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Land Tour Pacific Northwest - 2014

HOME other travels HIST. AMERICA 2014 PACIFIC  NW 2014

This trip started out as a 55th-year reunion for Ken's graduation from high school. That portion of the trip was a seven-day cruise from Seattle to Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria, VI before returning to Seattle. That can be seen here.


DESTINATION ONE: Seattle, Washington

After the seven days and nights on the Carnival Miracle, we disembarked in Seattle, where we began the next thirteen days of driving and visiting friends and relatives in the states of Washington, Oregon and California before making it back home again. The first visit began as we drug our luggage out of the luggage pick-up area on the dock. A phone call to let them know we were out-and-about brought Walt and Janet Jamison to pick us up. We had planned to spend a few days with them here in Seattle.

Rosalee and I had spent a few days visiting Seattle in 2007 after we had cruised from Ft. Lauderdale, FL through the Panama Canal and up to Seattle. This was the cruise, incidentally, on which we met Walt and Janet, and with whom we have enjoyed many visits since then. Rosalee and I had spent time seeing the sights and enjoying the Space Needle, and took a ride up to Everett, WA to take in the expansive Boeing Assembly Plant where they assemble the 747, the 767. and the 777. There was a fourth section of the building that was completely empty and was ready to gear up to produce the new 787.

Walt had asked me earlier this Spring if there was something that I would be interested in seeing while we visited in Seattle, and I said that I thought there was probably some type of a space or flight museum down near the Sea-Tac Airport that we could possibly visit, so as we got off the ship rather early in the morning, we headed directly through Seattle and stopped at the Boeing Flight Museum where we saw many examples of early aircraft production, early Boeing historical information, and toured several aircraft which are no longer in use.

We started our tour in the old Boeing building with displays of early work. That is a wooden frame of an airplane in the background. The engine is from the Hall-Scott Motor Car Company of San Francisco, a well known engine manufacturer for aircraft and trucks in the past. Made in 1917, the engine had four cylinders, was water-cooled, and produced 100 horsepower. Much of the early plane frames were made from wood and covered with a fabric. Many old woodworking tools were spread throughout the area.

This frame was made a little later, with a metal frame and metal covering the frame. The engine is a Pratt-Whitney 525 horsepower Radial engine, where each cylinder radiates out from a master connecting rod. This has nine cylinders, and all radial engines were an odd number of cylinders. It dates from 1927. Later radial engines would have a second series of cylinders behind the first, also an odd number, but together they made up an even number, of course. Mid-century we were seeing radial engines with four banks of eleven cylinders each, and two spark plugs per cylinder.

In another building, there were a host of aircraft and engines arrayed in flying positions as well as "on the deck". This is a P-51D made by North American Aviation about the time we were involved in World War II.

It would use a V-Twelve cylinder engine made by Allison, Rolls Royce-Merlin, or Packard, each engine adding a little more performance or higher-altitude performance. Basically a small aircraft, a huge motor, and a large propeller for speed. Maximum speed was stated at 437 mph at 25,000 feet elevation. It operated into the 40,000 feet elevation. It was such a great aircraft, it was used by 25 other countries, clear up into the nineteen nineties, and they are a million-dollar aircraft to those that still fly them at air shows. Below is an example of the Rolls Royce Merlin V-12 engine that fit into this bird.

The large coil-shaped mechanism on this end (that is the rear of the engine by the way) is the super-charger, which brought the power up to around 1,750 horsepower. The super-chargers (and exhaust-driven turbo-chargers as well) also allowed the planes to perform at higher altitudes where the atmospheric air pressure was lower, limiting the engine's power output.

This aircraft is a Curtis-Jenny KM-4 that has a wood frame and will be covered before flight with a fabric and painted. You may notice that the propeller shaft comes out through a water-cooling radiator, making the engine a water-cooled engine. Most piston aircraft today are air-cooled and do not use the large radiator.

This was a top-notch aircraft engine back around 1915. It is a Curtiss V2 which is a V12 engine... I'm not sure why it is a V2 model. It produced 200 horsepower. A competitor was the Liberty V-12 shown below. but with 421 horsepower of output, it was used in much larger aircraft.

This next engine is rather unique and it was not used that much. The crankshaft of the engine was attached to the frame of the plane (or car) and the entire engine spins while it runs. Another unique feature is that there is only one push-pull rod that operates both the intake an exhaust valves. This limits the power of the engine, because to get more power, the exhaust valve on modern engines closes after the intake valve starts to open. It is a LeRhone Model J engine and is air-cooled.

Getting fuel into each cylinder and getting exhaust out into some type of exhaust system had to be a tough job. Below is another radial engine that is more modern, at least into the forties or fifties.

Some of the larger aircraft that were on display include an early version of our airliners. An 'Old Friend' to my eyes, this Constellation was used a lot for flying across the ocean. I still remember seeing that triple-tail on ads for TWA (Trans-World Airlines in case you are too young to remember them). This was all before the sixties when the first jet airliners came out.

President Dwight Eisenhower was issued one of these planes as Air Force One. Shown below, in its original 'colors', is an Air Force One that was actually used during Kennedy and Reagan years.

When this bird flies, it is the "Boss" in the air. A lot of effort and man-hours are involved to take a  flight, whether it is for one-hour or for one week. Below is a look at the area just aft of the cockpit, where much of the early communication systems necessary for Air Force One are on display.

As 'involved' as this may look, just look at what the Captain and the Co-pilot look at and have to know like the backs of their hands to fly this aircraft. After all, the leader(s) of the free world are usually on board this machine. A lot of responsibility rests on the backs of these pilots and navigators.

Anyone see where the turn signal lever is?

Below is a human-powered aircraft that was the back-up aircraft to the one that flew across the English Channel in 1979 at the speed of 18 mph. The one that actually made that flight is the Gossamer Albatross I, which is in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. These aircraft only weighed 71 pounds (without the human), and were a revision of the original Gossamer Condor that claimed the first Kremer Prize in 1977 by completing a mile-long figure-eight course. The Channel crossing was a second Kremer Challenge.

The frame is made from carbon fiber and covered over by a PET film (mylar). I think Mrs. Jones' first grade class did the lettering on the side of the plane.








The blue plane is the first 737 that ever flew. A version of this plane was the first airliner that my family and I ever flew in. It was a winter trip up to Idaho for Christmas. We were late leaving San Francisco, but we arrived earlier than expected. The pilot indicated that we had a strong tail-wind, and we were flying close to 700 mph (ground speed). The speed of sound is 714 mph (standard conditions), so this bright-eyed country boy was very impressed. The red plane is the first 747 that ever flew. It is 'named' "City of Everett" which is where it was built, and the tail number is 747. I assume these planes were never out of the hands of Boeing Aircraft. They did not have examples of their larger, newer models.

I spotted these two lasses waiting under the shelter of the wing of one of my favorite planes. I was surprised to see it here at this museum (the plane, not the ladies).







That is a very rough attempt to piece two images together. But you can clearly see the plane... the Concorde. Never allowed for service across the US, it was only allowed to fly into the east coast from the east and San Francisco from the west. No flyonvers. People did not like their glass windows breaking and their dishes cracking from the double-sound barrier being broken I guess. LOL.


Inside it is actually a rather small aircraft, with only four seats across. Of course those are larger and wider seats than we find in the average air carrier's application of a 777. But these operators were not looking for cheap transportation. And those wide-body airframes with six or eight seats and two aisles across were not designed for 2.1 Mach speeds like this one is.

Below is the view of the cockpit. Lots of bells and whistles and gadgets galore. What a tinkerer's paradise. When our friend Ken Hill had a man in Florida build his instrument panel for his plane, Ken told me that he really enjoyed laying out the instruments... and he only had a dozen of them.


And that brings us to my al-time favorite, the SR-71 "Blackbird", our Ace-In-The-Hole. With critical parts made from titanium to withstand the low temperatures of high altitude and the high temperatures of descent, it is said to be able to fly at Mach 3+ at altitudes in excess of 80,000 feet. It is literally faster than a speeding bullet and can outrun surface-to-air missiles. Interesting to find it here in the Boeing Museum, considering it was conceived and built by Lockheed at the Skunk Works.


The image may be confusing, but below the right side of the image is an extra engine sitting under the port engine nacelle. Perched upon the back of the aircraft is an unmanned probe that can be launched to do surveillance work. Only this individual plane had this attached. There were about 38 copies of this plane said to have been built. First acknowledged in 1966, these planes were retired in 1999, due to satellites doing much of the work this plane was designed to do. My friend Ken, who flew C-130s for 20 years said his friends who flew these things referred to it as a "truck", because it went from A to B to deliver an item or to take a picture and then returned to point A. They referred to the flights as "boring". But there were always impressed by how quiet it was up there and how impressed they were that they could read by the starlight.

This is not an actual Space Shuttle, but it is an official mock-up that was used for training those that needed to have experience before they went into space, on how to load and unload items from the cargo bay. A satellite can be seen above the open cargo bay doors as if it is being released into space. The space ship had a working model of the large arm that was a gift from Canada to be used on the flights that allowed the astronauts to unload cargo while in flight in space.

You can probably get a good idea that I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to the museum. Rosalee and Janet were troopers and put up with Walt and me while we drooled all over all of the 'toys'.

Walt and Janet live on the campus of a Christian school in the Seattle area, in a cute two-bedroom apartment. They arranged for us to stay in a vacant single bedroom unit used for guests. We were quite comfortable.

We enjoyed our time with our friends. When it was time to leave, they took us over to the rental office to pick up our rental car. We were headed across the state of Washington to Valley, which is about 25 miles north of Spokane.


DESTINATION TWO: Valley, Washington

It took the better part of the day to drive across Washington State. We got into some fairly strong rain outbursts. Traffic was moderate, but one tiny car we remember well. I forget what type of car it was but I think it was a new Fiat about the size oif a Smart Car with four good-sized lads inside. They seemed to be in a hurry. We were exceeding the stated speed limit by a few clicks but they were leaving us in the dust. I cringe when I see something that small go that fast, especially when it has that many pounds of beef inside. I bet they weighed more than the car did. Well, when the heavy rains hit and they no longer had traction, let alone visibility, they altered their attitude and they were in my rear view mirror for the rest of the trip.

My cousin, Karen Odle, grew up in southern California, and spent time on the east coast and then in the Phoenix area. She eventually found a lovely little place in the country where she can have animals and some quiet time. She has lived there for more than a decade. Her mom and dad... my uncle and aunt... moved up there to be with her. The area is very serene and calming... a perfect place for a 'rest home'. I'm sure they were not too excited about all of the snow, but they did not have to get out in it to take care of things. That was all on Karen to do. I personally wondered how her parents would get along in the area, having lived most of their adult lives in the Los Angeles or Phoenix areas, that are the opposite of a quiet, bucolic scene such as this. There is a ridge less than a thousand feet behind Karen's home on which wild deer can be seen just about any nice day of the year. Uncle Ray was pretty much confined at this time, and he really enjoyed the animals.

Karen's purchase included an older home with several out-buildings, one of which she was able to utilize to set up a building that allowed her and several employees to do the 'outside' work that she does. She does graphics work as well as works with fabrics. She contracts jobs with large business, such as the aircraft industry.

One building was a one-bedroom apartment that needed a lot of work before she could allow her parents to move into it. She did a wonderful job. It is really cute. We visited Karen in 2007, when her parents were still alive, and although her dad was in the care facility then, her mom was there, and she was very happy with her home.

Both her parents are gone now. We were invited to stay in the apartment, with the two cats that were living there as well. We got along fine. Four more lived in the main house with Karen and her two dogs. Karen has added a beautiful, large Living Room onto the main house, with a huge new bedroom above it. She hoped that it would be complete before we got there but she is in the process of hanging sheetrock. It will be lovely when she gets done.

Karen has always loved animals. She grew up with her family in the city and when she visited my brother and me on the ranch where we grew up, she coveted the space and the animals. She lived for the day when she could have a horse.

About seven years ago a week-old fawn was found on the road by Karen, with no mother around. It was very hungry so it was likely orphaned. It became "Joey" and still lives with Karen. He would prefer to be inside the house with her, but rarely gets his wish. These little guys pictured below were in her home, however. In the new Living Room area. One was a week old Mule-tailed deer and the other a ten-day old White-tailed deer, both orphaned for e reason of other. Karen is a licensed Animal Rescue Station for the State. Rangers, Veterinarians, and law enforcement people bring her animals that are orphaned and she raises them to the point where they can be re-introduced into the wild.

No, she is not feeding them Soda Pop. She uses the plastic bottles with nipples and fills them with feed that she mixes up. She is rising every six hours to feed these little guys. She is not compensated for her work or for the feed these guys scarf up.

This little one is not a wilderness orphan, but a domestic orphan Karen is raising. It is an Angora Goat, and its long hair is sheared each season before it sheds it for the warmer weather. The hair is used in making gorgeous sweaters. This little guy had the cutest 'bleating' to let you know that it was time to eat... again.

And if that little critter is fed properly, he will grow up to be this delicate creature. I can assure you there is not a delicate bone in this guy's body. He is extremely strong, and those horns are wicked... and effective.

And finally, meet Monty Moose, a four-month old moose that was orphaned. He is a real sweetie. And as gentle as a kitten.

Visiting with Karen is always a pleasure... along with surprises. One never knows who... or what... might be living at her home.

It is beautiful country up there. We drove a short distance to a beautiful little lake with a restaurant on the shoreline that served very good food. Very enjoyable.

After a lovely visit we packed up and hit the road again, heading south to Pasco, Washington.


DESTINATION THREE: Pasco, Washington

Tom and Vickie Hughes live in Pasco, in what is known locally as the "Tri-Cities Area". Tom and Vicki were both former students of mine when I was teaching. They both were very special students, and they stood out among others, mostly because they had common sense and good manners and expressed a natural interest in learning instead of acting like goofy kids. Teachers always notice that. Vickie was a teacher's assistant to me as well as being in my "Girl's Auto" class. That class was designed to encourage the female students to enroll in industrial classes, but the class was closed when Title Nine came along and said that we could NOT have a class designed specifically for a single sex student. That destroyed our female student enrollment in the shop classes. They were ALWAYS welcome into regular shop classes, and the "Girl's" classes were to encourage those that did not want to be 'out of place' among mostly male students. Enough of that.

We checked into a motel and placed a call to find out what was happening. Tom answered and said Vickie was flying in that afternoon from a convention for professionals that make fabric from raw materials using looms and related items. He told us how to get to their home and we left to join him.

We had been to their home in 1987, on our way to Wyoming, and again in 2007 on our way home from Seattle. When we got there however, we were confused. Their home is a two-story home with a Gambrel roof, but we could not find it. Where it was supposed to be was a lot that was heavily overgrown, and their driveway did not look like it had been driven on for years. Soon a man with long hair pulled back in a pony tail and heavy beard walked out to our car from the house next door. Only when he spoke did Rosalee realize it was Tom. They had taken an opportunity to purchase the home next door and were keeping the previous home as storage and that is where their shop they built is located.

When we had last spoken Tom was the Chief or Captain of a fire station in town, but I was wondering how he could do that with long hair and a beard. Most beards prevent the sealing of an oxygen mask. He told us that he had 'blown out his knee' on a detail and had to take a medical retirement. He is still very active on the local fire-prevention board.

When we went inside  their home, he invited us to sit and visit but cautioned us not to sit on the couch... and quickly we learned why. I forget his name, but the dog came in and claimed "his spot" on the couch. I mean... THE couch. He is a 180 pound Mastiff. A very loving dog... and if he wants to say hello, you had best respond to him... or he'll eat you. LOL

Soon we left  for the local airport where we picked up Vickie, and then we went to have dinner. We enjoyed visiting with the kids, which we always do, and then we retired to the motel for the evening. We head out again tomorrow.


DESTINATION FOUR: Woodland, Washington 

Ron and Renee Copp were next up on our traveling adventure. They lived back across the state, almost to the coast. in a lovely two-story home that looked like a bed-and-breakfast. Actually as I understand it, they built it for that purpose, but regulations have changed and it was not worth it to them to try to keep it going.

Ron enjoys model trains (as do I) and he enjoys the Large or G-scale trains. He has a layout in the front yard that allows the trains to run through the garden. Most of the track was laid on a concrete base he had laid, but gophers were causing hazards and making the daily run more like combat, so the trains were not running.

Renee had a nice room above the garage that she had turned into a classroom (complete with a bathroom) where she was doing some pre-school teaching.

There was a new batch of puppies in the kitchen and one adult dog in the house, but outside there were additional dogs. I think she said she had more than twenty. A couple stopped by while we were there to pick one up. I cannot remember the breed, but they are in demand and Renee can make some spending money on raising them.

A short distance down the road from their home was a beautiful wooden bridge and a Grist Mill that is water-powered with a water wheel... and it is still used. Ron, Rosalee and Renee are standing on the walkway built on the side of the bridge. They were looking at the Mill.













The covered bridge is still in use daily. The image on the right was taken from a platform on the grist mill,


The mill has been restored by a volunteer group that use it to grind grain for a fee. Locals come to buy the product, as well as just enjoy the area.



Their home was very much decorated. It looked like a bed and breakfast right out of a magazine. Lots of little doo dads and goo gahs and trinkets, but it was all coordinated and cute. Two bedrooms upstairs had been for the kids when they were still home. We stayed in one of them. It was very comfortable.

Renee and I first met when she was a sophomore in high school and I was teaching my first year. She was in my after-school Driver Education class. I taught the classroom portion, not the behind-the-wheel portion. Extra pay for a first-year teacher... a whole $3.33 per hour. Her mom ended up watching our two kids when they got out of school and I would stop and pick them up after work. The kids enjoyed spending time with Maxine and Jerry. They are both gone now, but we have good memories from those days. Maxine was the one that taught the kids how to ride a bicycle.

Renee was my teaching assistant until she graduated from high school. I asked her to administer the tool test to the automotive students once. The kids loved it. She would hold up a tool and they had to find its proper name from a list they had and write down the answer. For some reason 'the boys' enjoyed it when I had my TAs help in class. At least they were quiet and occupied.

Movin' On... Heading south into Oregon.


More or less out in the center of Oregon is Bend, where Rosalee's niece Murphy and her husband Dick live, along with their cute dog. They live in a lovely condominium in a wooded and hilly area that was very pleasant. Murphy is a nick name. It was her last name during a previous marriage, and where she worked they called her by that last name. She was born Earlane. Murphy is a very skilled artist. She paints scenes, animals and people, and commands a nice price for her work. I would certainly hang her work in my home with pride.

We went to a restaurant out in the country next to a lake. We saw a young couple going out on surfboards, standing on them with a paddle to move them on the water. A short time later we had a major storm with lightening and buckets of rain. Sitting next to a large window we could see the couple coming back. They were not dressed with the intent of getting into the water, so they were absolutely drenched to the skin. She was still standing but he had given up and was laying on his belly paddling with his hands.

There was a beautiful park that we visited with Murphy where we took in a "Raptor Show". We observed large birds flying barely over us from one tree to another. The Ranger talked about the birds and it was quite informational.

Who? Me?



We took a drive up to the top of a mesa there in the town, which was very popular with the locals. Murphy grabbed my phone and said "Selfie!" and took this picture with the mountains in the background.


We came out of a Thai restaurant and the sky looked like this. It was in the evening, but this was looking east. It was a reflection of the sunset behind us. The thought of a forest fire crossed my mind.

We had a nice visit. Dick even said that we could come back again. We may take him up on that.

Next stop... Roseburg, OR.



We first met Anne and Steve Bettencourt when they lived in Livermore and attended the cancer support group that we attended and later co-facilitated with Terry Stillwell. They always had at least three "doggies" as Anne calls them, but they had to reduce their family to one pet since they are renting in Roseburg.

We checked into a lovely hotel that had balconies on the backside overlooking a peaceful park setting and smooth-running river. It was July 3rd.

A number of Anne's relatives live in the area, so she invited a dozen or so of them over for a fourth of July cook-out, and the plan was to watch the fireworks that were scheduled. They had not lived there a year yet, so they did not know exactly where they would be visible in the sky, but they lived only a half mile from the park where they were to be fired off. As it turned out, there was one clear area of the sky in their back yard and the fireworks were dead center of that area.

We enjoyed the good food and visiting with the relatives. A very nice Fourth of July holiday.

Time to hit the road again, this time we are Chico CA bound.



Rosalee and I lived in Chico from 1962 to 1965. I got my degree in Chico. Kenton was born in Chico. We both grew up just thirty miles south of Chico in Gridley.

We are stopping off here to spend the night in a hotel we have used several times before. It is Saturday night, so we plan on meeting my niece Kitty and her Ken at church in Richvale... half way to Gridley. If they are available we may be able to meet them in Gridley at Black Bear Restaurant after church.

A nice church service...  a nice lunch... homebound. It is always nice to get home.

In two months we will be back to Gridley for our 55th high school reunion dinner Then two weeks later we have a cruise scheduled for the east coast, with a week's travel in a bus to explore Colonial America. We are looking forward to both trips.