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Features > Seattle/Tacoma, Washington (Jul 2009) > Visiting Brad, Alison & Joshua


I hadn't visited Brad & Alison in so long that a child had time to grow in Alison's womb, emerge and begin to roll over by himself. So, we paid a visit to them at Ft. Lewis Army base near Tacoma/Seattle, Washington. Brad is a chaplain in the Army and we saw all the nature, business, dining, and wining sites one could ever want to see...look below for photos! Daniel's friends Melissa and Steve from Indianapolis also met up with us out there for a couple days.

Sections - Lava Cave | Waterfall, Market & Space Needle Fireworks | Tacoma Glass & Mt. Rainier | Microsoft! | Wine & Ft. Lewis


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I got off the plane and right there in front of me was "Seattle's Best Coffee" and I didn't even have to search for it - poor Starbucks...


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I guess someone took "Could you keep an eye on my bags?" literally...


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After some traffic difficulties (only the start that day) Brad, Alison and Joshua arrived to pick me up - there's Mt. Rainier


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Yo Joshua, whassup?


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Maybe I'm confused...what ARE Mexican Products?


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This is quite the compound statement - "OUTFALLTOSTREAMDUMPNOPOLLUTANTS"


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A creepy church shaped like a witch's hat - we had to stop for a daiper change (mine was dry), traffic was REALLY slow...


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Wow...320th street, talk about way out there


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A nice bridge - amazing how you can get MORE lost with an iPhone and GPS than without


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Mt. Rainier again...it's more than 14,000 feet!


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The next day I borrowed Brad's long pants since we were going to hike through lava tubes - there was a hole so I improvised a repair


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I brought Big Curious George to live with Joshua


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A Great Wolf Lodge - just like the one in the Wisconsin Dells! So sad, nothing's original anymore...


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We took the old truck (without A/C bleagh)


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People takin the boat to the lake (good place to take the boat I suppose)


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Boats in the lake


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It was very pretty out in the countryside...


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Moss covered everything!


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Brad's picture (any images with "*" after the image name are from Brad/Alison) of me taking a picture


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I guess this means I'm not claustrophobic...


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So we came to the park to see Ape Cave just to the South of Mt. St. Helens but there was a REALLY small lava tube nearby that Brad insisted we crawl through...lava is really rough even a LONG time after!


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See - the lava goes along a ditch or such and the crust on top sometimes caves in and sometimes not, making a lava tube


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Brad's gorillapod helped take this photo near the top entrance to Ape Cave


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Kinda steep steps...


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But I made it down safely


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Off camera strobes can be lots of fun in controlled light settings


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We encountered lots of other hikers, TONS of boulders, and some trash discarded by other hikers (eg water bottles, beer cans, cigarette smoke, etc). At least it was a comforable 45 or such degrees F in the cave.


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Brad made me go the WHOLE way through the cave all the way to the end where you have to crawl through a space like 2 feet tall to get to this space at the end...whee!


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I love the nice t-shirt Brad gave me - nobody asked me about my United Methodist Story of HOPE (good thing, I would have had to think of one on the spot!)


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Mt. St. Helens


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An artificial dam for hydroelectric power


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A train comes down the middle of a highway


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A boat chugs along nearby


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An odd art/memorial installation along the highway back to Tacoma


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We stopped by the pretty capitol of Washington state, Olympia


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Nice architectural details of the Olympia capitol building


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Various moldings along the columns/walls of the capitol


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Nice statue near the capitol


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Beautiful Olympia seen from the capitol


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Back in Tacoma on Ft. Lewis Army Base we saw various buildings/etc, here's a storage area for servicemember's cars while deployed


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Then I took a walk with Merle and Brad - this was a BAD idea since I was either way too alergic to Merle or the moss/pollen and had quite a sneeze-fest during/after the walk


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It was a pretty walk though


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Brad sat on the wall, did he have a great fall?


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So much moss/lichen/etc


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Fun plants


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Ants! Quite aggressive/frightening ones at that...


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Is this holly?


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A daisy


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I wonder if this fuzziness is normal for this tree or there's a disease at work


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Nice trees as the sun sets behind Madigan Army Hospital


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Now in a disaster I suppose I wouldn't turn away any help, but really are these buses the best we have for the "MAMC Disaster Assistance Response Team"?


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Mt. Rainier is everywhere!


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Hey, they Army Corps of Engineers put a marker...on an Army Base


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Brad's house shares his rank/name


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Advantage Joshua in the hair department


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Cinnamon bread...


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Little American sock, big unbranded foot


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I also brough Willard the duck to live with Joshua


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Little carrots

Sections - Lava Cave | Waterfall, Market & Space Needle Fireworks | Tacoma Glass & Mt. Rainier | Microsoft! | Wine & Ft. Lewis

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