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7/3/2023 - First Stop (click here to leave a comment)
Taco Time Woodinville The adventure begins. Leaving Bothell at noon July 3rd, heading to Salem. To Steven's brother Jim. As one should prior to any adventure, one should eat a good meal first.
7/3&4/2023 - Arrival at Jim's house in Salem, Oregon (Post is out of order) (click here to leave a comment)
So, we arrived at Jim's house late in the evening on July 3rd and settled in for the night. The next day we decided to stay an extra day there and enjoy the July 4th with him in Salem. The next morning Jim and I went to a breakfast diner called "Whites" (no, really, that was the name). In the evening after dinner, Jim and I walked up a short hill by his house and saw fireworks going off all around us. The next morning we packed up and left for Grants Pass as our next stop south on Interstate 5, which was about 4 hours away (~200 miles). In the photo, Jim is the one on the right and I'm on the left. The one in the middle is my youngest brother Dan.
7/3/2023 - Stop at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge (click here to leave a comment)
We will need to make "pit" stops on the way about every hour or two since we are old people and have old people needs. This is a wildlife refuge at the southern end of Puget Sound near Olympia. Although there are many nature trails about with much to see in wildlife, mostly birds, we enjoyed the antics of tree swallows around the main buildings. They eat nearly their weight in tiny bugs like mosquitoes and gnats.
7/3/2023 - On the way to my brother Jim's house in Salem, Oregon (click here to leave a comment)
We desired to make it to Jim's house in Salem, Oregon for our first overnight stop. That is normally a five hour drive, but for us "retired folks" it turned out to be about seven hours. On the way down, we got some beautiful glimpses of what we call here in Washington, "The Mountain", which is Mt. Rainer, the tallest mountain in the state of Washington at 14,480 feet high.
7/6/2023 - Leaving Grants Pass (click here to leave a comment)
So, here begins a rather strange story. Strange in that it is embarrassing for me (Steve), and strange in that once the story concluded, Patty was laughing for a couple of hours. It begins like this: when I (Steve) woke up in Grants Pass, I remembered that the memorial service was to be held in Oxnard on Saturday evening. I looked at my calendar and saw that Saturday was two days away. We had intended to take a leisurely trip down the coast from Crescent City, California to Oxnard, but in my thinking, we had two days to get there. Consequently, in a state of panic we charged up to 100% and went directly to Sacramento where we stayed at the Governors In Hotel. We found that there was hardly any parking in downtown Sacramento and the streets were not very friendly. We spent the night and the next morning grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonalds and hurried on. The photo is of Mount Shasta in Northern California north of Redding.
7/7/2023 - Barging on in California (click here to leave a comment)
On the way continuing on Interstate 5 south, we charged up at an interesting location at Firebaugh, CA. There was 52 charging stations located under solar panel awnings with the electricity feeding a Tesla Megapack battery (very big battery). Basically, the charging location was pretty much self sufficient with it's own produced electricity. Continuing the story: while we were heading towards Bakersfield, CA, Patty asked me what the date was. I replied that it was Thursday July 7th; she then asked me "why are we hurrying so much?". I said that we needed to get to the memorial service by Saturday evening. She started laughing really hard and said, "the service is not until Saturday the 15th". Again, she asked "why are we hurrying so much?" I felt chagrined: obviously, I had fallen deeply into mental retirement and was not thinking clearly at all. We immediately turned off of the highway and started wandering about the desert with nowhere to go. We ended up in Bakersfield where we stayed in a pretty nice hotel.
7/8/2023 - Bakersfield wanders (click here to leave a comment)
Since we are no longer are feeling rushed to be anywhere in a hurry, we spent a day in looking around the desert of Bakersfield where my family lived for a number of years. This area is mostly focused on the oil industry where the big oil companies have bought most of the land or leased it from the government. Everywhere you look there are "grasshoppers" which are oil pumps with heads going up and down all the time pumping oil from the ground and into tanks. My father was a pastor in the town of Taft for quite a few years and my mother worked at the Elk Hills Naval Oil Reserve. My brothers went to the local schools and also worked in the various trades in the area. Patty and I toured around Taft and Maricopa, which is to the west of Bakersfield. I would not recommend living in that area as it is a very dry and hot place.
7/9/2023 - Heading for the coast of Central California and San Luis Obisbo (SLO) (out of order) (click here to leave a comment)
We left Bakersfield in the morning after breakfast and drove west across the dry hills and flat plains spotted with oil wells and different farmlands. We came across a very interesting place which is a lavender farm, called ironically: "The Lavender Garden". They have a gift shop, a store, a dinosaur zoo for kids and several other amenities. They sold lavender ice cream mixed with blueberries or peaches or vanilla beans. It was so good! After a while, we arrived in San Luis Obisbo or "SLO" as it is called by the locals, and stayed at a very quaint and interesting hotel called "The Apple Farm". I'll describe more tomorrow. Here is a picture of Patty and I enjoying lavender/blueberry ice cream...yummy!
7/10/2023 - Exploring the Costal Highway 1 on the Central Cost (Morro Bay to San Simeon) (click here to leave a comment)
*Updated - We ended up staying for two nights at the Apple Farm Hotel so that we can do some exploration up the coast from SLO. We went to Morro Bay and dropped by the waterfront. The day was really foggy from a marine layer that was on the waterfront, but we were able to see the rather large rock formation called (surprisingly) the Morro Rock. *We went down to the beach and Patty was able to stand on the shore with the waves washing her feet. She was so entranced with the feeling that she forgot what happens when the wave washes back: the sand is eroded from under her feet. With a small gasp, she danced a bit to be able to stand on flat sand again. :)* Next we continued up for a few miles and stopped at an elephant seal rookery where about 50 or so elephant seals were lounging and sleeping on the beach. These animals are VERY huge and not the cute little harbor seals that most may be familiar with. In fact, I would say that the males were about 15 feet long and probably weighed as much as our Tesla (~4000#'s). There was a young boy with his Mom and Dad watching and was very animated about them, constantly pointing and saying loudly, "WOW; look at that" repeatedly. He was totally amazed of those creatures and I would have to say, he spoke for Patty and I quite well in our amazement. :) Next, we went up to San Simeon and stopped by the visitors center for the Hearst Castle tours. The castle looked about a mile away on a hill top and is a rather gaudy building, in my opinion. Since the tour costs were about $30 per person for the cheapest tour, we passed on it. We returned to SLO and the Apple Farm Hotel. Unfortunately, I can't post a video of the night frogs and the mill wheel in the creek, but it was very enchanting. We would recommend this hotel for anyone going to SLO overnight.
7/11/2023 - Worlds best split pea soup (click here to leave a comment)
We traveled south on US 101 until we got to Buellton, CA, the home of Andersons Pea Soup. They have a hotel and restaurant there serving the best split pea soup (in my humble opinion) in the world. The only problem that day was that it was Tuesday and the only day of the week that the restaurant was closed. So, we did what was obviously necessary and stayed the night in nearby Solvang Both Buellton and Solvang are towns setup as Danish towns with the usual architectures found in Denmark...sort of. We stayed at the Vinland Hotel, but I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for luxury. ;)
7/12/2023 - Onward to San Juan Capistrano and my friend Iraj Douraghi's home (click here to leave a comment)
We left Solvang and went to Buellton to at least have a breakfast at the Andersen's Pea Soup restaurant. I had a scrumptious breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, coffee, and a bowl of split pea soup. It was very good and started my day well. We needed that since we were traveling all day going about 185 miles to San Juan Capistrano to visit an old friend of mine. What made it rather tiring was that we had to pass through the Valley(s) of the Shadow of Death called Los Angeles to get there. Of course I missed a turn and ended up taking an unexpected and unfortunate tour of an area called Santa Fe, which is an industrial area of LA. But with prayers and repeated usage of the direction finder, we finally made it and holed up in a hotel in Capistrano. I called Iraj from there and our lives immediately turned wonderful. Iraj had us come to his home the next day.
7/13/2023 - Happy Days with Iraj (click here to leave a comment)
Iraj cooked us breakfast that morning which was wonderful home cooked food after many restaurant meals. Iraj is still working for the company that I worked for before I had the audacity to retire from there. He had a scheduled meeting with my old team that afternoon and we decided to pull a prank. Since the meeting was virtual and nobody was sharing their cameras, the question came up where my manager was asking how the weather was where we were at. A number of our fellow teammates live in the south and east where weather is dangerously bad. After a couple of minutes I piped up and said, "well, at Iraj's house it's clear and 80 degrees." Immediately, people recognized my voice and realizing that it wasn't Iraj coming from Iraj's avatar, there was a lot of laughter and commotion. Obviously, they missed me and I sure missed them. That was really fun! That evening, Iraj cooked a fabulous barbecued salmon dinner with brown rice. We spent the night with him anticipating having to leave the next afternoon.
7/14/2023 Leaving an old friend (click here to leave a comment)
We had such a great time with Iraj; my goodness what a host he is! We had a slow wake up and just enjoyed his home with flowers, birds, and good conversations. Later we met at a restaurant on the waterfront called "Proud Mary's", which has some fabulous breakfast and lunch food. I enjoyed an eggs Benedict with spinach and Patty had an equally good meal probably with avocados mixed in there somewhere. She certainly loves her avocados. We had a toast of Island Coffee which is an Irish coffee with rum added. Whoa, good!!! We said goodbye to Iraj and his granddaughter who works nearby and sadly made the trek north through LA again (yuck) to a town in the Ventura mountains called Fillmore. We were going from a time of great joy to meet with Patty's family in great sadness over a niece that died young. There was a "wake" of sorts there with a dinner amongst the grieving family. We left there to spend the night at a hotel in Simi Valley.
7/15/2023 - Memorial for Suzie Bules (click here to leave a comment)
On the night before the memorial we had a buffet in Suzie's honor. It was hosted by Rigo and Ramon Ortega ("Moncho") in Fillmore. We had Philpino food, lots of hugs and tears. The next day we spent the morning resting up to prepare for the memorial service in Ventura at the Father Serra Cross Park, waaaay up on a hill overlooking the Ventura city and shoreline area. There were about 150 people there to remember Suzie and share stories about her life. This service was more than we could ask or think. The opening prayer was given by her godfather, Jesse, and the service was ended in prayer. Several friends shared moving encounters they shared with Suzie. Her brother and sister, Ken Bules and Rosie Bules, shared a window into their life together as brothers and sisters. Ken was able to share that he had become born again, and would pray with Suzie when she began to be anxious or depressed. That was a blessing to all of us and comforting to me. Her parents also shared at the end. That morning a boat took over a dozen close friends and relatives out past three miles into the Pacific Ocean. They tossed rose petals and her ashes. It was, of course, very emotional. So much pain. After the service there was delicious food served. It was a perfect SoCal day. The temperature was mild. the sky was clear blue. There was a gentle breeze. God was honored, Suzie was honored and the attendees were touched in their hearts. So many hugs. So much love. Thank You God for all You have accomplished, and will accomplish, in the life and death of Suzie Bules. Please care for her children, Dylan and Abbey, in the best way possible.
7/16/2023 - Spa Day (click here to leave a comment)
Needless to say, we certainly needed to recover emotionally and physically. So, Patty and I decided to take another day in Simi Valley Extended Stay Hotel and get massages and pedicures for both of us. It was hugely refreshing and allowed us to gather strength and prepare for travel the next day. We went to Massage Envy for the massages and a nail spa place in the same shopping center. The rest of the time we napped quite a bit. :) Early the next day, we left for Barstow by way of CA RT 126 which runs east/west from Ventura to Santa Clarita.
7/17/2023 - To Barstow for the night (click here to leave a comment)
Patty was reminiscing while we traveled along the CA RT 126 thinking back to when she was much younger and the valley that we were traveling through was very rich and green with orchards. Apparently, it was very lovely then. However now, many of the farms are gone and industry has replaced them. I find this interesting in the aspect that we we remember simpler times when farming was a viable industry. But, since those days industrial businesses take over more and more, which means that there is a part of our lives are collectively lost. Once we passed Santa Clarita and started on I-15, the landscape that we experienced in the San Juaquin Valley once again overtook our journey where mile after mile it was nothing but desert and industry. We arrived uneventfully in Barstow and stayed in a Best (Better than the Last) Western Hotel.
7/18/2023 Barstow to Kingman, but not on RT66 (click here to leave a comment)
So, we left Barstow early in the morning, well, for us at least. When I say that it was the most desolate stretch so far (see previous picture as an example). When Patty and I passed through this area back in 12/2017, we drove this stretch on RT 66. That was really interesting to see the several "ghost towns" and abandoned gas stations, motels, restaurants, and a few homes that some were still in use. We actually found an abandoned toilet that was back aways from the road. Of course we needed to check it out. It wasn't hooked up and no one had used it. So, we took a picture of each of us assuming the position. When we returned to our car that was parked along the side of highway where a State Patrol car had pulled up. We pointed out to the officer why we were walking across the desert to our car and we all had a great laugh together. He had wondered if there were any drug paraphernalia or any evidence of use as a drug drop-off. I showed him a couple of pictures of the inside of the tank and bowl where there was some garbage, but no evidence of drugs. So, we all went on our way. We arrived at Patty's sister and brother in law's house later that evening.
7/19&20/2023 - Relaxing in Kingman (click here to leave a comment)
So, now that we are in Kingman visiting with Marcia and Jack (Patty's sister) and staying in their lovely home, we are pretty much not doing much activities. The weather continues to be pretty hot (108degrees +), and I'm not one who does hot well. Consequently, we are spending a lot of time inside, staying cool, and lots of catching up on family history. I found this "portal" near the western boundary of Kingman and thought that it would be pretty interesting. If those of you outside the USA (India or Costa Rica) and need to have some clarification of things, leave a comment in the comments of the appropriate post title and I'll address the questions as I can.
7/21/2023 - Still in Kingman with Brian and Rosie (click here to leave a comment)
Brian and Rosie (Patty's niece) arrived last night late. There was much joyful reunion talk until late into the night. Today there was more talk between them closing up some gaps in the family stories and history.
7/22-23/2023 - Home Away From Home (click here to leave a comment)
We enjoyed some very bonding time with Marcia & Jack and Rosie & Brian at Marcia & Jack's house in Kingman. Not a lot to share other than we rested and were blessed with having a lovely time with them. Marcia cooked some fantastic meals which were very welcomed. We did go to a Chop House for the last dinner on Sunday evening.
7/24-25/2023 - Learning How to Estimate Between Charging Locations the Hard Way (click here to leave a comment)
We left Kingman in the morning after charging and decided to follow Route 66 to Flagstaff. There are a number of interesting things to see along the way that I wanted to share with Patty. We wandered along and at one time passed a convoy of about 3 semi's at a top speed of 100 MPH. That was fun, but didn't realize that action would cost us several percentage points of power consumed. When we got to the other end of RT 66 where it joined I-40, I opened the app to have directions to the Supercharger locations in Flagstaff and selected one. Immediately we got a notice that we had insufficient charge to reach that location. As I swallowed my heart back down, I searched for the closest charging location to where we were at that time and saw that there was one a few miles closer but still in Flagstaff. When I selected that location, the notice came up that we needed to not exceed 55 miles per hour to reach it. I dutifully obeyed the electronic guide and drove the last 70 miles at 50-55 MPH. I suffered the indignity of driving a high performance car at the speed normally equated to timid old geezers and frustrating the drivers that needed to pass us almost unexpectedly. We did arrive at our destination Supercharger location, but with only a 2% charge left. That was obviously too close for comfort and I learned much about not paying attention to the needs of feeding Tess. Now, please note for all you EV doubters out there that if I had done my homework properly and drove more thoughtfully, we wouldn't have had that situation. It wasn't the fault of the car...more of the inattentive driver. That's all the "defending" that I'll say. :) After charging, we settled into a very nice hotel and rested up for a couple of days. We did see a few sights along the way to Flagstaff, mostly on Route 66. We ate at a restaurant called "Crown Railroad Restaurant" on RT 66 in north Flagstaff. Food was pretty average, but what was interesting was that it was used in a number of movie and TV shots over the years. The stay in Flagstaff was actually one of our "rest stops" as we didn't do much siteseeing at all. After staying for a couple of nights, we headed out the morning of 7/26 north to Page, AZ.
7/26-27/2023 On to Page! Part1 (click here to leave a comment)
We topped off Tess and headed north on RT 89 towards Page, AZ. We did make a side trip that was VERY interesting where we went and saw the Sunset Cone volcano and a couple of Pueblo dwellings. First the volcano: it was a comparatively recent eruption and left quite a large cinder field. We were able to drive through the field as the road passed alongside the foot of the volcano. We then went to a vista point on the south side and took some pictures during a desert thunderstorm (pretty cool!).
7/26-27/2023 On to Page! Part 2 (click here to leave a comment)
Next, we went several miles further on the National Monument road to get to the Wupatki National Monument, where we took a look at two Pueblo dwellings. These dwellings were created nearly a thousand years ago by the Indigenous people. The first dwelling we saw was the Wukoki dwelling. I hiked a short distance to it and got this shot. It's pretty amazing to be standing upon a place where a number of families made their living and thrived here with nothing of any kind of technology that we use today. Interestingly, when the people left here, the history doesn't tell where they went or what happened to them. Locally, one of the theories are that the Hopi tribes are descended from them.
7/26-27/2023 On to Page! Part 3 (click here to leave a comment)
Next, we visited the primary Pueblo site from which the National Monument was named "Wupatki Pueblo". This place was huge with several outlying structures and rings. Hundreds of people lived here for several hundred years, mostly dealing with trading from other villages and Pueblos. There was a ring for meetings and a ring for games; there was areas for creating fabrics from plants and wool; and, of course the many rooms for families to live together. Continuing on, we saw an overlook of the Painted Desert, but it didn't seem so vibrant at this time of year. Eventually, we arrived at Page for another couple of nights and sightseeing.
7/27-28/2023 At Page! Part 1 (click here to leave a comment)
While we were resting in Page, we caught up some shopping and did some local sightseeing. One of the goals of our trip was to see the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. But, we didn't realize that we were near the Big Bend of the Colorado. To get to the viewpoint was a .75 mile hike in 103 degree heat with a blustery wind from the South. Loaded up with my full water bottle, I hiked to the overlook and was amazed by the beauty of the natural wonder. How a river that otherwise was following a basic flow path ended up taking a horseshoe bend in the middle of a sandstone canyon, was pretty astonishing to me. After getting my photo shots in, I slowly hiked back resting frequently and drinking much from my water bottle. You all can tell me if the photo was worth the effort. ;)
7/28/2023 - At Page Part 2 (click here to leave a comment)
One of the main goals that we had for destinations on this trip was to see the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. The dam is very similar to the Hoover/Boulder dam downstream on the Colorado river other than it is a bit smaller. Lake Powell is the lake behind Glen Canyon dam. The lake is backed up into hundreds of small canyons for quite a long distance. Indeed, outside of Glen Canyon there are many smaller canyons that can be explored such as the famous Antelope Canyon where it is very narrow and the sandstone provides some beautiful scenes. We didn't have the opportunity to visit these other sights, but I did get some pictures of the Dam.
7/28/2023 - Page to Cedar City, UT Part 1 (click here to leave a comment)
This section of our trip has turned out to be one of the most interesting sections. I'm dividing it up to be able to describe some of the sights with a good representation in a picture. First off: the highway that we're following is Route 89, which happens to be the path that a 25 year old Spaniard led a small party of traders from New Mexico to what is now Los Angeles, California. They used pack mules to carry woolen goods to California and returned the following year with livestock and more pack mules to sell at premium prices to the people in New Mexico. It became lucrative enough to encourage others to follow the same route through the Grand Escalante (Staircase). The Grand Escalante is named from the formations of the sandstone mountains in the area.
7/28/2023 - Page to Cedar City, UT Part 2 (click here to leave a comment)
The Grand Escalante/Staircase gets the name from the formation of the mountains that goes basically from northeast towards the southwest in a series of what appears to be giant stairs. The mountains are made of primarily sandstone and granite as near as we can tell. The area around Lake Powell is near the "head" of the Staircase and Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and the Grand Canyon are all along it. The Colorado river flows from southwest Colorado through the southeast corner of Utah and through Arizona. The river pretty much flows along the southern part of the Grand Escalante, which ends near Las Vegas and Hoover Dam area. Just looking at the mountains here showed me the variety of terrain that this world can have if you look for it. :)
7/28-29/2023 Cedar City, UT (click here to leave a comment)
This was one of our "rest stops" where we booked a couple of nights just to rest and restore. We got a nice hotel that had a pool and hot tub and basically did nothing for a couple of days. So, not much to say here. I will say that I'm eternally grateful to Tesla for the invention of "AutoPilot". This allows me to just monitor the steering as the car maintains the position between the lines of the lane and has me verify that my hands are on the steering wheel about every 30-60 seconds or so. Autopilot and the dynamic cruise control gives more of the driving to the car and the driver is monitoring. That makes long distance travel so much easier (and safer) through some pretty boring areas like this.
7/30-8/1/2023 - Provo, UT (click here for comments)
So, we decided to take a bit of a rest break once we found a really nice hotel in Provo (Residence Inn by Marriott) and we stayed here for 3 nights. In between naps and rest breaks we did a little tour of Provo around Brigham Young University. That brings up an interesting story that Patty can relate to you. Patty here. Howdy! Back in high school, as a junior at Bellflower High School, I became a Mormon. This lasted approximately four years. During that time I aspired to attend BYU and hopefully qualify for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I had always admired their majestic harmony, beautiful sound and fantastic talent. The Lord intervened and changed the course of my life. I had become a Christian through my sixth grade teacher Mr. Yorton. But I did not continue and grow in my faith. While attending nursing school at LA County General Hospital, I was captured by the Lord through Campus Crusade for Christ. I consecrated myself to Him and that has made all the difference.
8/3/2023 - Tremonton (click here to leave comments)
We left Provo to go north to Tremonton and stay one night there. The next day, on the way to Twin Falls Idaho, we took a side trip to the site of the laying of the golden spike which marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the USA on March 9, 1869 in Promontory Summit, which is about an hour west of Tremonton. It is now a National Historical Monument with a Visitor Center and a pair of replication steam locomotives representing the Jupiter, of the Union Pacific Railroad (from the east) and the 119 representing the Central Pacific Railroad (from the west). I'll include a picture below. There were a massive amount of labor from soldiers from the Civil War (both sides), Irish Labor working for the Union Pacific, and Chinese Labor working for the Central Pacific. The steam locomotives are actual working ones that were built in 1975 and they operate every day when they are backed into their "garage" in the evening and brought out every morning. They seem very small compared to steam locomotives from later years, and indeed the rails that they used at that time are much smaller and made of iron compared to now which are much larger, can support much more weight and made of steel today. Overall, it made for a very interesting day. We continued on afterwards to Twin Falls Idaho where we stayed at the La Quinta Inn, which is very nice.
8/4/2023 - Twin Falls, ID (click here to leave comments)
We spent two nights at the La Quinta Inn at Twin Falls. That gave us a day of exploration on the 4th of August. We went to Shoshone (Sho-shone-nee) falls first. This is the largest falls in southern Idaho and is a few feet higher than Niagra, however, not as high as Snoqualmie falls. The canyon that contains the falls is mostly basalt rock and very rugged. Apparently, it was carved out from a big flow from a large lake at the end of the ice age called Lake Bonneville. The only remains of that Lake Bonneville is the Great Salt Lake in Utah. About another couple of miles upstream from Shoshone falls is Twin Falls, which is what the city was named after. However, back in the early 1900's, one of the twin falls was dammed up and made into a power generation plant. So, now only the falls on the north side is actually there.
8/5&6/2023 - Boise (click here to leave comments)
On the way to Boise, we stopped at the Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park where we saw a several sand dunes in the middle of the Snake River valley. The biggest one was about a 1/4 mile long and around 250 feet high. There were three big dunes and a number of small ones around a couple of small lakes. They were created at a point where the flowing Lake Bonneville drainage had slowed and silt had built up around this point. The visitors center rented out "sand boards and sand skis" to slide down the sides of the dunes. It was pretty impressive to see. On Sunday, the 6th, Patty and I attended the church in Boise and enjoyed the fellowship with the saints there. We had attended a conference there a couple of years ago and we visited with some friends that we had met back then. Here's a picture of one of the Bruneau Sand Dunes.
8/7/2023 - Baker City, Oregon (click here to leave comments)
We traveled from Boise to Baker City, Oregon. Baker City was a major stop on the Oregon Trail for cross country travelers in the early 1800's. The Trail would continue basically along I-84 through La Grande and Pendleton, where prior to getting to Pendleton, the route went over Deadman's Pass of roughly 4000 feet down to less than 1000 feet in a couple of miles. This pass is rather significant in that at a vista point on the pass, I lost my Greek fisherman's hat by leaving it on the roof of Tess (DUH!). The view from there was rather spectacular, but my loss was rather sobering. Now I need to go through the process of procuring another...sad!
8/8-9/2023 Rest Stop in Kennewick (click here to leave comments)
We crossed the Columbia River at John Day Dam and spent the next two nights in Kennewick, Washington. Not much to say here as I was sick from eating wrong foods and Patty was pretty tired. So, we did a "rest stop" for a while. Here's a photo of the John Day Dam; I-82 crossed the Columbia River just below the bottom of the picture.
8/10-11/2023 Yakima (click here to leave comments)
We drove a short distance from Kennewick to Yakima to spend a couple of nights there. While in Yakima, we went to visit an elk feeding station on the west side of Naches. We got there to find the place empty with the visitors center closed. Upon looking more closely at the signs we discovered that the elk are fed during the winter time and not in August. But it was a nice trip nonetheless to see the foothills of the Cascade mountains on the eastern side.
8/12/2023 - Homeward Bound-part1 (click here to leave comments)
So, the time has come to finish our road trip of 4000 miles by heading home via SR 410 over Chinook Pass, through Enumclaw and Renton. It took us 42 days, and we visited California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and back to Washington. We met many new friends, visited many new cities, shared grief with our family, witnessed joy in children seeing things for the first time and marveling at the wonders of this world that our Lord has created for our pleasure. Heading up the eastern side of Chinook Pass, we stopped at the Paradise Valley trail head for a "pit stop" and an opportunity to receive some "tree bathing" in a forest of pine, cedar and cottonwood trees. Patty took the opportunity to hug a tree, which is a tradition for us whenever we visit a new area with trees. Continuing on, at 5,506 feet in altitude, we crossed over Chinook Pass and started down the other side. Just over the top, we came upon a view of "the Mountain" (Mt. Rainer) and Tipsoo Lake. This is one of the most spectacular views that we saw on this trip. Continuing on, we stopped at one of our favorite points on this highway: Federation Forest State Park. This is a destination that Patty and I go to when we need some quiet solitude in the woods. There are many old growth trees and a nearby flowing river. It is very refreshing indeed!
8/12/2023 - Homeward Bound-part 2 (click here to leave comments)
Continuing on to Bothell, we decided to end the trip where we started: at the Woodinville Taco Time for a small dinner. This trip certainly was long, but we felt that it was very cathartic for many reasons. We missed our home and our Riverside family indeed, but we both felt that this was an opportunity that we didn't want to miss. As Robert Frost has said in his poem, "The Road Not Taken", "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference." Indeed, this road that we took has made all the difference in our worlds.