Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Road Trip: Purple Robe Lavender Farm

I had the best time last week visiting college friends, eating good meals, catching up, making rubber stamped cards, and exploring a bit of the Pacific Northwest. July is a a great month, because it’s lavender time, friends. Lavender Time.

Three of us (waves at Alyson and Renee) traveled to Arlington, Washington, to visit the Purple Robe Lavender Farm. It was such a delight! The bees were humming and buzzing over the lavender-covered hillside, making me want to grab a book and a nice cup of tea and find a spot to plop down. Or a notebook and my purple pen, so I could dream and write. Or spread a blanket on the ground beneath the lavender plants so I could enjoy the activity.

Alas, we were too busy chatting, smelling, and clicking photos. The fragrance was fantastic! We nearly had the place to ourselves. We did swap photo taking tasks with two other women, and I saw a family or two wandering the grounds. But mostly. Us.

White lavender (which I read later was a pink and white lavender named Melissa) and purple lavender created a white-edged purple carpet. I crept carefully between the rows several times, or scooted close to heavy heads, only to be calmly buzzed by bees and bumblebees. They paused, acted like they wondered what great flowers I had to offer, and then toddled back off to their work after they realized I was of the boring flowerless sort.

People in the area: Go now! Take a picnic and camera. The grounds are open for wandering, there is a small shop (of course, with lavender-smelling things-including lavender plants), and I noticed several picnic tables spread about. The lavender is peaking right now. This is the time. You-cut is available if you want to take home a bouquet, and comes complete with a photo-ready basket. A small selection of drinks and snacks are on hand.

Ahhh, lavender. It’s always been one of my favorite flowers. Enjoy.

Angie, Renee (seated on rock), Alyson (seated on ground)

Plus. Take some friends. It’s the best.


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Motorcycle Monday – 3 Washington Rides

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Glowing trees north of Roslyn

I am out of motorcycle shape! In spite of late afternoon heat and tired backsides, we managed to enjoy 3 different motorcycle rides over the long weekend.

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Heading south on the Yakama Indian Reservation

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Mt. Adams

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Wild horses

1. Friday night, we helmeted up and rode south on Highway 97, turned right on Lateral A, and continued out to White Swan. I’ve always love this ride, having spent nearly 30 years living in the lower valley. At White Swan, we followed Signal Peak Road up to the end of the public road. The round trip was nearly 100 miles and gorgeous. We saw wild horses, but only 10 or so, less than normal; plus wild horse rib cages and assorted bits. A bald eagle perched on a bluff (we suspect dead bodies for tasty snacks were somewhere close, per the nose turning odors), and when we stopped to stretch, we were nearly swarmed by huge black bees. They seemed hungry and ready for fresh meat. Maybe they were a type of wasp instead. Mt. Adams beamed white amidst blue skies and fluffy clouds and the entire valley was in full production – orchards, vineyards, planted fields, cattle, and much more.

2. Saturday we took a longer ride, almost 200 miles, spanning most of the day. We drove north through the Yakima River Canyon, one of our favorite drives. Bald eagles, deer, bighorn sheep, and hordes of those two-legged campers, fishers, and recreating humans gave us company for the ride. In Ellensburg, we stopped for coffee. Then we followed Highway 10 to Cle Elum, barely hanging on when we encountered bridge repairs! The first one had us riding air, but after that we were prepared. We continued through Cle Elum, Roslyn, and Ronald, until we reached the end of the road and Salmon la Sac. The Cle Elum River was noisy and rolling due to snow melt. That did not deter campers from wading! Brr. On our return home, we stopped for lunch at The Brick (Roslyn) and searched out a rose-flavored dark chocolate treat at the Roslyn Candy Company. We backtracked a bit, looped along the Thorp Highway, and returned to the Yakima Valley returned through the canyon.

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Highway 241

3. Monday we were up and out early, due to expected high temps later in the day. We took the slow road – Yakima Valley Highway – towards the lower valley. This is such a pretty drive through orchards, farms, and small communities. We went as far south as Sunnyside, then took Highway 241 over the top of the hills to Highway 24, which led us back to Yakima. Along the Yakima River, I saw several cranes and a block of whirling pelicans. A stalking coyote was circling a herd of black cows who were grazing way out in the middle of nowhere. Yikes! I shook my finger at him, but I don’t think it helped. Babies were everywhere – foals, calves, lambs, kids. This ride was shorter than the other days, but a great outing.

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Heading into the Yakima River Canyon

Let’s talk about smell-o-vision. This is a real thing on motorcycles. What you see, or don’t see, you will smell. The good, the bad, the ugly. Mint, flowers, freshly cut hay, hops, dust, horses, fast food restaurants. The list of good-to-smell is unending. The bad? Think cow poop, skunks, diesel exhaust, asphalt, smoke, garbage. The ugly? Dead stuff. I know they are ugly because I can smell them and it is not pretty! While some road kill is evident alongside the road, others lurk mysteriously out of sight. But not out of nose.

What’s the trade-off for the icky smells? Wonderful fresh air, the joy of wind blowing along your body, and rolling scenery. It’s worth every smell and bug splatter.

Where did your journeys take you this weekend?

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Just us, goofing around