Sunday, July 28, 2013

Water Dog.......

My granddaughter Hailey and I are happily planted at the campground.  I truely had a wise moment, when I choose a campground close to home beside a lake.  Yesterday, she spent 6 hours upside down in the water.

Oh, how I remember doing all the same things when I was a kid at the same age. 

It all ends with BLUBBBB!

And then there was the log........

 Logs always draw a crowd.

There is a truth about riding a log that I learned long ago......

Try, Try,Try Again

The Log Aways Wins

After setting up the camp the afternoon before, I sat happily in the shade, resting.

Night time seems to be my coming alive time and I cooled down in the lake. It made the hot, hot hot night so much better.

No cell service, No internet, No TV, just sun, water, and fun.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Grand Kiddo Trip

I have been back to Spokane, the place I have always called home for the last month.  Summer is a great time to spend some family time and that is exactly what I've been doing.  However, the call of the wild is beckoning me so I'm taking family with me.

The  Lolita (the Trailer) and Little Hoss (the truck) are parked outside at Aunties house as I prepare for a 10 day trip with my granddaughter.  After 9 straight days of 90 + temperatures we are headed for water for a little cooling off.  I have reservations for the first five days and then it's off to unknown places for the next five days.

We will be busy packing the grub and rearranging for a plus one, which means some stuff needs to be left behind to make room for all the stuff that a teenager brings along.  I'm also bringing along some craft supplies so we can get in touch with our inner creative self's.  I am always intrigued by the possibilities that Mod Podge, empty bottles and an assortment of other supplies will provide to make opportunities to make something out of nothing. 

Who knows what we will come up with.

And the fun begins!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

As  you know, I travel full time in my vintage trailer (Lolita) and boondock frequently away from electric hook ups. Three nights ago, I was in Lolita and had the windows open near the front of the trailer sleeping during a hot summer night...

I woke up and I could hear a hissing sound so I went out to figure out what was the problem. I could hear that is was coming from the propane tank area.  I went back in the trailer and got my hand held propane gas detector. 



Portable Gas Detector      

Went back out in my jammies and tested all around the tanks....I got readings that indicated that there was propane gas present.  (See how on the picture it shows holding it near connections) I turned off tanks and went back into the trailer and lit the stove and let it burn out the gas that was remaining in the lines.. 

Some lessons I have learned that will keep me safer in the future.

  1. Turn off tank valves when not using. 
  2. Prior check to make sure the propane is turned off.
  3. With the tank valves turned off, before departure, turn on burner burn off gas present in the lines. 
  4. Periodically use the propane detector to check around the fitting (especially after travel) to check on the status of lines

I  will never stay in a trailer with propane tanks with out a detector present.  

Nor will I be using the propane again in Lolita until new hoses and regulator are installed and all lines checked. 

Are there other items that should be added to my propane safety list?

The life you save may be your own. 


Last night was a long, long night. To start with it was a very hot night,  minus thunder and lightening  of before but still pretty hot without air conditioning. Fans help make it bearable but still a restless night.

I love watching trains.

I always wonder where they have been and the stories they could tell.  Maybe, some of my love for trains comes from my itchy feet and urges to travel.

I could sit and watch the trains go by for hours.  I am in a perfect spot to sit in my chair in the evening and watch them go by.

The trains were busy last night with whistles blowing at least every hour.
So why is it that whistles only seem to blow at night?

Where I am staying there is a spur line plus another regular train line.

The spur line is like a passing lane where trains can leave cars parked to be picked up by other trains or trains can pass slower trains or ones going in the opposite direction. 

In addition to train whistles, the spur line provides additional sounds of banging as they connect the cars together. I only slept between trains last night, until another one whistled on by.

Last night seemed especially busy and noisy.

We sit above a large beautiful meadow where the trains run through.

Great cell reception....4G service

Last night in addition to the trains, coyotes howled and yipped  down in the meadow.  I've known they were here, but they hadn't let me hear their call of the wild.    As far as I know they weren't up by the trailer....

Kitties didn't seem bothered by their presence.

After I settled down from hearing the coyotes, I heard some hissing that was difficult to place the sound.  I got up and walked around the inside of the trailer.... Seemed to be coming from the front of the trailer near my bed.  I went out side and checked out the outside and located the hissing.  The hissing was from the propane tanks or hoses.  I carry a hand help propane detector so I was able to locate the area it was coming from.

Yep, turned those tanks right off.
Something else to add to the TO DO LIST.

The rest of the night I spent tossing and turning, dreaming of a NEW trailer. 

I  am feeling so conflicted about the benefits of new versus vintage trailers.  Of course there is no guarantee that a new trailer is free from maintenance.  Sticks or bricks or wheels to go, they all needs our attention and care. 

Today I found this link to a little trailer eye candy (other wise known as trailer porn)  for those of you who love to day dream of vintage trailers.

Dream on........ 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mish Mash Day

Lots of the little stuff today......

Awoke to a jarring event.  A big kathunk under the bed!
My first thought always is......

"Dammit Emmit what have you done now."  (You know we all have to have someone to blame the unknowns events on!)  Well Emmit was in the clear.... 
Sorry Emmit!!!  :)

This is what I found.

Looks like a little RV parts shopping is in order today.  I had just bought this wheel for the trailer in April.  The metal frame is in perfect condition but the tire broke off completely.  They sure don't make things like they used to.  Shopping today... repairs another day.

It's hot, hot, hot. Last  night it finally dipped below 80 degrees at midnight and returned to 80 degrees at 9:00 AM.  I have fans which make it comfortable but the humidity is higher so it feels worse.  After tonight's thunderstorm the humidity should drop again and then it should be better.
Shopping should be a late afternoon event.... ah, cool air conditioned stores!

Cleaned up in Lolita.  I love it.  Swish, Swish, Dishes, Sweep Sweep and I'm done.
Can you imagine all the hours of life that we have spent cleaning big houses.  There is so much time for living with a tiny home.
What was I thinking.  This is the life!

I did tackle the pantry cupboard.  I must do something with that cupboard.  In order to get out one little thing, I must move EVERY THING!
So I need more soda too.I need more shelves.... more baskets to making it more manageable.  Look out HOME DEPOT here I come.   (By the way, I didn't find the baking soda, so I need more soda too.)

Time to gas up Little Hoss and while I was there I pulled my little truck through a car wash.... Yep, the truck is really green.  I had begun to wonder.

This afternoon is a big cooking event.  I am helping Auntie prepare a dinner for local area homeless families.  I'm making one of my favorites Chicken Enchiladas.   Auntie is making Spanish Rice and another gal is making a Salad and bringing Ice Cream bars.  In this area, a group of Churches work together to provide housing (in the basement of neighborhood churches, meals and support help.  Last night we had four families and everyone seemed to enjoy the food.

It takes so little, an illness, a lost job, a car breaking down, for a family who is secure and happy in a home one day, to become homeless and dependent on the kindness of strangers.

I understand that there are more churches throughout the surrounding area who repeat this helping hand over and over.  What a blessing they are to these peoples lives.  It certainly was a blessing in mine that I was allowed to share a meal with these families on this hot summer afternoon.

That's it... a bunch of little events.... making up a great day! 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Dirt in the Forest

Nothing brings me  more peace than a quiet day in the forest.... 

Water just makes it even better.

A Drive along the river with perfect weather...     who could want anything more.

On the morning of October 16, 1991, gale force winds gusting to 62 m.p.h. uprooted trees which downed power lines in the Spokane area. The energized wires ignited dry grass and brush. The first alarm was received at 8:45 a.m. near Spokane International Airport and within three hours, every firefighting resource in Spokane County was committed to battle blazes throughout the county. 

Flames were within a mile of where I lived and visible as they came over the top of a ridge above my house.  Two lives and many homes were lost that day and many acres of beautiful forest were also lost during those days.

 Firefighters had to make decisions on which structures to save and which to leave to the flames.

 The fire did the same.

This area along the river shows how the fire killed some trees, jumping over and leaving others standing.

 After 20 years new growth has filled in the bare areas reviving the area. 


  Wildflowers abound.

While continuing my travels along the river and I noticed increasing dust and traffic.  

Usually I go in the opposite direction of large gatherings of people, but curiosity snagged my attention and I was on a new mission...

  I found myself at an event called the Dirty Dash 
What you may ask..... is a Dirty Dash? 

This is what the web site about the Dirty Dash had to say about the fun run.

"Have you ever said to yourself, “Marathons are too easy, and Triathlons are for sissies?”
We haven’t either…those races are really hard. Think about it…the first person to run a marathon actually died.  HE DIED!...and he probably didn’t even have fun along the way!

Well, welcome to a new kind of race: THE DIRTY DASH.  This race that puts all other races to shame.  The Dirty Dash is a mud run obstacle course where a military boot camp meets your inner five-year-old’s fantasy and subsequently converts boy to man and then man to swine.

You’ll need endurance to trudge up mountains of sludge, courage to overcome uncompromising obstacles, a complete lack of shame to wallow in pits of mud and a smile to show through at the end!
So let this mud run obstacle course become your new guilty pleasure. Go solo or with some of your dirtiest, filthiest, & uncouth friends.  Either way, you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am a Dirty Dasher!”… and then proceed to clean yourself off."

Now these folks are out to have fun!!

What an opportunity to people watch!

Many of the participants had costumes, others had tee shirts proclaiming there team name.

Some of my favorites were.... A Darn Dirty Shame
                                                      Talk Dirty
                                                            50 Shades of Dirt
                                                                    Dirty Diva's



 Look at them go......

Water keeps the fun going

True  Luv???

 Mud, Mud, Mud at the finish line


Group showers at the finish line help to hose off dirt in every clevis.  Ah.....cleaner at last!

If I could run the obstacle course, I certainly would have loved to do this.

What would your team name be??

When we are open to the universe, it is amazing what comes our way.

 What a fun, happy day!

Now back to good clean fun.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Exploring NorthEast Washington.... Continued

Sullivan Lake

 Another popular destination in Northeast Washington State is Sullivan Lake.  Another pristine lake in the North Country with Forest Service Campgrounds located at both ends of the lake. 
Not far from Sullivan Lake is Mill Pond.  A short walk around part of the pond reveals markers telling the history of the area....... and look what I found lurking in the pond.
(Reader Cj CozyGirl guessed it right!  A Beaver!) 
Found this beaver happily munching on reeds.  He was rather annoyed by my presence and flapped his tail against the water to protest.  Off he went away from my prying eyes.
At the end of the pond was a spillway with a walking bridge over the top.  
 The view from the top, looking down
Metaline Falls is a quaint little local town in Northeast Washington just south of the Canadian Border.  As I often do, a drive around town revealed historic and quaint little buildings.
Hotel Washington
A Colorful Church
Historic Home

Cutler Theater (Formally the local School built in 1912)
I was amazed by the friendly people of this darling little town.  People were sitting out on their front porches on this warm summer evening and waving at a complete stranger in their town.
Western Hospitality at it's best!  I certainly did feel welcome!!
One, not to be missed attraction of the area is a covered/open car train excursion between Ione and Metaline Falls. You will certainly get a feel for the landscape of the area. Views and vistas from the train are not to be seen by roads of the area.  The train has been known to be robbed by Ma Cutter and her gang while waiting for the engine to couple back up. Don't worry as they are only looking for donations for the historic Cutter Theatre in Metaline Falls.
Call TOLL FREE: 877 5 ALL ABOARD (877.f525.5226) to find out the summer and fall schedules of the Pend Oreille Lions Trains during your visit.
Camping is plentiful in the area between Colville and the Metaline Falls area. 
Starvation Lake has a BLM managed campground.  Most of the 13 campsites do not have a view of the water but are within easy walking distance and there is a day use area.  There is one accessible site. There is a campground host on site. 
Starvation Lake photo from the web
While there is not a fee for usage a Discovery Pass is needed in all state and BLM sites for day use or camping.  The cost is $35 annually or $10 per day use.  Budget cuts have severely impacted state parks funding and the Discovery Pass directly supports their upkeep.
My favorite campsite along the way was at Flodelle Creek.

This babbling creek was right along side several of the campsites.
Not much sun for solar but the shade was very cooling.
Several nearby little lakes provide plenty of kayaking opportunities.
A Discovery Pass is needed.  No additional charge for camping
The lakes know as the Little Pend Oreille Lakes are composed of Gillette, Leo, Frater and Nile Lakes and is a wonderful kayak destination.  Campgrounds  are also available at Gillette Lake and Leo Lake
Lake Gillette Forest Service Campground is in a pine, fir and larch forest setting on Gillette Lake. Fish for trout and swim in the lake. Boat launch at lake. Supplies are available in the town of Ione. Deer, bears, raccoons, moose and birds are common to the area. The Little Pend Oreille OHV Trail is nearby. Amphitheater at campground. There are a total of 14 sites with a maximum spur of 28 feet.  Drinking water, pit toilets and bear proof garbage disposal.
($16/$8for seniors per night)  No Reservations.
Leo Lake is a small campground with 8 campsites, some with private lake views and others closer together. This is a smaller campground with no day use area. 
($ 16/$8 for seniors per night) No Reservations.
Sullivan Lake is a US Forest Service Campground that does allow Reservations.  There are campgrounds at both the north end of the Lake and the South End of the Lake.  Additionally there is a another camp called Noisy Creek Campground.
Additionally along the river there are a few RV Resorts but I did not check about the availability of those as I was checking more about boondocking sites. 
One last thought about camping in this area.  Northeast Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana are known habitat for bears.  I grew up with bears visiting our campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest.  However the only place I have ever seen a grizzly bear is in a zoo.  Due caution is required.  Keeping food and or garbage contained in your vehicle helps to eliminate problems with bears in your campsite.
A final stop at a rest area south of Ione revealed another lovely water fall at Sweet Creek. 
 In addition there were wonderful private picnic areas to choose.  The Water Fall was Sweet, The Picnic area was Sweet.  The rest rooms Not so Sweet! 
As always I can find bouquets of flowers.
The sights, the sounds, the smells..... remind of my childhood in these forests.
All is well with my soul.