Tag Archives: Windshield Shots

Just checking in!

We’ve left Idaho, and we’re settled in Oakhurst, California (see the So Where are We Now page for more details), and I have lots and lots of stuff to write about. And lots of pictures to share.

Sadly though, I have very bad internet so it might be a bit before I get an official post done. So this is just to say –

We are alive.
We are well.
We are busy.

I’ll do my best to get some real ‘catch-up’ soon!

Thanks for your patience! Here’s a Windshield Shot to hold you over…..
On our way!! Yosemite here we come! #ontheroadagain
(Starting out in Idaho)

The Dashboard Garden

After I wrote my post about the curvy drive we had getting to SW Idaho, several folks commented on the ‘stuff’ that rides along with us on our nice flat dashboard.
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So here’s a little ‘splaining about our dash riders.
First, on the left, is Gary’s computer. No, he’s not playing solitaire as he drives. It’s his mapping program, and the theory is that it tells us where to go. (I often have my phone GPS going too since I can’t see his computer screen.  Those two GPS’s don’t always agree, but we usually come to some type of agreement before we get too far down the road.)
Then there’s the aloe vera plant.
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We picked her up when we were down in the Florida Keys (2011). Literally – from the side of the road. I confess, Vera is looking a little peaked in this picture, and I promise she’s doing better already. Over the 5 years she’s traveled with us, I’ve re-potted her several times, and she’s getting close to needing it again. But she’s handy to have around as a mini-first-aid kit!
Then there’s this little fellow –
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We picked him up when we were in Arizona this past winter. I can’t tell if he’s happy or not on the dashboard. But he seems to be doing OK with my expert level of neglect.
Over in the corner we have two collections – the littler stuff (stones, shells, sea glass, driftwood)
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And then the bigger stuff.
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This is mostly rocks and larger shells that don’t fit in the jar. Some we’ve picked up along the way (there’s one from Lake Superior) and some have been given to us. A couple of favorites are the little crochet covered river rock (thanks, Lynne) and the painted one, given to me by a SOWER friend in Maine. (Thanks, Bunny!).
The zip-lock bag has my latest scavenged treasures – shells and sand dollars from Discovery Bay in Washington.
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I haven’t quite figured out what I’ll be doing with them yet, so they are still in the gathering bag. Christmas ornaments, maybe? (Pintrest, here I come!)
So that leaves the one thing that has been on that dashboard from the very first. The Jade plant.
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When we left Jamison, back in August 2004, we left behind a 4 foot high jade plant tree that I had purchased as a little thing the very first year we were married (1971). While we left the tree behind, we brought along this little cutting.
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(photo from Sept. 2004)
See how tiny it is? (And how uncluttered the dashboard is?)
I put this little collage together in 2007 to show how it had grown-
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Over the years, as it gets too big for Gary to see over when he’s driving, I’ve cut it back, re-potted new cuttings and left jade plants with new friends (and unsuspecting family members) all around the country. Toward the end of last summer, both Jade and Vera had outgrown the dashboard (we never want to compromise the driver’s view, right?) and they were relegated to riding in a milk carton in the shower. I did the most recent re-potting in South Dakota (October 2015) and left the bigger part of both plants with new friends there. By the time we left, our traveling plants had one again found their spots on the dash!
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When we’re parked for a bit I usually pull out a couple of pictures of my favorite things – one of the family and one of the cabin. –

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And like any flat space (in our house anyway), it also collects change, screws, wire nuts, and the occasional out-going mail item! It’s a wonderful clutter catcher!

But when everything is tucked away for the next adventure,  I confess there is always something comforting when I see those little leaves making themselves known as I photograph the road ahead!
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Thanks for stopping by – and have a great weekend!
Steph

Curvy, Curvier, Curviest

That’s what the last two days have been all about. As we plotted our drive from Plains, MT to Marsing, ID we knew we had a couple of choices. Either stay on interstate-type roads, but add at least 100 miles to the trip, or go the most direct route that kept us on mostly two lane roads.
Bighorn to Snake River Resort
We opted for the shorter and scenic route, knowing it would be curvy and involved a mountain pass or two, but also knowing that we weren’t in a great rush and could take our time. (Don’t worry – we’re very courteous ‘I’m not in a hurry’ folks, and pull over every chance we get if there are vehicles behind us.) By the end of the two days, Gary decided it was probably the most challenging two days of RV driving that he’d done in the 12 years we’ve been on the road.
After distributing hugs to our friends at Bighorn, we got an nice early start on Friday.
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(Aren’t those fun clouds just hanging there?)
We picked up Rte 12 just south of Missoula, and began our first windy UP to Lolo Pass.
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Route 12, known also as the Lewis and Clark Highway, closely follows the trail taken by those early American explorers. Today it is a scenic and beautiful drive over the Lolo Pass, with many points of interest, hiking and camping opportunities along the way. (If you’d like more info about Route 12, HERE’s a nice little pamphlet about it. I had to chuckle when I saw it was subtitled – A Long and Winding Road.)
So it was 34 miles UP to the pass – a nice, steady and gradual climb with its fair share of twists and turns.
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We checked out the Visitor Center at the pass, stretched our legs, and began the drive DOWN. Hello Idaho – thanks for the warning!
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You don’t see THAT sign just anywhere!
Or one like this, either!
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(Thanks 26 miles, not 2.6. Sorry for the blur!)
But when we stopped for lunch, and had this for a view –
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well, it seemed those curves were well worth it!
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It was a beautiful drive, although an exhausted driver was happy when we finally made it to Kooskia, and a bit more of the regular!
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We picked up our connecting road to get us over 95, and maybe should have paid a bit more attention to the local name of the road. Around there it’s not called Rte 13, it’s called the Harpster Grade Rd. Yep, 6 miles of winding road, leading us UP.
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And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if there’s a long UP, somewhere in the near future there will be a long DOWN. In this case, we had a brief reprieve as we went through some lovely farmland and drove on some (mostly) straight roads.
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It’s a good thing we enjoyed those nice flat miles, because unbeknownst to us (though not to a local traveler, I’m sure) there was a BIG down just outside of town!
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You know it’s going to be a challenging drive when
1. The view is incredible.
2. The signs at the top give you mile markers for the THREE runaway truck ramps.
3. The term “8% Grade” is mentioned more than once.
Gulp.
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(Oh, Yea – the Grade STEEPENS!!! Catch the runaway truck ramp?)
I was a very quiet rider, as Gary did a great job getting down that hill. And when we rounded the final bend and could definitely smell our brakes (Gary even felt they were feeling soft. Uh-oh), we were oh-so-delighted to see a nice big parking lot just waiting for us pull in. And cool down our brakes. And begin to breathe. In fact, it was so nice that after we unhooked the truck to see if there was dinner to be had in the little town of White Bird (pop. 106 according to the sign, but actually only 93 according to the restaurant owner), we decided to just tuck in there for the night. And man, that felt really, really good!
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The next morning, with nice cool brakes, we set off to follow the beautiful Salmon River for a ways. It was a beautiful way to start the day.
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After we fueled up with a hearty breakfast in Riggins, where the Salmon turned off, we continued on following other lovely rivers and streams that kept the roads winding, and the scenery beautiful!
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There were still a couple more UPs and DOWNs in the drive, but nothing compared to the day before.
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Soon we were in the final stretch –
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and enjoying the beautiful agriculatural scenery of this area.
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Ahhhhhhh…………
So, here we are at the Snake River RV Resort
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with a great view out the front,
Our new view. We'll be gazing at the Snake River for the next week. #r&r #snakeriver #idaho #ahhhhhh
sunsets to warm my heart,
A beautiful end to our day. So thankful for our safe arrival and looking forward to our week off! #Godisgood #sunsets
and a campfire that will call my name.
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We are both looking forward to a week of no alarms and no (major) agendas. Sound like a good plan to me!
Thanks for stopping by,
Steph

PS – More Curvy Road Pictures can be viewed HERE!

Last Weekend in Montana

Our time in Montana is drawing to a close (we head to Idaho on Friday), so I wanted to make sure we filled our last weekend with a bit more Montana beauty. We put about 200 miles on our truck again on Friday, but all of them were paved. And I think all of them were lovely! Our destination – Flathead Lake – one of the largest natural freshwater lakes west of the Mississippi.
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We came up Rte 28 from the west (bottom of map) and drove the entire circumference of the lake. The drive TO the lake (almost 50 miles) was lovely in and of itself!
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But when the lake came into view – Oo-la-la!
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We made a couple of stops along the way – either at fishing access spots or pulling into some of the many state parks that dot the edges. Each little mini-stop was full of delights!
A panorama from one of the fishing/boat access areas –
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A glimpse of just how clear the water is –
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Lakeside camping at one of the state parks –
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As the road continued around the lake,
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we stopped at a pull-out that seemed to have a little access to path down to the lake.
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Look, there’s a dock down there! With Gary shaking his head, I traipsed down the path with my Croc sandals on (only slipping a time or two and never with any bodily injury) and was greeted with this beautiful view-
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Seemed like a random place for a dock, but no one asked me. 🙂
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This area is also known for Flathead Cherries. Along the Eastern shoreline there are a myriad of cherry orchards, and we finally gave into the temptation and purchased our own bag.
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Which may or may not have been empty by the time we got home. Just sayin’.
We enjoyed a great lunch out at one of the many lakeside eateries, and finished up the drive in style.
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As we drove home I was once again struck with the the pioneer history of this area. Seeing these random shacks, still standing in the middle of a field, makes me wonder-
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Original homestead?
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Cattle drive shack?
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???
We passed an old barn that I tried unsuccessfully to get a good clear shot of (always a challenge in a moving truck with traffic behind us), but when I cropped it down, I really liked how it turned out.
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Oh, the mystery of the history!
It was, to be sure, a great day!
Saturday was a bit quieter. We stayed around camp, which had just said good-bye to their last batch of summer campers. The summer staff took the opportunity to have some end-of-summer fun
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by getting the director’s car up on the dining hall porch. (Not so sure he was that thrilled when he returned from his board meeting, but at least they cleaned it out before they moved it, and got his wife’s permission.)
That evening we gathered by the river and got to witness the baptism of one of the summer staffer!
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It is so exciting to see the Lord working mightily in the lives of these young people! Not to mention all of the lives that were touched throughout the summer. 

This morning all of the staff left for their end of summer staff retreat, so it’s especially quiet around here today. But the sun was shining as we drove to church
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and we were blessed to be worshiping outside on this glorious Lord’s Day!
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And it didn’t hurt that the worship service was followed by a picnic and some great fellowship!

So that about wraps up our weekend here at Camp Bighorn. We did get a couple of chores done over the weekend (let’s be real – mostly I was sewing!), and as the week progresses we’ll be tying up loose ends and finishing up our SOWER assignments.  Seems like we just got here – and soon it will be time to move on down the road!

Thanks for stopping by – hope your weekend was blessed also!

Steph

PSSST – there are a couple more Flathead Lake photos HERE if you’re interested!

Camp Bighorn – settling in!

After our lovely “sitting by the campfire all day” day, we finished our journey to Camp Bighorn, just up the road about 20 miles. And what a beautiful drive it was!
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Camp Bighorn is tucked between the Clark Fork River and the Coeur d’Alene mountain range, and specializes in Adventure Camps.
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Just so you can get a feel for how close we are to the river – here it is on Google Earth –
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We’re parked with the other SOWERS and volunteers in the shadow of the mountain,
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and our view is quite lovely!
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We can’t quite see the river from our picture window (and the sunscreens are up now so it’s hard to see out anyway), but as you can see from this shot on our way to town –
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It’s O-la-la pretty here! Even with bugs on the windshield.

Remember how I mentioned that this camp specializes in Adventure?? Well, yesterday we (the SOWERS) were invited to go rafting! I knew that if I took my phone for pictures, for sure I’d fall in, so I wasn’t able to get any shots of our (almost) 4 hours on the river! But one of us did have a waterproof camera, so here are just a couple shots of our (yes, old folks can have fun too) adventure!
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We saw bald eagles, a king fisher, deer, and some other rafters. And there was just enough “white water” to keep us on our toes (and our guides busy telling us to “paddle hard”!). It was a grand afternoon, and I believe just a precursor to a great month!
Worship tomorrow with our new SOWER family up in Plains, and then on Monday we start work. I know I’ll be working on refurbishing the dining room chairs with the other SOWER ladies, but I’m not sure just what Gary will be doing. But I bet the camp will find something to keep him busy!

I’ll keep you posted!