Saturday, September 28, 2013

Visit A Local Museum - Free

Don't you just love Free admission days!!  I know I do.
Here is a perfect rainy day activity for you.

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine.  Local museums across the country who are participating in the give away are opening their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket.... for Free.  I got my tickets.  By going on line you can request a ticket for you and a guest at a participating museum that will be emailed instantly to your email address.  Print it off and you are on your way.  (I knew there was a good reason I hauled a printer around with me!!)  If you don't have a printer you will have to stop off at a local print shop and print it off before you can go on this free side trip.

Check for participating museums near you....

I'll be heading out to a Museum later this morning with my Auntie, daughter and granddaughter.  
Check back for our perfect rainy day activity!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Climbed My Mountain

I started the day listening to the weather report.  They explained that starting today, we can expect Seattle drizzle all week long.  Gray leaking skies.  This is not good news in Eastern Washington.  We definitely look forward to our sunny sky's.  So imagine, my surprise when I found puffy white clouds embracing light blue sky's.   My spirits immediately lifted and I made quick plans for some outside time. 
Time for adventure,
                                                    time is a wastin
                                                                                          soon it will be winter.    : (

I recently bought my new years Discover Pass for Washington State Parks and day use areas.  I had seen a trail head close to where I am living and needed the pass to park in the parking area.  So now seemed the perfect opportunity to check out the trail.

The trail begins in a heavily forested area along a bluff I am hoping for some views.

We shall see....

People who know me or  have been following the blog know that I have been dealing with hip problems since I broke my leg last fall.   My leg is doing great but the hip continues to bother me more and more.  Anything that involves climbing steps or elevation gain are particularly difficult for me and aggravate the pain in my hip.

So onto the trail I went...

 I quickly discovered that the trail made a sharp turn...

up the mountainside.

Now why didn't I simply turn around and find another hike.  I begin to understand, the mountaineers answer to the question, Why do you climb the mountain?  Because it is there.  Once I am on the trail, hearing the sounds and smelling the smells of the forest, I feel compelled to continue.  Reason is merely a futile exercise that occupies my mind.

I push ahead.  Because it is there.

How many tomorrows do we each have.  We don't know....

I know my body yells at me more.  Don't do that again!!! What were you thinking??? Are you sure you can do that?  Because it is there.  Because I am here....  Because I may never be able to climb this mountain again.

 Rocks and logs form steps,
                    taking me up and up and up.

Rocks along the way provide great stopping points to rest my weary bones along the way.

I try to find vistas to check the elevation and views.  But the views are blocked by the dense forest.

The rock plates beneath my feet becomes the path that I scramble over as I move to higher ground.


The plentiful fields of spring flowers are replaced in the fall with the single blooms demonstrating the strength of the late blooms which have survived against all odds.
I am seeing the forest change day by day.  While we haven't had a killing frost in our area yet, the foliage is beginning to change do to the change in hours of light.  The vivid greens are beginning to change to light golds.

                   Soon there will be an array of yellows, golds, oranges and reds.

The summer heat has been replaced with cooler weather of fall and intermittent fall rains.

  In the forest mushrooms
             are returning to the forest floor.

 All the while I climb higher and higher.

Ahead I see a path barrier that appears to block any 4 wheeled vehicles. 

Still no vistas. 

 I need my rewards.

 Off in the distance are several strings of power lines.  I know what that means.  Massive tree clearing under the power lines....

Maybe there IS a vista is in my future.  

  Why is it that you get to a mountain top there is always more ahead?

I am never sure of how far I will go... but when I see the trail going farther I know I will be going higher still.

Finally some views...

I have gone as far up as I will go.... but always there is still farther I could go if my body was willing.  I don't make any promises that I will return. 

The clouds are rolling in as promised.  I'm hoping to make it down the mountain before it rains.

Normally, I hate the power lines scaring the landscape.  But today I am grateful for their presence as it has opened up the mountain so that I can see it all through the trees.

Gratefully, the trip down is swift as the strain from stepping up is diminished.
I pass by all the little gifts of nature and enjoy them again.

The light green flat spots are a golf course on the level that I began my hike today... Oh its been a good day... a long steep hike.  I climbed my mountain.


I am happy to see my truck waiting for me.

I never regret the adventure taken.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back into Time at Cataldo Mission

Cloudy days do not dampen my wonder lust.  In fact they provide a moody backdrop for a fall adventure.   So we head out for a little exploring without a specific destination in mind.  I would like to explore some area's for boondocking in the mountains East of Spokane.

As we are driving along the interstate a sign points the way to the Cataldo Mission in Northern Idaho.

I attended a wedding at the Mission before, but my Granddaughter hadn't ever been there.  I want to  honor her developing wondering spirit and encourage her to investigate all that life has to offer.  So off we went.

You see it from the interstate, sitting on a hill overlooking the tree studded valley that surrounds it.  Seeing it from the Interstate is not enough, you must experience it's simplicity and serenity by walking the grounds feeling the presence of those who walked this sacred place before us.

 In the Early 1880's the local Coeur d'Alene Indians had heard of these powerful "medicine men" in black robes with a book and wanted some of these men for their own tribe.They sent of their tribesmen east to St. Louis, and in 1842 Father Pierre-Jean De Smet responded to the request and came to the area.

 In 1850 the church was taken over by Antonio Ravalli, who began designing the new mission building. He made sure that the building was constructed by the Indians themselves, so that they could feel part of the church. It was built without using a single nail was finished in three years.

Example of newspaper wallpaper and can metalwork 

They had few materials to decorate the church, but used ingenious techniques to beautify it. The walls were decorated with fabric bought from the Hudson's Bay Company and hand-painted newspaper that Fr. Ravalli had received in the mail. Tin cans were used to create an idea of chandeliers.

The wooden statues were carved by hand with nothing but a knife. The blue coloring of the interior wood is not paint but a stain created by pressing local huckleberries into the wood.

When I had been at a wedding in this place a few years ago, we were in the main church but had not been able to explore the rest of the grounds.   I was so glad to have taken this opportunity to learn more about this historic place.


 The Parish House was built in 1888 and provided housing for, Priests, Jesuist Brothers who served in area missions, ans caretakers.

The parish house also contains a small chapel that was used by the residents.

Parish House Chapel

  Parish house
 living quarters

Mission Bell

Overlooking orchards and nearby hills

In time the mission became an important stop for traders, settlers, and miners.   It was also a working port for boats heading up the Coeur d'Alene River.

 In 1961 it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 1966 was put on the National Register of Historic Places and the Oldest Building in Idaho.

                                       A simple place,
                                                                             From a simple time. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Day the Camera Died

Did the mighty tree really fall if the Camera didn't record the event?

My camera has been increasingly difficult the past few months.  I have been going to extraordinary efforts to get the pictures to the computer for viewing, editing and posting.

Wednesday, it took its final breath.... and then refused to turn back on.  After checking all systems I could think of, I eventually conceded and began the process of research, research, research.

I consulted with my Facebook peeps, read product reviews and particularly payed attention to reviews by consumer from my shopping buddy, Amazon.

After careful research I went out shopping and you all know how much I like that (I detest shopping!!)   After all there is nothing like holding it in your hands and feeling how it works.

Here is the final result....

Nikon COOLPIX L820 16 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 30x Zoom Lens and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)

There are several advantages for me over my next choice.  

      -  The Nikon uses Double AA batteries which are easily charged using the trailer's solar power.

      -   It was $200 cheaper than my next choice

There are a couple of things I liked better than my last camera, but really what matters is how the pictures turn out.  So of course I couldn't wait to see how pictures turn out.

After dinner I headed out to check out how the camera handles and of course sunsets are my favorite test.  I found another place for sunset pics.


When I first arrived at my destination I didn't find anything to take pictures of while waiting for the sunset shots.  After walking around a bit I did find a couple of things to focus my camera on.
Next, the sunset test.

I'm fortunate that there are several places that I can go to find unobstructed sunset pictures close by





I ran out of sunset.... before I ran out of settings to try...





It wasn't the best sunset... but the camera captured it well...   

So I hope you will stay tuned  as I play with my new toy!!