Alder Lake Campground, Elbe, WA

This is a State Park. Quite nice, so I signed up for a week.

As you're driving there on Highway 7, you get this scenic point. I'm squirreled away down in there. Amazing that I get a decent Verizon Wireless signal to send you these photos. I couldn't do it without my rooftop antenna.

You can see little bits of the lake water through those trees.

Very park-ey.

What's behind me you ask? Why, a trail down to the lake. I'll explore that later.

Downtown Elbe, three minutes away, has interesting character. I'll check it out.

A converted scale house.

In a 1920's baggage car, I had a veggie burger, fries, and a peach snapple.

Inside was the first-ever saw painting I have seen. I sawed a painting once to fit a frame, but never saw one of these. The roughness of a painting surface is defined by how much "tooth" it has. This surface has a lot of tooth while being smooth.
I wonder... is this is a saw-food restaurant?

Also on the way here I saw my first ever "other" Piaggio MP3 on the road. My first thought was, "Oh, that's what I look like."

Elbe has the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. I'll see about getting on board.

The train runs by this river that feeds Alder Lake, with a view of Mt. Rainier.

More lake.


This is the first time I've had privacy while leaving my side bedroom window open. That's the rain forest out there and it's raining now. But it's also warm.

My 1PM train came in. Two hour ride.

Here is a video clip.

And here is a clip on a very similar train, from Back To The Future III, my favorite trilogy.

Oh yes, we had a close call, but everything turned out okay.



This is weird. I have the whole place to myself. There has to be nearly 100 sites here. I asked the park ranger what was up. He said that because they stop taking reservations Sept.15, that many people think they're closed for the season.

So it's me and this doe with her two kids.

This is my private swimming pool. The water is not that cold, so I'm going for a swim tomorrow. It rained a bit too much today.

More of my beach area. This place is really nice.

Well I looked around and found three other RV's here, but they're not in plain view.

I went to the Roxie Theater tonight in Eatonville and saw Salt. This might be the best spy movie I've seen yet. Roger Ebert said: "You know how it's been said of Ginger Rogers that “she did everything Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels"? Evelyn does everything James Bond did, except backwards and barefoot in the snow."


I've been working.

Well, not all work. This is still my all-time favorite movie – "A New Leaf" with Walter Matthau and Elaine May. "And I can engage in any romantic activity with an urbanity born of disinterest."
"It seems rather presumptuous, doesn't it, to hope for immortality. Not to me; if you can't be immortal, why bother?"

Sun is setting. Eye catching.

Mom and the two kids are getting used to me. "Go ahead kids and eat – it's just that human from site 15 again."

Bambi's mate has two boys. I don't know which ones Alder's mom has.

I went back to the Italian Restaurant called Jebino's. Only seven miles from here. This time I took some pictures. First, you're greeted by a full size cardboard image of Dean Martin.

Then the memorabilia. This is just a sample:

While I ate, I heard some old Sinatra ballads: the one's that the 1940's bobbie-soxers used to swoon over. I like them better than the jazz. If you know what to listen for, you can tell what someone knows about the universe by what noises they make. Jazz is full of what I call "permission-stops," and the reaction to them. When people can't get what they want from life, they usually make either a reactive defeatist noise, or else they make a fuss of revolt. The melodic and rhythm structures of Sinatra's jazz was a clear message (to me at least) that one should try to throw off boundaries put there by a universe that has a malevolent order (except for a few highly desirable females), or to just give in and drag yourself through it because there is no point to the whole mess. The old ballads only had a touch of defeatism amidst tender sweetness. That worked well for the bobby-soxers because they had imaginative romantic longings that they generally presumed were out of reach. Sinatra gave them some hope. But whatever form music takes, there is always craftsmanship (basically control) involved, and these guys did it well. Bravo.


At the end of my street is Alder Dam. This is the most forest-isolated dam I've seen.

It's a perfect 70 degree day and there is my secret spot to hang out – the premier view of the dam. Chocolate milk there on the chair (not the 2% milkfat stuff – whole), chocolate cigar, chocolate covered grahams. Pretty dam good if I do say so myself.

Then there is the sound of the run-off water, like a fountain.

View as I look down.
Boy look at those sparks – damn, that must be a lot of power :)

View down the river. I really feel out in the woods, yet I'm still in the Alder Park.

It was a warm day. People were jumping in the lake as if was a heated pool. "Hello mudah, hellow fatha, here I am at, Camp Granada... kindly disregahd this ledda." I only waded because it was just borderline too chilly – maybe because of the glacier run-off of Mt. Rainier.

I think we got some of Los Angeles' record breaking heat today. I drove the RV a half-hour to the Best Buy in Puyallup. I picked up a 27" imac. When I got back I took a shower to feel fresh. Lot's of humidity.

There is my Wacom 21" Cintiq stylus monitor which I paint with, and the imac 27" in back. By looking at the keyboard you can see how huge that imac is. Under them is a fabric-coated 20X48 inch 3/4 ply. I'm going to secure them to it and see if they're stable enough to drive with it set up this way. Not sure where it's all going, but it's fun for it to be there. I had no place to put the Mac cardboard box, so...

Cardboard is great to start logs burning. No hot dogs or marshmallows tonight, just roasted Apple.

View from the dock. There is Mt. Rainier peaking through. Tomorrow's destination.

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