One of best parts of this traveling lifestyle is the opportunity to visit with family members that we have not seen in years. On September 1, we made arrangements to have dinner with Kim’s cousin Tim and his wife Linda and much of their family. Unfortunately, her other two cousins that live in this area are not here. One in Arizona and the other in Japan. This part of the family is on Kim’s mothers side. Kim’s uncle Tex passed away a number of years ago. Tim is his oldest son.
Tim is an awesome guy. He started a business with a passion and turned it into a very successful and impressive business. The name of the business is BladeTech. They make knives, but the majority of their business is tactical holsters for hand guns. They ship about 1000 holsters every day. They have some very large customers like Cabela’s. Tim has met many people through his business including one of my favorite actors, Tom Selleck.
We left our campsite at Oak Bay and we were planning to drive about 80 miles. When we got to the small town where Tim lives, we saw a sign for an RV resort. We decided to check it out. It was expensive at $50 per night, but it saved us much of that in tolls to cross the Narrows bridge 3 times and the additional gas. Once again the advantage of not making reservations is you can switch plans on a moments notice.
When we arrived at Tim’s, he was cooking a large sirloin roast on a rotisserie. It came out awesome. The good news is that much of his family and his brother Tom’s wife Beth joined us. We had a great time catching up with everyone. One cool thing that is happening is that Tim’s son Bryce is now CEO of BladeTech and he is taking over the business. That will give Tim more time to pursue his passions of hunting and many other things. Tim has gone on 8 African safaris. He has a man cave with an amazing array of mounts.
Some find big game hunting offensive. Tim explained that this is the only thing that keeps much of the central African countries from starvation. The money paid by hunters to come in and hunt this game is used to feed entire villages. They manage the resource well and in almost all of Africa the animals are doing well. The problem in that part of the world is poaching by unscrupulous people that do not pay to hunt and kill animals just for a horn or what ever and just leave the rest to rot.
Here is Tim with two of his grand kids:
I was able to spend some time with Tim’s two kids. Bryce is very sharp and he is doing a great job with BladeTech. Amber is equally impressive. She is the mom to 4 kids. She reminds me of my daughter Shannon. Shannon and Amber need to find a way to spend some time together. They have so much in common.
The next day we were traveling through the area where BladeTech is located. Tim invited us for a tour.
All I can say is WOW! It is a much bigger operation than I thought. Kim and I got to see the Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) that is used to create the molds that make many of the holsters. We saw the production areas, packaging and shipping and receiving. It was very cool to see. Tim gave us a few gifts. He is such a nice guy. This is Tim, Kim and I in front of the building:
We have been in what felt like fairly dense population for quite a while. It felt great to head up into the Cascade mountains and over Snoqualmie pass. We had picked out a campground just over the pass. We knew that the Labor Day weekend was coming up. We saw this campground had non-reserveable sites that we could fit in. We arrived and the place was still almost empty. Perfect!. We had a camp host help us find a site that was non-reserveable and would work for us. We are on a lake and we will try to do some paddling. The only problem is that the forecast is calling for highs about 60 and lows in the low 40’s with intermittent rain.. Like Kim says, Cuddle weather! We have no hookups and it is still $21 per night. I can’t wait to get east of here and into lower cost camping.
We will stay here through the weekend and move on early next week. This is the start of our long trek back to Missouri for the birth of our new grand daughter. We are shooting for November 1. We have 2000 miles to go in two months. We travel about 150 miles max, so we have about 13 travel days to get to Missouri. We will shoot for traveling two days each week. I will close with a shot of the lake at our new campsite.
I think this place will work to just relax for the next few days and let the rest of the world enjoy the holiday weekend. I used to love holiday weekends, now they mean full campgrounds and rowdy people. It is amazing how that has turned around for us.