What a full day of smiles and miles of travel.
I worked a bit in the morning and when I went out to the diningroom, George and our Hosts were already dining on breakfast, I was a bit embarrassed. I was so involved in my work I didn't even hear what was happening in the next room.
I was working on the floor and my feet fell asleep.
Verna had made us quiche with onion, pepper, egg, cheese and hashbrowns that was very tasty. (I had two slices) She also served fruit (bing cherries are in season right now and the nectarines came from their own tree) and she served some homemade orange-cranberry muffins that were superb. I wanted more, but already I have noticed my shorts are a more snug than when we started this journey 37 days ago.
Below is a better picture of our hosts wood work slider in front of his TV. He showed us a beautiful bowl that should be in an art gallery. Awesome people, awesome talent and drive. We felt honored to be their guests.
Bill had some more great stories to tell at breakfast.
HIs email statements below his signature give you an idea of his humor.
"Everything happens for a reason, sometimes it's because you are stupid and make bad decisions."
"A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it."
He had owned several businesses simultaneously. Among them were laundromats, check cashing/pay-day loan places, and consulting. He has had 5 "wives". He includes the women he lived with a long time as wives.
He and Verna had read this blog before we arrived. He mentioned that I was a little left of them. I wondered what I had said to show off where I stand?
We not only had a super place to stay, but great company and entertaining conversation. Thank you to our Affordable Travel Club Hosts in Kennewick, Washington.
George hugged our hosts and off we went in the car, heading West on Hwy 14.
Right away as we left Kennewick we started ascending out of the river valley into golden grass-covered hills. In the far-off haze we could see a snow-covered mountain. Mount Hood in Oregon. I wasn't sure we would get that far. I didn't want to push ourselves. Our first priority is to enjoy the journey.
We passed some irrigated fields and some odd buildings out in the middle of nowhere. I suspected they were cooled potato storage facilities.
The Columbia River has created a passageway through hills and mountains. Roads, rails, and power lines follow that natural path.
I pulled into a park looking for bathrooms. The state park had a fee station, but no person attending it and no envelopes. We went in.
We did our breathing exercises facing a vista of hills and wineries. There are lots of wineries on our route.
We saw a bike ride by, and we stepped forward and saw a paved path. It was probably a short path.
Some of the readers of this blog who have spouses with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's have asked me to video tape our exercises. I will try to get that included in the blog soon.
Back on the road I was wondering when we would ever see a gas station.
Verna had told us about a Stonehenge replica on Hwy 14. It came up quicly (they don't give much warning.) So I turned around and went in. An RV was by the entrance.
The stonehenge is a replica built by Sam Hill who was a main driver for building a road up the Columbia River. The Stonehenge is a monument to the county's WWI veterans.
I finally stopped and googled for a gas station at a hwy intersection. It was off the intersection about 1/4 mile.
I peeked in the box and giggled. I told George, "It is baby rattles." I giggled. "I have to get my camera." I went to the car, got the camera and came back and George was still bent over the box trying to find the snakes.
I guess I wasn't explaining it right. I tried telling him. Then I said, "Toy rattles for babies."
"Oh!" he said.
Verna also told us about the Mary Hill museum. We stopped there and first toured the art outside.
I handed George the camera and told George to take my picture on the chair. I hesitated, wondering if outside art at the same "do not touch" rules apply to sturdy outdoor art. As George was aiming the camera I was urging him to hurry hurry hurry. The chair was HOT HOT HOT!
Inside the museum we watched a video on creating the first paved road up the Columbia River. Sam Hill paid for it himself after failing to get the government to pay. It cost him $100,000.
George and I both chuckled. You wouldn't get 1 mile of road for $100,000 today.
He bought the land and built the large mansion. But his thinking that others would come to the area did not pan out. Eventually he turned it into a Museum, put up the Stonehenge, and established a park on the land.
The museum had great art. And there were displays of a Queen Maria's dress and furniture. She was a friend of Sam Hill and visited the museum and gifted the items.
I learned about the miniature fashion period in France after the war.
But this art gallery out in what seemed to us to be in the middle of nowhere. Had quite the collection, including some really great pieces.
There was a display of baskets from native Americans I was tempted to photograph.
We walked down a hall with many many chess sets. From whimsical to dramatic, large and small.
At the end of the hall was a cafe where we had veggie sandwhiches on a patio over looking the river..
And I said to George, "We are driving through this beautiful tapestry of nature and we stop at a building that is a work of art and is surrounded by peices of art and holds art and I am taking pictures of it which could be called art. It is all very..... artistic." Smiles
Back on the road we see that flag-men and women have lost another employment oportunity.
Over 5,000 miles on this trip so far.
We cross the river on the Hood Bridge. Old, Iron, NARROW. Even at 25 mph I felt nervous passing the bigger vehicles coming toward me.
Off to our right I when we were on the bridge I saw lots of colorful kites. So after the bridge I turned in to find them.
The boards have boots attached. When this guy took off zooming over the water his excited dog followed swimming. The surfer went to the other side of a bay and the dog got up on land there and then ran back and forth down the beach as the guy surfed back and forth just off shore.
Another way to exercise a very energetic dog.
As we stood watching with big smiles on our faces, a surfer came to shore by us. He looked like he came right off the cover of a romance novel. "It really is as fun as it looks," he said to us. He exchanged his board that had the boots attached with just a flat board and took off again.
I looked at the ipad and ti told me it was 1 hour to get to Timberline Lodge on Hood Mountain. (Mt. Hood). So we started the drive up.
There are lots of fruit fields, fruit stands, and winderies in the early part of the drive. We stopped and tested some cookie samples and got a REAL FRUIT smothie to share.
The clerk made extra and gave us the extra.
The last couple curves were nerve racking so I was glad when we parked at the lodge and began moving around on foot.
YEP! Remember the cumpass and the cell phone.
The friends of the lodge have a display about it's history. In 1955 it was poorly managed and closed down by the government for unsafe conditions.
The same year someone else stepped in and took over and was able to get it re-opened.
These phlox grow wild at this elevation.
When we arrived our hostess was watering her beautiful flower gardens. She took us through the Guest Cottage (where we will stay). Oh my! It is so roomy, decorated with a Mexican style after her home in Baja, Mexico.
Then she took us on our tour of the big house. Though the house is over 100 years old, you would not know it until you entered the basement or the attic. They put in big windows and a deck looking out the back...
SHE LIVES ON THE MOUNTAIN overlooking the becach where we watched the wind surfers!
See the brown house on the cliff in the picture below? It is a house under construction near her house.
Later inn the evening we went for a walk and walked through the house and stood on the deck. Our hostess has another couple visiting for one night. Fran and Jerry from California have been Affordable Travel Club members since 2005 and have stayed in over 50 homes.
Our hostess told us she almost turned us down because she was already booked. But when I told her about us celebrating 40 years of marriage with this big trip, she made it work.
We didn't get around to eating our deli salads until 9:00. What a full day with lots of beauty and fun.
Tomorrow I haven't a clue of what we will do. I just know that at the end of this big day I am too tired to plan.