Cloud Surfing – Washington State

GrumbleSmiles was set up to provide innovative answers to tackling the problems of loneliness in later life.    Many older people are less able to get out and about, which can be the first steps towards a life of isolation.

My travels around the clouds continue (you can see more of my travel adventures by clicking on CLOUD SURFING in the TAG CLOUD).   Today I invite you to join me on a trip to unknown destinations around the world and an opportunity to talk to new and interesting people.    All at no cost and from the comfort of your own armchair.


We are going cloudsurfing to Mt Erie in Washington State, USA.




Courtesy of a blogger and photographer DJan who lives in Bellingham and regularly writes about trekking through the picturesque state of Washington.



This is a view one of DJan’s treks in April 2018.  It caught my eye because it’s from the Sugarloaf.  When I was a child, I used to walk up the Sugarloaf, but it wasn’t this one, it was a much lower mountain in South Wales.  It nonetheless in those days seemed like Mount Everest to me!

You can read more about DJan’s trekking by clicking on the link below:

In the weeks ahead, I will publish more blogs and photographs from my cloud surfing travels.

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3 Responses to Cloud Surfing – Washington State

  1. 3 peaks.
    Dear JOHN, your latest blogger on cloud surfing, has offered some wonderful insight into the Washington State USA countryside, and ‘Sugar Loaf Mountain’? My memories of ‘Sugar Loaf Mountain’ are while I was serving on tankers in the merchant navy, and in particular in the 60’s when the ‘Suez’ Canal, was blockaded, and we were sent outward and homeward bound on route around the Cape Of Good Hope, was Sugar Loaf Mountain CAPE TOWN. The only stop the ship had was for six hours to pick up mail and stores off Cape Town, and if on was lucky and off watch one could watch the proceedings of servicing our tanker, by the local Cape Town boats, and admiring the ‘Sugar Loaf Mountain’, some times bathed in sunshine, other times with a mantle of cloud hiding its peak, or if at night, all one saw were the twinkling lights of Cape Town city, and the moving lights of the busy boats, hustling and bustling in Cape Town Harbour/Bay.
    Now I come to my pictures? I have none just images within my mind, and they are as strong as the day I encountered them. My latter life was based upon seagoing days in the Merchant Navy sailing under the ‘Red Duster’- ensign.!
    My earlier life which this ‘blogger Jan? Has brought to mind, is reactivated by the BBC TV Channel 2 programme the Yorkshire Dales [fridays at 19.00-broadcast at present]: This programme lends actual scenery of my youth, besides my minds eye!! This programme brought back my time in the cubs and scouts with my schoolboy pal Duncan. We belonged to the same pack, and troop, but in different sixes-Red and Blue and then patrols Eagle and Kingfisher, and then in the Senior scout group gaining and being awarded each with a Queen Scouts Badge. Our life in the scout movement was a wonderful group of memories:-
    A/- In cubs we went tracking in the local Esholt Woods,learning all the skills of following a natural lead and hiding in the undergrowth/vegetation,if one was the trail blazer.
    B/- Besides making teas for the parents committee, and ‘Bob a Job WEEK’, we engaged on hikes and annual camps, mainly within the confines of the Yorkshire Dales, and hinterland.
    Our hikes were local to our Aireborough Base to places such as Burley Woodhead on the fringe of Ikley Moor, or Otley Chevin and its ‘Suprise View’ over the Wharfe Valley seeing Beamsley Beacon and upper Wharfedale, or down stream ARMSCLIFFE Cragg, on a summers day a wonderful veiw(s) to be committed to memory.
    C/- Our camps were to Gilling East, in the Vale of York: here Duncan and I were introduced in to swimming as a pastime-[we continues afterwards every Saturday catching buses from Aireborough to Bramley Baths in Leeds{a 32LEEDS bus West Yorkshire Road CAR bus company and then a 44 Stanningley bus to the baths at Bramley, after a swim a wagon wheel and a hot bovril. Our second camp was to Bilton in Harrogate/Knareborough district on the banks of the River NIDD.
    Another later camp was to Coverham Abbey in Coverdale-Here we played, sang campfire songs such as ‘Ging gang Goolee goolee what yha ging gang GOOH? AND THE REST of the our repertoire including ‘Airedaleing’ to the tune of Waltzing Matilda. One night the whole camp after tea, and darkness had fallen; we were divided into leaders and chasers. The leader were the senior members of the troop, they had a neckerchief placed into their belts, and then sent with torches up into the fells around the campsite. They had to stay as a group, and signal back to the camp fire by morse code that they had reached the fell top- they achieved this- their target was us/ the rest of us and they had to ring the camps alarm/call bell continuously, only if they reach it without loosing their neckerchief. It was dark it was after 20.00 hours, and we the rest of the troop split up and some became camp guards while the others with uniform whistles split up into groups of roaming patrols in the adjoining fields and fell slopes to intercept the leaders [blowing hard on our uniform whistles to give a warning]. This was once the leaders had signalled back to camp, they could could split up, either as individuals or groups? Great fun We the others won, only just! The game -A Wide game- The game finished about 23.00 hours we then all assembled around the campfire and had a sing song and a cup of cocoa.
    THE NEXT YEAR we had an annual camp at the 50th worldwide-boy scouts jamboree at Sutton Coalfield, a wonderful meeting of many nations and brother scouts. Here we learnt woodcraft and how to make shelters that were/are weatherproof, that are made from just the materials found in the surrounding woods, and not canvas or other man made fabrics.[backwoodsmans badge]
    The next year we were on an annual camp to Kettlewell in upper Wharfedale, camped by the riverside, and completed a hike up to ‘Hag Dyke’ then Burnsall, and DOW POT, where our senior members went into the cavern system for a test to take part in a proficiency badge. Another proficiency badge being contemplated was for a ‘’pioneer’’ here the senior scouts went off and completed from the a 30 mile hike, and choose to include ‘Whernside’, ‘PennyGhent’ and ‘ Igleborough’. They after on the second day of the camp and returned some two/three days later, having achieved their objectives { so they had ventured into the Pennies, from Wharfedale to Airedale and including Ribblesdale.}
    The finial camp Duncan and I attended was one to Swaledale- Crackpot Bloody Vale, we left on the second day to hike back across Wensley Dale back to Buckden via Bainbridge/Semerwater in Wensleydale, this we achieved successfully: Unlike our previous attempt at a 30 mile Hike from Malham- Malham Tarn, across the fell top to Threashfield {the original Emmerdale village {TV original location?].
    Duncan and I were now working having left school, and our final ‘’scouting’’- senior scout annual camp/adventure was to Norway and Havdanger FJORD, having left Leeds for the Newcastle-Stavanger Ferry, and then by bus from Stavanger to the initial campsite overlooking the Fjord, and then some seven nights hiking all the time along the shores and mountains of the Fjord, returning to Stavanger, then we caught the Ferry up to Bergan and returning to Newcastle and then home[Leeds] via the Newcastle/Stavanger/Bergan Newcastle Ferry.
    Unlike Jan I cannot offer pictures, but vivid memories of my past? Just as vibrant and real as those pictures, of Washington State USA.

    • time goes by! and reflections, of what is in the minds eye, natters at one, like a pair of old teeth? Sugarloaf Mountain?? Capetown South Africa, to me it is real! to you the reader, you may more fondly know it as Table Mountain? I offer not apologises, but the image of that view form Table Bay in Capetown.
      AS a child in my local Co-oP in Rawdon, in the early 50’sgoing with mum, or on behalf of mum for a message/groceries, and seeing on the counter a sugar loaf? all sweet and ravaged by the shop attendants as they weighed out the portion of sugar we had requested by our ration cards??
      Memories are not rationed, they just at our age [75+] appear a bit jumbled up??? however they are real, at least to me.

  2. john graham says:

    Well done David. That post of your memories is just as good as any picture !

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