Ferries, Tugs & Tankers – Sunny Anacortes, WA

This is the view out my window today…

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Yep, definitely a comfort food kind of day. I’m thinking mashed potatoes and gravy or maybe shepherd’s pie? Hmmm…

Anyhooo, while the weather today is dark and dreary, believe it or not it’s not always this way up here in the Pacific Northwest. We had some amazingly sunny days over the past weekend so we were able to do a tiny bit of bee-bopping around. I mean after all, it’s not often you get two or three nice days in a row so we didn’t want to waste it!

Our first stop was Washington Park (original name, huh?) on the western outskirts of Anacortes. There was a wall of fog that was just lifting, or maybe it was just stationary, but it was picturesque either way.

View from Washington Park, Anacortes, WA

View from Washington Park, Anacortes, WA

This area of Puget Sound, called Rosario Straight, is a major shipping channel in Northern Washington. According to folks at Wikipedia over 500 oil tankers pass through the strait each year. This seems like a very accurate number as there always seems to be one in sight. The tankers travel to and from the refineries in Anacortes and Cherry Point. There’s also a ferry route that leaves from Anacortes and goes out to Friday Harbor at San Juan Island and then on to Sidney, British Columbia. So there is plenty of vessel activity in the waterways surrounding the islands.

We spotted a ferry making its way back to Anacortes through the fog.

Can you see the ferry in the fog?

Ferry in the fog

I imagine this tug boat was going out to meet one of the many oil tankers that pass through.

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After making the Washington Park Loop we drove back into town to check out the view from Cap Sante Park. The park overlooks downtown Anacortes and Cap Sante Marina to the west and March Point, Fidalgo Bay and the Cascades to the east.

Cap Sante Marina - Anacortes, WA

Cap Sante Marina – Anacortes, WA

There’s one of those tankers we were talking about…

Fidalgo Bay, Anacortes, WA

Fidalgo Bay, Anacortes, WA

The Boss spends his days out on March Point where Shell and Tesoro both operate refineries.

March Point, Fidalgo Bay

March Point, Fidalgo Bay

From the mossy greens…20140125_142203

To the brilliant blue skies…

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The unexpected and fabulous weather made for a wonderful weekend and a great day for photos, nuptial or otherwise. I wonder if the newlyweds having their pictures taken at the park thought they would get such a dry day in January.

Don't worry, you don't need rain on your wedding day to make a happy union :-)

Don’t worry, you don’t need rain on your wedding day to make a happy union :-)

Well, it looks like the weather for this coming weekend will be less than stellar. But I have to say, I’d rather have it a little dreary than deal with extreme freezing temperatures happening around the country.

How’s the weather where you are today? If it’s freezing and snowy I hope you’re safe and warm inside. If it’s sunny and warm I hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy it… and feel free to send some this way! 🙂

~Cheers~

 

Travel Theme – Wood

This week’s Travel Theme over at Where’s My Backpack is Wood. My first impulse was to throw in some pictures of dead wood I have on hand. It seems no matter where we go I’m always drawn to dead trees, drift wood, etc. But then I remember something that I see every time I head into town for groceries, laundry, etc., and I knew right away where I was going to take some pics.

This slab of wood hangs at the Welcome to Anacortes, Washington sign in a small rest area off the Route 20 Loop overlooking Fidalgo Bay.

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The slab is from a huge Douglas Fir that was cut down in the Olympic Forest over 40 years ago. The tree was 970 years old, stood 242 feet tall and produced 51,000 board feet. Amazing!

I’m glad I wasn’t the one counting the rings to determine age…

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There are some cracks here and there, but only one large enough to see through to the other side. I was hoping to be able to capture some sunlight coming through but I missed my chance for sun over the weekend.

20140128_111534The same crack but from the backside… (Hey, easy now! 😉 )

20140128_111601I was by myself so I wasn’t able to get a picture to reference size. However, I did have one Joe took last year around this same time of year. Oddly enough I think I was wearing the same clothes. Fashionista I am not! LoL

January 2013

January 2013 – As you can see from the weird smirk I wasn’t digging this photo session…

Do you have any images of wood you’d like to share? Pop on over and see Ailsa’s wonderful photography at Where’s My Backpack and get the details on the weekly challenge requirements.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

~Cheers~

“Writing on Your Terms…” – A Book Review

Yep, it’s Monday. Do you need a little motivation? And by motivation I mean a kick in the ass? If so, you might be interested in this book review.

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Are you sitting in front of your screen being lured into the inevitable time suck of the internet? Perhaps you’re looking for a bit of inspiration or maybe just a need a kick in the pants?  If you’re sitting there telling yourself you are too afraid to finish what you’ve been working on, or worse yet even to try to get the words on the page, this book is for you.

I read this book over the weekend and it was flipping awesome! (She probably wouldn’t approve of the exclamation point but I’m using it anyway. ;-))  Dickson writes in a no-holes-barred conversational manner. Her high energy is filtered enough through her down-to-earth coaching style to allow the reader to feel more like an equal than a member of a preacher’s flock.

This is an excerpt from the book’s description –

“This book is for writers who need help figuring out their voice, how to develop it, what tools they need to make it happen, how to use those tools and how to package it all up. It is information, challenge, inspiration, strategy, tips, and practical advice on how to be genuine and clear. 

This is a step-by-step guide to help you put your guts on the page. Say what you mean, how you mean it, and without apology. You don’t need anyone’s permission to write, or to write what you want. You are the only one holding you back. You have the power to change everything.”

The book is peppered with profanity including the F bomb here and there, but I found it only enhanced her message to struggling writers. Get Serious and Get Real! There are also links to various video clips and writing samples adding to the fast-paced read.  You may notice a typo or two, but in my opinion, they didn’t hamper the “Get Motivated Now” vibe.

Seriously, if you need a kick in the pants to make yourself feel Kick-Ass… Buy this book.

 

Wow! We’ve Been Gypsies for Two Years!

I can hardly believe it’s been 2 years, 730 days, 17,520 hours, (Well, you get the idea.) since we packed up and left Connecticut on this gypsy journey! Happy Anniversary Mr. Gibberish!! LoL

All packed up and ready to roll. January 26, 2012

All packed up and ready to roll. January 26, 2012

We packed everything we wanted to take with us into just one pick-up truck. Looking back on it now it seems a little crazy  bold adventurous. Yes, that’s the word – adventurous! It was definitely a major lifestyle change. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say there have been days when I really miss that big old house.

Not many, mind you, but certainly one or two. I suppose it’s comforting in some sadistic way to know the money pit is still there waiting should we ever decide to return. But for now we’re more than happy with our gypsy life.

If you’re interested in reading about when we first hit the road you can do so >>HERE<<

Technically we haven’t been full-time RVers for the entire two years. We spent the first six months doing the hotel thing. That got old after about the first month. There are only so many >>seedy hotel rooms<< one can take. But we stuck it out until we were able to purchase our little H.O.W. (house on wheels) in June of 2012.

We’re still in the same rig. Other than >>remodeling the dinette<<, we really haven’t done much to her. On the other hand, we have picked up a ton of well, as George Carlin called it… >>Stuff<<. (Hilarious and so true! Hard to believe he’s been gone almost 6 years.) Anyway, so much stuff in fact, we could never fit it all back into the truck. Perhaps we need a bigger rig? Some day, but for now our H.O.W. is still perfect for us.

Since we left New England we’ve been predominantly on the West Coast. With the exception of one trip back as far east as Georgia and Tennessee, and a couple of months in Utah, we’ve spent most of our working days in Southern California and Upstate Washington.

Here are a few links to year end wrap-ups from our first 2 years on the road (See, I just knew you were dying read more Gibberish! 😉 )

The Good 2012

The Bad and Ugly 2012

The Year In Review 2013

We still have 8 states to check off our list. They are West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Alaska and Hawaii. Yes, I’d be willing to leave the H.O.W. in storage to check off Hawaii; a state we’ve both been to but not together.  😉

So, what’s planned for the upcoming year? Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past two years it’s that trying to plan with The Boss in this particular industry is nearly impossible. Sometimes one month jobs turn into three months or more and longer projects get cut short. Therefore, the only plan we make is to not plan.

If we get some down time and can check off some of those states I mentioned, great! If not, we’ll just keep on Living, Learning, Laughing, Loving & Writing ~ On Eight Wheels.

As always, thanks for stopping by and being a part of our journey.

~Cheers~
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Crackpots, Crock Pots and First Drafts… Oh My

OMGosh... where on earth do they find these people?!?

O-M-Gosh… where on earth do they find these people?!?

I can’t believe it’s Friday already! I’m not complaining, trust me. It seems like the days fly by when Mr. G is at work. Hmm, that sounds bad. (Sorry babe!) It’s just that I always have a list of things I want to accomplish and rarely do I get everything checked off. Before I know it twelve hours have passed by and he’s walking back in the door.

Where does the time go?

Let’s see.

I think I have an idea…

I don’t know about you all, but being “on the line” takes up a large chunk of my day. Even though I know it’s a time suck, I get wrapped up checking out the off-the-wall, crackpot articles on sites like Buzz Feed, Huffington Post, and Quick Meme just to name a few. But hey – this is just research. You know, like looking for story ideas and such. 😉

No? Well, maybe not.

And then of course there’s the social media quagmire. I’d like to say it’s all work and marketing related. While that’s true to some degree, it’s not entirely accurate. But it’s certainly more work related than just surfing the carnival side-show sites. For instance, today’s Friday so I’ll get to send out a big Thank You to my new Twitter followers. (#FF) Of course I’ll also want to take a minute or two to thank the folks who’ve recently “Liked” my Facebook page as well.

In a day and age where there are so many places to spend your on-line viewing time these days, I’m honored and very grateful for anyone who chooses to check out my ramblings. You all rock!

In an effort to spend more time writing and/or editing today, I decided to try a new crock pot recipe. Less time in the kitchen means more time at my desk. (Which is technically sort of still in the kitchen. Fellow RVer’s will know what I mean. LoL ;-))

I found the recipe on Favorite Family Recipes, which I have bookmarked by the way. The site looks like a great resource for quick and easy meal recipes. The only thing I changed was low sodium soup instead of regular but that should be fine. I’ll let you know how it comes out. I think it will be perfect comfort food for this chilly Friday evening.

Okay, time to get back to work…

I think I need a bigger pen... (Said in my best Taco Bell Chihuahua voice)

I think I need a bigger pen… (Said in my best Taco Bell Chihuahua voice)

I finally bit the bullet the other day and printed the first half of the current manuscript. I probably should have picked up some more red pens though. I guess I’ll add that to the list for the weekend.

Speaking of weekends… I hope you all enjoy yours!

Okay, one more thing I’ve just gotta ask.

Did you come across any weird stories this week? If so, leave me a link in the comment section. 🙂

What?

I won’t look until I’ve gotten my work done… honest 😉

~Cheers~