Thursday, November 26, 2015

Washington - 2nd stop

Moses Lake

October 25, 2015 found us traveling to Moses Lake, WA. There are no pictures of the drive as Nancy had a migraine and spent the entire trip in the recliner with her eyes closed.
We stayed at the Suncrest RV Resort just off of I-90, but the only traffic noise we heard was from the road the campground was on. Nice park, well maintained with average sized lots.
They have a large pool with a water park and spa area, and a gazebo that sits on top of a hill that offered great views of the area.

The highlight of our stay was being able to see Michele and Eric Brinkert. Michele is the daughter of Kitt and Dianne Mahaffy, long time friends of Nancy's. Kitt and Nancy grew up together and Michele and Katrina went to grade school together. It was so great to spend time with them and see their new house.

We enjoyed downtown
Moses Lake, they have fun metal sculptures on the corners, we got pictures of a small sampling of them, and the bowling alley has the coolest door. They have a great Farmers Market where we finally found some apple cider!

One would think we would have visited Palouse Falls while in Palouse, but no, they are closer to Moses Lake, about an hour southeast. These falls are the official water fall of the state of Washington.
With a 198 foot drop from the Palouse River into a beautiful round pool that looks perfect for swimming, it makes for a stunning view. Some of the rock formations at the top made us think of the castles in the Hobbit movies.
Unfortunately the hiking trails have been closed due to land erosion and stupid people vandalizing equipment. There is a short walkway along the edge of the parking lot that affords you some great views of both the falls and the river.

Seeing we couldn't hike we decided to head to Summer Falls, north of Moses Lake. After a two hour drive to get there we discovered it was closed and we couldn't get in.
It was a nice drive and it took us through a small town called Wilson's Creek, we love when we find places with our names.

We are always on the look out for more waterfalls, even when they have no water. Dry Falls State Park was great fun to explore. Once again we are off season so we pretty much had the place to ourselves with the exception of a few fishermen on the lake at the base of the falls.

We hiked for a couple of miles across the fields at the edge of the lake, at times finding ourselves way off path. We spotted some deer off in the distance and lots of evidence of other animals based on the scat we saw and the remains of a few less fortunate critters.

Mielikki loves it when she can run free off lead. She wasn't as thrilled when we were done and we had to pull a zillion (yes, a zillion) burrs out of her fur. Seeing there is nothing but sagebrush and brambles everywhere, burrs have been the bane of our existence.

The scalloped rocks of the Dry Falls were quite impressive to see, they are 3.5 miles long, making it five times the width of Niagara Falls. It is believed that catastrophic flooding at the end of the ice age channeled water at 65 miles per hour over the 400- foot drop. Mind boggling to try and imagine that.

There were amazing rock formations and interesting weeds. The lake is quite beautiful as well.

Lake Lenore Caves is just down the road from Dry Falls State Park, we stopped the day we went to the falls but only had about an hour of daylight left so went back another day. The hike to the caves is a little strenuous in places and very narrow in others, but it offers some great views.

Nancy's fear of heights was once again challenged greatly at one point, but she pressed on, literately, as she pressed herself against the rocks to make it around a curve.

We hiked to five of the seven caves, most of them very shallow with one being big enough for us to walk into.
This area is considered one of the largest volcanic regions on earth and is still used today by local Indian tribes for various ceremonies.

There is a road in there somewhere!
In our search of Roadside Oddities we encounter our second dust storm, luckily our RV was not caught in this one.
While in George, WA, gotta love the name, we decided to check out the Gorge Amphitheater  only to discover it was also closed for the season. We did get to see the bust of George Washington, which is about the only thing in the town of George.
Bridge to Vantage
Next we headed to Vantage to get pictures of the wild horse monument but due to the dust storm we never got to the memorial as I-90 was closed because of poor visibility.

While in Vantage we visited a cool rock and gem store that had interesting creatures outside.

We also went to the petrified forest but after hiking only a short distance we decided it wasn't worth the hike as all of the wood was set into the ground encased in metal cages. Nancy did get to see some more lumbering giants up close and personal.

Mural in Washtucna WA 
Metal work in Lind WA 
Hope no trains are using this track

Soap Lake. WA is where we found an interesting rustic golf course, all brush and lava rock, but it's free to play! We also came across this cool mural. 

This sun dial on the beach of Soap Lake is touted as the worlds first human sundial and was dedicated in June of 2009. 

Next up is Packwood, WA and Mt. Saint Helen's and Mt. Rainier. 

Till we meet again....

Happy Trails to You! 

Tips and things we have learned along the way.
~ Before you close the doors of the underneath storage area make sure the lights are off. 

It's important to check them after traveling as well to make sure nothing has shifted and turned them on. 
This is what can happen when a light is left on. We feel very very fortunate that this duffle bag and the plastic light cover only melted and didn't catch on fire! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Washington East side


Coming through Lewiston, WA was quite beautiful 
Les spent his October 18th birthday driving to Palouse, WA. A five hour trip, much longer than expected but that's what happens when you take back roads across mountains.

So glad we have never needed to use one of these runoffs 

We arrived at the Palouse City RV Park with about an hour to spare before dark, it gets dark way too early now. We had an assigned space and when we pulled into it we discovered it was not very level, so we dropped the car and Les circled around and pulled in a little to the right. Nope that didn't work, so he circled again and pulled a little to the left. Nope that didn't work either. There were people across from us saying good-bye to a family pulling out and after checking the listing on the board we pulled into what was now a vacant spot, or should say we backed in as it was not a pull through.

Beautiful views
Yea, a level spot. So a little over an hour later as darkness was setting in we were finally set up. It is a small park on the edge of town with only 10 spots. There is a park across the street with a river, playground and large open fields which is a great place for dog walking.
Mielikki ran up these stairs and then
didn't know how to get down!

One of the stores reminded us of Nancy's
sister, Linda. This would be exactly the type of
store she would own.
Nancy found a bag of goodies
at the antique store - oh the art that
will be created! 

Downtown Palouse
is only a block away and the whole town is only 3 blocks long. We did have fun checking out the stores, they have two antique stores, a quilting store, a small boutique and an art gallery. Plus, a couple of places to eat.

There is an old bank in town that the main floor has been turned into an art gallery, The Bank Left Gallery and a bistro. The upstairs, which originally held offices, has a few art pieces even though it has not been refurbished. It is an interesting building.

We attended a Murder Mystery dinner there on our last night in town. It was so much fun. The tables were set up in the gallery and the six actors served the meal in between acts. In case your wondering Norman did the dastardly deed. You gotta watch our for those bird-watchers.

The last two weekends of October, the town hosts "Haunted Palouse". It is geared towards adults not kids, they have two haunted houses, and a haunted hayride, along with Zombies and creepy clowns wandering town. We walked through town Friday night to see what it was all about, it was really entertaining, and we were impressed that even though the town was full of college students, everyone was well behaved and no wild drunks around.

Spokane, WA is another interesting downtown area. Would love to live somewhere that has a waterfall in the middle of downtown, but we need to find one without snow! Riverfront Park is beautiful and the Snake River runs through it with a number of falls and rapids. There are walking bridges across the river in a number of places.

There is a section that includes an ice rink, amusement rides and an Imax theater. 

Along the walk ways you will find art work and beautiful flower beds.
Caught the setting sun in the window
Even the water power buildings were interesting.

The geese were standing on the rocks of the rapids catching food as it came by. Pretty smart!
For all the Michiganders this building reminded us of the
old Olympia Stadium

Perfect rock for the Snake River
At the south end of the park is a large bridge that crosses the river, the gondolas go underneath it. We would have loved to ride them, but they only operate on the weekends. This section has multiple levels, lots of picnic tables and benches to enjoy the scenery, which on this day included a beautiful sunset. 

Coeur d'Alene (core da lane) is just across the boarder into Idaho from Spokane. Once again another really nice town. This one is on Lake Coeur d'Alene. The downtown is filled with lots of stores, restaurants, breweries and galleries.
After exploring the town we hiked the 2 mile loop on Tubbs Hill, 120 acres of wilderness in the city, which gave us great views of the lake. 
The water was so crystal 
clear in the lake. 

On the edge of town is McEuen Park and a marina that backs up to Tubbs Hill. The park has a large playground which includes water features, walking paths, lots of picnic areas and tall poles for Osprey nests that include webcams that provide an opportunity to view the osprey in their natural habitat. Osprey have been nesting on the poles since the mid-1980's. Originally the poles were used for lighting the ballfield that was once here, it is believed the osprey were attracted to the warmth of the lights. The 70-foot poles were left in place when the park was redeveloped and the cameras were added. You can find the webcams on the city website, City of Coeur d'Alene 

We found a few Roadside Oddities and cool buildings in our travels this week. 

Heart Sculpture in Coeur d'Alene
Turkeys talking a walk
in Coeur d'Alene

A pay phone in Palouse, and
a coffee shop in Spokane.

Cool grate in Spokane

A cow in Garfiled, WA.

These running sculptures line one end of Riverfront Park in Spokane.

This old flour mill is in Oakesdale, WA. It is being dismantled and moved to Moscow, ID.

We traveled the road from Palouse to Pullman, WA a number of times. The check engine light came on in the RV while driving to Palouse so we took it to the Ford dealer in Pullman to have it looked at, we needed a new sensor but of course they had to order the part. This meant we went back to the campground and the next morning we packed up again and took it back to the dealer. It was like moving day three times this week! The 12-mile stretch takes you through lots of farm land, which offered up some nice photo opportunities.

The best chicken coup ever, an old truck converted, with a ramp and everything.

The farm lands were all rolling hills, which made for interesting views.

Not all the farm houses and barns have weathered as well as others.

One of the best things we went to Pullman for was dinner with Corey Bippes. He and Nancy worked together for almost 6-years at the International Center for Reiki Training, but had never met. All of their work was done via the phone or computer. Corey handles all the advertising for the "Reiki News Magazine" as well as jack-of-all- trades web designer, layout person, and anything else you can think of. It was so great to actually meet face and face after all these years.

Steptoe Butte State Park is a 150-acre, 3,612-foot-tall butte that looms over the surrounding flat lands. It offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding farmlands, mountains and other neighboring states ranges and peaks. After driving up the spiral road to the top you can see for 200 miles when the skies are clear.

We watched a farmer plowing a field, he made great progress while we were there. In another field we saw the shape of a mitten.

Nancy's favorite lumbering giants were seen in the distance.

Mielikki enjoyed the views too. It was quite breathtaking in every direction.

Packwood, WA and Mt. Saint Helen's and Mt. Rainier are up next.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way.
~ Water Filters - having them and checking them. 
First, it is important to filter your water as you can never be sure from place to place what the water will be like. We usually stay in small towns, which makes the uncertainty of the water even greater. We triple filter our drinking water. We have a water filter attached to the hose that connects to our RV, there is a cold water tap at our kitchen sink that has a filter on it, and we put that water into a Brita Pitcher that we keep in the fridge. 
Second, it is a good idea to keep track of how long your filters have been in use. When we install a new filter to the hose, we write the date of installation on it, as we would never remember when we put it on. Over the last few stops our water pressure has been decreasing and when we arrived here it was almost non-existent. Les pulled the filter and hooked the hose up without it and the pressure was great - a good way to determine if it is the filter or not. They say the filters should last 3-months, but that depends on the water you have going through it. This one only lasted two. Once a new filter was installed, the water pressure was back to normal.