As I mentioned, I left the Bay Area and drove north to the Burlington, Washington area. Without driving around Burlington at all, the trip, one way, was just shy of 1000 miles. That is really far. It took us three days, though the first leg, San Francisco to Portland could be done is about 14-15 hours. I am not up for that long of a drive in one day. We stopped in Ashland after the first day, then Portland, then drove the rest of the way. I thought the trip from Portland to Burlington would be easy, but the traffic was very heavy and I forget how far north Burlington sits.
On our way to Ashland, we stopped for a break in Dunsmuir. It had started to rain a few miles before we stopped, so the clouds were beautiful. I don’t know why I stopped in Dunsmuir since there isn’t much there. My grandfather was born there, so, perhaps, I feel some kind of connection for no particular reason. I never knew anything about Dunsmuir until long after he had died. I really like the downtown. I have stopped there twice in recent years on trips north.
One thing I enjoyed in Washington was the sky. There were a couple of days of sprinkles on our way up and throughout the drive we enjoyed beautiful views of glimpses of the sky and clouds. The day we went to Calico Creations, we parked in a lot with some beautiful bas relief on the side of an embankment. I liked the art and the clouds very much. I also liked Mt. Vernon, where I saw the bas relief, as well. In addition to the fantastic Calico Creations, there was an amazing used bookstore, Easton’s.
A wonderful cat has recently joined the YM’s new household. Her name is Marie, which makes me laugh. She is an indoor cat who gets to lounge in front of large windows looking out a birds and the wind blowing the trees all day. She is beautiful and reminds me of the cat I had as a teenager. Marie is a little more stand-offish than my cat, Spooky. She will not sit on your lap until she knows you better and doesn’t let just anyone pet her. She sits with the YM and he gets to pet her, but she needed more time than we had to get used to me. I played with her using a toy, which is a stick with a fish and a piece of twine hanging from the end. She loved chasing the twine, but seemed annoyed by the bells on the fish. I really like this cat.
The hotel in which we stayed in Mt. Vernon (near Burlington) was a typical Best Western, though this one had very few redeeming qualities. It was surrounded by a concrete parking lot and what flower beds there were were overgrown and sad looking. The room was large, which was great, because we stayed there for 4 nights. Also, the carpet had an interesting design. Hotels are a great place to find quilt designs, specifically in the carpet. I have found several designs that could be quilts, though I haven’t ever, yet, translated one to fabric.
This design I thought would be English Paper Piecing. I only had my phone on which to draw so my annotations are a bit wonky and incomplete, but you can see direction in my thought process. I am not sure how I would finish it or put it together with other blocks, but what I have drawn is a better start than the other carpet designs which still live on my computer.
The day we arrived, we took the YM and the YMG out to dinner at a FANTASTIC restaurant called COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria. The restaurant had the best, hands down, Mexican food I have ever had. The food was super fresh, very clean tasting, e.g. I could taste all the different flavors. The service was fast, too. I didn’t enjoy my drink, but, as I said, the food was amazing. The Mocajete ordered by the YM and my mom to share, had cactus in it. I tried it and the cactus was delicious.
One day, while the YM was at work, we went to LaConner and walked around. We wanted to visit the quilt museum. It was a gorgeous day. While we waited for the quilt museum to open, we walked around downtown LaConner (at least I think it was downtown!), had some gluten free pastries, checked out the boats and enjoyed the sunshine.
We also spent some time at MoNA – the Museum of Northwest Art in LaConner. They were showing the pieces that would be available for purchase at an upcoming auction. Pieces of art were donated by the various artists and some of them were quite good. Others were not to my taste. Check back, I may write a post about that museum visit.
At the quilt museum, I saw a cool sewing chair unlike any I have seen before. It was in the tower room of the mansion under a mural of the sky. My Mom actually pointed the chair out to me. I think it would be very handy for supplies needed for sewing by hand. I am not sure how comfortable it would be, though the seat was contoured a bit. I have suggested Mom have my stepdad try and make one of these chairs. He probably won’t do it, sadly. I bet it would be very popular among quiltmakers.
One of the things I enjoy about architecture, especially in houses like the Gaches Mansion, is the detail. Much of it gets stripped away and has to be rebuilt during restoration projects. While this mansion had some bad luck, some of the details remained, including the tile on some of the fireplaces. I especially like the tile on the surround. The leaves and vines would make a great applique’ pattern.
After visiting the YM for not long enough, we had to head home. On the way south, we stayed for two nights in Portland. We visited with my sister and my friend. Mom and I went on two separate outings one day and had a lot to talk about when we got back together.
Amanda and I went to a few quilt shops. One was Pioneer Quilts. I have been there before. While the fabric has changed, the cleanliness, good fabric choices and friendliness were the same. Fortunately, despite COVID-19, the shop was open. After a vigorous handwashing we spent a happy hour there looking at their offerings. It is still one of my favorite shops in Portland. It is housed in a historic home and they put the space to good use. Despite the name, they have a lot of modern and contemporary fabrics, beautiful non-brown colors of wool felt, patterns and everything one needs to be a happy quiltmaker. One thing I love is the flowers in the beds around the house/shop. I have seen a few of those giant poppies and I love them.
We also stopped at Sharon’s Quilting Attic. I have also been there before. Last time, I bought a roll of Vanessa Christensen’s Ombre dots and wanted to see if they had the same rolls of the new colors. No luck, but they had a few interesting things. I found a good selection of ByAnnie’s double fold elastic. I bought a few rolls as normally I have to buy it online and I like looking at the colors in person. The workers seemed unhappy or overworked. This shop reminds me a little of Always Quilting.
While we were driving around, I saw the Oregon City Municipal Elevator. This elevator takes people from one level of Oregon City to another. It was opened in 1915 (though TripAdvisor says 1955) and does not spin around as it goes up and down. The levels are 89 feet apart. It is located at 300 Seventh St, Oregon City, OR 97045. Trip Adviser lists it as the only vertical street in the US. I did not ride it, but now that I know about it may another time.
All in all it was a good trip. I got to see my YM! My mom got a little rest from her caregiving duties. I don’t think I want to drive that far again, but we’ll see.