Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

So where are we now?

After our wonderful week off, we drove just 15 miles (or so) to Marsing, and our September SOWER Project –
Hope House

This ministry is quite a departure from the last five ministries where we’ve worked, which have all been (in some regard) camping ministries. And they’ve been great! But the mission of Hope House is quite different –

Hope House exists to provide a home for children who are emotionally impaired, developmentally disabled, and/or come from disrupted adoptions or dysfunctional families.
(From the Hope House Website)

Most of the folks we are working with have been here many times, so it’s been great to see the interaction with the SOWERs and the kids. Lot of hugs and lots of smiles! There is a school here on the campus along with housing for the residents and staff, a dining hall, gymnasium, and chapel. In fact, this campus was originally an Idaho Civilian Conservation Corp camp, and the ministry, while retrofitting many of the buildings, has not (as far as I know) had to actually construct any new buildings. I’m still learning lots about this ministry, and I’ll fill you in as I get more acquainted with things, but in the meanwhile, HERE is a great article from World Magazine about Hope House (They were 2015 finalists in their annual Hope Award for Effective Compassion).
Given the age of the buildings on campus (I’m trying to find out info on this CCC camp, but all I can find is that it started in 1939. Or 1941, depending on which website you check) and the fact that it sat empty for many, many years before Hope House moved there, you can bet there is plenty to do!!! I’ll fill you in on more details as the project progresses, but in the meanwhile, here’s this morning’s view out my bedroom window.
We sure are looking forward to a great month!

Where did that R&R go?

Last morning at the campground. Sure hope the crackling fire didn't disturb the neighbors! #morninghasbroken #coffeeandcampfiresarethebest
My goodness, we had a lovely week off!! We slept in every morning, (yes, I slept in longer than Gary, but even he made it to 7 a couple of mornings. Which for him is sleeping in!), had campfires every evening,
made a couple of trips to the local ‘big city’ of Nampa (which has a Lowes and a Costco – what more could you want!), and pretty much just did what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it!
We watched the fish jumping in the snake river, and scoped out herons, egrets, American white pelicans, osprey and kingfishers all taking care of their end of the food chain. Our campground was lovely and green and even though it was quite full when we pulled in
by Monday afternoon, except for the long-term folks, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
It’s been a very long time since we’d spent a full week at a campground (that didn’t involve grandchildren) and it was quite lovely to just kick back, take it slow, and catch our breath.
Pretty sure this is what they call the 'golden hour'. #goldenhour #r&r

Wenatchee to St. Regis – Getting here!

When last we ‘spoke’ we were headed to see friends in East Wenatchee for dinner, after getting those new tires for the truck. They had room for our RV, so we moved from Costco to the other side of the river. What a delightful time we had – the dinner, the friends, the parking spot. Their home sits on the ridge above the Columbia River, and commands a wonderful view.
And produces a pretty good sunset too!
We’re so glad we stopped – and certainly hope we can make that connection again sometime!
We did get an early start on Tuesday since we wanted to get all the way to St. Regis, MT where we had reservations for a couple of nights at a campground. And after all, we were about to lose an hour as we moved from Pacific Time to Mountain Time. But we also didn’t want to do the whole trip on interstate, so we went just a bit north, right along the Columbia River and past beautiful orchards
Orchards, mountains, river and sunshine. Yes, we're on the road again! #ontheroadagain #washington #solovely
and then headed east on Rte 2. It was a long and windy uphill start
(sorry about the dirty windshield – you’ll be seeing that again, I promise!)
and usually after a long climb up, there’s a corresponding climb down. Not so in this neck of the woods. Once we got out of the pass, we were greeted with miles and miles of wheat!
I personally found great beauty in these rolling hills
so please bear with me as I share a couple more from that beautiful drive –
Don’t you want to know the story behind this solitary house?
Or maybe this one?
We watched a daring crop duster making pass after pass over the fields –
Crop Duster
until finally we caught up and passed him (or maybe he passed us?).
There were a couple of random splashes of green
and still an occasional hill to climb
(Do you see that lone walker at the bottom? We were quite in the middle of nowhere, and really puzzled at where he was headed! But he did not seem in any distress, so we figured he knew what he was doing.)
but mostly it was wheat field after wheat field as we traversed this plateau.
Amber waves of grain. Washington? Yes, Washington. #ontheroadagain #washington
And then there was Spokane.
We picked up the interstate (I90) and were soon crossing the Idaho panhandle.
Idaho was beautiful. Back to the tall trees and wilderness – and the beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene.
There were also a few more ‘long pulls’, as we call those steep climbs. One (Lookout Pass, just before the Montana border)was especially stressful. Due to construction, we were not only going up the hill single file, but there were solid concrete barriers on either side of us.
We were watching our engine temps climb, and were very, very happy when we finally saw the crest of the hill.
Yes, we stopped to let the temps (and maybe my pulse) return to normal. Here’s another shot looking back from where we had stopped.
We did the downhill slow and steady, and soon we were settled in our camping site, where we’ll be hanging out for just a day until we head into our August SOWER project, Camp Bighorn, just up the road a piece in Plains, MT.
St Regis Campground
Gary is intent on keeping our little campfire going all day and just enjoying the day. And I intend to join him in that noble endeavor right after I hit the “Publish” button for this post!
Not quite a cabin morning, but still a lovely way to start the day! #morningfire #sittingstillforaday

Monday Morning Review

It’s 9AM on a Monday morning and we’re sitting patiently in the Costco parking lot waiting for the store to open. Our sweet truck is due for some new tires (cha-ching) and this seems like the day to do it. We’ll be hooking up with some friends later in the day, but for right now this seems like a good time to review our wonderful excursion to the Olympic National Park. First of all, this park is HUGE!!! (According to the all knowing Seri who lives in my iPhone, it’s 1440 sq. miles in size.) And it’s DIVERSE!! Yes, there are mountains and glaciers and beaches and rain forests and swamps and giant trees….whew – it was a lot to take in for sure. Over the three days we were there, we tried our best to get to all of the major points, but in reality only skimmed the surface of this amazing national park. In the order of appearance, here are some highlights of our trip (and here’s a map if you’d like to follow along)-
We started Wednesday morning with a quick stop at the lower Hurricane Ridge visitors center (outside of Port Angeles). It looked like “the mountain” was going to be socked in with clouds, so we put off that stop until our way home on Friday, and continued down the 101 past the beautiful Crescent Lake.
Even with just a hint of blue sky on the horizon, this is beautiful lake. The 101 takes you right along the coastline, and we stopped in near the lodge to hike out to Marymere Falls. I confess the falls themselves (itself?) were not the most impressive sight in the world
but the hike there was outstanding.
We passed giant trees
crossed rippling brooks
and discovered little treasures along the way.
Yes, a great little hike!
From there it was back in the truck for a long, though lovely, drive out to Neah Bay, and the most Northwestern Point in the lower 48 – Cape Flattery (just out of sight on the far left upper corner if you’re looking at the map)
While not officially in the park, we felt since we’d done most of the other ‘Most [whatever direction you chose]” it only seemed right that we check it off our list. Whatever list that might be!
Another beautiful (and manageable (under 2 miles RT)) hike that is maintained by the Makah Indian Tribe (the only Native Americans allowed to still hunt whales).
We’re glad we put those extra miles on the truck.
From there it was down the western coast to our accommodations at the Quileute Oceanside Resort. It was a bit of a splurge for us, but with a view off the deck like this
Yes. I am standing on the deck of our hotel room. I think we made a good choice. #pacificocean #nofilter
and a sunset like this
we felt they were dollars well spent.
Thursday dawned bright and sunny
and we off to check out the Hoh Rain Forest and points south.
We did a couple of short hikes in that area, and let me say it was a Very Green Day!
These are some amazing stands of ‘old growth’ trees,
but it was also fun to spot some of the ‘new growth’ trees that were making good use of some fallen old growth –
From the Hoh Rainforest we headed back to the coast, and then continued south to check out some of the beaches in the Kalaloch area.
I confess that this is as close as we got to the beaches on this stretch of the park. As you can see, it wasn’t much of a beach day, and let’s face it – it was a long way down!
So we continued on, with a quick drive-by of the Kalaloch Lodge, and then on around the ‘corner’ to a small (though paved) road (Clearwater Road) that would loop us up back to the 101 just south of the Hoh Forest road. (If you’re not following along on the map, just know that we chose not to go back the same way we came. What’s a couple of extra miles on the truck, right?)
From there it was back to our room (almost) on the beach and another lovely evening listening to the waves watching the fog roll in. No spectacular sunset on Thursday, but it was still a very sweet evening!
Watching the fog roll in.
Friday dawned with clouds and drizzle, but we still held fast to our main objective for the day – driving up to Hurricane Ridge. We made a quick drive down along the Sol Duc River
taking in a beautiful hike of the Ancient Groves –
Finally, though, were on our way to Hurricane Ridge. Although we were a bit apprehensive about what the view would be, given that our drive up looked like this –
we were super delighted that once we got above the clouds,
the view was spectacular!
With that last stop a success, we were ready to head back to Port Townsend and the rig. Here’s just one last stop of a view of Port Angeles from the Hurricane Ridge road.
That’s the Strait of Juan de Fuca with Vancouver Island in the distance. Just so you know.
Phew – those were three very beautiful, busy, 500 mile, adventurous (well, adventurous for us. Probably not so much if you’re in your 30’s)days for us. We returned home Friday evening, spend Saturday getting ready to hit the road, and got an early-ish start on Sunday to try and beat some of the Seattle/Tacoma traffic. It started well –
(crossing the Hood Canal Floating Bridge)
but not so good once we got into the heart of things….
We eventually made it out of the congestion and into a whole new view of Washington –
And today we are in Wenatchee, and now that the tires are installed we’ll be heading to spend the day with those friends we met in Arizona over the winter. But after three months in the cool weather of Seattle and surrounding areas, this ‘new normal’ weather might take a bit of getting used to!
Yikes – 99?!!!! Pretty thankful for the generator and A/C!

Thanks for hanging in through this long post (you are still here, right?)! There are more pictures of our three days in the Olympic National Park HERE (loosely organized by location) and I worked hard to whittle down my selection. Still, it is pretty large. But it does cover 3 days!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Better get busy…..

Man, if I don’t get these last couple of days ‘documented’ I’ll be in big trouble. We’ve had a busy couple of days, and I hate to get too backed up! So here’s where the fun began –
Thursday night we went to the “Concert on the Dock” in Port Townsend. And here are the “We” –
Lin and Randy, co-workers here at YWAM, joined us for some of our weekend adventures and we had so much fun!
The concert was great (and so fun to see the town in action!)
Plus it gave me a chance to catch some ‘evening light’ pictures of the bay –
Port Townsend
Port Townsend
But the next day was even more fun, when we took in the Annual Sequim Lavender Festival.
We visited several of the local farms 
checked out the street fair
and took more pictures than you could possibly imagine!

I did manage to whittle the batch down (and even included some from a couple of non-lavender beach-type photos), and if you’d like to see them, you can check out the batch HERE!
Oh, for some way to share the wonderful fragrance of the day!
Saturday and Sunday were actually pretty quiet, and then yesterday we took the Ferry into Seattle for the day!
While we only scratched the surface of All Things Seattle, we did manage to easily put our 10,000 steps to good use. 🙂
From the Ferry we walked up to the Seattle Center, taking in the Olympic Sculpture Garden on the way.
Once we actually got to Seattle Center (home to the Space Needle, Chihuly Gardens and Glass, and the Pacific Science Center among other delights) we had a tough choice. Since the day was quite overcast, we opted not to go up the Space Needle. (Actually the price tag did have a bit of influence there too.) We’d heard the Science Center was amazing, but especially fun for kids. With no grandkids in tow, it only made sense to make the oh-so-amazing Chiluly Gardens and Glass exhibit our “to do” splurge for the day. And although it was pricey, it was indeed oh-so-amazing!
From the first thing you saw when you walked in
Chilhuly Gardens-1
to the last view of the gardens
Chilhuly Gardens-36
and all the points in between
Chilhuly Gardens-14
it was amazing! Even on an overcast day, it was spectacular. Here’s a slideshow of just our Chilhuly stop. Enjoy! (If you’d like to seem the group on Flickr, check them out HERE!)

After the Chilhuly, we took the Monorail back to downtown.
From there it was back up a couple of blocks to the Seattle Glassblowing Studio. Now it wasn’t Chilhuly’s studio (that’s outside of town), but it was a wonderfully interesting stop! (And free!) We were able to watch a team of artists take this rolling globe (already, I learned later, about 40 minutes into the process)
into an amazing fluted (giant) bowl (seen here just before Asbestos Man grabbed it!)
The adjoining shop had many beautiful things to purchase, but we held back. Glass things and driving your house down the road don’t really mix well.
OK – next up was Pike’s Market. I mean really, is it possible to ‘do’ Seattle without a stop at the market? Don’t think so!
Crazy busy – and crazy fun!
Our final splurge was dinner dockside at Ivars Acres of Clams. After some of the richest clam chowder I’ve ever had, we both enjoyed a fabulous Salmon dinner while we watched the ferries coming and going.
Total splurge. Because sometimes you have to! #Seattle #ivars #salmon deliciousoverload
And soon (because our feet were yelling at us), it was time to board our own ferry and head back home. And of course, for the first time all day, the sun broke through the clouds to show off Seattle in it’s finest ‘golden hour’ sunlight!
It was a beautiful ending to quite a lovely day!
Tomorrow we head off for another adventure – checking out the Olympic National Park with a couple of sweet overnights away from the RV thrown it. Hurricane Ridge, Crescent Lake, Hoh Rain Forest and points west – we’ll see you soon!

And….if you’d like to see the whole set of our Day in Seattle pictures – you can check them out HERE! (You knew that was coming, right?)