Friday, September 21, 2012

Days in Spokane

We have been in the Spokane area for the last few weeks in a few different spots. We had left Lake Roosevelt on Thursday, the 13th, planning on staying at Riverside State Park-Bowl and Pitcher which is in Spokane. When we got there all the riverfront sites were taken and so we decided to just stay at a KOA in Spokane Valley, which is near where our friends Dave and Silvia live. We called them once we got set up at the KOA. They said come on over and so we did. We had a good time catching up, talking politics,etc. We then went to their favorite sushi place in downtown Spokane, which was delicious as we had remembered from going there last year. We left Savannah to visit with their golden doodle, Bentley and I think they had a good time without their humans around.

Didn't take but a few pictures. In the blog from our last visit I took a lot of pictures of their beautiful backyard that Silvia created. What a relaxing place to spend some time.

Saturday we stopped at the Farmer's Market at Liberty Lake and visited with them as Silvia sold some of the jewelry she sells. What a talented lady. We had some pizza that is made in a big pizza oven right at the market and bought some fruits and vegetables. Sunday we got together again and spend the afternoon and evening at their house. We continue to have great weather and so sat out on their deck into the early evening. I had brought some cold poached alaskan salmon with a yogurt-lime sauce I made, an alaskan salmon appetizer I made from canned salmon bought in Valdez and a quinoa with mango and black bean salad. They made a fresh mozzarella,tomato and basil appetizer, a green salad and some good wine. Good food and more great conversation. We hope to get together again before we leave the area. We also went to Joyce and Dennis's another day and spent the afternoon with more good conversation. Joyce made a nice dinner of pork, red potatoes and a salad. Very good. We will try to get together with them again as well. Hopefully I will take some pictures then as I was bad in not taking any. We had picked up our mail that we had delivered to Dave and Silvia's and one of the rv magazines had an article about a rv renovator who is right in Spokane. We had planned to try Riverside State Park again and so stopped at their shop about custom building a desk/table combination to replace the free standing table. It will take at least 2 weeks and maybe up to 4 to complete as they are pretty busy at this time of the year. They will send us the drawing before we give them the go ahead. We were able to get a site at the state park though we will need to move to a different spot after a few days. This is one of the nicest campgrounds in the area and so is busy even though off season now. We have a great spot on the water and have electric.

We met some nice people who were camped next to us. While sitting around talking to them, a couple of women they had met camping while here stopped by and we had more conversation and laughs. They belong to a group called Girls on the Fly. It is a group of women who go camping together with no men and no pets, sort of a woman's weekend out. There are groups over over the US. They mostly have some trailers which they sometimes paint themselves. Sounds like a fun group. We didn't do too much expect some more shopping at Walmart, Petco and finally a trip to our favorite, Trader Joe's. The riverfront sites were full on the weekend and so we headed north just 6 miles or so to the other section of the state park, 9 Mile Campground, which is right on the Lake Spokane. We really love this spot and it is there is hardly anyone staying here. There is a boat launch which was busy on the weekend but only two other rvs here when we got here and 3 more on the weekend.



Savannah loves sitting on the grass and we let her off leash for awhile to run around.


We plan to get out and do some kayaking while we are here. More days in paradise.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Some Time in Washington

We are still in Washington State and will be for at least a few more weeks. More on that later. We really enjoyed our stay at Lake Roosevelt-Kettle Falls. Another nice setting and only $5 a day. Who could ask for more. One day when we were there we took a drive over to Grand Coulee Dam, which takes about 2 hours to get there. The 130 mile long lake was created by the Dam on the Columbia River, which was built from 1933 to 1942, This was one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's projects that created many jobs during the Depression of that time. It was built to create hydro-electric power and irrigation and is the largest electric power producing facility in the US. It is also one of the largest concrete structures in the world and is quite impressive.



We didn't take the tour like we did at Glen Canyon when we were at Lake Powell a number of years ago as we had Savannah with us but did check out the Visitor Center.



There were two power plants built in the 30's and a third in the 70's which greatly increased the energy production. 60% of the power produced is by the newer plant.

We continued on, with scenery changing from forest to wheat fields and back along the Lake.



We stopped at Fort Spokane, which was built in the 1880's, whose main function was to maintain a truce between settlers and the Native Americans in the area. They have living history programs with volunteers and staff showing what life was like. This was only on Sundays and so we just went into the visitor center which was interesting. The visitor center was in the former guard house, one of only 4 of the remaining fort buildings. When the fort was shut down, some of the buildings were used at an Indian boarding school and then a hospital. The other buildings were torn down and the wood, etc was given to people in the area for their own use, which was during the depression.


The flag in the picture above is at half staff as it was 9/11 and an interesting place to visit on a day when we remember those who lost their lives on that terrible day and those who helped saved many many more sometimes at the cost of their own lives.

As we continued on, we saw a few horses strolling down the roadway. Hope they found there way home.

On Thursday, the 13th, we head for Spokane, where we will visit with our long time friends, Dave and Silvia, who we reconnected with last year after many years. We will also visit with Joyce and Dennis. Joyce is a friend who worked with us many years ago and we haven't seen in over 25 years. They live in Post Falls, near Coeur d'Alene.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back in the lower 48

We are back in Washington State. We left Meziadin Lake on Monday, Labor Day and had a few long days of driving. One of our overnight stops was another provincial park on a lake, Ten Mile Lake PP. We could easily spend a summer up in the BC parks, all just lovely.

The next day, we drove on down south, with just a few stops for lunch or pictures. Interesting mountains that reminds us of Utah.


More views of lakes.

WE passed a lot of fruit stands in the BC section of the Okannagan Valley as well as many wineries. However, as we were going to be crossing the border into the US, we couldn't stop and buy anything. We had eaten all our fruit and had only half an onion and some potatoes. We stopped at the border and answered the standard questions including what fruits and vegetables we had. Then the border guard asked what she said was a yes or no question. Do we have food on board. Of course, we said yes and were directed to pull over. Yikes!! A border guard came in and went ga ga over Savannah, petting and talking to her. After about 5 minutes, she briefly looked in the fridge and closed it and wished us a nice day. This was the same border we crossed in June at Osoyoos and it went much faster than that stop. It was late in the day and so we stopped at one of the first campgrounds we came to, Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park. We got set up, went and did some grocery shopping and settled in for the night. The next morning after helping a couple jump start their trailer battery, we made our way to Lake Roosevelt. We did stop at a fruit stand and picked up some apples, pears, peaches and a few other fruits and vegetables. It is the end of season and so it turned out to be the only stand we saw on our way. I think the Wenatchee area will be better for fruit stands. We may go there after Spokane. We got to Kettle Falls, which is about 2 hours north of Spokane. Kettle Falls Campground-Lake Roosevelt is a national forest park and so with our golden age card, we only pay $5 a night. And it is another beautiful park and we are on a small bluff overlooking the lake.





We got one of the last spots right on the water and no one to our left and so we have a large sitting area. Plus we finally have warm, but not too warm, weather. We will be taking a few drives but plan to spend a lot of time just relaxing enjoying the sunshine.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

On the Shores of Meziadin Lake

We left Stewart and headed back to the Cassiar Highway. It has been raining again as you can see what the picture above. We drove the 40 minute or so drive back to the Cassiar Highway and made a right turn south about a half mile to Meziadin Lake Provincial Park, another great find. It is a hugh lake and a very pretty campground. We have a great spot right on the water.



View from our site

We haven't had cell service since Whitehorse and still don't but this park does have wifi, which I think is unusual for a government park. We love this campground and are going to stay through the holiday as both USA and Canada celebrate Labor Day this weekend. Lucky that we are as the first few days were cold and one day rained just about all day getting a little harder each time it started back up. Thursday afternoon it cleared up and we enjoyed sitting outside. Friday, it was cloudy in the morning but we decided to take the drive to Stewart. We need to get some more supplies, such as food and wine. We also planned to drive to Salmon Glacier and stop again at the area where bears are suppose to be. As we drove the road the sun started to come out and we had a nice sunny day. YEAH!!

Lots of waterfalls and Bear Glacier with some blue skies.




Just as we drove up to Fish Creek, a mother and cubs were crossing the road. A few cars were ahead of us and one in a hurry and he didn't stop and the bears were scared away. If we hadn't had to park in the second parking area we would have seen them go under the bridge but just missed them. No bears at the creek this time either. A number of them had been there a few hours before.


It is about 16 more miles on the unpaved and with lots of pot holes. Once Joe aired down the tires, it was a little better but was a long but pretty drive.


Joe airing down the tires


Salmon Glacier is the fifth largest glacier in North America. We started in Stewart, BC, went through Hyder, Alaska and then back into BC where the Glacier actually is. It is quite impressive. You come to a summit which is the view point and what views. WOW!!






Looks like a nice ski run, doesn't it?








There are a number of mines in this area, some still active working mines. Lumber is the other main industry.




An old church in Hyder


Saturday it was nice weather and we tried out the sail on our sea eagle. As soon as we got out in the water, the wind stopped completely. We had to use our paddles part of the way out and then the boat went very slowly. The next day after some rain, we debated going out as now it was very, very windy. We tried but didn't stay out long. Hopefully next time will be just right. It was also very cold and was cold the rest of the day. Well we had our usual few days of sun and the rest filled with rain, clouds and cold. We are going to spend a few long days driving as we want to get back in the lower 48 by the weekend. Hopefully to some warmer weather. please at least in the 70's. As I said before, even with the not great weather, we have had a wonderful time this summer in the north country and would do it again.