What's in her name?

What's in her name (Salish Aire)?

from her new home the Salish Sea

Aire as in a melody of song.

Salish + Aire = The melody of the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea:
In the late 1700's Captain George Vancouver wandered around the waters of what are now known as British Columbia, Canada and Washington State, USA. He did the usual 1700's explorer thing and put names he chose on everything he saw. The names stuck and are recognized and used to this day.

New lines were added to Captain Vancouver's charts in 1872 (after a near war with Great Britain over a pig) which made waters on one side of the line Canadian and those on the other side of the line American.

It wasn't until 1988 (officiated in 2009) that someone finally realized that fish and various critters, (to say nothing of the water itself) were never involved in the boundary treaties and really ignored them completely. (This is best illustrated by the problems that Homeland Security has with Canadian Canada Geese and American Canadian Geese - it seems they refuse to carry passports and have been known to poop on the head of any border patrol person who tries to challenge their right to cross the border when and where they choose!) In reality the waters from Olympia to the well up the East side of Vancouver Island are pretty much one ecosystem.

The Coast Salish are the indigenous peoples who live in southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington state along the Salish Sea and share a common linguistic and cultural origin. The Salish Sea is named in honor of the earliest recorded peoples who plied her waters and learned to live in harmony with her.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Summer of Covid


October 3, 2020

Whew, what a summer!  I see my last blog note was posted on June 1st so I have clearly joined a what is I suspect is a group of boat bloggers who have let our blogs lapse with Covid-19 fatigue.  Someday in the future if someone looks back and reads these notes remember that the event of this summer has been trying to figure out how to stay engaged with the world while parks, theaters, performances of all kinds, and world borders have been shut to try to slow the spread of Covid-19 while we await the arrival of a tested vaccine.  To top that off the United States faces the worst divisive feelings I have ever experienced as our president fans the flames of discontent on a daily basis. Yesterday after months of downplaying the importance and science behind our knowledge of Covid-19, he himself became infected.  In my personal journey I’m finding my recovery from cancer treatment to be much more drawn out than I had hoped for and so join many folks with some feeling of depression.  Finally, I was having to do a lot of touch-up to photos in preparation for posting them as the forest fire smoke blowing from fires in California, Oregon, and Washington obscured the sky as far east as Nebraska during our travels The common theme on social media is that 2020 has been a real bust of a year.

One of many attempts to help lighten the mood
while reminding folks to "social distance" to 
help minimize the spread of covid.

Clarice has a "new" 3/4 size sewing machine for the 
trailer that has come in very handy for making face masks.

Before moving on - let's take a break for babies!

To start our newest granddaughter H. is sitting up, giggling, and making fun noises.

Our goddaughter Jamie has a new daughter

Lots of baby seals on the log booms around our marina
in Olympia.  This little guys mom apparently decided he
was safest on the dock - we suspect he was less than a day old.

Baby alpacas are really cute!

It took this little boy a few minutes to decide he could 
touch the alpaca but they were very friendly.

We took the "nursery tour" option which included 
this 1 hour old baby.

And lets go from one end of the age spectrum to the other. One advantage of being in Olympia is it isn't too far to go visit my Mom and take her for a picnic at Point Defiance Park near where she and dad lived when they first came to Washington from Michigan and near my first home.

The rose and dahlia gardens were in full bloom
when we took my 93 year old mother for a picnic in the park.
We all kept our masks at-the-ready in case we ended up in a more 
crowded area. 

Salish Aire is currently moored in Olympia Washington at the very very southern end of the Salish Sea within sight of the Washington State Capital building.

Dinner with Etienne at Tugboat Annie's 
restaurant at our marina in Olympia

The Washington State Capital Campus is 
short bike ride away

Looking back from the state capital campus
over Capital Lake to our marina in the distance.

Remember when we last posted that we were taking short test runs with our new truck – trailer combination in preparation for longer term explorations on land.  Going back to our time in Mexico, I realized that I could only take so much tropical heat and so Clarice and I agreed to base Salish Aire in the Salish Sea and use it during the spring, summer and fall to explore the west coasts of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska then during the grey and drizzle of Puget Sound winters we would see how we liked “land yachting” for a change of pace.  This summer our plans for a longer trip north on the boat were not working out with Covid so we used the trailer more than we had planned.

A trailer outing to the North Cascades

Even with his bad knee Jarvis still loves to explore woodland trails

"Breaking in" the trailer at our grandson's mother's property

Visiting our grandson's mother's property

It is interesting how snobbish we have become about what constitutes a “crowded anchorage” but the islands in the San Juan archipelago met pretty much everyone’s definition of crowded.  In one bay that would during a normal summer have maybe 20 boats in it we counted about 100.  Lots of folks who already owned boats recognized what we already knew which was that boating is a great way to get outside and be appropriately “socially distanced” to avoid virus exposure.  On top of that boats (and RVs) have been selling like hotcakes and finally with the border to Canada closed a HUGE number of boats that would normally go north as far as Alaska for the summer were stuck south of the 48th parallel.

A short hike on Sucia Island in the San Juans archipelago

Anchorages were packed compared to a normal summer

Virginia V, the last operating steamship of the historic Puget
Sound Mosquito Fleet pulling in in front of us in Poulsbo

I was able to board the Virginia V and watch the steam
engine operate.  In a way of thanks I dove in my SCUBA
gear to get a line they had lost in the water.

Much of the summer we had our 17 y/o grandson Etienne living with us.  The agreement was that he would be an extra set of hands recognizing that I was going to be pretty wimpy after my radiation therapy and he would get a chance to visit with us for an extended time.  While he was with us we took Salish Aire to the San Juan Islands and took our first somewhat extended test run in the trailer (now called "Salish Airstream").  Our route took us across southern eastern Washington, past the Hanford nuclear reservation where the first weapons grade plutonium was refined, on to southern Idaho where we stayed in Craters of the Moon National Park (and tested our generator / air conditioner when the temperature reached 110 F).  From there we went to Grand Teton National Park and then north Yellowstone National Park and finally back to Olympia.

Hiking up an old wagon road in Eastern Washington
Historic Hanford reactor

Craters of the Moon National Park

Moonrise Craters of the Moon National Park

Bruneau Dunes State Park Idaho
Bruneau Canyon Idaho

Bruneau Canyon Idaho
Silver City a historic mining town miles up challenging
dirt roads at 6000 ft of elevation in the Owyhee Mountains 
of Idaho (Owyhee County was named by some miners
from Hawaii)

Church in Silver City

Grand Tetons National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

When Clarice and Etienne went to get a buffalo's photon
they didn't expect him to be standing on the boardwalk in 
front of them!

Yellowstone Falls
Mud pot Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Canyon

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Yellowstone National Park

Camping has been much the same whenever we tried to get into major campgrounds.  We have found that enjoying out of the way “boondocking” type camping has helped a lot as we have moved about.  For example there were no first-come-first-serve campgrounds open in Yellowstone and all of the reservation campgrounds were booked through the end of the season but we were able to get some really amazing sites by using “disbursed” camping sites which were often prettier and were free.  Finally we have joined HarvestHosts.com who provides names of wineries, farms, and places like museums where you can park an RV for the night with only the expectation that you buy a minimum of $20 worth of goods and/or services.  Our first experience at a HarvestHosts site was to set up with about 6 other RVs in the far back pasture of an alpaca ranch.  It was a great experience and I now have some cozy alpaca wool socks.

View from one of our many free campsites

Disbursed campsite near the Grand Tetons

Camping in an alpaca pasture

Jarvis gets a close look at a curious alpaca

Another HarvestsHost.com site was The Fit Quilter
This was our campsite near the south entrance to Yellowstone 
(there were NO campsites available inside of the park)
It had been burned off but was now covered with meadows and 
wildflowers. We and one other site each had a sturdy picnic table,
a bear proof food storage locker, a fire pit, and shared a concrete walled
outhouse which was cleaned daily by the National Park Service and it 
was free (as was our daily entrance into Yellowstone with Clarice's 
lifetime senior pass.)

The sign next to the trailer says this is an "official"
dispersed campsite and asks that we leave it like we found it.

Many small Midwest towns have city parks with free camping.
This one had ballfields, a putt-putt golf course, a frisbee golf course,
horse shoe pits, AND a tree with an owl.

 As I write this we are on our first major trip in Salish Airstream.  So far we have crossed the northern tier of the USA and then entered Ontario Canada from Michigan. We were allowed into Canada because we have family here and Canada does allow entry for “family reunification” but only if those entering from the States (where Covid is still rampant) are willing to quarantine for 14 days.  On entry we presented copies of our daughter Erin’s passport and birth certificate to show that she is related and a naturalized Canadian citizen.  Then we described our quarantine plan (use the trailer as our bedroom and primary living area while we stayed within the boundaries of her family’s property, and finally that we would wear masks around her family if we were closer than 6’ apart UNLESS we became symptomatic at which time we would retreat into the trailer only).  We also report in to the government quarantine department daily. At this point we have 4 more reporting days then we are free to travel about Ontario. The grandchildren are excited to go camping in the trailer with us so we have reserved a site in a provincial park for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

We took one last boat trip to welcome some friends 
we had met during our Mexico adventures who also 
originally came from the Salish Sea.  They had planned 
to spend 2 years in the South Pacific but on arrival 
learned they were not welcome because Covid had made 
itself known. Instead they had to sail with the trade winds 
north to Hawaii and on to Kodiak Island Alaska and then
back south to Washington to complete their detour. 
The photo was taken through  a 400 mm lens 
just after they had appeared out of a fog bank near Victoria. It was 
after dark before we closed in on them in our power boat as they had
good wind and were using their motor as well.

Our departure was delayed a couple of days
as Jarvis had emergency surgery for an anal abscess.

He didn't like the "girl dog" diaper but it was better
than the "collar of shame".

An orange moon (after days of orange suns) due to 
smoke from west coast forest fires

This is really the first time we have ever crossed the country with time to take some lesser highways and stop and see some of the lesser known but really cool sights along the way.

The main hot spring in Hot Springs State Park in 
downtown Thermopolis Wyoming

Water that is not diverted to the soaking pools and
water park in Hot Springs State Park flows into the Yellowstone River.

"Hell's Half Acre" an area much like the Badlands of
South Dakota is only a few yards from the highway but
could easily be passed by and never seen.

The entry to the Wind River Canyon on the Wind River
Indian Reservation

Camping along the Yellowstone River in a free city park.

We learned that friends lived within minutes of a favorite
Corps of Engineers campground on the Mississippi River 
after we had left the campground last year.  This year we 
made sure to visit them.
Jarvis was pretty excited to have a yard to run in after a lot of days of being stuck for long periods of time in the truck.

Salish Airstream serves as our primary quarantine
location at our daughter Erin's family's home.
Finally grandchildren time
Grandkids V&H assemble a kit we had ordered for them

Erin and Clarice canning 40 liters of 
grape juice from a local vineyard.

From here we plan to head south following the Appalachian mountain chain and enjoying the fall leaves but avoiding major cities. In reality to use the immortal words of Indiana Jones, “We are making this up as we go along!” and having a lot of fun doing it.