Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Johnny's Birthday Trip

Well, it wasn't really a birthday trip. Johnny went north to work on barn repairs in Olalla, where Kevin and Jessica own a piece of property. Having finished his work on Saturday, he drove to Traumhof. On Sunday they all went to Snoqualmie Falls which has been spectacular with the recent heavy rains. That was a good birthday gift for Johnny because he wanted to see the waterfall at its peak. It is quite close to Traumhof.

Johnny did not get a birthday celebration here on his 72nd birthday last week because I had returned home from my California trip the night before and was very tired. But it looks like, from these photos that Jessica took, he made up for it this weekend at Traumhof, with Kevin, Jessica and Ian.

I love this photo of "the three Fink men" as Jessica put it. My how Ian has grown since we measured him in July 2014. He was barely one inch taller than Johnny then. Look at him now!

Kevin, Ian Johnny

Johnny's birthday dinner was King Crab! With Jessica's fabulous chocolate cake for dessert.

 Johnny took a few photos of family at Snoqualmie Falls, too. But all you can tell is they have lovely hair.

Jessica, Kevin, Ian

Apparently, this is what they were looking at.

Pretty impressive!

Johnny's trip home the following day, Monday, was a little different from normal. For one thing, he struck up a conversation (naturally, being Johnny) with a truck driver at a gas stop. From him, he learned about an exit at Winlock where you could see (on a clear day, which it was) all the Cascade peaks in western Washington. So Johnny stopped there and did.  Here's how he told about it in an email to Kevin and Jessica:

"It's at milepost 63, the Winston exit. There's a Shell station right there with a big parking lot, picnic tables, and an information kiosk. Could see Mt St Helens, Mt Ranier, Mt Adams, and at least 3 snowy peaks of the Goat Rocks area. Well worth a look-see on the way past on a clear sunny day!"

Also, he asked that truck driver why Mt. St. Helens had seemed gray to his wife (me) in her (my) flight home from California the week before when all the other peaks were white. He said I was seeing the ground through the snow, that Mt. St. Helens is enough lower from the others that it's not getting much snow and what it does get periodically melts. I had told Johnny that I was shocked at the lack of snow in the Cascades except for the highest peaks. It was a clear day when I flew home and I spent the entire flight gazing out the window at the scenery below. (I love window seats.) I was also shocked at how low the lakes and reservoirs were. (I could see brown banks where water should have covered.) I wish I'd taken my camera!

The next part of Johnny's trip was a little more exciting. Here's more of his email to the Washington kids:

"After leaving one of the rest areas in Washington the road pavement seemed pretty rough. When it didn't get much better after a bit, I stopped at the next area and checked my front tires. The one felt a bit bumpy. Too bumpy. Then felt some of the wires from the plies sticking out. Put my spare tire on. It's a wonder I didn't have a blow-out. Pretty bad shape. So I stopped at Les Schwab in McMinnville and had them all checked and ended buying 3 new ones. Should be good for a long time now. Safely. I knew one was getting used up, but thought I'd be ok for another several months at least."

That was Johnny's understated way of telling the story. In fact, that tire had holes and wires sticking out and he was minutes from a blowout on a tire on the driver's side that would have sent him careening across the crowded freeway. Whew.

I'm very glad Johnny's "birthday trip" was fun... and had a happy ending.

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