We spent 8 lovely days wandering eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and the western edge of Idaho. We saw some amazing scenery, visited with good friends and celebrated our 20th anniversary. All in all, an absolutely wonderful week.
Our week started out in Shelton at a farewell party for Peter, our nephew who is off to spend a year studying in Japan. From there we made it to the last nite of the Star Gazing Party outside of Goldendale. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been SO COLD. The stars were absolutely amazing and the members of the Seattle Astronomical society were so eager to share their knowledge. The good news, all the hard work on installing the new furnace in the bus paid off. Not only did it work, it cooked me out! I have never asked The Bearded One if I could turn DOWN the heat before. Only the Spotted One didn't think it was too warm.
After Goldendale our wanderings took us to Pendleton to visit with an old friend who was not able to attend the Catherine Creek ReUnion campout. It was a good visit -- amazing to see how quickly Margaret's kids are growing up.
The following morning after a few detours to a quilt shop and the Pendleton store, we were on our way again.
A slight detour on our way to Lewiston took us to Palouse Falls.
After spending our Anniversary at Hells Gate State Park, we took a scenic route south through Idaho. Our original intention had been to do Hell's Canyon Scenic Bypass. Unfortunately, due to some serious washouts, the road is closed in a couple places. So, we did 95 south, through some of the most scenic country I've ever seen. The route had everything from recently cut wheat fields, to beautiful, rolling "hills", farm land and beautiful canyons following the Salmon River. Despite the rain, it was a beautiful drive, accompanied by a captivating audio book.
Our journey ended at Catherine Creek State Park in Union, Oregon. After setting up camp in the rain, well, showers, we settled in for 3+ days of relaxation and visiting. By Saturday we had about 34 VW buses.
Between the friends, food and wonderful bluegrass music, it was another successful gathering. The folks at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Blue Mountain District go out of their way to help us make this such a great event. Hats off to them!
Here's what a certain Spotted One spent most of his time doing:
Hoping and wishing that he had thumbs so that he could open the magic cupboard in which the cookies were imprisoned.