Friday, April 24, 2009

An Earth Day Addendum - the Hollis addition

Welcome Hollis Reiter Crosby, our newest red-headed buddy to the world on Earth Day.

His measurements seem ample at 22"x 8 lbs 2oz, but we didn't get the width and height and are frankly a little disappointed at his architect parents for not supplying the necessary dimensions...

Other than that, he looks a little like Gilligan in the sailor's hat, so we've saved a berth for him on Oystercatcher.

Our friends, Mom (Petra) and Dad (Grant), say they are doing well, and they look good, too. Grant says the 'salty dog' beard is going away soon. That's probably for the best. A haircut might be a good idea, too.

Chance moves aboard

The new keys.
Our first worry - How will Chance be able to get on the boat?
He looked at it, sized it up...
...and lept - squeezing between the lifelines. What a pup. Problem solved...
...and promptly took over the starboard berth like he'd been living there for years.
We're in Shilshole Harbor. A beautiful place with clean stuff and nice people. Crodgety crumbly Whittier seems like another world. Friendly dogs and cats, too. We even hooked into WiFi. The trail leads in one direction to a beach park and dog park, and in the other to the Ballard Locks, cafes, and downtown Ballard. Chance is pretty sure he could live here forever.
We were invited to a BBQ our first week, but the weather turned, so we retreated to the rather large yacht in the background Emerald Fjords, once a burned gutted 60' hull, the current owners restored everything to a spectacular condition. Good company and very friendly opinions on all things sailing. There is a fountain of knowledge out there, and we will be sure to tap into it.
The sunsets are a plus, and the sea serpent on the breakwater keeps us safe from pirates.
Our first run at Fisheries Supply was a big one. $1770 plus US dollars. Ouch. We loaded the cart with survival suits, foul-weather gear (foulies), abandon ship bag, flares, and a mountain of marine doo-dads and pushed it out the door. We also found the marine consignment shop, for everything else.
Mo has bonded with her new kitchen; though we need to start calling it the galley if we want to be cool. So now we can start cooking.
We decided to spring for a WiFi subscription on our boat instead of going to cafes for their internet connection. We figured the money saved on lattes would offset the cost. But Blain still thinks the coffee tastes better with leaf art on top.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Off to the high desert and the coast

Hyder, AK, pop. 30, was pretty much closed. But we took a few photos of the ghost town ambiance. We actually didn't get Hyderized because it was just after breakfast. Next time around. Nice fire hydrants in Stewart. I wonder if during a fire, the fire department knows to rush to the 'inmate dog' hydrant.

Though we didn't get photos, the robin flocks were really something of a spectacle. Folks in town were talking of the 'suicide birds'. They were gathered by the highway edge in large flocks of 50 or more and would fly up in a scatter when a car got near. Never have I seen so many. Thousands. Along the road to Stewart. Who knew?

The Lillooet (tried to figured out how to say it all day) Valley was phenomenal. Sagebrush and ponderosa pines, we camped under limestone crags and dreamed to coyote howls and owl hoots. Even meadowlarks on the fence posts. We felt like we were back in Colorado. It's in the rain shadow of the Coast Mountains, and would make a darn fine place to raise a few goats.

In the morning we woke to song sparrows and red-breasted sapsuckers. Some small-horned bighorn sheep along the roadside said hello, and we drove our poor Bluebaru Superu through the Highway 99 switchbacks and over the pass to Whistler.
The Skeena and Fraser River valleys are full of history and we pulled into a few of the towns along the way to get a sense of it. Most of the villages are First Nations communities and many still have totem poles erected in front of houses commemorating events or people's passing. Didn't know inland native groups also carved them. We loved the kid's bike leaning against this one. They are powerful, beautiful, and mysterious, and make a pretty solid bike rack. Otherwise they just lay about when they fall and become tripping hazards.

Here's Mo and Chance atop a Kitwanga area fort from the 1700s. They rolled huge spikey logs up the flanks of this bluff and cut them loose on the poor attacking tribes below. Here's the link. It's always impressive to see the creativity and ingenuity humans have used to kill each other throughout history.

It was raining at Whistler and chairlifts were shutting down daily, but we were tempted to try for one last day of skiing before going sailing for the summer. But they still wanted $72 for a half-day ticket. Outrageous. So we passed it up. Besides, they'd all just gawk and point at us on our telemark skis anyway, and fall down when we scorched past. Who needs that? So we drove to the coast - so good to see an oystercatcher greeting us - and in to Seattle. Quite a huge change from coyotes and owls outside the tent in the morning to seals and surf scoters. Quite a land of contrasts, beautiful British Columbia. We will be back for more. This morning we finish the drive and get to see Oystercatcher again. Our new home for the next two (or more) years. It was hard to sleep last night...