Last week on my days off I took a trip up to Olympia, Washington. You see my oldest daughter Crystal and her husband Josh have just relocated there from Wisconsin. So I’m sure down the road, I’ll be doing a lot more exploring of this area. More on that in a moment. But before that I’d like to tell you a little bit about an interesting meat-eating plants that grows in the in different parts of Oregon and Northern California. It is called a Darlingtonia plant.
Just north of the city of Florence, Oregon there is a wayside park area that has a large abundance of these.
They grow abundantly in marshy areas and have the unique characteristic of eating bugs. They have a large hollow tube like leaf that the bugs are attracted to by the smell of the plant. The plant has a very pungent smell, sort of like rotting meat. The insects crawl up inside this hollow tube like leaf getting trapped inside, falling down and being digested by juices at the bottom of this tube and then are absorbed by the plant as nutrients. You can read more about them here, I found them quite interesting so I thought I’d share a few photos with you.
Now more of my trip to Olympia. On early Wednesday morning I headed off North to visit Crystal and Josh but before seeing them I made a quick overnight stop to see my friends Tracy and Lee who are working this summer at Timothy Lake in northern Oregon. Whenever we are in the same vicinity of the country we try to get together at least once for a visit. We been trying hard to connect all summer but just haven’t been able to coordinate our schedule. Their normal days off are Wednesdays and Thursdays and I’ve had a lot of weekends free so it’s made it almost impossible to pick times when we both were free. It wasn’t too far out of my way so I contacted Tracy and we made plans to get together and spend an evening and part of the next day together visiting. I arrived about noon, it was so great to see them again. We quickly started catching up on what’s been going on in our lives lately. Timothy Lake is a beautiful lake in the national forest that is managed by Portland General Electric the company that Lee and Tracy are working for the summer. You can find more about their travels on their blog here. Tracy and I took Maxine down to the lake to check it out and let her go swimming. It’s a beautiful mountain lake formed by a dam that PG&E uses for power production.
Here Maxine is having fun with Tracy playing tug-of-war.
I didn’t take a whole lot of photos but Tracy was nice enough to share a few she took for me. Here I am setting up my tent in their backyard for the evening.
Here’s one of Lee and I enjoying the wonderful steak dinner that Lee prepared for us.
And we sat around visiting and catching up on all kinds of stuff.
It’s always great to get together with traveling friends whenever the opportunity allows. Sometimes it just happens easily and other times it takes quite a bit of planning. But no matter what it always a good time, and I look forward to the next time we can meet up down the road. The next morning Lee had to head off early for a dentist appointment so Tracy and I spent a couple more hours visiting and enjoying the beautiful area. But then I had to head off so that we could get up to visit Crystal and Josh before got too late in the day. I arrived about two in the afternoon greeted with kisses and hugs. Then I got a quick tour of their new apartment. Josh is working from home now which makes it easy for him, but we could not do much socializing right then. So Crystal and I headed south of town about 10 miles to Millersylvania State Park, where I got a campsite for the night.
After setting up camp we drove back into town to meet up with Josh for dinner and socializing. We headed to downtown Olympia and went to a nice restaurant called “Fish Tale” where we could sit on the outside deck with Maxine and enjoy a nice dinner.
One neat thing about Oregon and Washington is that most of the towns and cities have an abundance of beautiful murals painted on the buildings. Here’s part of the one painted on the restaurant wall.
Here in this photo of Crystal and Josh you can see the ones painted on the restaurant and in the window the reflection of the one across the street.
Here’s a couple more of some around town that I got quick pictures of, but there’s dozens of them all over.
After dinner we headed back to their place spending a little more time visiting. Crystal decided she would come spend the evening with me at the campground. We spent some time checking out the park to see if I maybe wanted to try and get a volunteer spot here next summer so I’d be close and be able to visit more with them on their days off.
They have a lot of buildings that were built by the CCC back in the 30s. And a nice lake with two swimming areas and they also rent kayaks and canoes. I think this would be a crazy busy park in the summer being so close to the big city.
The next morning Crystal and I got up and headed back down town to get some breakfast and do a little exploring. Josh had to work and Crystal was going to be going in for her first day at her new job in the afternoon. But beforehand we took a walk around town to check out some of the sites. The old Capitol building is visible from many locations.
There’s dozens of boats docked in the marina downtown. With the capital building towering above it in the background.
As you walk along the waterfront there are interesting sculptures scattered all about, here’s some pictures a few of them.
At the one end of the seafront there is a large dock area where they load and unload ships from all over the world. Here’s a large stockpile of timber that is shipped to Asia from this port.
There was also a large Farmer’s market that we stopped to visit, exploring these open markets is one of my favorite things to do whenever I find one.
After spending a couple hours roaming around the downtown area, I had to get Crystal back home so she could get ready to go to orientation at her new job working at a Target warehouse. She took this temporary position job to fill in until she can find a more permanent position. Josh kept his same job with the company he’s worked for for years and just relocated. They been talking about coming to the West Coast for several years now and decided to sell their house and take the plunge. Like I told them the time to do it is when they’re young. It was a short visit but my plan is to come here for a week or so the first part of October. My time here at the lighthouse is almost over. I have only about two more weeks left here and then the plan will be visiting with Crystal and Josh some more before I head south for the winter. That’s it for now best wishes and safe travels to all, Rick