Misawa and Patrick

Finally, here are some pictures. We are starting to get over our jet lag an enjoying our time in Misawa and our time with Patrick.

Patrick sleeps quite a bit of the time, but he is fun to hold and watch even when he is sleeping. His usual routine is a diaper change followed by a time of eating. After he eats he will sometimes stay awake for a little while and look around at the world and enjoy the people in his life. He likes to lay on his mother and be close to her. Sometimes he moves his arms and legs even when he is sleeping. Most of the time he eats directly from his mother. Sometimes he gets milk from a bottle. When he gets fed from a bottle, his father or grandparents can feed him. We enjoy doing that. He is an eager eater and takes his bottle easily.

Mike is a very good and very attentive dad. He loves to hold Patrick and help him. Mike is also cooking most of the meals and doing a lot of laundry. Babies need a lot of laundry. In addition to several changes of clothes each day, Patrick needs to have blankets and changing table covers and spit up rags and more and all of those things need to be washed each time they get something on them. Mike has been taking time off of work to care for Patrick and Rachel since Patrick was born, but today he goes back to work. He will miss having so much time with his son, but since grandma and grandpa are here, they can help with the cooking and laundry.

Misawa isn't a very big city, but the houses are all close together and the streets are not very wide, so sometimes it seems like it is a bit crowded. Everything is kept very clean and it is a fun place to walk around the streets and explore. For our first couple of days here, we are staying on the 7th floor of a hotel, so we can see over the tops of most of the buildings out of our window. It has been very warm, with high temperatures in the 80's and 90's and it is very humid. We seem to raise a sweat whenever we go outside. Most of the buildings are air conditioned, so it is very comfortable inside.

Because the air base is located in Misawa, there are a lot of people from America here. Especially close to the base entrance, a lot of the signs are in English with a mixture of Japanese characters in various places. The building across the street from the hotel has a karaoke bar in it and a great big, bright sign with lots of colors. It does not seem to be very busy during the week, but maybe it has more customers on the weekends. Most of the buildings are modern with lots of steel, concrete and glass, but they are a little different from many buildings in the Untied States. Many big buildings in the US have tall first floors, but this is not as common in Japan. The buildings seem to fit in their locations, with no space between them. Even though Misawa isn't a big city, much of the town is built as if it were a big city.

We have a lot more pictures and I may post more of them during our stay. Today we move into a different hotel on the base and perhaps I can post more pictures tomorrow.

Misawa, Japan

We are experiencing a bit of jet lag and all of the pictures that I have taken on this trip have been of our new grandson. But I'll get some pictures for this part of my story in a few days.

Yesterday we got up at a normal time for this time zone after being awake much in the night due to jet lag. We had breakfast at the train station and caught the Hayabusa, one of Japan's famous bullet trains, from Ueno to Hachinohe, in the Amoori Prefecture, which is the northern tip of Japan's big island. The train reaches speeds of 180 miles per hour and we arrived in Hachinohe by noon and caught the 12:10 express train to Misawa. The paperwork of obtaining our temporary passes to travel on and off of the base took a bit of time and we were really eager to meet Patrick face to face and see our daughter, but soon we were at their home and were able to spend the afternoon and evening with them.

We've enjoyed amazing travel and have seen beautiful sights, and are feeling very fortunate to have been able to make this trip. I'll focus some attention on getting pictures today.

Ueno, Japan

We are back in Japan! There is no picture with today's entry, but there will be pictures tomorrow. We arrived in Japan in the late afternoon. After clearing customs and immigration, we had to get our train passes and make reservations for a train trip to Tokyo. By the time our train got to Tokyo, it was dark and we didn't have time to linger. We found our way through a very busy and crowded train station to our connecting train and made our way to Ueno.

Here we met Masami, our exchange daughter from 1998, and had a lovely dinner before finding our hotel and making it to bed after a very long day. Our Japan adventure has begun with safe travel and more adventures yet to unfold.

Clear Lake, Washington

camper time with kids and bear
Finally, after riding over lots of mountains and seeing lots of wonderful things, Edward and the camper arrived at the Huffman home at Clear Lake. Clear Lake is right next to Mount Vernon where Isaac's library is located. How happy Edward is to see Elliot, Emmala and Eliza. Right away they began to plan a sleepover at the camper for the children and Edward.

bears in the camper
Emmala got out a lot of bears to be friends with Edward. It was a really fun time playing with the children and the other bears. Edward and the camper are going to be at Clear Lake for a month now while Ted and Susan visit and in a little while, while Ted and Susan go to Japan to visit Rachel and Mike and Patrick. Edward is looking forward to a long visit with all kinds of time to play with the children and see what interesting games they like to play.

Clear Lake is a very beautiful place. Today it has been raining most of the day, so it is hard to see the mountains that are behind the clouds, but Edward has visited here before and he knows what it looks like on a sunny day. He can see the lake, but it was too cold for the children to play in the water today. Another day there will be times to play with canoes and kayaks and have many more good times with the children.

North Cascades Nationa Park, Washington

Bear and sign
Hills and curves, up and down and the up and down again. Some times the hills were very long and the passes were very high. Today was a day of traveling in the mountains, one of Edward's favorite types of travel. Edward lost count of how many mountain passes they went over. They took US 2 through Idaho and as soon as they entered Washington, they turned on to Washington 20, which runs through the mountains up by the Canadian border. There were lots of beautiful vistas, some really cool waterfalls, a few choice rivers and some really big trees. Edward wished that they could have stopped more often and explored. They saw lots of deer, including a few new fawns, but no bears. Edward would really like to see a bear one of these days.

do not feed the bears
Tonight they are camped in North Cascades National Park, a wonderful place with lots of Cedars, Hemlocks and Douglas Firs. The grandfather trees are over 100 feet tall and they are so big around that a whole person could easily hide behind one. They are even a lot bigger than that!

This national park is very close to where Elliot, Emmala and Eliza live, so Edward knows that he will be at their home and will be able to play with them tomorrow! He is very excited. And Edward saw a picture of baby Patrick and his mother. Edward is excited to meet Patrick one day.

Edward has a question about this place, however. All around the campground are signs that say, "A fed bear is a dead bear." The signs have all kinds of information about keeping food away from the bears. They have special boxes for food that the bears cannot get into. Edward likes to eat and he wonders why they can't let the bears eat. He keeps a tight hold on his fish. Ted explained that the bears need to eat their own food and shouldn't have human food. That makes sense to Edward. Fish is good food for a bear.

Troy, Montana

edward bear troy mt flowers
Today was a day for the mountains! After leaving the ranch, the camper headed west and started to climb up and up and up. They could see the mountains from a long way away, but each mile brought them closer and closer. At Browining they could see some of the snow capped mountains of Glacier National Park. They stopped for lunch at a powwow grounds, where there were a lot of tepees and people were getting ready for a special gathering.

edward bear troy mt chainsaw carving
Then they drove around the southern tip of Glacier Park through East Glacier and West Glacier and on To Columbia Falls and Kalispell. It was a beautiful drive. From there it was on to Libby and just a few more miles to Troy where the camper was set up in a grove of Douglas fir and cedar trees. They took a walk down by the river and watched a train go across a bridge. A gentle rain cooled things off, but it didn't last very long. It sure made everything smell wonderful.

Edward is hoping to see another bear on the journey but so far, there has been no luck in that department. However there should be more time in the mountains in the next couple of days for Edward to look and to enjoy even more adventures.

Edward gets a bit tired of riding all day long in the camper, but it gives him a chance to see some really interesting sights and to go places that he thinks are very special. He is in a place that he has never been before and he can tell that the mountains are home to lots of animals. It is a fun trip for Edward.

Floweree, Montana

Elevator and bear
Edward doesn't know how Floweree, Montana got its name, but it is a pretty name for a very small town. There are no stores and not even a post office, just a few houses along a single gravel road. For many years there was no water source and the people who lived there hauled their water from a nearby town. Now they have water for their homes and yards and all of the people who live there are farmers and most of them have lots of plants in their yards: vegetables and flowers and trees. The countryside is wide open with lots of wheat fields. There is a good view of the Highwood Mountains across the river. The railroad tracks run right next to town, but there aren't many trains these days. Today has been a peaceful day of resting and enjoying the Montana summer weather. The plan is to head for the mountains tomorrow and Edward loves the mountains and the new adventures that are coming.

Floweree, Montna

Today was such a busy day that we never got around to taking a picture of Edward. We'll try to get one for tomorrow.

Edward woke early, as usual, to a beautiful day at Eddie's Corner. Soon the trailer was on the road again and it didn't take too long to get to Great Falls and from there to the ranch at Floweree. There were lots and lots of people at the ranch They had a big tent put up with lots of tables and chairs. There were a lot of pictures of Russ and the ranch and people told the most wonderful stories about him and some of the adventures they had with him. Russ had a lot of people who loved him and it was a good day of sharing and remembering.

The camper isn't going to be moved tomorrow, but check for another post in Edward's blog, because there will be new information and a picture of Edward at the ranch.

Eddie's Corner, Montana

edward at eddies
Wow! Eddie's life is sometimes a long time of sitting still and then a big day of travel. The camper came out of the storage unit on Monday, but not much activity happened until Friday, when the day started early with loading lots of clothes and gear, some little repairs and checking of things and then a long drive. The first stop was at Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The town has a park that is called "Center of the Nation" and it was a good lunch break. From there the trip headed across Wyoming to Montana. A short stop to have the boats inspected in Broadus was hardly enough time to see where they were and then they were back on the road. The road was really rough for a while around Lame Deer and they got to the Interstate at Crow Agency. Finally the ride smoothed out and Eddie could nap.

There was another boat inspection between Hardin and Billings and a supper and fuel stop at Billings. At Billings they left the Interstate behind again and headed Northwest through lots of open country.

Then they arrived at Eddie's Corner. Edward liked the name right away. There are a lot of trucks parked here and a little park and a few campers as well. A big thunderstorm passed to the south, but it wasn't much of a problem for Edward.

They have made it most of the way to their goal. Only a little over two hours of driving left to make the Ranch at Floweree. Edward is excited to be on the move again.

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