Archive for the ‘Spring 2012’ Category

The Bloomin’ Desert

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Arizona

Casa Grande

April 15, 2013

First and foremost, happy birthday to my grandson, Abel who turns three today.

I just took a walk around our RV Resort to photograph plants in bloom.

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The colors are beautiful in the bloomin’ desert. 

 

 

 

Crossing the North Cascades Highway

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

June 27, 2012

Washington

Newport to Concrete

While at Little Diamond, we visited the museum at Newport.  At a local restaurant, we asked several young people whether or not the museum was worth a visit.  They had all grown up there; none had ever toured the museum.  That’s a shame as it turned out to be a unique and interesting museum with lots of artifacts from days gone by.

An old schoolhouse at the Museum in Newport.

Little Diamond abounds in wildlife.

Little Diamond where the deer are always around.

Little Diamond turtle

On June 18, we left Little Diamond Thousand Trails RV Resort near Newport, Washington and headed north on Highway 20 following the Pend Orielle River (pronounced Pond eh ray) to Tiger.  Near Tiger, Highway 20 heads west through the Colville National Forest. We stopped at a Walmart in Kettle Falls, Washington where we saw a Straddle Carrier moving logs around the log yard.

A straddle carrier moves logs across the log yard.

Just west of Kettle Falls, we crossed the Columbia River. Upstream 40 miles from here, the Columbia River enters Washington from Canada.

Looking north up the Columbia River

We continued west on Highway 20 to Curlew Lake State Park near Republic, Washington where we spent the night.  Family members take note – AnnaMarie says she is going to retire in northern Washington somewhere around Republic.  I can see why.  It’s beautiful up there.

Curlew Lake State Campground

Bob and Patty enjoying the view at Curlew Lake State Park

K.C. and Patty walking along the banks of Curlew Lake

From Curlew Lake, we continued west into the Okanogan National Forest.   At Tonasket, we dropped south on Highway 97 along the Okanogan River to Okanogan where Highway 20 once again turns west.  We continued west through Twisp and on to Winthrop where we spent the night at Pearrygin Lake State Campground.

Pearrygin State Park and Campground

Bob at peace in the park

We enjoyed wandering through the town of Winthrop which is a historical town that has been restored back to its pioneer roots.

The story of Winthrop

Winthrop, Washington

As we headed west out of Winthrop, we finally began traveling along the most beautiful part of Highway 20 – the North Cascades Highway.  The North Cascades Highway is closed between Winthrop and Diablo Dam in the winter when the snow stacks up as high as thirty feet deep.  There are numerous avalanches that slide across the highway.  This year they began clearing the highway in March and were finally able to open it in May.  Some people told us about trips they tried to make in May or June only to be turned back by snow in the high Cascades.

Avalanche country

The wonderful viewed changed around every corner!

 

Heading upwards into the North Cascade Mountains in Washington State

 

More beautiful scenery

 

We found snow in July!

 

Sunny snow

 

The desert dog explores the snow

 

Diablo Lake

 

Rainy Pass

 

Diablo Dam

 

The Picket Range. People actually hike up there!

 

At this scenic overlook, we visited with a couple of young men who were planning their hiking trip to the top of this mountain.

 

Intrusive rock in a rock wall

 

A bird enjoys the view too.

 

Falls on the Skagit River

 

Bob and K.C. at the falls

We ended our journey at Grandy Creek Campground near historical Concrete, Washington.  What an awesome drive.  We highly recommend this scenic route, but don’t try to drive it any earlier than July.

Camped at Grandy Creek near Concrete, Washington

 

 

 

Little Diamond Thousand Trail; Athol, Idaho; and Spirit Lake, Idaho

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Washington and Idaho

Little Diamond; Athol, Idaho and Spirit Lake, Idaho

June 12, 2012

We left Lyle on June 7 and drove to Brook’s Park north of Goldendale, Washington where K.C.’s brother and sister-in-law, Lee and Joyce, are acting as camp hosts. 

 

Camping next to Lee and Joyce at Brook's Park

After a nice visit, we left Brook’s Park on Saturday to drive to Ephrata, Washington to visit K.C.’s sister, AnnaMarie.  We enjoyed our visit and headed out on Monday morning for our Thousand Trails Park at Little Diamond which is located north of Spokane.

We headed north out of Ephrata on Washington Highway 17 so that we could stop and marvel at Dry Falls once again.

Explanation of the geology at Dry Falls

 

What Dry Falls looked like during the ancient glacial floods

 

Dry Falls

At Dry Falls looking downstream

 

Stopped at Dry Falls

At Coulee City, we headed east on Washington Highway 2 to Spokane.  We then headed north on Highway 2 to our Thousand Trails Park at Little Diamond which is located abut ten miles south of Newport, Washington.

Camping at Little Diamond

A look at the map revealed that we were within thirty miles of the town where K.C.’s family lived when she was born.  It was time for a road trip!

First stop was at a viewpoint overlooking the Albeni Falls Dam on the Pend Oreille river in Idaho.

 

Albeni Falls Dam

Prior to the construction of the Albeni Falls Dam, the Pend Oreille River flowed through several channels between small islands and rock outcroppings.  These natural falls were called Albeni Falls after the man who homesteaded and ran several businesses on the banks of the river. The islands impeded the spring runoff of melting mountain snows causing the lake to raise and flood property along the river and around Lake Pend Oreille. It wasn’t until mid to late summer that the lake would naturally lower to its minimum level. The building of the Albeni Falls Dam created flood control and generated much needed power.

Albeni Falls as it looked before the dam was built

 

Albeni Falls Dam

 

Looking upriver

We then headed south on Idaho Highway 41 to Spirit Lake, Idaho where K.C. and two of her brothers were born.  After asking around, we found that the building that had been the hospital still existed as apartments.

The Spirit Lake hospital where Lee, Andy and K.C. were born - now apartments

K.C.'s birthplace

We then drove east on Idaho Highway 54 to Athol, Idaho.  Athol is the town in which K.C.’s family lived when she was born.  They moved from Athol to Lyle when K.C. was two months old, so she really doesn’t remember it.

One of the older looking buildings in Athol

 

Perhaps Lee's school when we lived in Athol?

 

This building was probably there when we lived there

We enjoyed the drive back through beautiful country covered with evergreens and green grass.

Back in Lyle again.

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Washington

Lyle

May and June, 2012

We left Crescent Bar unexpectantly because Bob was just not feeling “right.”  We headed back to Lyle as all of our doctors are located in that general area.  It was a good thing we did.  Within a week of getting back home, Bob was in the hospital having a pacemaker put in.  As the doctor explained, his heart muscle and valves are in good shape, but the electrical system was shot.

We rented a motel room for a week so that Bob could recuperate in comfort.  If you are ever in Hood River, we highly recommend the Vagabond Inn.  It is an older, well-kept, family-owned motel.

The view from Bob's hospital room at Providence Hood River Memorial Hosptial

The view from our motel room was awesome.

Rock in sunshine outside of our room at the Vagabond Inn

Sternwheeler on the Columbia River as seen from our motel room

 

Beautiful view from motel room

After a week, Bob felt well enough to go back to the Casita which was parked at our friend Rose and Dave’s house.  Since we had to stay around the Lyle area to check back with doctors in a week or two, we decided to make the best of the opportunity to visit with our children, grandson, relatives and friends; and to take some scenic trips around the area.

We had a good time staying at Rose and Dave’s.  We had several barbecue picnics and visited with their family and friends.

Picnicking with Rose and Dave and their family and friends

Enjoying a nice day in Lyle, Washington

We often ate breakfast at Dave and Rose’s Country Cafe in Lyle.  They have the best biscuits and gravy west of the Mississippi (we haven’t researched east of the Mississippi yet).

 

Amber, Oakly and Dusty

Being in the area allowed us lots of time to spend with our grandson, Abel.

Our wild man

Mr. Potato Head shared his glasses with Abel

 

Gradually the weather warmed up.  The roses are having a good year.

Rose bushes in Lyle

A rose - Lyle style

 

Now if I could only draw this on a gourd

We took a nice drive from Lyle to BZ Corners to Glenwood to Goldendale and home again.

Picturesque building near Glenwood, Washington

 

Carla and Mike's place in Glenwood, Washington

 

The Klickitat River looking towards downstream

 

Klickitat River looking towards Stimson Flat

We visited the Western Aeronautical and Antique Car Museum (WAAM) in Hood River. At this museum, all of the airplanes and antique cars are flyable and driveable.   It was well worth the visit; drop in if you get a chance.

 

WAAM Museum in Hood River, Oregon - 1957 Chevrolet

Bob owned a car just like this

At a final trip to the doctor, she told us to head on out and have fun.  We’ll be on the road again now!

 

Ephrata and Crescent Bar, Washington

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Washington

Lyle to Ephrata to Crescent Bar, Washington

April 2012

We enjoyed our stay at Bridge RV Park.  We’ve stayed at RV parks all over the U.S.A.  Bridge RV is the nicest, no-frills park in the country.  It’s pretty, well maintained and reasonably priced.  The Hales are excellent hosts.  While we were there, we experienced both snowy days and sunshine.

 

Snow at Bridge Rv Park

Snow on the Direct Tv satellite dish dome

A nice, spring day in the Columbia River Gorge

Mt. Hood on a sunny spring day

In mid-April, we celebrated Abel’s second birthday with a party at Grandpa and Grandma Sorensen’s house.  It was a good time with lots of family and friends.

Opening gifts

 

Cool gifts!

 

Thanks, Mom!

 

Another bubble machine to fix!

 

A couple of Grandmas

 

On April 22, we headed for my sister’s house in Ephrata, Washington and spent a few fun days with her.  From there, we moved over to our Thousand Trails RV Resort in Crescent Bar, Washington.  I have lived my whole life in Washington and didn’t know that the little resort community of Crescent Bar existed.  It is located on the Columbia River south of Wenatchee, Washington. 

Our RV Resort at Crescent Bar has a really nice spa.   It also has an excellent pool, a playground for kids, a tether ball, horseshoe pits, a pool table, an air hockey table, and lots of room for picnicking and sunbathing.    Our Casita was parked just at the head of the stairs leading down to the spa, laundry and restrooms.

 

Parked at Crescent Bar

 

The view from our campsite. We're parked just above the spa.

 

Looking up from the spa.

 

Looking up the Columbia River from Crescent Bar.

 

Looking down the Columbia River from Crescent Bar

The geology of the area is very interesting.  The glacial Missoula Floods (aka as the Bretz Floods) raged through this area many times during the ice ages to create coulees, dry falls, and lakes; and leaving beds of gravel behind.  Across from Crescent Bar is an area called West Bank that shows evidence of the lapping waters as the last flood water receded leaving ripple marks.

Ancient ripple marks at West Bar on the Columbia River

My sister and I took a drive along the old road between the Columbia River and Ephrata, Washington.  At one point, the railroad track turns back in a U-shaped bend and the road continues right through the railroad bank.

We're going to drive through there?

Ok then; here we go!

On another day, we took a drive near Quincy to see the ancient lakes that were carved out by the Floods. 

Ancient Lake

Quincy Lake

Pineapple Annie Falls on bluffs overlooking the ancient lakes near Quincy, Washington

We also took a trip up to Leavenworth, Washington to see that Bavarian Village.  Leavenworth was a logging town.  When the logging industry went south, the community banded together to create a village that is now one of the tourist destinations of the Pacific Northwest.

Leavenworth, Washington

Enjoying the view during lunch in Leavenworth, Washington

Mountains surrounding Leavenworth, Washington

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Crescent Bar, Washington.

 

 

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