it remained open.

The "Fischer jinx" was not to be tonight as the home team won by a score of 7 to 4.

We left the next morning to head up to stay in an Escapees' Park near Chimacum, WA (on the Olympic Peninsula). We can't say enough about what great hosts Bill and Debi were while showing us around this part of their state and inviting us into their beautiful home. THANK YOU AGAIN BILL AND DEBI!

As always, thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Touring Seattle with the Pitzl Tour Company

Posted from Verdi, NV

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For additional pics not included in this blog, click on the links below:

Pike Place Market
Seattle Space Needle
Chihuley Garden and Glass

After leaving Anacortes, WA we moved a bit south of Seattle to Graham, WA. The campgrounds in this area are a bit few and far between, but we selected Ranier View RV Park because we had plans to meet up with our good friends Bill and Debi. They live a short distance from the park and the campground would facilitate a somewhat central location for us to meet up.  Little did we know in advance just how busy the coming week was going to be. Bill and Debi were again GREAT hosts and "tour guides" to show us around their home state.

After a short day of rest, Bill was knocking on our door the next morning. It was time for pickleball. They are definitely dedicated players as the drive to the Lakewood Community Center is approximately 45 minutes each way. We played several mornings during our stay of a week in Graham. Thanks again Bill and Debi for picking us up each morning!

Let the sightseeing begin! On Saturday, August 18th we were picked up by Bill and Debi and decided to take the light rail into the center of Seattle. We had heard how bad the traffic in Seattle was, so public transportation worked out well. We headed to the Pike Place Market in the heart of the city. Think HUGE market place with a large amount of vendors (and crowds because it was a Saturday).

Here's a picture of our wonderful tour guides before we ventured inside.

One of the attractions at the market is the "throwing of the fish" by one of the fresh seafood vendors. Crowds gather waiting for someone to purchase a fresh catch, then the tossing begins. Here is a very short video of this event.

After being moved through the market by the ebbing and flowing of the crowds, we wandered down to the waterfront. The Seattle Aquarium is nearby and the Seattle Great Wheel is just south of that location.

We walked a few blocks north to the Westlake Center to ride the Seattle Monorail to the City Center. The monorail was built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

The two attractions we were interested in visiting were the Seattle Space Needle and the nearby Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. The Space Needle is a Seattle icon and has recently undergone some renovations.

The Space Needle was also built for the 1962 World's Fair and the top floor is 518 feet above the ground. The 360 degree views were excellent, but the area was still somewhat hazy from all of the recent fires in the area.

Looking slightly northeast, there was a nice view of the port area. We were lucky, the cruise ships were few today.

Just north and east is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. (The double V-shaped buildings to the left side).

Near the base of the Space Needle and terminal station for the Monorail is the Seattle Center Armory. A great place for a quick bite. From above, these two giant spiders were thought to be metal sculptures. I learned later that they are actually large murals painted on the surface of the roof by a talented artist named Marlin Peterson.

The final stop on our tour for the day was at the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. Rather than detail the work of Dale Chihuly here (mainly because I'm not familiar with him), just click on this link for more information. 

I will readily admit that I'm not an "artsy" kind of guy, and especially when it comes to wandering through galleries. In this instance, however, I was wrong. Mr. Chihuly's work is amazing. 

The color used in his creations are beautiful. The Persian Series lined an entire room and was displayed as a ceiling of color.

The entire gallery is dimly lit to enhance the beautiful colors and shapes of the glasswork.

This is from his Chandelier Series.

Because I honestly can't recall the names of these works, I'll just show a few pictures instead.

After visiting the displays inside, there was an outside garden area where his works are woven into the beautiful gardens surrounding the center.

I love the placement of his creations among the living plants.

There is a huge display of his work on the ceiling of the conservatory beside the garden. I understand that it is possible to rent the conservatory for events and weddings.

By this time, everyone is getting a bit tired and ready to head back to the light rail station for our ride home. Again, the public transportation is a great choice for anyone wishing to visit "downtown" Seattle.

The next blog will continue our exploration of the Seattle and Mt. Ranier areas of the state.

As always, thanks for dropping by to take a look!