Mature Friends Web Site

What’s New in August
Mailing Address:
Mature Friends
PO Box 21203, Seattle, WA 98111-3203

Every month, Mature Friends publishes the newsletter with updates on our activities. So, here is what we're up to this month, such as traveling (both locally and internationally), attending arts events, playing bridge or pinochle, reading and discussing books, making investments, touring gardens, taking walks and going on hikes, choosing among many options for dinners and lunches, cooking, and tasting fine wines from our own state, from other states, and from around the world.


Goings On

Please click on underlined area for additional information.

Eating Date and Time Where
Lunches Out
Wed., Aug. 10 and 24, at noon Charlie’s on Broadway  🍴
Dinner Out
Tue., Aug. 16, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Monthly Potluck
None this month in lieu of Picnic
Odd Fellows Hall, Ballard   🍰
Wine Tasting
No August tasting, try July’s Chards
July tasting: California Chardonnay
In members’ homes🍷
Annual Banquet
Sat., June TBD, 2017, at 6:00 p.m.
Womens’ Athletic Club  🍴
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. 13, at noon, Food Assignment
Magnuson Park  🎄
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes  🍴
Christmas Lunch
Sat., Dec. 17, at noon
Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Playing Date and Time Where
A Better Club for Investing
Sun., Aug. 28, at 5:30 p.m.
TBD  📈
Book Club
Tue., Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Christopher Isherwood’s autobiography Christopher and his Kind 📖
Board Meeting
Mon., Aug. 8, at 7:00 p.m.
At the home of Scott M.  📓
Tue., Sept. 20, at 9:30 a.m. Sultan River Canyon Trail  🚶
Garden Tour
Fri., Aug. 19, at 11:00 a.m.
Woodinville Garden  flower
Travel and Events
Various trips, foreign and domestic
Check our destinations   ✈️
Bridge Club*
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall  🃏
Pinochle Club*
Wed., Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall  🃏
Theater and Music
May 19 – June 12
Seattle International Film Festival  🃏
Exercise Group*
Every Wed. at 10:00 a.m. Odd Fellows Hall  💃

* The fees for Bridge Club are $4.00 per night for members (who pay an annual fee of $40 to join the club) and $5.00 for nonmembers.

* The fee for Pinochle is $4.00 per night for members and for nonmembers.

* The fee for exercise is $6.00 per month, only $1.50 per week and when there are five weeks to a month, the fifth week is free. Nonmember guests are welcome for the first week, but then must join Mature Friends and pay the $6.00 monthly fee thereafter.


Potluck Contributions

On the last Friday of most months, the membership meets for a big potluck at the Odd Fellows Hall in Ballard.

Each member is assigned a type of dish to bring based on the initial of the member's last name.

If you bring a vegan or vegetarian dish, please label it as such.

Dish to Bring Initial of Last Name
Appetizer1 E, G, J, K, N, T, Z
Hot Dish
D, L (servings for 6)
O, P, S, V
F, I, M, R, V
A, B, C, H

1 For those assigned to bring an appetizer, please arrive early.



Once a month, our hike leader takes a group on a day hike through some beautiful territory. If the hike leads the group out of town and you share a ride, expect to chip in a few dollars to the driver for gas. Also, the group sometimes brown bags it for lunch along the trail. Other than that, this activity is an invigorating, frugal day’s entertainment. So, why not join us on the next hike?

September Hike to Sultan River Canyon Trail

Our hike in September will be on the Sultan River Canyon Trail, north of Highway 2, near Sultan, Washington. This trail was built two years ago so it is in good condition, with a gravel surface on the trail where needed. The first part of this hike is on a gravel road, but cars are not allowed so it a quiet walk in the woods. At the one mile point we turn onto the hiker trail down the canyon to the river.

It’s a nice change from most trails in that you descend first, as you head down to the Sultan River, and then you climb back out as you return. After going down the canyon on some switchbacks the trail levels out through lowland forest. The trail ends at the banks of the Sultan River, in a place where the water is relatively calm. There are some small rapids, and an imposing canyon wall on the other side of the river. This will be a good spot to enjoy lunch. The hike is four miles round trip, with about 800 feet elevation change, about the same as the other hikes we have done in recent months. As a bonus you can see beautiful Spada Lake at the trail head area.

We will meet for car pooling at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20, near the Bank of America building at the north entrance to Northgate Mall, with the goal of reaching the trailhead by 11:00 a.m. Bring a lunch and water. Wear sturdy shoes. Car pool riders share the cost. We will get back to Seattle around 4:30 p.m.

If you wish to drive directly to the trail head:

  1. Take Highway 2 to Sultan Basin Road, which is at the stop light just east of Sultan as you leave town. 
  2. Turn left onto Sultan Basin Road and continue for thirteen miles.
    The paved road will turn to gravel for the last three miles.
  3. Toward the end of the road, there is a sign directing you to a turnout where you must register, since this is the water source for Everett, owned by Snohomish County PUD.
  4. After you register you will come to an intersection where you turn left and in a mile reach the trail head area next to Spada Lake.

Last Month’s Hike to Source Lake Overlook

Our August hike took us to an overlook looking down at Source Lake, the beginning of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. The lake is small but the setting is among craggy peaks with an alpine feel. It is on a spur off the Snow Lake Trail, but we won’t go to Snow Lake. The trail starts from the Alpental ski area parking lot, with an initial 200-foot climb up log steps, and then becomes a gradual ascent in forest. A mile in, a talus slope offers a break in the trees and views of a rocky mountain landscape. In another mile we go left on the spur trail, with views of Chair Peak and the valley back toward Alpental. There are nice rocks to sit on for our lunch with a view. The hike is just over four miles round trip, with 700 feet elevation gain, about the same gain as our last two hikes.

Source Lake

Edwin, Gene, Brian, Jim, Dale, Garry, Ramon, Doug, and Keith (with Elmo) Hiking the Source Lake Trail

Here are some photos of this hike taken by Jim.

Snapshots from Some of Our Previous Hikes

Our hikers posed with beautiful backdrops from some of our past treks. The following pictures show some examples.

Dale, Jerry, Edwin, Garry, Jim, Doug, David, Tim, Brian, Ramon, and Gene on Iron Goat Trail, accompanied by Doug’s dog Taz, an Australian Shepherd

Dale, David, Tim, Edwin, Ramon, Brian, Jerry, Jim, Gene, Gary, and Doug on Trail to Talapus Lake

Jerry, Dale, Stephen, Gene, Ramon, Doug, and Edwin on the Boulder River Trail

Robe Canyon Trail, L to R Dale, Gene, Ramon, and Doug

— Dale J.


August Tour to Visit Woodinville Garden

The Garden Group will visit the Garden of Doyle and Janet Watson, Woodinville, Washington, which they call “a family’s labor of love.” The garden began in 1978 when the Watson family of six, moved to a level 1.15 acre plot in what-was-then a sparsely populated Woodinville.

For thirty-eight years, the family has worked to drop trees, clear brambles and open up the space to create a beautiful garden. The original garden was limited to blackberries, alder, maple, Douglas fir and vine maple.  In recent years, the family has added a couple of fun and whimsical attractions:  the one-room schoolhouse and the elevated garden viewing deck (built on an existing cedar stump that is over 200 years old). 

The garden features Japanese maples, peonies, rhododendrons, azalea, roses and also, more than fifty cultivars of hydrangea, rare trees and shrubs.  Some rarer plants on the property include:  Aralia elata ‘variegata,’ Quercus robur ‘Concordia,’ Franklinia alatamaha, Styrax japonicus 'Carillon,' Acer macrophyllum ‘Mocha Rose,’ Cornus kousa ‘Summer Fun,’ Stewartia pseudocamellia ‘Ballet,’ Parrotia persica ‘Kew’s Weeping,’ Magnolia macrophylla, and many more.

We will visit the garden on Friday, August 19, at 11:00 a.m. The tour has been arranged by Justin Watson, their son who has been intricately involved in the design and care of the garden. The address is 15101 N.E, 195th Street, Woodinville, 98072. Once finished, the family will serve light refreshments, so please let me know NO LATER than Wednesday, August 17, for your attendance. Also indicate whether you have space for riders or are interested in carpooling.


  1. From I-405, at the north end of Lake Washington, take WA-522 east toward and past Woodinville.
  2. Take the 195th Street right exit and ramp toward Duval. Merge onto N.E. 195th Street.
  3. Then N.E. 195th Street becomes N.E. North Woodinville Duvall Rd.
  4. In 0.57 mi., turn left onto 156th Avenue N.E.
  5. Then turn left onto N.E. 195th Street.

The Garden is 0.30 mi. on the left.

Last Month’s Tour

On Tuesday, July 26, thirty-four members carpooled from either the Washington Park Arboretum or Wells Medina Nursery to the private garden of a major Company Executive on Evergreen Point Road, Medina, Washington.

Medina Garden Group

We were met by Daniel Mount (John Wott and Daniel), their gardener, who guided us around the two plus acres of the public garden area. Daniel has been designing and working in the garden for nearly twenty years and has helped it change as the needs of the owners evolved. We entered the property along a long narrow drive, sheltered by towering Douglas firs and Western red cedars. There are two large “plush and spongy” grassy areas surrounded by tall intense colorful beds filled with shrubs, perennials, and annuals.

The beds are designed to be backdrops for strolling and playing on the lawns, but most especially for the large summer garden parties held under tents placed strategically on the lawns. These parties will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, so the beds focus on mid-summer color.

Take a look at some snapshots of this beautiful garden:

Garden Group Exploring

Wooden Carving

Pineapple Lilies in Bloom

Hakonechloa Give Contrast

Cardiocrinum Lily Pods

Dwarf Conifers

Coleus Crocassmia

Rodgersia -- Red Leaf

Checking Out Individual Plants

The gently sloping property is divided by a wall garden, so the two areas can be easily divided and used separately or used together. Noteworthy were accent plantings of sweet corn, pumpkins, herbs, and other culinary crops which the family harvests. Clumps of bananas, daylilies, coneflowers, Ariseama’s, begonias, martigon lilies, and coleus added color and texture. Melianthus and dahlia, witchhazels, and dogwoods added much structure. It was a pleasure to be privileged to visit such a private personal retreat, watched over by an elf in his own house.

More photos from Brian.

— Dr. John Wott

Back to "Goings On"

Travel and Events

This section tells you all about recent or upcoming trips planned for Mature Friends. Everybody who has gone on one of these trips has had a great time and was well taken care of. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up and join the fun!

Note: To travel with us, you must first join the club.

Sail Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain Sailing Ships

Avast, ye buccaneers! Last summer, our evening sailing on the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain got canceled because of a heavy rain and lightning storm that struck just before our sailing time. This year we will try again.

The three-hour cruise on Lake Washington in reproductions of eighteenth-century sailing ships features booming cannons, close quarter maneuvers, and the singing of sea shanties. Both ships have appeared in numerous movies and television shows. The ships will sail on Saturday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m. with boarding beginning thirty minutes prior to sailing from the docks at Carillon Point in Kirkland.

Only a limited number of tickets are available at $63.00 per person, so reserve your space soon with President Bruce.

The Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23

The famous Cruise to Nowhere (actually it does go somewhere) departs from Seattle with a one-day stop in Astoria, Oregon, then for two days in San Francisco, and finally one day in ., before returning to Seattle. A full seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas with no airfare required.

The cost for a balcony cabin, including all taxes and fees, is $1,199.00. Inside cabins cost $771.00.

We have twelve signed up so far. Space is still available and with a couple more cruisers, the entire group will earn on-board credits. So be sure to book this trip as soon as you can.

You can get more information by contacting Linda at Cruise World.

Shades of Ireland, September 28 – October 10

Last call for our thirteen-day tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We will begin our tour in Dublin, where we will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the historic city center.

On Day 4, we are off to medieval Kilkenny with a stop at the House of Waterford Crystal.

On Day 5, you have the opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone before traveling along the Ring of Kerry-Killarney with an overnight in Killarney. The next day, we will continue to Ennistymon, Cliffs of Moher, and Galway, where we will stay overnight in a nineteenth-century estate.

On Day 8, We will stop overnight at Lough Eske Castle. The next day, we take off for Derry before ending up in Belfast.

The whole trip costs you $4,149.00, including round-trip airfare from Seattle.

Questions? No problem. Just e-mail Linda at Cruiseworld, and fire away! She'll be more than happy to fill you in.

Fran’s Chocolate Factory Tour

Mark Tuesday, October 4, at 11:00 a.m. on your calendar for a Mature Friends tour of the Fran’s Chocolate Factory in Georgetown!  

The hour-long tour will show us how Fran’s creates their delectable chocolates, truffles, and sauces. There will be plenty of samples to taste, and the factory also has a store where we can purchase chocolates to take home. The tour is limited to twenty-five people, and the cost is $10.00 per person.

Afterwards, there are several nearby restaurants where we can enjoy lunch. For those who wish to, we can explore the neighborhood afterwards. The area has noteworthy repurposed factory architecture, a brewery, and several collectibles shops and vintage stores.

Cruise to Nowhwere 2017

The ten-night 2017 Cruise to Nowhere departs from Vancouver, B.C., on April 11, 2017. Departing at 4:30 p.m., we have two days at sea before arriving in Los Angeles, followed by a day on Catalina Island. After Catalina, we depart for Santa Barbara, with an overnight stayin San Fancisco before two more days at sea, arriving back in Vancouver the morning of April 21.

Linda from Cruiseworld will be working on round-trip train transportation between Seattle and Vancouver. Cruise fares range from $1,099.00 to $1,649.00, based on double occupancy, with the cost for third and fourth persons in a room ranging from $548.00 to $824.00. These fares do not include the $225.00 taxes or the cost of the trrain. Cruise registration is open with complete details coming in later newsletters.

Contact Linda Lane by e-mail or phone (206) 284-0500.

Future Trips

Do you have a dream destination that you would like the committee to consider? If so, please let the travel committee know. So far, members have suggested an African safari, tour of Iceland, and a riverboat cruise up the Columbia River. We are also looking into a wine tasting tour of Central Washington for summer 2016.

Past Trips and Events

If you missed some of the trips organized by Mature Friends, you might be interested in reading about what you missed. Or if you went on any of these wonderful trips, you might be interested in reliving the fun and adventure. If so, this section is for you!

Rome and Tuscany, April 23 – May 8, 2016

This trip began with a week in Rome. We spent a week in the Eternal City with a gay guide escorting us to the major tourist sights, including ancient, renaissance, and contemporary Rome.

We spent the second week at a private villa in Montisi, a small hill town in southern Tuscany. Day trips took us to Siena, the wine towns of Montepulciano, Montalcino (home of Brunello wine), Assisi, Pienza, Chiusi (Etruscan sites), Orvieto, the antique fair in Arezzo, and Monte Olivetti Maggiore (a major abbey with a large collection of frescoes by the Renaissance painter Sodoma).

The fabulous trip concluded with a day in Florence. Some travelers extended their tour for a day or more in Florence.

Weekend in Texas, October 30 – November 1

On Friday, October 30, nine Mature Friends flew on Alaska Airlines nonstop to San Antonio. We spent a great time in this beautiful city over Day of the Dead (Halloween) weekend, staying at the traditional El Tropicano River Walk Hotel right on the banks of the famous River Walk.

Daily high temperatures hovered around 75º with cloudy and clear skies. San Antonio is a popular convention town and the most visited city in Texas. It has the Alamo, an easily walkable downtown with several museums, and an amazing San Antonio River, which meanders for miles and on which quiet tour boats glide. Great restaurant terraces line the route from which you can watch the lighted boats pass and hear Mariachi and jazz quietly echoing up the canyon. The natural ambiance is romantic and real. And remember the Alamo!

The Alamo

We spent a low-stress weekend touring the city mainly on the hop-on-hop-off sight-seeing bus. Some in our group had booked a Halloween dinner cruise on the San Antonio River, but at the last minute the cruise got canceled due to heavy rains. Undaunted, the dinner guests got re-booked into a fine restaurant on the River Walk. Others of us went off on our own and also experienced fine dining on the River Walk. Two went to Landry’s Seafood and sat outside by the river. When the rain started, everybody scampered indoors . . . all except for two of us, who decided to stay put when the staff erected an umbrella over us.

Aside from the great food and beautiful scenery along the river banks, we enjoyed touring the Alamo, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Tower of the Americas, La Villita, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, as well as many more sights. We could have spent a week and seen something new every day.

We flew home on Sunday evening after a full day of last-minute of sight-seeing. Everybody had a great time. Thank you, Jerry and Bob, for organizing this relaxing, enjoyable long weekend in Texas.

Reno Gambling Trip

Twenty-one people took off for our annual gambling trip on May 12. The package included round-trip airfare and accommodations at the El Dorado Resort Casino. We arrived in Reno shortly after 5:00 p.m., just in time for cocktail hour in the Roxy bar.

But to get the full story, come on and click the link and see some pictures of this relaxing three-day excursion.

Reno Or Bust!

Grand Tour of China

In April 2014, about twenty Mature Friends set off for an adventure of a lifetime — touring China! To read about the trip, all we did, all we saw, please click the link:

Tour of China

And enjoy the pictures, too!

Spain and France

On October 12, 2014, twenty-four Mature Friends took off for Madrid, where they began a two-week tour of Northern Spain and Southern France. Please click the following link to see some of the sights they saw:

Tour of Spain and Southern France

Don't forget to click the links in the story to see some pictures.

Costa Rica

On February 14, 2015, some adventurous Mature Friends took a short winter’s break in a land down south to soak up some warm weather and fine culture, as well as to see incredibly beautiful and fascinating sights. If you missed the tour or have an interest in what we did and what we saw, just click the link below for a description, written by Dan, one of the Mature Friends on the trip. Also, click the links in the write-up to see more:

Tour of Costa Rica

Cruise Down the Asian Coast

At the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, several Mature Friends took a cruise down the East Coast of Asia. We began in Hong Kong and ended up in Singapore. As with the tour of China, we saw several incredible sites, but without the hassle of unpacking and repacking, because our Holland-America ship acted as our home base. Check out this great cruise:

Cruise Down the Asian Coast

Cruise to Alaska

On April 29, a few Mature Friends set off on a short cruise off the Alaskan coast to Ketchican. Everybody had a great time, as usual on a Mature Friends' voyage. Check out some of the pictures of this relaxing trip.


Theater and Music

Tune in to this section to find out theater and music goings-on that often contain gay themes, but not always.

Seattle International Film Festival

Go to the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) web site and search under Films A-Z with the Genre “Gay” and look at all the offerings. Our community is always well represented in feature and short films, and be sure to attend the ever popular Gay-La! film evening and party.

Third Annual Road Trip to the Shakespeare Festival,
August 19 – 22

Drive along on a trip to Ashland, Oregon, which includes four plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), participation in the Daedalus Project, OSF’s fundraiser for AIDs, with the staged reading of a play on an AIDs-related theme and the talent show produced by the Shakespeare company with its pernennially popular Underwear Contest.

Shakespeare Festival

We have reservations to stay at the Stratford Inn, a short walk to the theaters. The cost comes in under $800, double occupancy, including tickets to four plays and the Daedalus events, four nights’ room, breakfasts, and one group dinner. Single occupancy costs about $300 more. We have tickets to Hamlet, Richard II, The Winter’s Tale, and The Wiz. To reserve a place, send a deposit of $100 to Bruce B. Members of Mature Friends, see the newsletter for his address.

Note: Transportation to Ashland not included. Although most people carpool, some prefer to fly in to nearby Medford.