Blog Break Until August 2nd

6/16/15 Tuesday in Spokane, WA (HOME!)

I slept very well (John not so much). Because our air conditioning wasn’t working, we’d left our bedroom windows open for air. Well, lots of sunshine poured in as well, which helped keep John awake after 4:00, so he was up before 5:00 and I soon followed. We have SO much to do. He got busy getting everything out of Miss Journey’s basement, vacuuming, then deciding which items we didn’t really need to return there. I cleaned the coach’s refrigerator, then vacuumed the house. Needless to say, we were hopping with chores. Then Justin, Lily, and Gabe showed up! More fun, another lunch, then I played games with the kids while John and Justin talked guy stuff. When they left we swept out the garage. These were areas Justin had his things before he moved them out just 2 days ago-Sunday. Other than that, the house looked so neat. Well, we did have piles of mail/magazines that had been saved for us to go through. We went to Lowe’s for a fuse for the air conditioner. They didn’t have it, but Home Depot did. When John got it in, the A/C still didn’t turn on. We got busy with more moving things (there is a yard sale of our neighborhood in a couple weeks), then I noticed we were getting cool air! We called to let the heating company know (we’d made an appointment for repairs). They explained that the A/C has a 5 minute delay built in, that’s why it didn’t start when we turned it on. John (and a neighbor) thought the bearings were going bad, so we’ll let them come make sure it’s all okay. Lots of visiting with our neighbors as they stopped by to welcome us back. We enjoyed a marvelous visit with the neighbor who’d done so much for our place while we were gone, Connie.

Off to splurge with ANOTHER meal out, at Red Robin, where our other son, Joe works. Great food, the BEST server!

Back at HOME we watched the NBA Finals. Yay!! The Golden State Warriors won. They deserved it. Sorry that there were so many injuries crippling the Cavaliers, but maybe next time.

Since our life will be focused on family, friends, getting our two houses and our two bodies all serviced and ready for another year, I’m taking a blog break until we leave again August 2nd (or thereabouts) for our exploration of the West.

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Moving on – to Spokane, WA

6/15/15 Monday in Spokane, WA (HOME!)

On our way by 8:15. Too bad we didn’t leave just a bit sooner because we needed to climb the Lewiston grade (steep uphill with a corner turn to begin, so you’re starting slow). Anyway, we got right behind a very slow moving truck hauling shingles (23 mph), with no passing lane available, due to road construction, so we had cones to contend with as well. Past that area we simply had miles of green, rolling hills to enjoy. Very much like our Palouse.

palouse

We turned off US 95 W onto County Hwy 58/258. Nice road for a county road. Apparently it’s the Palouse Scenic Byway. So we’ve been on some great scenic roads traveling this route. Memories of Ambulance calls that John responded to in this area came flooding into his mind. I was amazed: I’d forgotten that our State Hwy signs use a profile of George Washington, not a silhouette of the state like so many others. We saw that as we entered WA 27.

We got HOME around 11:00. I was amazed and thrilled to see how lovely our home and yard looked.

home

I’d imagined all kinds of derelict images. It was easy this time to park Miss Journey and move food into the fridge and house. Justin (son) and Lily and Gabe (grandchildren) arrived as we were finishing this task! Naturally we were all so excited. We even had some macaroni and cheese and hot dogs to make for lunch for everyone, then more fun times. Justin (and grandchildren) were eager for us to come see their new home, so off we went to explore their place. We had such a good time-they have a huge house on 9 acres. It is beautiful. We’re all thrilled. When it neared supper time, John and I needed to head back home. I was thoroughly exhausted, what with this being a travel day on 2 lane roads, then all the great visiting. After moving more supplies from Miss Journey to our house, we went to Taco Time for dinner (no energy to do our own), then some TV and bed. Ah, it felt so good.

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Moving on – to Lewiston, ID and the Nez Perce National Historical Park

6/14/15 Sunday in Lewiston, ID (Clearwater Casino/$22/night)

Beautiful, cool, sunny morning, with a good early start, 7:30 (MDT)/ 6:30 (PDT). US 55, so more of that lovely pastoral valley before we get into some towns and hills, then McCall. Our neighbors had said there would be a lot of traffic up to McCall, then it would drop off precipitously. Then (after McCall) we’d have a very twisty, narrow, steep downhill road for about 4 miles. The last was very true, but because it was early on Sunday we were thrilled to meet very little traffic on US 55. That part was far easier than our trip from Boise. Then, at New Meadows, onto US 95N, another beautiful scenic drive following the Little Salmon River. This road’s curves are more sweeping, gentle, so John kept his speed up. This road was mostly down hill. So coming from the north would make getting to Cascade up hill just like when coming from Boise. So, no gain by coming traveling south.

salmon 1 salmon 2 salmon 3

After Pollock and before Riggins there were a lot of fishermen parked just off the road, catching salmon. That would be a winner on a Sunday. South of Lewiston is rolling hills, farmed. Very similar to Spokane’s Palouse. There were even a couple small rest areas along US 95.

Arrival: 10:18 (PDT). This casino is relatively small, but they have a lovely RV area with tall, mature trees and even a pool! Full Hook Ups (FHU) with 30 or 50 amps, good power and water pressure. Getting cell phone service (Verizon) was tricky, as well as TV satellite reception. We found a great spot that managed some TV. The bad news is it’s right next to US 95, so we heard that noise all night long. Lewiston is also very low altitude and 10 degrees hotter than other towns. Since the prediction was for 90 degrees tomorrow we decided to just stay one day and get HOME.

The Nez Perce National Historical Park was nearby so we couldn’t pass that opportunity up. We enjoyed a lovely movie and museum of great artifacts. We learned that they consider their language the basis of their culture, so they are trying to teach the young people while those who still know it are alive. They mark many of their signs with both the Nez Perce name as well as the English one. The name they call themselves (in their language) is Nimiipuu (Ne-Mee-Poo), The People. Of course they also teach the old ways of respecting the plants and animals that give their lives for the Ne-Mee-Poo. The volunteer was so helpful. He plays the drum at many of their ceremonies. By the way, that tipi was quite comfortable, even though this was a 90 degree day.

nemeepoo 1 nemeepoo 2 nemeepoo 2a nemeepoo 2b nemeepoo 3 Sweat Lodge (small) for religious experiences nemeepoo 4 nemeepoo 5

Watson's Store sold hardware, food to settlers; beads and canvas to Nez Perce

Watson’s Store sold hardware, food to settlers; beads and canvas to Nez Perce

nemeepoo 7

Some history, if you’re interested (skip if you are not), from the Nez Perce National Historic Trail brochure: “… Fifty years after the Corps of Discovery, Washington Territorial governor Isaac I Stevens met in council with Nez Perce leaders. The resulting 1855 Treaty with the US Government guaranteed the tribes rights to their ancestral homeland in perpetuity, and set aside a Nez Perce reservation of some 5,000 square miles.

In 1860, encroaching prospectors struck gold in Idaho. Thousands of miners, merchants and settlers overran Nez Perce land, seized resources and committed depredations against tribal members. In 1863 the federal government responded with new treaty talks. This time, the US wanted most of the Nez Perce reservation – including their treasured Wallowa region of northeastern Oregon and the Payette Lake region.

Many chiefs refused and angrily departed. Amid uncertainty, pressure and promises, the remaining chiefs reluctantly agreed to a reservation 90 percent smaller than that of 1855. Without aughority they ceded lands of Nez Perce who left the council, in a document thereafter called “the Thief Treaty.” …The 1863 Treaty divided the tribe and foreshadowed a war whose repercussions are still felt.

For some years non-treaty Nez Perce continued to live in the Wallowas. But conflict with newcomers increased, particularly in the Wallowa region, home of Chief Joseph’s band……The Nez Perce flight began June 15, 1877…they defeated a cavalry force at the Battle of White Bird Canyon….Swept into a fight they did not seek, nearly 750 Nez Perce desperately fled for their lives. Only 250 were warriors: the rest were women, children, old and sick. …They fought masterfully in some 20 battles and skirmishes the the US Aarmy, and repelled a devastating army attack on their sleeping village at the Big Hole on August 9….(they) eluded 2,000 soldiers…on a circuitous route through four states…last hope was sanctuary in Canada….forced to submit to Colonel Nelson Miles on October 5, 1877 – only 40 miles from Canada.”

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Goodby Water’s Edge RV Resort

6/13/15 Saturday in Cascade, ID (Water’s Edge RV Resort-EA/$15/night)

Brr, can you believe it was 42 degrees when we got up around 7:00? We actually turned the heat on. To think we’ve been using air conditioning a lot the last few weeks, it was something of a shock. With warm sweatshirts on we walked to town and back, looking for a good path on our way out of the campground. The construction near the entrance/exit makes turning onto the road difficult. Then I worked on the blog while John read.

In the gorgeous afternoon we went outside to read, parking ourselves in the shade and in the sun, because it was cool in the former and pretty warm in the latter. Later we took another exploratory walk around the see how we’d depart from this campground and found a great way, not all the way into town, yet giving us a better approach to the construction intersection. We watched a PBS show on D-Day.

Before supper we got into a fun conversation with our neighbors: they assured us that going north on US 55 was better than south, but we’d have a twisty narrow road after McCall for a few miles.

Our evening entertainment was cards. John slaughtered me, winning all three games by a huge margin. It was “13” and his total of points (against him) was 34!

Before the sun set I got some images of this lovely campground on the Payette River.

resort 1 resort 2

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Moving on – to Cascade, ID, along the Payette River Scenic Byway

6/12/15 Friday in Cascade, ID (Water’s Edge RV Resort-EA/$15/night)

On the road by 8:00. I-84W to US 55N, a two lane mountain highway. At least it’s the Payette River Scenic Byway, so we had lovely views along the way, with plenty of passing lanes and turnouts. We saw a lot of RVs too. John noted that going North was mostly uphill, so going South would have been easier. Hey, they both have lots of tight curves, was my thought.

scenes 1

In time we were in deep forest (Boise National Forest) with the white water river flowing at our side. It reminded me of Stevens Pass; John of Blewett Pass. Ah, the West. Home. The last several miles were in a lovely FLAT valley. Sweet.

scenes 2 scenes 3

As we approached Water’s Edge we couldn’t see their sign, for all the construction. We knew we needed to turn right, just before the bridge. The construction seemed to be for the bridge, so I spotted a sign that said “Leisure Time RV Park”, directing us to turn right there. We saw rigs, so we turned, unhooked, then John went to find out where Water’s Edge was. It was this park (Leisure Time was further down the road). Later, after getting settled in we walked over to that construction area, looking for the sign. It was there alright, in deep shade, between trees and behind orange blocking forms and cones. I was supremely grateful to John for his excellent driving for such a long way (79 miles of mountain road) and realizing that the construction was at the bridge, that we needed to turn where we did.

This is a beautiful place, even kind of crowded, considering that everyone must travel US 55 to get here, whether from the north or the south. The guy that came in just behind us in the office said he cam from McCall (north) and it was quite an experience. He also had been here 17 years ago so know where to turn, but hadn’t seen the sign either. Anyway, if you’re okay with the path to get here, it’s a great campground: FHU, strong 50 amps, strong cell service, tall, mature trees (no TV, sorry John), the Payette River (no public access) as part of Water’s Edge with kayaks to ride. Plus your site has a concrete pad, picnic table and fire pit. Everything is well kept: clean bathrooms, new picnic tables, new electrical box. An added bonus is the temperature, 10 degrees less than Boise/Glenn’s Ferry (south) and Lewiston (north). So comfortable. We enjoyed a nice walk around the beach as well as the rest of the campground, then read outside. Just lovely.

We did get PBS on the local antenna, so we watched the Newshour, then some taped shows, then showers and bed. Oh, we both managed naps in the midst of everything else today as well.

Thank heavens we have Saturday to rest up, because we’ll have more miles to travel Sunday (184), with none on the freeway, many in the mountains.

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Oregon Trail History

6/11/15 Thursday in Glenn’s Ferry, ID (Three Island Crossing St Park-$39/night)

Ah, we slept in until almost 8! Such a treat. This will be a 90 degree day so I got the laundry going as soon as I could. This is a beautiful place, with lots of lush grass and big shady trees; with the great plus of a view to the DISH satellite for TV. We even got busy (while it was pleasantly cool) cleaning the jacks (John) and a final cleaning of windows (Trish).

When I tried to make a reservation to a future campground, I found out our VISA card wouldn’t work. After calling the card services we found out it had been used by someone else, so there was a fraud block on it. Sure glad they caught it, plus they put a 15 minute release on it so I could continue my payment for that reservation. They’re sending the new cards to our home, so we’re really glad that’s where we’re headed in just a few more days!

After lunch I asked our neighbors if they were familiar with the area. They sure were. They’re from west of Boise. They said that US 55 was a nice scenic road with passing lanes and turn outs. That was a relief. We got to talking, then John and I left to visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center because it closed at 4:00. The guides/docents were most helpful and their displays were just excellent.

The early emigrants followed the Lewis and Clark trail, for the most part. When they reached the Snake River they needed to cross to the northern side because the grass and water was plentiful there, not so much on the southern side. Unfortunately it’s a pretty dangerous river to cross but here at Three Island Crossing the Indians showed them a path that made use of 2 of those islands to get relatively safely across. They couldn’t use the last island because the water was especially swift near it. We saw a video of reenactors crossing there and one of their wagons tipped (along with the oxen/mules). There’s a deep hole if you’re not careful. Gus Glenn built a ferry in time, but it was for his freight, not for emigrants, unfortunately. We could have driven to where you could see the wagon tracks, but it was just too hot to feel it was worth it. Please click on any image you’d like to read, to enlarge it.

OR Trail 1 OR trail 1a OR trail 3 OR trail 4

Euro Americans (Emigrants).  It struck me that their life had some similarities to our fulltime RV lifestyle.  We don’t have it nearly as difficult, of course!

EA 1 EA 2 EA 3 EA 4

In the beginning the Indians here were glad to help the emigrants, as they made their journey as well as when they settled here. One of the first issues came over the Indians’ camas root land. This root was a staple for them. But the Euro Americans began claiming that land for themselves. This continued with “a trail of promises made and broken”.

Native Americans

NA 1 NA 2 NA 3 NA 4

I loved this quote of a modern Indian regarding trying to have good relations with the Euro Americans now: “What I’ve been teaching my children is that the first thing that we have to do is start respecting one another and then move to self-respect. Once we find out who and what our purpose in life is then from there we are able to help others and help nature around us. Without that self-respect we may be destructful.”

We read outside in the breezes for awhile, then supper. Too windy to use our grill, which was unfortunate since we had to turn off the A/C for enough amps to cook supper. That’s camping for you!

I’d seen a comment in the news that Delivadova was playing for the Cavaliers (NBA) in the finals. Really? Our Gonzaga basketball team had several hard fought games against his team (St. Mary’s), so we knew how fast and furious he was. So I had to watch the game. As it went along I found myself rooting for the Golden State Warriors, because they were smaller and quick, similar to how Gonzaga plays. So it was exciting to see them pull ahead to a great winning margin (103-82).

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Moving on – to Glenn’s Ferry, ID

6/10/15 Wednesday in Glenn’s Ferry, ID (Three Island Crossing St Park-$39/night)

We went for a walk (John suggested it!) after I’d posted the blog. There is a wonderful smell to this place, almost like jasmine. The mountain was just gorgeous in the setting sun.

mountain 2

Long trip today (230 miles), so we were on the road around 7. No big cities to contend with, all freeway, so a good ride. A bit before we crossed into Idaho, I got a photo of an old cabin.  Those blurry spots are from bugs that smashed into our windshield.

ID Cabin

Greetings, Idaho

ID

After we were in Idaho we saw a sign “Deer Migration Crossing” and soon after we saw deer, thankfully they were not near the freeway. Pretty green, rolling hills in this area, with periodic groups of cattle and even horses, along with farming sections. One rest area was also the weigh station where both trucks and RV’s crossed the scales to reach the parking area. Efficient, I’d say. The inevitable construction spots broke up an otherwise smooth ride. We did have 3 small “adventures” when rolling over goodly bumps on the freeway: our heater fell off the sofa, our I-Pod came loose from its connection, so we lost our songs, and the shower light cover fell. The good news: nothing broke. We even got the I-Pod connection working when Miss Journey’s engine had been off, then turned on at a long rest area stop.

Because of our early departure we arrived at Three Island Crossing St. Park before noon, getting set up and lunch done before 1:00. Because of the heat we stayed inside, running both air conditioners. We only have 30 amps here (at least it’s strong) and no sewer at the site, so it took a good bit of timing to cook our leftover lasagna supper with the A/C off (they use close to 30 amps).

When the sun was close to setting, we took a walk to the Snake River. This is where the emigrants would cross the Snake River (on the Oregon Trail), but it was pretty dangerous. This image is a view of across the river, near where the wagons dropped down and crossed.

Three Island 1

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