Someday I'm going to organize a race that starts at Southworth beach. Contestants must padddle over to Blake Island. Once on the island, they must run the perimeter trail, and then paddle back to Southworth. This afternoon, Esther and I completed a gentler version. We canoed to Blake, hike around it, and canoed back. We did it in just under two and half hours. The canoe trip takes about a half hour each way depending on current and wind. The 4.5 mile perimeter trail took us an hour and a half. It was a great Sunday afternoon couple activity. Maybe we could make a couple's race!
For the last two years, Esther and I have been casually looking for some light fixtures that would fit our 'hearth room.' We found some this week at Home Depot, and I installed them last night. They definitely match the decor better than the seventies' white globes. It's that inside project time of the year again.
He was a good dog. He had to be to survive his delinqent owners. As gentle as a dove; the only time that I ever heard him growl in twelve years was when another dog bit him in the mouth. He was a Basset with a hyper streak, not the mellow sedate creature of stereotypes. His tail twirled like a helicopter prop when he was on a track. Stubborn as a mule; he followed his whimsical nose rather than his master's voice. Bowser witnessed the growing up of three boys into men. He shared the family's affection with a succession of three cats. He transitioned as well as any of us in the move to a different house. But it was time to say good-bye to our canine friend. He was going blind and his back hips could not keep up with his eager spirit. We just couldn't justify making him suffer through another cold, wet winter in the potting shed. Today I brought him to the Humane Society for a long nap! Thanks Bowser, you are the only dog that could live out your days in the Bulthuis family.
One of the costs of mooring a boat in the Puget Sound is the clean up when you haul it out. This past weekend I pulled 'Blue Wing' out of the water. I borrowed Tim's pressure washer, and spent an hour after work cleaning the scum off the bottom. This was the first year that I used a pressure washer. The growth came right off the part that had bottom paint. The sides were a different story. Well, it's clean enough to store for the winter.
For twenty years I have worked with them, played with them, worshipped with them, and taught their children; but their work world is as foreigh to me as the streets of Paris. "Code &, Radcon, 290, 457" are an alien language that my closest friends toss around. You can't live in Kitsap County without rubbing shoulders with shipyard employees, whose world is surrounded by fences and is filled with security codes and regulaions. Today, Esther and I stepped into their world and got a glimpse. Our good friends, Tom and Peggy Gilliard invited us to a kind of 'open house.' We had to be cleared ahead of time to be on the list of guests. This kind of thing does not happen very often, so we jumped at the chance. We obviously couldn't take a camera. Aside from seeing where Tom and Peggy worked (in the same building), the highlight was boarding the nuclear submarine USS Alabama. We waitied in line a long time, but it was worth it. To crawl through a working nuclear sub, the most lethal machinery on the planet, is a little intimidating. It was great having Tom as a personal tour guide, as he was stationed on a nuclear sub for four years, and teaches nuclear safety to shipyard engineers. I have a little more understanding now of the world in which so many of my friends work. Thanks, Tom and Peg!
Every year, we take the leaders in our classroom on a hike. These students have proved themselves responsible, so we give them leadership in the class. With 51 students, we need a little help! The leaders assist in keeping their table on task. Because of the weather this fall, we decided to take them to the Dungeness Spit rather than Mt. Townsend. Taking advantage of 'the Olympic rainshadow,' we didn't get a drop of rain. There were 13 students and six adults on the hike. One group made it all the way to the lighthouse (5 miles each way) The other group (which I was with) took a more leisurely pace and made it about half-way. After waiting a while for the lighthouse group to return, I sent the group ahead to the Sequim swimming pool while I waited for the other group. As the hours passed, I found a warm spot in the sand and took a nap. On wakening from my snooze, I glanced at the water and took a double take as a male orca with it's tall straight dorsal fin surfaced and submerged. I kept watching as it repeatedly surfaced, sometimes spouting. There was no one to share this with as I was all alone on the beach. I wondered if anyone would believe me. Fortunately, the group coming back from the lighthouse had seen him too; as well as a female and some younger ones. We joined the earlier group at the rec center and enjoyed the warm pools.