War Resister support protest at Peace Arch

Photo of protestOn my way back from Canada, I stopped for my usual visit to the Peace Arch on the Canada/US border. This year I was pleasantly surprised to find a protest in favor of US war resistors, and Robin Long in particular. For more details, see http://resisters.ca/index_en.html. Click the photo on the right for more photos.

Robin LongIn short, Robin Long is a US Army soldier who fled to Ontario in 2005. He has been in Canadian courts as one of the test cases for deportation. While the Canadian Parliament votes (non-binding) to allow US soldiers who have left the US to stay, the Prime Minister has different politics.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal article on Long’s deportation.

I was interviewed by GlobalTV, so I might appear in an online story there.

Great visit with some of the Canadian Trampleasures

Four TrampleasuresThree more TrampleasuresLast night I had a great visit with cousins in Delta, British Columbia, Canada.

Gary is my “fourth cousin.” He’s proud to be the oldest living Trampleasure in Canada, and the third oldest in the world (my dad beats him out by a decade, as does Colin in London).

I met two “fourth cousins once removed” and three “fourth cousins twice removed.” We had a great time talking about the family tree, how Canada got it’s name (a joke I’m sure they would have heard, but maybe it’s just a US joke), whether or not we actually made it to the moon, and the reality of the 9/11 events (let’s just say not everyone believes the US government tale).

The kids were pleased to see a Trampleasure from another shore (well, almost).  I had a great time. The visit gave me encouragement to do more family tree research.

Two lovely days on Whidbey Island, WA

Eagle landing with preyMmm. Relaxing.

Quinn's cabin in the woodsI spent Saturday and Sunday with my old neighbor Quinn. Quinn moved up here last fall, and is enjoying his first summer on the island. He’s got a nice place, with enough space to hang his many guitars, but not so much as to need to hire a housecleaner 🙂 He’s on the end of a dead-end road, with a few other houses within earshot, but not enough to make one feel crowded.

Both days went great, Quinn and I hung out a bit talking, then we went off with his friend Charlene to see the island (well, south part).

Saturday was (not by plan) “Cultural day.” We went to one of the local towns (Langley) for an art/music festival (Choochochum), where my souvenir from the island was a CD of one of the local bands that played. We then went over to Charlene’s place for dinner, then off to visit a neighbor (environmental consultant, full of great stories and anecdotes).

Harbor seal pupSunday we went to South Whidbey State Park and walked through the forest, including a view of the “Ancient Cedar.” Next we walked the beach at Double Bluff, where we saw a Harbor Seal pup on the beach. We later heard from a marine mammal volunteer that the beached pups rarely make it. This one seems very thin, and its rear flippers appeared paralyzed. See my album for lots of photos of the cute pup: http://trampleasure.net/lee/gallery/main.php/v/july2008/album/

Further down the beach we realized it was about time for the cruise ship Charlene’s nine-year old son was on to pass by. We looked carefully at the first one, waving as it went by (we could barely see people on the deck). Oops, wrong company. Two ships later we saw his ship. We waved and waved, because he had told his mom that he’d be watching the island as he passed. I got a couple photos where we could see people at the railing, but too small to identify anyone.

I’ve seen a few eagles, and this morning on my drive I was able to take a picture of one arriving at the nest with some food for the little ones.

Today I’m off to visit the Trampleasures in Canada. Gary and Betty Anne will be there, as well as probably a few of the kids and/or grandkids. It should be fun. I haven’t seen them since ages ago when they came down to California. Time to get back on the road

Mt. Rainier and a family of foxes

Mt. RainierToday started off with me doing laundry and computer tasks while Etsuko went to class and Bob went to work.

Around noon, we had got it together to drive to Mt. Rainier. Etsuko used to give tours on the mountain, so she was our guide. The park entrance is about two hours from Seattle, but we had a nice drive, and didn’t run into much traffic. I find it interesting how you can see Mt. Rainier clearly from Seattle, but then when you start getting closer to it it becomes hidden behind closer, but much lower foothills (west coast speak for 2,000 foot mountains). But, we finally got there, and had a wonderful drive up the mountain, stopping at waterfalls and wildlife along the way.

View from Paradise InnAt the top of the road, at about one mile high (~5,000 feet), we stopped at the Paradise Inn for a bathroom break and to enjoy the view.

On our way down from the Inn, we were stopped by a gaggle of cars (well, two) pulled over with cameras flashing. A family of four foxes (looked like “mom” and four kits) were posing for us. The kits were happily romping around in the snow, while mom seemed happy to sit in the sun, scratch, and stretch. I’ve got several photos online, so be sure to check the album.

Mom strechingMore foxHere's the kids

I found it amazing how “tame” these foxes were. They weren’t begging for food, but they also didn’t have the fear of humans that one would expect from “wild” animals.

On our way back down, we stopped at a great Thai Wok, a great Tai restaurant in and had dinner (with enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow). The review on Yelp was great, and I added another to it.

Two hundred people can commute…but how would Lenin do it?

Poster from ferryGreat poster on the ferry. Be sure to click on the larger image to see all the details.

The options shown in the poster are: By car, by bus, by light rail, and by bike. Very descriptive.

Lenin in SeattleThen, there’s Lenin in Seattle: A guy found this in the former Czechoslovakia, bought it for its artistic importance, and brought it to the US. You can buy it for $250,000 if you have a better place for it.

Another day, another 200 miles or so

One more seagull photoYesterday afternoon was a nice drive up coast of Washington (although most of it was inland). Entered the Olympic National Forest and Park.

Last night I did make it to the Hoh Rainforest. Lots of lichen, moss, and fungi.

I went to a campfire talk on fungi, and it was lead by a fungal. She had group participation acts, with people playing the role of trees and fungus. It was a big hit, and people learned a lot.

I didn’t get to see any elk, but heard of one that wandered through our campground. I do have a nice shot of the Hoh River and its great glacial till induced steel blue color (the glaciers grind the rocks into powder as they pass over, and when the ice melts at the end of the glacier, the powder enters the runoff).

Fungi puppet showI’m now in Port Angeles, and will be taking a ferry to Seattle to see Bob and Etsuko in a few hours

One twelve mile stretch where the speed limit was 35 I was able to get 48 MPG in my little car. Oh, if only we could all drive so slow.

Aberdeen, my Aberdeen

Shell in sandNo, I didn’t get off course. I’m in Aberdeen Washington. Just below the Olympic National Forest/Park.

Yesterday’s hitchiker was a self-proclaimed aging hippy who was just getting off work and heading home to help insulate the floor of her house with her old man (no, that’s not her father). I only took her about six miles.

Today’s hitchiker was a guy named Bill (as my dad would say, no one with that name can be all bad). Neither he nor I knew the roads, and I thought I’d be able to take him about 80 miles, but about 15 miles into the ride there was a fork and his road went right when mine went left. Both Bill and I were the same age, and he was trying to get to a town where he had room and board lined up so he could look for a job. I always remember from my days of unemployment during the baseball strike of ’81 how close we can be to being homeless. For a couple months I lived in my VW bus in front of the house I had been living in because I couldn’t afford the $105 rent and another friend (who could afford rent) needed a room. “There but for fortune [and friends] go you and I.” On parting I gave Bill $20 to help with life.

Seagull glidingYesterday I didn’t cover much ground, but got lots of beach combing and photography in. I’m thinking I have enough nice photos that I may try to collect some and get them displayed in a cafe somewhere in Berkeley. I’ll have to price out what it would cost to make good prints (probably 11×14) and have them framed, but it sure would feel nice to have them on display. You’ll all need to come visit when I do 🙂

Well, tonight I’ll be camping in the Olympic National Park, and probably get a hike in as well. My goal is the Hoh Rainforest area, hope there will be spaces open. I’ve been lucky so far, and I’m fairly flexible if there’s not spaces–it seems like there’s other camp sites nearby, and it is the middle of the week.

Well, time for a quick pit stop in the back of Safeway (free Wifi at most Safeways these days), then back on the road.

Love,

Lee

Greetings from Eureka

Well, I finished my first day. Last night I stayed in Campsite #7 at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area outside Leggett (just north of where Highway 1 meets 101). I had a nice rideshare with a woman from Craigslist. She’s originally from the Willits area, now living in Portland, and back to visit her folks. We had a nice conversation on the way up.

Last night I got one of the three last campsites at Standish-Hickey, but it was in the “good” side (the other side seems a bit more noisy every time I’ve been here). I was quite tired, and went to bed around 7:30. Got a nice night’s sleep, and back on the road around 9:00 this morning.

I stopped in Fortuna to call my friend Diahna (her has name is Fortuna), and am now enjoying a coffee and internet in Eureka. Today I’ll probably make it into southern Oregon, but I’ll just have to see which way the wind blows.

Peace out,

Lee

Don’t forget to see pictures at http://trampleasure.net/lee/gallery/main.php/v/july2008/.