Sunday, July 31, 2011

Preparations and Pictures of the Disaster

The trailer that exploded last Monday was a 70's single wide that the local fire investigator feels may have had a propane leak coupled with an electrical issue that caused the above mess. This trailer was sitting in the park and had a wood framed roof laying on top of the trailer roof. Yes, that is the intact propane tank in the right center of the picture. It appears the deck was moved several feet, but most of the heat and fire was towards the rear of the trailer.

This is the next door neighbors trailer roughly 150 yards away. Lots of damage and pieces of the exploding trailer.

A wall of the exploding trailer lodged in the wall of the neighbors

A wide angle shot of the lot. The trailer behind the unit didn't suffer any damage but there was flying glass. Neighbors across the street had frame work, siding, and insulation landing on their lots.

Some of the insulation, wall studs, wall skin, and electrical wiring wrapped around a tree near the lot.

The trailer is home and we will be preparing it for our upcoming trip. I am so looking forward to hitting the road and spending a week somewhere else.

Be safe out there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Small Trip

The idea is to leave Federal Way on August 4th and drive down to Sandy Riverfront RV Resort in Troutdale, Oregon via Voodoo Donuts in Portland Oregon. The donut being the reason for the whole trip. We will spend the first night of our trip along the banks of the Sandy River.
We will move to La Grande, Oregon the following day where we will spend the majority of our vacation. On Saturday we will visit Pendleton and La Grande. Sunday with picnic basket in hand we will take the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway and return to La Grande. On Monday we visit the manufacturer of our new travel trailer, Northwood Manufacturing. Tuesday we head to Yakima, Washington to spend a night free from hookups on BLM property. Our son wants us to make some wine purchases for him. Wednesday we will return the trailer to the lot in Gold Bar and return home.
I plan to blog, take pictures and generally enjoy a get away with my lovely wife. So watch the blog starting the 4th....We'll be experimenting with what we hope will happen when we retire and really hit the road...

More Pictures From Wallace Falls

Fire In Our Park

A friend of mine just sent me a message on Facebook asking me if the explosion in Gold Bar was at our trailer park. It most certainly was. It happened today. Here is the local KIRO 7 news report....

You'll need to cut and paste it to your web browser.....You can never be too careful around propane...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Dying

We decided to take off for Gold Bar on Friday night with our grandson Zach. We always have an amazing time with him ant this one was no different. We started out getting up there late and quickly found our way to bed.
Saturday we woke up and had a few chores to do, followed by a lot of doing nothing. After lunch I gave Zach a ride to the river, via the salmon hatchery in Startup. We drove down a long dead end road, parked and started our hike by climbing up to the BSNF rail bed.

Once we walked down the tracks to the trestle we wandered down along side the crossing to trails that didn't appear to be trails. We were trying to get the mouth of the Wallace River where it joins up with the Skykomish River. We found it after a lot of walking through the woods. We felt like we might be about five minutes from the middle of no where. But we exited the woods to a sandy beach.

As you can see, Zach is enjoying the beach.

And he loves to fish. I have in the past but have lost interest recently.

Once we finished, we headed back to the trailer for dinner and an evening rest and relaxation.
In bed by eleven and looking forward to a hike up to Wallace Falls on Sunday Morning.

We left the trailer early to arrive at the state park just before 8:00 o'clock A.M. After some deliberaton we chose the Woody Trail and started our assent to the top. We walked along fairly quickly to begin with however the assent begins and we start to realize just how out of shape we are. We trudge on to the lower falls, then the middle falls. At the middle falls both Zach and I cave but my lovely spouse plans to continue. While Zach and I return to the lower falls rest area, Mia continues to climb another 400+ feet in elevation to the upper falls.
She returns and meets us at the middle falls and she isn't looking too good. We managed to walk out of the park, get back to the trailer, have lunch and literally drive home on completely empty tanks. Neither of us are doing anything and Zach....he slept most of the way home.

All in all a great weekend. Looking forward to next weekend as we pull the trailer home and prepare to leave on our week long vacation to Eastern Oregon. More on that later.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Physical Therapy and Other Musings

I visited the Physical Therapist early Thursday morning at our local Group Health Office. I had all kinds of scary ideas presented to me by others who have undergone some form of PT. Since my appointment was at 7:30 am, I was slightly apprehensive thinking that a specialist who starts this early in the morning must really love her job
Upon arrival I was taken to the normal examination room with a different style table (bed) in the room. It looked very flat, hard and uncomfortable. I was given a very careful examination for range of movement, pain, and alignment. Then she had me lay down on that above mentioned table and she reached under my neck with both hands and pulled back. Kind of a manual traction as she explained what she was doing. My spine quickly announced the fact that it was not happy with this kind of treatment but it didn't matter because she continued to inflict traction on and off for the next fifteen minutes. Soreness arrived shortly after she was done.

I was then given a list of exercises to do and a stick figure picture/instruction sheet so that my wife can inflict the same amount of pain to my spine.

So, for awhile, my wife will have the pleasure of causing me some pain.

I spent the yesterday afternoon with my grandson and his girl friend at Magnuson Park in Seattle attending a walk for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. This is a very disruptive inflammatory bowel disease that both my bosses wife and one of his son's suffer with. I have donated and walked every year that I have worked for the Chaplin's. We had a beautiful afternoon. The sun came out and made it nice and warm. After the walk I took them on some back roads through some of the more scenic areas of the city along Lake Washington Boulvard.

It is very hard to believe while walking through this amazing park that I spent several months in this same location as a part of the Naval Air Reserve in the mid 60's. This was once the Sand Point Naval Air Station and I was assigned here during my stint in the Navy. I volunteered and attended boot camp but failed to make it through the course. Had my knees not failed me, my life may have turned out completely different from what it is today. I went into the military with the goal of spending my career in the service of the Nation. It didn't work out.

But, I am in no way unhappy with my life. I love my wife, kids and grand kids. I would not have what I have now had it not been for my wife. She has been a steady beacon in a sea full of troubles and tribulations.

It doesn't appear that the weather will every find consistency and stay sunny and warm. We are overcast again this morning.

Just finished watching Meet the Press. How depressing that our elected officials cannot come to a mutual solution to the issues facing this country. I would be willing to pay five cents more per gallon of gasoline if the Federal Government would guarantee that the money collected from this nickel would be used to pay down the debt ceiling and absolutely nothing else. At 375 million gallons of gasoline sold a day that would be a lot of money, quickly. Pay the debt down and cut the tax.

It won't happen. I don't know where the future will go or what it will hold for those following me. One thing is for sure, this country has had a lot of tribulations over the short life span and always seems to find a way to come out ahead. I hope and pray for the same result from the current fiasco.

Be save out there.....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Carol K and Blogger

A short, not so funny post. You would think that the owner of a blog would be able to respond to and leave a comment for someone who had a question regarding one of their posts. But, no, Blogger makes me sign in many times and never takes the comment. It is frustrating because so many times I would like to comment but can't because of this ridiculous situation. Anyway.......

In response to Carol K the park in Gold Bar is a privately held, membership park that doesn't have an affiliation with any national camping clubs. It is an easy place to get to, provides a relatively safe place for the trailer to be kept at a moderate price.

Keep on camping...

Getting Old Ain't For The Faint Of Heart

Lets start off with the weather. We have had fantastic weather since the 4th of July. Of course, because I am working Saturday, I have today off. The weather outlook....rain, partly cloudy.
I just don't get how that happens.

Getting old ain't for the faint at heart. I guess it is inevitable that as you age certain parts of the body tend to stop working or have issues due to misuse over the years. I have recently experienced some major pain in my left arm. I didn't have any of the other symptoms that go with the early heart attack warnings so I sort of tried to ignore it. Pain will not allow you to ignore it. At first it was my shoulder. Some soreness, like I might have pulled something. It hurt when I moved it and soon began to ache even laying still. This condition would come and go with no particular reason. Then came the shooting pain down the left upper arm. Pain like nothing I had felt before, right smack dab in the center of my upper arm. It was enough to make a grown man cry. It too, went away only to return for some unknown reason.

The Sunday before last was really bad so I called my doctors office and got a Monday afternoon appointment. After spending some time explaining my situation to the nurse and then the doctor it was determined that they needed to see some pictures of my upper spine. What? So off I go to xray to have a technician position me and shoot wonderful still shots of the internal workings of my skeletal system while filling me up with my yearly radiation requirement. An she was a good photographer, capturing the essence of my insides.

After the doctor spent some time examining her pictures he came to the conclusion that I have a collapsed disc. You can clearly see the difference between the one he calls collapsed and the others above it. There is only half the space between the bone. He assures me this is not an uncommon injury or deterioration for someone getting older as he was speaking. The compression of the disc causes issues with the nerve paths that travel through the spine which, in turn, irritates and causes the pain and aching. It turns out, nerves don't like to be pinched.

I have had recent experience with similar situations with two of my friends. One had surgery to correct the condition and came through it with no issues. He was back to work within three weeks. The other friend has been on leave for nearly six months, partially due to misdiagnosis.

My doctor has suggested I try physical therapy prior to any discussions of surgery. I have decided to go along with his suggestion and begin PT next Thursday. I am hoping to get away with no surgery.

Somewhere the sun is up...just not here. So, I will change my plans for the day and work on another set of teak chairs that kind of lost their luster after sitting on the back deck for the past two years.

Stay safe out there....Less that thirty days until we leave on your first trip in the new trailer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Great Fourth

Spent Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday at our home port of Gold Bar Nature Trails. The sun was out most of the time and Mia and I explored the park several times using our bicycles. We enjoy the place when there aren't too many people present. It seemed like there were fewer people than the normal three day weekend. They had all kinds of activities including a Renaissance Fair with an evening Feast and Golf Cart Jousting. It seemed like everyone was have a great time.

I am current reading The Lincoln Story Book by Henry L. Williams. It is a very interesting look at the man and the period of time he lived.

Came home early in the morning today and did some grocery shopping and then cleaned and waxed the truck. Then we went to our daughters house for Fourth of July dinner with family and friends. We are home now, early, because both of us have to work tomorrow and don't feel like staying up late into the night to watch the fireworks that the kids bought. They will no doubt have a war zone around their neighborhood.

Hope everyone had a safe Fourth.....see you on the road.