Friday, August 5, 2016

Gig Harbor 2016

I am now at the Elks Lodge in Puyallup, near Tacoma. When I hooked up the exterior propane tank I noticed a shiny spot on the right, back, outside tire. It is a nail.
I called Les Schwab and I have to bring in the motorhome tomorrow morning.
The group went to an Italian restaurant for dinner. I had a big lunch and did not feel like eating another big meal.

I was at the tire shop at 7:30 AM. At 8:00 AM a mechanic came to the motorhome. He had a hydraulic jack and tried to put it under the rear axle. Suddenly I saw the jack flying across the floor. The mechanic went and got another jack. Then he left.
At 9:00 PM another mechanic came and started removing the wheel and tire. He removed the tire with two steel bars, not with a machine like they use on car tires.
At 10:00 AM I was on my way home. The group had left for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.
They also walked the Chihuly Bridge of Glass.
I drove to Walmart and did some shopping.
I went to the swimming pool and swam between a lot of noisy children. The lodge has showers and I took advantage of that.
In the evening we had dinner at the lodge. They had a taco bar. We made our own tacos. It was very good.

Since I was not able to go to the Museum of Glass yesterday, I went today. The weather was perfect for going to a museum, but it was not ideal for taking pictures outside. It was cloudy. Tomorrow it will be raining.
Diana had told me where to park for free. The route involved walking through the grounds of the University of Washington, Tacoma.

I also walked across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. The bridge is not made of glass but part of the bridge is covered and the ceiling has art work of Dale Chihuly.

There is also some of his work in glass compartments on the side of the bridge.

Unfortunately the two statues are too dark. If the sun was shining they would have been reflecting the sun.

Across from the museum is the United States Courthouse, which used to be the Union Station. One large window has Chihuly glass work in it.

The ninety foot stainless steel cone houses the Hot Shop where one can watch artists in the process of glassblowing.

There is glass artwork in a pool.

Inside the museum are displays of glass from artists from all over the world.

This display of fruit is very large. Some of the fruit is almost as large as a water melon.

The guitar is full size and made of glass.

Several artists were in the process of making a large vase.

A television monitor showed close ups of the process.

When I was done with visiting the museum I took the Light Rail to the Theater District.
The Spanish Steps which connect Commerce Street with Broadway were in its heyday adorned with flowers and wonderful landscaping. Those times are gone.

The large Elks Temple next to the steps had a similar experience. Fraternal organizations such as the Elks, the Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias were important social outlets before television and Internet. The building is in bad shape and undergoing a renovation.
 A lot of buildings in Down Town are empty.

In this area are three large theaters. They have been renovated and are being used.
The Pantages Theater is the home of the Tacoma Opera, the Tacoma City Ballet and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. The building was restored in 1983.

The Rialto Theater, also restored, is home to the Northwest Sinfonietta chamber orchestra and the Tacoma Youth Symphony.

In the evening three of the women and I went to Sumner and enjoyed The Beauty and the Beast, a local presentation. The cast, the ten piece orchestra and crew were all volunteers.
We had gone early because we had no tickets. Tickets were still available. We stood in line and managed to get seats in the center of the third row.
It was a wonderful experience.


Today we paid a visit to the Meeker Mansion.
Ezra Meeker was a pioneer and leading citizen of Puyallup, first mayor, one time Hop King, and author.

He became the self-appointed champion of the Oregon Trail in 1906, when at age 75, accompanied by two oxen, a wagon, a driver and a dog, he made his way from his front yard to Washington, D.C.
His purpose was to preserve the Oregon Trail.

The house was built in 1890. Their former home was a two room log cabin. From two rooms to seventeen was a big change.

The new home had all the modern facilities and electricity and gas.

Late afternoon I went into the lodge where a big band was practicing. They played a wide range of music.

It took me forty five minutes to drive from Puyallup to Gig Harbor. Mel’s property is on a hill. It took me a while to level the motorhome. The hydraulic jacks do not have enough stroke, so I had to use also some wood. The view is worth the effort. I took this picture just before it started to rain. It rained heavy for about thirty minutes.

In the morning some of us took a three mile walk. The distance was not a problem, it was the hills which slowed us down. The sun had not come out yet and it was easier to walk. It took me one hour. I was one of the first back to the motorhomes. We started together, but after a while the group broke up. Some of the group stopped to eat black berries which grow on bushes at the side of the street.
There are beautiful, large homes along the shore.


We had our circle meeting at 5:00 PM.

At 6:00 PM Mel had a BBQ for the group and his neighbors. He invited his neighbors because we use their private roads to get to his property.
It was a pot luck. Some of his neighbors came.

We tried to mix up the group but it did not work.

We are now twenty eight rigs. Two years ago we were almost fifty. Some of the WINs are still in Colorado and New Mexico.
We were lucky it did not rain. It actually lightened up a bit.

In the morning I drove to the library and from there to the old part of Gig Harbor. While walking along the street, where all the marinas are, I saw some of the WINs boarding a trolley. I joined them and we did enjoy the ride along the water front. On the way back the group got off at the Museum. I embarked too and started walking back to where my car was parked. I had been at the museum two years ago.

In the evening we went to a friend of Mel. He has a car and tractor collection.

We had some sun today. There will be no rain for a few days. I am eating a lot of black berries and pears.
They are both ripe now. Mel has a large pear tree on his property.

Today was kayaking day. A few of the group went to the bay and had fun on the water. I saw Larry and Lyn while walking at the shore . I enjoyed the wonderful weather we had today.

At 6:00 PM some of the group went Uptown for a concert. It was a strange band. They had a Belly Dancer.

Today we could see Mount Rainier, not completely because it was still misty.

We drove to Bremerton today and took the ferry to Seattle.

I basically went there to walk. My first stop was Pike Place Market. It was crowded, but I always like the atmosphere. It is a colorful, smelly place. The smell of fish, vegetables and flowers is everywhere.

Starbucks first coffee shop is there and customers stand in long lines to get served.

Street entertainers are part of the scene.

It was unusual warm today but I kept on walking and ended up at Pioneer Square.

At Bremerton we parked at a multi story parking facility. I parked at a floor where we could only park six hours. I found this out after I had already fed the machine with money. My two passengers took the 3:00 PM ferry back and I the 1:30 PM ferry. This was fine with me.

When I came back to Bremerton I went to The Puget Sound Navy Museum. It is a free museum and worth visiting.

Other members of the group went up the Space Needle, took the trolley tour, and Seattle Underground Tour. I had done all this before.

Today we watched an enactment of fur traders arriving in 1855 at Fort Nisqually of the Hudson Bay Company.  The fort is located on Pt. Defiance near Tacoma.

The Brigade was led by a bagpipe player.

After the ceremonies I walked around the fort. It is a replica.

For the children there was a Punch and Judy Puppet Show.

There was a vegetable garden.

Trades people from that time were represented. The blacksmith was very important.

The two widows made wool.

There was a rope maker.

This person made wooden spoons which could be used as a cup.

In the evening Mel cooked hamburgers and we brought side dishes.

This was a day of rest. In the morning I walked with Jytte the four mile loop. It is a good work out. We have been doing it the last three days.
The rest of the day I took it easy and prepared for the move to Sequim.
Mel was very generous again. We were 28 rigs and sometimes 33. Donna Lee was a very good host.
Gig Harbor is one of my favorite outings.

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