Archive for the ‘Washington’ Category

Really big peaks

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Mt. Rainer,  a beautiful day and I’m back in Washington.  Paul moved south of Seattle while I was visiting San Jose.  It is like aiming at a moving target when I need to buy a ticket and fly home.  The trip home was great and Paul enjoyed his bachelor time I am sure.  At least the house looked good when I got back.

Mt. Rainer

I returned to Washington and we had a beautiful day so why not take a hike.  We actually didn’t really hike because we brought Duke along and you can’t take dogs on any trails in the National Parks.  It was a free day so we figured it would be too crowded to really hike and we were right.

mt-rainer3

mt-rainer

We did get to see the mountain and it was beautiful.

pauldukeWhat is it they say, “pets start looking like their owners? or is it owners start looking like their pet?”

Our time in Puget Sound

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

We are parked in LaConner, WA which is right on Puget Sound.  It is beautiful here and we are getting perfect weather.  We arrived back in Seattle on Friday and brought Amy & Nick with us to his dads house in Mt. Vernon which is very close to LaConner.  Before we could get them home we had to stop in Byer and pick Duke up from the dog sitter.  Duke was over joyed to see us but quickly went to whoever would throw the ball, of course!  Loyalty always.  We arrived at Nick’s Dads home and enjoyed there beautiful patio for a light lunch!  complete with a delicious dessert.  The calories never end.  We finally made it home about 2 pm and I promptly headed for the bed.  I slept for about 2 hours, got up, sat in the chair and headed back to bed before 6:30 waking up at 7:30 am Saturday morning.  I was beat and felt like I was getting a cold.  The good news is by Sunday I was feeling fine and we took a drive out to Whidbey Island to visit a nephew who is stationed at the Naval Base on the island.  It was beautiful.  We saw a boat race and then we headed to Deception Pass State Park where the views of Puget Sound are spectacular.

DeceptionPassBoat

A boat joy riding through the sound.  These guys were definitely feeling good, loud music, lots of howls and even a wave.

DeceptionPassSunset

Just before sunset and a snapped this shot.  The picture is way cooler than the actual sunset which it is usually the other way around.

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Puget Sound, looking toward Mt. Baker

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Deception Pass Bridge.  The boat above was passing under this bridge when I took the photo.  That’s not our RV, it just happened to be crossing and I thought it would be fun to photograph.

We made it!

Monday, August 1st, 2016

We left June 1 heading to Colorado for a wedding on July 10 and then heading back to Washington by Aug 1.  We did it.  We arrived in LaConner WA at the Thousand Trails Campground where we will be staying for the next 3 weeks.

The weather here is very mild. Two days ago we were in Cashmere WA and it was 109 at 6 pm. Today it might get up to the mid 70’s.

When we left we had two blankets on the bed and very soon we had to remove one.  When we got to the Rocky Mountains we had to add the blanket and the Down comforter.  By the time we left Estes Park we were back to only the two blankets but soon I removed one of the blankets.  Last night I had to pull the down comforter onto the bed and this am I had to start the fireplace to get some heat.

It is like we have had summer and it is gone!  When we head south in 3 weeks we will be back to summer.  Next week we will be in Alaska!  I have my parka packed!

A Dam good week

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Grand Coulee Dam is in the middle of nowhere on the Columbia River and I’m pretty certain that you would not be going there unless you were intentionally going to the dam.  The Dam is impressive, the tour not so much!  Except that is the only way you can take the photo below.  Since 911 you cannot cross the dam.  There is a bridge not far from below the dam that crosses the Columbia River, infact you have to drive across the bridge to get to the tour.  Some things baffle me.

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They put a lazer light show on in the evenings during the summer complete with a Dam cartoon before the lazer story of why the dam is here.  Corny but fun.  There isn’t much else to do in Coulee.

CouleeDam

CouleeDam

There is a lake and a state park campground on the Banks Lake that is created from Grand Coulee just for irrigation.  They pump water into the lake and then canel it to farmers.  Banks Lake is huge and full of recreation if you are into boating.  The mosquitos were quite bad.  Infact in the campground they came through each evening and fogged us.  It didn’t do much for keeping the mosquito population away so I could sit out and enjoy the evenings!

Steamboat Mountain; how the park got its name!

Steamboat Mountain; how the park got its name!

Sunset reflecting off the lake

Sunset reflecting off the lake

Pauls idea of swimming in the lake

Pauls idea of swimming in the lake

 

All aboard, get ready for Chicago Pizza

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Trains hold a fascination for Paul that most don’t understand, which explains why we are riding on the California Zephyr from Emeryville CA to Chicago, Il with the intention of having pizza when we arrive!

California Zephyr arrives in Emeryville

California Zephyr arrives in Emeryville

So far it has been a great trip, thru the Sierra Mtns with a short stop in Reno.  Today we saw some spectacular scenery in Colorado.

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Paul sprouted this idea after my trip from San Jose to Eugene Oregon in June.  This time we upgraded to a sleeper cabin that allows for us to stretch out and actually sleep!  We will be on the train two and a half days so we got the best room that comes with two bunks, a chair, toilet and a private shower.

Our couch/ bed

Our couch/ bed

Toilet/Shower/ towel rack

Toilet/Shower/ towel rack

Its very cozy for two people, electronics and clothing!  The good news is you can move about the train.  There are 6 cars for passengers;  2 coach, an observation car, dining car, and 2 sleeper cars.  Emeryville is the beginning of the route with lots of stops before we arrive at the final destination of Chicago.

Observation car

Observation car

Dining car

Dining car

when you purchase the sleeper car your meals are included.  The menu is small and when we arrive in Chicago I think we will have tried everything!  My favorite is chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream!  It’s two desserts, so Paul gets one, I get the other and we share😀

Enjoying some fresh air in Grand Junction, Colorado

Enjoying some fresh air in Grand Junction, Colorado

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The train takes you across landscape that you can’t see by car.  We saw Eagles today, lots of mule deer, cows,  a couple coyotes, trout,  ducks,  frozen ponds and streams, and a very large moon in the middle of the day!  Right in the middle of the forest across the Colorado River some guy shared with the whole passing train!  None were impressed!

Winter Park Colorado

Winter Park Colorado

Tonight we head across the plains of Colorado and Nebraska, not much to see so we will sleep well knowing we aren’t really missing anything!

 

 

 

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Colorado Springs

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Starting our descent to the lower states with a stop in Colorado Springs where I got to meet up with a couple of the girls from growing up!
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I told you!  You made the blog!!!  It was so much fun seeing where they have been living the past 15 and 20 years, catching up on family gossip and just talking.  I miss getting to just hang out with friends,  Thanks Virginia and Cheryl.

Colorado Springs is right at the base of Pikes Peak, it really doesn’t look that large but when you start up the road which is a toll road you realize just how high you are going.  When we made it to the top I hopped out of the car and immediately realized that even though the car said it was 49 outside that 49 was very cold with the wind!

The air is so thin that I felt a lot light headed!  Whoa, Imagine having a smoke up here?

The air is so thin that I felt a lot light headed! Whoa, Imagine having a smoke up here?

Not even sure you could see all the way to Colorado Springs but I am sure it is out there.

Not even sure you could see all the way to Colorado Springs but I am sure it is out there.

The drive was spectacular and we are even starting to see some Aspens getting their fall colors.  There are three reserviors that provide water to the city below.  The views are spectacular.  I don’t really  love the alpine terrain but it is interesting.

Aspens peaking out of the evergreens

Aspens peaking out of the evergreens

PeaksResevoir

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Breakcheck  area on the descent

                                Break check area on the descent

Pikes Peak,  a beautiful drive with views that are breathtaking.   The air was thin so I cannot even imagine hiking up here, so we didn’t.  It was a driving tour and very enjoyable.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings right near where we are staying was not exactly what I was expecting.  Sometimes research beyond the brochure in the tour racks is a good idea.  Located only 2 miles from where we are staying and something I have always been interested in seeing are the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians however they did not build their homes in Manitou Springs,  they were relocated here in the  early 1900’s to be preserved.  They lived and built their cliff dwellings in the Four Corners area, several hundred miles southwest of Manitou Springs. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings were relocated to their present location in the early 1900s, as a museum, preserve, and tourist attraction.  That last sentence is exactly what it is.  The dwellings are cool however right after you pay to enter the site you download the app and the first thing it says is they were relocated here to be preserved and you can see them on the hill just past the gate (around a corner!)  They were cool and probably a great fieldtrip for 5th graders as a great learing tool but I wanted to really see cliff dwellings that had not been refurbished.  Oh well.

Cliffdwellings3

Cliffdwellings2

We are staying in a great location in a very nice park with lots of things very close by.  Garden of the Gods while a tourist location is definitely a much better deal – FREE!  It’s a park with pretty well marked trails once you figure out the map and beautiful rock formations.  The central garden is definitely the spot most people go to with the most formations and lots of rock climbers. We did some of that and then found a trail that had very few people and good views of the rocks.  The best part about this park besides being free is the dog is welcome everywhere!  Love that.

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GardenofGods3

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GardenofGods

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Always have to add at least one photo of us!  It was very hot this afternoon and staying out of the sun was difficult, hence the floppy hat and long sleeved shirt.

Its been a busy week but the weather has been favorable so we are taking in way more sites than usual.  Next day was the town of Canon and the Royal Gorge area.  The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park are all new this year as everything burned down in 2013 except the bridge.

Royal Gorge Bridge

Royal Gorge Bridge

Spectacular views and although this is definitely a tourist local it seemed kind of worth it at the senior price and the $2 coupon which includes everything except ziplining across the gorge and the bunge drop ride.  The tram is brand new so Paul was willing to ride it one way.  We walked across the bridge and then rode back

Trams passing above the gorge

Trams passing above the gorge

Crossing the bridge

Crossing the bridge

Getting ready to cross the gorge on the tram

Getting ready to cross the gorge on the tram

The Arkansas River rushes below the bridge through the gorge

The Arkansas River rushes below the bridge through the gorge

The town of Canon has a winery right in the middle of the desert.  The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey was a fun find in the tiny little town.  I enjoyed the wines while Paul enjoyed the picnic area.  Of course I bought one!  Then we were off to return back to our home taking a couple of back roads through Cripple Creek a town that has been revitalized by building cute building fronts to the casinos.  The drive to Cripple Creek was not your ordinary drive.  We followed Apple Maps and quickly we were alone on dirt roads with an occasional local that I am sure was laughing at the California tourists traveling through!

After about 4 miles we did see this sign!

After about 4 miles we did see this sign!

Amazing views,  very little roads!

Amazing views, very little roads!

Cute goats wondering why we are stopping and taking pictures!  I don't think they are use to tourists

Cute goats wondering why we are stopping and taking pictures! I don’t think they are use to tourists

Once we made it through Cripple Creek the views of the fall colors became brilliant.

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Fallcolor2

I love this part of Fall

I love this part of Fall.  

Thats Colorado Springs!  Definitely you can tell you are in the high desert but there is so much beauty here until the snow comes!

 

Not yet, I’m not ready

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

It went from 95 to 77 between Thursday and Saturday!  Sunday morning we woke up to needing a light jacket.  The weather slowed us down a bit but we still managed a short hike near Priest Lake and lunch on the lake.

Paul checking his email on the beach

Paul checking his email on the beach

I love to people watch!

I love to people watch!

This family of four showed up right after us and set all their stuff up, which was several loads of beach chairs, towels, toys, umbrellas and coolers.  Then the mom and oldest boy sat in the chairs and opened their books! Dad organized all their items. See how each chair has a towel?   The little guy was running from toy, to blow up toy, rolling in the sand, tromping into the water and no one seemed even a bit interested!  I guess that was why they had so many toys!!!

The lake is beautiful and when the sun finally came out about 3 pm, lots of boats were on the water.

The river flowing into the lake

The river flowing into the lake

Today we had to say goodbye to northern Idaho and head back south.  We are in Spokane for the evening and will be heading towards Boise tomorrow.

The Spokane River

The Spokane River

We had a nice walk along the Spokane River this afternoon which is only about 1 mile from the Elks where we are parked.

Small Towns, lots of trees and a River

Friday, August 7th, 2015

One more day trip north along the Selkirk Scenic Loop and we made it to Bonners Ferry.  This was where the gold prospectors needed a ferry to cross the river to head to Canada for gold and one very enterprising man built one and a town for supplies.  Our plan was to continue into Canada for an international day but someone forgot the passports until we were 25 miles up the road!

We did find a very nice river where a few people were taking a swim!  I wanted to join them, the water looked wonderful but there was only an outhouse to change and it just wasn’t that inviting!

BonnersFerry

Sometimes where we are out exploring this wonderful country it is hard to tell what state you are in; everywhere has the same stores, restaurants but once in awhile I am reminded I’m not in California anymore!  Our at least not in the Bay Area!

Shell casings!

Shell casings!  

clouds

The clouds were amazing against the trees as we drove along the Selkirk Byway.  Just another Friday afternoon in the life of the Roberts!

 

 

Nine Holes and a Few Deer

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Golfing could become a habit if I had enough money!  We found a really nice course and played on a beautiful afternoon.

Keep your head down!  I'll watch!

Keep your head down! I’ll watch!

Deer Park Golf and RV Park!

Deer Park Golf and RV Park!

They had deer everywhere!  They marked the Tee Boxes in blue deer, white deer and gold deer!  I played from the gold since there were no red and this course was very long!  They had one hole that was over 500 yds from the gold!

 

Another afternoon and perfect weather

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

We decided to take it easy one day and headed into town just to check out the Pend Oreille Museum and learn a bit about the area.  Paul loves museums, me I enjoy looking for something interesting that I might remember.  The museum had lots of interesting artifacts about the Pend O’reille Valley but we learned from the curator that we had been pronouncing the name all wrong!  It’s pronounce Ponderay!  It’s French and we thought it was Irish.

Not automatic at all!  No wonder women had to stay home!  Laundry would be an everyday event, not once a week!

Not automatic at all! No wonder women had to stay home! Laundry would be an everyday event, not once a week!

There was lots of old farm equipment, tractors, a fire truck and lots of collections that had been donated by local citizens so that they could be enjoyed rather than sitting in someones attic!

Like he is going to use that!

Like he is going to use that!

We had a nice enjoyable day wandering through the museum and then we walked along Main Street where we stopped into the local Soda Fountain and had a rootbeer float!  Yep, we sat right up at the counter and watched the girl fill a boot with rootbeer from the tap and then top it with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It was served on a saucer and it is a good thing cause Paul had the rootbeer overflowing!