Mature Friends Newsletter

What’s New in June
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 Location
Lunch Out  🍴 Wed., June 13 and 27, at 12:00 noon Roosters on Broadway
Dinner Out  🍴 Tue., June 19, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill
Wine Tasting  Wine
Mon., July TBD, at 7:00 p.m.
In members’ homes
Dinner for Six 🍴 Determined by participants In members’ homes
Annual Banquet 🍴 Sat., June 16, cocktails at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Women's University Club
Annual Picnic  🌭
Sat., Aug. 11, at 12:00 noon
Meridian Park 
Annual Christmas Lunch  🎄
Sat., Dec. 15
Cocktails at 11:30 a.m.
Lunch at 1:15 p.m.
Robb’s 125th Street Grill
Playing Date and Time Location
Bridge Club1 🃏 Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center
Pinochle Club2  🃏 Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m.
Wallingford Community Senior Center
Green Lake Walk  🌳 Every Wed. at 11:00 a.m.
S.W. Corner of Green Lake at tree #51 on map
A Better Club for Investing    📈 Sun., July 1, at 5:00 p.m.  
Members, contact club leader Ray
Book Club    📖 Tue., June 19, at 7:30 p.m.
In members’ homes Ken Egan’s The Big Burn
Board Meeting  📓 Mon., June 11, at 7:00 p.m.
In a board member’s home
Walk/Hike 🚶 Tue., June 19, at 9:30 a.m. Mine Road Trail
Garden Tour  🌺
Wed., June 13, at 10:00 a.m.
Lake Forest Park
Theater, Music  🎭 Aug. 17 – 21
Ashland, Oregon, for Shakespeare Festival 
Scarecrow  Screenings  🎭 Sun., June 17, at 3:00 p.m. The Wedding Banquet  RSVP to member in charge only to ensure admission
Oddball Outings  Fri., June 22, at 2:00 p.m.
St. James Cathedral and Frye Art Museum
Travel and Events  ✈️ Various trips, foreign and U.S.
Check our destinations

1 The fee for Bridge Club is $4.00 per night for members (who pay an annual fee of $40.00 to join the club) and $5.00 for nonmembers.

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



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?

June Hike — Mine Road Trail

Our hike in June will be along the south of Highway 530, between Arlington and Darrington. This is a beautiful hike up an abandoned road to an old mine, with views of Whitehorse Mountain at the end when the weather is clear.

The hike follows the old road in lowland forest, with moss covered trees in places. After crossing Moose Creek on a bridge the trail climbs gradually for two miles, to the end at the old mine. Along the way we pass Furland Creek with some nice rapids. Near the mine is Snow Gulch Creek, a good spot to have lunch while watching the water cascading down the rapids. When the weather is clear you can see the snow fields on Whitehorse Mountain, the source of the creek. Wildflowers may be coming to an end in June but by then there may be salmon berries to pick. This is a moderate hike, with gradual elevation gain of 500 feet.
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday June 19, at the north end of Northgate Shopping Center, just off Northgate Way, in front of the Bank of America building. Bring a lunch and water. Car pool riders share the cost. We will arrive back in Seattle by 4:00 p.m. A Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the parking area.

If you wish to go directly to the trail head:

  1. Drive east toward Darrington on SR 530.

  2. A ways past milepost 43 turn right (south) on 387th Ave NE/Old Mine Road.
    There is a Shell gas station on the corner.

  3. Drive 0.6 miles to the dead end, with a steel gate on the right and a barricade of large boulders on the left with a wooden bridge directly behind them.

The last tenth of a mile is unpaved. The Northgate car poolers will arrive around 11:00 a.m.

May Hike — Pratt River Connector Trail

The Pratt River Connector Trail is a beautiful trail along the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River that was recently rebuilt by Washington Trails Association volunteers. Also, after several year of road work the Middle Fork Road to the trail head is finally paved from North Bend to the Middle Fork camp ground. So for our May hike we drove on the newly paved road and enjoyed the rebuilt trail.

The trail starts by crossing the arched Gateway Bridge over the river, worthy of a picture itself. We then went downstream along the river, through forest that was logged early and now has a regrowth of hemlock and other lowland trees. In places the trail moves away from the river, and you will see a moss covered forest almost like the rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula. We ate our lunch where we found a nice view of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.

Pratt River Trail Hikers

Ramon, Steve, Al, Chris, Chris (there were two hikers named Chris), and Dale on the Pratt River Connector Trail

This is a moderate hike. We hiked part way to the Pratt River, for about a three mile round trip. The elevation gain is around 300 feet, made up of gentle up and down once you are in the woods.

A Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the trail head.

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, Chris, David, Steve, Gene, Al, Ron, and Roger on the Pass Lake Loop Trail

Chris, David, Ramon, Brian, Steve, Lee, Al, Gene, Garry, Dwayne and Dale

Roger, Garry, Ed, Chris, Dale, Scott, Al, Steve, and David on Cama Beach State Park Trails

Stephen, Lowell, Duane, Ed, Roger, Scott, and Dale on Meadowdale Beach

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Garden Tours

This wildly popular activity takes you on tours of beautiful gardens in the Seattle and greater Seattle area. Led by our resident horticulturalist, Dr. John Wott, you see a variety of plants, flowers, and shrubs. So, if you like plants and gardens or if you’re just interested to learn a little about horticulture, come join us!

June's Tour to Explore Lake Forest Park

On Wednesday, June 13, the garden group will visit one of the “Hidden Gardens and Gems of Lake Forest Park.” The property was originally purchased by Victoria Gilliland and Doug Gochanour over thirty years ago when it had few trees and thickets of black berries. Over the years, the couple has created a unique array of artistic rooms accented now by the towering trees on the slopes of Lake Forest Park. The couple expanded their home, and gradually created their own mecca for family and friends, so that you can move from space to space for enjoyment. The garden has been on many tours over the years. The couple has a landscape business called Cottage Garden Designs. There are many specimen plants throughout the grounds along with an overnight play house for their grandchildren.

The tour will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. The address:

18484 47th Place N.E.
 Lake Forest Park, Washington 98155


  1. The easiest way is to go north on Lake City Way.

  2. Turn left onto Ballenger Way at the light past the shopping mall.

  3. In a short distance, turn right onto N.E. 175th Street.

  4. Turn left onto 47th Avenue N.E.

  5. Then turn right onto 47th Place N.E.

The home is on the left. The streets are very curvy and narrow but ample parking surrounds the home and back parking entrance. Follow your GPS, and you will be on target.

There will be a $5.00 donation asked for the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden. Although I arranged the tour, Mature Friends President Bruce Terrey will be your on-site guide.

May's Tour Explored the New Arboretum Trail

Thirteen members made the quarter-mile trek from Madison Street to Foster Island Road to experience the new Arboretum Loop Trail on Thursday, May 17.

May Garden Group

Completed last fall, this combination strolling–slow-bike trail opened access to a number of areas in the arboretum, which had been inaccessible. The seven-million-dollar project was funded through mitigation funds from the new SR520 bridge.

The group started near Madison Street and saw the new stone work behind the Stone Cottage. They then walked through the Chilean Forest of the Pacific Connections Gardens. Along the way they saw major new bridges and stonework and, in many places, new “cuts” on the slopes in order to make the trail conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Over ten thousand new plants have been added and will greatly improve the collections of the arboretum. In one location, a major stone way was added to keep the slope from moving.

The trail allows new access into the bogey wet lands, and native plants have been added there.

Buddleia Collection

Currently, the buttercup has prevailed, but will be removed. The trail follows Lake Washington Boulevard, and skirts on the west side of the two kames, glacier remnants. Access is also better for viewing the birches, viburnums, and maples.

Wisteria on Graham Visitors Center

There are several access paths which allow visitors to move across Lake Washington Boulevard. We also saw one of the nearly 100-year-old cedar log drainage pipes still working perfectly.

Red Buckeye Tree

The trail wraps around Foster Island Drive, stopping at Arboretum Drive. Eventually the trail will be connected via the Montlake lid to the Burk Gilman Trail and University of Washington.

Most everyone took the opportunity to walk back south along Azalea Way, which had bloomed in full beauty.

Azalea Way Information

More Azaleas

— Dr. John Wott, Tour Organizer, Leader, and Expert Horticulturalist

Dr. John Wott

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Wine Tasting

This every-other-month activity is hosted in a Mature Friends member’s home. The newsletter gives the location and wines to be tasted.

May Tasting

We met on Monday, May 21, to taste Italian white wine.

Some of the wines we tasted

There are no regional or style limits for this evening so you have the opportunity to try any Italian white and experience the random selection brought by others. There are hundreds of choices from sweet to bone dry, full bodied to light and fresh. So use your own curiosity and team up with someone to raise the tasting’s quality. If you can stop at Esquin you’ll find a knowledgeable staff and vast selection of whites. Other smaller merchants in Magnolia, Ravenna, Bothell (Rain City), etc., will have plenty of information to entertain you. Many of these vineyards have existed in Italy since the Middle Ages. There are some good articles online regarding the history and variety of these wines.
This YouTube video from the famous “Unknown Winecaster” offers general information on Italian wine classification:

Italian Wine Quality Classification

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Oddball Outing

This once-a-month activity, begun in 2017, takes us on day trips and activities around the town or to locations nearby.

June Outing: St. James Cathedral and the Frye Art Museum

For June’s Oddball Outing, we have a two-fer! First, we will explore historic St. James Cathedral on First Hill— the Mother Church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. As a docent leads us for an hour-long walk through the 1907 structure, we will learn about its building and architecture, the fascinating art inside, and its history within Seattle. We’ll see the glorious bronze doors, sanctuary, tabernacle, organs, statues, stained glass, and other artistic creations within the Cathedral.

Second, for those so inclined, we will then head to lunch at the nearby Cafe Frieda in the Frye Art Museum and then on our own explore the museum’s fascinating exhibit, “Towards Impressionism: Landscape Painting from Corot to Monet.” There is no charge for either the Cathedral tour or entrance to the Frye Museum.

Our day of cultural gluttony will take place on Friday, June 22, beginning at 11:00 a.m. We will meet on the front steps of St. James Cathedral.

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Travel and Events

This section is 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.

Mystery Trip, Thursday, June 14, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Mature Friends continues to work to expand activities available to our members through Seattle Parks and Recreation Rainbow Recreation Program. The next upcoming program takes us on a mystery trip.

It is always fun to have a few surprises in life. Join us for a day of fun, but you have to trust us as we travel to our mystery location. This is the mystery day promoted at the last two potlucks. Trust us and sign up for this unique opportunity. Cost is $18.00.

On-line registration:

Register online

Click on the yellow box to the right (Sign Up for Classes and Programs).
In the search box (Search for programs by barcode), type in the trip number: 177408

If you don't have a log-in, either create one or register in person at any Seattle community center, or call Cheryl Brown at 206-615-0619.

Thailand in Spring 2019

Travel to Thailand—once called Siam—where independence, hospitality, and the traditional philosophy that "life is pleasure" casts a spell over every visitor. In a small group, you'll weave your way into daily life to get an authentic glimpse of a culture that has gone untouched by western influence. Let locals lead you through their cities, villages, markets, and temples on this adventure from Bangkok to Chiang Rai.

Exploring Thailand from the cosmopolitan south to the remote northern hill tribes, you'll witness Buddhist monks receiving alms at a dawn ceremony ... walk along scenic stretches of the Mekong River ... hear about the studies and aspirations of students at a local university ... maybe even buy some fresh lemongrass in Bangkok's floating market. A local Trip Leader will help you gain an insider's perspective into Thai culture as they connect you with locals—prepare a traditional meal alongside villagers, dine in a local home, and ride on a traditional wooden rice barge. Discover what captivates so many visitors in this tropical nation.

Departure for Our Group

Optional Pre-Trip: Three-night Hong Kong stopover departs US
on March 11, 2019.

Main tour departs US on March 14, 2019, returning to US on March 29, 2019.


Optional three-night Hong Kong stopover: $695*

Main Tour: $2595 per person

Airfare from SEA: $1400 (but all US commercial airports available at varying costs)

*There’s a $195 single supplement fee on optional Hong Kong stopover

— Steve L., Travel Chairman

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!

Viking Homelands: April 28 – May 12, 2018

Eight Mature Friends embarked for fifteen days on Viking Ocean Cruises to Bergen, Norway, and disembark in Stockholm, Sweden. We will visit eight countries and dock at eleven ports of call. Accommodations on the Viking Sky consisted of a private veranda stateroom, including wine and beer with meals. The itinerary comprised eleven guided tours with ports of call that include Helsinki, Copenhagen, Berlin, Gdansk, and St. Petersburg.

A full account of this magnificent trip, with photos, will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.

Tacoma’s Big Three Museums: Last November, 2017

On Thursday, November 9, we bused down to Tacoma to visit three Tacoma Museums, including the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Washington State History Museum. Each participant chose what museums to see and paid his or her own entry fee.

Special exhibits for November at the Art Museum include “Two Centuries of Still-Life Painting,” “The Dynamic American West,” and “The Art of Framing.” The Museum of Glass showcased special exhibitions dedicated to the work of Dale Chihuly and the glass and steel sculptures of Albert Paley.

Lake Diablo Day Trip

On August 10, thirteen Mature Friends bused to Diablo Lake. Hop aboard and get a taste of what these tourists saw and experienced. Maybe you can schedule this tour some day.

Diablo Lake Tour

California Coastal Cruise, 2017

Departing on April 11, seven Mature Friends sailed on the ten-night California Coastal Cruise departing from Vancouver, B.C. sailing at 4:30 p.m., we cruised down the coat for two days before arriving in Los Angeles, followed by a day on Catalina Island. After Catalina, we embarked for Santa Barbara for a day, ending up with an overnight stay in San Francisco. Then we sailed up the coast for two days before arriving back in Vancouver the morning of April 21.

Escape into Cuba

Five Mature Friends took off on an all gay tour with seven days in Cuba. They departed from Seattle and arrived in Havana in time for a group dinner.

The tour included a bus overview trip around the city and visits to a rum-bottling facility and a tobacco farm to see the cigar-making process. We also saw the unique mountains and caves in Vinales National Park. The highlights, though, were the explorations of the city we did on our own.

We saw the beautifully renovated plazas and streets in Old Havana (a UNESCO Heritage Site), strolled along the Malecon with hundreds of cell phone-toting Cubans, saw various museums, and reveled in the joy of riding in 1940s and 1950s vintage American car taxis. We all thoroughly enjoyed one another’s company, and it was a trip we will long remember.

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 tried 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 sailed on Saturday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m. from the docks at Carillon Point in Kirkland.

But don’t take my word for it. Read all about it and check out the pictures!

— President Bruce T.

The Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23, 2017

The famous Cruise to Nowhere (actually it went somewhere) departed 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. This voyage consisted of a full seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas with no airfare required.

Cruise to Nowhere

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 sites, 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, 2015

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 mainly riding 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.

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 Ketchikan. Everybody had a great time, as usual on a Mature Friends’ voyage. Check out some of the pictures of this relaxing trip

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Theater and Music

This section lists local theater and music productions that might be of interest to Mature Friends.

Screening of “The Wedding Banquet”

The Wedding Banquet shows a gay couple living happily in New York City. Not out to his parents, Wai-Tung arranges a marriage of convenience with an artist desperate for a green card as a way to placate his parents' wishes for a traditional Chinese marriage. But the simple plan turns into a debacle when the parents plan a grand wedding banquet. The showing will take place on Sunday, June 17, at 3:00 p.m.

Directed by Ang Lee and starring Winston Chao, Gua Aleh, and Mitchell Lichtenstein, this flick was released in 1993, with a running time of one hour, fifty minutes.


Scarecrow Video
5030 Roosevelt Way NE

The private viewing room can accommodate only thirty people. To make sure no one is turned away at the door, please send your indication of interest to Roger. (See your newsletter for contact information.)

— Roger M.

Shakespeare and Daedalus in Ashland — August 17 – 21, 2018

Twelve Mature Friends have already signed up for this year’s trip to Ashland, leaving space for only four more. Participants will arrange their own travel to Ashland for August 17 – 21 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

We will see four plays:

The Festival has received permission to cross cast Oklahoma!, with Curly as a cowgirl courting the farmer’s daughter and Ado Andy as the boy who can’t say no to any cowboy, or traveling salesman, for that matter. This is the first time the play has been cross-cast, except for a staged reading in 2015 at the Daedalus Festival.

The Way the Mountain Moved is a new play, commissioned by the festival in a series of plays on American history, including the two plays All the Way and The Great Society, which played at Seattle Rep as well. This play concerns a team setting out in 1850 to survey a route for a transcontinental railroad, and their encounters with lost pioneers, African-American Mormons, and Native Americans.

Henry V is the final play of Shakespeare’s great trilogy of historical plays.

Othello is one of his major tragedies, and to me, the most tightly plotted.

In addition, on Monday, August 20, we will take part in Daedalus, the Festival’s AIDS benefit. We will attend a reading of a play with some connection to AIDS and the evening talent show, complete with an Underwear Contest. The play at the reading is unannounced, but recent titles have been The Baltimore Waltz, Oklahoma! with a queer slant, and Cabaret.

Costs will be $430 for tickets to six events and one group dinner, as well as supplying afternoon cocktail gatherings. Participants will pay for lodging themselves: We have reserved double rooms in the Stratford Inn, which will be under $200 per night for two, so approximately $400 each for the four-night stay. You are welcome to look for other accommodation, but this is a pretty good rate for Ashland, and we can cancel up to a month before our stay. If you want to pursue other lodging options, let me know. I suggest we hold the Stratford booking until you secure something else.

You can reserve a space for the trip by sending a deposit check for $100 to the responsible party. See page 5 of the newsletter for details and mailing information.

— Bruce B.

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