Another Week in Review

Current Location: Washington State Fairgrounds, Puyallup, Washington

Been busy again the last week or so. Malcolm worked during the days again the past week. In the afternoons, he would come over to the house and he and Cole worked on the playhouse. Wednesday night they took the night off as we all went to a ball game (more on that later). With wet, cool and windy weather forecast starting Friday, Malcolm and Cole worked until dark on Thursday evening getting the roof shingled. Malcolm took off a little early and came over around 1:00 to work on trim and started working on the porch railings. Here are some pictures.

Starting roof work

Starting roof work

More roof work done

More roof work done

Wednesday night, all of us went to a Tacoma Raniers ballgame. The girls earned free tickets for reading books from the Puyallup library. We also got a free hot dog dinner as part of the deal. On the evening we went, there were local firefighters and police at the stadium with various things to give away (firehats) and various vehicles the kids could check out.

Checking out the tactical police vehicle

Checking out the tactical police vehicle

FIre hats

Fire hats

As part of the library program, the girls along with Mom and Dad got to line up out on the baseball field before the game.

Lineup on the field

Lineup on the field

During the game, Malcolm bought some noisemakers at the gift shop and brought them back to our seats. We caught the eye of one of the stadium workers in charge of various customer relations and eventually won a cheering contest which garnered us (we put Cole in charge of the winnings) a set of season passes for next year’s games.

Friday was Elizabeth’s birthday, so we all went to The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma for dinner. The food was great and we had an enjoyable time.

Waiting to be seated

Waiting to be seated

Birthday Candle

Birthday Candle

This morning we ran a couple errands, just Malcolm and Val, and had lunch at Taco Time. Val has caught the cold the rest of us had last week so she wasn’t feeling the best. We headed out to Fox Island to Cole’s grandparents’ house on the Puget Sound to meet the rest of the family. We had dinner, then birthday cake and ice cream to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday again, and Malcolm’s upcoming birthday.

Today’s weather was pretty yucky. Some pretty stiff winds blew in the rain today, knocking out power here and there. Our power was out some period of time starting at 12:20 (according to our microwave, which shows the last known time on the display when power is restored). There was also a lot of debris on the road like leaves, small twigs and lots of pine needles.

A Long Week in Review

Current Location: Washington State Fairgrounds, Puyallup, Washington

Since we last talked, a lot has gone on here. Malcolm is working full-time this week. To better coordinate with those back in Nashville, he has been working normal hours for there, which means 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM here. That worked out well. Nana got to visit with the grandchildren, then pick up Pa so he could visit the rest of the afternoon and evening. He plans on working full-time again next week, then part-time off and on the rest of our visit here (four more weeks after this past week).

Our birthday gift to both granddaughters was to pitch in on building a playhouse for them. Cole’s family pitched in some money towards the effort as are Cole and Elizabeth. On Tuesday evening, Cole and Malcolm went to Home Depot to pick up the first load of lumber and concrete footers. On Wednesday evening, they put together the entire floor.

The four sides leveled up

The four sides leveled up

Floor joists going in

Floor joists going in

The deck going on (with help)

The deck going on (with help)

Finishing up

Finishing up

On Thursday, we took a break from construction and met at the park in downtown Puyallup for the last of their summer concerts. We spread out blankets, ate sandwiches for dinner and listened to music until it was getting too chilly (we work shorts and short-sleeved shirts). We had ridden our bikes to the park (about 3/4 mile) instead of trying to park the truck downtown (it was a crowded concert).

Concert crowd

Concert crowd

Familiar looking concert goers

Familiar looking concert goers

Speaking of riding bikes, we rode bikes to lunch a couple days this week. One day we all rode (Val, Malcolm, Elizabeth and the girls) to Don’s Drive-In just the other side of the fairgrounds (about 3 blocks away).

Don's Drive-In

Don’s Drive-In

We also rode bikes up the street (about 4-5 blocks) another day to Spark’s Deli.

On Thursday evening, Malcolm, Cole and Elizabeth all came down with colds. Malcolm worked part of the day Friday after getting up late. The rest of the crew came down to the trailer for dinner (steaks on the grill). After dinner, the girls headed up to the house and the guys went to Home Depot to get framing lumber.

Today, Malcolm and Cole were very busy framing up the playhouse. Cole first painted the base with a couple coats of sealant paint. They took a break at lunchtime to meet the girls at Taco Del Mar, then stopped by Home Depot to pick up some more supplies on the way back to the house. By early afternoon, they had all four walls framed and installed on the base. Then it was on to making roof trusses, which was a slower process and overlapped dinner. They had two trusses in place and put in the porch supports after dinner and decided to call it a day.

Assembling walls

Assembling walls

Walls assembled

Walls assembled

Putting up the last wall

Putting up the last wall

Obligatory structural testing

Obligatory structural testing

Putting on the first two roof trusses

Putting on the first two roof trusses

There may be more construction on the playhouse tomorrow. Church is up in the air since the majority of the congregation went on the annual church weekend campout. They are having one service, but we’re going to see when it is and how all our cold sufferers are feeling in the morning.

An Early Move

Current Location: Washington State Fairgrounds, Puyallup, Washington

The astute reader might notice that our current location is no longer Lake Chelan State Park. We’ll explain shortly.

While at Lake Chelan, we enjoyed visiting with some of Cole’s cousins over the weekend and of course, with our grandchildren during the course of the week. We spent a lot of time splashing in the lake, a bit of time shopping downtown (either for supplies or just to shop) and some time just cooling off in Nana and Pa’s trailer (Cole, Elizabeth and the girls are tent camping this week). We’ll round up pictures later, though to be honest, we spent more family time than camera time.

On Thursday evening, there was talk of scattered thunderstorms. Rather than potentially scare the children from further camping trip opportunities, we decided to let the girls sleep in the trailer. Scarlet decided she wanted mommy, so she ended up in the tent. We did get a brief thundershower about 5:30 in the morning. There was a lot more thunder and lightning than there was rain. The lightning, unfortunately, started several new wildfires in the immediate area.

We went into town Friday morning to get some groceries for dinner and could see a pretty good fire burning down the hills towards the other side of town. We also had planned on playing at the local water park, but it was below that fire and had already been told by the sheriff’s office not to open. We ended up back at the state park and splashed in the lake.

When we first got back to the campground, we could see some smoke rising over the hill behind the state park. As the afternoon progressed, the smoke got thicker. Three helicopters were busy getting water from the lake and flying up to the top of the hill to dump it on the spreading flames. By about 4:00, the flames were spreading down the hill on our side, fanned by increasing winds. Shortly thereafter, the park ranger came through the park and told everyone they would have to pack up and leave.

We all packed up in short order and headed on west so that Elizabeth, Cole and the girls could head on home and so that we could head on to the Washington State Fairgrounds campground three days early. The weather got much cooler and wetter as we headed west which hampered travel. We finally arrived at the fairgrounds campground about 9:30 PM. The camp hosts were not around, so we backed into an empty space next to them and just dropped the front trailer jacks. We didn’t hook up water or electric.

Malcolm heard the camp hosts come in a little while later and let them know what we were doing. They said they’d catch up with us in the morning. This morning Malcolm walked over and paid for our extra three days. He and the camp host walked over to look at two different sites. Malcolm picked the one further away from the main road. We pulled in our slides, pulled up the jacks and headed over there to set up. Elizabeth stopped by McDonalds and brought us all breakfast.

We headed out at 11:00 and met the family for lunch at Trackside Pizza, one of the girls’ favorites. We traded off car seats afterwards and entertained the girls all afternoon. Elizabeth and Cole attended a memorial service for a family member and took care of some child-free errands. We went over to their house this evening and had dinner and visited until we were tired (and it was the girls’ bedtime).

Family Time

Current Location: Lake Chelan State Park, Chelan, Washington

Previous Location: Spokane KOA, Spokane, Washington

We missed blogging for the last legs of our trip out here. On Saturday, we headed out from Deer Lodge, Montana and drove to Spokane to stay at the Spokane KOA.

On Sunday, we hung around the KOA until mid-afternoon because our son, David, was flying in to surprise his sister. We picked him up at the airport, headed back to the KOA, hitched up and rolled on in to Lake Chelan around 8:30 PM. We set up in the fading evening light and surprised our daughter pretty well.

Today, we’ve been out swimming and generally having a good time with the family here at the lake. We’ll post more later, including pictures. We’ll be here through Monday.

Our site

Our site

Most of the way Through Montana

Current Location: Indian Creek RV Park, Deer Lodge, Montana

We were up and moving early this morning. That, coupled with today being a short driving day (223 miles) allowed us to arrive here in Deer Lodge right around noon. We got set up in a campsite then headed downtown to find some lunch. We found a nice place called Muriah’s of Montana. It was touted as a family style restaurant. The food was great, the staff friendly and the lemon drop cheesecake was to die for.

After lunch, we wandered down to tour the old Montana State Prison and the adjoining car museum. We arrived in time to take the afternoon guided tour which was very entertaining and informative. When we had stopped in the area two years ago (arriving late in the day and having to leave early the next morning), it was recommended that we make an effort to stop by some time when we could visit and take the prison tour. It was good advice.

We also stopped by the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historical Site. It was late in the afternoon and they were about an hour away from closing, so we just stamped our National Park Passport book, looked around the visitor center for a few minutes then headed on back to the trailer for the evening (after fueling up the truck).

Tomorrow it is on to Spokane (a slight change in plans as we were going to stop in Coeur d’Alene). That will put us a little closer to our final destination on Sunday of Lake Chelan State Park, where our granddaughters (and their parents) are already camped and waiting for us.