Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bellingham, WA

Bellingham Washington has around 3,000 more females than males....well now it's 3002! 

More importantly, Bellingham the county seat of Whatcom County has more drive thru coffee stands per capita than any other county in the country. It is also a political dichotomy; besides the longest running weekly peace vigil in the world, it also was the only county in Washington state to hold a rally for Trump's presidential campaign.  


For us Bellingham quickly became home.  We started our volunteer gig at our new address, got jobs, changed our residency to Washington state, applied for health insurance, and began exploring the area.  We enjoyed the trails on Mt. Baker, enjoyed the state parks for camping, and the rural roads for exploring!  With new income and no rent, we bought a second car and eventually a Honda Silverwing.  We got caught up on RV maintenance with the help of our friend and personal RV tech, Jim.  This included him building a customized motorcycle carrier for the back of our RV.  

We watched the seasons change and grew our friendships with the locals. We became ingrained in the community and thought a lot about making Bellingham our permanent home.  But we weren't quite ready to stop so we figured out a way for Kathy to keep her full-time contract job and headed south after surviving one of Bellingham's worse winters on record.  
















Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Washington Move

So our "vacation" is pretty much over.  We've hit over 45 states in one form or another, not quite completing the map of hitting the lower 48 and Alaska.  But we have dipped below the number we set for our savings so it is time to park our rig somewhere and replenish the account. Luckily our friends and family have kept us in mind and we have been offered a volunteer gig with possible paid work at a storage lot in Bellingham, WA.

 The Florida Caverns Natural Area was a great place to stop in the panhandle. 


 Stormy skies in Lousiana pushed us into Texas in a hurry. 





It's a long drive from Florida but we stop in Texas and have a family holiday in Killeen.  This is the first family holiday in a few years. It was a nice change to have the family to celebrate with and enjoy traditions.

Although we are traveling with a purpose, we take our time to stop and explore Joshua Tree National Park and pick oranges in southern California.




We also are stopped by January snows in northern California where the railroads had to clear tracks for trains  and the Towhees looked for seeds
.











Everything is a learning experience and this time, it's camping under a roof in freezing temperatures.


But Bellingham is a welcoming town, I got a job in four days and Kathy started hers within a month.
 
Things are looking as bright as the sunsets.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Heading South

Everything is packed, including Frances.  Time to leave Edwin B. Forsythe NWR.


Stopping to play along tobacco row.

The Great Smoky Mountains are beautiful!
  













Visiting friends and fellow NWR volunteers Pat and Ward.


Stepping back onto another section of the Appalachian Trail, this time in Georgia.
Visiting another wildlife refuge and fellow volunteers a little farther south. 

A special guided swamp tour with friends, Mary and Fay.

Sharing the gifts of fellow volunteers in New Jersey, thanks Donnalyn.

Watching a Gulf Coast sunset after swimming with manatee with another fellow NWR volunteer, Emily.