Thunderbird and Lake Ki Resorts 6/30-7/6/18

Thunderbird! I loved the early sixties commercials for the Ford Thunderbird. It was the late fifties answer to the Chevrolet Corvette but, in the early sixties, it either couldn’t or wouldn’t compete with the Chevy sports car and at some point added a rear seat. When Ford introduced the Mustang, it was a death sentence for the Thunderbird. You car buffs can fill in the holes – or flat out correct me. That’s how I remember it.

You know, that’s how a lot of history, before people wrote down what happened, was recorded: by some asshole’s memory. Always makes me wonder about anything we call history before they started writing it down. Did you ever discuss an old event with a family member or friend and find you have completely different versions of something that you both experienced? What’s true? What’s bullshit?

And we’re supposed to believe a story about a blue-eyed white guy in the middle east, with no weight training, pushing aside a massive boulder, a few days AFTER he was crucified, that sealed his cave-grave, and meeting his old drinking buddies for brunch.

This blog thing has been so straight and focused about RVing lately. Boring. We need some life in it, or, maybe a piece on bullshit. Listen to the attached audio. Can you imagine Uncle George going after the idiot-in-chief? Where are you when we need you, George? Can you come back too?
(I emailed everyone on the blog list because I have little confidence that WordPress accepts audio files)

Well, we moved to this park with the thunderous name because it’s one of our free, network parks and close enough for day trips into Seattle. Getting here required a decision – 1 if by land, 2 if by sea. Lots of history in today’s blurb.

Option 1 had us looping south and east off the Olympic Peninsula, staying on land over a small bridge or two as we then turned to the north up I-5 and then northeast of central Seattle. Option 2 saved us about 70 miles going straight across the city using the Kingston to Edmunds ferry. The savings in diesel fuel was not nearly as much as the cost of driving a 42′ motorhome and towed Jeep onto a boat. The travel time was about the same. But, WTF! Sometimes it’s about the experience.

We drove up to the ferry entrance about 15 minutes prior to the next departure. The nice lady at the toll booth charged us for the 50-feet-and-under length (they charge by increments of 10 feet) and included our senior discount. Whoo-hoo! I had measured us the night before and, with the towing apparatus, came up with about 55′. Saved about $20 off my estimate! That’s like winning the lottery. Almost. Maybe a scratch-off. The crew on the boat squeezed us in against a wall and off we sailed across the Puget Sound.

For the hour ride, a lot of people got out of their cars to go up on the deck where the wind chill was about 40°, others went for the $10 Starbucks. Most locked their cars and when the first wave bumped the boat, 10 alarm systems went off. They ran the gamut from horns to buzzers to sirens. Nine duffuses (pretty sure that’s the PC plural for dumb shit) ran back to their cars. The big Suburban at the front of our row blared for twenty minutes, through four more waves and more dumb asses running around spilling their lattes until the crew called number one dumb shit over the PA system, “Hey, dumb shit Suburban owner – get out here and shut your car up.” Something like that.

Almost there.

The Suburban dude went back for another Swiss Almond White Chocolate Orange Maple Syrup Organic Kale Espresso and they had to call for him again to get back in his car as we pulled into the dock. He still wasn’t there when the gate opened.

We were the last row to exit because of that dickhead. Sometimes it’s all about the experience.

Then we drove through the city and over to Monroe, WA and this pretty little park by the river. We were very underwhelmed, at first. Another Thousand Trails camp in the woods, with a find-your-own-site policy, and so treed that a satellite dish is useless in most sites. Our first site was one of those. It was on the south side of the campground, the main area. Across the road are two satellite camping areas right alongside the Skykomish River. No trees, except a row of very tall firs lining the roadway. Getting a satellite signal was only possible in the first three sites from the entrance where the dish could find a signal out the vertical hole in the driveway. Alas, in site 92, seventh in from the entrance, no signal. I tried our two broadcast TV antennas. Nothing, not even PBS!

Well, TV in the summer is rather lame anyway. T-Mobile internet wasn’t bad. After a further examination of the park, we decided it is a rather nice park for what it is – a place to camp. Most of these “free” parks in both our networks are similar. They are not designed for full timers. We expect to be able to use all our utilities and satellite dish. The two full hookup sites that were available upon arrival were buried in the trees. They were horribly uneven as well. The sunny sites on the river have no sewer. No sewer, no satellite, no TV at all. The last couple of nights we rented movies. They were pretty decent. But, we didn’t come to Seattle to watch TV.

We came to see the damn Space Needle.

Hey look! A bird picture too. A sea gull. Oh boy. So how much does it cost to go up?

What? That’s with a senior discount? Uh-uh.

So we strolled around that mall area. It was really nice. Cool stuff all around for all ages.

Lots of color, and a little fish-eye warping.

We also passed on the Chihuly exhibit. We’ve seen his stuff in the Scottsdale Desert Botanical Gardens and, of course, throughout The Bellagio on the Vegas strip. It’s been at least five years, maybe more, since we’ve been there, but it had, by far, the nicest, most luxurious sports book on the strip. You could bet $2 a race at any track in America (or any sporting event) and at your semi-private booth with its own TV, tuned to any track (or game) of your choice, in a big, comfy leather chair, be served a Grey Goose martini about every twenty minutes – for a buck tip.

Uh-oh, I’m getting the urge, it’s Saratoga season. For all you who were there eight years ago, thank you for coming. Is that place not fabulous? If you liked that, put Del Mar on your bucket list. For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, eight and a half years ago, when we lived in Colorado, Andrea asked me what I wanted to do for my 60th birthday. I said, “Go to Saratoga”. My birthday is at the end of July, right after the start of the Saratoga (NY) horse racing meet. What started as just us, evolved into a party of about fifty. We rented a tent at the track and had a great weather day. I think a good time was had by all. But, I digress.

We took a break from strolling the Seattle mall with the big needle and checked out all the food vendors. Easy choice. The corn on the cob on a stick was dipped in a giant vat of hot butter and the salt shaker was one of those movie theater popcorn jobs. Well, the corn’s kind of healthy, right? After that we found the big fountain.

And if you move around it, you can get the big needle in the shot. Sounds a little like a spinal epidural – speaking of, hey doc, see you in August.

So we got the big tourist attraction out of the way and only spent a few bucks on the corn and parking. With our ability to read English, understand signs, and navigate a payment kiosk, we parked on the street, directly across from the park. We watched car after car pass up the open spots on the street and turn into the two, expensive garage lots. Sheep!

I think we did something else in Seattle but it was not worth a picture or a picture in one of my memory cells. OK, we mapped genes in DNA. When are we going to map memory cells in our thick skulls? When they do that, and can tap in to every one of them and pull out a video, well, it would be pretty cool, no? Just sayin’. Imagine a recall button on the latest miniature computer device where you could plug in a date and time and start replaying what actually was experienced by your eyes, or by a witness to an historical event and not by the recollection of a dozen winos a couple of thousand years ago claiming their water turned to wine and a dead guy joined them for brunch. This is still the dark ages where the bullshit is flying higher than ever. Map those memory cells and we can rid the world of liars and con artists, like the idiot-in-chief. You know, it might be that democracy has peaked and the people have elected a goon like themselves. How about this quote, written 98 years ago:

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.~H.L. Mencken, The Evening Sun, July 26, 1920”.

He was a journalist and a critic of just about everything. He was also a racist so I don’t admire the man, but he had his moments.

With nothing more on Seattle, we filled in a couple of days of bad planning with a stop at:

Lake Ki RV Resort; July 4th to the 6th

It actually worked out well. We were closer to the Boeing Factory Tour in Everett, WA. This was one of those stops every pilot looks forward to. And then I read it was $23 a senior. Well, we had been going very cheap so I sprung for it. Don’t waste your money. Go up on the big needle. They load 45 people on a bus, say an average of $24 a head, with a few freebies, and it’s a $1,000 a busload. Bus after bus – ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching. And, no phones or cameras allowed. Why not? Nobody was working. Half the bays that were supposed to have planes didn’t as the tour guide kept saying, “Imagine if a plane were here”. Well, fuck! We paid for and were expecting a plane to be here and somebody doing something! Not worth five bucks! Just say no! Don’t go.

Of course, the tour ends with them dropping you off in the gift shop. More rip-off crap. The only t-shirts I considered, without the Boeing logo, had WWII planes on them but I can’t, in good conscience, anymore – and once upon a time it wouldn’t have crossed my mind – promote a weapon of death and destruction, even though its purpose was to rid the world of a fascist dictator. On second thought, perhaps that message would be appropriate today, in our country. Here’s fucking Boeing:

The 4th of July at Lake Ki was noisy. We were right on a big lake with lots of private homes on it with residents with deep pockets for fireworks, big ones. Luna was freaked out for about eight hours. The RV smelled like gunpowder. It wasn’t as cool as Bayville with all their bonfires, but the pyrotechnics in the sky were fairly impressive. I guess. With the backdrop of pine trees and years of living in a high-fire-danger area, the whole thing seemed incongruous. Celebrating the disgraces of the present administration was not something I cared to participate in this year. Andrea posted some nice photos. I was looking for pine trees and explosions. Every Coloradan should wince.

I believe I committed the cardinal rule, had I been in a bar – do not discuss politics and religion. Good thing this isn’t a fucking bar.

And if you’re tuning in from the website and not on the email list, the audio file, George Carlin’s take on religion, didn’t make it. Sorry.

Onto the northernmost stop on our itinerary, Birch Bay. Perhaps I’ll shed some anger crossing the border.

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