Happy 30th Epcot!

dunthor epcot

Epcot turns 30 this month

Have you been to Epcot lately? Epcot is my favorite park at Walt Disney World in Orlando. I found some pictures of the opening and a story from The Orlando Sentinel: Pictures: Epcot opens at Walt Disney World in 1982 – OrlandoSentinel.com.

I did a search of my blog and found two earlier posts about Epcot. March 2009 is about a business trip of Scott’s that I tagged along on and January 2011 was when I was in Orlando again to take care of my mother until her death from breast cancer. Her home was between Disney World and Universal Studios so every night at 9 pm you could see and hear the fireworks at both places.

dunthor, epcot

photocredit: wiki commons

Now that it is getting more Autumn-like here in Seattle I am pining for that Orlando weather. When I flew down on Halloween in 2011, the flight was full of people from Seattle heading down for the winter with tons of luggage, dogs, cats, etc. Except for the flight itself, doesn’t snow-birding sound wonderful?

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The continuing adventures of Camper Bob and Gracie Coleman

Because we have the good fortune to have a wonderful house sitter, we were able to take the dogs camping this weekend. We like Olympia Campground because it is wooded and close to where we keep Chinook, our boat. We don’t plan dog activities as such, they just lie around, chase pinecones, beg snacks, bark at stuff, really the same things they do at home but it is more fun because they are outside. I spend most of my time inside, this trip I’ve been working on my tattoo-story that I’ll have posted soon. I took a break this morning for some exercise, left Scott and the dogs at the campsite and drove to the state Capitol to walk the trail that circles Capitol Lake. It is partly paved, partially gravelled and busy without feeling crowded. However, it was crowded enough that the only blackberries that were ripe were too far away to reach. All the easy to reach vines were picked clean. I did see lots of tiny ducklings but I am bummed that they don’t show up in the photo, sorry about that. I made an extra loop downtown to lengthen the walk a bit  and then stopped at Taco Del Mar to bring home tasty vegan burritos for lunch, yum!

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Click here for the official page: Things to see on the Capitol Campus.

Click to see my route: Plus3network.com


Oregon Coast 2011

Inga's pick for the best photo of the trip

This is my new favorite way to plan a vacation: instead of planning 7 days or 10 days, plan 5 and then keep extending it, day by day. This removes that dreaded “end of vacation depression” and feels decadent, like helping yourself to another scoop of ice cream. So, since we have a reliable rabbit/cat sitter and flexible schedules, we are still on vacation! Read the rest of this entry »


Florida’s Space Coast

We went to see the Kennedy Space Center last week. I have seen parts of the complex in Apollo 13, The Right Stuff and of course, I Dream of Jeannie, but never in person. The surrounding area is beautiful and includes a national wildlife refuge on this barrier island along the Atlantic Ocean. The weather was sunny, yet cold, so we didn’t have crowds to deal with and were able to check out all the exhibits.

Merritt Island

We both loved seeing the Rocket Garden and the Apollo / Saturn V Center. It was really cool to see the logos/badges that were designed for each mission and to see the crew names and remember watching those broadcasts as a kid. I was disappointed with the Early Space Exploration Museum, not because of what was there, which was good, but because it could have been so much more.  I, of course, would have started from early man’s interest in space with depictions of asterisms from cave paintings, charts of the movement of planets and stars, inventions like the astrolabe, etc., but the curators chose to limit the museum to rocket science starting with Goddard’s experiment.  The rockets are named for the gods, Saturn, Juno, Gemini, and Apollo, and the centerpiece of the lobby floor is a map of the planetary spheres, with their corresponding astrological signs no less, yet there is no mention of the development of astronomy, flight or any of the other technologies that are necessary for space travel. For example, some of the early spacesuit prototypes looked just like old hard hat diving gear and I would have enjoyed reading about how the suits evolved as more was learned about real space conditions.

The tour bus narrator assured us that we would not see any alligators because it was too cold. I figured that since it was cold, they’d be looking for some heat. We spotted two just lazing in sunbeams. I spotted the one above as the bus headed into the shuttle complex and we walked back along the road to take pictures with my cell phone. Having heard that gators can get up to ten feet long, I sized it up and declared him to be little and unlikely to be of any trouble. Somewhat incredulously, Spouse-man explained that the tail is included in the length and that this fine specimen qualified as full size. But as I looked into its eye, I sensed the same comfy vibe I used to get from Angus, our big orange cat, and I knew that as long as we kept our distance, it was quite content to stay put and bask in the sunlight. The next day, I showed the pix to the security-dude, a local Floridian, who was fixing the alarm in the condo and he noticed just how close I got to take the shot. He looked utterly aghast and was probably thinking of the nightly news — “Yet another tourist has been munched by an alligator while taking its picture.”


The Riverwalk at Estes Park

We went on a perfect walk today, 6 miles around part of Lake Estes then continuing along the river into the town of Estes Park.  Here is the route off the Plus3 network uploaded from my Garmin Forerunner. We had sunny weather and I have to put in a plug for this Aveeno sunblock. I was in the sun all day and by the time we got back to camp I was so certain I had gotten sunburned that I swear I could even feel it. Then I checked the mirror… nothing. WOW, This stuff is that good. Rob was in the water every time he saw a spot with a sandy approach. We were glad that he was able to cool off so frequently. Glad and a little envious!


Colorado 2010

We are in Breckenridge, Colorado and the scenery and weather are just beautiful. We camped in Idaho, Utah and Colorado along the way and when we arrived in Breckenridge, we were supposed to move into the family house. But we were still having so much fun with our camper that we weren’t ready to quit so we are sleeping in the camper in the driveway! Rob was great in the truck the whole way and he so enjoys meeting new people everywhere we go. Scott is posting the first installment of our trip pictures for you!


Wool in the Woods

We just spent the weekend at Wool in the Woods, the annual conference of the NwRSA, the Northwest Regional Spinners Association, at Pinelow Park in Loon Lake, WA which, by the way, takes the record for the longest distance I’ve ever driven a vehicle.  This was a larger event than I expected — a lot of people, mostly women, attended and my fellow spinster from the Alaska cruise was there with her district as well as a few members of mine. The weather alternated between rain and sun and the temps were the same as we have been having in Seattle. I had signed us up for a tent-site because dogs were not allowed in cabins but the camping area was too soggy so the management allowed us dog-people to have them in the cabins after all.

The place was really nice — the setting was beautiful, the showers were clean, the beds were comfortable but the best part, of course, was the conference itself. I took classes on spinning angora, silk, slippery fibers and a technical class on twist, tension and wraps per inch. The other offerings were knitting techniques, basket weaving and classes on dyeing, including indigo, persimmon and other natural dyes. When I wasn’t in a class, I was usually at the seemingly 24hr spin-in going on in the main lodge. There were more wheels than I’ve ever seen before — whole herds of Lendrum and Ashfords and fiber and tool vendors. Scott somehow neglected to bring along one of the many hats I’ve knit him over the years and ended up buying a felted wool hat from Thistledown Shetlands and he surprised me with a beautiful yarn-bowl made by Sarah Alderete. I won a table swift provided by Paradise Fibers as a door prize and I bought a drop spindle from Spindlewood, a little maple one-yard niddy-noddy that matches my Journey Wheel from The Bellwether, some silk from Dyelots and some pure white angora from Margaret Gisselberg, the woman who taught the Angora class. She had sheep-wool, angora fiber and bunnies and yup, we have a new bunny. Her name is Freya and she is a 9 week old German-Satin hybrid. She is calm, poised and extremely well socialized and sat in my lap for hours each night while I participated in the spin-in. I may need to change my Etsy store name from Dunthor to Angora Addiction.

While I was doing all that, Scott and Rob were taking long walks in the woods and along the lake, taking long naps, loitering on the bench outside the lodge greeting everyone who went by and just hanging out together. Rob didn’t want to leave. I had to lift him into the truck — he wouldn’t jump up on his own. Little Freya rode about halfway home in the big crate next to Rob’s inside the truck canopy and the rest of the way in my lap. That makes her the only beast, besides Mom’s Freddy, who has ridden in the cab of my truck — everyone else rides in the back. Freya has her own bunny crate at home and is getting introduced to the cinna-buns very slowly. She is getting her exercise in the kitchen and I think she’d like Rob better if he’d quit tossing toys on her. He really wants her to play so he scootches up to her in a play bow pose and then lobs stuffed animals at her, LOL.

Video of evening spinning session – part 1

Video of evening spinning session – part 2


Salmon Creek Ravine Park

Scott found a great park just North of Burien! The Salmon Creek Ravine Park is right off Ambaum and is well worth checking out. It is a hike, not a walk — the trails are unimproved gravel and wet leaves but you can meander through 88 acres of mature forest with a wild stream at the bottom of the ravine. It is so quiet that you’ll forget you are still in the Shorewood neighborhood. We didn’t meet up with a single other person but the cedars and sword ferns are huge and healthy looking and there are lots of good subjects for nature photography. Rob did an awful lot of running and sniffing and had a generally wonderful time.

Click this link to see the route and elevation data from my Garmin 405: Garmin Connect – Activity Details for Walk with Scott & Rob.

This link is to an article about the park on the B-Town Blog.

A link to the Burien Parks Website.

A link to an article in the Seattle Times.


Rob and the Snowman

Rob enjoying the carrot he pulled out of the snowman

We spent another beautiful weekend at Crystal Mt and received a lovely gift when we checked into the Village Inn, a gift certificate for a two night stay to thank us for the previous blogpost. How cool is that?

We had the same room and the desk clerk, who Rob has a crush on, mentioned that this is the first year that the hotel has allowed dogs. I hope they continue because it is the best weekend get-away and if we didn’t bring Robert along, all we would be doing is pointing out different things and saying to each other, “Wouldn’t Rob love this?”

This time we snowshoed to Bullion Basin on an old abandoned ski run. When we arrived at the saddle, the area was packed with kids on snowshoes and their dads. Robert wasted no time but began greeting and schmoozing them all. When they finished their lunch and departed, Rob noticed that snowmen they left behind had carrots for noses. He ate one right then and then remembered to stop and eat the other on the way back down.

Click to see more pictures on Flickr


Snowshoeing at Crystal Mountain

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photo of Inga and Robert by Scott Duncan

What a great trip! I joined the fan group for the Snorting Elk Apre’s Skiing Adventures at Crystal Mt, WA on Facebook and have received some emails about discounts and special offers at the ski area. Scott and I decided to take advantage of the latest 3 nights for the price of 2 deal. The Village Inn has what they call deluxe pet rooms so we were able to bring Robert along for some snow recreation. The hotel was comfortable and clean and very pet friendly. They even had a dog bed in the room and each day the housekeeper left a cookie and chicken treat for him.

We brought our snowshoes and found some great trails. Scott says, “Today we ventured out of bounds into Pickhandle Basin between East Peak and Pickhandle Ridge. It was serene and very quiet. We are inspired to come back and explore further plus Robbie was beside himself with the joy of being in the snow.” He really had a blast. He never got cold or tired, he met dogs, skiers and kids, figured out that the Tully’s had milkbones and ran and ran. He did run off with a trio of snowboarders at one point but for the most part he stayed with us.

There are several different places to eat up here. The Snorting Elk Cellar is a deli and pub, the Alpine Inn is a fine dining restaurant, and the Tully’s kiosk has hot dogs, sandwiches and chili. At night the stars come all the way down to the mountaintops and we had a beautiful first quarter Moon high above us. I recommend this ski area as a great getaway, whether or not you ski. While we both love to ski we figured that snowshoeing would be more compatible with having Rob along. Have you tried snowshoeing? It is fun and great exercise. I added my snowshoe and book recommendations to my Amazon store. Click the link to the right of the blog to enter the store.

Click the link to see the rest of our photos on flickr.

Click here to watch video of Rob in the snow.

Click this link to check out the restaurants.

Click this one to check out the 3 hotels and make a reservation.


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