2009 Poulsbo

For the third summer in a row Linda and I spent three months in Washington working on our home construction project there. It's an addition to the home of her siblings, Ann, David, and Barbara, who live on five beautiful wooded acres on the Kitsap Peninsula in Puget Sound. We expect to spend the next few summers there and eventually move there full time. A contractor erected the shell and by last summer it was "in the dry." We began the interior work then and this summer we continued with flooring, tile, bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, etc.

For the past two summers we had traveled separately, Linda driving her Prius and me riding a bike. She takes the direct route and I take the long way on the back roads. This year it worked out best for us to travel together on four wheels. Yes, that's two more than needed, but I had left the Buell up there last summer and I would be back in the saddle on the great roads of the Pacific northwest when I arrived there.

We filled the Volvo (there was too much stuff for the Prius) and our travel mode was a compromise between those of the two previous summers. We took a fairly direct but leisurely route, visiting several friends both going and coming, and saw some great sights along the way. I love this country.

Time out. It's the wee hours of Feb 12, 2010 and just after I began to pull these trip photos together it began to snow. Soon after that I naturally found myself in the hot tub. I couldn't resist a photo to capture the unusual (for Dallas) conditions. It reminded me of how great doing that felt years ago after a long day of skiing.


Even old farts can have fun in the dark!

Okay, enough of this digression. Let's get on with the 2009 Poulsbo travel photos.


Our first leg was to Des Moines, NM to visit our friends Tim Keller and Christina Boyce.



To get to New Mexico, one must first cross the Texas Panhandle

We arrived in Des Moines early enough to scoot over to nearby Folsom to see the museum

I thought it would be mainly have relics of the Clovis Culture of about 11,000 years ago


But most of it dealt with the settlement of this area by the Americans a bit more recently



We met this nice lady and learned she would be at Christina's concert later this evening



We also had time to drive through Capulin Volcano National Monument




Before arriving at Christina's Studio on Main Street in Des Moines


Inside the Studio


Our room was upstairs above it


Christina is preparing for a music concert in the studio this evening. Our timing was good.


Our room for the evening


What makes you think Christina is an artist?


Downtown Des Moines, NM


Tim & Christina's house


Next morning I went with Christina to pick up some furniture


Then we drove to Raton with Tim to see his photo exhibit at the gallery




The next day we headed for Taos to attend a benefit for our friend Don Conoscenti


Don's guitar collection was on the auction block


To pay medical bills for repairing the femur he shattered in a bicycle accident

All his songwriter friends turned out. Everyone loves Don!

and the pale ale was good, too


We head toward the Grand Canyon and stop at the Colorado River Bridge outside Taos








My favorite chauffeur (and favorite person)




This was new country to both of us. We were headed to the north rim, which isn't on the way to anywhere.





We took our first quick look at canyon from the north rim




then we met our friend, songwriter Bernice Lewis at the Lodge


She knows both rims and led us on a more extensive tour












Bernice often performs in the Park, and this summer she was their "Artist in Residence"






Back at Bernice's cabin


She made us a nice pasta dinner


Then we headed on toward Washington


Before I was born my father was stationed here in Hermiston, Oregon in the Civil Conservation Core


Having fully tapped the Columbia for hydro-electricity, we're now harnessing its wind as well


Along the Columbia River



We found a local tribute to Stonehenge


and then stopped in Roslyn, Washington


"Northern Exposure" fans (like me) know Roslyn as Cicely, Alaska


They will quickly recognize "The Brick"


The Brick's interior


and it's bar

Then we went on to Poulsbo to begin work on our house. It's the new part to the right of the Volvo


Linda first tackled the fireplace pad in the living room


Does this lady know how to do tile or what?


My first job was to pressure wash and stain both decks. They had suffered badly over the winter


Linda's mom's room, temporarily ours


My second job was to install miles and miles of bamboo floor


Well, it seemed like miles and miles


I was proud of this joint, so to speak.


Some evenings I played chef (and I do mean played)


Quixote was always on guard


Stop! This is my turf!


This is part of the nice five-mile ride into the town of Poulsbo


The old town, the cool town, is right on the water






My favorite place for breakfast


And a good place for lunch or dinner


Roads like this are everywhere around there and begin right at our driveway


Barbara and I took a ride on the Buell


We found this civil war re-enactment in nearby Port Townsend


Less than a hundred miles out, this approaching storm made us head for home


We haul off the garbage and recyclables every couple of weeks


Our friend Bruce Balmer, a great songwriter who is also a great carpenter, came up to help us for a month


Linda continues with the tile


and the tile, and the tile


I trimmed the attic access door


Our future bedroom


My bathroom to be


The future theatre


My cardio clinic goofed up on my schedule and I had to return to Plano for some tests


I'm on the ferry to Seattle to catch a plane back to Dallas for a week


Seattle has a cool skyline from the ferry





Home is always special


Linda's new herb garden. She planted it after I filled in the hopeless swimming pool


The hot dry August was tough on it, but it survived


Now I head back for Poulsbo







and joined Linda to install the Ikea kitchen cabinets


While Bruce put his special touch on the stair railing



We inserted screw A into hole B, and it actually worked! (at least sometimes)


Progress on the upstairs shower


Installing the cork floor in the theatre


I took a break to attend the Table Mountain Star Party, a couple of hundred miles east near Ellensburg




Ivar's is a great place to eat, though out of my budget except for special occasions


On the road to Ellensburg



A star party has some things in common with Kerrville, but with telescopes instead of guitars


Artist Hulen Fleming did a painting of my optician Carl Zambuto. He also showed me this photo of himself with our mutual friend the astronaut Story Musgrave. It's a small world and Story's been around it more than most.





I didn't know my friend and partner, Paul Porter, would be there


Or Terrance Dickinson, author of my favorite observing book



This is truly a hardware store telescope


A fellow telescope maker and friend of Carl Zambuto


We gathered in the tent on a cloudy night for some music.


I shared some of my favorite songs about the universe


Next morning it was time to head out


That's Mount Ranier. I would be passing near it as I took the long way home


The closer you get, the more impressive it looks


This aint North Texas, my friends



This is my friend Carl Zambuto, the master optician who fabricates my telescope mirrors


He had arranged to have my 20" Teleport mirror in process


So I could do the really tricky part (sure)


Carl makes the very best mirrors for the very best telescopes


As you can see, this was serious business


Back home in time to make a run of the garbage and recyclables


Barbara's beautiful garden in front of their house


Barbara the wall builder, with her assistant Quixote


Linda had made good progress with our Ikea bedroom closets


Anne checks out the new ladder I built so she could access the overhead storage in her new building


She may decide to just stay up there


I took a day off to ride the Buell up north for some sightseeing


And soon found a powow of the Squamish tribe, a few miles to the east






I shifted the end of the wall to gain parking space (since some folks don't ride a bike)


and helped Anne put some paint on her building


The Buell plates are a little out of date, but they got me by




Linda is starting to make our bed (literally)


Linda's bathroom



our shower



my bathroom



Can you believe she's still making the bed?


From 11 boxes of parts and 400 pages of instructions.



The kitchen countertop people are here


Pretty spiffy, huh?


Linda's beautiful new bathroom countertop


Bruce finished the stair treads just before he left


then I built the column to (sort of) match them

Hey, this is starting to look a lot like a kitchen



This was our coffee bar for the summer


and this was my official break room


It's well stocked with cheap Cabernet and great literature


I never saw a woman take so long to make a bed : 2 days!


I will admit it's a little different


Barbara is checking the fit of Ursula's new life vest


They were preparing for Ursula's first canoe trip


Hey, the new mattress is here


and the dishwasher


and the refrigerator


The bed is finally made, but it still isn't "made"


This will be a small but very efficient kitchen. Linda and Ikea both did a great job


Heading back home, down the Oregon coast


Our first stop was in Tillamook to tour the huge creamery




You wanna know who cut the cheese? It was these guys!



There's enough of it for most of the people in the Pacific Northwest


and they make the ice cream, too


This is a little boutique creamery just down the road




We took Hwy 101 down the Oregon Coast







Then Hwy 1 (the "PCH") down the coast of northern California




It sure was more scenic than last years mad dash down I-5





The Golden Gate area is always special


Particularly when it's filled with bikers


and parasailers


Breakfast at the restaurant in Carmel we remembered being good a few years ago



Carmel seems like it wouldn't be a bad place to live, but I suspect it's a bit pricey




Being close to Point Lobos doesn't hurt














It's always tough to leave Point Lobos







We had a great stop at Morro Bay







Then drifted on into Santa Barbara



To join our friends Kate Wallace and Douglas Clegg for a walk on the beach


These two great songwriters are coming to play a concert at our place next March









Troops and gulls were on beach maneuvers



We're roaming in an area near Vista, CA, just east of Oceanside





For our first visit at the new home of our friends Sue and Terry Lewis


Can you believe they left the LA area for this?






Okay, perhaps it was a good move


Sue was my son's music teacher when he was four. She started him on the road to being a great conductor


Sue and I have been friends for 37 years. Terry just retired as a vice president of Yamaha International


We think they just moved here to be near Peterson's Donut Corner in Escondido


See what I mean?


They are also close to Palomar Mountain


I never miss a chance to see the Hale Observatory and wanted to share it for the first time with Linda







The 200" Hale telescope was used by Edwin Hubble to change our view of the universe


Then it was used by Allan Sandage to determine the Hubble constant


Alan's son David was more serious. He bought one of my early 10" Teleport telescopes




Apparently we were having too much fun to think about filling the Volvo tank


But a very nice trucker was loafing a bit and came to our rescue


We zipped on east on I-10 to Quiet Valley Ranch for the Wine & Music Festival


Paul had somehow managed to beat me here from Table Mountain


Festival founder Rod Kennedy strolls the vendor booths


and visits with his ex-wife Nancy Lee. These two changed the world of singer/songwriter music


Our friend Don Conoscenti has recovered a lot since Taos and was bouncing all over the stage


We stopped at my son Kevin's for the night


To visit and help work out his plans to remodel his house north of Dripping Springs


After five years, he resigned as conductor of the U.T. orchestra, but still lives in Austin because he loves it