Monday, September 16, 2013

"Doin the Puyallup", Crystal Mountain and the Long Way Home

This was our monthly "get away weekend" and was it ever busy! We left after work for Washington and got to my sisters house close to 10:30 that evening. The last few years, we have breakfast directly across the street from the main entrance to the fair. We are also able to park in the restaurant parking lot, as well as anyone else who is willing to pay the fee. But to not have to walk for blocks late at night and hopefully not look for your car in the dark, it is worth it to us. Over the 60 plus years I have been going to the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup, ( since the 3rd grade)  there have been many changes. But this year, was the most drastic to me.  It is now officially The Washington State Fair, but it will always be the "Doin the Puyallup" Fair to me.
We are there when the gates open to the public on Friday morning at 10:00.

Joe is checking the schedule, deciding what we would like to do first. We both agree, you can't see it all unless you have at least two days. It runs 17 days and is the 5th largest fair in the U.S. We enjoy the animals, especially the horse barns and the draft horse exhibitions, the 4-H dog shows, we both enjoy wandering through the the commercial buildings and I enjoy the quilt, cakes, jelly and vegetable displays.

In 1978 a musical group called THE SHOPPE performed at the fair and continued to do so for 21 years before ending.  In 2012 they were invited back to Puyallup for a Reunion. They were back again this year. I always enjoyed listening to them and was thrilled when Joe said he really enjoyed them.  They sing all the oldies of the fifties and sixties. 

The Draft Horses at work, showing off all the polished harnesses and their abilities to back up to the "dock" and go around cones without knocking over the orange cones with the back wheels of the wagon.

My sister joined us later in the morning and through out the day her kids and the grand kids and two of their friends joined us also. Eleven teens........and they were such well behaved, fun kids.  In this picture, they are off to do a couple of rides. Yea!!! Joe has a ride partner.  I don't do rides.

If you click on the picture, and look close, Joe is in the front seat and his left hand is up to his ear.... no, he's not on the phone, he's trying to hold in his phone ear piece. He left keys, wallet, change, glasses with me but forgot that.

On to the Pig Palace. These little ones are only 3 days old

And these are a week old.

Saturday morning we woke up with the intent of driving around Mt. Rainier. And that is what we did, but with a slight detour to Crystal Mountain  .  There is no way I can describe the beauty of that little trip. Crystal Mountain is a Ski Resort, but they take advantage of the beauty of the summer months also.

I do not do heights very well, let alone as high as mountains. But  even though it was frightening to me even thinking about getting into a Gondola to ride to the top of Crystal mountain I did it.  Except for the take off and landings, It was a beautiful ride.

The cost for the Gondola ride? Adults $20, Seniors $15. I felt bad though, this was a treat from my sister, who is 66. You have to be 70+ to qualify as a senior.

The elevation at the summit  is 7,012ft.

Awhhhh, I can see the top.

The view at the top was incredible

We had lunch there. We shared fish and chips....$18.00. Think that's high? A hamburger was $16.00 Lunch Menu

The restaurant was booked full with reservations and the outside was full the whole time we were there with a long line waiting their turn to eat.  The only bugs that bothered us was ladybugs!!! Hundreds of them. In our hair, on our shirts, sometimes in our shirts. On the table. But not on our food.  A couple flew in Joe's water until he covered his glass with a napkin holding it down with one hand, eating with the other.

The view, to me, was worth the $18 lunch. 

Except for being on a plane, I've never been high enough to see pine cones like this. 

Heading down. I was more frightened starting the down part of the trip than going up.  I think because I could actually see how far down we had to go. It was very quiet and even though the wind was blowing, you could hardly feel it in the Gondola.

After our time at Crystal Mountain we continued on our  Mt Rainier Loop Tour If I'm not mistaking, this is Reflection Lake. 

This is the new visitor Center at Paradise.  The one before this looked like a space ship so I was glad to see it go. 

I spent many a summer camping with my mom, sister and brother, hiking some of these trails.

I was disappointed that the sun went down before we got to Eatonville, the town, I was raised in until I was 18. 

This is what the view looked like in Graham, WA. Donna I took this one for you.

This is Alder Lake. It is fed by glacier waters from Mt. Rainier. Alder Dam backs up the water 28 miles. Tacoma, Washington gets electricity from this Dam. A history note, the town of Alder was buried by these waters and when the lake is low, you can see concrete stairs, foundations, old trestles, pipes etc.  After moving buildings to higher ground that needed to be moved, the rest of the town rests underneath the water.

I remember fishing this lake with my brother. We caught mainly crappie and perch.

We left for home Sunday morning.Home for us is heading Southeast. We Headed South to Olympia and took a right and headed West for the beach. Long Beach, WA.  Cottage Bakery :) If you've never been to Long Beach, put the bakery on your bucket list. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

From the bakery, we headed for Astoria. In order to get there, you have to cross the Columbia River via the Astoria-Megler Bridge. "Houston we have a problem".........where is the rest of the bridge

Joe just keeps driving..he has more faith than I do. Oh me of little faith.......

Whew! There it is. The weather was beautiful yesterday (Saturday). Can't say the same about today.

Then it was on to the Young's Bay Bridge between Astoria and Warrenton.

This is a steam engine in Rockaway. Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad   For more information Click on this link.

This is the town of Garibaldi North of Tillamook. It is a fishing village, has an operating plywood mill, and an active Coast Guard Station.

I have lived in Tillamook, Bay City, and Astoria so I am use to this kind of weather. I was nice and dry in the RV so I didn't mind the rain.

Large dairy farms are a common site in Tillamook County.

Now we have turned East towards home. (Milwaukie)

The colors through the Coast Range were beautiful

Ominous clouds followed us all the way home. Apparently there was a very large thunder and lightening storm that went a head of us. It was a wonderful weekend but it is also nice to be home.