Aug. 31st, 2017

bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
FRIDAY

Left Everett just after noon. Stopped in to Freddie's in Monroe for supplies and decided to have lunch a bit later. On our way out of Monroe we were passed by about 8 or 10 bikers with Florida plates. We stopped for lunch at La Hacienda in Gold Bar. We sat in the bar where we were served by a nice-looking dude in a grey shirt. They had football on two screens, and fĂștbol on a third, far larger screen where I was reading the Spanish captions and translating aloud to Gary. I had a chile verde burrito and Gary had 2 ground beef tacos, both with beans and rice.

When we arrived at camp about three, no one was there so we sat by the river and took pictures and notes for a while before returning to our campsite to pitch the tent and set up. As soon as that was done and I had tuned in the Seahawks game on the radio, TJ stopped by and I followed him over to Mick's campsite, since he was headed home to Seattle and leaving for Mount Rainier in the morning. Mick is a baritone in SMC but is not singing the upcoming holiday show. His brown-and-white bull terrier Buster was hanging out at Stan and John's camper and winding up their rat terriers, Twister and Reggie, who were jumping at the windows.

We stopped by TJ's centrally located campsite and Jack was telling us the picnic table at his site (one of the walk-in sites by the river) had been ransacked, with his hamburgers and candy eaten and a mess everywhere. The topic of conversation had moved on to other things when suddenly we heard a scream from the other walk-in site where Adam was staying. Turned out to be a full-grown black bear, about 3-4 feet tall at the shoulder. Scott came over with his pickup truck and relocated Jack's tent and other gear to a spot in the main campsite. Adam chose to stay put. When I returned to our campsite, Gary told me he and TJ had seen the bear over in the common area and watched it turn to look at them and wander across the clearing and away.

Because of all the excitement, we didn't get to cooking dinner until after 7. Gary suggested I set up the grill in a vacant campsite across the road so there wouldn't be any smelly grease just outside our tent. I fixed the hamburgers we'd brought and we ate at our campsite, then as Scott suggested, I left the grill on high for another 15 minutes to burn off the grease. That done, we sat around the fire at TJ's campsite for a bit before Gary got tired and went to bed. Jack and I went down by the river to look at the stars with Peter and watch him take pictures with his camera rigged up to his laptop. After giving Jack a shoulder rub and Peter a quick hug, I headed to bed myself.

SATURDAY

I was rudely awakened about 3:30ish by the failure of the battery pack for my CPAP machine after about five hours. I'm going to have to have a word with Norco next week. About 4:30ish Gary needed to go water a tree and since I needed to go as well we went together. Once we got back to bed I slept fitfully until almost 7, then got up to take my morning medication and take pictures by the river. Gary got up around 8:15 and we fixed bacon and eggs for breakfast, and hung out at TJ's campsite for a bit, until most of the folks in camp left for the two-mile hike (each way) to the hot springs. I heated up some chili for our lunch, which we ate with the potato salad we'd bought on the way.

After lunch we walked around to the shower area above the river, where Gary sat at the picnic table while I climbed down into the river gorge and hung out with Harold, Scott and Kyle, drinking wine, skinny-dipping in the river, and discussing the future of the club and some more personal matters. When I climbed out, Gary had left the shower area and was reclining in the car and listening to music on his phone. I returned to the shower area to find everyone else climbing back out to freshen up before dinner. So I sat in the car with Gary for a while before heading across the road to cook some bratwurst for the club potluck dinner.

Dinner started around 7:15 at TJ's campsite. After dinner we had a lively discussion about the future of the club, followed by dessert of Drumsticks ice cream cones. While those were being handed out, a burning ember from the fire lodged between my shoe and my otherwise unprotected foot. A cold bottle of water applied directly to the burn helped reduce the damage, as did a little first aid spray and a clean pair of socks once Gary and I got back to camp. We walked over to the shower area for a little stargazing, and then he went to bed and I sat by the campfire until I started nodding off in my chair around 11 and headed for bed myself.

SUNDAY

I didn't sleep well at all without my CPAP machine. I got up about ten to four to water the tree and again at six to have a seat in the outhouse. When I got back to camp I decided to sleep in the car with my head elevated and Gary joined me later. We ended up sleeping till nine. After some minimal prep for the day and morning meds, we headed to TJ's campsite for a communal breakfast, and I brought all the bacon and sausage we had left over. We had those with some more bacon ends, scrambled eggs, and French toast. I had a nice chat with Jed, who was new to Kamp Kodiak this year and who I noticed spent a lot of time in his tent when we were in the central camp. He's based on Capitol Hill in Seattle. He's tall and scruffy, with a stubbly haircut and beard and a furry chest.

After breakfast we headed down to the shower area for its intended purpose for a change. Adam had just finished his shower, and while Stan took his, John assisted me in getting the second shower started. When I got done, I went over to the picnic bench to put clothes on and Jed ditched his shorts and leaned back on the bench beside me to sunbathe briefly in the nude. Gary finished his shower about then, so we headed back to the campsite to break camp and pack the car. We made the rounds in the car to bid folks farewell, stopping at central camp to chat with Jonathan, TJ and James before we left. By that time Jed was back in his tent so we decided not to disturb him.

On the way out of the campground we noticed the bridge that was being worked on Friday was complete with a new deck. It took a little while to make the left turn onto US 2 westbound but Gary was content to watch the woofy driver of the car turning right beside us. Around Index we hit what was described as a 45-minute construction backup, but it appeared to me that it was just sheer volume. We stopped in Gold Bar for ice and beverages, where we spotted a few bears including a young daddy bear with a man-bun. Once we got to Monroe we followed a detour around several blocks of fair traffic. (I asked if this wasn't poor traffic or even bad traffic instead; it occurred to me afterwards that I should have phrased it "If this is fair traffic, I'd hate to see what poor traffic looks like.") We got home about four, unpacked the car, checked in with our dads, and sat down to watch Sunday Night Football.

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