Friday, August 2, 2013

Whidbey to Spokane - Monday to Friday

I am way behind with this blog, mainly because we have not had internet connections for long enough time. So, this will take you from Monday, July 29 to Friday, August 2.

We were on Whidbey Island for a total of four nights, at a very nice campground. We enjoyed spending time in Oak Harbor, looking in the various shops in the historic district. The highlight was when we stumbled upon an auto restoration place. The place was also a storage facility for vehicles that they had previously restored. One was a 1958 Pink and Black Edsel station wagon that is owned by the wife of a Microsoft executive. The restoration guy told Hollie the name, but since Hollie is not “into” computers he was not impressed enough to recognize the name and relay the information to me. I am curious who owns it as the guy told me she comes down every couple of months and piles her kids into it for a drive around the area. That car was about twice as long as current autos. Interestingly, it had black red and white interior that one would have thought was not the original color combination. I asked about that and was told that everything on it was original and fully restored. It was beautiful

Monday – we left Whidbey Island. About a mile from the campground is Deception Pass and each day while we were here, every time I wanted to take pictures, we were fogged in. Sunday night I did take some, but they do not capture what had to be a very difficult engineering project. This bridge is very, very high and was built during the early 1930s.

This bridge is very narrow with a steel cable to separate auto traffic from foot traffic. Sunday morning while we were in the campground, we heard lots of sirens and observed lots of emergency vehicles passing. When I went to take the pictures, I saw evidence of some sort of crash. About half of the cable had been totally wrecked. I hope there was no one standing in the area when it happened.

Tuesday – Leavenworth, WA

Several people had told us about this place. It is a town that was once in dire economic circumstances and decided to rebuild itself in the form of a Bavarian Village. They rebuilt homes and businesses and all new construction in that design. It is hugely successful with many shops and restaurants with the Bavarian theme. The town is located on a river and is also a beehive for water sports such as swimming, tubing, rafting, fishing and other non-motor water sports.

I had been told that there was a running/walking trail that ran along the river and since the temperature was 92 when I decided to workout, I knew I needed to do one of my walk/run exploration workouts. It turned out to be very difficult since the trails were actually a maze and very hilly. I did manage to run/walk a total of about 6 miles, but I felt terrible and had to stop once and soak my head and drink water in order to cool off. Needless to say, I really did not realize how wonderful the weather had been for us as we made our way up the OR and WA coast. Leavenworth is in the hot part of WA.

This is a beautiful area, but there was a forest fire south of us and we were in the middle of that smoke which obscured the views. We did manage to find a very nice county RV park where we had electric and water and could have AC in order to cool ourselves. Here is the view from the park:

While in the park, as I was walking down to the river, I did have a very emotional experience. Near the camp host home was a very nice vegetable/flower garden with a very creative scare crow. It reminded me so much of my recently deceased friend, Mary Ruth Middlebrook. She always had such a nice garden with beautiful sunflowers.

Wednesday – Leavenworth to Spokane

The early part of the route that we took had fruit orchards all along the way. We saw peaches, grapes, cherries, apples, apricot, oranges and some other that I had never seen before---can’t recall the name. I later learned that these fruit orchards are the result of the irrigation water made available by the construction of Grand Coulee Dam. We took a side trip to see that. Having seen Hoover Dam, it was not quite as impressive.

We arrived in Spokane early enough to find a Y where we got in our workouts and showered and then found a Walmart that allowed overnight parking. That is where we have been the past two nights and will be there again tonight as we wait out the rain which we have had for the past 12-18 hours. This is the only bad weather that we have had in the entire 6 weeks that we have been on the road. It is supposed to clear in the morning and we will head over to Idaho to walk/run the Hiawatha Trail. I’ll certainly post on that when we are done.

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