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  • Welcome to the RunnerDuck Blog

    We use to publish a monthly newsletter but decided to step up and do a blog instead. Just like our newsletter we will update this "newsletter" about once a month.
    Each month we bring you news from our little town of Coupeville, WA and happenings around the island we live on.
    We hope you enjoy our blog and we'd encourage you to sign up for email notification since it doesn't update all that frequently.
    Ken and Marilyn


For those of you who follow my blog I’d like to remind you that I don’t post a lot on this blog except when we are traveling. Lately we’ve been doing lots of projects around home so not many posts.

I do walk most days around my wee town of Coupeville, Washington and take many photographs. I post those in my “Coupeville Impressions” blog for all to enjoy.

I’d like to encourage you to come visit and sign up for an email delivery every time I post a new blog. Just go to www.coupevilleimpressions.com to see what I’m up to.

Thank you,



Hi everyone, I know it’s been a long time since we last wrote but we’ve been busy enjoying life but not sharing much.

We’ve done a bunch of remodeling on our house and yard. It’s amazing how much time something like that can burn.

Ken does walk six to ten miles each weekday morning and has started taking lots of pictures and an interest in the history of our town and area. Coupeville has a lot of history from the time it was established in 1853. Whidbey Island and the Ebey Reserve also have a rich history.

Rather than share those photos and stories in this blog we’ve created a new one. We will keep this blog alive but will mostly use it for our travelogues as we have in the past.

We would like to encourage you to check out our new blog, “Coupeville Impressions” at www.coupevilleimpressions.com. If you like what you see and are interested in what goes on in our beautiful island town please sign up to receive email notifications on that web site. We also would like to encourage you to share our blogs on Facebook. We’re sure you have a lot of friends who would like to visit our island paradise.

Thanks for following us and we look forward to hearing from you as you have commented in the past.

Best regards, Ken and Marilyn

Day 15 – Home Again, Home Again

Well we’re back home after a wonderful two weeks to Glacier National Park and back. We had a great time and the weather cooperated much better than last year on our long trip around the United States where it was the hottest summer in history.

One thing that always amazes us during our trip home through Washington State is questioning ourselves as to why we ever left. Glacier Park was beautiful but not as beautiful as our own Cascade Mountains. We drove home on the North Cascades Pass Highway and the following pictures are a testament to the beauty of our state. These were taken at different stops along the highway, just imagine what it’s like if you get off the beaten path and go explore the parks along the way.

Marilyn just had to carve our initials in a snow bank.

Here’s the snow bank.


We stopped for a cup of coffee and what a great place to stop!

Some more scenic wonder!

On the way you pass several dams and here’s Ross Dam


We arrived home and as always, despite a wonderful trip, there’s no place like home!


One of the main reason’s home looked so good is because of the excellent job Marilyn’s sister Susie did house sitting for us while we were gone. Thanks Susie for a great vacation. Marilyn on the left Susie the right.


Oh yeah, Ms. Kitty Kitty was excited to see us as well. Nothing like a pet to welcome you home.

Thank you all for traveling with us and we hope to do it again soon. Till then we’ll try to do a better job of keeping you up to date with our blog. Or you can follow us on Facebook.




Day 14 – The Old West

Yesterday we went to the old west style town of Winthrop, Washington after a lazy get up to a beautiful morning. There are two state campgrounds on the other side of the lake that we drove over to check out and they are very nice and full. Here’s a picture from Pearrygin West campground looking at our campground, our trailer is just right of middle, nice.

Winthrop is a great little town that is completely done in the old west style. You really feel like you are walking back in time and many of the old buildings feel that way inside as well. Here are a couple of pictures of main street.


They have several nice restaurants and outdoor eating areas. Here’s one nice spot which gave new meaning to “saddling up to the bar”.

I think Ken was waiting for Marilyn to bring him a beer.

The town is only two blocks long so it doesn’t take a long time to see everything.

We went back to camp and watched another big thunderstorm roll through with lightning, thunder, rain and wind. The wind was strong enough to blow many of the big water toys that they tow behind boats way up into the campground where one of them hit our trailer. Then the power went out for about three hours.

All in all a nice fun day with an exciting ending. This morning all is grand again with plenty of sunshine.

We leave for home today wrapping up a wonderful two week trip. We’ll wrap things up tomorrow morning when we are home safe and sound.




Day 13 – On the Road Again

Once again we were in the traveling mode to get from Newport to Winthrop, Washington. It was a 244 mile drive with beautiful vistas and winding two lane roads. We spent so much time driving we didn’t even stop to take any pictures. We only averaged about 37 miles per hour.

There were a number of areas where we had to stop for roadwork, this also slowed our progress. Around the area of Republic, Washington we were stopped because they were cleaning up the mess from the thunderstorm that had rolled through a couple of days before. There were trees and power poles down all over the place, a real mess.

We arrived at the Silverline Resort on Pearrygin Lake, just outside Winthrop, WA, around 5:00 in the afternoon. The nice camp people pointed us to our spot and we set up camp. They had a very nice spot for us right on the lake.


It was around 85 degrees F and a nice breeze. Here’s the view from our chairs setting beside our camper.


Not too shabby! Shortly after this picture was taken the dark clouds rolled in and we had a nice little rain squall come through.

We went to dinner in Winthrop which is a nice town done up in a very western theme. Hopefully I’ll have some good pictures of the town for you tomorrow.

Today we are going to just rattle around town and see what we can discover.

Day 12 – No, No, No Your Boat

Yesterday we told you we were going rowing on Little Diamond Lake. Well when we tried to rent a boat we  found out that the office is closed on Tuesday’s, crap! That left little to do but go back to Newport and check out the town.

We saw the Pend Oreille Historical Museum as we were driving around and decided to stop by.


It’s a nice museum housed in the old 1908 train station. They have many nicely done displays like this kitchen scene from years gone by.


A person can spend a lot of time looking around in the main building but there’s lots more to see outside. They have a number of log buildings representing an old school, family home, hunters cabin and more.


Here’s Marilyn getting ready to go out to the field and plow.


They had lots of old logging and farming equipment. Here’s some of what it took to maintain that equipment. It’s a small blacksmith shop not unlike one that Ken’s grandpa had back in Iowa.


They also had some very large equipment like this giant Reynolds Corliss Engine. The engine was built in 1909 and ceased operation in 1964. It had powered the various mills that operated in the same location over the years. You can compare the size to Ken.


After the museum we had lunch at Kelly’s Restaurant and Lounge which has been in business since 1894, the second oldest bar in the state. The oldest bar in the state is The Brick in Roslyn, WA. They serve a really good burger and it’s even better when washed down with Moose Drool beer;-)


We thought this sign outside Kelly’s was sort of interesting.


After lunch we had ice cream at Owen’s Soda Fountain. They’ve been in business since 1938 and was really like stepping back in time.


Newport is a nice little town to visit if you get off the beaten path and look around a little.

We went back to camp and swung by the lake to make sure that the row boats we securely locked to the dock, sure enough they were.

As you can see it would have been a beautiful day for a boat ride on a beautiful lake but it was not to be, maybe next time.

We really enjoyed our quiet stay here at Thousand Trials and will be back.

Today we drive about 250 miles to Winthrop, WA where we’ll be staying at Pearrygin Lake for three days. It looks like a nice day for a drive.

Day 11 – Give Me That Old Time Camping

Yesterday was very quiet around the campground as all the weekenders had pulled out just leaving a few of us vacationers and full-timers. It’s amazing just how quiet this place really is, we like it.

We did make a trip into Newport for some groceries and items from the local Ace store. We had heard about a nice twenty mile steam train ride along and across the Pend Oreille River so we stopped by the tourist information center to find out all about it. The center was closed and looks like it hasn’t been in business for a very long time. We did find a brochure though about the train ride and it runs this coming weekend for the first time this year. Although a little disappointing we rolled on.

We spotted a really sweet old car and camper while driving around. It was a 1954 Nash pulling a 1937 Covered Wagon Company, 17 foot trailer. Both were all original except for the paint. While it would be a lot of fun to have something like that, at $30,000 for the pair we decided we’d stick with our 32′ fifth wheel.

We headed back to camp for lunch and a very nice quiet afternoon. While relaxing and reading our books this butterfly entertained us and asked to have its picture taken. So here’s another pretty butterfly picture for you.

Today we hope to go row a boat on Little Diamond Lake if the boat rental is open. If not we will continue doing nothing and enjoying it.

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Day 10 – Doin’ Nutin’

As we mentioned in our previous blog the only thing we planned for the day was doin’ nutin’ and by golly that’s exactly what we did. Despite Ken’s brother Ron’s warning that “It ain’t easy doing nothing” we managed quite well. It was a beautiful day that got up to around 86 degrees F and that made doin’ nutin’ even easier.

Ken did go for about a one hour walk around the camp and saw a few interesting things.

As we mentioned before this is a Thousand Trails campground and they have a very nice club house with an inviting pool, although we didn’t bring our swim suits.

This is the front of the club house with a big white stone chimney on the front.

This obviously is the pool.

This is a view of Little Diamond Lake from the club house.

The day before we arrived a big thunderstorm rolled through and lightning struck a tree near a camp site. If you look a the tree in the middle of this picture you can see where it was hit and how close it was to a camper. The top of the tree is lying on the ground. That must have been a real thrill for the poor folks inside the camper.

Here’s a close up of where the lightning struck.

We’re sure glad that wasn’t the spot we chose to camp in.

There is a large area of the camp that is partially developed that I walked all around. There are power poles and water faucets in place but the road is rustic and the camp sites area rough and grown over. I did discover where all the killed power poles go to rest. Being a large campground with some tight camp spots apparently a number of people don’t handle their rigs very well and take out the power poles. Anyhow I thought it made for an interesting picture.

But for the better part of the day this is how we spent it, enjoying the good life.

Marilyn is reading  “Night of the Grizzlies” by Jack Olsen which probably isn’t real conducive to good sleeping in the woods while Ken is reading “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson. It was a great way to spend a nice quiet day.

Today we are off to Newport, WA to get some groceries and see what’s out there. The weather is supposed to be a little iffy and cooler. Right now at 8:00 in the morning it’s 54 degrees F with some wind and big puffy clouds overhead.


Day 9 – On The Road Again

After a wonderful time at Glacier National Park we are once again on the road. Yesterday we drove from Glacier Park to the Thousand Trails Little Diamond Lake Campground just outside Newport, Washington.

The trip was uneventful and an enjoyable drive of about 250 miles. Once again we saw lots of beautiful country as we traveled the older Highway 2 instead of the interstate. It’s slower going and more hilly but that’s where the beauty comes from.

We made one stop along side the road for lunch and that was it. We drove across Idaho and passed into the Pacific Time Zone so we set our clocks back an hour. That allowed us to arrive an hour earlier than planned.

The campground here is quite hilly, very wooded, extremely quiet and a long ways away from trains, towns and traffic, perfect! The camp sites are on a “pick your own” basis so we drove around and found a really nice spot high up on the hill. It’s so wooded that there isn’t an view but the trees are nice to look at.


The campground has rental boats and a lake that we’ve rowed on before so may give that a try one of these days. We probably drive around the area a little bit so see what’s here.


We will be here for three days and plan to do a lot of nothing! Nothing but relaxing and, as our internet friend John likes to say, “enjoying the good life”. Ken’s brother Ron says, “it ain’t easy doin’ nothing”, well see.

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Day 8 – Going-to-the-Sun

By golly, despite all possible means to keep us from traveling to Logan Pass via the Going-to-the-Sun Road we did it!

We told you that the Red Bus tour we were scheduled for on Thursday got canceled because of numerous land slides. We weren’t able to reschedule for Friday but if we had here’s what we would have been on.

Yesterday the forecast was for more thunderstorms rolling in around noon which would have probably closed the road again but they stayed away until the end of the day and we had a wonderful trip. As we drove along you could see where the slides had taken out railings and a lot of work was still going on. One stretch of the road was down to one lane which caused about a thirty minute delay. That was not a problem since the scenery was so great.

There is so much to see and so many beautiful vistas that it’s impossible to share in a blog like this. I did sort through the eighty or so pictures we took and will share those here.

First stop was a beautiful rushing river that had several small waterfall’s you could see. Here’s one of the bigger ones.

Logan Pass is at the Continental Divide and has a nice visitors center.

Here’s a picture looking out over the parking lot at Logan Pass. You can tell how popular of a place it is by the number of cars.

We saw this interesting picture in the center that shows a glacier in 1932 and how it’s gone today, so sad.

Here you can see that the clouds were trying to sneak in but only made for a dramatic photo.

Just off the trail to the left in the picture above we saw a small herd of Mountain Goats. They were actually being a little pesky and hanging out close to and on the trail. A ranger was there and kept chasing them away. You can see in the picture that they are shedding their winter coats.

Rather than going back down the road through all the construction again we decided to drive the eighty miles on around the park. It was a beautiful drive as well going past Martha Lake.

We had lunch at Two Dogs Flat restaurant which was just past Martha Lake.

It was a wonderful day and lots of memories to take back home. About 5:30 in the evening a big thunderstorm rolled through with lots of lightning, thunder and rain. Fortunately the high winds and hail they had forecast never developed.

Today we are off to Little Diamond Lake in Northeastern Washington. It should be about a five mile drive through some more beautiful country. As a bonus the thunderstorms are gone and we have a beautiful day coming on.

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