Okay back to the post I started last night…….

Before I tell about the wonderful visit I had with the president of the Lagotto Club, I have to tell of  Washington’s North Cascades. Truly beautiful even for a jaded Californian; as you climb the mountain the color green intensifies. It begins to seem unreal. The blue sky and azure lakes appear as if drawn by an illustrator with the saturation level tuned too high. I was seeing this with the right side of my head aching from jaw to throbbing eye singing in tune like a jealous lover as I awed at the amazing splendor around me.  At the summit of Highway 20, the North Cascades I stopped at the viewpoint punching the air conditioner to full blast. Cooled a bit, I ventured out for the view trail but was unable to make it. Mason and I rushed to get back  to our climate controlled world, Olympia, of course was gung-ho to go,  After the summit we stopped to see the snow–yes it was 100 degrees! I dumped snow on Olympia and me, Mason would have none of it so back to the LT for cool air so we could breathe. Wow, so this is how it feels to be getting older, or maybe I’m just out of shape or spoiled by Santa Barbara’s mild climate. I was spritzing water on myself and the dogs, yes even Mason and the bottom of his paws too, for once he didn’t complain.

Hairpin curves, byways, trail-heads…. drama, gorgeous vistas and summertime heat…Here’s some photos. Sorry the slide show had trouble so tired this… you have to click on each photo to see it and then click “back” on your web-browser….  not a very good feature (alas.)

All this was topped by one of the scariest nights I’d yet spent. The drive and previous night had been so wonderful I was determined to push on and find the perfect spot. Oh, if I had only listened to Mason!!! At the very first place I checked out, still glorious with the day was the Interpretative Center Campground for the Cascades. Mason’s eyes lit up…he said, “stop here Jamie, this is perfect, let’s stay here!” I very clearly heard him and saw the delight in his eyes and his tail; but no, it was not on the river, the trees were too dense, it was too dark, bla, bla, bla…. I rejected it and likewise for the next 4 RV parks (all perfectly fine but not the perfection I sought.) Now I was beyond tired and becoming irritable, where was my riverside oasis? No matter, I decided I’d stay at the next camp. LOL that turned out to be a dangerous decision. I spent the night at Eagles Nest in Concrete at the foot of the cascades. Apparently the place has been for sale for the last ten years. That’s where they wanted an extra $5 for a shower. when I asked why the fee was so steep, I was told it was because they had hot water. No fooling! I suppose they must believe most showers only come with cold water??? I took the trail down to the beach, the first time was so nice and a relief to be away from the derelict site so I tried again after dinner….mistake. A guy stopped his beat-up car, no cars were supposed to be in there, he leaned on it and pointed something at me. I didn’t hang around to find out what it was–later as I was trying to sleep I heard a woman scream, then 2 gun shots with a pause in-between coming from the beach. No Ms valiant here, I did look out my window to see if it bothered anyone else…nope… I laid on the floor for awhile. I never undressed or got in the covers that night… by 7 am I was on the road.

I stayed in this dive
oh no, i’m not crazy… sewer hose leaked like crazy tho

Had breakfast at a campground further afield…where I shoulda, coulda spend the night!

Couldn’t find Lake Shannon but found this! Had breakfast here.

A little peace in-between the gunshots and the police

Oh was I tired, and dirty and my head-jaw-eye ache was worse than ever. Barley awake, skittish and hot… I headed for Burlington to check it out. Some young guy in a big black pickup was playing stop and go.  After about the 4th or 5th run of this I passed him on the right at about 3 mph. Not good, a cop whizzed on his lights in full pursuit of the little RV from California. He put on his serious face, like I was the one shooting guns in the middle of the night. Of course the dogs thought it great fun and wanted to play, he didn’t seem amused. I was having serious trouble staying awake and my head was spinning.  He wanted all that paper work that was carefully buried away in hidden compartments in my motorhome….  he left me searching for my current insurance note…  I had shown hm the little slip my insurance company provides but it was from last year…Drat, where had I put it, I remembered folding it up and putting it my my wallet….  I was still looking for it and feeling very very hot and lightheaded with brain freeze… fortunately he didn’t ask what my name was I might not have remembered….. he came back with a deal. “Well, I’m not going to give you a ticket.” ….  all he was probably miffed to find no violations on my record and lo and behold I wasn’t wanted for any nefarious crimes, what a disappointment…”you should count yourself lucky” he said, ” since you can’t find your insurance slip, I’m gonna give you a non-moving citation, it’s something like a $100 filing fee.” I thought this guy was out of his mind. I definitely did not like Burlington. By this time I was only semi-conscious from the pain in my head, lack of sleep, and fear of the men in this region. I told him about the gunshots, thinking he might like some real crimes to occupy his time, “oh, they were probably just shooting coyotes,” he drawled…heck maybe he was shooting there last night. Then he answered my question about where I could rest, the place to go apparently was a gravel (unshaded) lot next to a place called Shrileys…. he’d seen some other RVs stowed there…it was probably illegal.

Looking for Lake Shannon