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Cougar Mountain and the USO

August 21, 2013

Washington – Saturday, August 10

Last night it rained pretty hard, and there was lots of thunder and lightning, which doesn’t happen a lot in Seattle, and I enjoyed listening to a good storm while I was working late on the computer. I’m glad I wasn’t camping! We had a relaxed start to the morning, and Christy made some scrambled eggs with veggies and some toast for breakfast. She had time to do some walking with me today, and we decided to go to Cougar Mountain where there are a lot of trails. We headed over there and had to figure out which trails we wanted to take, and we ended up walking nearly 6 miles round-trip – heading up to She Bear Pass. We managed not to get lost despite several trail intersections, and we were in a very hilly area, but once we made our way to the top it was really pretty walking along the trails, and a beautiful day to be outside. The ferns in the woods are huge – evidence of a lot of rainfall! Tula came with us and did really well – she hasn’t walked 6 miles all at once for quite a while. It was shady for most of the walk, which seems to make a big difference for her – she seems to be sensitive to sun and heat while on her medication. Most people wouldn’t take a 6 mile hike in the mountains in flip-flops, but Christy did! Just like she wore flip-flops for all 56 miles of walking in the Virgin Islands. She figures she needs to join me when I’m in New Mexico so she can do a little walking with me in the southwest – she’s walked with me in the northeast, the southeast, the northwest, so needs to finish off the other corner!

After our hike, we got a quick bite to eat, then Christy and I met up with one of her daughters and we all got a pedicure, which was a nice treat from her 🙂 We headed back to her house for a short while, then she took off with one of her boys to do a little college/apartment shopping, and I drove out to Sea-Tac airport, where I was going to make a donation to the Puget Sound USO. The USO was kind of hard to find – it was in a part of the airport that a lot of people don’t pass by. But there were quite a few people in there, and the volunteer said hundreds and hundreds of military troops and their families pass through each week. There are several big military bases in this area – I discovered that I was near an air force (or navy?) base while camping in Deception Pass State Park – the noise from countless jets taking off between 9-10pm was really loud – I don’t know what they were doing at that time of night, but it was certainly noisy! I suppose it’s a good time of day to work on maneuvers since there aren’t so many “normal” flights at that time of day. The USO was a comfortable looking place, with food and drinks available, and computers, TVs and couches spread out around a couple rooms. It was a good place to make a donation! I headed back to Christy’s house, and they returned shortly after me, with a car load of college apartment food and supplies! One of the boys returns to college on Tuesday, and another one takes off a week later.

Several of her kids were around for dinner, and we had another yummy meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. I’m so glad to have been able to enjoy some fresh sweet corn – I miss it back home! And later, Christy and I headed out to a couple big neighborhoods to do 3 1/2 more miles of walking – a late night walk by lamplight! I had only walked about 4 miles yesterday since I had to get over to Bainbridge Island to catch the ferry, and I couldn’t afford to fall any more behind. We actually walked 9 1/2 miles altogether today, so now I’m only behind by 2 1/2 miles. We were ready to call it a day when we got back – it had been a full one indeeed!

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