Friday, August 29, 2014

On the road again, destination Kalispell, Montana and Glacier National Park

I left Portland yesterday, and spent last night at a lovely RV park in Leavenworth, Washington. I will stay here three more nights because it's peaceful and quiet, on the Icicle River. Isn't that a great name - Icicle River!

On my way to pick up Koka from a farm where she stayed while we were at Skamania, I stopped in Camas for lunch at this cute cafe downtown.

After fetching Koka I drove through the Columbia Gorge and crossed into Washington, where the scenery changes dramatically, from evergreen forests to high desert, and farm land around Yakima.

Beautiful Mt Rainier

Windmills - and it was windy indeed. I had to pull to the side of the road a few times because the wind was making it hard to steer the rig. The gusts would last a few minutes and then I was on my way again.

After going through Yakima I entered forest land again, and arrived in Leavenworth. In a few days I'll venture into town and take photos. Right now, I'm enjoying a bit of down time, reading and relaxing, and avoiding the holiday traffic. Then, onto to Spokane, through Idaho, and into Montana. This gypsy life style is pretty cool! Or rad, or what ever the current term is for absolutely amazing.

Portland and Skamania Lodge

I'm on the road again, after spending a few days at Skamania Lodge with Mary+Ari+Celia and Tessa+Paul+BabyLou. It was so fun to see them all! Skamania Lodge is beautiful, and we even got to go on a dinner cruise on the Columbia River. I also spent a few days in Portland before moving on.

Crossing the border back into the US at Sumas, Washington.

The RV directional sign, which can be translated to read "search me". Sometimes RVs are pulled over and pulled apart in the search for contraband. I have not experienced this, but it sounds scary. It's not uncommon when entering into Canada because you are not allowed to carry a firearm into that country. Mostly, I just get asked about fruit.

Celia showing Baby Lou the RV. I had string cheese in the RV and Celia calls it RV cheese. These two faces are so cute! I really need to have a photo with the beautiful faces of all my grandchildren together.

Mona Lisa...

Skamania Lodge pics, taken at the outdoor spa. Celia with her daddy.

Baby Lou is adorable!

The Lodge is near the little town of Stevenson, where we had ice-cream and donuts. The donut shop's cooking area vented donut aroma onto the sidewalk - unfair advantage! Alas, no gluten free donuts. :( Celia had her first cone. :)))

Celia, you need to be more specific when you say "carry me".

We crossed back over the Bridge of the Gods into Cascade Locks to get on the boat for the dinner cruise. The kids.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Map August 16, 2014

Sorry about the tattered map - it's getting wrinkled! I'm in Hope, BC, and will meet up with Paul, Tessa, Lou, Ari, Mary and Celia in Washington in a few days. Right now I'm camped along the Frasier River. It's pretty and peaceful, and after several days of rain it's nice to have a little sun.


Coming around a curve I saw this herd of bison. Man, are these guys ever huge! One of them came so close to the RV that I thought he was going to take a bite of the fender! You don't want to mess with these giants. They are impressive.

This baby was so curious. When he/she got so close I retreated to the RV and took the photo through the window.

A bison family!

Scenes from the Road

Receding glaciers.

Watson Lake - the department store. I have never seen so many things packed into one small space.

The sign post forest. Watson Lake is in the area of the junction of three major highways - The Alaska, the Cassiar, and the Campbell.

The Continental Divide

Mountain goats - I think that's what these guys are.

Muncho Lake

The Tanana River - there are many rivers that look like this one.

There has been no boring stretch of road on this trip. Every where you look are rivers, lakes, mountains and forests.

Teslin and a Funny Surprise

I spent a night in Teslin, a small town in the Yukon, at the confluence of the Nisutlin River and Teslin Lake. The town's livelihood revolves around hunting, trapping and fishing. There is a lot of wildlife here that roams through the town.

A nice view of Teslin Lake and fireweed from my campsite. See how some of the fireweed is losing flowers? That means winter is not far away. There is a cafe and lounge here, and if you have a drink you can use their wi-fi. I ordered a gingerale and the bartender laughed at me, and said I had to have a DRINK drink to use the wi-fi but whatever. I logged on.

The Nisutlin Bay Bridge, on the way out of town.

A kilometer after crossing the bridge I saw an very old log bridge that was being restored. Koka and I took a little walk.

Koka started to act weird, tail between legs, ears back, low growl. When we got close to the RV I saw something that wasn't there when I got out...
Not sure if it's bear or moose, but I threw Koka in the RV and jumped in. I waited around for a few minutes to see what left the big surprise, but no creature emerged from the forest.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Forgotten Village of Champagne

When I was driving south in the Yukon I took a side road to see the village of Champagne. In days past this was a meeting place for several native groups, and during construction of the Alaska Highway the village became one of the places that housed the workers and equipment. Champagne enjoyed a period of economic prosperity. When the Highway was completed and the workers left for other jobs, the town fell into economic hardship and most of the native villagers moved away. A few families remained and keep the town somewhat alive to this day.

The road to Champagne

The sign

The main part of town

It's interesting to see how this old abandoned cabin was put together.

Love this fence!

There was also a beautiful cemetery but a sign said "Please respect this First Nation cemetery" so I did not take photos. Little huts the size of playhouses sat atop most of the graves, and the setting was beautiful.