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Monday, May 24, 2010

~~~Urgent Message~~~

We will be entering Canada this morning for about 4 weeks and will have no Internet service unless we find a WI-FI hotspots or go to the Libraries in the towns we visit... We do not have coverage for Canada on our Internet air card because it was so expensive to add. I will post when I can and sadly may not get to visit all my bloggin' friends for a while...
BUT I will be thinking of you all...
Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy
Love Donna
Watch out Alaska here we come!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Snoqualmie & Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

We were driving around a couple of days ago and found the cutest little town of Snoqualmie. Just outside of town are the Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls we’ve come across on this trip. The crashing falls are a sight to behold -- The waterfall is on the Snoqualmie River dropping 268 vertical feet over volcanic rock and sending a thundering mist back up the canyon walls and into the fir-covered hills. The Falls were also featured in the popular cult television show "Twin Peaks".

At the top of Snoqualmie Falls, there is a luxury mountain lodge hotel -- the Salish Lodge. Renowned for 4 star service and Northwestern style, the hotel features a famous dining room looking out onto the falls. A great place for lunch!

We then drove through town and first thing we saw was all the old trains on a track. Lots of them! There were many old engines & cars all waiting for someone to restore them. Also there was the Victorian Snoqualmie Depot. The Snoqualmie Depot was built in 1890 as an arrival point for tourists coming to hunt, fish and view the already world-famous Snoqualmie Falls. Just down the road from that was a train museum which we didn't go into but will when we come back next year

Train Depot and one of the restored engines

The town of Snoqualmie was built on the route of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway (SLS&E). The railway started on Seattle's waterfront and wound around Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish (now the route of the Burke-Gilman Trail) on it's way to a planned crossing of Snoqualmie Pass

train museum

When the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company (now Weyerhaeuser) began it's operation about a mile north of town, the mill was set up to handle the huge Douglas-fir, sitka spruce, western hemlock, and western red cedar trees which covered the hills and mountains of the region. On display today is an example of those type of logs. Unfortunately, time and uncaring people have defaced this log. Logs 10 to 15 feet in diameter were carried by train to the mill, through a huge band saw, cutting timbers up to three feet square for trestle bridges and warehouse floors.

Sample of the logs processed in the lumber factory

The Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Co. Powerhouse and Brick Stack are key surviving components of an innovative, early 20th century milling operation that was the most expansive of its kind ever to operate in King County. The brick powerhouse and 211-foot brick stack functioned as the heart of the all-electric plant. According to the Weyerhaeuser Co., the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Co. (SFLCo) mill was only the second such all-electric mill operation in the nation, and the first of its kind to employ electrical powered cutting operations in the woods. Today, the mill complex itself has all but disappeared. A large open space remains on the level valley floor previously crowded with buildings and structures containing machinery and operations for log cutting, planing, processing, and lumber sorting. Today the power plant serves as the last tangible symbol of the community of Snoqualmie Falls and its social and economic legacy. The Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company Powerhouse was designated a King County Landmark in 2005.

remains of the old Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Co

Until Later... Have FUN, Travel Safe & Enjoy Everyday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

~~~ The Light Houses of Oregon ~~~

While visiting the Oregon Coast we had the opportunity to visit & tour many of the spectacular Light Houses. This was a great experience for all of us and we thoroughly enjoyed each one which had their own personalities. It is one of the things we really enjoy doing in our travels. Rocky coastline and angry oceans can be a recipe for disaster. That's where lighthouses come in. For over one hundred years, these life saving bastions have been helping mariners safely navigate along the Oregon coast.

Heceta Head Lighthouse is located on the Oregon Coast 13 miles north of Florence and 13 miles south of Yachats. It is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and is the most photographed lighthouse in Oregon. The lighthouse has been guiding ships with Oregon’s most powerful light since 1894. It houses an English made first order Fresnel lens with a rotating beam that can be seen 21 miles out to sea. For many years the lens rotated by a weight being lowered on a cable, similar to a grandfather clock. It was the responsibility of the keepers on the nightly watch to periodically rewind the weight to continue the rotation. Today the lens turns with the aid of a 1.5 horsepower motor. The light is maintained by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, while the assistant lighthouse keepers' house is now a bed and breakfast maintained by the U.S. Forest Service.

At ninety-three feet, Yaquina Head Lighthouse is the tallest tower on the Oregon coast and is also a sibling to Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California and Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina. The light shines 162 feet above the ocean and can be seen nineteen miles out to sea. The light was automated on May 1, 1966, and the two keeper's dwelling, which had been boarded up and abandoned, were demolished in 1984. The original lens is still in place, but is now illuminated with an electric 1,000-watt globe. It has a signature of two seconds on, two seconds off, two seconds on, then fourteen seconds off. Just south of the lighthouse are amazing tide pools where seaweeds, seals, sea stars, hermit crabs, purple urchins, and anemones can be seen.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
A piece of Oregon history sits atop a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River. It is the Historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874. It was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation on December 7, 1996.
It is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Spiral Staircase up to bedrooms upstairs & one of the bedrooms

Living Area

Master Bedroom

The Original Light & a picture made of human hair which was very popular during that time

Located in "the land of cheese, trees, and ocean breeze", Cape Meares lighthouse sits at the north end of the beautiful 20-mile Three Capes Scenic Loop along the Oregon coast. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1888. The first-order Fresnel lens was shipped from France around Cape Horn to Cape Meares. A hand-operated crane made from local spruce trees was used to lift the crates containing the prisms of the one-ton lens up the 200 foot cliff to the tower. The tower is made of sheet iron lined with bricks, the only one of its kind on the Oregon coast.The light was lit for the first time on January 1, 1890. Though the squatty lighthouse was only 38 feet tall, located on a 217-foot cliff, it could be seen for 21 miles. The lightstation consisted of the tower and two oil houses. In 1895 a workroom abutting the tower was added. Electricity came to the lighthouse in 1934, and the two oil houses were dismantled. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1963 when an automated beacon was installed on a concrete blockhouse a few feet from the tower. The new light can be seen 25 miles at sea.

Before vandelism and after (see the covers over the shot out windows)

Sadly on the night of January 9, 2010, vandals struck the Cape Meares Lighthouse. Several rounds were fired at the lantern room, breaking fifteen panes of glass in the lantern room and several prisms in the priceless Fresnel lens. The estimated damage was $500,000, and a $5,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Twenty-six-year-old David Wilks Jr. and twenty-three-year-old Zachary Pyle were arrested on February 10, just over a month after the incident, and charged with first-degree criminal mischief, a class C felony, and four misdemeanor charges.

Spiral staircase leading to light and information on lighthouse

The beautiful Stellar Blue jay & another spectacular sunset

Until Later... Have FUN, Travel Safe & Enjoy Everyday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

~~~Update on Events While We had no Internet~~~

As you know AT&T Internet service has been lacking in many of the areas we have been traveling through... It would take me forever to post each stop so I am combining some of them on the next couple of post post. Thanks to all my friends and followers for visiting me . Our first stop in Oregon was Florence.

In Florence we stayed at South Jetty Thousand Trails Park and it was not too terribly bad. We were so excited because all of the places we are going to be in Oregon is on the beautiful coast. This is our first time visiting Oregon and we'll be back!

One of the tourist spots we hit was the Sea Lion Caves about 35 miles north of Florence. It was so much fun seeing the hundreds of seals in the caves and hearing them Bark. They were quite stinky & loud.

We also visited Cape Perpetual
Situated between Newport and Florence along Highway 101, Cape Perpetua has incredible views, magnificent forests, and all-out beauty in many forms. From the Cape Perpetua Viewpoint,you can get a full view of the area below, including the many tidepools, the Spouting Horn, and the Devil's Churn. A hike down below - heading out from the Interpretive Center provides up-close views of these spectacular sights. Finally, the Spouting Horn is a must-see. The higher and more frequent the waves, the more likely the Spouting Horn will be going strong.

Until Later... Have FUN, Travel Safe & Enjoy Everyday!

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Internet Service????

We haven't had Internet coverage for over 2 weeks... AT&T is NOT good on the West Coast of Oregon or for that matter the West Coast! Unless you are in a BIG city or on the Interstate system you can not count on coverage. You just don't realize how dependant you become to the connection to the outside world. Not only for blogging but for looking up the many things you need and want to know when you travel. So that is why I haven't been around or over to visit my many blogging friends & I am sticking to that! I will try to catch you up on all the wonderful things we have seen & done while I have good service here in at Tall Chief RV Resort.

We are now in Fall City Washington and only 11 days away from entering Canada which is the beginning of our real journey up to Alaska. We have traveled up the west coast of Oregon and visited Mount Rainier & Mount St. Helen since I blogged last. What beautiful Mountains they both were and how devastating the story of Mount St. Helen. Also there was a ton of snow at both mountains... I think we will not see summer again til we get back to Florida. While in Fall City we will be visiting Seattle and surrounding areas... Do you have any suggestions as good places to visit or eat? We were here last about 10 years ago and so some ideas would be great.

Thanks for coming by to visit and please stick with me as I may be missing from time to time due to my not so great Internet in areas... I am sure in Canada & Alaska we will be limited. So I will check in when I can.

I wanted to share with you how important it is to be careful when maneuvering out in the rain or on muddy wet roads... On our last day in Seaside Oregon I was walking the dog after a rain storm. As I was trying to get into the RV I either slipped or tripped on the wet ground and fell into Tassie's wheel cutting my eye really bad as it hit the lug nut on her HUGE tires. I was so lucky that I didn't get hurt worst then I did but all I ended up with is a badly cut eye just above the eye socket and a beautiful shiner... It didn't need stitches but did need to derma-glue to close it up. Since it was travel day and we were only going about 100 miles I opted to wait til we got where we were going to go to the hospital. The people at the hospital in Centralia, Wa. were very nice and really took great care of me quickly. Here's looking at ya!

Until Later... Have FUN, Travel Safe & Enjoy Everyday!


Get your mamogram & check up today... Early detection saved my life....


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