As my dear Uncle Tom pointed out, we did more than go to the creepy town of Leavenworth while we were visiting Central Washington. More importantly, we visited my Uncle Tom (my dad’s younger brother). Tom lives in a small unincorporated settlement named Dryden in the middle of acres of pear orchards. The pears grow on the trees in big bunches like grapes, and you can just wander through the orchard picking up pears that have fallen off the trees. (You can’t SELL pears that have fallen on the ground, of course).
We also got to meet all of Tom’s oldest friends, starting with Tom and Tor Samuelson. We arrived at Fred’s house (where we stayed) to find a large pickup truck with two dirt bikes strapped into the bed and some guys with long blond hair hanging around. We were then introduced to Tom and Tor. Tom was a fisherman in Alaska and now he owns property in Seattle. The stories he told us about his fishing days made “Deadliest Catch” seem pretty tame. Tor is 11 (I think) and is a fantastic archer. He’s set records all over the United States in many different archery events (not that I really understand how archery events work). Tom and Tor took us on a backroads tour of the area around Dryden – they on the dirt bike and Dave and I following in the truck. We got up to the top of one mountain, and someone had built a cute little narrow-gauge railroad track up there – it even had a tunnel into the mountain. Abandoned now though – oh well.
We also went to the Aplets and Cotlets factory, visited the deepest lake in the United States, helped Uncle Tom out in his repair shop (or Dave did) and ate at the famous Anjou Bakery where Tom gets his chicken feed from.
As for the famous chickens of Poulet Sur Mont, they were unfortunately in a bit of a sorry state after the vicious dog attack of two weeks ago. Twenty-five chickens raised from babies were horrendously mauled and killed by neighbor dogs. The remaining chickens are still scared to death so they’ve pretty much stopped laying and don’t come running out to meet Tom when he pulls up. Hopefully, the new chickens being raised in the barn will be less nervous and have a good influence on the old chickens.
Two weeks from now we will be on the plane to Los Angeles for a weekend visit to San Diego before we are off to Samoa. This weekend is our going away party in Kingston – if anyone reading this somehow got left off the invitation list, feel free to stop by at my mom’s house between 1-5 on Sunday.