Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Some Sum Summertime!

 Warning:  This entry is long!  Pull up a chair and settle in!

Summer is a time warp of frenzy it seems.  In our part of the world, we wait and wait under gray skies, for that time of year when the clouds part and let in the sun and dry weather.  Typically, we then scramble to cram as much outdoor fun into that time (around six to eight weeks) as we can and still be employed!

This year summer started out differently.  A few days after the school year was completed, Peggy was on a plane to Colorado to help Heather and family to survive pregnancy number four!  Heather gets really sick when she is expecting and this round was no different.  I got to hang out with kids and cook meals (so mom did not smell it cooking and could keep it down).

Liam and Jackson (a friend from Lamar) at one of several
splash parks near Greeley, CO
Typical Afton, the youngest.  She was playing "family" with a neighbor child and this bag was her pretend diaper!

The crew
Eliza attended classes at the local college for summer camp!  She sang a couple of solos there too!  Multi-talented gal and oober smart!

Near home we discovered an excellent place for
crawdad hunting in the evenings
The sky in CO fascinated me.  Every night the weather would gather...

and the cloud formations were awesome!  So awesome that you
had to pay attention to what might be coming!
It was not unusual for the clouds to produce hail and big winds.
Ethan and Heather love their growing garden, and would run out to cover it,
getting wet themselves in the process!

The smell of dinner cooking made Heather ill and unable to eat.
So one night while sitting outside eating, away from the house smells, this
bad boy wandered up to her and freaked us all out!   (No Ethan, not you, I was referring to the snake...)
It is a harmless (and helpful) bull snake.
Luckily, Ethan likes snakes (shuuudddderrrr) and he performed a catch and release
after a quick group snake orientation for all of us. 
I cannot remember the name of the fair that we went to on the Fourth of July, but while there, each of the kids tried Mutton Busting, even little not quite 4 year old Afton!  Liam took second place.  You can see his ride on HB's facebook page.  So Fun!

Towards the end of my three plus week stay, I even got some crafting and sewing in to freshen up things  for Heather's place.

We made a pocket shelf from a pallet and with Ethan's help made a shelf on the long empty wall across from the bunk beds.  You can see some of the projects that we didn't get to...but you get the idea
Sewed up some fun pillowcases with matching sheet
edges for each of the girls beds.  I sewed some for Liam too
but forgot to take a picture of his--Star Wars of course!

Spiffed up a lamp with some cute trim
These shelves have been in the family for 20 years, now they live in CO.
We painted them pink and added scrapbook paper to the back to cute-ify them.
Liam's room got his name in big wooden letters covered with a Star Wars poster
and I sewed him a big floor pillow...I guess I didn't take a picture of those either!  Sheesh!
Heather found this idea for her room on Pinterest, so we
followed the directions (sort of) and made our version for her big window
and we made some simple slip covers for her couch pillows.  
   Normally we go camping over the Fourth of July with as many family members as we can coax into the wild.  This year I was in Colorado with Heather's crew, and we couldn't come and play.  Luckily Tim Jr got on a plane and left behind hot old Texas (and his sweet Sarah who does not enjoy camping) and came to play in cool Washington with his Dad.

First the boys (Tim, Tim, and Marc) enjoyed a night in box seats at a Seattle Sounder game and had a blast. They even got a pregame tour of the field. (I was a little games in Seattle are soooo much fun!) they enjoyed as much free food as they wanted and a great game against DC United.

Then Marc, Jesica, Kyron, Tim and Tim Jr all headed out to the Goat Rocks in the Cascade Mountains (south of Rainier) for a couple of nights of camping.  Tim Jr. went straight from camping to the airport.  He had to clean up and change in the bathroom in order to fly home!
Grandpa, Kyron and Tim Jr.
(I couldn't locate a group shot of everyone)
That is Rainier in the distance.  
I heard that this is what Kyron did all day.  Sit by the lake and throw rocks!

I had a really fun time and truly enjoy being close to our CO family, even if it did  involve housework! Oh and I took up running and can now do a 5K...  good stuff all! As Heather began to be able to keep her food down more consistently, my sweetie hoped that I would return home to help him with preparations for our guests to arrive!
Tim and I took some time to visit Hurricane Ridge and buy another poster (and T-shirt) for our collection

We were to be home base for Tim's brother and family while they were in town for Bryan and Michelle's
WA wedding reception.  More than once, we had 10 adults and 7 children in our home!  Although crazy at times, it was great to see the back yard swings and tower get used!
Michelle and cousin Bryan
The day after everyone left, at last it was time for my sweetie and I to get to enjoy a vacation together!  We took a day to pack and plan where and what we wanted to do with our week!  We considered Canada but discovered that it was a holiday there, and we could not make reservations; so we decided on a road trip...into Hell--that would be Hell's Canyon and a part of Washington state that we had never been!

Day One:  Home to Cedar Springs campground in the Cascade Mountains, via Chinnok Pass
Lake Tipsoo on the way up Chinnok Pass
Timmie in his new Olympic National Park t-shirt enjoying the views

more of Chinnok Pass,  the flowers were still blooming up there!
Day 1: Cedar Springs Campground

We made our way across the Cascades, passing lots of camping opportunities until we found this sweet spot next to Bumping Creek.  Not too many people and not too much dirt!

The water was cold with lots of fish

We knew we wanted to stay by the river as the day heated up, but we were still high enough that the night got chilly and we were glad of our heavy sleeping bags.  I slept well, but the river was too noisy for Tim!

Day Two:  Yakima to Chief Timothy State Park via Palouse Falls

As you drove along this is what you would see from
the road.  Then suddenly after a short drive on a dirt road
boom!...there was this....
It was really pretty!  There are cows at the top of picture to give you an idea of the size and depth of the falls.

near Pomeroy, WA

All along our (mostly) HWY 12 trip, there were wheat fields and wind farms high above the Snake River.  Sadly, many of the state parks that we hoped to stay at along the Snake in WA were closed, but we found a nice one at Chief Timothy Park.  It was an island oasis along the Snake.  It was hot, so after getting camp set up we made a bee line for the water!  The air didn't cool off until well into the this is how the rest of the country feels in the summer.....huh.

Day Three:  Hells Canyon State Park with side trips to Moscow, ID and Pullman, WA

It was a very short drive to our next hop down (up?) the Snake as we headed for the confluence of the Clearwater and the Snake near Clarkston, WA and Lewiston, ID.  We found a great, green camping spot next to the river at Hell's Canyon State Park and began to explore the area.

We considered a speed boat trip up into the canyon, but decided that the price tag and 6 hours to do the trip weren't what we were looking for.  We made the shortish trip to Moscow and Pullman, since we had never been there before!  Strange that there were too big schools, eight miles apart.  We also spent sometime at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in the park, which had a nice film and beautiful grounds with a pair of nesting Osprey.

On the Road between Pullman and Lewiston.  Look closely at the fence around this barn.  The entire property was fenced with iron wheels!  Impressive.

 Views of Clarkston, WA and Lewiston, ID and the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers.  River boats used to bring miners this far, now barges move wheat.  This picture was taken 2,000 feet up at the top of the road.  We did a lot of this up and down and winding driving. Oh my, I had vertigo the whole time! Freaky!

Idaho's inland port.  Grain is shipped on barges to the Pacific Ocean via the Snake and Columbia Rivers.

Day Four:  Enterprise, Joseph, Wallowa Mountains, Hell's Canyon overlook.

Veterans Bridge in Asotin, WA

We drove through these teeny tiny towns with 100 people or so, or 17 people and 14 dogs and there would be these cool old bridges or parts of town left over from when the main road ran past the town.  Some of these near abandoned towns had brand new sidewalks and many with bike lanes...maybe they are thinking ahead?  We would climb up a steep canyon only to traverse down the other side. Near Joseph Canyon, as we went down a group of maybe 100 cyclists were climbing up.  It was impressive.  The last guy in the line looked like he was soooo done!  It was probably 90 degrees when we saw him.  We ate lunch at a blissfully cool park in Enterprise next to a creek.

Heading down to the Grand Ronde River in Joseph Canyon, Oregon.

This was an educational stop for us.  Joseph Canyon was named for the Chief Joseph band (Trail of Tears) of the Nez Perce Indians.  They would summer at the top and winter down by the river that ran through the canyon.  The army eventually ran them out and put them on a reservation.  It was really hot here, so we didn't stay too long, continuing into Oregon and the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon.

 I loved the way the mountains sprang up from the valleys around them.  It reminded me of the Wasatch Front in UT.  There were lots of green, well kept, cattle and horse ranches all around with a couple of ski resorts nearby.

Wallowa Lake near Joseph, OR

We were just following the road and it took us right into Joseph, a quaint tourist town that I forgot to take a picture of.  People pass through Joseph on their way to Wallowa Lake.  The lake sits between two huge glacier morains with a State Park at one end; a gondola ride to the top of the Wallowa Alps, which we did not ride.  It wasn't a huge lake, but looked very inviting.  We didn't stay--we had more to see!
We continued on our way to find the Hell's Canyon overlook, which was a heck of a long way in the middle of no where!  

We found our next stop at the bottom of Hell's Canyon near Oxbow Dam.    The rock walls really held onto the heat and it was well into the night before the cool air made its way to our tent!  The showers were free however and the river was full of all kinds of fish!

Day 5:  Tri-Cities, Oregon Trail, Blue Mountains, Walla Walla and home!

We really were enjoying the back roads on this trip.  With kids in the car and a deadline to be somewhere, we would usually keep the pedal to the metal and motor along on the freeway.  Outside of Baker there is a sign for the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and I have always wanted to go there.  So this was the trip.  Absolutely worth the time!
Inside you moved through the center listening to journal entries, viewed movies, saw artifacts, etc.  It was well done.

Oregon Trail Visitor Center near Baker, OR

You can't find it in this picture very well, but in the middle ground of the picture you can still see the wheel tracks from the wagons.
The Tri-City area was huge and sprawling.  We had no idea how big it all was.  When we got to Walla Walla it was still very warm and we were tired from not sleeping very well, so we decided to not camp another night and just wander our way home.  We saw so much that it is all a bit of a blur, but our conclusion was, although each area had beauty, there was no place like home!

our bug collection was minimal.  Tipsoo lake was so quiet compared to when we drove through on the way out!

Mt. Rainier gave us a great show on the way out of the park.

 This is a hideous picture of me and if I had looked in a mirror, I would have done something to look a bit better, but this is us after 5 days in the heat!   This sweet guy cooked every meal, set up every camp, drove every mile of our 1,000ish mile trip.  I just relaxed and read a book and looked out the window.  Finally the pace of life slowed down!  What a blessing!

It felt so good that night to climb into our cozy bed AND PULL UP THE COVERS!  I am so blessed to live in a land so varied, so beautiful and free to wander about in!  Yeah for "the other" Washington!

Peggy will be home for a week then back into the fire at Gma and Gpas California home.  Time to crank up the AC Dad!    Tim is getting to be a good  bachelor and connoisseur of frozen dinners!

No comments:

Post a Comment