Pomeroy, Washington – An Impromptu Sunday Stroll!

July 2022 – One of our favorite aspects of traveling by RV is bumping into special places by accident, and we knew we’d found such a treasure when we rolled into Pomeroy, Washington.

It was early on a Sunday morning, and the whole town was at rest and quiet. When we pulled over to park our toy hauler on the side of Main Street (US-12), ours was the only vehicle in town!

Pomeroy Washington RV Trip


We were on a mission to get through the vast wheat farms that lay ahead of us on our way to celebrate the 4th of July in Othello, Washington, and a stunning black storm cloud looming on the horizon in front of us promised cooler temperatures as we traveled through that hot, dry expanse.

Storm over Pomeroy Washington

A huge storm cloud greeted us as we pulled into Pomeroy, Washington.

We couldn’t resist taking a stroll through this picturesque town before we continued on our way.

Pomeroy Washington RV trip

There was something very inviting about this small town.

Before we arrived in town we’d spotted two enormous 1950s-60s era statues of a cowboy in a tie-die shirt and a blonde in a bright red bikini along with a collection of antique signs surrouding the Dutch Boys Paint building.

What the heck?

We zipped by too fast to get a pic, but we kept a much sharper eye out for unusual sightings after that.

The ornate Garfield County Courthouse appeared on our right as we arrived in town, and it was too beautiful to pass without grabbing a pic. That’s what motivated us to pull over and walk the town.

Garfield County Courthouse Pomeroy Washington

Garfield County Courthouse is ornate and stately.

it’s crazy how some towns are all dressed up and warmly invite visitors to stop by while others aren’t nearly as appealing. Even though there wasn’t a soul in town at this hour on a Sunday, the funky artsy flare of Pomeroy made us feel like a red carpet was being rolled out for us.

Historic Pomeroy Washington

Black clouds and empty streets aside, Pomeroy was really inviting!

The Pioneer Plaza honors the history of Pomeroy and the Lewis and Clark expedition that traveled through the area with informative plaques and statues.

Pioneer Plaza Pomeroy Washington

The Pioneer Plaza tells the history of the town
and the overnight encampment of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

On the night of May 3rd, 1806, the Lewis & Clark expedition camped in a grove of cottonwood trees 100 yards south of the where the Pioneer Plaza stands today, and according to a plaque, they ate “scant rations of dried meat and dog” that night.

Lewis & Clark statues Pomeroy Washington


Looking back from where we are now, 116 years into the future, it is so easy to romanticize those early explorations. But it must have been both grueling and exhausting. That poor dog!

Happy puppy in Pomeroy Washington

“When we go on traveling expeditions I like to EAT dinner, not BE dinner!”

Another large plaque honors Pomeroy area soldiers who lost their lives in wars. Most war memorials we’ve seen in our travels go back only as far as WWI, but this plaque honors soldiers who died in the Spanish American War that took place in the Phillipines, Guam, Cuba and Puerto Rico in the spring and summer of 1898.

Pomeroy Washington Spanish American war memorial

The Pomeroy war memorial honors the veterans of the Spanish American war!

Back out on Main Street, the architecture was delightful. Even the Senior Center is located in a fabulous building!

Pomeroy Washington Senior Center

The Senior Center. Not bad!!

All the buildings were closed, but as we returned to the rig, we noticed the door to the store right next to our truck was now open. So in we went!

We found ourselves inside the Blue Mountain Artisan Guild, and the curator, Nancy, welcomed us warmly even though the shop wasn’t officially open.

Blue Mountain Artisan Guild Pomeroy Washington

Blue Mountain Artisan Guild.

Inside Blue Mountain Artisan Guild Pomeroy Washington

The Blue Mountain Artisan Guild has lots of interesting treasures.

What a super cool place this was. All the artwork on display was created by local artists and there was a wide variety of beautiful pieces.

Paintings at Blue Mountain Artisans Guild Pomeroy Washington

All the painting and other artwork was created by local artists.

I started chatting with Nancy, and she filled me in on what Pomeroy is like when it isn’t a stormy Sunday morning with no one around. Ordinarily, the sidewalks are full of people and the shops are busy!

She had moved to Pomeroy from Seattle and was loving small town life. There’s a vibrant artsy streak that runs through Pomeroy and she was lucky enough to be in the center of it.

Blue Mountain Artisan Guild

Nancy told me a little bit about the town she loves.

She told me the statues of the tie-die cowboy and the red bikini clad blonde that we’d seen on the way into town were part of a collection owned by resident Dave Webb who has a passion for odd antiques like that.

He has also found dozens of original neon signs in his travels. He gets them working again electrically and hangs them on the buildings all around town.

Sure enough, we found quite a few!

Bait & Tackle Neon Sign Pomeroy Washington


Neon Ice Cream Sign in Pomeroy Washington


Neon Sign Pomeroy Washington


Greyhound Bus Station Neon Sign


Nancy also told us a bit about Meyer’s Hardware Store, an old fashioned hardware store that has been in the family for generations. Along with hardware items, they sell ice cream and espresso coffee at their Bean Counter.

It was right around that moment, as she described Meyer’s, that I realized we just have to come back to Pomeroy to see the town in full swing and spend some time exploring.

Meyer's Hardware Store Pomeroy Washington

Meyer’s Hardware Store sells hardware and paint — and espresso drinks and ice cream!

I asked her when the best time was to visit, and she suggested the Tumbleweed Festival which takes place in June and is kicked off with the Pioneer Day parade down Main Street. We’d just missed it, but it sounded like it’s a blast with a Wine & Stein event, an art show and a running race.

Flowers in Pomeroy Washington


We wandered back out onto the sidewalk, and along with nostalgic neon signs we found a display of three antique gas pumps.

Gas pumps in Pomeroy Washington

Gas pumps from the old days.

And around one corner — underneath another noen Greyhound Bus Station sign — we spotted an antique city bus.

Antique city bus & Greyhound bus station Sign Pomeroy Washington

An antique city bus circa 1951.

On the back was a license plate that seemed to indicate it was Public Bus #24 and that it had been active on the city streets in 1951.

Public Bus Washington license plate

“PB” = Public Bus?

The door was open, so we went up the stairs and poked our heads inside.

Gosh, what a rush of memories I had of riding similar city buses as a kid. The ones I was on weren’t quite that old, but not much about them had changed by the time I started riding city buses in the late 1960s!

Antique city bus interiorPomeroy Washington

A very familiar looking bus interior from days gone by!!

Nancy had mentioned that one of the special spots in Pomeroy is the historic Pataha flour mill at the east end of town. Serving as both a museum and a church, visitors can see the old mill equipment and/or take in a community church service too. They also serve meals on a donation basis, and apparently the food is out of this world.

Gosh, now we were really wishing we had time to stay. And looking back now a few months later, I think we probably should have.

But the insane heat was driving us onward, and scooting across the hot plains following the cool, damp breezes of a storm was very appealing. So, we took notes and stored them away for a future visit!

In the meantime, we found ourselves standing next to the Stage Door at the Seeley Opera House. How cool was that?!

Seeley Opera House Stage Door Pomeroy Washington

“Hey, we’re standing right next to the Stage Door…”

The brick opera house was built in 1913 and replaced an older wooden opera house that had been built in the late 1800s. The new opera house saw many decades of use for vaudeville shows, plays, community events and even movies, like “Gone With the Wind” when it came out in 1940. It is now undergoing renovations with plans to reopen soon.

Seeley Opera House Pomeroy Washington

The Seeley Opera House.

At the Artisan Guild, Nancy had told us that there is an artist in town who loves to paint the historic town buildings and the beautiful homes that dot the area. The owners of these old homes love to buy his paintings of their houses.

Even better, he puts together a calendar every year that features twelve of these pretty homes. The calendars sell out in no time as residents and former residents who now live far from Pomeroy snatch them up to reminisce about the beauty of their hometown.

Back on Main Street we came across a farm store with some small tractors on display. This is farming country, after all!

Farm and Home Supply Pomeroy Washington

The neighborhood tractor store.

A nearby sign expressed a wonderful sentiment about farmers.

Farmer Earth Day Pomeroy Washington


As we made our way back to the rig and got ready for the next leg of our trip, our heads were spinning with images and stories from our brief encounter with the town of Pomeroy and its wonderful impromtu ambassador, Nancy.

RV trip to Pomeroy Washington

What a cool town — we’ve gotta go back!

We will definitely be back someday to check out the Pataha Four Mill, revisit the Blue Mountain Artisan Guild and discover some of the other gems in and around town. Nearby Palouse Falls State Park was highly recommended to us by another traveler we met a few days later. Such a rich area…Next time!!

Welcome to Pomeroy Washington


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Entiat, Washington – An RV Friendly Town That’s On the Move!

July 2022 – In the heart of Washington’s apple orchard country, where the Entiat River joins the Columbia River (about a half-hour from Chelan), there is a fabulous waterfront village called Entiat.

Sunset on the river path in Entiat Washington

A vivid sunset reflects in the glassy waters of the Columbia River in Entiat, Washington.

When we arrived with our RV, the salmon fishing season had just opened. We took an early morning walk on a path along the Columbia River and saw fishing boats trolling all over the place.

Salmon fishing in Entiat Washington

Boats were out trolling for salmon.

The mountains alongside the Columbia River are tall and barren. At their base, lush vegetation and fruit orchards grow easily, thanks to irrigation from the river.

Salmon fishing in Entiat Washington


Salmon fishing in Entiat Washington

Fishing just steps from the apple orchards!

Our favorite part of Entiat was Entiat City Park, an expansive grassy waterfront park full of towering shade trees and thin strips of sandy beach that are just big enough to provide soft footing for launching a kayak or wading in for a swim.

Entiat City Park on Lake Entiat in Washington

Entiat City Park is a delightful place to while away hot summer days.

Entiat City Park is nestled on the banks of Lake Entiat which is a dammed up portion of the Columbia River. This park is a hub of activity in the summertime.

During our stay, temps got into the 90s and even hit 100 one day, but a cooling breeze blew off the water in the afternoons. (Yes, the lower elevations in Washington like Entiat, which sits at 800 feet, can hit 100 degrees or more!).

Entiat City Park views in Washington


Entiat City Park Washington boat dock in

The City Park is on Entiat Lake which was created when a dam was built downstream on the Columbia River.

Lots of families brought blankets and beach chairs down to the water’s edge for the day, hung out under the trees and played in the water. One fellow brought four golden retrievers with him to run around in the huge grassy field and then chase a ball into the water. He took each dog for a ride on his paddleboard too. The dogs loved it, and one even insisted on repeat rides!

Paddleboard with a dog in Entiat City Park Washington_

This happy pup is king of the world as he hitches a ride on his dad’s paddleboard.

Paved paths meandered through the park and people rolled by slowly on their bikes, taking in the views as they pedaled.

Bike path in Entiat City Park Washington_


Well, not everyone rode slowly. There were some speed demons out there!

Young bike rider Entiat City Park Washington_

A kid chases his mom down the path.

The speediest folks were zooming around on the water in jetskis and high performance power boats.

Jetski on Lake Entiat


Entiat City Park (website here) boasts not only beautiful picnic areas but a wonderful RV and tent campground as well. Happy campers were set up in tents surrounded by soft green grass with great views of the lake.

Entiat City Park tent camping

Each grassy campsite is just a few steps from Lake Entiat.

Life slows way down here, and it’s a great place for a midday snooze.

Entiat City Park tent camping


We met lots of extended family groups who come back here year after year to vacation all together. It’s pricey, but you get water and electricity (dump station on the way out) and for a little more money some sites have sewer hookups too. Best of all, you’re surrounded by beauty and are in the middle of a super family friendly place to play and relax.

As I mentioned in the last article about nearby Chelan, Washington, there are several waterfront city RV parks like this in the area, including Lakeshore RV Park in Chelan and Beebe Bridge Park just outside Chelan on the Columbia River.

The only caveat is that you must book way in advance. I talked to one woman whose husband was on the computer at 12:01 a.m. on January 1st when online reservations opened so he could snag the exact campsite they wanted plus two adjacent campsites for their extended family for three days in July.

Entiat City Park RV camping in Washington

Lots of families brought multiple RVs and tents for a fun reunion vacation.

At the confluence of the Columbia River and the Entiat River, there’s a bridge for the highway that runs along the river (US-97A). It has a walkway underneath leading to the banks of the Entiat River. We found a troll living down there!

Troll under bridge in Entiat Washington

There’s a troll living under the bridge!

As we walked alongside the mouth of the Entiat River we found some beautiful berries that were just beginning to ripen. A week later all the berries were blue. I’m not sure if they were edible, though! There were pretty pink flowers as well.

Colorful berries in Entiat Washington

These berries were ripening all over the place.

Pink flower in Entiat Washington

Pretty in pink!

The Entiat River Road goes for 31 miles down the Entiat River Valley, and one day we drove most of its length, passing homes and a few small businesses along the way.

There are several campgrounds at the end of the road, and we visited Forest Creek Campground. The woodsy scenery and rushing Entiat River were gorgeous.

Fox Creek Campground on Entiat RIver in Washington

Fox Creek Campground was completely different than Entiat City Park!

Fox Creek Campground on Entiat RIver in Washington

Turquoise water on the Entiat River.

Fox Creek Campground on Entiat RIver in Washington


We had hoped we’d be able to camp in this dry camping Forest Service campground, but it looked a little tight for our 33′ toy hauler fifth wheel. The loops and sites are paved and a few folks were camping right on the river’s edge. What a spot!

Trailer in Fox Creek Campground on Entiat RIver in Washington

Camping at Fox Creek Campground on the Entiat River.

Whitewater on Entiat RIver in Washington

The Entiat River moves fast at this point in its journey.

Back at the mouth of the Entiat River, where it meets up with the Columbia River at the south end of Entiat City Park, we came across a towering rock hillside that was covered with numbers. Could this be the high school graduation years like we’d seen on a similar rock wall in Arco, Idaho, years ago?

High School graduation years painted on rock in Entiat Washington

We spotted a unique rock face with numbers painted on it.

A closer look revealed that it absolutely must be. We could see all kinds of high school years — 56, 71, 31, 32, 53, 40, 29… and 02 and 09!

Entiat Washington High School graduation years painted on rockEntiat Washington High School graduation years painted on rock

These seemed to be high school graduation years.

A few days later we dropped in at the little white building at the far north end of Entiat City Park that had a huge “Museum” sign out front. It is open only on the weekends, and when we walked in it was quite busy. The hosts were chatting with some visitors about “old times” in Entiat, mentioning names and families that the visitors seemed to know well.

Museum at Entiat City Park in Washington

I just had to check out this museum!

We returned a while later and the museum was quiet. One of the hosts, Al Shannon, introduced himself as a lifelong resident of Entiat and said he was helping out his granddaughter, Mandy, with her volunteer hosting duties that day.

I asked about the rock hill with the numbers on it and he said, “Yes, those were all painted by the graduating classes. I was class of 1956. Our number is off to the side.” Sure enough, when I looked at the photo later I saw the “56” in the upper left corner.

He said that he and two classmates had climbed up there to paint the number. There was a narrow shelf just big enough to stand a ladder on, and they managed to get the number painted without falling off the ladder. “I grew up working in the apple orchards, so I was used to being on a ladder!” He said with a grin.

Apple picking in Washington apple orchards

Modern day apple picking method with moveable scaffolding rather than ladders.

The number painting tradition began with the class of 1923 right before graduation. Not to be outdone, within a few weeks the classes of 1921 and 1922 sent brave boys scampering up the sheer rock face to find places to paint their class numbers too.

The class of 1919 had only one graduate, a girl, and even though she celebrated her graduation with the class of 1920, someone painted a 19 up there for her.

Now, of course, the numbers are starting to overlap a century later! Al’s granddaughter, Mandy, was class of 2012. She said her class had only five boys and they haven’t yet taken the dare to go rock climbing with a can of paint and paintbrush. “We’ll get our number eventually!” she said.

Entiat City Park Washington museum

Our hosts at the Entiat Museum, Al and Mandy.

The museum is a former house that another of the museum’s volunteer hosts grew up in. I believe her name is Lynn. So, if you don’t catch Mandy or her grandpa when you visit, you might learn some special things about the house itself from Lynn.

The apple orchard business goes way back in Entiat, and there’s a wonderful photo on the wall of a horse drawn apple cart from J. Ellis Slater Company, Distributors. The cart bears a sign announcing “National Apple Day.” Below it is the still popular slogan, “Eat an apple a day and keep the doctor away.”

Photo of apple cart in Entiat City Park Museum Washington

Don’t upset the apple cart!

There’s also a large painting of loggers and logging trucks in 1923. The black and white photo the painting was made from hangs on the wall next to it. The trucks are quite unusual looking. Al said it took quite a bit of maneuvering to get the huge logs onto those trucks.

Painting of logging in 1923 Entiat City Park Museum Washington

A painting of logging trucks in 1923.

Logging was a major industry in the early and middle 1900s, and there’s a photo in the museum of the mill camp that was at the far end of the Entiat River Road where the US Forest Service campgrounds are now. It was a bustling place in those days.

There were wildfire lookouts on the mountaintops, and if smoke ever appeared in the woods, word was quickly sent out and the mill workers would rush to trucks that were parked at the mill and go find the fire and put it out.

Fortunately, back in those days, there were many logging roads that went all through the woods, so the mill workers could get to the fires and put them out efficiently.

The mill camp workers’ lives and livelihoods depended on the forests and trees being healthy, so they removed diseased and fallen trees to prevent the forests from being full of kindling as many of our National Forests are today, now that the logging industry has been shut down.

Photo of 1923 log truck Entiat City Park Museum Washington

Photo of a massive log on a truck in 1923.

We were fascinated as Al began to tell us Entiat’s unusual history. It has been a town on the move, in many ways, since its founding.

Entiat was settled by the Chinook Indians who named the area “Enteatqua,” meaing “rapid water.” By the late 1800s they had cattle pens and a few structures that served as a gathering and trading place. Ferries operated by settlers in Orondo and Wenatchee made it possible for people to cross the wide Columbia River and get to this spot.

In 1896 the tribe’s chief sold the site to settlers who then built the town of Entiat along with two sawmills and eventually brought in electricity by building a dam on the Entiat River.

In 1913 disaster struck when a fire destroyed the town. The resilient townsfolk relocated the town, however, and built three blocks of new business buildings, including warehouses to support the growing orchard industry. Train tracks and a depot came to town the following year in 1914.

Entiat thrived for several decades until the early 1960s when the Rocky Reach Dam was completed downstream on the Columbia River. This created Lake Entiat and flooded the town!

Rocky Reach Dam as seen from US-97A highway

We’d caught a glimpse of the Rocky Reach Dam from the highway.

Most buildings in Entiat were razed before the water rose, however, and a new townsite was platted. But the business owners disagreed about where the new Main Street and center of town should be, and two separate areas were loosely developed. The intimate hometown Main Street feeling was lost and many business owners left Entiat all together.

Yet the remaining residents were resolute, and today the beautiful Entiat City Park is a fantastic recreational hub. Even though there isn’t a quaint historic Main Street district as there is in many other small towns, the City Park is where it’s at in Entiat and we loved hanging out in the shade of the trees by the water’s edge every afternoon!

Entiat City Park picnic area in Washington

Entiat City Park is a great place to unwind.

If it weren’t for our friends, Sue and Roger, who live in the Chelan / Entiat area with their adorable pooch Annie (who has quite a crush on Buddy!), we never would have known about these two delightful waterfront towns or about the ferry to Stehekin in the North Cascades. We are very grateful to them for hosting us, showing us around and giving us the idea to make the trek to visit!

RV at sunset


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Chelan, Washington – Summertime Fun and Great Music!

July 2022 – Our first foray into the Lake Chelan area was our delightful ferry ride from the lake’s southern end to the hidden jewel of Stehekin at the northern tip. Where Stehekin is picturesque and intimate in the remote northern end, the town of Chelan on the lake’s southern shore spills over with a happy summertime beach vibe as locals and vacationing visitors play on the water and relax in the sun.

Lake Chelan in Chelan Washington - Summer fun!


Lake Chelan is a huge lake, and when the sun is at the right angle it is a rich blue. Pretty homes line the shores.

Lake Chelan in Washington


This is the heart of Washington’s fruit country. Apple and cherry orchards and beautiful vineyards dot the hillsides in every direction.

Orchards on the hillsides on Lake Chelan in Washington

There are fruit orchards and vineyards in the hillsides!

Lake Chelan with vineyard backdrop in Chelan Washington


The historic district of Chelan was all dressed up with a summertime flare when we arrived. Flower baskets hung from the lamp posts, and popular restaurants offered outside dining.

Chelan Washington has many pretty buildings

The town of Chelan has a small historic district with pretty buildings.

Breakfast eatery in 00 481 Harpist Ellen Foster performs at Bach Fest 2022 in Chelan Washington

A breakfast bar on the patio – Nice!

Gorgeous hydrangeas were in full bloom, and we spotted the large bushes covered with enormous blue and lavender blossoms all around town.


These flowers are hug!

Down at the town beach we watched young girls doing cartwheels in the sand. But it was the Chelan Riverwalk Park that drew us back and back again.

Similar to the Idaho Falls River Walk, both sides of the Lake Chelan have been tamed with lovely landscaping in between two bridges, so you can walk a full loop on paved paths next to the water.

Lake Chelan in Chelan Washington

The Riverwalk meanders along the banks of Lake Chelan right above the dam.

River Walk and Riverwalk Pavilion Chelan Washington


We came across lots of animals along Chelan’s Riverwalk. This is a great place to walk a dog or meet someone else’s a dog if you are dogless. A golden retriever was showered with love and pets from a group of kids he’d just met.

Kids pet a golden retriever Chelan Washington

Dog love.

There are Wild Animals on Chelan’s Riverwalk too. When I turned a corner I noticed a duck watching me closely. A few other ducks were lazing away the morning next to her. The water is so clear in this lake that I could easily see the rocks below the surface behind her.

Ducks on the edge of Lake Chelan in Chelan Washington

A duck checks me out.

Suddenly, an adorable duckling swam past. No wonder mom was keeping an eye on me!

Duckling on Lake Chelan in Chelan Washington

So that’s why mama duck was worried about me!

There’s another kind of animal that lurks on Lake Chelan — the Party Animal! These scantily clad animals were out in droves, cruising around on speedboats, jetskis, kayaks and paddle boards.

Hot bods on fast boat on Lake Chelan in Washington

Party Animals!

Paddleboards and dogs on Lake Chelan in Washington


Chelan is a music lover’s town, and Mark soon found an electric guitar that was just begging to be played.

Chelan Washington is a musical town

Chelan has a musical streak.

As I was thumbing through the internet one day, wondering what kinds of organized activities might be going on in Chelan, I saw the words, “Bach Fest.”

Really? There was Bach music festival in a small rural lakeside town in Washington?!! As a total classical music junkie, this was right up my alley!

I dove in deeper and discovered that Bach Fest is a ten day long music festival that has been a beloved tradition in Chelan for 41 years, and we’d arrived in town right in the middle of it!

Throughout this ten day festival, musicians perform classical music (from baroque to modern) in all kinds of venues, all for free! Churches and courtyards host various chamber music groups during the mornings and noontime hour and vineyards showcase chamber music performances every evening.

The first event we saw was a noontime concert in a church that featured a chamber group and four vocalists performing a wonderful Bach Cantata.

Bachfest Bach Cantate Chelan Washington

Bach Fest is a 10 day classical music celebration that takes place in Chelan, Washington.

Another morning we took part in an unusual “Riverwalk Sip and Stroll” where music lovers wandered along the river paths and town streets, sipping their morning coffee and encountering lovely music being played in various spots along the way.

As we walked along the river banks, we heard a violin soloist playing with great passion in the Riverwalk Pavillion…

Chelan Washington Bach Fest violinist the Riverwalk Pavilion

During the Bach Fest “Riverwalk Sip and Stroll” a solo violinist chose a spot to play in the pavilion.

When we wandered up into the streets of town, we heard the melodic strains of a harp! We turned a corner and there was a harpist playing in a church courtyard.

How often do you walk around town with your morning coffee and come across a person playing the harp?

Harpist Ellen Foster performs at Bach Fest 2022 in Chelan Washington

We heard the sweet tones of the harp before we saw the harpist.
She was playing gorgeous melodies in the Episcopal Church courtyard.

The following evening we bumped into the harpist, Ellen Foster, at a picnic table. Chelan is that kind of place — friendly and easy going. She was having dinner with her husband, Melvin, who I immediately recognized as the tenor who had sung in the noontime church concert the day before. Fortunately, he had recognized me first — the crazy lady with the camera — and called me over to their table to chat.

This was their fourth year of participating in Bach Fest. Their home is in Georgia but she has family near Chelan, so it makes an ideal summer trip filled with musical fun and some income on the side!

Harpist Ellen Foster performs at Bach Fest 2022 in Chelan Washington

Bach Fest is so intimate that I ended up meeting the harpist, Ellen Foster, and her husband, Melvin, who I’d heard singing the day before.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize how important it is to pursue your passions in life. Even if your passion isn’t something that typically produces a big money-making career, many delightful and fulfilling experiences will fill your life if you love what you are doing.

Strolling back to the Riverwalk, we heard a brass group playing in the distance.

Bach Fest in Chelan Washington Sip and Stroll on the River Walk

In the middle of the Riverwalk Park we found a brass group playing in a circle.

This whole “Sip and Stroll” experience reminded us of the spontaneous music scene we’d witnessed at the city square in Guanajuato, Mexico, where groups of musicians had taken turns entertaining the folks who were eating and relaxing around the square.

In the center of the square, an orchestra had played pops music in a bandstand. At the dozen or two cafes that surrounded the bandstand, as many Mariachi bands had played traditional Mexican folk tunes.

Without any apparent organization, one band would begin playing a song or two as soon as another band finished, and it went on like that for several mesmerizing hours with lively songs and tunes suddenly popping up all around us and none of the bands ever stepping on each other’s toes!

As much as we were loving the stroll, the music, and the memories in Chelan’s Riverwalk Park, our furry friend, Buddy, had other interests. He had eyes and ears only for the squirrels in the trees. The squirrels were making their own music, which really got Buddy’s attention, and he was transfixed.

Pup has eyes for rabbits while brass quintet plays in Chelan Washington

While we took in the sights and sounds of Bach Fest all around us, Buddy noticed only the squirrels in the trees..

Sweet pup eyes a squirel in a tree

Buddy is all eyes and ears for Bach Fest’s squirrel music!

He wasn’t the only one grooving to the tunes of the chattering squirrels. A beautiful miniature Australian Shepherd was just as enchanted by their performance.

Austrailian Shepherd dog looks at squirrel in a tree.jpg

This mini Aussie was equally enthralled by the squirrels performing at Bach Fest.

On another day when we returned to the park, Buddy took us straight to that same tree so he could listen to the squirrels a little more!

The festival’s highlight, a big gala outdoor concert at the Riverwalk Pavilion, is held on the last day. The stage backs up to the water’s edge and a grassy hillside serves as the perfect theater seating for camp chairs and blankets and picnics. We found a nice spot in the shade.

The grassy hill in front of the Riverwalk Pavilion makes natural theater seating

As the sun dropped low in the sky, people began to arrive and stake out their claims to a piece of the lawn too. We discovered that the shade from the towering trees slowly creeps down this hillside and everyone wants to be in the shade. So the seating fills up from the back to the front!

Here’s a tip for you if you ever go to a concert at the Riverwalk Pavillion: be sure to arrive fairly late so you can snag a shady front row seat!

Before long, the hills were alive with the sound of music!

Gala concert at the Riverwalk Pavilion in Chelan Washington

As the concert began the sun was just beginning to fall from the sky.

Buddy put his head in my hand and fell asleep.

Pup asleep in my hand

When the concert began, Buddy fell asleep with his head in my hand.

The concert was full of beautiful music and the conductor gave us a brief explanation of each piece before it was played. We loved learning the context of what we were hearing.

In no time it was dark, and the orchestra began playing a rousing rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic followed by Stars and Stripes, and we all cheered them on with a standing ovation. What a great concert!

BachFest concert at the Riverwalk Pavillion in Chelan Washington

The concert ended with stirring performances of Battle Hymn of the Repuglic and Stars and Stripes.

As we made our way back to our truck, the streets of Chelan came alive with concert-goers carrying picnic baskets and camp chairs back to their cars as and chatting excitedly about the concert. Some went looking for some post-concert refreshments too.

We came away agreeing that Chelan is a really fun town, especially in the summertime. We’d never heard of it before we got here, and we’re so glad it wound up on our itinerary!

Downtown Chelan Washington at night

Chelan Washington – A vibrant town beloved by summer vacationers!

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Stehekin Ferry: Cruise to a Hidden Gem in the North Cascades!

July 2022 – A ride on the Stehekin Ferry turned out to be a cruise to a hidden gem in the North Cascades.

When we told our friends who are lifelong Washington residents that we were coming to their state with our RV, their instant response was, “You have to take the Stehekin Ferry up Lake Chelan and stay in one of the cabins at Stehekin Valley Ranch. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.”

They were right!

Stehekin Ferry on Lake Chelan in North Cascades Washington

Ticket to the North Cascades!

When we arrived in Washington, our friends went on to explain that the ferry ride offers spectacular views of the 51 mile long lake, and it takes you to one of Washington’s most unique hidden gems: a cabin retreat in the woods run by a family whose ancestors homesteaded the area in 1889. They have hosted visitors to their piece of paradise in the North Cascades for the past century.

Wow! A boat ride, some stunning scenery, a whiff of American history and a cabin retreat were all right up our alley, and we promptly dove into making reservations.

Luck was on our side, and we discovered there were two open seats on the Stehekin Ferry as well as a log cabin available at the Stehekin Valley Ranch later that very day, so we quickly drove the trailer up to the Fields Point ferry dock and left it there while we took off on the boat for a really fun adventure.

(btw: “Stehekin” is pronounced “Ste-HEE-kin”)

Stehekin Ferry Fields Point Landing Washington

We said goodbye to our trailer as we got on the Stehekin Ferry for a North Cascades adventure!

The Stehekin Ferry is a sleek catamaran that makes the trip up the lake in an hour and forty five minutes, and the Stehekin Valley Ranch offers a free bus ride to shuttle guests from the ferry landing dock up to their property 9 miles further north in the North Cascades. The ranch also provides dinners and breakfasts that our friends told us were out of this world. They were right about that too!

The ferry dock at Fields Point has lovely picnic areas overlooking the lake and plaques describing the history of the area. Indians used to travel up and down the lake by canoe. Fur trappers and gold prospectors followed, rowing for four days to get from one end to the other! As homesteaders started to arrive in 1889, the Belle of Chelan steamer ferry began operations which made the journey much shorter and far easier.

Stehekin Ferry Fields Point Landing Washington

This is a popular ferry boat — and rightfully so!

With these thoughts swimming in our heads, the ferry pulled into the dock and we climbed aboard and found two seats near the back so we could go on and off the back deck easily.

Stehekin Ferry Spacious Airplane Seats to cruise Lake Chelan

The airplane seats were very comfy. Most folks got up and spent a little time outside on the back deck too!

We had no idea what to expect once we got to Stehekin, but we knew you could rent electric mountain bikes. Some folks opt to bring their own bikes, and they brought them on the ferry just fine!

Stehekin Ferry Luggage with bikes

All the luggage was geared for outdoor fun.

Our much bigger concern was taking our sweet pup, Buddy, on the boat. The Stehekin Ferry allows dogs to come along, but they request that you have a carrier so your dog can be contained and controlled if necessary.

We were absolutely delighted that as long as your dog is well behaved, is leashed, and doesn’t bother the other passengers, it can ride with you out on the back deck. Buddy isn’t fond of noisy and bumpy travel, and we were concerned he’d be unnerved on the boat. But it was quiet and glided through the water very smoothly. He loved the views!

Stehekin Ferry Enjoying the view of Lake Chelan

Buddy really enjoyed the ride!

There was one other dog on the ferry, a small Italian greyhound, Julia, and she found the breezes were a little chilly at times. She preferred to be wrapped in a blanket on her owner’s lap!

Stehekin Ferry dog keeps warm on board on Lake Chelan

Italian greyhound Julia snuggled in her blanket when a cool breeze blew.

As our friends had told us, the views were magnificent. The day had blustery overtones for a while, but the dark clouds made for interesting skies.

Lake Chelan view from Stehekin Ferry North Cascades Washington

We were surrounded by stunning views.

Stehekin Ferry enjoying the view of Lake Chelan North Cascades Washingtonjpg

Cabins and waterfalls dotted the shoreline.
We all kept a sharp eye out for wildlife too!

In early July, there was still a little snow on the mountain peaks, and we spotted several waterfalls.

Waterfall view on Lake Chelan seen from Stehekin Ferry


I joked with our captain, Jim, that he had an enviable job, cruising up and down this lake on a cool ferry boat every day!

Captain driving the Stehekin Ferry Lake Chelan Washington

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

As steeply as the mountains rose up on either side of the lake, their bases plunged below the water in a very deep trough. Lake Chelan, the largest lake in Washington, is 1,486 feet deep and the bottom is 386′ below sea level!

The ferry makes a few stops along the way, and at one of them the water was not only shockingly clear but it was a deep shade of turquoise!

Turqoise water Lake Chelan North Cascades Washington view from Stehekin Ferry

The water was turquoise in some spots!

A little ways further on, we arrived at Stehekin Landing. There were a few boats suspended in their own reflections at the dock, and the distant snowcapped mountains rounded out a picture postcard perfect image.

Stehekin Ferry Landing Washington North Cascades

Stehekin Landing !

We got off the ferry and took a look around.

A sign in front of the North Cascade Lodge welcomed visitors to Stehekin. There were a few people milling about, eating lunch and riding bikes.

Welcome to Stehekin North Cascades Lodge Lake Chelan Washington

Welcome to Stehekin!

The mood was one of total relaxation and contentment. This is a place people come to get away from it all, to disconnect from their hectic day-to-day lives and reconnect with nature and their own souls.

As promised, the Stehekin Valley Ranch bus was right there waiting for us, so we hopped on along with most of the other people from the ferry.

Stehekin Valley Ranch bus for the Stehekin Ferry

Our bus was right there waiting for us and the other passengers.

We’d been told that “The Bakery” in Stehekin is one of the top destinations because their treats are so delicious, but I wasn’t sure how we’d get to it since we were being whisked away to the ranch in this bus.

As it turns out, the Stehekin Valley Ranch bus ride is as much a guided tour of Stehekin as it is transportation to the ranch! We’d been on the bus only a few minutes when we stopped at “The Bakery” which is officially called the Stehekin Pastry Shop. Mark got some yummy chocolate chip cookies and I bought a key lime bar that was a little slice of heaven!

Stehekin Pastry Company Stehekin Bakery North Cascades Washington

Stehekin Pastry Company, home of mouthwatering delights!

Jumping back on the bus, we soon arrived at the ranch where we were greeted by laid back guests who were lounging in lawn chairs and hammocks outside their cabins. They’d left their cares so far behind they no longer remembered where they’d left them!

Stehekin Valley Ranch views of North Cascades Washington

Stehekin Valley Ranch is a place where you can disconnect from your stress and reconnect with your own soul!

Stehekin Valley Ranch cabin for rent North Cascades Washington

The laid back life!

The majestic North Cascade mountains rose in the distance.

Mountain views of North Cascades Stehekin Valley Ranch

The view out back!

We made our way to our cabin and were utterly charmed by its rustic simplicity. Even though Stehekin Valley Ranch provides complimentary dinners and breakfasts for all guests at their large cookhouse lodge, we had a cute kitchenette in our cabin too.

Stehekin Valley Ranch rustic cabin retreat

Home for a spell!

Stehekin Valley Ranch cabin kitchenette

This was a well stocked kitchenette, but the gourmet meals in the cookhouse were not to be missed!

Once we dropped off our bags, we went exploring. We could feel any tensions we had falling away with each passing minute. We’d had some wild days of driving in busy traffic with the toy hauler, and before that we’d had several long days of driving across southeast Washington’s farmlands. This was the perfect antidote!

Stehekin Valley Ranch relaxing walk in the woods


Stehekin Valley Ranch road at sunset


Suddenly, the dinner bell rang. A dinner bell! It’s actually a music triangle hanging on the outside of the cookhouse.

We joined the other guests making their way to the dining area and were floored by the dinner menu which featured a steelhead trout special, grilled NY strip steaks and grilled chicken as entrees (with burgers for the kids).

Even though by the end of our meals we were both happily stuffed, we couldn’t resist having a slice of their homemade bread too. Bread doesn’t usually do this, but it melted in our mouths!

What we loved most about this communal dining, though, was that everyone was seated at long tables so we could all eat and chat together. Everyone we met was from Washington or a neighboring state!

Stehekin Valley Ranch cook cabin long tables dining room

Eating with other guests at the long tables made the delicious meals even more memorable!

The folks sitting next to us were an Idaho couple that had been to Stehekin Valley Ranch many times. They usually ride to the ranch through the North Cascade mountains with pack mules! They’ve ridden their mules all over the western states, and the ride to Stehekin is one of their favorites. Today had been a rare occasion for them where they’d driven their car to the ferry dock and taken the ferry to the ranch instead.

All conversation came to a halt when the pies came out, though. There were so many delicious flavors we all agreed that the best way to handle the decision making process was to get two small pieces from two pies instead of one big piece of one pie. So we all marched back to the dining tables with our plates heaped up with pie and ice cream. Blackberry and strawberry-rhubarb for me and blueberry and apple for Mark. Was this living or what?!

Stehekin Valley Ranch dessert pies

The pies were spectacular!
And Ashley, the young woman serving the pie and ice cream, was also the First Mate on the ferry!

All of this incredible hospitality, from the ferry to the bus tour to the ranch, comes courtesy of one large extended family that has been living in Stehekin since 1889. Their ancestors arrived as homesteaders, and during our visit, one of their descendants, Cliff Courtney, mingled with us guests and shared tidbits of ranch history.

There are photos on the walls of the earliest settlers in Stehekin. The Moores arrived from Trenton Falls, New York, to homestead in the area in 1889 and the Courtneys arrived in 1917.

Their descendants, Mamie Moore and Hugh Courtney got married, and Cliff, who was telling us these personal historic tidbits at the ranch, and his brother Jim, who had been our captain on the ferry, were their grandsons!

I can’t imagine what life was like in such a remote spot back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is still very remote today, in 2022, but the ranch boasts all the modern conveniences, of course.

In a way, I felt like we guests brought our modern experiences and worldview with us to the ranch but were able, at the same time, to shed some of burden those things carry and get a taste of a simpler life from a century ago.

Hugh and Mamie Courtney of Stehekin Washington

Mamie and Hugh Courtney, circa 1941, are the great-grandparents of our host, Cliff, and ferry boat captain, Jim.

Cliff told us that the very first log cabin for guests was built by his dad in 1935 when he was 15. It is still available today for guests to stay in! It just contains a bed and has no bathroom, but it’s still cute as a button and offers an overnight embraced by living history.

Stehekin Valley Ranch original 1935 cabin

A 15 year old boy built this first guest cabin in 1935 — and you can stay in it today!

From that first simple cabin to the new Wagon Cabins that were introduced this year, the theme everywhere is creativity and fun.

All but one of the new Wagons are mounted on wagon frames. Just recently, a Wagon was mounted on an antique truck, creating a Truck Wagon! I really wanted to peak inside, but each of the Wagons were in use by other guests. Next time!

Stehekin Valley Ranch wagon cabin on an old truck North Cascades Washington

In keeping with the whimsical and fun-loving nature of Stehekin Valley Ranch, you can stay in a Truck Wagon!

Breakfast was another incredible gourmet meal that included custom cooked omelets, blueberry pancakes and french toast as well as a variety of top quality breakfast meats. To one side was a sandwich station where we were encouraged to make our own sandwiches (on that yummy homemade bread!) to take with us for lunch out on the trail or on the ferry.

As promised, the bus ride back to the ferry stopped at Rainbow Falls, and Cliff was our driver and guide. This is a towering waterfall that falls with such force it sprays a good long ways. There are two viewing areas, and the lower one gave us a great view of the full waterfall while the upper one was so loud and dramatic it lured me in too close and I got soaked! Fortunately, Mark was a little more cautious and he got a great pic from a little further back.

Rainbow Falls Stehekin Washington North Cascades

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls Stehekin North Cascades Washington

The upper view of the falls was cool, but my image came out all white and my camera was drenched from water spray!

The next stop was at the little schoolhouse that Cliff’s grandfather helped build in 1921. Cliff told us his father went to school there and he also went there for 8 years.

Stehekin School one room schoolhouse built in 1921

The original Stehekin School was built in 1921 and was where all the kids went to school until 1980 when the new school log cabin was built.

One room schooling fascinates me, and I asked him how a single teacher could manage a group of kids in all grades. He said there’s certain techniques, including having the older kids help the younger kids.

That must make for a strong sense of community among the kids, never mind surviving the deep snow together in the wintertime and living a long boat ride away from the rest of the world!

Stehekin School classroom built in 1921

Shades of yesteryear.

Our last stop was at The Garden, a goat and organic vegetable farm where they sold tasty goat cheese and grow gorgeous veggies.

Organic garden and goat farm Stehekin North Cascades Washington

The Garden…where organic veggies and goats thrive.

Down at Stehekin Landing the ferry boat was waiting for us at the dock.

Stehekin Ferry Dock Lake Chelan North Cascades Washington

Back at the dock…what a spot!

Stehekin Ferry Lake Chelan North Cascades Washington

Ready to take us back to Fields Point.

Before long we were gliding down Lake Chelan with the beautiful mountains in our wake.

Stehekin Ferry View of North Cascades on Lake Chelan in Washington

Stehekin disappears in our wake.

Stehekin Ferry View of North Cascades on Lake Chelan in Washington


Our stay in one of America’s most remote spots gave us much to think about and talk about on our ride back as we savored the sandwiches and delicious cookies we’d brought from the ranch.

Stehekin is one of the few communities in America that is not accessible by car (Michigan’s Mackinac Island and Maine’s Cranberry Islands are two others). We’d seen cars and trucks and big equipment in various places around Stehekin, however. How did those things — and their fuel — get out there?

Our answer suddenly cruised by when we saw a barge loaded down with a trailer from Sysco, some big oil drums and a few large trucks and construction equipment!

Barge carrying goods to Stehekin Washington on Lake Chelan in the North Cascades

Aha! This is how everything other than people gets to Stehekin.

At last we disembarked from the ferry, took in the beautiful view of the lake one final time, and made our way back to our trailer to resume our RV travels.

Disembarking from the Stehekin Ferry on Lake Chelan in Washington North Cascades

Back to reality…

Fortunately, before we’d left the dock in Stehekin, I’d asked Jim and Cliff if they’d let me get a photo of them next to the ferry.

That’s when Cliff told me Jim was his brother! They’d grown up on the ranch and attended the little schoolhouse together, and now they provide a glimpse of that life to guests like us who are lucky enough to catch the Stehekin Ferry to one of Washington’s most unique hidden jewels tucked into the North Cascades.

Stehekin Ferry Captain Jim and brother Cliff

Our captain and host, Jim and Cliff Courtney.

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An Exuberant 4th of July in Othello, Washington!

We celebrated the 4th of July in the small farming town of Othello, Washington. And what a spirited celebration it was!

Crowd in Othello Washington watches the 4th of July parade

People line the main drag in Othello, Washington, to see the 4th of July parade!

Othello is in the heart of farming country in eastern Washington, tucked into a vast checkerboard of crop circles as seen from the sky.

Othello Washington Satellite Image Map

Othello is a lively community in a sea of crop circles.

There are around 8,000 residents, and much of the population is farm workers from Mexico or of Mexican descent.

We fell in love with Mexican culture while sailing Mexico’s Pacific coast for almost four years, and if there’s a group of people on this planet who know how to celebrate any holiday with gusto, it is Mexicans!

Even though a big storm was threatening and the sky was turning black, there was no way anyone was going to rain on this 4th of July parade!

4th of July Celebration


As we waited for the parade to begin, Buddy got a little extra loving from the kids around us.

Pup gets some extra loving

Buddy gets special ear rubs.

And then a group of four police cars turned on their sirens and slowly crept by us, leading out a really fun and unusual parade.

One of the first things to go by was an old car labeled “Bonnie and Clyde” followed by some kids riding bicycles. The woman standing next to me said her family had lived in this town since 1953 and that she had ridden her bike in the parade as a little girl. The roots in Othello, Washington, go deep!

Bonnie and Clyde plus bicycles

Bonnie and Clyde were pursued by kids on bikes!

Soon a beautiful Rodeo Queen, Miss Rodeo Othello, rode her horse past us.

Rodeo queen in 4th of July parade

Miss Rodeo Othello!

A crazy shark or fish was dancing around waving. The kids next to us waved back enthusiastically.

4th of July parade

A dancing and waving fish!

Kids watch the 4th of July parade

Note the little boy’s bag:
“One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” from Dr. Seuss!

This 4th of July parade was really all about the kids. And the kids were all about the candy being thrown into the crowd. A lot of kids came prepared with bags to hold their loot!

Kids run for candy in 4th of July parade

So much candy…and so little time!

Kid runs for candy in 4th of July parade


There were discussions between the kids about who got what, and how to snag the particular candies you wanted before the next kid got ’em.

Kids at 4th of July parade

“…so you run from behind and grab it..!”

Kids run for candy in 4th of July Parade

“I did it!”

The farms in this area are huge, and it takes huge equipment to work the land. The little tractors of yesteryear are long gone, and several gargantuan pieces of farming equipment were shown off in the parade with great pride.

Big farm equipment in Othello Washington 4th of July parade

Massive farms require massive equipment.

Big farm equipment in Othello Washington 4th of July parade

The little ol’ 1950s era John Deere tractors we see at antique tractor shows have grown up…these monsters have air conditioning, GPS-based autopilot, stereo, etc. You name it, it’s got it!

Many families have farmed here for generations and some had floats in the parade. One family was so large they had two floats!

Family float at 4th of July parade

A longstanding farm family in this community has their own float (or two!).

I asked the gal next to me if her family was a farming family, and she said no, they had all been in various services to support the community of farmers: fire fighting, sheriff’s office, and construction were a few of their occupations.

Soon another massive piece of equipment native to Othello, Washington, rolled past. This time it was one used for construction rather than farming.

Construction equipment at 4th of July parade

Farm equipment isn’t the only massive gear in Othello…construction equipment is too!

Of course, lots of politicians floated by, hoping to secure a vote or two, and then the Adams County Sheriff’s team made an appearance. These guys have the normal cop cars we’re used to seeing, but they also get to ride around in a very cool side-by-side!

Adams County Sheriff side-by-side in Washington 4th of July parade

A slick ride for the county Sheriff!

I’m not sure what kinds of search-and-rescue operations this particular sheriff’s office has to perform, but they’ve got the gear to get you out of a terrible bind if you’re in one!

Adams County Sheriff Search and Rescue equipment 4th of July parade Washington

Imagine a search and rescue team arriving to help you in this!

We were loving this unusual display of things that are a part of day-to-day living in this small town in eastern Washington. 4th of July parades happen all across America, of course, but each one gives the town a chance to celebrate, honor and display the things that are unique to their communities.

We were also loving the antics of the kids and the crowd. This was not a shy crowd, and as the ground grew thick with candy, everyone ventured out into the street to grab a few pieces until the parade participants and the parade watchers all got mixed up together. Watching the kids with their bags getting fuller and fuller, I said to Mark, “This is better for them than Halloween!”

Kids and flags at 4th of July parade

All that impressive gear aside, the parade was really about the kids.

Kids get candy at 4th of July parade


Overhead, a drone flew by, taking it all in.

Drone flies over 4th of July parade

Candid camera.

Next up were the cars.

Mark had caught sight of a few flashy cars before the parade when they were strutting their stuff and revving their engines all in a line heading to the parade start. Most of the cars were lovingly souped-up later model cars. A Nissan GT-R caught his eye, though. And a Plymouth Roadrunner, the only muscle car in the parade, brought a huge grin to his face. For me, I liked the Chevy Impala low rider that could raise and lower its front end.

Low rider in Othello Washington 4th of July parade


Even better was the toddler in the crowd who had his own set of very cool wheels.

Toddler in toy car at 4th of July parade

The best set of wheels in the parade.

The parade ended with another round of sirens from a fleet of fire trucks and then we all wandered over to Lion’s Park. The sun began to come out, and with it the entire town came out to the park.

Lion’s Park is very large, and it was filled to the brim with food tents, various competitive events and kids swinging their hearts out on the swingsets at the big playground.

Buddy relished the lush green grass and rolled over and over with glee.

Puppy rolls in the grass

“The parade was cool, but this grass is cooler!”

A band was setting up and some teenagers were having a 3-on-3 basketball tournament where the two small teams played at a single hoop.

Suddenly, the lovely voice of a young woman singing the Star Spangled Banner came over the loudspeaker, and everyone stopped what they were doing to listen.

After she finished, we noticed that there were all kinds of yummy things for sale over in the very long line of food tents. The BBQ wagon looked tempting.

BBQ truck at 4th of July fair


But it was the wonderful Mexican fare that got our mouths watering. We hadn’t seen these things since we were in Mexico nine years ago, and it was all so familiar and heartwarming to see it again.

First was the Mexican drinks. Mexicans make all kinds of delicious cold drinks that are really refreshing on a hot day. From “horchata,” a sweet rice based drink, to “Agua de Jamaica” (pronounced “A-wah day Ha-my-ka”) made from hibiscus flowers, they have endless tasty and unique cold drinks. And here they all were in a colorful row!

Mexican drinks for sale at 4th of July celebration

Delicious ice cold Mexican drinks!

Another booth was selling piña coladas in pineapples just as we saw on the beach in Mexico. Yum! I suspect they were virgin piña coladas at this family park, though, which of course they weren’t on the beach in Mexico!

Mexican pineapple drinks at 4th of July festival

Piña coladas served in pineapples.

And then there were mango slices in a plastic cup sold with a stick for stabbing them and popping them in your mouth. Again, we saw these refreshing snacks in many towns and on many beaches in Mexico, and it was a total hoot to see them here in a small farming town in rural Washington!

Sliced mangos mexican style at 4th of July fair

Sliced mangos…so much easier and cleaner to eat this way!

The city park was abuzz with activity by now. The music was going, people were picnicking, kids were playing and running in the playground area, and the basketball tourney was in full swing.

Over in the skate park there was a skateboard competition getting underway. We were really impressed watching the kids warm up. It was incredible they could do all kinds of tricks on the crazy concrete curvy walls of the skate park and not break their necks.

All of a sudden a kid came flying through the air right at me. And then another did a wild trick in mid-air. How fun!

Skateboard contest 4th of July celebration


A couple sitting next to me were the parents of one of the senior competitors. They’d driven from a town 90 miles away so their son could compete in this tournament. He was 17 now but he started skateboarding at age 8. The dad had tried it when he was a kid too, but he didn’t take to it. His son, however, took to it right away, riding his skateboard everywhere, even around the house, and now he was one of the guys doing wild tricks and jumps.

Skateboard contest 4th of July festival

We’d never seen a skateboarding event before…very fun!

The 4th of July is a unique event in this world, honoring the birth of our nation as an independent and free state. For many, the meaning behind those words has intensified lately, and with that in mind, we found it particularly moving to be a part of such a colorful birthday celebration in a small western town!

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More info about Othello, Washington:

Other 4th of July celebrations we’ve enjoyed:

More blog posts from our travels in Washington:

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North Cascades, WA – From the coast to the peaks

Back on American soil in Anacortes, WA.

Diablo Lake, Washington.

Diablo Lake, Washington.

The only other 2007 Lynx we saw on the road in a year of


Washington Pass.

Washington Pass.

Sunrise at Washington Pass. I was still sleeping, but Mark got some great photos.

Sunrise at Washington Pass. I was still sleeping, but Mark

got some great photos.

Washington Pass looking down at the road we'd be traveling.

Washington Pass looking down at the road we'd be


Wasington Pass.

Wasington Pass.

Winthrop, Washington.

Winthrop, Washington.

One of several brew pubs.

Winthrop, Washington.

Winthrop, Washington.

Local bike shop in Winthrop, Washington.

Local bike shop in Winthrop, Washington.

Fiddlers Contest.

There were groups of all types up on stage and practicing

together in the grass.

The fiddlers were all ages.

Farmer's Market, Winthrop, WA

Farmer's Market, Winthrop, WA

Farmlands along the Northern Cascades.

Farmlands along the Northern Cascades.

The climate changed from wetter on the western side of the Cascades to drier as we descended the eastern slopes.

The climate changed from wetter on the western side of the

Cascades to drier as we descended the eastern slopes.

The towns along the way are small and inviting. 

We stopped in Republic, Washington and searched high and low for the visitors center, but despite several signs on the road, no one in town could help us locate it.

We stopped in Republic, Washington and searched high and

low for the visitors center, but despite several signs on the

road, no one in town could help us locate it.

Northern Cascades, Washington


August 25-27, 2007 - We arrived in Anacortes, Washington from Victoria, BC and,

after savoring a "burger and two beer" lunch special for a total of $7.50 at a cute little

bistro, we headed out over the Northern Cascade mountains towards Idaho.  It was a

beautiful drive.  We stopped for photos at the magical Diablo Lake where the water is a

brilliant turquoise.

While admiring the

view, we turned

and saw there was

another 2007 Lynx

travel trailer parked

nearby.  What a

surprise!  We saw only a handful of Lynxes all year -- an '05

and a few from the 1990's.  Where are all the others?

After climbing through the trees for miles and miles we came

across a scenic viewpoint at Washington Pass.  This is no ordinary

pullout.  Set back a half mile from the road there are bathrooms,

picnic tables with water spigots and a charming paved walking trail

along a spectacular ridge overlooking the winding road far below.

We took our time at this spot.

The road over the Cascades was completed in 1972, and many of

the towns along the way took that occasion to dress up a bit for the

tourists.  The very cute town of Winthrop was refurbished during the

1970's to reflect its western mining heritage, and today it is a

wonderful walking town.

When we arrived we

discovered they were hosting

a fiddling contest.  Fiddlers

from all over the west had

come to compete.  The

kids played really well.

Music seemed to be appreciated everywhere.  We stopped in another

town to pick up some goodies at the farmer's market, and a group of

musicians was entertaining people there as well.

Leaving northern

Washington we crossed into

northern Idaho where we

discovered the delightful

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

bike path.
































































Northern Washinton – Magical Mountains & Trees in Sleeves

1952 Argosy Travel Trailer

At the jailhouse in Black Diamond

Black Diamond Train Depot

What a surprise -- it's Mt. Rainier!! We both gasped when

we turned around and spotted it.

Mt. Rainier.

Lots of cyclists were doing the climb up to Sunrise Point on

this beautiful sunny day.

Views from Sunrise Point on Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainier. The wildflowers were in bloom everywhere.

The green grass on the lower mountains looked like it had

been carefully mowed!!

Mt. Rainier in July.

Lodge at the top.

Mt. Rainier.  14,000 feet of beauty.

Mt. Rainier hangs silently on the horizon, like a painted

backdrop to every scene.

Pigeon guillemots on Puget Sound.

Sailboat on the shimmering waters of

Puget Sound.

View from the hiking trail at Flagler State Park.

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington.

Happiness is...traveling and seeing new sights.

Washington coast.

Northern Washington

Jul 28-August 4, 2007 -- From southern Washington, we drove up to the northern

parts of Washington and the woods became thick, dark and damp.  We learned that this

is "old growth forest" with treasured old trees and undergrowth. It is very beautiful, but

after a few days camped in this stuff you long for the sun!!

People camp in all

kinds of rigs, but this

one caught our

attention instantly.

Owner Dennis told us it

took over 1900 hours

of work to restore this

1952 antique to its

modern glory.  He told

us his wife was very

tolerant, letting him

take a year off of work

to complete the


We stopped at the town of Black Diamond, a cute town with a

historic jail and train depot.  But the highlight for us was the

bakery's marionberry pie.  Delicious!

For days we had driven around hoping for a glimpse of Mt. Rainier,

but there had been too much fog.  As we stepped out of the bakery

we turned and were shocked to see the mountain resting quietly on

the horizon.

To get a better look at the mountain we drove up to Sunrise Point.

Others came up by bike.  It looked like a hard but rewarding ride.

The next day 900 cyclists tackled three major mountain passes in

the area -- but they got a cloudy day with no views!!

Mt. Rainier. If you look really closely you can see something of a

trail which is where the mountain climbers hike up to the summit.

40,000 people hike to 10,000 feet every year, and of those 10,000

make it to the summit. You can't do it all in one day -- there is a

camp up in the snow somewhere where everyone stays overnight

on the way up and the way down. It is the tallest mountain in the

US and is the training area for mountaineers planning on

ascending Kilamanjaro and other tall peaks worldwide.

Mt. Rainier. It stands

over 14,000 feet tall. The

tallest point you can

drive to is at 6,400 feet --

which is the same height

as the summit of Mt.

Washington in New


From Mt. Rainier we

traveled north to Puget

Sound and the Olympic

Peninsula.  The boats and

sea life were inviting, and

the peaks of Hurricane

Ridge in Olympic National Park were inspiring.

From Hurricane Ridge in

Olympic National Park we

made our way to Port

Angeles where we

boarded a ferry bound for

Vancouver Island.

































































Southern Washington – Falling Logs

All that mudflow used to be lush forest.

Mt. St. Helens.  The mudslides carved up the side of the

mountain.  The mountain used to be 1500 feet taller.

Downed trees flowed downriver and wreaked havoc.

The wind was so powerful during the eruption that acres of

trees were blown over and stripped. The lumber destroyed

could have built 500,000 homes.

The Washington coast is treacherous.

Ocean Spray has many cranberry growers in this region.

This region is one of the major cranberry producing regions

in the country.

A service station.

The electric company.

Ace Hardware.

Les Schwab Tires.

A trinket shop.

The shoe store.

The motel.

The grounds of Columbia Crest were beautifully kept.

And the wine was very tasty

One of the many million roses at the winery.

Southern Washington

July 20-27, 2007 - Now that we purchased a truck in northern

Oregon, we needed to get a new cap so everything in the truck

bed would be protected from the elements.  We had to wait three

weeks for the new cap, so we used that time to explore southern

Washington.  Our first stop was Mt. St. Helens.  We discovered it

had been spewing and sputtering since May.  Steam rose out of

the top, engulfing the area and giving the barren landscape and

stories of the 1980 eruption a spooky reality.

Next up was a visit to the Long Beach peninsula.  The skies were

grey and the air was damp and cold, but the area was lovely.  We

walked out to Long Beach and saw more evidence of this very

treacherous coastline: a government buoy had washed ashore

into the grass.  There have been thousands of shipwrecks along

this coast as well.  We also learned that this is a rich cranberry

growing region.  There was even a cranberry research station and

museum that showed all the crazy methods people have used

over the years to harvest cranberries.

As we drove along the scenic back roads we came across the tiny

town of Milton-Freewater.  They loves frogs. Every business in

town had a frog statue out front. They were charming.

Winding back through southeastern Washington we stopped in

at Columbia Crest Winery.  Their gorgeous landscaping and

buildings were a treat to walk through, and the wine wasn't bad


Roses grow really well around here and many people have them in their yards.

Our travels next took us from southern Washington into the central and

northern parts of the state.