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Adventures in the Villa

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pjtaia

2021-09-06 – 2021-09-11 – Traveling from Puyallup, WA to Redlands, CA

We are heading home…

September 6; Labor Day…

Last day of summer! (Even though school started three weeks ago – it’s still summer!)

Our grandchildren enjoyed a day at the beach!

We left Puyallop and headed south…

The Columbia River never ceases to please…

Remember when I said one barge on the Columbia River holds enough grain to fill 160 railroad cars? Here is where the barges offload the grain, where it is loaded into the railroad cars…

Portland has some great bridges…

And we are set up at a very nice RV Park in Salem, OR.

With a beautiful sky…

Tuesday, September 7:

We left early – we have a long day… The fog was a nice relief from the heat…

Wait! That’s not fog – it’s smoke!

There are four wildfires to the east of us, just over the hills… The whole length of the state…

At a rest stop we couldn’t see the mountains…

We passed through the delightful little town of Jacksonville, OR, located about 20 miles off the 5, west of Medford… We found out camping spot for the night – Valley View Winery, part of the Harvest Host program…

Still a little smoky…

We were the gusts for dinner at old Airstream friends who live a few miles from the winery… They lave 7 acres and a lovely house overlooking the Applegate River…

Fiery sunset over the river…

After a lovely dinner we returned to the Villa…

Wednesday, September 8:

As we left the winey in the morning we found a few wild turkeys…

We soon returned to California! Yay!

We saw lots of evidence of last year’s fires…

And we had some more smoke as well…

But soon the skies cleared as we approached Clear Lake…

After a tortuous drive over Hwy 175 we arrived in Cloverdale in time for a lovely sunset sky…

Thursday, September 9:

We awoke to clear skies and headed down the road…

We crossed over the Richmond bridge and the San Francisco Bay…

Still a little smoggy, but we could see the Golden Gate Bridge…

Still a little smoggy, but we could make out the city skyline…

Oakland is noted for its giant cargo container cranes…

And downtown Oakland is looking good…

BART running past us… We love cities!

We arrived at our RV park in Marina, just outside Monterey…

We drove into Carmel to stroll the town before dinner…

The beach is lovely, but cold!

We had a delightful dinner at a “Contemporary Mexican Restaurant”. First Mexican food since we left California on July 23… (We don’t eat Mexican food outside California – way too many disappointing meals over the past years…)

Friday, September 10

As we headed out of Marina across the Salinas Valley we saw fields and fields of lettuce…

Soon we saw vineyards…

We arrive in Paso Robles and parked just outside downtown. And a lovely town it is…

We stopped in for a wine tasting, hosted by this charming fellow…

But we are on a tight schedule, so we head south again, arriving at Los Olivos at about 4:00 pm…

We enjoyed a little wine tasting on the front patio…

Plenty of parking in Los Olivos, even on a Friday afternoon…

We parked in the Saarloos vineyard for the night, and shared dinner with Airstream friends at Bell’s in Los Alamos…

Saturday, September 11:

We arrived home in Redlands, California…

We shared happy hours drinking beer on the front porch with our son…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

Seven weeks and one day… twelve states… 7,000 miles.

The End

2021-09-05 – Puyallup, WA

Sunday, September 5:

We had an easy time boarding the ferry in Clinton, heading to Mukilteo, near Everett, WA…

We like ferry rides, and we usually leave the truck and go to the top deck. But this ferry ride was so short we stayed below…

It was nice that the traffic was light – no giant trucks to squeeze between…

Back on the mainland we headed south on the 5 and passed through Seattle…

It is a short drive today. We were soon parked at Courtesy Parking in Puyallop… The other two Airstreams belong to our host…

We spent the afternoon visiting with Lynda’s sister and her husband. They must be camera shy, because we have no photos…

We drove into downtown Puyallop and found the other feature of Puyallop: The Washington State Fair!

We also found a very good Cajun restaurant. Who knew?

After dinner we walked along the Puyallop River…

We returned to the Villa…

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-09-03 to 2021-09-05 – Whidbey Island – Langley, WA

Friday, September 3:

We left Bellingham and drove south on the 5. After about 1/2 hour we turned west and drove onto Fidalgo Island, then south, across Deception Pass, onto Whidbey Island…

After an hour or so we arrived at our Courtesy Parking near the town of Clinton. (Courtesy Parking is a feature of the Airstream Club International (ACI) whereby Airstream owners who have room can offer free overnight parking to other club members…)

We traveled about four miles to our good friends’ house, a short walk from the town of Langley. They have spent three years building this spectacular house on a high bluff overlooking the bay, across to Camano Island…

This is a small harbor about 1/2 mile way…

The interiors are stunning as well…

We went for a walk and saw a few deer…

We enjoyed the view and the setting sun…

Saturday, September 4:

We walked to the town of Langley, about 1/2 mile away… It is a nice town, where residents shop and eat and take care of civic responsibilities…

We stopped to buy breakfast sandwiches which we enjoyed sitting in the park across the street…

After breakfast we walked along the beach and along the bluff…

Later in the day we drove a few miles north and picked wild blackberries…

Then we visited the local Whidbey Island Winery…

Upon our return back to the house we could see kayakers and paddle boarders in the bay below…

We enjoyed another fine meal and enjoyed the view…

Sunday, September 5:

Time to move on. We returned to the Villa…

And we joined the line waiting for the ferry to Mukilteo, on the mainland

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-09-01 to 2021-09-03 – Bellingham, WA

Wednesday, September 1:

We left Riverside State Park in Spokane at 6:45 am. We have a long drive today to reach Bellingham this afternoon. Most of today we will be westbound on the 90, then north on the 5…

We passed a few lovely farms…

And we stopped where there was nothing green as far as the eye could see…

This area was designated as a solar and wind energy conservation area, but we didn’t see any solar installations…

We did see the Columbia River cutting through a deep gorge…

At the bottom of the gorge we crossed over a marvelous bridge…

We were shortly back into the green forests…

We arrived in Bellingham at the home of my brother…

My brother and his wife are big fans of our cocktail book. In fact, they presented us with the gift of two commemorative copies of the book…

They demonstrated that they have all the proper equipment to use the book…

We enjoyed happy hours and dinner on the view deck…

And we watched the sunset over the Bellingham Bay and Lummi Island…

Thursday, September 2:

We took a drive today to enjoy a short walk in the woods…

We soon found ourselves on a rocky beach at Point Whitehorn Park…

The walk back up the bluff looked just like the walk down…

We drove into Birch Bay and stopped for a lunch of grilled oysters. (Lynda had fish tacos…)

After lunch we returned home and again enjoyed happy hours and dinner on the deck…

Friday, September 3:

We had time for one quick walk along the boardwalk in Fairhaven…

Then it was time to head south again…

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-08-30 to 2021-09-01 – Leaving The Oregon Trail caravan … Traveling to Riverside State Park, Spokane, WA

Monday, 8/30:

We left Wilsonville, OR at 5:45 am and headed north through Portland and then east…

The Columbia River never disappoints…

Nor does the Columbia River Gorge…

We crossed over “Twin Bridges”… Indeed…

And then we were officially in Eastern Washington… Or, as the locals call it, “The East Side”…

Great suspension bridge…

And vineyards…

And more typical eastern Washington…

We stopped in Ritzville for lunch…

This lunch stop was ill-advised and clearly sub-optimal…

We arrived mid afternoon at Riverside State Park, outside Spokane. THis is the Equestrian campground, where my brother is a camp host… However, the campground was closed two weeks ago due to fire danger, so we were there alone…

John’s wife was off marking trails on her horse, so we three had lovely happy hours sitting around the picnic table, and turned in early…

Tuesday, 8/31:

My brother and his wife took us to breakfast at Wolfy’s…

They showed us around the area, then we returned to the campground for a walk. A long walk. A fast walk…

I think this is the last my brother and I saw of our wives until they stopped mid day…

We walked along the Spokane River…

After our walk we met the horsewomen as they prepared to ride and mark trails for an upcoming trail meet…

After the horse women left we drove toward Spokane…

We soon were downtown, where we found the Leatherbeard Brewery…

Here I am with the co-owner and father of the brewmaster…

We found a table and sampled some beer… these are folks we know from Irvine; they moved here a few years ago to open the brewery… They seem to be doing well…

We returned the State Park, where we had some visitors…

We had another lovely happy hours. It was good to catch up. We don’t see each other very often…

Wednesday, 9/1:

We have a long drive today. We left at 6:45 and heated west towards Seattle and points north…

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-08-28 to 2021-08-30 – The Oregon Trail caravan … Day 31, 32, 33 – The end of the trail – Oregon City, OR

It’s the end of the trail. The emigrants who made it past The Dalles or who took the Barlow Cutoff ended their trip here in Oregon City. We are actually camping in Wilsonville, OR, right next door…It is a beautiful RV park – concrete pads, grass, blue skies, and even a few trees…

The emigrants sold their wagons and oxen and headed out to find land that they could homestead. We will do some grocery shopping, visit with old friends, celebrate at a final banquet, and travel on to 20 different destinations. On August 30 we will head northeast and travel to Spokane, WA.

August 28: We traveled from Welches to Wilsonville. As is normal, we followed the printed driving directions provided in the Caravan Manual. Big mistake. The directions took us in the wrong direction, forcing us to drive through tiny roads with sharp turns and corners, until we were back on the correct route. Then the directions took us over about five miles of narrow, windy, back country roads. We don’t normally mind small roads, but when we arrived at the RV Park we could see the off-ramp at the Interstate about 1/4 mile away. We had just wasted a lot of time and frustration for no reason…

But we are here… And it is nice…

August 29:

We had an uneventful stay here. Most of us spent the time preparing for our post-caravan travels. Some are heading home to Virginia, Texas, and New York. Some are heading out for extended travels here in the west. We did some shopping and prepared to head northeast to Spokane, Washington…

On our last night we visited the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, in nearby Oregon City… The buildings were simple boxes, but they are all outlined above with the skeleton of the covered wagons. It was impressive – it made it seem like we were under the ghosts of the wagon trains…

Inside we viewed the various exhibits, then we gathered for dinner, catered by a fine restaurant in town, serving Argentine fare…

After dinner we move to the auditorium for the final presentation and awards for various caravan members and leaders…

We returned to the Villa… An enjoyable time was had by all…

August 30:

We left for Spokane at 5:45 am, driving north through Portland and then east…

2021-08-27 – The Oregon Trail caravan … Day 30 – Welches, OR

We awoke in the gloomy woods again… Did I mention we don’t like camping in dense dark forests?

Today we are climbing Mt. Hood. Not hiking, and not to the top. We drove up to the Timberline Lodge.

Mt. Hood is a potentially active volcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, sometimes known as the “ring of fire”… It is located about 50 miles east-southeast of Portland. In addition to being Oregon’s highest mountain, it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence, and it offers the only year-round lift-served skiing in North America. It is approximately 11,240 feet in elevation, although the official height seems to change now and then…

We are here to see Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark located on the southern flank of Mount Hood just below Palmer Glacier, with an elevation of about 6,000 feet.

Publicly owned and privately operated, Timberline Lodge is a popular tourist attraction that draws two million visitors annually. It is notable in film for serving as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining (1980).

The lodge and resort hotel is a four-story structure of about 40,000 square feet. The ground-level exterior walls are heavy rubble masonry, using boulders from the immediate area, and heavy timber is used from the first-floor up. The central head house section is hexagonal and sixty-feet in diameter, with a six-sided stone chimney stack ninety-feet high and fourteen-feet in diameter. Each of the six fireplace openings—three on the ground floor, three on the first floor—is five-feet wide and seven-feet high. Two wings, running west and southeast, flank the head house. Oregon woods used throughout the building include cedar, Douglas fir, hemlock, western juniper and ponderosa pine.

The architect of Timberline Lodge is Gilbert Stanley Underwood, noted for the Ahwahnee Hotel and other lodges in the U.S. national park system. He produced the design. Then, his central head house was modified from an octagon to a hexagon by U.S. Forest Service architect W. I. (Tim) Turner and the team of Linn A. Forrest, Howard L. Gifford and Dean R. E. Wright. A recent graduate of the University of Washington, forest service engineer Ward Gano was structural designer.

Timberline Lodge was constructed between 1936 and 1938 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression. Eighty percent of the WPA’s $695,730 total expenditure on building costs went toward labor. Skilled building trade workers received ninety-cents an hour; unskilled laborers received fifty-five cents an hour. Some of the skilled stonemasons on the project were Italian immigrants brought in after working on The Historic Columbia River Highway and other roads in Oregon. About a hundred construction workers were on site at a given time, and lived at a nearby tent city. Jobs were rotated to provide work.

We were here not only to see the Lodge, but for lunch…

I love seeing these old lodges. I love to see the lifestyle of the residents. Here we see a typical writing desk that these lodges always provide…

Another feature of the Lodges is the array of large windows facing out to the prime views…

We returned to the Villa in the dark gloomy forest campground.

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-08-26 – The Oregon Trail caravan … Day 29 – Traveling from Cascade Locks, OR to Welches, OR

It was great to spend these few days aong the Columbia River, but today we head to the mountains.

As I mentioned yesterday, in the day of the wagon trains the actual trail had ended at The Dalles. Since there were no dams, the river was a wild raging beast, flowing from canyon wall to canyon wall. The emigrants dismantled their wagons and used the wood to build rafts. They attempted to float down the river. Some even made it, but many lost everything. A man named Barlow thought he had a solution; he found a trail up over the mountains, from Hood River and around Mt. Hood. And he made it a toll road, so he made a lot of money…

Today we followed that trail…

We followed the road through the town of Hood River. It would up the slopes of the Cascade mountains…

We almost caught a glimpse of Mt. Hood…

It was a beautiful drive, past wineries and forests…

At the base of Mt. Hood is the Glacier Public House – a convenient stop for lunch…

After lunch we continue along the trail established by Mr. Barlow… His road was eventually completed and it was the heaviest, most used method for bringing a wagon over the Cascade Mountains…

We found our campground – another gloomy, heavily forested place… We set up the Villa…

Happy Hours ensued…

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-08-25 – The Oregon Trail caravan … Day 28 – Cascade Locks, OR

We escaped the doom and gloom of the RV park and headed to Portland! It will be good to do an urban hike and find a nice hip place for lunch…

We passed by the Bridge of the Gods, a National Historical Monument, crossing the Columbia River.

We enjoyed marvelous views of the Columbia River in the morning; we drove along a scenic parkway as we headed into Portland.

However, when the Oregon Trail emigrants came through here 170 years ago this was not the case. The Columbia has many dams on it and it looks like a placid lake. Railroads and highways have been built on levies and cut into the shear rock walls. When the emigrants were here it was a wild raging river. The wagon trail stopped at The Dalles, and only a single cow path continued on in to the Willamette Valley. More on this saga tomorrow…

Today was urban hiking day. We walked and walked all over the district or neighborhood called the Pearl… We enjoyed lunch at a sidewalk café and pretended that we were hipster urbanites…

Thirty years ago this area consisted of derelict railyards and warehouses. When the rails were removed the warehouses were remodeled into stores, office, and apartments. Then new apartments and condos were built. Today it is all built up into a marvelous mixed use neighborhood…

We headed back towards the Cascade Locks, driving over some great old bridges…

We stopped of briefly to see Multnomah Falls…

And then we stopped at the Bonneville Dam…

One of the first thing we saw was this turbine. It is a giant propeller that is driven by the flow of the water, and the turbine in turn rotates the generator, producing electricity… It is about 15′ tall. Family note here: My father used to build full size “models” of things like this, but out of wood. The wood model is used to make the die, or mold, into which molten metal is poured to produce the turbine…)

A fascinating thing is the fish ladder. The Columbia River is a huge spawning ground for salmon returning from the sea. Dams block their path. When the dam was built in 1936 the fish ladder was very primitive and experimental. However, when the dam was expanded by adding a second power house they installed a state of the art fish ladder. It is directly adjacent to the Visitors Center… The are underwater windows so you can watch the fish swim by…

The even count all the fish…

This is what the fish ladder looks like from the top…

On our way out we stopped in to see the navigation locks. These locks allow giant barges to pass through the dam…

Our final adventure of the day is a dinner cruise on this historic sternwheeler river boat. Except, it was broken…

But we met up at the cafe and waited for all the Airstreamers to arrive…

And here are the pickup trucks in which the Airstreamers arrived…

No, this is not our substitute boat…

But, hiding behind the broken sternwheeler is our substitute boat…

Inside was quite comfortable and we all gathered for dinner…

We enjoyed the sunset, as well as views of the surrounding shore, both on the Oregon side and on the Washington side…

We were able to go under the Bridge of the Gods…

And we enjoyed a nice dinner…

We returned to the Villa…

An enjoyable time was had by all…

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