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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Airiel on the road

We just returned home from a 10-day jaunt to SE Washington and NE Oregon with our 1973 Airstream trailer and 2 cats.  Not too ambitious, but we saw some beautiful country and had a great time.

First we spent 3 nights at Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park in the Grand Coulee country north of Moses Lake.  From the website:  “Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is a 4,027-acre camping park with 73,640 feet of freshwater shoreline at the foot of Dry Falls. Dry Falls is one of the great geological wonders of North America. Carved by Ice Age floods that long ago disappeared, the former waterfall is now a stark cliff, 400 feet high and 3.5 miles wide. In its heyday, the waterfall was four times the size of Niagara Falls. Today, it overlooks a desert oasis filled with lakes and abundant wildlife.”

We did a couple of day hikes and a bike ride while there.Deep Lake 1

Deep Lake 2

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Next we drove south and east to Palouse Falls State Park, not to camp but just to see it.  There we ran into neighbors on our loop here in Winthrop, who were on their way home from a trip to Utah.  Small world!

Palouse Falls SP

Then we kept going to Clarkston in the very southeast corner of Washington, and down WA Hwy 129/ OR Hwy 3 to Enterprise and Joseph, OR in the Hells Canyon and Wallowa Mountains country.  This was an incredibly scenic drive and involved a lot of steep twisty downhill and then steep twisty uphill sections, but the trusty Toyota Tundra pulling the 27′ Airstream did very well.

We didn’t get into Enterprise until early evening, arriving in a downpour which fortunately cleared off before we had to set up the trailer, and then went to Terminal Gravity brew pub for dinner and beers.  Excellent beer and food!  We stayed at a small place just north of Joseph that was recommended by my brother and sister-in-law – Mountain View Motel & RV Park.  They only have about 10 sites for short stay, with water and electricity (no full hookup), but it was immaculately clean & tidy and had a great view of the Wallowa Mountains and surrounding open country.

Mtn View RV Park 1

Mtn View RV Park 3

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trailer cats

Stormy & Juno at camp

The first couple of days were cool and alternately cloudy, showery and sunny.  The first day we drove north to the Zumwalt Prairie, a large section of which now is owned and managed by Nature Conservancy.  A friend had lent us a book, “The Prairie Keepers”, which led us to visit this place:

In the remote northeast corner of Oregon lies the ruggedly beautiful Zumwalt Prairie. A wild expanse of untilled ground covering nearly two hundred square miles, the Zumwalt is almost entirely managed by cattle ranchers. It also is home to one of the highest concentrations of hawks in North America, including red tailed, ferruginous, and Swainson’s hawks. Strong and beautiful, these buteo hawks usually depend on uncultivated, unpeopled prairies. Marcy Houle, a wildlife biologist and student, first went to the Zumwalt in 1979 to discover what attracts and sustains the buteos there in such startling abundance. Houle explores the vast prairie on foot and horseback, and by truck, cataloging its hawks, studying its complex ecosystem, and meeting its people… Her findings, eloquently reported, show that ranchers and grazing and wildlife not only can coexist, but in some instances must coexist if we are to save the last of the native prairies. In an epilogue to this new edition, Houle returns to the Zumwalt to look at how the prairie is faring two decades later. The American West is undergoing tremendous change and a historic way of life is fighting for survival. But Houle finds reason for hope in the Zumwalt—in the hawks and ranchers that are still there, and also in creative new partnerships. For example, the Nature Conservancy bought 42 square miles of the grassland in 2000, with a plan to encourage sustainable cattle grazing and let ranchers play a role in the stewardship of the land.

On the drive in we saw quite a few hawks.  We went on a 3-mile loop hike and saw fewer hawks but many wildflowers.  Not a spectacular landscape, but very pretty and restful.

Zumwalt Prairie 1

Zumwalt Prairie 2

Zumwalt Prairie 3

Zumwalt Prairie 4

Zumwalt Prairie 5

Zumwalt Prairie 6

Zumwalt Prairie 7Then we drove further north to the Buckhorn Overlook of Hells Canyon, and saw several large elk herds along the way.

Hells Cyn Buckhorn Overlook

The next day was rainy and even kind of cold, so we visited Joseph, which has an active arts scene with an emphasis on cast bronze sculpture – there are at least 3 foundries in Joseph and Enterprise.  Sculptors from all over the country send their work there to be cast, most often in limited editions.  There are a number of large outdoor bronze sculptures all over the small town of Joseph.   Phinney Gallery was the high point for us, with beautiful paintings and sculpture, and the owner/artist Malcolm Phinney is a very personable guy.

Then we drove down to the very small town of Imnaha and had lunch at the little store there, followed by a drive up to the Hat Point Overlook of Hells Canyon.  We arrived just in time to see the fabulous views before a big rain/hail storm moved in!

Upper Imnaha River valley

Upper Imnaha River valley

Seven Devils Peaks in Idaho

Seven Devils Peaks in Idaho

lookout tower at Hat Point

lookout tower at Hat Point

The third day brought beautiful sunny weather and we drove up past Joseph to Wallowa Lake, intending to take the tram ride up for views and a short hike.

Wallowa Lake 1

Wallowa Lake 3

However, we were discouraged by the number of people, and the cost, and decided to go for a hike along the upper Imnaha River instead.  The trail goes to Imnaha Falls inside the Eagle Cap Wilderness, but we went only as far as a spot called the Blue Hole, where the river emerges from a narrow gorge.  Absolutely gorgeous scenery, an easy hike, and solitude.

upper Imnaha River

upper Imnaha River

The Blue Hole

The Blue Hole

Imnaha Falls hike 3

On the morning of our 4th day, we took the foundry tour at Parks Bronze in Enterprise.  We saw the whole process and also a huge blue whale sculpture they are fabricating for a town in Alaska.  I mean, HUGE, and with water jets.  It was mind-boggling.

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model for blue whale sculpture

model for blue whale sculpture

big blue whale

big blue whale

applying patina in the finishing room

applying patina in the finishing room

limited edition piece with patina applied

limited edition piece with patina applied

That afternoon we drove up to Walla Walla, WA with the intention of staying 3 nights and doing some wine tasting over 2 whole days.  However, there are limited options for “camping” in a trailer there, and the RV Park was surrounded by strip malls and motels (although quite clean and nicely kept).  After being in the country it was a downer.  So the next morning we drove 40 miles down to Pendleton, OR to visit the Pendleton Woolen Mill and check out what they might have on hand for rug-weaving selvages.  Last time we were there they had very little, but this time I hit the jackpot!

Pendleton mill 2

truck full of good colors!

We did a little wine tasting that afternoon in downtown Walla Walla, spent a second night, and then came home a day early.  Great trip, glad to be home!

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Last month we took a week away to visit friends on the Olympic Peninsula and celebrate our 43rd anniversary in Port Townsend.  Our friends own a cabin resort on the north shore of Lake Quinault – Lochaerie Resort – which dates back to the mid-1920’s.  They live out there now that they are retired.  We haven’t been there for 2 years so it was high time!

The four of us went into Hoquiam one day to visit the Elton Bennett studio.  Mr. Bennett is no longer alive, but his daughter Barbara Bennett Parsons has a showroom in Hoquiam and regularly does art shows to sell the remainder of his silkscreen artworks.  The Parsons like to come out to Lochaerie to stay in the cabins, so they know our friends.

Hoquiam 1

Hoquiam 2

Hoquiam 3My mom and dad had a couple of Bennett prints – we used to stop at his studio in Hoquiam on our way out to the coast for winter break vacation.  It was fun to see this whole collection!

In Port Townsend we had beautiful weather and were able to walk the beach at low tide out at Fort Worden State Park.  We also strolled around the fort grounds and ran across the Port Townsend School of Woodworking.  There were some students there and we were able to have a nice chat and see what they were working on.  Rick has been involved here in some plans to create a woodworking shop down at Twispworks, perhaps as soon as next year, so he was interested to see how this shop was set up for use by multiple folks.

Pt Townsend 1

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Pt Townsend 3

Pt Townsend 4

We had our anniversary dinner at The Fountain Cafe in Port Townsend.

Pt Townsend 43rd anniv

 

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Counterculture

We made a trip to the Skagit Valley and then to Seattle last weekend, to visit family and friends.  While on the way over the mountains, someone sent me a link to the Bellevue Arts Museum concerning an exhibit that is currently on display there.  I didn’t think we would have time to do this, but as it turned out we had about 3 hours Sunday afternoon, after the Seahawks game (Rick’s mom, who is 96, is a rabid Seahawks fan, so he went to watch the game with her while I met with some of my knitting friends).  It was well worth the visit!

The exhibit is called “In the Realm of Nature: Bob Stocksdale & Kay Sekimachi”.   It is a retrospective of the work of Bob Stocksdale, a master woodturner, and his wife Kay Sekimachi, a master weaver.  Bob died in 2003 but Kay is still a working artist.  The exhibit was first shown at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego (Sept 2014 – March 2105) and the only other venue is the Bellevue Arts Museum (July 3 – Oct 18, 2015).  There is a beautiful accompanying book with the same title, which of course we bought, but they allowed photography so here is a tiny flavor of what we saw:

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As long as we were there, we decided to wander up to the third floor to see the other current exhibit.

Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture

September 4, 2015 – January 10, 2016

Counter-Couture celebrates the handmade fashion and style of the 1960s and 1970s. Often referred to as the hippie movement, the Counterculture of the era swept away the conformism of the previous decade and professed an alternative lifestyle whose effects still resonate today.

This turned out to be FABULOUS (well, maybe you had to be there in the 1970’s, which we were).  What a hoot!  Wait a minute, where are those embroidered workshirts that I stitched in the early to mid-70’s?  Trust me, they don’t hold a candle to most of the gems we saw at the museum, but I have never been able to part with them.  Looking in the closet…here they are!

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Airiel at the Beach

Here we are just north of Bandon, OR at Bullards Beach State Park. What a lovely park! We had a somewhat sketchy site at Rogue River (it’s hard to pick these online from a map), but we weren’t there a lot and it was fine, really. We brought our folding bikes and there is a great bike path up to the town of Rogue River, about 5-6 miles round trip, so we rode every day for 4 days. We also rode around all the other camping loops and made notes as to which sites to try to reserve for the next visit.

Here at Bullards Beach SP, all the sites are much more private with hedges and trees between you and your neighbors. It was still a sunny day yesterday and we rode our bikes out to the lighthouse at the entrance to the Coquille River, about 6 miles round trip from the campground. By evening a heavy mist was blowing in, but we were able to cook and eat outside and sit by the campfire.

This morning we awoke to rain on the roof, and it has been raining all day. Apparently this is the first real rain they have had in a month. We ditched plans to walk the beach, and headed out in the truck to explore Coos Bay and towns to the north.

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In Coos Bay we stopped at the first big antique mall where Rick found a lot of very cool and collectible, but definitely not affordable, old woodworking tools. Next door was a yarn shop. What do you know.

So I go into the yarn shop and start poking around, turn the corner, and there is an old friend of mine from the early days of the Seattle Knitters’ Guild in the mid-80’s! She used to work at Weaving Works in Seattle, but has been a yarn rep for the last 14 years – her territory is Washington and Oregon, and she represents about a half dozen yarn companies. So she is on the road a lot, visiting yarn stores and taking wholesale orders. I haven’t seen her in years, so it was really amazing to just run into her in Coos Bay, OR!

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And then there is the yarn shop – called “My Yarn Shop”. My friend told me it may be the biggest yarn shop on the west coast, and she had an amazing inventory, all in rather a jumble, but what a selection! My credit card did not escape without some damage.

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We met up with my friend down in Bandon for a very nice dinner at Alorro Wine Bar – highly recommended.

Tomorrow we are off north to the Willamette Valley, with a fridge well stocked with shucked oysters, Kumamoto oysters in the shell. fresh king salmon that had just come off the boat 2 hours before we bought it, and some perch. We are having guests for dinner tomorrow night (longtime friends from Vancouver WA/Portland OR) and we will be having our own little seafood fest for a couple of days.

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Airiel on the Road

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Last week we were sitting at the table eating dinner and talking about the upcoming trip, and a name for “the trailer” just came to Rick – “Airiel”. We both knew immediately it was right. Maybe now that she is all cleaned up and feeling like home, it was time.

Anyway, we are settled in at Valley of the Rogue State Park north of Medford, OR, and saw some beautiful scenery on the way down here the last couple of days.

I am trying out some blogging apps for my iPad so I can include pictures. A new challenge!

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We traveled over the mountains and up to British Columbia last weekend, to visit friends who come frequently to our little valley.  I didn’t take many pictures, but we had lovely weather and did a lot of walking (and eating…)

One of the highlights of the trip was going to Granville Island on Sunday morning for breakfast, and to wander about and see the shops and studios there.  To get back to downtown Vancouver, we took the Aquabus, which offers a lovely and different perspective on the city:

Vanc BC Aquabus 1

Vanc BC Aquabus 2

We hadn’t visited Vancouver in about 15 years, and how the skyline has changed!  There are numerous apartment/condominium buildings downtown, and we were amazed by how many restaurants there were.  I guess a lot of the people who live downtown eat out all the time.

My favorite find at Granville Island was the Silk Weaving Studio.  There are 7 weavers and it is a working studio, with looms and fiber everywhere (all silk), and many beautiful items for sale.

Vanc BC Silk Studio 1

Vanc BC Silk Studio 2

Vanc BC Silk Studio 3

Vanc BC Silk Studio 5

Vanc BC Silk Studio 6

Vanc BC Silk Studio 7

We also enjoyed Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery, which has 2 shops, one in Gastown and one in Yaletown.  Inuit Gallery of Vancouver also had some beautiful things, but Coastal Peoples was our favorite.

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A couple of weeks back we took a trip out to Port Townsend and then on to Lake Quinault in the Olympic Rainforest, to visit our friends who own a historic cabin resort on the North Shore Rd – Lochaerie Resort.  Rick had built a corner cabinet for the living room of their personal residence, so we drove the truck and brought that out for installation.

In Port Townsend, we ate twice (dinner on arrival, lunch the next day) at our favorite little restaurant, Hanazono Asian Noodle.  It is really good, plus we are Asian-food deprived over here in our neck of the woods.

the Taylor Street roll

the Taylor Street roll

udon soup bowl with many yummy Things in it

udon soup bowl with many yummy Things in it

Before heading out to the lake, we drove down to Quilcene to visit Taylored Fibers.  This is a small custom carding operation which I first visited last October.  I brought Barry Taylor a washed Corriedale fleece and an alpaca fleece and he is going to dye the wool in 2 different colors, then blend it with some of the alpaca to make me some spinning rovings.  I can hardly wait!

His “machine” was made by Pat Green in British Columbia and is probably at least 20 years old.  As you can see, it is not the home edition.  It can make either batts or rovings.

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At Lochaerie, we had lots of down time with the new kittens, Walter and Skyler (both are females, but Walt was mis-identified initially, and they decided to keep the name!)

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the new corner cabinet - TV will mount in the wall above

the new corner cabinet – TV will mount in the wall above

We actually had reasonably dry weather for the coast, even though it was a little cold and windy.  On Sunday we went out and walked on the beach at Kalaloch.  It was blowing sleet down the beach at times, which may be one reason I wasn’t too into photography – but there were also sun breaks and it was beautiful.  We also got in a couple of nice walks in the rain forest, so different from our dry side of the mountains.

Back at home, I finished the 10 scarves on the Mardi Gras warp and took that setup off Kingston, the 32″ Macomber loom.

washed and ready for final pressing and trimming

washed and ready for final pressing and trimming

Then moved on to the new project, which I have to complete for our guild challenge deadline in mid-April.  The theme this year is “doubleweave”.  I chose a draft called Doubleweave Checks that has squares of double weave in a heavier cotton (8/2 in this case), separated by stripes of plain weave in both directions, using a lighter cotton (16/2 in this case).  The actual doubleweave checks should puff up when I wash these, making a nice thick absorbent towel.

doubleweave checks towel on the loom

doubleweave checks towel on the loom

close-up view

close-up view

This is way fun and I will be making more, to explore other colors, and other weights of cotton too.

Also this week we turned our attention to the Airstream trailer, now that it is warming up outside and we are comfortable working out there.  We took some “before” pictures.  It is so 1973 in patterns and colors and all the soft furnishings are also worn out and dirty.

the front lounge which makes into a double bed

the front lounge which makes into a double bed

twin beds in the center section

twin beds in the center section

lovely orange formica and dark walnut cabinets

lovely orange formica and dark walnut cabinets

refrigerator and storage across from the galley

refrigerator and storage across from the galley

Rick tore out the yucky dirty orange carpet and we picked out a Marmoleum (linoleum-type) flooring which should go in sometime in April.  I ordered new draperies from a place in Pennsylvania that specializes in replacement Airstream draperies:  J.P.A. Drapes.  Should get those by end of April or early May.  Then on Tuesday I took all the cushions from the front lounge and the twin beds to an upholstery shop in Wenatchee for re-covering.  I found some upholstery fabric we both really like at a decorator store  in old town Wenatchee:  Material Things.  They didn’t have anything at the upholstery shop that I liked, so I was really surprised and grateful that there was an alternative source!

And Rick has plans for the cabinetry – he is figuring out how it all goes together and what he can replace with new lightweight material in cherry.  It has to be lightweight so this is different than regular cabinetry.  All of that won’t happen right away, but at least the soft furnishings and the floor will be updated and clean by the time we take our first road trip in June.

 

 

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