Sunday, August 30, 2015

Big Storm

Mother Nature is rampaging through the great Northwest with heavy winds and huge amounts of steady rainfall.  August is early for a storm of this magnitude.  Our trees are suffering drought conditions and still have a majority of their leaves, leaving them vulnerable to wind gusts, and that is what happened all over the Puget Sound area.  Whole trees ripped up by the roots and dropped like nothing.  Two people are dead and hundreds of thousands are without power throughout the area.
Local News Pic

Local News Pic

Local News Pic

Local News Pic

The trace amounts of rain made it to eastern Washington but the strong winds that went with it did little to help the fire fighters get control over the wild fires.  The Okanogan complex fire is now over 300,000 acres burned and only 23% contained as of 6 pm Saturday evening.

Washington Wildlife Pic

The good news, the Seahawks won their first preseason football game with a 60 yard field goal in the waning moments of the game.  The Mariners, who fired their General Manager on Friday, won a close game against the White Socks last night.

We are at the trailer today and I wish I had the bigger trailer to be in.  It is cramped inside the travel trailer and when you can’t go out without drowning it makes it a pretty rough day.  We haven’t popped for a dish for television so we have to depend on local air TV.  We normally have a few channels but when you add the wind and rain coupled with the clouds the air TV just doesn’t seem to do it.  We try to read but end up nodding off.

Our grandson, Zach, arrived around five last night and spent the night with us.  He hasn’t gotten up yet and I can’t say I blame him as the deluge continues to pound the area.  He wants to take a hike to Lake Serene just up Highway 2 but I am not certain if he will go or not.  Safety has always seemed to be his first concern so perhaps he’ll head home instead of going off into the woods.

Honey absolutely hates the rain and wants nothing to do with going out for walks.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Just A Little News

It is 5:00 o’clock am on Saturday morning and I can hear the rustling of the trees as the wind gusts pass through them.  There is a light rain coming down at the moment.  According to the weatherman we have a pending storm moving in on us today with high wind and rain.  If this weather pattern continues across the state we will likely be looking at increases in the size of the current fires that are eating up the eastern half of our beautiful home.  While rains can help fight the fires, high winds only excite the blazes.  While we need rain due to the drought across the state, it might not be a good thing if it comes with the predicted winds.

Mia and I have been living in our travel trailer most of this year both on our trip and since we got back.   We have had some discussions about the travel trailer and we have both come to the conclusion that we probably won’t travel with the trailer anymore.  We had to try the RV lifestyle but it isn’t for us from this point on.  In fact, yesterday I put an ad on Craig’s List for the trailer and the membership at Gold Bar Nature Trails.  We are going to sell the travel trailer.

That being said, we still like to come up to Gold Bar and spend time enjoying nature and relaxing with friends.  To that end we discovered a park model unit for sale on a different membership lot and we are now in the process of purchasing that unit.  It has much more living space and we can still come up and enjoy our family, friends, the vast wilderness and the facilities.

Our grandson Zach is coming up to spend a couple of days with us.  We will likely feed him and he will be off to take his hikes.  We won’t get to see much of him but I hope we have time to make some plans for a trip to Montana later next month.  He and I will drive over and spend three days in Glacier National Park.  He has a couple of hikes planned and wants to do some fishing.  I want to go back to Polebridge for some Huckleberry Bear Claws while he is out climbing.

There have been no other developments recently.  Other than the stock market sliding we consider ourselves pretty lucky.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Selkirk Loop, Part Two

After the quilt shop we hopped on down to Crawford Bay.  A small village made up of artisans with products from hand woven clothing to hand made brooms.  There are a couple of pottery shops and a blacksmith shop as well.   Mia visited the woven products artisan and ended up purchasing a beautiful shawl.  We spent a hour or so going through the shops and had a great time talking to all the folks who were busy making their specialties.

As it was getting close to 3:00 o’clock p.m. we took off to locate our next destination, a bread and breakfast called Wedgewood Manor.  I liked the pictures that I saw on line when investigating this trip and thought it would be fun since we have never stayed in a B&B.  Ends up, this place has history.
The view as you enter

The original stove sits on the porch

Gardens are beautiful

The gather area for guests

Our room

Our private patio

Our fireplace compete with Honey's water dish

The entry to the house

Spectacular gardens everywhere

Beautiful view from breakfast on the covered porch

Built in 1910 on a fifty acre site with views of the Kokanee glacier this charming English style manor was the dream of Senior Commander James Matthew Harrison and his wife, Lady Lucy Caroline Wedgewood.  In the 1880’s during a stop over Senior Commander Harrison traveled to the area on a hunting and fishing trip with friends.  He was so taken with the area and the ruggedness of the landscape that he decided that he and his family would retire to the area after his Royal Naval Service.

Commander Harrison had three sons and two daughters.  One son died of scarlet fever before they left England and two of his sons, both serving in the Royal Navy, stayed behind as he packed up his daughters and wife and headed to their new home then called “Freckleton”.  Both of his daughters married local men and the house on the property next to the Manor was built by one of their husbands.

In World War I, the family was devastated by the loss of both of the sons who had remained in England.  Both were killed in action.  To immortalize his sons Commander Harrison built a little church just up the hill from the manor.  Unfortunately Mrs. Harrison died quite suddenly in June of 1919 and the church became a memorial to her as well.  Commander Harrison died in June of 1926 and both are buried next to each other on the property.

The host and hostess of the place are amazing.  Honey was welcomed with open arms and there were other very friendly dogs for her to play with.  She was allowed to wander the property and the house without restriction.  The manor is a beautiful, quaint English style house with beautiful woodwork and no televisions in sight.  They have wi-fi so you aren’t completely isolated unless you want to be.  We had an amazing stay, slept the best we have slept in some time while in the Commanders study that has been turned into a lovely room.

Sadly we had to leave the following morning and after enjoying a wonderful breakfast made for us by the hostess, we were forced to hit the road for our next destination, Spokane.  We made several stops along the way as we worked our way across the border and down into Idaho to I90 and across to Spokane.  As we got closer to Spokane the dense smoke got thicker. 

We spent the night at a Quality Inn and made footprints for home the next morning arriving back at the trailer at around two in the afternoon.  It was a quick but very enjoyable trip for all of us.
Sunset thru the smoke in Spokane

Sunrise the following day with more smoke in the air

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Selkirk Loop, Part One

We left on our short trip Tuesday heading across Stevens Pass and into eastern Washington where the countryside is ablaze with wildfires.  Our first stop was a quilt store in Wilbur, Washington.  We had lunch at this very small town at Billy Burgers.  An outstanding burger if you're ever in Wilbur.

After traveling most of the day though hazy conditions we made it to the small town of Colville.  Actually, Colville is quite a big town complete with at Toyota and Chevrolet dealership, Safeway, Habitat Resource Store and tons of other smaller businesses and several fast food franchises.  If you enjoy hiking, fishing and hunting this is a perfect base to use when in the Okanogan region of the state. 
Haze all around us

Really good burgers
Small town quilt store

We left the next day to make a border crossing into Canada for our next destination.  As we approached the border both our phones beeped and we found ourselves forced to shut them off as we didn’t want to pay the big roaming or data fees the come with leaving the country.  The border crossing was a breeze and we started up the road.

Unfortunately, with no phone and no map we were kind of lost.  We had a basic idea of where we were headed but I wasn’t totally sure exactly how to get there.  Thankfully the region of Canada that we were in chose to put big maps up as billboards at certain interchanges on the route and we managed to make it to Nelson, the first city along our route north.  At the visitors center we got a map to help us with the remainder of our trip around the Lake Kootaney.
Beautiful Ferry
We drove north along the West Arm of the lake to a crossing at Balfour to board the free Provincial Ferry across the lake to Kootaney Bay.  The open deck ferry looks like it could manage 40 – 50 vehicles at each crossing.  It has restroom facilities and a small coffee shop that has sandwiches and other dessert type goodies.  With the way the crew stacks the cars on the deck, getting from one side to the other can be a challenge much like a corn maze.  The 35 minute trip was uneventful but the scenery was beautiful and the lake was crystal clear.

There isn’t much to see in Kootaney Bay.  We headed up the road from the ramp and I spotted a Quilt store sign so we turned and went to find it.  Down a short dirt road with lots of ruts over looking the lake we found a small building sitting off to the side of a pretty nice house on the hillside.  The shop sign said it was closed but a lady came running out of the house to see if Mia wanted to go in.  Daaaaaa!  Mia visited with her for several minutes while Honey and I once again spent quality time in the truck waiting.

Next stop, Crawford Bay.  But that is another story for tomorrow.  Hope all is well and thank for stopping by.