Vineyard Tours – August 2019

The first week of August finds me on a road trip with my daughter, Becka, on our way to visit long-time friends in Pasco, Washington. Jeanne and Ted have been family friends since the mid-1970’s when we all lived in rural central Montana, several years before Becka was born. Jeanne has been my BFF for over four decades!

Becka is so much fun to be with. She is fun-loving when it comes to all the things we do together, and deeply thoughtful when that is called for. On this trip, it is mostly the fun-loving side as we join Ted and Jeanne in wine tours, museum visits, great meals out and in their home (Ted is quite the chef!), sipping wine in their lovely flower-filled backyard, and basking in the pool at their son & daughter-in-law’s nearby place on 100+ degree afternoons.

Becka & Carol

We stopped at the Whitman Mission Museum, the site of the mission founded in 1836 by Dr. Marcus and his wife Narcissa Whitman. This became a valuable stop for travelers on the Oregon Trail during the westward migration. However, it sadly came to an end when, during a measles outbreak, the Native Americans of the area killed Marcus and his wife and the children in their care, believing that the measles was intended to wipe out the Cayuse Indians.

And on to the next winery for lunch.

Pool time at Matt and Gloria’s place. 104 degrees today, but water, wine, and snacks make it just fine, and we stay until after dark.

It was a joyful several days and all I can say is that I look forward to more travels with Becka and more time with my dear dear friends.

Flower-filled backyard

Road Trip – Palouse Falls – April 2015


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Palouse Falls as seen from the parking lot.

Tuesday March 31: After a two-week setback because of Clifford’s health – was it the flu, we really don’t know – we are finally on our way today. We have breakfast at the Red Light Garage so as not to dirty any dishes, and finish packing the Blazer. In Kellogg we stop at the clinic for another blood test for Clifford and Coeur de Alene for gas and fill up the propane that will be our source of fuel for cooking and staying warm. At Spokane we head southwest: destination is Palouse Falls State Park in southeast Washington. Thanks to my research and phone calls, I have found an available and affordable place for us to stay on this part of our route. Not many campgrounds are open in March or early April and there are no national forests as fallback in this part of the country. The barren landscape is more attractive than it was when I was here in February, now having a sheen of green from grasses beginning to grow in this prairie-almost-desert region.

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A slight sheen to an otherwise barren landscape

Once we exit I 90 to head south on highway 261 toward the state park, rolling hills of winter wheat are abundant, but soon the land becomes rugged and broken.

The Palouse River runs through a deep channel created eons ago as flood waters changed the topography of the land. Upon arrival at the Palouse Falls State Park, the spectacular falls can be seen from the parking lot as the river races and falls from one gorge into an even deeper gorge. A fence keeps visitors safe from tumbling into the pool far below that forms at the base of the falls before the river dashes on.

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Palouse Falls by evening light

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Power of the falls

This park is designed more for day-use, but there are a couple of spots where we can park the Pony (our little pop-up) at the edge of the grass – a large lawn-like area with trees and picnic tables scattered here and there. We do a modified set-up this evening, as we will only be staying one night and don’t want to take the time to do a full set-up. It is not so convenient for cooking and doing dishes, but an easy dinner of soup, cheese and crackers is fine for tonight. Mr. Heater keeps us warm this windy chilly evening.

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Pony on the edge of the camping area

Wednesday April 1: I wake up before Clifford and decide to go for a stroll up on the cliffs above the waterfall – no fence here! The sun has just risen over the bluffs behind the falls and as I walk along the cliff top, I have a great angle with the light hitting the falls, but not blinding the camera. Mist is rising from the pool due to the coolness of the morning, adding a special ambiance to the scene.  I don’t go far, as I would like to share this walk with Clifford.

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Mist in the morning

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After an easy breakfast of yogurt and fruit, we walk together along the cliff and head upstream so as to see the river before it reaches its jumping off spot.

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The jumping off spot

There is a very impressive cascade not far upstream and an unusual sharp bend in the course of the river, which we learn was caused by the cataclysmic events in the far distant past.

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Cascades upstream from the falls

We admire the river, the falls, and the rugged landscape before heading back to the Pony to get ready for the next leg of our journey.

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Rugged landscape

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Saying good-bye to Palouse Falls

Canada – the Rosebery Trip – September 2014 – Part 9

Tuesday September 16: I wake up, no longer in Canada, with a headache and the bothersome pounding in my eardrum. Although I seldom do it, I take an aspirin and fortunately feel fine the rest of the day.

BC-3_G1x 074I walk down to the shore of the lake and take a few photos. After breakfast we head to Metaline Falls, which I thought was a falls on the Pend Oreille River. Turns out it is a town named after the falls that were covered when a dam was built there. So, for the third time I am rooked out of taking photos of waterfalls on this trip. Oh well. We go to the Visitors’ Center, which is an attractive once-a- boxcar building sitting on a great lawn with trees and flowers all around.

BC-3_G1x 056We read about the history of the area, which is quite interesting.

On the way back to the campground, we stop at the Mill Pond Historical Site on Sullivan Creek and look at the kiosks. There are many photos of the area showing the dam that was built on Sullivan Creek, forming a large mill pond and another dam built at the outlet of Sullivan Lake, raising the level of the water by 40 feet.

BC-3_G1x 065The spillway below us is quite a dramatic falls, and although not natural, it is the closest I’m getting to a big waterfall to photograph on this trip.

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Back at camp, I sit in the shade with Clifford, playing the flute while he reads. As the shadows grow longer, I build a campfire and write in my journal by the warmth of the flames. We make nachos for dinner using the last of the ingredients, and the cooler is almost empty. Good timing, as we will be home tomorrow.

Wednesday September 17: We’ve enjoyed our brief stay here by Sullivan Lake, but pack up after breakfast and head south and then east on I-90, arriving home by late afternoon.

BC-3_G1x 054 It was a great trip; I am grateful that we had the opportunity to visit Canada, and I look forward to exploring more of that beautiful country next summer.