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
Lunch Out
Wed., Aug. 12 and 26, at 12:00 Noon Canterbury Ale House,  534 15th Ave. E
Dinner Out
Tue., Aug. 18, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill, 12255 Aurora Ave. N
Monthly Potluck
No Potluck in August
See Annual Picnic below
Wine Tasting
No tasting this month
In a member's home
Annual Banquet
Sat., June 2016, at 6:00 p.m.
Womens’ Athletic Club
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. 15, at 12:00 Noon
Woodland Park
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes
Christmas Lunch
Sat., Dec. 12, at 12:00 Noon
Robb's 125th Street Grill, 12255 Aurora Ave. N.
Playing Date and Time Where
A Better Club for Investing
Sun., Aug. 9, at 4:45 p.m.
Michaocan Restaurante
Book Club
Tue., Aug. 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Discussion on Karl Ove Knausgaard''s My Struggle at home of Conrad K.
Board Meeting
Mon., Aug. 10, at 6:30 p.m. At the home of Jeff G.
Tue., Sept. 15, at 9:30 a.m. Tonga Ridge Trail
Garden Tour
Thurs., Aug. 20, at 10:30 a.m.
Stunning Northwest Garden
Theater and Music
Aug. 21 – 25
Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR
Travel and Events
Various trips
Check our destinations
Bridge Club
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall
Pinochle Club
Wed., Aug. 5 and 14, at 7:30 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall
Camera Club
Still waiting for a new leader. Any volunteers?
Odd Fellows Hall
Exercise Group
Every Wed. at 10:00 a.m. Odd Fellows Hall


Picnic Contributions

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
A, F, K, L, W
Hot Dish
D, I, N, S, Z (servings for 6)
E, G, J
B, H, O, V
C, M, P, R, T, Y



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 invigoring, frugal day's entertainment. So, why not join us on the next hike?

September Hike along the Tonga Ridge Trail

Adding to the list of hikes our group has not done before we will hike along the Tonga Ridge Trail in September. South of Highway 2 and east of Skykomish, this popular trail has views of mountain peaks in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to the south. There will likely be fall color on the mountain ash trees and huckleberry shrubs in September, and maybe still some huckleberries to eat.

The trail begins at 4,300 feet, entering cool, shady forest, and goes uphill a ways. Here there will be some side trails up to some views. Continuing on, the main trail soon breaks out of the trees and runs along Tonga Ridge. We encounter some meadows and views once we leave the trees. Depending on how ambitious we are we can take a side trail up toward Mount Sawyer, or just enjoy the main trail and find a place with views for lunch. There is about 400 feet of elevation gain up and down. We will hike a couple miles each way for a total of about four miles.

We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 15, at the north end of Northgate Shopping Center, just off Northgate Way in front of the Bank of America building. Car pool riders share the cost. Bring a lunch, and drinking water. Forest pass or Senior (Golden Age) pass required at the trailhead. We will get back to Northgate by around 4:00 p.m.

August Hike to Independence Lake

In August four intrepid Mature Friends hiked up to Independence Lake, which is located off the Mountain Loop Highway near the small town of Silverton. Before it was renamed Silverton in 1891, this mining camp settlement was known as Independence.

Independence Lake Hike

Ramon, Harvey, David, and Dale Taking a Break on the Hike to Independence Lake

We hiked up a gentle one mile from the trail head at the end of the 4.8-mile gravel Coal Creek Road. The trail begins through young forest that quickly transitions into older growth of hemlock and cedar. At the lake there are logs and rocks at the outlet with a good view of the lake and the mountain behind it.

As we followed the trail along the shoulder of the hillside above the lake shore we gradually dropped to a somewhat marshy end of the lake. We found a few campsites here as well as a back country toilet. We didn’t continue up the steep trail to North Lake, but at the slope that begins that trail we stopped to take in some other views of Independence Lake and found a lunch site that is less used than at the entrance to the lake. One contingent of hikers started later, so we didn’t meet up for lunch.

There is about 200 feet of up-and-down elevation gain on this hike.

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.

Steven, Hector, Brian, Dale, Jerry, Robin, and Jerry on the Naches Peak Loop Trail

Dale, Harvey, Jim, Ramon, Tim, Ed, Bill, and Roger at Mirror Lake

Scott, Ed, Roger, Harvey, Dale and Keith with Elmo Relaxing along the White Chuck Bench Trail

Lee, Garry, Ed, John, Ramon, Hector, Jerry, Steb, Roger, Dale Pose at Heybrook Lookout

— Dale J.

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August Tour of a Stunning Northwest Garden

On Thursday, August 20, we visited the stunning northwest Seattle garden of Millie Livingstone. This garden was recommended to me by Kate Day, a prominent Seattle licensed Landscape Architect, who has worked with Millie. It was also featured on the 2014 Hardy Plant Study Weekend for all northwest gardening nerds.

As scripted in their handout:
In 1989, when this plant collector moved into a steep Seattle hillside garden, she found the most creative and inventive ways to deal with replacing failing retaining walls and paths to a lookout over Puget Sound. Then she artfully began planting a mix of native plants and ornamentals, all purposefully placed for maximum textural interest and color echoes. The hardscape is equally as exquisite, with stunning mosaic paths and walls, narrow metal water troughs running alongside paths, metal and stonework walls, and water features — you will wonder how they got it all down the site. The vegetable garden is the jewel of the garden and recently won a National Award for residential mosaic work by local artist Nadine Edelstein (the public award in this contest went to the 9/11 Memorial). Don’t miss the chute where bags of compost make their way from the hilltop to the vegetable garden. What a beautiful marriage of exceptional stone, metal and mosaic hardscape, and a plant collector’s dream garden. What’s most amazing is Millie maintains the garden almost entirely by herself.
Even though it has been a brutal summer, she correctly predicted that there would still be color, especially the hydrangeas. 

George and John

George and Tour Leader, Dr. John


As you see in the picture above, there were a LOT of steps up and down in this garden, so STURDY shoes came in handy.

July Tour

On Thursday, July 16, thirteen members had a delightful time in the vast forested community of Woodinville while visiting two gardens previously on the 2014 Woodinville Garden Tour

Woodinville Garden Tour

Omar Watson and George Shriver (Susan is on the right) graciously led the tour in my absence. The garden tour was arranged by Susan Latter, whose garden was the first visit. It  is called “Fifty Shades of Green.” Much of the following is taken from the publicity of that tour.

The Latters moved to their home in Triology with a smaller garden five years ago. They faced the challenges of their new site by embracing the moss. Accepting that it's green and with us year round, they make it work to good effect as a lovely backdrop for the stream that runs through the property. Grass was eliminated from the front garden along with huge amounts of soil and rubble. New soil was brought in, rocks laid and plants were planted.

The side garden received the same treatment. AstroTurf was eliminated from the back garden and replaced with a stone patio, where Susan graciously served us coffee. The property is bordered on two sides by forest, bringing many birds and the occasional bear into the garden. The owners also enjoy the play of sunshine through the trees (on a good day) which highlights the mosses that drape the native vine maples. The Latters have incorporated many container plantings, a small roof garden, and other features of interest.

Then the group car pooled about twenty minutes to the garden of Carol Ager. Unfortunately a few lost their way on the winding roads. We first encountered Carol’s house “Ella,” which has definitely had a face lift from the drab house and garden she and her husband purchased six years ago. 

The front porch entrance was re-oriented by turning its face toward the garden with a new set of steps and brick planters to mimic the original ones. The driveway was revamped to become a drive-through with a medallion for Ella to gaze upon and to guide guests to the front door.

In addition to primping in front, the Agers added a storage shed, a gate, art, and work area, as well as paths to navigate Ella's new charms which included a small shady perennial garden. Unique plantings such as sedges accented with Allium seed heads, succulent baskets, and wall hangings are used as accents.

Collaborating with gardening friends and gurus. the goal was to plant for ease of maintenance  as well as for year around interest. Planting in drifts for impact. using grasses for texture and movement, providing color, berries, and bark detail for every season. This garden peaks in late summer and fall. The street plantings provide interest both inward toward the garden as well as toward the street

Check out the pictures that Brian W. took of this garden tour.

Brian's Pictures

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: For those of you who are not members of Mature Friends, you must join the club before you can travel with us.

Snoqualmie Railroad Days, August 16

Join Mature Friends for Railroad Days on Sunday, August 16. Begin the day by viewing the Legends Class Car Show. Then at the depot for an 11:30 a.m. train ride pulled by a steam locomotive. The ride will take us to North Bend and Snoqualmie Falls.

After the train ride, enjoy a fine lunch in the beer garden, followed by either a tour of the model train exhibition or go see the lumberjack competition.

The cost of the train ride is $18.00 for folks who are 62 or older and $20.00 for those who are younger than 62. There is no admission charge for the other events. With your response, Bruce T. will purchase your train ticket in advance to snsure your boarding on the 11:30 train departure.

Lady Washington Evening Clipper Cruise, September 5

Travel back in time on Lady Washington, a replica of the first American clipper ship to reach the west coast of North America in 1787. Movie buffs have seen this ship in Star Trek: Generations and Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Our two-hour sailing features demonstrations of tall ship handling, sea shanty singing, and maritime stories. The ship departs on Saturday, September 5, at 6:00 p.m. from Carillon Point Marina in Kirkland. The cost is $47.00 per person. As spaces on the sailing are filling up fast, please respond as soon as you can to Bruce T.

Weekend in Texas, October 30 – November 1

Take Alaska’s non stop ride to San Antonio over Day of the Dead (Halloween) weekend and stay at the traditional El Tropicano Reiverwalk Hotel right on the banks of the downtown River Walk. The cost if you're sharing a room is $381.72 per person and $496.00 for a single, including air and lodging.

The Alamo

This is a low-stress break with nonstop flights leaving SeaTac on Friday, October 30, at 11:00 a.m. and heading back from San Antonio on Sunday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m. Daily high temperatures should be around 78º with 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 a couple museums, and an amazing river that meanders for miles and on which quiet 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!

For further information, email Jerry Jordheim or call him.

Christmas on the Rhine River, December 5, 2015

What better way to kick off the Christmas season than with a twelve-day cruise down the Rhine River? We ill cruise to see the European Christmas Markets, making stops in Strasbourg, Mainz, Koblenz, Cologne, Nijmegen, among other cities. Grand Circle Travel just reported a couple of cancellations making fewer than five spaces now available on the tour for any last minute travelers. Call Bruce T.

Rome and Tuscany, April 23 – May 8, 2016

Nine Mature Friends have signed up to travel to Rome and Tuscany from April 23 – May 8, 2016. We will spend a week in Rome with a gay guide seeing the major tourist sights, including ancient, renaissance, and contemporary Rome. After dinner, our guide will introduce us to the gay nightlife, and give us lots of free time as well.

We will spend the second week at a private villa in Montisi, a small hill town in southern Tuscany. Day trips will take us to Siena, the wine towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, Assisi, Pienza, Orvieto, and the antique fair in Arezzo.

The trip will conclude with a day in Florence. Travelers will have an option to extend the tour for a day or more in Florence.

There is room for more participants, but you  must sign up very soon. The cost will be under $4,000.00 plus airfare (currently $1,550.00 from Seattle to Rome, returning to Seattle from Florence).

2016 Gambling Trip, Late May 2016

The 2016 annual gambling trip will be a return visit to Wendover, Nevada. As Marlyce confirms dates and prices, details will appear in future newsletters.

Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23, 2016

The “Cruise to Nowhere” departs from Seattle, with one day in Astoria, Oregon, two days in San Francisco, and one day in Victoria, B.C., before returning to Seattle. A full seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas with no airfare required. Cost for a balcony cabin including all taxes and fees is $1,199. Inside cabins are $771. More information from Linda at Cruise World.

Ireland, Fall 2016

Galway, Killarney, Cork, and Dublin are among the stops on our fall 2016 getaway to Ireland. Cost will be $2,900 without airfare or $4,000 including airfare. Package includes some meals. Check out the next newsletter for details.

Future Trips

The travel committee will be meeting soon to select a trip for the fall of 2016. Do you have a dream destination that you would like the committee to consider? If so, please let the committee know. So far, members have suggested an African safari, tour of Iceland and riverboat 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!

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!

China Tour

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.

Back to “Goings On”


Theater and Music

Tune into this section to find information on theater and music that might interest gays and Lesbians over forty, or that might interest anybody, for that matter.

Road Trip to Ashland, Oregon, August 21 – 25

Ten Mature Friends will arrive in Ashland late afternoon on Friday, August 21, to see three plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival:

  • Guys and Dolls
  • Pericles
  • Much Ado About Nothing

Pericles is a rarely done late play by Shakespeare and the Festival always does a spectacular job on it. We will also take part in activities of the Daedalus Project, the Festival’s AIDs benefit including a reading of a new play on an AIDs-related theme and the Company Variety Show featuring the ever popular Underwear Contest. Ever wanted to stuff a dollar bill into an actor’s briefs? Now’s your chance.

We will  stay at the Stratford Inn in downtown Ashland, a short walk to the theaters and we will have another back stage tour. Some also plan to fit side trips to Crater Lake, Jacksonville and Hilt, California (a booze run).

We will also attend events of the Daedalus Project, the Festival's AIDs benefit, which includes a reading of a contemporary play on an AIDs-related theme and the talent show put on by talented people, including the ever popular Underwear Contest, in which you get to donate by stuffing money down the underwear of your favorite actor.


This trip will be loosely organized, with transportation by private car. We will help you organize car pools after we get a roster of participants. Some may prefer to fly: Alaska/Horizon offers flights to Medford, which is about twelve miles from our hotel. Alaska offers two nonstop flights and flights with plane changes in Portland.  (Because it is easy to  get to downtown Portland on the light-rail, you might prefer to fly and spend a day in Portland.)

Shuttles to our hotel are available. We expect most of us will travel by private car: the drive is just over seven hours via I-5 with the worst traffic between Seattle and Olympia. This would  allow short stops in Portland, Eugene, or Grants Pass. Possible alternate routes involve Highway 97 on the east side. You can access 97 through Yakima via I-90 and I-82 to Yakima, where you can connect with Highway 97. There are several routes back across the Southern Cascades, north or south of Crater Lake and one through Crater Lake. Those with more time might detour to the Oregon Coast one the way down or back. The coastal route would probably involve another night or more unless you are a marathon driver.


We will be staying at the Stratford Inn, which is four blocks from the theaters at the other end of downtown Ashland. The rooms have a choice of one king or two queen beds. Breakfast is included. There is a coffee  shop at the inn and several nearby bars.


Breakfast is included in the rooms. We will have one organized group dinner in a restaurant in downtown or nearby, included in your fees. You will be on your own for lunches and the other dinners. The rooms have a kitchenette. There is a large grocery store across the street. Ashland is rife with interesting restaurants, all of which are good at getting you served in time for curtain.


Liquor used to be very close to the same price as in Washington, but I'm not sure if that is the case now since our plunge into free enterprise in the booze trade.  I would guess it is a little lower there. BUT about fifteen miles  south on I-5, roughly five feet over the California border, there is a liquor store, well stocked and at California  prices. They specialize in Washington and  Oregon  shoppers. John and I will plan on a trip before you arrive, so you can order what you would like us to get for the week. We will also plan on booze runs during the week, so you may need to plan on saving room in your cars for taking some liquid souvenirs  back home.


The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, housed in Ashland, is by most measures the largest repertory company in the country. It has a large outdoor theater, a large indoor theater, and a small indoor theater. The indoor theaters play from February through October. We have tickets included in the fee for Guys and Dolls, Pericles, and Much Ado About Nothing. In addition there are tickets for the Daedalus Festival, the AIDS fund raiser, on Monday,  including a staged reading of a new play on an AIDS theme and the company talent show, which includes the ever popular underwear contest where you get to stuff bills in the under- wear of your favorite actor. We also have tickets for the backstage theater tour on Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m. This takes about a hour and does involve six flights of stairs, not all at once. Pericles is a late play, probably only partly by Shakespeare, which is rarely  staged, but they always do a spectacular job of it at Ashland. Word is that it is the best production of the three plays we will see though there are rarely bad productions in Ashland.


Optional excursions during the day include Crater Lake, Historic Jacksonville, Wine Tasting, hiking, white water rafting.

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