Monday, October 12, 2009

U-Turns Happen

Road trip with Evanne, Tazo the Dobie, Peggy and Rebecca:

Last Friday at 7:45am we four took off from Seattle for Wenatchee to meet Betty Roberts and pick up Evanne's wheel which Betty had been repairing. It's a 2.45 hour trip (for most people.) As long as we were going over the hill and back, Betty thought it would be a good idea if she brought along a few of the fleeces she had laying around so we could drop them off for her at Gretchen's Wool Mill in Monroe for carding. How they get back to Betty may be the fodder for another blog entry.

It was a beautiful day. We started on I-90 but went north to Hwy 2 as soon as possible so that we could get to Wenatchee via Stevens Pass. On that little road between 90 and 2 we got turned around (nobodys fault, U-Turns happen) and ended up in North Bend, a few miles south of Snoqualmie instead of north, but it really was a beautiful day and we got to see the old trains and Mount Si in the mist, so it was all good.

Mt Si is a hill, a really big one but still, a hill.
The Vine Maples going East were spectacular.
They had the sun on them.

We arrived in Wenatchee close to 90 minutes late, no surprise given the U-Turn in North Bend. Betty and Fran were waiting patiently for us at the Walmart, parked under the only trees fringing that massive parking lot. Since it was noon (instead of 10:30/11:00, the agreed upon meeting time) we decided to pile into Betty's car and immediately drive to the Mongolian Grill for lunch. This is a treat for Betty, as she gets to Wenatchee maybe 3 times a year and always makes the Mongolian Grill one of her stops, and she couldn't wait to share it with us. I didn't take photos ('ol dopey me) but if you've ever been to a Mongolian Grill you know how it goes: fill your bowl with everything you love and they cook it for you while you watch. Sit and eat. yum.

After lunch we went back to the Walmart parking lot and pulled out the wool from Betty's car, as well as Evanne's wheel, and put it all in our car and headed West, to Monroe and Gretchen's Wool Mill.

We made a stop on the way home at The Farm Stand.
Evanne wanted to find some local Gravensteins.
They're the best for pies.

Getting to the Farm Stand was an adventure.
Coming out of Cashmere,
we ran into this slow moving vehicle:
Evanne admired the purple flowers close up.
Heading West through the mountains;
the Vine Maples were good but it was cloudy.

Tazo had to share some of his space with the wool.
It was a high-anxiety moment but he stepped up.
What a guy.
There was a LOT of wool, much of it under Tazo.
When we got to Gretchen's we started pulling it out.
9 bags full.Gretchen and Peggy and The Wool.
Gretchen has a manual picker and a ginormous carder which
she calls a 'cottage industry carder', this vs the really big ones in the commercial industry and the really small ones that we have on our table tops at home.

The Picker.
First fluff up the fiber
and then run it through the big carder
Gretchen's carder creates a 17"X6' bat

Our friend Melinda (also a Betty Roberts wheel owner)
bought a lot (maybe ALL) of Bridget's fiber at the
NwRSA Board meeting in Monroe, WA in 2008.
Melinda, this photo is for you!

This is Bridget; Gretchen keeps her just for the wool.
Melinda spun the wool and knit up a sweater.
Here she is in her Bridget Cardigan.
(photo stolen from Ravelry)
Gretchen lives in the sticks. She has a lot of critters.
Many of her chickens are very young and not laying
eggs in the usual size yet. They're very small.
This is Cowboy. He's 7.
Cranky ducks.Right before we got home we found this sign:
No U-Turn?
Can you even do a road trip without one?

Not if you ride with us.
With us, U-Turns don't just happen,
they're almost mandatory.


Lorette said...

That looks like a fun u-turn road trip! Sometimes getting lost or sidetracked is the best thing, as long as you find your way eventually.

Melinda said...

Fabulous! Thanks so much for the Bridget photo. I have field-trip envy now.

Linda 'K' said...

What a great trip! Loved (and saved) the pic of Tazo looking around nervously at the padded wool cell he was incarcerated in. Love that no-U-Turn sign too. Never happen on a fiber trip. Glad you all had a great time.

twinsetellen said...

What a fabulous trip. But you got one thing wrong - in MN, Harralson's make the best pie! (Of course, maybe the change in climate makes Gravensteins the best pie apple in your neck of the woods.)