Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Blowin in the Wind...


On our return trip from Palouse Falls, we found ourselves headed down an unfamiliar roads in the farm and ranch lands of Southeastern Washington State, not far from the towns of Starbuck, Hay, and Dusty (Yes, they are real towns)

 Many of the small towns a mere memory of their former glory.

 And buildings but a wrinkle in time...

Each town exuding a history, a collective memory, and charm unique of itself.

                    We left each town with a feeling of sadness,
                                                 a nostalgic bidding to bygone times. 

 There is such beauty in the lush rolling hills of the Palouse.  A beauty that varies with the each crop, changing season, weather and even the time of day.

And there, just south of the Columbia River,
           I found a new crop being grown on the ridge tops of the rolling hills. 

 A crop of


                                                                             to satisfy


       A peaceful
                  setting.....                                                                 to ponder the worlds wonders.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
The answer, my friend is blowing in the wind,
    The answer is blowing in the wind.  
                                                                               Bob Dylan

Monday, May 28, 2012

Palouse Falls, Washington

In my last post I included video link to of a kyaker going over Palouse falls in a kayak.(definitely worth seeing)  After careful consideration I decided not to pursue that activity.  My kayak was safely left at home. I, however pursued other outlandish activities including rock climbing and playing tourist with the camera, in pursuit of the perfect picture.  These are what I came up with.
Several required taking several shots before I could stop shaking...

Palouse Falls as seen from the view point

 At the end of the last Ice Age the Palouse River used to flow into the Pasco Basin of South Central Washington State. At this time the ice dam on the Clark Fork River broke open repeatedly over the course of a 2,000 year period causing millions of tons of water to fan out over the south central and western part of Washington.  It also flooded the Palouse River and caused it to overflow and head south to Snake River.

Calm water seen on the left before plunging into the Palouse Gorge

Palouse Falls as seen from the north edge.  Not for the faint of heart!

 The force of the rushing water created three deep ravines on the side of Snake River Canyon.  There were three waterfalls spilling from each of these coulees but over time they receded and now the only one left is Palouse Falls.  That is why there is a waterfall in the middle of the desert.

View of the Palouse Canyon

Marmotts sunning by the falls

Upper Palouse Falls
There is a lot of history attached to the falls and the area around them. The falls used to be called ‘Aputapat Falls’ but were renamed in honor of the Palouse Indians who once lived in the area.  They have a legend surrounding the creation of the landscape and the falls. According to this legend the land around the area used to be flatter, without falls, without the canyon.  There was just the Palouse River flowing easily into the Snake River. One day four brothers who also happened to be giants were chasing a Big Beaver, another giant creature. The first four brothers were able to spear the Beaver and each time the Beaver was hit he gouged out a canyon wall along the Palouse River with his large claws. The fifth brother hit the Beaver last and the Beaver turned to fight the hunters. During the fight the larger Snake River canyon got gouged out of the ground.  This point is where the Palouse Falls exist. It’s believed that the canyon walls still show marks of the Big Beaver’s claws.

Could these be the Beaver claw marks?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Off into the Wilderness....Maybe

Today is the day for our departure into the wilderness.  Unfortunately Ms. Murphy thinks she lives at our house.  Weather report has winds clocking at 50 - 60 miles an hour with gusts even higher.  Not a good day to be pulling a vintage travel trailer down the road.  What is one more day waiting compared with living the rest of your life.

So since we aren't able to leave today, Ms. Murphy decided that I needed something to do.  The pump hose keeps bursting and spewing water out of the pond and making a lovely waterfall.

So at least I will be busy today and I certainly won't be bored.  I swear, we are leaving tomorrow, even if I have to turn off the pond pump while we are communing with nature. 

Normally I don't report on the news.... However the location of this news segment is exactly where we are headed tomorrow.  However this morning on Good Morning America there was a segment about someone who went over the Palouse Falls in a kayak.  He is the second known person to do it and live.  The video isn't posted yet, so I posted one of the current record holder.


(If this link isn't operational you may have to cut and paste this link into your browser)

Now are you wondering what we will be up to?

Keep posted, I'll give a full report next time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Turkey Saga Continued....

Nosy Hen Mom that I am, I checked on the turkey eggs tonight.

 Girls still sitting on the nest....

 That's good.

 Remember, the last time I checked the egg count was at 15, down from 20 eggs.  That isn't to uncommon as not all the eggs are viable.  Usually the hens will give the nonviable eggs a boot out of the nest. and of course there are predator issues also.  And it seems that we have had some 2 legged predators checking out the nest as well.  When I was at the nest tonight the neighbor girl from next door told me her brothers have had the eggs and been playing with them......   GRRRRRR.  Some peoples kids!!

Well here is the current egg status.  Yup you counted correctly.... Four.... Just Four eggs left!!  I did find broken egg shells 10-20 ft away. Did I mention that the turkeys full grown sell for  $50 each!!!  I don't want to do; the math....  Like I said, GRRRRRRRR

The last thing I can think of is the eggs may not be fertile.   One other time the eggs didn't hatch...... In that case it wouldn't be looking good for the Toms.  You have to do more than look good guys!!

 The Turkey Saga to be Continued........ 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How the Spokane Falls Came to Be

I find the Native American Tales interesting and fun addition to the history of  an area.  The following account is one of several told by local tribes to describe the origins of the Spokane Falls.

How the Spokane Falls Came to Be

 In addition to the sign below telling the Native American Tale, it is inscribed in stone in this circular place along the river for all to enjoy.

Near Spokane one day, Coyote and Fox were traveling together on their way north.  When they reached the river, Coyote said to Fox, "I believe I'll get married.  I'd like to take one of those Coeur d' Alene women for my wife."  so they went in search of the Chief of the Coeur d' Alenes.  They soon located him with his tribe and Coyote approached him with the gift of salmon.  "Chief, I would very much like to have one of your tribal women for my wife.  Can we talk about which one you would choose for me?"  " Now Coyote, you know that we do not approve of marriage  with non-tribal members.  So you cannot have one of tour Coeur d' Alene women for your wife."  Coyote and Fox left the Chief.  

Coyote became so disappointed with the Chief's decision, he began to rage to him companion, Fox.  "Soon the Chief will be sorry for his refusal.  I'll make a big waterfall here in this river.  Forevermore, salmon will not be able to get over the falls to feed the Coeur d' Alenes.

Since Coyote had powers for his wishes to be granted, the great falls immediately formed as he had proclaimed.  That is how the Spokane Falls began.     

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Parade and the Spokane River Falls

Saturday was the perfect sunny day for a parade.  My oldest granddaughter plays the clarinet in her middle school marching band.  So My Auntie and I and my kiddo went to the early morning Jr Lilac Festival.  I loved seeing her playing.  I of course, had to make sure that she saw me..... chasing down the street with camera in hand, to get the perfect picture.     (This is as close to perfect as I could get taking a picture of a moving object!)  Hailey is the tallest in the orange shirt.  Such a cutie!  (Grandma's are expected to show favoritism.)

  A walk along the river showed the power of the Spokane River that cuts through the downtown city.  A gondola comes down from the upper RiverFront Park and is shown in the bottom left of the photo.  A thrilling and beautiful way to experience the river during the Spring and early Summer. 

Markers along the river tell the history of this area along the river. 
I have lived here most of my life,  How did  I not know these were here? While I'm getting the footwork done for full time RVing I best be viewing my the sights in my own back yard.

The Monroe Street Bridge rebuilt (for the third time in 1912) still stands and carries vehicles and pedestrians to the north side of the city.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Glory Days of Camping

My Mom showed me the glory of camping the summer that when we made a 'summer home' at Priest Lake, Idaho. I will never forget that summer we went camping for 6 weeks.  We didn't have a fancy camper and indeed our camp was pretty rustic.  We did have a gigantic tent with 3 rooms and cots to sleep on.  We also had prime real estate with a beach front camp site.  My brother was on a baseball team  and my Dad had to work so they joined us on weekends.

My Mom and I set out to get the camp set up and launch the boat.  It was our first time setting up camp alone so it was of course and interesting day.  It took most of the day to get the camp just the way she wanted it with plastic tarps surrounding the camp for a wind break and raking up the pine needles... (yes in the forest as we had to have a neat camp!)  The boat was launched and tied to the dock before dinner.  Now we were set for the night and even had a fire to warm us in the evening.

Sometime during the night, a huge storm blew in and the sound of raging wind ripping through the trees awoke us with a single shared thought..... How was the boat?  We rushed down to the dock to find one end of the boat still tied to the dock and the other floating free.  Several other boats had broken away from the dock and there were many frantic boat owners attempting to capture the wayward boats.  After much effort the boat owners working together and were able to secure the boats back to the dock and others beached their boats.  Tired, we returned to our campsite.  In the dim moonlight we saw the the wind had flattened our tent!
After much laughter.... we finally had our tent back up for a much deserved sleep.  The morning found the ideal camp site that we loved.


       This was just the beginning of a lifetime love of camping.........

  I love and miss you Mom!!

The pictures are not mine but the memories are.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I am drawn to the River

I once met a woman visiting Spokane who couldn't believe how the residents of the Lilac City are so fascinated by the Spokane River.  She commented,  we act as if we were the only city with a river running through it.  It is true, we are obsessed with the River.

The Spokane River is a part of our history, our celebrations and our souls, our inner being.  It was a local gathering place for area Native American Tribes as they caught and dried fish.  Early settlers used the falls to power mills and generate power.  There is now a Centennial Trail that follows along the river for 60 miles that people use for biking, running, walking and riding horses. The river seems to change with each bend as well as the seasons.

Below are pictures very close to where I live.

This old tree is a sign of days gone by.  Rare is the day without a bird in its branches

 Snow melt has caused the river banks to swell and flood. 


The plants change from season to season marking the passage of time.

Flowers always make me smile!


The river and I are evolving  and constantly changing.
The river reminds me of all these changes and I am renewed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Procrastination Lives at my House

     Yep, procrastination doesn't come to visit periodically at my house, it is a full time resident.  I have always known I work best under pressure with the adrenalin  fueling creativity and productivity.  As I have gotten older fewer of these power bursts fuel the work that needs to be done.  As a result more unfinished projects,  delayed maintenance and piles and piles of essential (?) stuff has accumulated.  With a new Master Plan for RV travel, liquidating assets to prepare for full time RVing is essential.  I have lots of work to do!  My usual pattern is to wait until panic sets in and run off the energy of the moment.  I seriously doubt I can produce the amount of panic or adrenalin required for all the tasks to be done.

Maybe I need a different strategy to prepare for the life changes coming my way.
 New plan.... 
Do something everyday that leads towards my goal.     Maybe some days I'll do more but I'm committing to at least doing one thing each day.  Clean out a closet, the dreaded craft (read crap) room, the garage, barns, sheds, it all needs it's day of purging.  Not all the tasks are cleaning and purging of course, planning for the farm animals, and there is research and paperwork to be done.  I have a question for all of you who have taken the leap into full time RVing......

What was the task that was hardest for you to get done to ready for a life of RVing?  

One thing is clear, today is the day to begin.    

Thought for the Day:

Take time to be deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in."        Napoleon Bonaparte 

Procrastination Funnies:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Mystery of the Missing Turkey

I let the turkeys out of the winter pen when I spent more time trying to herd them back into the pen than they actually spent residing in the pen.   Since the snow is gone, they have taken up residency in the horse and donkey pastures.   Currently there are 6 adult turkeys, 2 toms and 4 hens.  Every morning when I go out to feed the animals I do a quick head count.  The last couple of weeks I came up with a different number each day.  Sometimes 4, sometimes 5 but rarely 6.
                                            Hmmmm..... what is up in turkey land?

                   Well, by now you have probably guessed it.... its Spring in turkey land.

So this morning I when out on a turkey hunt..... no guns just a camera.  After much hunting, I finally found 2 hens sitting on a nest in the farthest corner of the pasture.  I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of the 2 hens on the nest together.  After watching much of the morning,  it seems one of the turkeys only drops by to lay an egg and the 'main' momma does all the sitting.  She is a cross between the white tom and a bronze hen. Isn't she beautiful?

After waiting a bit and scattering some scratch for her to nibble on, I was able to get this shot of the eggs.



The hens are back to sharing     sitting responsibilities.

The Momma Hens are doing their jobs. 
  Now  we just wait to see  if  Pappa Tom did his job.

So the mystery of the missing turkey is solved.

Thought for the Day 

We spend our lives talking about this mystery - our life."      Jules Renard