Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the dam and the falls and the canyon ... twin falls, id

While we were in Idaho Rick went out on his bike one day for a little ride which ended up being a long ride because he took a left instead of a right or vice versa!  He came upon the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls which he raved about for days (after he over came the shock of "stumbling" upon this large bridge HIGH above the canyon).

So off we went in the car one day so he could show Sir and I this magnificent bridge.  Before we got to said bridge we went to Lake Milner and Milner Dam.  Some pictures of the area above and below.  We had the place to ourselves, much to Sir's delight, although he was not allowed in the overlook area, he was allowed in the lake area - thankfully, because he gets a bit put out if he sees a beautiful huge lake and can't put his feet in it or try to drink half of it!

The area was just gorgeous and beautifully maintained by Idaho Power (I believe).  If you look closely at the photo directly above and the one below you will see small water falls.  There is a tiny little stream in those two photos that had the clearest cleanest water I think I'd ever seen.

Eventually we made it to the Perrine Bridge and Snake River Canyon.  This bridge is one of only a few where B.A.S.E.  jumping is legal ~ I thought I was nuts when I jumped out of a plane, but this is just plain insane ~ oh yeah, to each his own!

It was truly magnificent there on a beautiful clear 75 degree day.

I must admit that because I waited so darn long after our trip to Twin Falls to do this post that I can't remember if the three photos above were taken from the "observation area" at the bridge or if they were taken from the observation area at Milner Dam!  My bad!  Wherever they were taken it was a beautiful area and a lovely day.

Then on the way back to the coach, more southern Idaho brown brown brown.

We left Rupert, ID last Thursday (the 23rd) and headed to Sunset UT to the repair facility there that Rick prefers if we are on this side of the country.  The last time we were there was an absolute nightmare - this time was much easier, much more efficient, much more organized so our repairs and refrigerator recall were completed in a day - we got there Thursday afternoon and they started right away on our coach and finished up with our list of stuff by early afternoon on Friday.  We stayed there over the weekend and left on Monday morning and came to Fillmore, UT.  

Our plan was to be here in Fillmore a couple days then head to Moab to go to Arches National Park.  Well we decided that since we're only about 300 - 350 miles from Vegas that we should take a detour and go stay at one of my favorite lodges just outside Vegas.  With a long weekend coming up I just knew our niece, the teacher, would be able to come visit us for a long weekend - not so much, she had other plans, so with that we rethought our plan!    

After hours of trying and stressing yesterday I was unable to find a campground in Moab that had sites long enough to accommodate us without having to unhitch the trailer (we need 70 feet) or a place to put the trailer if we had to unhitch, so I threw up my hands and said the hell with it we won't go to Moab.  ARGH .... Rick studied the map and came up with a couple options so we finally settled on heading east on I70 and going to Colorado.  That is one of the states we haven't been to, but we do have some concerns about 11,000 mountains ~ thankfully the interstates have great climbing lanes for those of us that will slow down to 35 mph as we go up up up!  Tonight we will be about 160 miles away from here in Green River, UT then on to CO tomorrow or the next day.  It'll be good to be "on the road again" to parts unknown.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SirArlo and St. Helens

In my backward journey of "posts that would have been" I came across this one that I was certain I'd posted, if for no other reason, it was most definitely a highlight of the last couple months.

One of the trips we did when we were in St. Helens, OR was to go back into WA and see Mount St Helens.  I remember my Dad talking about when he visited my cousin in WA state many many years ago and how impressed he was at seeing Mount St. Helens.  Well King Richard and I shared that awe.  Perhaps Sir Arlo did as well, but in the photo above I think he was much more concerned about being still and "posing" on a two and a half foot stone wall!

There were so so many photo opportunities that day - I think I took close to 200 photos and narrowed it down to probably 125, then continued to narrow it down to a dozen or so to post on the blog ~ an all too typical scenario.  Problem with this one is that there's been several weeks between this trip and the posting - yup my bad....

From the time we got off the interstate to the observation area (absolutely outstanding area by the way) was about 50 - 55 miles.  Quite a bit of the road was windy, climbing road and the closer we got to the observation area the "dicier" it got - sharp turns and steep drop offs - the King didn't see a lot of the drop offs - a difficult task when your eyes are closed!

One of the "things" about not doing a blog post within a day or two of the event is that you forget what the heck you were thinking while you were experiencing the event!  With that said, all the photos above and the one directly below were taken from points along the way to the observation area.

The remaining photos were taken from the observation area where I felt I could just reach out and touch the mountain.  One of the ways my Dad described Mount St. Helens was "the side of the mountain just blew out" ... well that is true - the side blew out and the top blew off!  

I truly deserve a dope slap for not doing this post much sooner, I've forgotten so much of the descriptions I would have given these photos!  This area was such a treasure, such an interesting experience and I just am not doing it justice.

With all this said, we are leaving Idaho in the morning and headed to Rick's preference of repair facilities in these parts - he has three I guess ~ one in SC for anything chassis, our best, most reliable and honest for repairs and modifications which is in Louisiana and the one we are going to tomorrow (where we were about two years ago, which sort of set the 'tude I have about Utah).  Since Rick set up the appointment there a week ago we've had a supply line to the water heater go - ummmm let's just say I do NOT take cold showers - perhaps I'd take a cool one if needed but cold - well no way, no how ~ that's why there are motels I think .... we shall see, with that said I won't burden anyone with too much information!  

Monday, September 20, 2010

with a nudge

from Chester (thanks honey), here is a post.  With more to come ~ I just went back through those that I'd loaded photos for and never done the text and posting.  WOW I am waaay behind!

We are in Rupert, ID at the moment, on our way to our appointment in UT on Thursday to have the hydraulic line (that blew out a while ago - six weeks maybe) to the coaches leveling system replaced as well as a recall on the refrigerator addressed.

The photo above and the one below were taken at a really neat water feature in Caldwell, ID where we were a week and a half ago for a few days.  We stayed at an Elks Lodge there - not one of our better stops, but we were there three nights I think.  The town of Caldwell was such a sad town.  Another town with more vacant buildings than occupied buildings.  It seems like all the retail and dining options are in the next town - Nampa.  We've seen this so many times and this one was particularly distressing and very hard to define.  Nampa had a lovely, old, established, thriving downtown as well as a major retail strip (ugh what a frustrating road that was to travel - stop light after stoplight after stoplight.  The downtown was a delight though.

Anyway, we'd seen this type of water feature before, but had never taken Sir to enjoy one.  Not sure he was enjoying it as much as we thought he would, but it was quite hot ~  90+ that day, so we figured it might cool him off a bit.  He seemed intimidated by it and never fully enjoyed it in spite of all our efforts.  

After we left Caldwell we went to a lovely state park in Rupert, ID.  Rupert is another very tiny town, but there is some activity here and an outstanding quilt shop (the Gathering Place ~ not a great website to say the least but a great shop)- another of my addictions, but I did so well when I went in there on Saturday - I came out with no less money than I went in with, as well as no new charges on the credit card.  Way to go girl!  Umm, honestly, I may go back before we leave here on Thursday - I saw some fabric that would make such an adorable Muffin outfit for next summer.  I've been a sewing fool lately, working to get my fabric stash within a "reasonable" size.

Here are a a few photos from the Snake River just below the Minidoka Dam at Lake Walcott State Park. This area is also a National Wildlife Preserve.  In the photo below, if you can enlarge it, you will see a tiny portion of the vast population of white pelicans that live here.  

Isn't it interesting to see those brown mountains in the background?  "High desert" as it's referred to in these parts.  I just can not fall in love with a desert, high or low, it just isn't my favorite, Rick on the other hand really really loves it and has since the first time we crossed Texas and into New Mexico two and a half years ago and he got his first glimpse and first stayed in a desert.  I remember being rather whiney (seriously, I was ~ hard to believe, but it's a true statement!) I was so tired of seeing brown - I really needed to see a green tree, green grass a green plant ....  I do think, however, that it is nice to see this high desert stuff as a background to the beauty of the state park and the Snake River.

I found out bright and early Saturday morning that one of the many benefits of rising early (thank you so much Sir Arlo) is seeing a beautiful sunrise!  When Sir woke me up around 6:30 on Saturday morning there was an outstanding sunrise and it was reflecting so beautifully on the lake.  It is difficult enough for me to get out of bed in the morning, never mind grab my eyeglasses so I can see more than three feet in front of me.  With that said, grabbing my faithful camera companion is absolutely out of the question.  Well the sunrise Saturday was so outstanding that I made an extra effort to lay out the camera and eyeglasses on Saturday night so I'd be able to document said sunrise on Sunday morning.

Well we got up a bit earlier on Sunday so the sun hadn't risen as high as the previous morning but it was still quite outstanding and I captured it on "film" - huh, film what's that?

We left the State Park yesterday morning (a compromise - I could have stayed there several more weeks, but Rick really needs to be in a more active area than a state park ten miles from the nearest store, restaurant, "civilization").  We are now at an Elks Lodge here in Rupert ~ surrounded by lovely green grass .... (because it owns part of the local "country club").  

Ahhh, so I'm on my way to getting "current" with the blog AND we just completed a project that's been put off for weeks (well, alright a couple months) we replaced the lift motors and lift arm assemblies on two of our three vent fans.  The one in bathroom hasn't functioned in three or four months (imagine the most important place for a vent fan!!) and the one in the bedroom has been "dicey" for a few months.  Mission accomplished.  NOW this afternoon the water heater starts gushing water!  UGH, apparently a line leading into the heater is having a connection issue or something - oh well no hot water for dishes or showers tonight!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chester - you wondered?

Chester, you asked about the "mountains" here in southern Idaho  and I told you I'd post some photos (yeah I did have about 30 photos waiting for the text for posts from our travels from St. Helens, OR to Boardman, OR, to Caldwell, ID ...yeah well ... I did, but it's not gonna happen)

Anyway, you wondered about the "mountains" in these parts ~ northern Idaho (Couer D'Alene area) was absolutely gorgeous and it surprises me that one state could have such a diverse topography within (I'm guessing) 300 miles.

So, the photos above (2) are the "mountains" here in southern ID from Caldwell to Rupert ... We are here in Rupert at a lovely state park - gorgeous, peaceful, deserted - yup, MY kind of place.  Word has it (although I'm not certain, because himself the KING and I have done a role reversal - he's planning and I'm driving ....don't ask ... trains got in the way)

With all THAT said we are ~ according to the plan of the King himself, headed to my least favorite place ~ Utah ~ curb your enthusiasm Jack, oh alright, let it rip pal, for coach work ... another issue - what is needed and what is ummm not so much needed and what is not even on the realm of "needed"  .... I have bad memories of how our last trip to this "repair facility" (not so much) turned out last time around and suspect that history may repeat itself, and the path is set for this time around .... 

Stay tuned, but there may be a delay in posts here - who knows how long "we" are to be in UT ... I'm not planning, but there may be a request/plea to send bail $$$ ... 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oregon coast

Chester this photo's for you!

Last week (Tuesday I think, or maybe it was Wednesday) we headed over to the Oregon Coast  (we were 25 or 30 miles west of Portland so the ride to the coast was 60'ish miles).  I believe the original plan was to go to Tillamook but we never did get there!

We stopped in Astoria (at the mouth of the Columbia River) - a very pretty little town that we both felt we'd like to spend some time exploring.  Beautiful photo ops of the boats on the river with the  mountains in the background.

Then we proceeded south down 101, still thinking we'd continue on to Tillamook, until we came upon a sign that indicated it was another 60+ miles.  Cancel that plan!  We had wanted to get Sir to the Pacific so he could have that swimming option so we continued 15 miles or so to Seaside - oh how this reminded us of Nantasket Beach in MA or Hampton Beach in NH.

Alas, we arrived at the Pacific - it was so windy, such rough surf, so much fog rolling in ...

And Sir got to swim, in the cold cold waters of the Pacific.

That night we went into Wednesday night movies at the Lodge and the bartender told us about the Spruce Goose being about 70 miles from there (silly us, we thought it was still in Long Beach, CA).  Well as you may remember King Richard is such a fan of aircraft that I really thought we couldn't miss this opportunity!  So off we went the next day.

The photo above is of the goose .... huge isn't it!  Below is inside the "belly" of the plane.

Below are beach balls that Howard Hughes insisted be placed in the plane for flotation if the plane should go down.

various planes dwarfed by the huge goose ...

What looks like staging is the stairway and doors into the belly.  For an additional $50. one can tour the flight deck which is entered from the belly!  Hmmm notice there are no photos of the flight deck?  I think that Rick could have spent an entire day at this museum and the outstanding grounds, however Sir and I were there as well (well Sir and I went to the downtown area and out to lunch) I think it would have made much more sense for Rick to have gone alone, but again we thought we'd get to Tillamook!

Today we arrived in Caldwell, ID (about 15 or 20 miles west of Boise).  I have some great photos pending of our last two travel days - yup, I'll get on the ball at some point.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Did ya???

Seriously, did "ya" miss us?  Yeah yeah yeah - who knew we were without our lifeline - aka laptop!  A few nights back I was sitting in this very chair with said laptop on this very table of mine ... and I just knew that the King himself, (who was laying in bed watching the tele) ... was playing a game with me with that gosh darned cordless mouse that I really just can't get used to and trying to drive me crazy ... I asked and of course himself denied it so I proceeded to get particularly paranoid (visions of a certain neighbor on Crescent St., oh what a funny funny revelation that was Maryellen, so disappointed I didn't have the opportunity to demand admission from Captain (??) Dennis himself for those acts!)  Alright, alright so you didn't miss me/us, but the laptop has been in the Mac Book Pro hospital in Portland (UGH travel to and from Portland is only 30-40 miles, of course depending on your Portland destination, but for some reason it is just an AWFUL trip and we've done four round trips this week, which is at least three too many).  But alas, said lifeline is back in the coach where it belongs!

Okay, so before the lifeline decided to have an issue with its "trackpad" I had loaded some photos of our last adventure in Washington State.  For those that have been following this blog, this last adventure was a very very calm and peaceful adventure with no psychotic outbursts from those around us .... 

When we were with our friends Chris and Larry a couple weeks ago (they'd lived in the Seattle area for several years, Chris made us a list of several "to do" things while visiting the Seattle area - the ferry to Bremerton (did that) Pikes Place (did that), Space Needle (sort of did that) and the Tacoma Museum of Glass (sort of did that).  So mid afternoon on about our last day in the area we headed into Tacoma. It seems wherever you went from Puyallup, where we were staying,  it took at least 30 minutes to get out of town and headed to your destination.  I think this has to do with our mindset of late ~ Rick and I have discussed this as we've traveled through (although trying to avoid as much as possible) urban areas, how stressful it is for us.  Heck, we used to deal with it five days a week and it truly never bothered us, but now - well not so much!!  I truly truly can relate now to how stressed either of my sisters would be when they traveled to our home south of Boston, or just a few months ago when they traveled into Boston for my youngest son's wedding - it really really is stressful if you aren't used to it on a daily/weekly or even monthly basis.  Sorry I never "got it" Candy and Kimmerly, but I sure do now).

So how was that for digressing!  Anyway, off we went to the Museum.  Our plan when we first arrived in the area was that I'd do this "field trip" one afternoon and Rick would do a tour of the Boeing plant and an Air Museum in the area on a different day ... well we all know about plans!  

From the bit of research I'd done, and from what Chris had told me, there was a large display of Dale Chihuly works at the Museum, since he is a Tacoma native I guess it would make sense huh!  Well for whatever reason that I couldn't possibly explain I just love love love his work so I really "had" to go to the Museum.  I'd seen his work at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (I think I may have posted photos from there about a million years ago) and seen a documentary or two on PBS and each just intrigued me more.

So we get off the elevator from the parking garage to the museum entrance level and there is this really neat display ~ first photo then the shot directly above of another exhibit with the water flowing from atop each of these glass spires - of course this particular day it was cold (60 ish) and windy and the water is blowing towards us, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending!) Sir wasn't with us, hmmm I wonder how he'd have reacted to it ~ usually water play is a good thing for him, but I'm not sure how it would have been in this situation.

Well I pretty much knew that I wasn't going into the Museum ~ Rick clearly had no interest in it and all I really wanted to see was the Chihuly exhibit(s) and I knew there was something about a bridge but not exactly sure (as well as remember my last post about not going up in the space needle because I've become a bit "thrifty" in some aspects, well the  Museum of Glass is another case in point ...) so after we'd seen the outside exhibits in the photos above I was ready to just scrap it and figure I'd have to go inside if I wanted to see the Chihuly works - Oh well, but it did really seem a shame not to just walk the stairway to the top of the outside area ... so off we climbed and in the distance saw the spires (seems to be a popular word in this post huh!) in the photos below.  Keep in mind all these "works" are blown glass ... yup it DOES intrigue me..... hmmm maybe I should "take a class" some day, wonder if there are any available for "transients" such as us!?"

Well gosh darn there was the "bridge"  How the heck lucky was I?  The "ceiling" of the bridge (which is an over pass of a busy roadway below, I'm not sure what the streets on either side are or what the "bridge" connects, but it sure was gorgeous) was what I'd been hoping to see - the Chihuly works ... I don't really have a clue what the length and width of this bridge is - perhaps 100 feet long by 15 feet wide .... the ceiling area are these beautiful pieces (shown below as one section, then close ups) in areas of perhaps 2 feet by 2 feet .... many many many so gorgeous, and we were there on a fairly cloudy day ..

I think my point in posting the two photos above was to show how the "sections" are separated then the photos below that can hopefully be enlarged ....

The whole thing just "blew me away" .... there are all these different pieces ... if I knew how to work this photo program perhaps I could define it better but sadly I can't ... but the photo above probably has 70 individual pieces in it ...  It was a bit distressing to be "oooohing and aaaaaahing and taking these photos and look over at Rick and I thought I heard him say something and when I asked him if I heard what I thought I did and yup - he confirmed that I did in fact him declaring oh so quietly "I don't get it" .... to each his own I guess ... but I sure as hell enjoyed it, that one person created this with his own hands and ability ~ sure wish I had that talent ... 

Yes, I do realize the series of photos above are certainly not the best - far too many reflections, and Chad I really did try to take the photos from an angle (as you had instructed me to reduce glare and reflection), but in this case it just didn't work well.  Along the side wall of one of the two sections of the "bridge" there were these outstanding works ~ I would guess about 200 perhaps and I believe each had tiny lights on them in the night, only a guess but if you look each piece seems to have two tiny things above it that I assume (shame on me) are halogen lights ...  As I mentioned it was fairly cloudy that late afternoon but I can only imagine how wonderful the overhead display would have been on a beautiful sunny day, as we were driving away I did see in the rear view mirror how fabulous the pieces in the "shadow boxes" above looked with the daylight behind them ~ I could only imagine how spectacular they'd have looked at night from 1/2 block away, not to mention up close and personal!

So, the photo below was taken from the top of the steps leading to the bridge area of the Museum.  This was overlooking the Tacoma Dome (right side of the photo) and a bridge that looks like a miniature version of the Zakim Bridge in Boston - we wondered which came first the Zakim or the Tacoma Bridge?  My vote is for the Zakim

We've been outside Portland Oregon for a week, done a bit of sight seeing, Sir got to play in the Pacific Ocean, and hopefully a big sight seeing trip tomorrow (then again, I've been hoping to do that trip for five days now as well as another or two ....) and we'll be heading east on Sunday or perhaps delaying it (seriously) until Monday ..

In any case I am so glad to be able to be back on line and posting etc. again!