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back above the 49th

August 29, 2014

I believe Jude and I have finally decompressed from our vacation to Washington.  We got home Tuesday and spent two days weeding the garden and cutting firewood to diffuse the Seattle grunge (the pollution, not the music).  This morning we awoke to the symphony of some serious rain, the first in six weeks.  The farm continues to heal us.

It’s not that the Emerald City isn’t a delight, what with its Mediterranean climate, ample opportunities for coffee, and Super Bowl champion Seahawks.  But, as the fastest-growing major city in the U.S., it’s bursting at the seams — those seams being the beleaguered highway system.

When Jude, my son Chris and I drove around Puget Sound to Bremerton to see the Naval Shipyard, I think we saw every one of the 3.6 million metro area residents except Russell Wilson and Bill Gates.  We did, however, motor past Microsoft’s main campus.  With its 8 million square feet of office space and myriad skyscrapers, it looms as large as downtown Seattle minus the Space Needle.  If Bill was there and waved, we missed it.

My father worked at the shipyard during World War II, repairing the Navy craft damaged in combat.  He and mom would regale my sister and me with tales of the Northwest.  A big outing for them was to drive to the top of one of the Cascade Mountains, then shut off the car engine and coast to the bottom to save on rationed gas.

Bremerton is also where the USS Turner Joy is permanently anchored.  This is of great personal interest to me because the destroyer was central to the start of Vietnam War.  I’ll post more about this soon.

Due to misleading maps and inadequate signage, we had trouble finding the Joy.  That’s not a problem in and of itself, but Chris was holding some of Washington’s barely-legal recreational pot.  We inadvertently drove up to the gate of the shipyard, which is federal property.  Weed is still a no-no there, so we graciously accepted the gate guard’s redirection.  Obama’s cool about it, but we weren’t sure if he’d have time to vouch for us — what with ISIS, Putin, ebola, John Boehner and other distractions.

We did find the ship and thoroughly enjoyed the tour.  Then we treated ourselves and drove to the nearby ferry in Kingston.  A brief, spectacular sailing to Edmonds and we were close to Everett, where we were staying.  Chris was attending a soccer coaching workshop next door in Marysville.

After feasting at Red Lobster and sampling Washington’s new cash crop, we settled in for the night and prepared for the second part of our trip.

  1. August 29, 2014 2:04 pm

    It’s always good to hear from you all in the free world…

    • August 30, 2014 11:35 pm

      . . . still suffering from the oppressive summer heat and the oppressive oppression, eh?

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