Thursday, July 31, 2014

"The Big Columbia River"

From the old folksong - they aren't kidding about just how big that river is.  It even has its own micro-climate due to the merging of the cooler air from the Pacific Ocean and the hot air from Eastern Washington and Oregon.  They told us it is always is windy (but that also helps keep the bugs away).

Mt. Hood

Those are whole trees

Native Americans are allowed to net fish on the river, on these special platforms

We crossed to the Oregon side of the river and visited several of the many waterfalls.

And no, I don't remember the names of all of them, but they were pretty grand.  We then continued driving on old Highway 30 up to the old lookout.

looking toward Washington

We drove on to the Bonneville Dam - an important part of the northwest power source.  This even provides some electricity, as far away as California.  Impressive.  Busy fish ladders, where the fish are counted.

All in all, a great, scenic trip.  But more adventures are to follow.

Sisters' Quilt Show

The Sisters' Quilt Show is rather well known in the U.S. - especially because it is held outdoors as well as indoors.  They say it is the largest in the world.  We had hoped to meet some folks from Louisiana this year, but it turned out they could not come west.  So we ventured on - even Elaine who wasn't sure she wanted to visit a quilt show.

It was crowded and hot, but something to see.  And considering that there is a fairly major highway running right down the middle of town, it requires a lot of effort to close roads, re-route traffic and deal with the thousands of visitors that arrive for that one day.  I didn't buy any quilts!

Almost all the businesses in town also had quilts hung inside their offices/shops.  The sheer logistics of organizing and hanging [and then taking down] all these quilts is just astonishing.  All in ONE day.  I did wonder if all that sunshine caused some fading.  Virtually every quilt was for sale.

We stayed in a lovely RV park, 3 1/2 miles away.  And on the Friday night, they even had a pig roast dinner with entertainment.  A fun birthday celebration for Elaine,

Next Blog - along the Columbia River, on the Washington-Oregon border.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Almost a month has passed

Wow!  Almost an entire month without blogging.  It seems strange.  Life has been "crazy busy" and have hardly had time to move from one thing to the next.  So some major catching up is required.

We began July with our annual camping trip into the Wenatchee National Forest.  One of the best parts of this trip is the drive there.  This is such a lovely part of the world and when the weather cooperates, some spectacular views.  There was even some snow left.

It's a lovely, quiet campground.  One of the few reservable spots in the national forest.  We then drove east past Yakima and south toward the Columbia River and Oregon border. Here's  Mt. St. Helen's from the eastern side,

to a really lovely campground, Maryhill State Park, right on the Washington banks of the Columbia river.  Peaceful and thanks to irrigation, very green.

An early "developer" Sam Hill loved this part of Washington and invested heavily in some development - well worth seeing if you have never done so.  A replica of Stonehenge,
an eclectic but excellent museum, The Maryhill Museum,
multiple wineries, including this one with a fabulous amphitheater.  [Wouldn't this be lovely to sit outside, sipping a beverage and enjoying a concert?]

After a couple of nights, we continued south to Sisters, Oregon, our intended destination.  The triangle of cities formed by Redmond, Sisters and Bend are beautifully located on the eastern side of the spine of the Cascade Mountain range.  From Mt. Hood south there is peak after peak to be seen.  An excellent RV Park, located just 3 miles from Sisters.

One full day we spent at the High Desert Museum, outside of Bend.  Well worth a trip

Another full day was spent at the Lava Fields, including a drive up the lava cone.
and a hike and picnic along the Deschutes River

Another "must see".

The famous Sister's Quilt Show is in the next blog update.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Touring the Greater Seattle Area with Parry & Ploegstra

Elaine's brother and sister-in-law have come for a visit, so we wanted to show off some of our little treasures.  Of course, a trip to Snoqualmie Falls was required - despite "unperfect" weather (read drizzle in there)

It is something of a major hike down to this lower level - so we split the difference and two walked and two drove the car down to the parking lot.  It really did rain for a few minutes, but then stopped.  Very nice, but I do wish that folks could learn to read [when it says don't go down on the rocks.  Now why would they say that?]

Friday evening was Mariner's Baseball, at Safeco Field (remember, Caro?)

We did win in the end (3-2) but it was a loooooooog game and then we had fireworks.  It was almost midnight by the time we got home.

Yesterday we visited historic Tacoma and the Museum of Glass.  Well, well worth a trip, if you haven't seen it.  Fascinating!!!!

We probably spent a hour or more in the "hot shop" watching them heating, blowing, stretching, molding, joining - all the amazing things you can do with molten glass.  Here are some of the things we saw,

The guy in the center (in the striped shirt) was the featured artist.  He was making a sculpture that looked like a badminton shuttlecock.

We saw the whole process, including how they got the 'stripes' in the skirt portion.  Just astonishing.

And that part of the city is really worth seeing and visiting.

Really great day out!