Monday, July 29, 2013

As planned, I moved to Tacoma, WA on the 20th.  I'd planned to stay at the Ft. Lewis Campground, but found they had only one site available, and that for only that night.  So I moved on to McChord AFB's FamCamp.  Since they don't take reservations, the vacant site I found would be available to me for at least 2 weeks.  Only a very small site was available when I arrived, but the next day a nice large, private site was vacated, so I moved.

The past week was a pretty quiet one for me.  I fixed a fresh water tank leak which had gone undetected for too long.  That occupied a LOT of time just chasing parts in a new-to-me location.  Most frustrating.  The leak was from one of the level sensors in the tank, a "well nut".  Would you believe, after visiting 3 hardware stores and four RV dealerships, I never found one person who knew what a well nut is?  The parts man at Camping World kept saying he'd never heard of them during 25 years' experience as an RV parts man.  I finally had to tell him that my GMC had 12 years more experience than he did.  I finally found them in a large hardware store, in their miscellaneous bins, clearly marked "Well Nuts".

After that, I sought out a large-enough DIY car wash to remove the 3 months worth of grime from the GMC; it looks a lot better now.

Finally, on Saturday, SHE arrived as scheduled.  What a delight to have HER in my arms again!

Yesterday we began sight seeing for this area with a visit to Lakewold Estate Garden <>, which was well worth the time; it's not Versailles, nor very large, but it's nicely done and "visitor friendly":

After that, we visited the Lemay Family Museum, which I'd probably have gone to before SHE arrived if I'd know that it was only a mile from the base.  It's a wonderful car, truck, wheeled equipment collection.  Harold Lemay (AFAIK, no relation to Gen, Curtis Lemay) was, according to the posted information, voted in his high school class as "Least Likely to Succeed".  Well, maybe so, but he went into the garbage collections business, and eventually several others, and succeeded well enough that when he died, he left behind 3000+ cars, scattered around the area in barns and other buildings he bought just to store them.  When he began to lose track of where he was storing them, he bought from the Catholic church what was originally Marymont Military Academy, run by Dominican Nuns.  Converting all of its buildings to a museum of his cars, and adding several other humongous buildings still allowed only a few hundred of his cars to be moved there -- the rest are still scattered. <>  It's a wonderful place to visit and the docents, as the guides call themselves, were wonderfully knowledgeable about the cars.  Here are just a FEW of the exhibits:

Now, for the "Rest of the Story":  Today we visited "America's Auto Museum"  <>.   After Harold Lemay's death, his family needed to do something with the collection.  In cooperation with other local (and national) citizens, they build the country's largest privately held auto museum,next to the Tacoma Dome near Tacoma's downtown and port.  There, more of the collection, and others on loan from other owners around the world, is exhibited in a beautiful, enormous, new building (2012).  This is a MUST SEE for anyone who likes automobiles.  It surpasses the old Harrah's Museum in Reno, and every other I've seen around the world.

Until next time,

Ken H.

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