wheellife.us Wheel Life- RV traveling with Jane and Ron | Follow our travels- places visited, books read, food ...

Title: Wheel Life- RV traveling with Jane and Ron | Follow our travels- places visited, books read, food ...
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Wheel Life- RV traveling with Jane and Ron | Follow our travels- places visited, books read, food prepared, and hobbies and interests shared. Wheel Life- RV traveling with Jane and Ron Follow our travels- places visited, books read, food prepared, and hobbies and interests shared. Menu Skip to content Home About Us Art and the arts Food/Recipes Travel/Reviews What we thought- books, movies, etc. Contact Us Leavenworth, WA- We were here a year ago. Leave a reply We had a great spot in space 92 at the Thousand Trails campground seventeen miles north of the City of Leavenworth. We finally planted the plants we picked up in Deer Park to give our picnic table to make us feel at home.. Our other plant we picked up at Walmart for the side table. Oh, and a bloody Mary was in order as well. We’ve found that a Costco Polish dog and a beer is perfect after a long drive when moving to a new campsite. The quaint bakery where we had lunch in Leavenworth. A cookie was $2. We had to try them. Flowers in baskets are everywhere in this area. They grow like weeds. As I said, this fruit stand was entertainment too. Jane made me pose next to this giant rooster among the flowers. Go along and get along. Jane loved this scarecrow set up, the sign said ” you might be a redneck if …. you’ve ever stolen clothes from a scarecrow.” Heading over the Cascades approaching Steven’s Pass. There is your picture, Pat. July, 23, 2016 Leavenworth, WA- We were here a year ago. After the windy stay at the Columbia Gorge, we were anxious to head north along the east side of the Cascades to Leavenworth again. It was nearly a three hour drive on two lane roads, but what a difference. We left the barren, desert-like area of south-central Washington for the deep, green forests of the eastern Cascades…and no wind. What a relief. I went back and read our post from July of 2015 regarding our last stay at Leavenworth. Sometimes it is a good thing to check on the past, especially with us moving around all the time. Boy, was this stay different. First of all, we were still in the motorhome this time last year. While were had had a lot of problems with our eleven year old motorhome, it was the “towed” that gave us problems in Leavenworth last year. After monkeying with the battery for a week ( because all I know how to do is monkey, at least mechanically), I finally got it replaced. This year is so different, because we have the 5th wheel. We love living in it and have had no mechanical problems. Hence, our stay in Leavenworth was even more relaxing. As we have previously discussed, once we have been someplace before, we are not so motivated to get out and explore. That was still true here. We picked an even more beautiful spot on the other side of the campground this time. Since the weather was a perfect 75, we spent most of the time outside barbecuing, reading, or just relaxing. It was private, quiet and perfect for us. For eight nights we fell into a perfect routine of just relaxing. After “monkeying” with the satellite for some time, I finally got the TV to work too. The usually does not happen with tall trees around. Jane installed a new app on her phone that is a compass. I used it to walk around like the old days holding a divining rod. I am sure I was a picture walking around with this cell held between both hands. Luckily, as I said, it was a private spot. Still, it worked. Making my wife happy with TV for eight nights was important for a wife that is obsessed with politics and the fact that the RNC convention was coming up. Leavenworth is a Bavarian themed town with lots of bakeries, German restaurants and tourist shops. It is a popular destination especially around the holidays when they have parades, lighting ceremonies, lots of music, and theater events We only ventured out twice, once to do a refresh of the larder and the other to have lunch and to explore the produce markets that line the road between Wenatchee and Leavenworth. This is the stone fruit capital of the world-cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, etc. We had to check it out. We found a small bakery , The Gingerbread Factory, on Trip Advisor that served lunch on the patio. We selected a table under an umbrella, as it was threatening to sprinkle. I had a chicken Caesar wrap, and Jane had a quiche. Cabby was comfortable at our feet. It was a beautiful spot to sit and view the surrounding mountains, especially with the dramatic, threatening clouds around. We then drove east toward Wenatchee. We found a farm/mini Knott’s Berry farm and pulled in. There was a petting zoo, a playground and a cow train. Now you cannot just find one of those everywhere. Families were having a great time running around from one attraction to another. Inside was a great mercantile with every sort of jam, jelly, and honey imaginable. While all the produce was beautiful, we just did not need what they had. We bought fresh garlic. We stopped at the Safeway and picked up some more supplies and got diesel in preparation for the next day’s drive.This area is a favorite with RVers, and both times we were in town, the Safeway parking lot was filled with motorhomes and trailers, many with boats. There are two RV parks in town, plus the Thousand Trails where we stayed. Two state parks are nearby, and there is another private campground called Fish Lake. We saw a lot of tubers going down the river. It really is a perfect spot for camping and outdoor recreation. That’s it for Leavenworth. We loved it there and felt refreshed, as we packed up to head to the Washington coast near Bow, WA. We will be there four nights and then off to meet Bob and Louis at La Conner, WA. We have been to Bow before too, but are looking forward to re-visiting some of the sites from last year. My birthday is coming up, and, once again, Stacey and Shelby got me a gift certificate for one of our favorite restaurants. They had to up the ante though. It is a pretty pricey place for those of us on a fixed income. So, on Thursday morning we headed out to Bow. The trip was incredibly beautiful as we crossed over Steven’s Summit and headed down the long grade to the coast. Last year, the roof on the motorhome nearly blew off. Right! A tear developed along the seam of the roof about eight feet long and was threatening to tear completely off. A $250 temporary fix and a dinner with the mechanic held it together until traded-in in Tacoma. Those are fond memories now, but it was not so much fun to live through them just a year ago. Our new rig gave us an uneventful ride, and we are happily settled in Bow. Take care, Jane and Ron Site information at Thousand Trails, Leavenworth, CA- We stayed in site 92- 30 Amp power, Water, No sewer, Sanitation site available. Secluded site with large, private campsite right next to the clean restrooms and showers. This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. They call the wind Mariah- Wanapum State Park, Columbia Gorge, Vantage, Washington Leave a reply Our camp site at Wanapum State Park on the Columbia River at the Columbia Gorge, an oasis in the stark, desert-like surroundings. A view of the Columbia through the trees at our camp site. It was a very large, grassy site, which is very unusual. A view to the north from our site at Wanapum State Park. Vista from Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center showing the famous bridge in the distance. Jane amongst the petrified tree trunks. An impressive petrified log. View to the north over the display of petrified logs with the Columbia River in the distance. Count the petrified rings of this ancient tree. Many of them were trees that we know today- oaks, maples, and firs, especially the Ginkgo. Having a little fun with the dinosaur display at the gift shop nearby. Not sure which dinosaur this is, but I, too, got into the fun. July 16, 2016 They call the wind Mariah- Wanapum State Park, Columbia Gorge, Vantage, Washington Way out west, they got a name For rain and wind and fire The rain is Tess, the fire’s joe and They call the wind Mariah O no, Mariah blows the stars around And sends the clouds a-flying Mariah makes the mountain sounds Like folks were up there dying Mariah, They call the wind Mariah These are the first two stanzas of the song “They call the Wind Mariah” written in 1951 by Alan J. Lerner with lyrics by Frederick Loewe for the musical “Paint Your Wagon”, which is set during the California gold rush time. I like the song and have heard it over the years many times. I was not sure why, but this song left me with a certain feeling about the wind, something unstable, uncertain. I have always said that the wind makes me uneasy. Maybe these words define my feelings about the wind and add something quantifiable to them. Now move forward to last Saturday and Sunday nights at Wanapum State Park right on the Columbia River in the Columbia Gorge. In all fairness, we were warned about the wind, but reviews, although read, are not the same as reality. Jane always reads the reviews of future parks where we will be staying. Often, we change our minds and stay somewhere else if the reviews are bad. The review for this park she read out loud to me, and it was somewhat alarming. The reviewer railed on the velocity of the wind; he was just waiting for his rig to roll down the hill at any moment into the Columbia. Huddled in his RV all night, fear was clearly within him. He left the next day and wrote a scathing review of the park and the wind. While we are not fond of wind as I have said, we have had plenty, mostly in New Mexico and Arizona with the old motorhome. We had some pretty windy nights while wintering in Aguanga in SoCal. So… we booked it. How bad could it be? This park was the perfect distance for a daily drive and had the draw of a pull-through site with 50 amps, sewer, and water, right on the banks of the Columbia. Plus, it was right next to the Ginkgo National Petrified Forest. The wind took a big back seat in our decision making…,and we should have paid more attention to that review. (Jane’s note: “I would not have changed a thing, I loved it.”) (Ron’s note: “She knows it is my job to worry about this stuff, so she can feel warm, cozy, and safe”.) We arrived at Wanapum State Park as planned in the early afternoon. It was gorgeous outside. We got set up easily enough and promptly grabbed our books, put out the lounge chairs, and relaxed in the shade overlooking this grand river, the Columbia. We discussed that this was probably the most stark, beautiful spot that we have ever been. We were at peace and felt like we belonged in this truly stunning location. And, then the wind came about sundown. At first it was just breezy, then suddenly violent. We huddled in the living room with the wind buffeting the RV. At first our eyes opened wide, then they gave way to a little terror. I started to form my escape plan. I always do that, but now it seemed appropriate. As we finally staggered under the 6.0 earthquake of wind to bed. We decided to open our bedroom windows, since it was still a little warm and getting stuffy. It was like a wind tunnel. We shut them. We slept OK, but were awakened all night with the RV rocking and rolling. I expected it to lose its mooring any time and topple down the hill to the water. Pretty unsettling, but we did have six jacks and four tires down. Wouldn’t that be enough to keep us upright? The next morning I asked the ranger about the wind. She said that the last night was nothing. We should have been there two nights ago. Hmmm…we still had another night to go. Saturday, we went to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center. We like to get the overall history and see the displays before actually going to the site. In this case, the forest site is covered with fencing to prevent people taking souvenirs. We decided not to go the this barren, rock forest, and to enjoy the center. It was in a beautiful location perched above the Columbia with lots of giant petrified logs to see. On the drive up to the center, we discovered that the only restaurant in town was closed, so we picked up burgers at “Blustery’s”, the iconic burger joint in Vantage Wa. (Are you sensing a theme here? Why ever would they name a burger joint Blustery’s, not Mariah?) We enjoyed the burgers and the impressive view outside of the center. We also stopped at a souvenir shop nearby to pick up some gifts. The gift shop garden featured all sorts of “cartoonish” dinosaur statues. We had fun posing with them. All in all, our one and only day to explore the Columbia Gorge, Wanapum, and Vantage was fun and informative. As Jane likes to say, “We wrung everything we could out of Vantage Wa. Time to head down the road.” It was fascinating to learn that during the Miocene period, around 15.5 million years ago, the region was lush and wet, home to many plant species now extinct. A number of these trees were buried in volcanic ash, and the organic matter in the tree trunks was gradually replaced by minerals in the groundwater; the resulting petrified wood was protected for millennia by flows of basalt. Near the end of the last ice age, the catastrophic Missoula Floods (about 15,000 BC) eroded the basalt, exposing some of the petrified wood. I wrote about the Missoula floods, and its effects on the aquifer and formation of Lake Coeur d’Alene. It was a great day exploring, and we returned home to a few clouds and sprinkles. This should have been the warning, but we decided to barbecue. That did not happen. By 5PM, the wind was once again a gale. The plants we had just bought were scattered everywhere. The chaises collapsed, and we started rocking in the 5th wheel…again. It was worse than ever. I began to think about how to strap down the RV by tying it to a tree. I moved the truck to provide some sort of windbreak. I considered bringing in the slides, but we would have to stay in the bedroom, since when it is collapsed that is the only useable space. Ultimately, all I did was move the truck and hold on. Jane joked that when I went outside I should take a rope with me to find my way back like Laura did during a blizzard in “Little House on the Prairie”. It was another windy, rockin’ night. I was awake a lot. We were leaving the next day. The wind seemed to stop about 9AM. If we hit the road about 11AM, we would have a safe drive, without wind. It worked out exactly like that. What’s the phrase? “Fool me once; shame on me”. Well, coincidentally, we were feeling pressure to complete the reservations for the early August part of our trip around the northwest. After Jane’s extensive research, the only suitable place on the way back to southeastern Washington was, yes, you got it, Wanapum State Park. Yes, we booked it for two nights the first part of August. I guess the beauty made up for the windy nights, and, really, nothing happened- no rollovers, no damage whatsoever. It does not mean, however, that I like the wind. It, as always, makes me uneasy. Mariah! We are now in Thousand Trails about fifteen miles north of Leavenworth, WA, on the east side of the Cascade Mountains. We are no longer in the stark, yet beautiful desert-like Columbia Gorge, but in a mountain pine forest. We will be here for eight nights and NO wind. What a treat! This post will catch you up in our travels, which is a rare occurrence. We will be at this perfect campsite in the forest for eight nights. Then we will move to the Washington coast for two weeks. We will be crossing the Cascades over Steven’s Peak. Can’t wait for that. That’s it for now. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 17, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Deer Park, Washington Leave a reply Our view to the west over the golf course in Deer Park, WA. Ron barbecuing Polish sausages for lunch after a hard day’s work. This specialty nursery featured beautiful hanging baskets. They were just too big for us. July 15, 2016 Deer Park, Washington Our favorite RV park in the Spokane area is Bowl & Pitcher at Riverside Park. Our goal is to be on the Washington coast by July 21st, so this the first place we looked, as we began making our way westward. As it turned out, it was booked, so we looked for something new in the area. We found Spokane RV Park in Deer Park, Washington. After reviewing the map and checking both the GPS and Google, we found that Deer Park, WA, is just forty-five miles west of Auntie’s and Uncle’s as the crow flies. That would be a nice, short trip for us. However, the roads are narrow with poor shoulders. These roads are driveable, but also my worst nightmare when driving our rig that is a foot wider on both sides than the truck. It was also an hour and a half drive. We decided to take the long way (76 miles) through Spokane, good roads and also an hour and a half. Deer Park was about twenty miles north of Spokane on a wide two lane highway. So, we first headed south toward Coeur d’Alene through rolling forests with majestic mountains in all directions. Coeur d’Alene Lake is the source or headwaters of the Spokane River, so we followed the river west from Coeur d’Alene about twenty miles into downtown Spokane. While the drive was beautiful, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane have almost grown together, so we never felt that we were leaving the city. After exiting the freeway in Spokane, we made our way through six miles of suburbs and shopping centers of every type, frankly, a miserable drive. Finally, we were in the countryside north of Spokane, much of it farming of various grains, including wheat, barley, and milo. These fields were surrounded with pine forests and rolling hills. We knew we would like this place. Spokane RV Park is really a country club and golf course with RV sites around it instead of homes, much like Aguanga, CA, where we spent last winter. For $40 per night less the Good Sam 10%, we had 50 amps, sewer and water. In the RV world that is considered Nirvana. The spaces were separated by a nice grass area, and our view to the west was an emerald green golf course with the Cascade Mountains in the distance. We liked it here a lot. For entertainment we watched the golfers search for their balls that often ended up on our site or in the nearby sand trap. This activity ranks right up there with watching folks back up and park their rigs, usually culminating in a fight between the couple. Stop laughing! You will likely be glad to hear that there was not much to do in this small town. Therefore, this entry will be short. Cabby and I checked out the local hardware store. My new sewer hoses had sprung leaks. We all hate dealing with leaks when “dumping”, especially when we are in the middle of it. You should have seen me trying to contain the leaks. A finger in the leaking dike would not work (thank God for disposable gloves). Jane was inside, unknowing, while all of this was going on. I, luckily, had two empty plastic containers that I could collect the drips while I finished the process. However, new hoses were in order. I think I have spent $100 on new hoses in the last month, and one is worse than the other. I needed something new and heavy duty. I found it at the local Ace Hardware store, hence, my excuse to go check it out. I have since used the new hose, and am finally happy ( as happy as I can get) about “dumping”. We got propane on the way back to camp for $1.99 per gallon at the local gas station. Now that is a bargain in our world. A full propane tank is security, and we are now set for some time. The next day, Jane and I drove to Spokane for some grocery items. On the way we found the most colorful hanging basket nursery. It is pretty much all they do. This is obviously a natural climate to grow these hanging baskets. They were all giant with some hanging nearly to the ground. We have been looking for some color to tote along with us, but these were just too big. We decided to think about it. At Walmart (sorry, Pat) we found a smaller plant for $7.89. My kind of deal, and it was very cute. On the way back, we stopped at another nursery that was also a fruit and vegetable stand. That cost us $40, but we walked away with a lug box of beautiful fruit and some red and white petunias that were on sale. The petunias would later find their home in a large blue bowl, giving a red, white, and blue pop of color on our picnic tables for the summer. We were happy with our finds and returned home to barbecue Polish sausages from Costco. Oh, and a cold beer was perfect with that too. We were in Deer Park for three nights, and then headed off to Wanapum State Park near Vantage, Washington. This spot is right on the Columbia River/Gorge and near the Wanapum Petrified Forest. We were warned about the high winds here, but had no idea of what we would be getting into. That will be in our next post. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 15, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Northern Idaho and our visit with Auntie, Uncle, and cousins for the 4th of July. Leave a reply I fixed breakfast most mornings outside for all of us. Here is Uncle and my work table in the front yard. Notice the turkey near the tree right outside of our window. A doe grazing right outside of our window. Morgan, thanks for taking this picture of us while we were all kayaking. What a great memory! A beautiful sunset across the meadow and trees from our site. Beach on Lake Ponderay. Jane and I had lunch one day at Trinity Restaurant in Sandpoint. Garfield Bay on Lake Ponderay. We tried to celebrate the 5th of July here, but it was too windy and cold. July 12, 2016 Northern Idaho and our visit with Auntie, Uncle, and cousins for the 4th of July. Since we left our family in Careywood, Idaho, last Friday, we have spent three nights in Deer Park, Washington, and find ourselves on the Columbia River at the Columbia Gorge, also in Washington, but our hearts are still on the fifty acre meadow surrounded by forest with Auntie and Uncle. As I sit here on the couch with Cabby this morning overlooking the mighty Columbia, I am at peace. I think Jane is the same way. There is something very comforting spending so much quality time with the ones you love. Each side of the family left Paso Robles in the early 90s. We went to San Diego, and Auntie and Uncle went to northern Idaho. We were within a hundred miles of the Mexican border, and they were about a hundred miles from the Canadian border. Back then, Stacey was a senior in high school, and we were all much younger. Life kept us all apart for twenty-four years. We have now connected for the second time in two years, and each time it is better. There is nothing like re-connecting with those you love . Once we were at Auntie’s and Uncle’s fifty acre “Mountain Meadow”, we backed in without too much trouble, as Uncle gave me instructions. We had spring water but only 15 amps. Having left on the air conditioning and electric water heater on when we left Farragut in error, nothing would work on 15 amps, and I could not figure out the problem. It was like a permanent brown out. The satellite dish would not do anything. The DirectTV receiver would not even turn on. I had a big problem and did not know where to start. I ran feverishly back and forth from the trailer to the satellite trying to solve the problem Finally, I heard the air conditioner making a small whirr. Hmmm… No breakers were thrown; it just worked at a very low level, barely audible. Once I turned the AC and electric water heater off, I had enough power to run the refrigerator, lights, tv and inverter. Otherwise, we were very limited, no toaster or crock pot in the RV. We could live with that. Otherwise, it could not be a more perfect spot. The trees had been thinned out over the last year, and the tall, green grasses and yellow and white wildflowers were surrounding us. We pulled up all the shades and washed the windows to bring it all into the RV. I will say that we have never been in a more beautiful spot. And, then the white tailed deer came. They were everywhere. They tended to stay next to the tree line, hiding the fawns. All Uncle had to do is call them, ” Hey babes” ,and sprinkle some corn on the ground. They came within seconds. I have never seen anything like it. We were surrounded by them including a couple of small spikes or yearling males, small velvet horns just developing. There were also three resident wild turkey hens with about thirty chicks, the size of a small quail. We watched them every day as they foraged in the horse pasture/ meadow. They would line up perfectly with a hen on each end of the line and one in the middle. The chicks would line up between them, and they would all march forward devouring everything in their site. No bugs in this field. They especially liked the grasshoppers. The wildlife would be with us the entire visit making this time with family even more special. Shelley invited us all to Garfield Bay on Ponderay Lake for the 4th. Chad and Tessa had gone to save a place for us on the lawn. Keith, Carrie and the entire family had agreed to go. A call early that morning from Chad warned us that the wind was up and there were three foot breakers on the lake. Well, that did not sound great. Romantics that we are, we all decided to try it. We sat and chatted and fished for a few hours, but it was just too cold and windy. We decided to go back to Keith’s and Carrie’s and had a barbecue on their deck. Once back home, Keith fired up the barbecue. Shelley fixed some fresh salads, and we had a great dinner. Then the deer came. Keith put out the corn for them, and it was fun watching them exercise their pecking order and deer antics while fighting for the corn. This time there was a much bigger buck, probably three points on one side and two on the other. He was still in velvet and in early development, so it was hard to tell. However, he will develop in to a magnificent specimen this fall. The does did not like him around and kept him away from the food. Auntie and Uncle asked us out to dinner one night. We went to their favorite gourmet restaurant just outside of Sandpoint. “41 South” is inside the Lodge at Sandpoint and is where they celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. This restaurant sat right on the lake and even had piers for boaters to moor for dinner. With Sandpoint across the bay surrounded by forest mountains, this rustic place was a perfect setting for a fantastic meal. We all ordered, and I was the most excited about my smoked trout spread. It was served with thinly sliced cucumber, preserved lemons, a horseradIsh cream and lavosh crackers and was absolutely delicious. Jane ordered the crab bisque topped with lots of crab meat. It had a distinctive sherry flavor, and she said it was the best bisque she has ever tasted. She also ordered the scallops with bacon jam. She said they too were delicious. It was a special night out with Auntie and Uncle. Sadly, it was getting time to leave. We would be driving three hours to Deer Park, WA. It is only forty miles from where we were as the crow flies, but we would drive the long way through Spokane to avoid the narrow mountain roads through idaho. I must say that we were not happy to leave, but it is what we do. We headed out of the driveway, I could see Auntie and Uncle, arms around each other, waving good bye in the rearview mirror. I must admit that I am getting teary eyed right now just thinking about it. They are both wonderful, loving, and fun-loving people, and are dear to our hearts. We are already anticipating our visit next year. We miss you both, and your loving family too. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Happy 4th of July from northern Idaho Leave a reply At Clearwater Crossing RV Park in Orofino, idaho, we were parked right on the river. It was a nice evening, so we barbecued on the banks of the Clearwater River. Jane and I drove up to the Dvorshak Dam. I would return the next day for a tour. View of the dam. I began the tour by entering the dam in this long, sterile looking hall which was below the water line. View from the look out tower about midway on the dam. Below are the electric generating turbines. Looking directly down on the leaking spillway. View of the water side of the dam. We drove about twenty-six miles through the mountains to cross this bridge which is in the middle of nowhere crossing the Dvorshak lake. We sat on the grass on the lake for the afternoon reading and picnicking. We were all along at this scenic park. The drive was well worth it. As of this writing we have made it to Auntie’s and Uncle’s fifty acre site in a forest with a huge meadow right in front of us. Deer and wild turkey entertained us the entire time. Glad to be here for the 4th of July. July 5, 2016 Happy 4th of July from northern Idaho Once again, I am behind in our writings. It is hard to keep up when you are so busy and moving so fast. I will, however, with this post attempt to catch up. We are finally at Auntie’s and Uncle’s “Camp Mountain Meadow”. We are tucked away amongst the “Jack” pines right on an alpine meadow. Wild turkeys with chicks and white tail deer are ever present. The wildflowers are in full bloom, and we are sure we could not find a campsite more beautiful anywhere else. We will be here for a week or so. We love visiting with the family here. Cousins, Shelley and Keith and their families, live on this same meadow, so we are having a great time visiting with them as well. Before I get into this, however, I feel I should share our time at Orofino, Idaho, where we stayed at the Clearwater RV Resort and our quick stays in Moscow, Idaho, and Farragut State Park near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Orofino is a very small mountain town with a lot of charm. While there are not any “big box” stores in Orofino, the town has enough services to accommodate the locals and visitors in this historical area. As with Three Island Crossing, this place is known for the natural widening of the Clearwater River. This spot is where the Lewis and Clark party exhausted after crossing the Bitterroot Mountains, fashioned canoes and made its way to the Pacific following the Clearwater, Salmon, Snake and then the Columbia. We were camped right on the edge of the river, maybe fifty yards wide and shallow. Our view was of the river and the forested mountains all around us. We were content to stay there for six nights with 50 amps and full hookups. The big attraction to the area is the Dvorshak Dam and fifty mile lake it created on the North Fork of the Clearwater River. The Bitterroot Mountains to the east are the watershed for both rivers in this area. Both rivers merger right here and flow about twenty miles downstream to merge with the Salmon River. It then flows further to eventually become part of the Snake River. Jane and I took a drive up to see the Dvorshak Dam, since it was only about five miles away. Although the road up was pretty good, it was steep and narrow. In the truck she was good. In the old motorhome, she would have been screaming the entire drive up. Once at the look out site, the dam stood in front of us. We would learn that is was America’s highest vertical dam at 717 feet high. Over 500 feet at its base, it was just fifty feet wide at the top. It holds about 3.2 million acre feet of water that extends over fifty miles to the northeast of the dam. There are three turbines at the bottom of the dam that generate power for the northwest. It is impressive. We drove up to the nearby Visitors’ Center and learned that they gave tours. I decided to come back the next day at 10AM for a tour of the dam. That would turn out to be amazing, About 9:30 AM the next day, I headed up to the Visitors’ Center for the tour of the Dvorshak Dam. I was the only one there, so i got a private tour. Wow! What an amazing experience! I cannot convey how impressive this structure is. I watched a video of the construction of the dam in 1960, some thirty years after the Hoover Dam. I think we learned a lot in those thirty years. From the video, I was escorted to the entrance to the dam, about ten feet below the surface of the water outside. As I entered, I could see a long, sterile, white corridor that extended about half way across the dam. I would be walking the distance. We stopped periodically to read and discuss informational displays about the dam, and also stepped through some puddles of water. The guide commented that it is hard to stop water. Yikes, it was leaking. I did not want to let my mind go there. Finally, we got to the end, and took an elevator up to the view tower. It was open with a rail and the wind was blowing. It was a sheer drop off to the bottom of the dam. I held on for dear life. Just then an eagle flew by. What a majestic sight. We descended to the top of the dam, looked at the spillway and then discussed the turbines and how that all worked. It was just fascinating and only slightly more comforting to have the water right at your feet. When looking over the spillway, I observed water running down it. I was informed that this was another leak. They were not purposely releasing water. It was normal. I could not help thinking that water is a universal solvent, and will eventually dissolve everything. Time to move on! I was fascinated by the ingenuity of man and by my own fears. It was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. It was truly one of the most informative, yet scary moments in my life. I loved it. I am not sure if I would do it again. You, however, should give it a try if your heart is strong and you are in the area. It is worth it. The next day, Jane and I drove out to a park on the lake about twenty-six miles from the dam. It was a narrow mountain road that could barely fit two cars. Thankfully, it was a weekend and the logging trucks were not working. There was a frightful ascent to the top of the range of mountains, a beautiful drive along the top ridge of the range and then a steep descent into the valley that the lake had filled. We crossed what is billed as one of North America’s most beautiful bridges to the other side and found an RV park, marina, and a grassy place to sit, stare, and read. I was wondering how much that bridge cost just for a small marina and RV park. Hmmm… don’t go there. We had heard that the campground, Dent Acres, was a beautiful place to camp, and it was However, there is no way I would take our 5th wheel on that mountain road. We found a spot on a knoll overlooking the lake and set up our day camp. I decided to take a hike to the marina, and found a guy cleaning his Kokanee salmon. They were only about eight inches long, and the limit was twenty-five per day. He said they were delicious bites when their pink meat was grilled on the barbecue. You will be able to see from the pictures that this wilderness park was right on the lake. It was the perfect place to spend an afternoon and have a little picnic. Time passed quickly at Clearwater Crossing, and it was soon time to leave. We headed to Moscow, Idaho, about one hundred miles north on the I-95, a good two lane road. We headed through some of the most beautiful country we had ever seen, sometimes rolling hills of grain as far as the eye could see, and other times, it could have been Tuscany, Italy, or Provence, France. Moscow is clearly a farming town, but it also is home to the University of Idaho . We were lucky to find a county park northeast of town with just five spots for RVs. The reviews were great and the price could not be beat. We went a long way down the country road not knowing if we would find a spot. We managed to fit in the only one available. While there was 50 amp power, there was no water or sewer. Since were a completely self-contained, it was a perfect place for us to spend a couple of days, all for $5.00 per night, Yes, that is right, $5.00. Thank you to the citizens of Latah County, Idaho, for subsidizing a retired couple. In many ways the downtown resembled a smaller, more rural San Luis Obispo. Since we were there just two nights, we did not get to explore much. We think we might be back that way in August. After Moscow, we were headed to Auntie’s and Uncle’s, but we had a couple of extra days, so Jane decided to spend two nights at Farragut State Park just above Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and only seventeen miles from our ultimate destination. It was a beautiful park. Once we got settled, we met Auntie and Uncle for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Silver Lake. The next day Shelley and family and Auntie and Uncle joined us there for a barbecue. Before that, Shelley, the girls and I headed down to Lake Ponderay to kayak. What a delightful afternoon, as we paddled casually south along the lake’s shore. The wind was brisk. Although I felt like we had made progress, when we turned around to head home, we were maybe a couple of hundred yards from the marina. Oh, well, I had a great time with my cousins. We headed back to camp and talked and ate until dark, which is about 10PM here at this time of the year. The next day we headed to Auntie’s and Uncle’s, just up the road. We were anxious to get there and spend time with our family over the 5th of July. That’s it for now. We are settled here, and ready for the fourth of July. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Orofino, Idaho- Catching up from Farewell Bend, Oregon, and McCall. View from our campsite at Farewell Bend, Oregon. Traveling through this section of Idaho you see bright yellow fields of Canola. Poison Creek campground on Cascade Lake just south of McCall. We want to live here. Ron enjoying a beer and tapas on the deck at Salmon River Brewery. Salmon River growler filled with their delicious blonde beer. Our campsite at McCall RV Resort. We had full hookups with 50 amps. Scene of foot bridge and the McCall River near our campsite in McCall, Idaho. June 24, 2016 Orofino, Idaho- Catching up from Farewell Bend, Oregon, and McCall, Idaho I have fallen behind in these writings, but it is for a good reason. WE ARE HAVING A GREAT TIME! We now find ourselves at Clearwater Crossing RV Resort in Orofino, Idaho. We are on the west side of the Bitterroot Mountains and parked literally right on the south fork of the Clearwater River. It is wide and shallow here, hence the historical crossing spot. The river is in a steep canyon cradled by a white pine forest. It is truly beautiful, and we will be here six nights, leaving next Monday. There is a lot to do here, and that will be the subject of our next post. For now, I have to tell you about Farewell Bend and McCall, especially McCall. Farewell Bend is just across the Idaho/Oregon border, and about 150 miles from Three Island Crossing, our last stay. The drive was easy traveling west on the I-84 through southern Idaho. It is a beautiful spot right on the Snake River at a large “bend” in the river creating a lake-like setting. We had a perfect pull-through spot right on the water’s edge. Truthfully, there is not much to do in this area. The very small town of Huntington is about four miles away. We drove there to get diesel and check it out. Blink and you missed it. At least they had fuel. We then drove to Ontario, Oregon, about twenty miles away for groceries, and I got a haircut. Yes, our travel is not all fun and play. This is a nice pastoral community, but again, there was not much to do. At camp, we spent the time reading outside while Jane tried to rehabilitate from her cold/flu. We were excited to visit McCall. Rick and Deb have visited there a lot and had given us a list of things to do and see. We left for McCall a week ago Wednesday. I-95 north is a narrow, two-lane country road that heads right into the heart of central Idaho. Having stayed in what is a desert in southern Idaho for the last three weeks, we had forgotten how beautiful and green the countryside could be. The drive north to McCall was beautiful. At first it was very pastoral, green, grassy fields and lots of cattle. It would be another 150 mile drive, but would end up taking four hours up this winding road. Then it started raining, at times hard. While no fun to drive in, we could not have been in a more beautiful part of the country. We arrived in McCall with dirty vehicles and tired, but what a surprise. The McCall RV Resort was just five star resort in the middle of the forest. We had full hookups including 50 amps. The lodge was large and beautiful. I felt it was like a ski resort. Each spot had expansive lawns, large, green pines, and was situated right on the North Fork of the Payette River. We were escorted and situated in our spot by a very kind gentleman in a golf cart. With our list of things to do in hand, we settled down for the night, and then I got sick, really sick. The next two days were pretty much a blur. Jane was still rehabbing, and now I was sick too. After licking our wounds for a couple of days, we were ready to scope out the area. We headed south to Donnelly about seventeen miles. As we drove west from the very small town, we found Lake Cascade with RV parks right on the edge of this mountain lake. Then and there, Jane was ready to put down roots for the summer. There were campsites right on the lake with full hookups. While we still have plans to get to the Washington coast, we will certainly be back to this idyllic place before the summer is out. We also checked out Ponderosa State park right in McCall. It is a beautiful, wooded campground on a thousand acre peninsula that juts out into Payette Lake.The campground has nearly 200 sites with full hookups. Although it was very beautiful, we could not see it working for us and drove off in search of Salmon River Brewery for our lunch. We have come to like breweries. Coming from wine country, this is new for us. Stacey and Shelby gave me a gift certificate for Father’s Day. They had a deck, so Cabby could join us. This would make a perfect ending to our day of exploring the McCall area. We ordered tapas from the special “off hours” menu. Wow! Great food. We shared fresh ahi cucumber slices, pulled pork tacos, and their house special french fries topped with rosemary and parmesan cheese and a spicy aioli. We chose their blonde beer. It was a perfect afternoon to sit on the deck and enjoy the setting perched over the expansive lake. Cabby got a lot of attention from the kids on the deck all around us. The gift certificate had enough on it to get us a growler of beer to go, 64 ounces. Well, somebody was going to have to drink some beer. Honestly, it is the only size they had. Really! Today, the empty growler is proudly displayed on the kitchen shelf as a reminder of the great time that afternoon and the generosity of Stacey and Shelby. Thanks, kids. Right next to the RV park was the Payette River and a small public park with a foot bridge over it. I drove over there to see if it would be a good place for Jane to sit and to read and for me to fish. It was down a bumpy dirt road, and I was glad I had four wheel drive. It was an incredibly beautiful spot, but there was no place in the shade, so I decided not bring the party there. I have included a picture for you to enjoy. Soon, I will need to relate all the efforts I have made to fish with no success. I spent almost a hundred dollars for a license only to be thwarted at every turn, The fish have spawned and gone up stream; the current was too strong, the bank too steep; you can’t fish there. My fly fishing pole and gear have been in the truck and have not yet made an appearance. It seems no one cares or knows about where the trout are. It is very frustrating, but we will be with the Idaho Morgans for over a week. Hopefully, they will know just the right spot, Sadly, it was time to pack it up and head to Clearwater River Crossing just up the road another 150 miles. That would prove to be phenomenal too, but will have to wait for the next post. As of this posting, we have finished our six nights there and are in Moscow, idaho, for two nights. Lots to talk about, In the meantime, we are so busy having fun and loving the interior of Idaho. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Big surprises in Hagerman, Idaho Our new site at Three Island Crossing, Idaho. Due to high winds, we stayed here an extra night. Sunset at our site on the knoll at Three Island Crossing. The Hagerman horse roamed this area of North America some three million years ago. These springs spout from the volcanic walls of the valley. Very impressive. The Snake River is in the foreground. There are over 1,000 falls of different sizes that flow from the walls in this section of the Hagerman valley. This is the view from the Oregon Trail and the sandstone fossil fields on the west side of the Hagerman valley. I found this federal Steelhead trout hatchery on the way back from 1000 Springs. The growing runs are empty now, but you can see that a lot of space is needed for growing 1.4 million Steelhead trout. Not the best picture, but look carefully, and you can see a five foot Sturgeon on display in this pond. June 14, 2016 Big surprises in Hagerman, Idaho We are now camped at Farewell Bend, Oregon, near Huntington, Oregon and about thirty miles west of the Oregon/Idaho border. We have a beautiful pull-through site right on the lake with beautiful views on all sides. You never know what you are going to get when reservations are made on-line even though we look at reviews, Google Earth, and multiple websites. In this case, it worked out perfectly. What did not work perfectly was the departure date. Our schedules were very tight. We stay five nights in a park, drive about one hundred fifty miles, and put down roots in the new park. However, last Saturday when we were supposed to leave Three Island Crossing, I woke up to a fierce wind at 2 AM that was rocking the rig and causing the trees to bend over on themselves. Apparently, an unexpected cold front was moving through. I knew immediately that we would not be driving to Farewell Bend that morning as planned unless things changed a lot. They changed a lot, but not for the better. We woke up to a gale, no rain, just wind so strong you could hardly walk in it. We would have to make other plans. This was where having a house on wheels gets interesting. After checking ReserveAmerica.com, the reservation site for Idaho State Parks, our site was sold to someone else Saturday night. We would have to move. Not only was our site sold, but the entire park was sold out. OK, we cannot drive in this wind, and all Idahoans have gone on vacation camping this weekend too. This was where Jane gets really creative. There were other “not-so-nice” parks in the area that cost more money. We could always do that for a night, but we still have to find a reservation and drive there in this wind. The best solution was to find a cancellation where we were. Jane got the ranger on the phone, and there was one possibility. However, they would not know until 1PM. We could wait until then and take our chances. I went to the entry kiosk and made friends with the lady there. She had been calling the person with the reservation with no response, so it was looking good. Site six was a ninety foot pull-through, perfect for our rig. It was also on the top section of the park in a beautiful spot with a 360 degree view of the valley and the Snake River. We decide to wait. After a leisurely morning, we packed it up, dumped the tanks, and went to the kiosk. We got lucky last Saturday. The lady did not show up, and we got one of the finest sites in the park for $22.00. We would head to Farewell Bend, Oregon, on Sunday instead. Jane checked, and our site there was reserved and could not be forfeited. It was like a free day, so we decided to relax. Before we leave Three Island Crossing, I need to tell you about Hagerman, idaho, and all of the surprises I found there. Jane was still not feeling well with her summer cold, so I decided to go exploring on my own. Hagerman is a community about thirty miles away and boasts of some of the most fascinating fossil fields in the world. I had to go. While this was nothing like Lewis and Clark, there was some angst going it alone without my co-pilot. Hagerman was about twenty miles east on I-84, and headed south on Idaho 30. As I approached Hagerman, I came to the edge of a volcanic cliff that presented a beautiful, verdant valley, which extended as far as the eye could see with the Snake River running right through the middle of it. I followed a steeply sloping grade through the lava rock into the valley. I was surprised to cross streams and creeks galore as I did. Now this is the desert. Where is all this water coming from? The snake was still down in the valley, and there are no mountains around, just what was once a flat volcanic plain. Hmmm…I would have to inquire. The outskirts Hagerman was not so different from other pastoral communities. There was a lot of green fields with cows grazing, a few horses. I knew that I would like this place. As I entered town, It had a broad main road with three lanes right down the middle of it. It clean, neat, and gave a very good impression. There was no one around, however. I have found that a lot in these small Idaho towns. They almost seem abandoned. I found the Hagerman Fossil Visitor’s Center right downtown, so stopped there. What a treasure trove. The ranger was helpful and gave me the scoop. About 1928, a farmer had found bones/fossils on his property on the other side of the river. Eventually, the Smithsonian came out and found the greatest source of fossils in the US and also the world. Initially they used tractors and dynamite, so a lot of fossits were destroyed. On display were saber toothed tigers, mastodons, and all kinds of small animals and birds. The biggest find was the Hagerman horse, more like a Zebra type animal. Apparently, they were very prevalent in this area. So, I watched a short movie about the site and how it was formed. Apparently, three millions years ago there were some very large lakes in this area, I mean the northwest. I wrote about Lake Missoula in Wyoming last year. In this area was Lake Idaho and farther east was Bonneville Lake. Both were huge. The Great Salt Lake is what is left of Bonneville. Well, it broke and flooded this area for several months, creating this gorge and covering Idaho Lake with silt. Idaho Lake had been the prefect place for animals to wade into the lake and die. Now they were covered up by the flood. There are also tectonic plates in this area that eventually pushed all this sandstone up into the high hills on the west side of the valley which frame the Snake on the west. The result is that you cannot really see the fossil fields, you can only go up and get closer to the white sandstone hills. I decided to drive up, just to see what I could see. This center was fascinating, and I learned so much. While I was there, another guest asked how to get to the 1000 Springs area. Of course, I listened in. The ranger told us to head south just four miles and it was obvious. Since I was headed that way anyhow, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. As I approached the area, i was shocked but the scene in from of me. Remember, the east side of this valley is a sheer, volcanic ridge, reddish brown and black volcanic rock. About half way up the high cliff waterfalls shot out of the rock and headed down the slope to the Snake. Some were gigantic waterfalls and others smaller, but there were thousands shooting out of the volcanic rock as far as I could see. Okay, how does that happen? Apparently, this water travels hundreds of miles underground from the Sawtooth mountains in the northeast. It is cold, clear and the freshest water around. Apparently, Hagerman has the best water on the planet. I found a place to park, walked to the edge of the Snake, and took some pictures. I just had to call Jane and tell her about it. It was a bad day for her to be sick. I turned around, crossed the Snake and headed up the west side of the valley on a narrow local road. It was not only the road to the fossil fields, it also followed the Oregon Trail for 3.5 miles. There was just too much history here for me. I was freaking out. I stopped at the top of the ridge at a scenic turnout that also had information about the Oregon Trail and the Hagerman Fossil Fields. I turned around there and started to head back. Once I crossed back over the Snake, I noticed a federal fish hatchery on the right. Hmmm… that too is up my alley. I followed the signs up and away from the river. I came into a meadow-like setting that was just beautiful. Apparently, the feds had harnessed one of these large clear streams for the propagation of Steelhead Trout. What a surprise! This was off season, as this years’ crop of 1.4 million Steelhead has just been planted in May. These trout are like salmon in many ways. They make their way to the Pacific, feed for a year and then return home to lay their eggs. The big difference is that they do not die, but return to the sea each year to feed. Some return annually others up the every three years. This program was started to help the overall population due to the number of dams on the Snake River to to maintain the populations. I followed the self-guided trip laid out with blue trout on the road. I was the only one around once again, but it wasn’t creepy. I never saw another person at this mammoth facility. I was treated to a display pond with some very large Steelhead swimming around and about four gigantic five foot sturgeons too. What would you do if you caught one of those? I headed back to camp and to Jane with so much to tell. I really regretted that she was not along with one of her famous, gourmet picnic lunches. I had been to so many new and exciting, beautiful places. Oh, well. The way we are living, there will be other adventures soon. For now we are happy in Farewell Bend, Oregon and will tell you about that next time. We will leave Thursday for McCall, Idaho and finally leave the Snake River behind, at least for a while. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. We’re at Three Island Crossing State Park, Glenns Ferry, Idaho Sign showing the history of Minidoka Dam which forms Walcott Lake. One of the outlets from the dam. The row of gates for the dam. Only three were in use. The water was right behind this dam about two inches down. June 7, 2016 We’re at Three Island Crossing State Park, Glenns Ferry, Idaho After spending five nights at Lake Walcott State Park, Monday we drove the hundred and eight miles to Three Island Crossing State Park heading west on the I-84 toward Boise. We are taking our time and enjoying southern Idaho hugging the Snake River as we go. Without the Snake River this whole area would be upper desert and principally uninhabited is my thought. However, the Snake brings water, a lot of it. As a result, we drove mile after mile of green farming areas yesterday, principally alfalfa, potatoes and grains, pretty much all irrigated. It is hot here now. Yesterday the truck showed 108 and the outside temperature in the shade got to 98 degrees. The 30 amp power only runs one air conditioner, so we maintained at about 84. It was comfortable enough. It is supposed to be hotter today, but for now it is cool outside. I am enjoying it. I will tell you a little more about this place, but I want to finish up with Lake Walcott first. Lake Walcott State Park is beautiful, like i told you on the last post. It was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation on volcanic bedrock. Today it produces about 35 megawatts of electricity of local farming and families. They export the balance. It was built in 1905 with wood, and was just updated with cement in 2015 expanding the height and the size of the lake. I finally got in a three mile hike, as I explored the entire park. I got up close to the north side of the dam, but could not see much due to the angle. In a deep glen, a group of “Medieval Fighters” were reenacting a battle, all draped in period garb including shields and weapons that looked real, but were made of styrofoam. They had all camped in tents across the road for the weekend and appeared to be having a great time. I wanted to check out the visitor’s center, and Jane felt we had been overcharged for the stay. It was a good time to pay them a visit. Once inside, I found that the fee was correct, and we I to talking with the ranger. The ranger suggested that I take a long drive around the Snake to the other side of the dam. It was about thirty miles round trip, but would be worth it. He even gave me a map. Later, Jane agreed to go with me inspite of her bad summer cold. We both like an adventure, and this appeared to be a good one. We headed out and basically followed the Snake west, crossed an old steel bridge, then doubled back, and then followed the Snake back to the dam. What the ranger forgot to tell me is that the last mile would be on a dirt road through the desert. It was a good map until this point. Our truck is four wheel drive. Hopefully, we won’t need it. We came around the bend, and there was the dam. There was even a small parking lot with some signs with tourist information on them. I left her in the car with Cabby, engine running, and headed up the trail and toward this character. I continued ahead and ended up at the base of the giant iron gates that release water from the dam. I kept going until I came to a cement stretch right at the base of the dam. I peered over it, and the water was two inches from my nose. It was right there. How could they regulate the flow so closely to keep the water lever to within two inches of the top of the dam. I was fascinated, but decided to go back. It was hot, Jane and Cabby were alone, and so much water right in front of me seemed intimidating. This was a great experience, and I was fascinated by the technology and the beauty. It was, however, time to go. We made our way back to the rig and napped. Jane, especially, needed it being so sick. The next day, I drove to town, well, two towns to check them out, pick up some groceries, propane and gas up. For you Californians, the towns were a cross between downtown Buttonwillow and Soledad. There were lots of silos, seed companies and potato processing barns. The towns themselves were small and unimpressive. No one was out and about; it was almost eerie. I went about my business and got home about two hours later. We were both ready to head out to our next destination. Three Island Crossing is not so much different, an oasis in the high desert along the Snake. There may well be a dam here to, but we need to go exploring a bit. There is a winery near the entrance with a restaurant. Since our forty-sixth wedding anniversary is coming up, we will probably celebrate there. There are some fossil bed nearby, and I want to see those as well. We will update you at the end of the week. We are here through Friday night, and will leave for Farewell Bend State Park just inside the Oregon border, not too far past Boise. After that, we will leave the Snake and head north into central Idaho near McCall and then up into the panhandle near Sand Point and the Canadian border. It looks like a really fun summer. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Lake Walcott- Following the Snake River A shot of the garden and bird feeder. It should all be amazing in a month or so. The growing season is very short at 6,800 feet. Dylan receiving his award as most outstanding boy’s sprinter, as his coach said kind words about him. Dylan’s graduation was held at Utah Valley University’s basketball stadium, Spectacular! Dylan on the Jumbotron preparing to walk for his diploma. Deer keeping an eye on our yard. Hide the roses. Dylan’s award. Our chukkar setting up camp in the backyard. They are nearly the size of a chicken and sound a lot like them. We love having them around. Entrance to Walcott Lake RV Park in southern Idaho. June 2, 2016 Lake Walcott- Following the Snake River Last Monday, Jane and I retrieved our 5th wheel from the storage facility and parked it, once again, at Mountain Shadows RV Park in Draper. We began moving out of our luxury basement at the kids house and back into our home on wheels. Frankly, it was two days of back-breaking work. Pretty much everything we owned had been moved into the basement. Picture this. Thirteen stairs toting everything out of the basement. Six stairs back to ground level. Drive to RV and fours stairs up. I lost two pounds in two days. While we are now moved in and two hundred miles north of Draper, we are exhausted. Today is a day off. Clearly some reading next to the lake is in order. We are now in Walcott Lake State Park. This is a beautiful oasis right on the bank of Walcott Lake that is formed by the Minidoka Dam on the Snake River. This park was initially formed by two hundred workers as part of the New Deal in 1935. The ground was leveled and trees planted by these workers from the east as a result of Franklin Roosevelt’s program to put people to work during the Great Depression. Thank you. This place is beautiful and is truly an oasis. As Cabby on I walked around early this morning, it was clear that this spot of greenery is all there is for miles around. We are situated in Idaho’s southern high desert. A stark contrast becomes apparent, as we trailed along the edge of greenery and the dry line of the sage brush surrounding us. However, as we edged the lake, it was lush, green and provided a vista that was staggering ending in high buttes in the distance. While I miss the views of the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, this is a beautiful replacement. We are glad to be here. Since we will be following the Snake River for several hundred miles through southern Idaho, I thought I ought to know a little more about it than the fact that Evel Knievel tried to jump one of its canyons on a motorcycle. So, here goes. The Snake River is about 1,074 miles long with its head water in Western Wyoming in Yellowstone State Park. As it heads west, it gathers water from tributaries in the Tetons and the Continental Divide, as well as many others along the way. Because of the “fall” of water, it has been harnessed dozens of times along its way to the Pacific by dams for hydroelectric power, hence Minidoka Dam and Walcott Lake. We stayed in the Tri-Cities area of southeastern Washington last year where the Snake joins the Columbia and finally makes its way to the Pacific. It is here at Walcott Lake that we shall recharge our batteries for five days before we head west generally following the path of the Oregon Train and the Lewis and Clark Expedition along the Snake River. Umm… I think our accommodations are somewhat better than an old schooner wagons or canoes. We can’t wait to explore this region thoroughly. In two weeks we will leave Farewell Bend State Park in Southern Oregon, just on the Idaho border, and head north through central Idaho with the goal of spending the 4th of July with Auntie and Uncle who live near the Canadian border. It is here that we will leave the Snake and head into the forested part of Idaho. We have some amazing resorts reserved, some sitting right on the edge of a river. I see fishing in my future. Since we last wrote, Dylan’s has graduated from Lehi High School at a spectacular ceremony at Utah Valley University, Jumbotron images and all. I will say that Utah has great indoor facilities and celebrates their youth in a way that is over-the-top. This is by far the most outstanding high school graduation I have ever attended. Congratulations, Dylan! That same day was Dylan’s eighteenth birthday, which we celebrated the next day at the home owner’s association pool facility. Of course, Stacey and Shelby went all out and served delicious steak and chicken tacos with all of the accompaniments. We also attended the Lehi track awards banquet. Dylan was captain of the boy’s team, set five school records in his tenure there including the 400 meter at 49.62 seconds. He was awarded the most outstanding male sprinter award. It was good to honor the entire team and see all the fresh faces that made up this outstanding year in track for Lehi High School. On Sunday we celebrated Shelby’s birthday. Keith, Jen, Mark, and Elizabeth came over, and we had, once again, a beautiful meal of Paella fixed by Shelby outside in the rain and wind. We had a great visit too. Mark is an assistant coroner and has some, shall we say, “colorful” stories. Keith is, well, CIA or CPA or something and has traveled the world and done incredible things including going to base camp of Everest and hanging upside down from one of the “Arches” in southern Utah. Jen is a business person, and Elizabeth an attorney. There was never a quiet moment as we shared stories, and, in Keith’s case, showed pictures. Monday we began moving, and Wednesday we all headed out- we to southern Idaho and the rest of the family to a much needed vacation at the beach in California. As usual, I did some gardening in the back yard. Stacey decided to put up a bird feeder that I bought them last year. After a day or so, the birds found it. The most spectacular were the pair of wild chukars, kind of a prairie partridge. Last year they showed up with a trail of babies. Hopefully, the same happens again this year. We did see a coyote flanking the ridge behind their house, but the deer were the stars of the show peeking over the ridge, one a small spike still in velvet. What a treat! I know our postings have been fewer while we visited in Utah. However, we are now on the road again and will have lots to write about as we continue to explore on our extended vacation which will be two years on July 1st. There is a lot to do around here, so we will begin exploring tomorrow after our day of rest. Chat with you soon. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 3, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Utahn vs. Utahan- which one am I? Dylan winning his heat in the boys medley. We all enjoyed the fire pit once it was completed on a perfect, yet cool Utah evening. June 17, 2016 Utahn vs. Utahan- which one am I? Sometimes, nothing is easy. Am I now a Utahn or a Utahan? I know that I am one or the other. I am now a resident of Utah, not California. That I know. By making the change, I did not know that I would become part of a controversy. However, in Utah, the locals think of themselves as Utahns. The federal government and Merriam Webster point out that the correct grammatical spelling and pronunciation is “Utahan”. So, which am I? After a little research, I find that the popular version, the will of the people, prevails. It has been said that: (Utahn) is simply more conversational and more widely used and recognized by the masses.–Graydon Johns, ksl.com news director or that: If a man says he’s a Utahn, but nobody listens, was he ever anything but a Utahan? So, I am a Utahn! Last Friday I presented my application to the Utah DMV, took my test, provided proper documentation, and passed the test. After paying the $25, I was given my license and officially became a Utahn. I never saw myself as anything but a Californian. However, some sixty-seven years later, I am a Utahn. It wasn’t really a plan, but a natural transition. With our retirement plan to travel until we cannot, we had to have a permanent address. The government frowns on paying social security and delivering Medicare services if they do not know where you are and what your address is. Stacey and Shelby were the perfect address for all that, so it was only natural to use Utah as our home once we sold our properties in California earlier this year. I really wish I had more emotions about this transition, but I do not. It’s paperwork. I see our whereabouts as where the heart is. For now, Utah is home, but our family and friends principally are Californians. While we miss you in CA, and no longer share the moniker, our hearts are with you, just one of the reasons for this blog. For now, I will enjoy a cheaper fishing license in Utah; an easier process to buy a gun if I choose to; cheaper taxes; better roads; gas prices a dollar less per gallon; lower auto registration fees; no bumper to bumper traffic; beautiful snow covered mountain vistas; world- class skiing; and the most kind, courteous people in the US that we have seen, CA, we miss you, but this is a great place to land. If there was just a little more oxygen, Utah would be perfect. Enough of that. What have we been up to? It is track season’s final events. We attended the BYU Invitational two weeks ago to see Dylan run on both Friday and Saturday. Friday was a bit of a bust. Dylan was to run the 400 meter at 1PM. However, as is typical in this area in the spring, it was threatening rain, thunder and lightening. Well, they have a rule for safety, ” If anyone sees a lightening strike, they have to suspend the meet for one half hour”. So, for the next six hours, there was lightening nearby. Dylan finally ran at 7PM, some six hours later. At one point the crowds were asked to clear the stands. There was eminent danger. As we headed to the car, all hell broke loose. We were pelted by hail the size of grapes. Strangers shared umbrellas. Drifts of hail piled up on the ground. Lightening and thunder were all around us. We headed to the mall while waiting. It turned out to be a good choice. When the storm had passed, the meet began. We finally watched Dylan run again. It was great fun. While it was not his personal best, it was his best time of the season. Saturday proved that “senioritis” had not taken hold, and that Dylan was on his game. On Saturday, it was great fun watching the meet, especially Dylan’s excellent performances. We left elated as his team came in an unexpected second in the boys medley, the last race of the day, qualifying for the state finals in this event. Can’t wait for the state finals again at BYI in two weeks. In the meantime, we have found time for gardening, installing a new fire pit in the backyard, teenage fun with digging trenches, slip and slides, hot tubs, football, and a new fire pit to sit around and chat and make and enjoy s’mores. There is always something going on here. We will be here five weeks when we finally leave on June 1, and it feels good to stay in one place for a while and enjoy the trappings of real life. Yet, we are planning this next phase of our travels and are getting excited. We will be back to a normal format soon, once we begin our travels again. This week are the State Track Finals at BYU. Then we have graduation ceremonies and parties the following week. I also need to finish the gardening, so the yard will be beautiful for the summer. After a harsh winter, some summer color is needed and wanted. Next week the window gets installed on the 5th wheel. I will park it a day outside of the house to wash it. Then back to the storage facility for the rest of the week. After that, we will take it back to Mountain Shadows at the foot of the hill, so we can take everything back and prepare for our June 1st departure. Stay tuned; the next week promises to be great fun. Take care, Jane and Ron This entry was posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2016 by ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com. Post navigation ← Older posts Archives July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 February 2014 Click on the link below to subscribe to our blog. 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wheellife.us Whois

Domain Name:                 WHEELLIFE.US
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Sponsoring Registrar:            FAST DOMAIN INC.
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID:        1154
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Registrant ID:                FAST-20913426
Registrant Name:               Ronald Morgan
Registrant Organization:           Ronald Morgan
Registrant Address1:             320 LAURINDA
Registrant City:               Long Beach
Registrant State/Province:          California
Registrant Postal Code:           90803
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Registrant Email:              ronaldmorgan1948@gmail.com
Registrant Application Purpose:       P3
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Administrative Contact Name:         Ronald Morgan
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Administrative Contact City:         Long Beach
Administrative Contact State/Province:    California
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Billing Contact ID:             FAST-20913426
Billing Contact Name:            Ronald Morgan
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Technical Contact Name:           Eric White
Technical Contact Organization:       iPage Hosting
Technical Contact Address1:         10 CORPORATE DR, STE 300
Technical Contact City:           Burlington
Technical Contact State/Province:      Massachusetts
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Name Server:                 NS2.IPAGE.COM
Name Server:                 NS1.IPAGE.COM
Created by Registrar:            FAST DOMAIN INC.
Last Updated by Registrar:          FAST DOMAIN INC.
Domain Registration Date:          Mon Feb 17 19:56:11 GMT 2014
Domain Expiration Date:           Thu Feb 16 23:59:59 GMT 2017
Domain Last Updated Date:          Sun Jan 31 15:23:16 GMT 2016
DNSSEC:                   false
>>>> Whois database was last updated on: Fri Jun 03 05:16:49 GMT 2016 <<<<
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