Friday, April 26, 2013

Back to Canada.

Friday April 26, 2013

We left Soap Lake at about 7:45am this morning on our way back to Canada and our first stop in Kelowna, B.C.  We only had a little over 200 miles to travel today so it was an easy day.  The weather was warm and once again….no wind!  We can hardly believe that we only hit one bad patch of wind between Twin Falls and Boise Idaho on our way home from Mexico.

We made a quick stop in Oroville, Wash. to pick up our last cheap American beer and fuel and then it was on to the border.  We never have much to declare as we don’t buy much and besides I just take tags off anything I buy and wear it.  Even so…we wouldn’t be over our limit.  The only thing I did declare this year were the two extra bottles of wine that I’d bought for my sister in law.  I thought the guy would be nice and say it was okay but the jerk made me pay duty.  I just about poured them out!  $6 for each bottle and with the $5 I’d paid for them it was close to what we pay in Canada.  That’s what I get for being honest.  Tell me how they can sell imported Australian wine in the U.S.A. for $5 and the same wine is over double that in Canada.  Doesn’t make any sense to me.  Welcome home!

We arrived in Kelowna just before 3pm and were set up in no time.  We are lucky that Eric’s brother Ian and wife Linda are so generous about letting us park in their driveway twice a year.  It’s always good to see them and we always have a good visit. 

P1040631 Our Kelowna RV spot.



Ian and Linda are busy working on their yard.

P1040628 Ian is power washing the deck.  He is sick and tired of staining it every year and thinks he’ll just let it go grey!

P1040629 Linda’s cleaning up the shrub border after the winter.


The pool is being rejuvenated as the the lines into it were leaking.  It will also get a new liner and be good as new.  Not a cheap project!

After a quick walk for me we were having happy hour by 5pm. A good day.

I will get my blood tests done on Monday and see Dr.Shojania (rheumatologist) on Tuesday and hopefully everything will be okay.  I am down to 9mg. of prednisone now and am starting to notice the polymyalgia rheumatica pain at this low level.  All a bit of a struggle but for the most part things are okay.

We hope to be heading home by late in the week. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Ride to Leavenworth, Wash.

Thursday April 25, 2013


Downtown Soap Lake


This was today’s ride.  The fellow with the trike and the Toy hauler in the park had told Eric that a ride up to Leavenworth was a really nice trip so we decided to go.  I checked the weather and it looked like it was going to be about 75F. so off we went.  Out through Soap Lake and a quick look at the downtown, through Ephrata and on to Quincy. 


From there onto the long open highway toward Wenatchee.


Lots of farming….orchards and vineyards.


Coming down to the Columbia river and Wenatchee with the Cascade Mtns. in the distance.


Downtown Leavenworth. 


The first route across Stevens Pass was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1892. The town site was across the Wenatchee River from Icicle and was named Leavenworth the same year the rail construction began. Captain Charles Leavenworth, president of the Okanogan Investment Company, purchased the land in the present-day downtown and laid the streets parallel to the new railroad tracks.

The railroad construction was completed during the winter of 1893. Lafayette Lamb and his brother, Chauncery Lamb arrived in 1903 from Iowa to build the second largest sawmill in Washington state.

Leavenworth was officially incorporated on September 5, 1906. A small timber community, it became the headquarters of the Great North Railroad in the early 1900s. The railroad relocated to Wenatchee in the 1920s, greatly affecting Leavenworth's economy.

The city struggled until 1962, when the Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) Committee was formed to transform the city into a mock Bavarian village to revitalize its economy.[6] Owen and Pauline Watson, owners of a business on Front Street, formed the committee after visiting Solvang, California in 1958 and thought it was an excellent idea for Leavenworth.

Leavenworth is home to the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which opened in 1995 and contains more than 5,000 nutcrackers dating from prehistoric to modern.[7] Leavenworth hosts an annual Oktoberfest celebration.[8] Leavenworth's transformation into a theme town was inspired, and assisted, by Solvang, California. Later the Washington town of Winthrop followed Leavenworth's example and adopted a town theme.[9]


A beautiful setting.  Reminded us a little of places like Grand Forks, B.C.


Looking down to the main street from the highway which passes through above. 

P1040583 Tons of German restaurants and German music playing everywhere. 





Cafe Christa where we stopped for lunch. 


P1040590 Eric wandering up the street.



The weather was beautiful and there were lots of people strolling the streets on a sunny mid week day in April.


If you want knick knacks this is the place to come.  Every store is just loaded.  Not for me thanks.  P1040594

Back on the road heading back to Wenatchee through numerous apple orchards. 


Along the river.


Heading up and over highway #2 onto the Waterville Plateau.

P1040602 Out in the middle of no where is Waterville.  A pretty little town and the county seat for Douglas County.


Main street. 


Old buildings.


Old cars.


Old houses.

All quite lovely.


The next little town was ….Douglas…quite quaint!  This was the original county seat but since Waterville had water it became the county seat. 

The rest of the ride was through immense open areas filled with grain crops.  The farms are spotted here and there as you pass along.  Very lonely. 


We think they might seed the grain in the fall as there is no irrigation up on the plateau and the snow and spring rain would provide the water for the wheat crops that grow here.  Too harsh a climate for cattle. 


Miles and miles of grain. P1040609

Huge silos to store the grain.


Heading down off the high plateau to Moses Coulee.


Another immense coulee with amazing geology.


The rock as you ride by.


Past Coulee City turnoff and on to Dry Falls. 


Every time we stop here we are amazed.



Standing on the over look.  It is a long, long, long way down!P1040627

Time to mount up and head back to Soap Lake. 

It was a beautiful warm day and so was the evening.  Tomorrow on to Kelowna. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We made it to Soap Lake, Washington with no wind!

Wednesday April 24, 2013

I am sitting in the rig typing this blog with the sun coming in the window, the birds are chirping, the trees have their new leaves popping out and the lake is as flat as glass….how perfect is that.  This is a lovely quiet spot to stay (Soap Lake RV Resort at the north end of Soap Lake) and they even take passport America so it was only $30 for two nights for full facilities.  

We left the Boise/Meridian Koa yesterday morning at about 7:45 am and it was clear and cold.  I think it froze lightly over night but the good news is that the wind had died down.  The drive north through Idaho, Oregon and Washington was uneventful and I really like to be able to say that!  It was nice to go over Cabbage Hill in Oregon with no wind, rain or fog and when we came down onto the large open plain by Pendleton there was no wind there either.  A nice drive!  It was a long day and we didn’t arrive in Soap Lake until about 4:30 pm but some of that was due to the back country roads and also the construction delay along the Columbia.  No problem.  We were set up (StarChoice too) by 5:30pm. 

Today we had decided to go north along the East side of the Columbia River instead of up through the Tri Cities so we left the I 84 at exit 188 for Stanfield.  We took this route last year but this time we decided to try MapPoint’s route.  After leaving I84 we travelled highway 395 for a short distance through Stanfield and then made a right turn onto Canal Road which was going to take us to State Road 207 (Hermiston Highway) and then onto the Columbia Highway and north to Pascoe.  The GPS had argued that Canal Road wasn’t paved but we thought it was wrong.  Guess who was right!  The GPS.  Drat, I hate it when that happens.  So…plan B was to make a right turn east to south Edwards Road which is the route we had travelled last year and continue on to the Hermiston Highway.  It is a country farm road but paved and pretty so….no problem…just a slight detour.  Things are getting much more loosey goosey as we do more of this RV travel!

> Mainmap

This was yesterday’s route. 

The following is a pictorial drive.


Winding irrigation channels as you leave Boise.


Wide open highway.


The mountains look like velvet.


The first time I’ve ever seen such a red train.  Also, the camera lens isn’t dirty….the windshield is!


Beautiful snow capped mountains.



A lovely lunch stop at the edge of the Columbia River.



Unusual rock formations.


They are grinding up the pavement and repaving the Columbia highway so there were some big delays.  A huge amount of truck traffic on this road.  We think we might come this route when we head south next year.  P1040520

Bridge over the Columbia just before Pascoe.


Grape vines in the Othello, Washington area.


A fuel stop in ….Moses Lake.  We always miss our preferred fuel stop heading north but this time we found it.  You can’t see the station heading north so this time I made better notes for next year.  Easy to get in and out of and just the nicest people running the station so we always stop here heading south.


Moses Lake?


As we get closer to Soap Lake the terrain is just covered in boulders left over from the Dry Falls.  You couldn’t farm this land….unless you were growing rocks!


Parke under the trees in the sunshine in beautiful Soap Lake.



Our view out the front of the rig.


Relaxing and lovely and we will stay here today and perhaps tomorrow as well.