Tag: West Coast

Swimming at Mason Lake

“Summertime and the living’s easy and Bradley’s on the microphone with Ras m.g. All the people in the dance will agree that we’re well qualified to represent the LBC” Doin’ TimeSublime

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It’s no wonder that Mason Lake in Washington is FILLED with people utilizing it’s vast body of fun and swimming potential. When I was first invited to go by my cousin Chris, I was a bit hesitant. I wondered what would be in the lake and how the water was. So far, my experience in bodies of water (other than the ocean) have me searching for snakes and jellyfish like crazy. In NC our rivers and lakes have snakes, jellyfish and even alligators (depending on where you are). Well, even though I was skeptical I couldn’t pass it up. For whatever reason, being in Washington definitely has brought me out of my shell a bit and I appreciated the invitation.

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I drove to Olympia to Chris and Brooke’s house. We loaded up the truck and his cool little motor boat (that goes pretty fast for a 70’s model) and hit the road for a 30/40 minute trip to Mason Lake. Apparently it’s pretty popular from what I was told and it REALLY was. There were boats EVERYWHERE. People were swimming like crazy. I was kind of blown away by how many people were utilizing this lake. I’ve never seen so many people in a body of water at one time like this. Well, I found out that there are no jellyfish or snakes in these lakes! They’re freshwater and don’t have those creepy little things floating in them. So why wouldn’t you be in it having the best time of your life? It’s also QUITE warm, unlike Wynoochee Dam.

This lake trip wasn’t just about swimming. It was also about TUBING!

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No, that’s not me. It’s Brooke. LOL I fell off pretty quickly. It was a little hard to keep myself on the tube. But it was fun while it lasted!! Hahaha I did get in the water and swam for a while and then got back in and chilled out. We had such a blast!

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We ate an awesome lunch of sandwiches and swam some more, but as all good things do come to an end we headed back to the dock. On the way I noticed a FINE home that looked pretty sweet!

imageA lot of the houses are nice like this but for whatever reason this one stood out to me the most. It looks like everything you would think a lake house would look like. I also noticed that all the homes in Washington are not brick. Apparently it’s kind of expensive to have a brick home and it’s not as easily accessible as it is on the east coast. But this home would have done just fine for me 😉

It was incredibly nice of Chris and Brooke to invite me on their adventure. I had a wonderful time with them as well as Chris’s son Jordan. Chris really went out of his way to make sure I was having a good time and I did just that. I’ve gotta find something equally as cool for them to do when they come out to visit! But what?

 

The Loop Pt. 2

“I love you when you’re singing that song and I got a lump in my throat cause you’re gonna sing the words wrong.” RiptideMisterWives

After the Big Cedar tree we stopped to have some sandwiches we packed in the amazing Yeti cooler! It has really come in handy throughout our travels. We wouldn’t have been able to financially do a lot of what we have done if we didn’t have that cooler to pack food in. So, big props to Yeti.

Our next stop was very unexpected to me because I didn’t know where we would be. To my surprise it was at a BEACH, “Ruby Beach” to be exact.

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The beach is beautiful and so very different from our beaches in NC. There’s no sand, only rocks and pebbles that range from large to small.

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Check this guy out. He must be a photographer from National Geographic! I should have asked for his autograph. 😉

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Ruby Beach, as you can see is quite stunning and just very beautiful. I think some of the beauty comes from the big rock formations next to the beach and that visual makes it so interesting to look at. In NC and on the east coast, you don’t have these huge rocks next the beaches to make it interesting but you have the warmth of the water to swim in and the nice warm sand between your toes. Overall the beaches along the west coast are breathtaking and definitely possess a character of their own.

After Ruby Beach we continued north. We came into Forks, WA. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with this place, the Twilight Series kind of put this place on the map. The fantasy romance novels were based in Forks Washington. The movies, on the other hand, were not filmed entirely in this town. There was a scene filmed in Forks and another scene filmed at “La Push” which is a beach just north of Forks. Other than these two sites, I believe most of the movies were filmed in Canada. Well, that did NOT stop Forks from capitalizing on whatever they could from the movie.

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These pictures were taken at the visitors center. I didn’t make any images of the town because there were no images to make. It’s just a tiny little town that you drive through to get to your next destination. It’s one road and the entire town is branded with all sorts of shops named all things, “Twilight”. So they would have shops named something like “Twilight Hair Designs”, “Bella’s Beauty Shop” or “Vampire Lounge”. These are not exact names of their shops, however you get the idea. Though I WILL say that they have a spectacular 4th of July schedule of festivities lined up for our day of Independence! We were planning on attending this because we would be camping at the Clearwater, but unfortunately we never went camping due to forest fires 😦 Now I know some of you are thinking, “Yeah right! I bet you were glad to get outta that one!” But I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to experience it for the first time in agreeable weather. I can’t imagine camping in NC which is why I never did it.

At some point on this vacation I always think I have seen all there is to see in terms of beauty. I think, “That’s it. There’s not going to be anything else more beautiful than what I’ve seen. I’m completely satisfied; I’ve seen it all.” But then there’s ALWAYS something EVEN MORE magnificent around the corner. In this case it was, “Crescent Lake“.

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Now, I would like to let you know that sometimes I have to put myself in compromising positions to get really great shots; walking down rough terrain into dangerous positions, climbing up rocks and almost falling or stepping out onto a ledge 3,000 ft above ground level, forgoing all my fears of heights just to get that one good shot. Crescent Lake was no different. There were no pull-offs where you could safely get a picture. We did find a pull-off that I had to walk about 50 yards away from to get a good image. So I had to step over the railing on the side of the road to get the images. I was not ON the road by any means. I was about 6 ft. from the road. For WHATEVER reason, 3 cars came by me and BEEPED their horns obnoxiously! Why? I was not on the road so there was no fear of them hitting me and to further justify that, there was a rail blocking them and myself. I’m still quite puzzled by this. My thought was, “Are you they beeping because they think I’m going to jump off the ledge?” Well beeping certainly wouldn’t help my staying on it! Anyway, if anyone has any ideas, please leave them in the comments below. It’s been bugging me for a long time. LOL

Mount St. Helens

“Giving up a verse the curse occurs a thirst to burst first breaking through the center of the universe” Freak Out311

Before I tell you about this amazing thing called Mount St. Helens, I have to let you all know that I’ve been sick with some sort of cold, which is why I haven’t posted in several days. I may have picked it up from my niece or from something else, either way I’m sick and am currently on the mend. I feel better than I did a week ago but am not sure if I’m going to get better without seeing a doctor. Hopefully I will kick this and be ready for anything! So here’s to feeling better! *raises imaginary champagne glass*

Have you ever seen how small you are compared to this world? Or have you ever thought about how tiny we are compared to the earth below our feet and above our head? I have. I have thought about it before. I never really had anything to compare myself to except for the ocean. I always looked at the ocean and thought about how small I was…until this past Saturday when we visited Mount St. Helens. For the first time in 34 years, I felt/saw/experienced how small I really was.

Mom, dad, Rayann, Hayley and I all took the drive over to Mount St. Helens with eager anticipation. For me I was very exited but like everything else on this trip it was an empty canvas waiting for a paintbrush and paint. I have always heard of this place from my mom. I also knew that it had erupted in 1980 (one year before I was born). Because of the stories and knowing about it, naturally I would be curious, thus propelling eagerness into motion.

We stopped in Oakville and had lunch at a place called “Loretta Eagan’s Diner”. A little hole in the wall burger place was completely okay with us. Sometimes I prefer them to bigger nicer restaurants because they usually have that down home taste! Have you ever watched that T.V. show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri? He definitely provides inspiration and courage for me to test out some of these not-so-popular dives! It’s funny but why not right? Just as I thought, the food was GREAT! It was like having home cooked food and we enjoyed it!

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We continued our trip and the scenery was fantastic. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was to see. When we arrived at the visitors center at Mount St Helens, there…sitting quite perfectly displayed was Mount St. Helens.

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You can tell that they purposefully cut out this, well…hole like thing for you to view the mountain! I thought it was perfect and was much obliged to the people who did so. It’s a great image. And of course we had to get the family in there 🙂

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As I stated in a previous post, I used to be so worried about looking like a tourist when I was on vacation, but honestly, that’s what you are! You’re a tourist. I felt so much like one when one of the employees jumped in and made us get together for this picture. I didn’t even have to ask. After it’s all said and done, I will be so thankful that I have these images to remind me of that day 🙂 So I honestly don’t mind at all. Where’s my fanny pack?

There was a show playing in the theater inside of the center that really gave you a nice detailed footage of what happened in 1980! I don’t have that footage but I’ve found a video on YouTube that tells you what actually happened that day. Check it out here: Mount St Helens Eruption

Once I watched the video I was HOOKED! The last experience that hooked me was when I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. It literally changed my life. After I went through and saw what I saw, some sort of passion was ignited in my heart and I took interest immediately. I kind of feel the same thing has happened here. After being here and seeing this volcanic, living, breathing thing, I am wanting to know more and more!

Here are the images they had in the visitors center. You can see the sequence of the eruption. It started at 8:32:38 (I believe), then 8:32:47 > 8:32:49 > 8:32:53 > 8:33:03 > 8:33:18.8

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HOW AMAZING! Look at that burst! It’s just crazy. Mount St. Helens had 3 small phreatic eruptions in 1893, 1902 and 1921. It had been quiet since the mid-1800’s. Apparently 123 years of no activity is a long time for us, but according to geologic time, that’s just a “nap”. At 3:37 p.m. an earthquake, measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale hit, coming directly from beneath Mount St. Helens. Then there was another earthquake and then another one which led scientist to believe that this volcano was waking up. So, these earthquakes eventually led to the first eruption of Mt. St. Helens. It ejected steam and ash along with rock fragments and ice blocks on the slopes of the volcano. Within hours of the first eruption, residents within a 15-mile radius of the volcano were advised to leave. Because of the continued activity, the Governor of Washington issued a State of Emergency. Craters had formed and eventually a “bulge” formed on the north flank of the volcano (probably due to magma rising in the volcano). They used comparisons of the pictures taken in 1979 of the mountain to see what kind of differences were happening with this bulge and found that it had grown outward and upward about 250 feet as of April 12, 1980 – and it continued to grow 5 to 7 feet per day since April 25th. During this time people were to have evacuated, but after a period of time of nothing happening, they started letting people back in to get their things or do what they needed to do. On May 18th, the volcano erupted. The “bulge” had exploded sending ash and rock rolling down the side of the mountain. Some witnesses said they saw lightning bolts shooting through the ash.

I would like to take this time out to draw some attention to a guy named, David Johnston, who was a Geological Survey Geologist who died during this eruption. His name is continuously brought up during videos and in information given to you on this volcanic mountain. He died doing his job and for some reason I just really admire that. His famous words, “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!” seems to ring many times through the tour of the visitors center and is pretty famous when talking about Mount St. Helens. The pictures above are his images and are displayed in the visitors center. He last radioed in at 8:32 which was when it happened. (All info stated above is from the visitors center at Mount St. Helens)

After the visitors center we drove up to Johnston’s Ridge (named after David Johnston) to see her up close and personal. We stopped at a pull off before Johnston and got a couple of great shots as well as some along the way.

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You know that this is tourist attraction when the local chipmunk comes up to you begging for food. LITERALLY, the chipmunk saw us, ran up to us (about 1 foot away), stood on the stone wall and did all but ask, “Do you have any food for me?”. LOL I swear, when he stood up on his hind legs, if he could have spoken, that’s what he would have asked. So funny and cute.

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Johnston’s Ridge is the up close and personal view.

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You can see, directly in the center where the explosion happened. It used to be a mountain at one time but now is looks a bit open. I found a before image for you to see (taken from Wikipedia).

Helens before

The visuals of the mountain are just insane. I think that’s what really blows my mind. That is what makes you feel small.  A mass of ash and rock, reaching heights of 50,000 ft. can really put you in your place. People who were 35 miles away from the mountain said they felt a temperature increase of 30 to 40 degrees higher than usual. What can do that? I can blow air out of my mouth and it may reach a foot away from me? I am an ANT in a wilderness of monumental size. God’s creation is so fantastic that to think this all happened just by chance, to me, is a foolish idea indeed.

Aberdeen Museum of History

“Composure come and gone with hunger like a bomb and now she gets her turn, to breathe the wind and burn.” Blow Infinite WaysEnon

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What a nice little hidden treasure. I say hidden, not because of the location, but it seems as though this place doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. We were the only ones in there for a couple of hours until some school kids waltzed in toward 2 p.m.

You can see the whole museum upon walking in.

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It definitely looks like something you would want to explore. So naturally I started from start to finish.

A man named, “Samuel Benn” was the founder of Aberdeen. He was born in Ireland and eventually died in Aberdeen. I’m not too sure about how he came here or really any serious information because there was none. I looked and couldn’t find anything more than that.

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I LOVE looking at old photos like these. I really can’t tell you why because I’m not quite sure. Maybe it has something to do with my wanting to have experienced that decade in life, or that I admire parts of that kind of society. Whatever it is, I enjoy looking at these kinds of images.

Women of Aberdeen

Around the corner, there was a wall dedicated to the “Women of Aberdeen”. These were women who were supposed to be pioneers of this town. They consisted of:

  1. Anona Waldron Malinowski
  2. Minnie Gerdis Malinowski
  3. Emily Malinowski Moe
  4. Sophia Malinowski Davidson
  5. France’s Kozlowaski Malinowski
  6. Doctor Rose Papac
  7. Elizabeth Achey Malinowski
  8. Louise Knoell Fairbairn
  9. Mary Malinowski Evenson

Well, I found this to be completely interesting as some of these women were intertwined within our family on my mother’s side! Elizabeth Achey Malinowski was my great grandmother’s first cousin.

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And without getting into too much genealogy, one of the other female pioneers of Aberdeen was Emily Malinowski Moe who is my grandfather’s second cousin.

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The relations are a little confusing which is why I can’t go into too much detail because, let’s face it, I’m too tired and there’s little time. But what I will tell you is that one of the most famous pioneers of this town and had world fame for her painting abilities was my 3x great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Achey.

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This is actually not the real image of Mary Achey. The woman pictured as Mary Achey is possibly a woman named, Ida Fogarty. So the museum is in need of a real photo of Mary Achey. My aunt can probably provide them with an image.

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It is said, not only in this book but in other documentation that Mary Achey was the most prolific woman artists in the west during the years of 1860 to 1885. Her daughter died at a very young age and it must have emotionally damaged her because she blamed her daughter’s death on her husband and left him! She was then rumored to have carried her daughters remains with her for quite some time until she finally buried her. I think she was definitely disturbed by her daughter’s death. In any case, we own several paintings of hers. One of them is a painting she did of what she thought her daughter would look like as a teenager. It’s a very pretty image. Unfortunately I cannot post the picture of the painting as it’s in North Carolina. When I get back I can post it. One of her paintings also hangs in a Presidential Library, at the moment we are currently researching which one it is. The woman at the museum said that it was Lyndon Johnson (this is debatable). Mary Achey definitely did not gain the fame that she probably should have had in Aberdeen AND worldwide. You would think that she would have maintained a larger space in the Aberdeen museum seeing as she was pretty famous in this town, but she had only a tiny corner. Very weird and sad.

Schoolhouse

Around the corner from the pioneering women was a little corner depicting what school life looked like in Aberdeen back when.

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My mom said she used to sit in desks just like this when she was in school. It’s a neat little set up. Check out the list of Teacher Rules:

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Rule #8 says “…or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth..” WHOA! I didn’t realize that was a big deal! It makes me want to know what the reputation of barber shops were in Aberdeen back then! Maybe they gave you a shave and then got a “frisky woman” to come out and give you a dance afterward? Scandalous. I don’t know but the rules now are MUCH easier to follow than they were back then!

Railway Station

So most everything in the museum looks like it’s a reconstruction of what certain places and stations would look like. This happened to be a reconstruction of what a railway station would look like?

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Pretty neat! I love all that old luggage but I’m SO glad we don’t have to “lug” that around now-a-days. Looking at all these old items and antiques makes me appreciate the conveniences we have now.

Operator Call Center

One of the COOLEST setups at the museum was this little call center for operators. I geeked out a little bit thinking about all those women connecting calls and plugging in things and pushing buttons! LOL I know nothing about this stuff, but I’ve seen it in movies and it looks REALLY neat!

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If you’ll notice, there’s a little sign hanging in the phone booth that says, “Antique Chat Room”. HAHAHA too cute.
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Kitchen

Behind the operator desk is a little kitchen with a cute stove, sink, washing baskets and dining table.

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I absolutely ADORE this old bread tin!

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But I have NO interest in washing clothes by hand! That was a labor I admire women for doing back then! Every woman who did this should have received a medal for their heroic efforts and scrubbing clothes against a washboard every day! THANK YOU General Electric, Maytag and every other brand of washing machine!

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1902 Metropolitan Steam Pumper

The 1902 Metropolitan Steam Pumper built by the American Fire Engine Company of Seneca Falls, New York, was purchased in October 1902 for $6,800.00. Arriving in Aberdeen in March of 1903, the first test saw it build a full head of steam in only six minutes and thirty-seven seconds. The two horses sometimes had trouble pulling the heavy machine over saw dust streets, so a third horse was added in 1904. This pumper served Aberdeen, first at the central headquarters and then at the South Aberdeen Station. In 1914, the pumper was sold to the Simpson Timber Company, and served in McCleary until 1944. The machine was returned to Aberdeen and was restored. It was exhibited in Seattle at the State Fire Museum and returned to Aberdeen in 1967. The metropolitan was the largest piece of fire equipment that the American Fire Engine Co. made at the time, with a dry weight of 9,800 pounds and can pump 1,100 to 1,400 gallons of water per minute. – (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)

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Grays Harbor Motorship Corporation

Grays Harbor Motorship Corporation was established in 1917, during the WW1 era. Land was leased from the Lindstrom Shipyard, located at the foot of South Washington Street. From 1918 through 1919 GHMC completed twenty steamships for the USSB’S (United States Shipping Board) Emergency Fleet Corporation. The most noted ship produced was the S.S. Aberdeen, a 290 foot, 4,000 ton (dead weight) cargo ship, establishing a world record of 17.5 actual working days from keel laying to launching. This record still stand as the greatest performance in the history of shipbuilding, and will probably never be equaled. – (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History) I know the image isn’t great but I had to show the magnitude of these ships!

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So along with the ship building of Aberdeen came the logging industry.

The Dolbeer

First steam-powered Donkey came to Grays Harbor in 1890’s. It soon replaced the “hay burners”. (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)

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Log Jam

Try to find the men in the “jam” of logs. (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)

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Can you imagine logging back then? I really can’t. It’s so hard to really wrap my mind around how such small creatures could cut down such large trees and then move them! The human mind is extraordinary.

Rigging Man

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April 1959

This mammoth fir was cut in Cook Creak area south of Neilton by the Don Bell Logging Co. The butt cut measured better than 10 feet in diameter and 28 feet in length and contained about 10,000 board, it was consigned to Harbor Plywood. (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)

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One thing I’ve noticed about photography from years ago, is that ordinary people who had no formal photography education back then had a much better concept of composition than those same people do now. Why is this? I really would like to know the answer. This is a good question for my former instructor and friend Charity Valentine.

General Store

I always find retro products super fascinating! Naturally I gravitated toward the general store to check out what that was all about.

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Some of the products included:

  • Oster razor
  • Grandpa’s Pine Tar Toilet Soap
  • Sloan’s Liniment
  • Throat Gargle
  • Swamp Root
  • St. Jacob’s Oil

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Father John’s Medicine, A Nutritive Tonic and a Wholesome Medicine included: cod liver oil of high vitamin A and D content, gum arabic and glycerin. It was used for the correction of deficiencies in vitamin A and D. It was recommended for relief of coughs due to cold and throat irritation.

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Swamp Root, a Diuretic to Kidneys and Mild Laxative. It’s name was funny which was why I had to add it. LOL You can definitely tell how marketing and advertising has changed over the course of 100+ years. The typical American consumer is not buying something called, “Swamp Root”.

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She looks extremely disinterested in whatever is happening at the local General Store. She’s probably ready for quitting time so she can go and be a bad woman in a brothel somewhere!

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Church

This church in the early 1900’s doesn’t look much different from any Baptist church in Beaufort County NC in 2015!! LOL #Truth

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Barber Shop

I found this to be interesting.

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But only because of the sign in the bottom part of the window.

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LOL, We’ve messed up the whole United States! Man do we suck! LOL This sign reminded me of the movie Mary Poppins when the mother of the two children was swept up in the “VOTES FOR WOMEN” movement! What’s funny is that I really DID NOT like Mary Poppins at all (the woman) but I really enjoyed the mother and always wanted to see more of her.

Movie Theater

So this is what it looked like inside of the movie theater.

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But look at what was directly on top of the theater.

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A brothel? A place for sailors to visit women? I don’t know, I just assume that because there’s a red light on a sailor mannequin! HAHAHA!

In conclusions I did learn a little bit from the museum. Unfortunately there were a lot of holes in certain pieces of information. I would have liked to know more about the founder of Aberdeen, Samuel Benn and several other tid bits of info that would have helped me to truly understand this town more.You didn’t really get that with this museum but a little bit is better than nothing.

If anyone has any information on any of these items/topics, please leave your comments below. 🙂

Aberdeen Washington

“Somewhere I have heard this before; in a dream my memory has stored.” On a PlainNirvana

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We’re finally here in Aberdeen. I have to apologize for my lack of steady posting. Being on vacation is sometimes like being in a marathon or can sometimes feel a bit busy, which we have been for a while now. So I apologize for the delay in posts.

Aberdeen Washington was the settling place for my great-grandfather Lars Willumsen, a sea-captain who came straight here from Denmark.He raised my grandfather here and my grandfather raised my mother here. So not only is my mother and family from here but it is also the hometown of the late and famous grunge star Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana and their bassist Krist Novoselic .

I have heard stories my whole life about this place and all of the areas surrounding it. As of 2013, Aberdeen had a population of 16,371. It used to be a MAJOR sea port for the Pacific Northwest but primarily is known for it’s logging industry. In the early 1900’s it was notorious for its MANY whorehouses, saloons and gambling establishments. There was a man, a resident of Aberdeen named, “Billy Gohl” who gained a reputation for killing around 140 men. Needless to say, this place was bustling with industry AND gritty recreation.

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It was good to see my family! We cried a little bit but that is to be expected when you haven’t seen each other in 2 years 🙂

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There was so much going on I didn’t get a selfie with my sister. LOL, we’ll get one before the trip is over! 🙂

Thunder

I met the family dog, “Thunder”. He’s a Great Dane / Pit Bull mix. He’s very large, very powerful and VERY affectionate.

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I’ve grown quite fond of him thus far and like a lot of large breed dogs, Thunder thinks he is a lap dog. He’s been known to “sit in your lap” and fall asleep.

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After we greeted everyone and put our stuff away, Rayann (my niece) swooped me up and took me on a journey through town. She took me up to “Hospital Hill” and that was the image you saw earlier in this post overlooking the town. It seems a little grimy if you look around at the houses. All of them seem to have a sort of “dirt” on them and I immediately thought this was just a grimy town. I thought maybe people just didn’t take care for their houses the way we do back home. The reality is that the atmosphere here creates moss and it grows on people’s roofs and because of the atmosphere, houses accumulate the dampness and appear to be dirty.

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Washington is exactly what I thought it would be.  Fur, Spruce, Cedar and Hemlock trees populate the wood and forest area along the highway, while Fern plants thicken just about every area you can imagine giving it a beautiful green look. The moisture in the air allows for this growth.

But not all days are rainy and grey. The sun shines brightly and almost breeds a need for wine on a fine afternoon.

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I’ve always been told that Washington is just rainy and there aren’t a lot of sunny days. Well, that’s not really true. It’s been nice. Today is a little gloomy but it will brighten up tomorrow and this weekend so I look forward to that. I’m not sure that Washington would be the place for me (in terms of weather) but we still have quite a ways to go for me to find out 😉

Nirvana

It feels so strange to be in the very town that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain grew up in. What I didn’t know was that the bass player for Nirvana, Krist Novoselic was also from Aberdeen. I grew up on Nirvana and that was my generation of music so I identify greatly with that genre and time frame. Back then there was no “Google” or “Wikipedia” so most of the information gathered on your favorite rock band or artist was researched in magazines on the grocery store shelf or a rumor that you heard in passing from someone who had all the inside scoop. I gathered mine from magazines and MTV. LOL typical right? So back then I never knew where Kurt and Krist were from much less that they were from my family’s home town. I think, perhaps if I had known that back then, I would have made the statement to everyone about it so as to have some sort of  “connection” with the band. In all fairness I was a kid and who doesn’t want to have a connection with someone famous?

Because of Nirvana’s huge success in the early 90’s and their creating of an entire genre, Aberdeen seems to have memorialized and immortalized Kurt Cobain by dedicating the entire town to him and his band. In the first image on this post the, “Welcome to Aberdeen” sign, Nirvana’s song title is placed directly underneath it, “Come As You Are” which was a song on Nirvana’s album, “Nevermind”. There is also the dedication of the bridge to Kurt Cobain that runs over the Wishkah River as there was a time in his life that he spent quite a few nights underneath that bridge. It’s said that he did drugs there and this is a common belief. The only thing that separates this bridge from my sister’s place of residence are two houses. Basically I can stand out in her yard and view it. For a full view of the bridge/park check out the video: http://youtu.be/SzQtWGAuUlo

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So they dedicated the entire area around the bridge to Kurt Cobain by calling it, “KC Riverfront Park”

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I was talking with someone last night, of whom I’m staying with, and he was telling me about Kurt and Chris. He was too old to have gone to school with Kurt Cobain but his nephew did. Apparently Kurt was a bully and picked on his nephew quite a bit and so it goes without saying that his nephew was not a big fan of Kurt. He also mentioned that he himself had partied with Krist N. back before Nirvana had formed and had worked with Kurt’s uncle (who he tells me was a very nice guy). There was a time after Nirvana had gained their major success that Krist N. had come back to Aberdeen for a visit and this person ran into Krist. He gave him a congratulations on his success, to which Krist replied, “What success?” with a very dry and unenthusiastic attitude. He said, “You know, with the band and everything.” Krist said, “I wouldn’t really call that a success.” So it seemed as though he had a bit of negativity going on there which he probably picked up from Kurt. It’s accurate if you watch documentaries of the band; you can hear and see that kind of attitude. But you know, it’s the attitude of the grunge era and grunge music so…it makes sense.

My thoughts? You know, I loved Nirvana growing up. I enjoyed their music and had their posters on my wall.  I believe that Courtney Love (Kurt’s wife) had Kurt murdered and am sorry that his daughter has to grow up without a father. But I don’t think that a whole town should be dedicated to someone like that. I don’t even know how much Aberdeen has profited on their merchandising Kurt Cobain or if they have even profited at all. If you look around it really doesn’t seem like there has been much profit made. I would have never expected this town to have immortalized him the way they have and quite frankly I expected to come here and have to search for the bridge he slept under without there being any prompting from signage at all. But it is what it is and there is a bit of an element of this whole thing that I’m interested in and find fascination with. It hits close to home…literally, only two houses away.

From California to Oregon

“I got a golden ticket, I’m not gonna even pick it. I heard it, he said it, I heard it but then it went something like Visit. I wanna visit the world.” Visit311

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Well, we said our sorrowful goodbyes to Glenda, Bob, Bobby, Chad and Troy. They were so hospitable and incredibly sweet. We couldn’t thank them enough. So thank you all for extending your home and being so kind and generous. We love you 🙂 ❤

We started our journey up Hwy 101, cut through on 199 and then took the rest of the route on Hwy 5. So we basically took the coast up to Crescent City CA and then cut over and used the interstate all the way to Washington. We were really searching for time so it was easier and more efficient to take the interstate.

Going up the coast from California to Washington is not only beautiful and really amazing, but it really gives this North Carolina girl a different perspective on beauty. I can’t stress enough how different it is out here. The scenery is wonderful. It almost looks like Big Sur going up the entire coast of California!

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The sky seems to always compliment the cliffs and water creating a magnificent view of California’s coastline.

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Everything is so big that you feel so little.

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We saw this guy ride next to us. What a nifty thing he’s done with that little trailer!

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You know, there’s just miles and miles of different things to see coming up from California and into Oregon. The scenery definitely changes from golden hills to nice green trees.

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Drive-Thru Tree

Right before we decided to jump over to the interstate we decided to take a nice little detour to visit the “Drive-Thru Tree”.

“Drive-Thru Tree Park is a privately-owned grove that has been operated by the Underwood Family since 1922. Located approximately 180 miles north of the San Francisco Bay Area, the park was an ideal stopping place for overnight or week-long stays. In 1937 the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree was added to provide a unique treat for travelers. Visitors have been taking pictures of their vehicles inside the opening ever since. With the exception of motor homes or vehicles pulling trailers most vehicles will be able to drive through the Tree. Parking is provided for larger vehicles and tour buses.” from http://drivethrutree.com

Unfortunately the van wouldn’t fit through the tree, but that didn’t stop me from getting some shots.

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imageThere’s a place for people to have picnics and enjoy the scenery on the property so it’s a really nice little stop off when driving up the coast. I enjoyed it.

Bad Experiences

Every traveling story MUST have a bad experience right? LOL We decided that we would stop in Arcata California and spend the night. I looked online and did some research on moderately priced hotels with good reviews and found a Quality Inn that seemed reasonable. We have stayed at Quality Inn’s before so we thought this would be satisfactory. It was quite late when we arrived so we were EXHAUSTED when we checked in. Upon opening the door to the room, there was a very musty odor, almost a pet and cigarette smell that hit immediately. I disregarded this as I’m not that picky and a lot of places smelled odd anyway. So we walked in and set our stuff down on the bed. I noticed there were four pillows on the bed, but non of them were standard sized pillows. They looked like they were for a child. So I called the front desk clerk and said they must have put the wrong pillows on the bed because they weren’t a standard size. He said that was the only pillow size they had and there was nothing he could do about that. So, that was okay. It had to be right?

I collapsed onto the end of the bed and mom says, “Are you going to check for bed bugs?”. I immediately pulled up the sheet and was disgusted by the soiled stains on the end of the mattress. There were no bed bugs but what I DID find, when I moved the sheet back were what looked to be blood stains on the sheet!

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After getting attitude from the desk clerk I felt like I would pretty much have to deal with it. I decided the best thing to do was to not look around anymore. I would just go to sleep and be done with it.

When we woke up, THAT’S when everything came into the light.

The carpet:

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The walls:

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The bathroom:

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Enough said. I really don’t need to discuss it further. However, I did leave a pretty nasty note for the manager. I also emailed corporate headquarters. I did receive an email back from them and they told me they would contact the manager of that hotel and have that person contact me in 72 hours. I have yet to receive a call or an email and it has been 5 days. I’m not very good at math but I think we’ve passed the time frame for the manager to call. Anyway…we were happy to be on our way and decided to enjoy the rest of the journey.

Driving Up the Coast

Driving up the Pacific Coast isn’t all beaches and cliffs, there are times where you come through mountainous terrain.

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I do have to say that I went through a mini panic attack to get this image. I had to step down on the edge a little bit to get the angle. At first it wasn’t too bad at all and my body wasn’t freaking out or my mind. As soon as I got the shot and went to step up I immediately froze. I realized where I was and how high up I was and everything in my body suddenly stopped and shut off, as if it were in survival mode. I didn’t know what to do. Clearly this step up wasn’t terrible because all I had to do was make a couple of steps and I would have been in the clear. It was a little steep but to someone without a fear of heights this would have been a piece of cake. When you’re afraid, like I was, your brain works in a different way. I felt as if I would certainly fall if I took a step up, or gravity would pull me backwards and I would be supper for this beautiful little river. I knew I couldn’t stand there forever, so I mustered the courage and slowly climbed up the steep edge and landed successfully on flat ground. I survived! Yay!

 

Oregon

We arrived in Oregon and…I fell in LOVE! I could, quite possibly, live here. The scenery is SO gorgeous! Everything turned from golden hills to luscious greenery! Everything looked so alive and thriving! Flowers popped up everywhere along the road. Daisies and Hemlock are plentiful along the road and on the sides of hills. Even though Hemlock is poisonous, I think it’s beautiful.

We found a Holiday Inn Express in Roseburg Oregon that seemed to be nice so we decided to stay there for the evening and it was FANTASTIC! We told them what had happened to us with the Quality Inn so they gave us the nicest room with the best view. And it really was the best view!

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We were so happy to have a CLEAN room and CLEAN sheets and a CLEAN bathroom to occupy! That may have been the most restful sleep I have had on this entire trip thus far. So thank you Holiday Inn Express for providing a wonderful comfort for us. Everyone was so hospitable and friendly, we couldn’t have asked for more. And the only way to top off a great night of sleep was with a great cup of coffee the next morning!

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I’m in love with Dutch Brothers Coffee. We don’t have them on the east coast so I suppose I will get my fill while I’m here!

We decided that we would just take the interstate all the way to WA so we could arrive sooner. My sister and nieces were VERY ready to see us so and we were ready as well. So we booked it. I caught a glimpse of the city of Portland.

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If we had more time I would have liked to go into the city and explore but we were hungry and in a hurry! We stopped to eat lunch and what better place than, “Bannings Restaurant Pie House” in Portland. I’ve never been to a little place like this but have always seen them in movies. It was a really neat little diner :).

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Did I mention that in the state of Oregon you do not pump your own gas?! They have gas station attendants to pump it for you! This guy was of such an attendant and posed nicely for me.

imageI thought that was the neatest and also craziest thing! But you know, it’s cool just like Oregon and I could DEFINITELY have seen myself living there. It’s such a beautiful place (what I saw) and I now know why everyone talks about it so fondly and are interested in living there.

I might be in the business of moving there. Anyone want to be roommates? 😉