Photo by Angie Quantrell
South Cascades, WA state
Finally, the weather cooperated enough (barely) to allow me to get over Snoqualmie Pass and hit up my college roomie and longtime friend for some stamping fun! The Pass (Cascade Mountains) played it a bit dodgy at first, as workers decided to close it for avalanche control at the very time I needed to be crossing over. And then the road between my city and the next one up north (which crosses three humps and is often awful) closed for semi-truck slide outs due to icy slick roads. EEK!
But we have “The Canyon” road. It’s lovely, slow going, windy, and beautiful. So off I went through The Canyon and hit a white out! Sheesh. I nearly cancelled the whole trip, but my honey said just keep going to see how it was in Ellensburg.
And whew. Roads were fine. I made it. We stamped. We had extra new kitty help (oh, my). I lost things (socks) and found my shoes downstairs when they used to be upstairs. Lots of loves, fur, and excitement. “Incoming!!!” (which means a cat has jumped in the middle of our resources-strewn work surface).
I was even able to connect with 3 other college-met longtime friends on two different nights for dinner and quick catch-ups. Waves at Ann, Roxan, and Renee!
59 cards later, success at using up certain stamping supplies, frustration at the clock moving so fast, and it was time for me to pack up my little white “truck” (actually a Mazda front-wheel drive car) with all my stuff and head back over The Pass to our little home in the pasture.
Yummy meals, lots of chatting, creative messes, staying in jammies until late, walks to the Village . . .
can’t wait for the next trip!
I said yes.
On this date, April 23, 1979, at my dad’s birthday party, this guy popped the girlfriend question. And the rest, they say, is his (and her) story. Our story. What an adventure it’s been! 43 years ago.
The attempted photo recreation…
The journey continues, my honey and me, best friends.
After church on Sunday, we dug out our hiking boots, backpack, and hats and drove up to the Tieton River Nature Trail. From Yakima, it’s a pretty quick drive, just a few miles up Highway 12 after the road splits into Hwy 410 and Hwy 12. We parked across from the Oak Creek Feeding Station (Discover Pass required).
For a first time out hiking this year, it was excellent. Not too much elevation gain, and the trail was mostly smooth but quite dusty. There are rocks and roots to watch for in a few sections, but overall the trail is in great shape. The canyon scenery was gorgeous, with the Tieton River rocking and rolling, and blue skies interspersed with puffy white clouds.
Now is the time to go! Spring wildflowers are peeking out! And, my personal favorite, the grass is barely greening and shooting up, so there is less tall grass to rub up against my legs and give me ticks! Cheatgrass is not an issue if you stay on the trail. Yuck.
Sunblock was a necessity, as usual. I’m not a huge fan of hiking into the wind, but it kept us cool. When the wind died down on certain sections due to canyon topography and stands of trees, it was quite warm.
We did not do the entire hike since we started out later in the day. We hiked over the first bridge near the feeding station and walked the trail past the quonset hut (it’s visible across the river) to the foot bridge. Whee! That was fun. I’m definitely a two-hands-holding-on type of person. And a one-person-at-a-time hiker. Lots of swinging and swaying. The metal bridge is pretty slippery on the southern end just as you get on, so beware that section.
We found a beaver-gnawed tree, saw and heard squabbling blue jays, watched an eagle soar up above the canyon walls, marveled at a group of rock climbers, enjoyed a tiny nut hutch scrambling up a tree (best guess), and wondered who left the plentiful berry-filled scat (and watched carefully in case we found the culprit). One bumblebee and a few flying insects rounded out our wildlife sightings.
Hikers can also park at the quonset hut a few miles west of the feeding station (Discover Pass required here as well).
We can’t wait to return and continue west of the quonset hut.
Read more about the Tieton River Nature Trail here.
Happy trails to you!
Photo by Angie Quantrell
Little Naches, HWY 410, Washington
Believe it or not, this was taken on February 19, 2022. No snow, ice, or signs of winter. But winter it is. This rock faces the late sun, so all evidence of the season has melted to rest at the base, along with showers of fallen rocks. It’s not a safe place to stay for long-snap the picture and move along down the road!
Taken before the next winter storm hits with a predicted 12-24 inches of new snow.
RV life in the winter, particularly in a four-season location (like the Pacific Northwest, east of the Cascades), is not a piece of cake. Nor is it for the faint of heart.
I should have opened with a question mark and let you guess first. How many fleece blankets do you think a person would need to adequately block window drafts against winter chills? In January. While living in an RV? And all-season RV. At least that’s what it says on the side.
Nine. We require an assortment of 9 lap throw-sized fleece blankets to tuck along the cracks of all window openings to block drafts. Is this a pain? Yes. Do I despair? Yes. Murmur? Unfortunately. Yes.
But we are warm! The draft-blockers do their job. So well, in fact, that on super chilly mornings, they block the heat to portions of the curtains and the curtains freeze to the windows. Don’t worry! It eventually melts and we wipe away the beaded rivers streaming down into the window tracks.
Extra tasks are required for RV life in the winter. There is a longer daily chore list. But we keep warm. Our tricks of the trade keep us nice and toasty, despite ice, fog, snow, sleet, wind, rain, and sub-freezing temps. How about you? Any winter RV tricks you’d like to share with a couple of RV popsicles?
A Haiku Moment for you:
winter’s chills gobble
heat, invite mr. frost in
9-fleece kicks him out
fleeced by Angie Quantrell