For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Aug 12, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 122?

We've had quite a day; a long day that we filled up with so much. Nancy showered very early this morning, then we went for a walk. Aunt Marilyn called and she is doing well, so we were glad to hear that. Nancy had already packed extra water, etc., so off we went. We were headed for Leavenworth WA, a town where Nancy and Rich walked Lizzie in 1999, their first trip out west. It's a town that was on the brink of bankruptcy but brought back to life when it became a Bavarian themed town. It is pretty, even with all the people. Nancy first wanted to see if the building with the clock was still there, and it was. Bavarian music was heard throughout the town. If we didn't know better, we would have thought we were in the Alps. There's lots to read about Leavenworth on the web.

When we started out, we stopped in a pull off and were surprised to find Ranier, again. We were overlooking the city of Yakima.

We saw hills like this once we got between the brown and the green mountains-sort of the transition place. This is where the vineyards are.

Originally, we were going to go to the northern most part of Washington and work our way over to Leavenworth and a little town named Waterville or Waterton (I think I've said that before). This is a beautiful part of the country, and we've been disappointed in Yakima until, today. We didn't make it to Waterville-maybe tomorrow? Nancy and Rich stopped for a picnic lunch in this little town near a quaint little church whose steeple was sitting next to it not on it. Nancy has a picture of it at home. Well, back to today.

The route that was closed because of the mud slide has one lane open. Even so, the traffic wasn't too bad. We wanted to stay on back roads as much as possible, but sometimes in the mountains, there's only one road to take. Not too far out of Yakima, we came across the huge wind mills that are present in the west, but also something new. Nancy got a glimpse of them rounding a bend, but then they disappeared as though they weren't there. Well, her curiosity got the best of her even though I told her it killed a cat, and she went off on a little side road. There's more to this story, but first the pictures of the windmill and do do do do do do...

There's no way to describe their size. We were at quite a distance, and still they looked big. 

This is what freaked Nancy out. They are pretty much hidden from view unless you go up this dirt road that doesn't have a name and isn't on the map and just dead ends. Anyone know what these are? Nancy's going to research the web, but she's pretty sure they have something to do with energy.

When we got off the "strange road", we got on a narrow winding road that passed ranches and pastures. We could have made a movie when two cows, two calves, and a bull went running past us going the opposite way than we were going. Nancy didn't have her camera ready, but she'd never seen cows running as fast as these were running. She stopped to get a picture of the ranch and the same two cows, two calves, and a bull came running back the other way. It could have been a cartoon. Nancy was hysterical. She got a few pictures, but some didn't turn out. The black one is the bull and the brown one is a cow. Well, he started playing and jumped up on her back and Nancy got all excited and said she thought we were going to see a baby made. She rolled down the window to take a picture, but I got so excited that I barked and he stopped playing. Nancy doesn't usually call me a dope, but she did and I was not happy about it. Then she said, "Lord help us in Yellowstone." Oh, yeah, I do remember that--I was just a pup, though, and I thought the Bison were big dogs. What did I know? I was just a kid.

Nancy went back to taking pictures of the ranches and pastures. It really was pretty. At one point on the trip we passed fields of something that was a very light shimmering champagne color. Nancy couldn't get a picture because there was no place to pull over. She wondered, though, whether it was hops growing--there are hop farms in the area.

Well, we got to Leavenworth. We parked and walked around for quite a while. In order to enjoy the walk, Nancy needed to use the restroom so we found a public ladies room and we went in. Well, the smell of perfume and soap just overwhelmed me-it was like having the aroma of Oil of Olay all around me-oh, what that does to my senses. Uh, any way, back on the subject. We went out. Nancy first found the building with the Bavarian clock. Nancy took a picture of the building, but the figurines weren't out--Nancy wasn't sure whether they still worked as they did when she was there last. When Nancy and Rich were here they met their friends Joanie and Bruce (Nancy had known them from high school). They stayed at Icicle River Campground. Nancy has a picture of them dancing out on a rock above a very fast moving river, and a picture of she and Rich dancing. How they laughed that day. Nancy is the only one left out of the four.

(I'm back. We just got in from our evening walk.) Anyway, I'm going to put a few of the pictures that Nancy took, today, on the blog. We didn't take any at the campground. Nancy didn't feel like it. Feel free to skip...she thinks everyone is as interested as she is. She has taken over 4000 pictures on this trip. Call me patient.

There are flowers everywhere you look in this town.

Words really can't do this town justice; not even pictures. As luck would have it there was an antique car show going on on the main street. 

Rich loved antique cars. Here's two of so many that Nancy thinks Rich would have liked.

There are so many restaurants, shops, parks-Leavenworth is a delightful place. Nancy didn't remember this sign from the last time, and couldn't fit the whole thing in the picture, and Nancy hates to turn the camera sideways. Really blue sky, huh, Michael? 

We walked around for quite a while. Nancy couldn't go in any of the shops, but it was fun just soaking in the music, the flowers, the Bavarian theme with the backdrop of the mountains. Soon, though, it was time to go. Nancy was hungry so we had to figure out something. I said, "Maybe you can find something outside of town. That way you can leave me, run the air, and watch the truck." Nancy thought that was a good idea so we asked the dashboard witch for advice and she suggested the Buckboard Inn about four miles away. She did good. Nancy enjoyed her lunch and didn't feel as though she had to rush because she was worried about me. She took me for a short walk, gave me water, and we got back in the truck.

We had a really nice surprise on the way home. After getting down out of the green mountains, Nancy decided to take a road that sounded interesting since we had plenty of daylight left. It was called Yakima Canyon Road. Well, truth be known, she had to use the ladies room, again, because she had two big drinks at the Buckboard Inn. So she asked the Dashboard Witch where there was a fast food restaurant. Well, she couldn't just go in and use Dairy Queen's bathroom, could she? Oh, no, out she came with a big hot fudge sundae in a waffle dish. While she ate that, she gave me a cookie. She never eats in front of me, but I don't think things are quite fair. Anyway, it lead to the road which was really a surprise. It started out with some ranches, then we followed the river for a very long way. The walls of the canyon were so steep at one point that it seemed like it was night time. I think the rest of the pictures are pretty self-explanatory except for a couple.

One thing about the roads through the Cascades is that while they are steep, there are a lot of slow vehicle pull offs and the roads are very good roads-smooth black top. They are a pleasure to drive. The river moves along at quite a clip, but we didn't see any rapids. One of the turnoffs said that it's because of the way it flowed and how it formed the canyon-it kind of wanders. Okay, so enough of the river. Down the road, we saw some more ranches. Nancy thought this would make a very good picture, but discovered several pictures later that when she took the camera out of the bag, she had turned the dial so that it was on close up--that's the reason for the blurring, but she loved the setting of the house.

Several of my grand daughters would have liked to have seen these horses.

Doesn't it look like aliens were leaving us humans a message?

The starkness of the blue against the brown was amazing.

All in all, it was a good day. I know it was a walk down memory lane for Nancy. It's hard to believe that Lizzie wasn't even two, yet. The town certainly has grown, but it's clean as a whistle, has a charm that is hard to describe. If anyone is ever out in this area, do go to Leavenworth. I don't know if we'll go to Waterville, tomorrow or not. We leave on Friday and will have a long ride. The weather is pleasant here-no airconditioning needed at the moment, but supposedly by early next week it's going to hit three digits. Stanley, Idaho, according to the weather site is having night temps in the 30s. Oh, bundle up!