Thursday, June 1, 2006

Washington- Old and New Friends in Crescent Bar

Our Washington visit has been like a good All-U-Can Eat dinner buffet---an eye-pleasing, endless serving of your favorite foods--summed up by road sign proclaiming "The best things in life...are not things".

We had planned to spend more time in Washington this year, as we were traveling later than usual and that would mean that the summer season activities would be in full swing.  On past visits, we were often disappointed that nothing was open yet.  Not used to that in Florida.

Just before reaching our Crescent Bar campground, we pulled into the nearby Rest Stop and washed the road-muddy rig, using our onboard water supply and water pump. 

In our campground, we were fortunate to find the last available clifftop RV site situated on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River gorge, even though it appeared our neighbors "might" be a problem. 

You can't pay enough money for a view out your window like this!

It was a very mellow spot to enjoy our morning Bloody Marys.

We noted that there were at least 6 young adults sporting all manner of hairstyle, fashion sense, 3 large Cudjoe-like dogs, tents and various containers tossed around. It was Memorial Day Weekend and there were nightly rock concerts at the nearby outdoor Gorge Amphitheater.

We were soon reunited with our pals, Carol and Rick, 

who own a beautiful, custom-built riverfront home and a super doggie named Karma.  

Their location commands a million dollar view and provides them a steady stream of boat friends who pull up for a drink and a chat! 

They had received our forwarded mail and the exhaust pipe that we had ordered online and treated us to cocktails.

Ah, I forgot to mention the exhaust pipe.  In Wyoming, Frank noticed that the chrome portion of our exhaust pipe was gone!  We did not "hit" it on anything and were totally unaware that it had come off.  However, it needed replacing and Frank declined to order the part from a dealer and suffer through the inevitable expense and delay. 

He found a suitable replacement online from a truck place and ordered it shipped to our friend's address in Crescent Bar where he would install it himself at about 20% of the cost of going through an RV repair place. It's disappearance story remains a mystery..

 We had a Terrific time with Rick and Carol, as we usually do.  Their dog Karma and our Cassie frolicked in the back yard together, 

and Frank played with Cassie

and Carole and Rick showed off their young puppy's good behavior; here is Karma wearing her hiking backpack

Cassie got in on the act

 I can't remember what happened here...

we enjoyed a prime rib dinner in a local karoke bistro 

and enjoyed a few brews 

and had nightly cocktails by the fire, wrapped in cast-off bed quilts to stay warm in the chilly night. 

Cassie stayed warm on my lap.

Rick fixed an awesome omelet for brunch one day 

and we began playing Killer Couples Scrabble.  

 Frank got a 7-letter word prompting a digital response from Carole.
Carol served an incredible homemade Washington Apple Pie.  All the while catching up on our lives since our previous annual visit.

Meanwhile, in the campground, we noted with some amusement that our weird neighbors had come to the attention of the campground ranger as well as the local gendarme.  First, they overloaded the site, which has has a max of people, dogs, vehicles and tents.  

People were complaining about the odd bunch, many of whom sported bald heads, mohawks, body piercing, tatoos, bloodshot eyes and a minimum of clothing.  In addition, many offsite visitors were sneaking in through a perimeter fence and visiting, bypassing the Visitor rules.  

One of the group, an odd, bone-thin fellow named Joey, caught Frank's ear and begged Frank to come to him if their presence there bothered us in any way, rather than report us to the Ranger.  Frank agreed he would.  Joey was quite grateful; they ended up chatting and Frank thought he was quite nice.  Joey "adopted" Frank as his Campground Dad.  Joey brought Frank a gift and many visitors who were curious to see the inside of our rig.  

We had a steady stream as word spread about the Muthership and the nice Old Folks (us!).  Some of them stayed to play with Cassie and giggle at Frank's New Yawk drawl.  They ended up being very polite and cooperative and were able to avoid getting kicked out of the campground.

On our final day, we enjoyed a second home-baked apple pie prepared by Carole.  We watched a SlideShow of the many photos that Sue took and discussed meeting up again two weeks later in Winthrop, WA.  

We climbed the steep hill out of the gorge, sounded the airhorns as we departed and continued on to a beautiful day's drive on the North Cascade Scenic Loop.

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