9/14/06:  From Kettle Falls we headed east through Sand Point, Idaho and on into Montana where we stayed on night at a Forest Service campground along State Highway 56.   It was then on to Glacier National Park for the weekend.  On the way the engine fan on the truck stopped turning on and off like it is supposed to do.  Instead it remains on keeping the engine a little too cool.  The closest International service center is in Missoula (a 200 mile round trip) so we elected to continue and made an appointment in Williston, ND.  This cut our visit to Glacier a bit short but that is ok.  We did manage to get a tour bus ride in one of the old reconditioned 1930s busses.  We took the half day trip up to Logan Pass on the Going to the Sun highway.  Really a wonderful tour except for all the smoke from the forest fires this year.  Got a few good pictures.

McDonald Creek

Logan Pass

1930s Tour Bus

From Glacier we continued on east on US highway 2 with an overnight stop at Fresno Reservoir (near Havre) and a two day stay at Fort Peck Dam near Glasgow.  Fort Peck dam is the largest earth fill dam in the U.S.  Quite an impressive sight at over 250 feet tall and four (plus) miles long!  The Corps of engineers has a really nice campground just below the dam with plenty of riding and hiking trails and deer all over the place.

From there we headed on to the Williston, ND area for the appointment to have the truck worked on (again!).  In Williston we elected to camp at the Lewis & Clark State Park about 20 miles east of town.

Missouri River below Fort Peck Dam

Lake Sakakawea near Williston


9/6/06:  From Issaquah we headed east to Grand Coulee Dam.  John & Donna accompanied us and stayed one night before heading north to British Columbia.  We remained another day before we headed to Kettle Falls for a visit with Al & Jeanie.  While in Grand Coulee with John, Donna and their grand daughters we visited the visitors center for the dam and enjoyed the evening laser light show.  This is a very good show and it tells the history of Grand Coulee.  Photos were hard to capture with the light levels involved but here are a few.

We thoroughly enjoyed out visit with Al &  Jeanie.  Jeanie is such a good cook and they grew some awesome corn this year.  I think we both gained at least five pounds!  Al and Len managed to get a few days of fishing in but, unfortunately, the fish just were not cooperating this year.  A few walleye are in the freezer but no where near what we had last year.  Seems like fishing is off all over the Northwest this year for some reason.


8/28/06:  From Portland we headed south to the Albany/Lebanon area where we camped in our dear friends Dee & Darlene's driveway for several days.  We had a great visit with our son and his family who live in Albany.  From there we continued on south to the Ashland area and a few days camping with our daughter and her family at Hiatt Lake.  Again a great time was had.  Daughter even drew a picture of our campsite (see Hyatt camp by jo.jpg).  The story behind this drawing concerns the campsite's steep drop off from the trailer to the picnic/fire pit area.  I (Len) gave Sylvia a hard time for picking a site "on the side of a mountain" so Jo Anne (daughter) took the hint and made the sketch.

From Ashland we headed back north along Interstate 5 to the Seattle area (with a stop at Champoeg State Park south of Portland).  We met up with our friends from Alberta (John & Donna) for a few days.  We both camped in Issaquah at the home of Woody and Merry Ross (friends of John & Donna).  The church Woody and Merry attend had sponsored a trip for the Children's Home in Mazatlan to come to Issaquah and dance at various locals in and around Seattle including the Washington State Fair.  This is a great bunch of kids ranging in age from 6 to 16 and they sure can dance. Here are a few photos of them performing in Issaquah:

 

 

 

 

These children live in an orphanage just outside Mazatlan and can be seen singing and dancing in the winter months at various locations (shopping malls, RV parks, Cruise ships, etc.).  The donations they receive at these performances goes to support them throughout the year.  They need all the help they can get.  Stay tuned - I will be setting up a website dedicated to these kids and the adults to take care of them.  In the meantime, if you would like to help them either financially or otherwise, please contact me.

While at Issaquah we did manage to get time to visit Snoqualmie Falls.  What a magnificent place this is.


8/13/06:  Our stay in the Portland area ended up being a little longer than we had planned.  The second day we were there our truck decided to play dead.  While driving down Foster Road in Southeast Portland it began to cough and sputter and we rolled to a stop blocking the right turn lane onto I-205.  Had to get it towed (thanks to Good Sam Emergency Road Service) to the International dealer.  They could not get time to even look at it for over a week.  When they finally got to it all that was wrong was a splice in the power line from the battery to all the electronics had corroded and the computer had no power to operate.  The body builder had moved the battery box when they installed the bed and had to add about two feet of wire. If only they had used water tight splices!!!  Needless to say, we will be talking with those responsible.

We made the best of the unexpected delay and had several get togethers with family.  Our son and his kids drove up Sunday and we had a wonderful BBQ along with nephews and Len's sister.  The two grand daughters stayed with us thru Tuesday when we headed for Lebanon.  On Monday we took the two of them up to Mt. Saint Helens.  They had never been there before and they seemed to enjoy the trip.  Unfortunately, the views were somewhat limited due to the severe haze.  Regardless, here are a few photos we took.  Keep in mind that ALL of these photos are within the original blast zone back in May 1980.  There was NOTHING left standing in this area and everything was covered in gray ash.  The valley in front of the mountain is several hundred feet deep in ash.

Cheyenne, Sylvia & Kristi

 

The Crater

If you look close you can

See a plum of steam from the new dome

Spirit Lake

 

The Crater and the

Toutle River Valley

Coldwater Lake

 

 

 


7/27/06:  We left Magone on Monday the 24th and traveled back to our property in Madras.  While there we were very busy getting all the paperwork gathered to file what is called a Measure 37 Claim that (we hope) will allow us to divide our property into two or three smaller parcels and build houses on them.  For those of you not familiar with the wonderful state of Oregon, we have what is probably the nations most stringent land use laws.  If your property is considered agriculture, range, or forest land (and I am sure there are others) then you must have a minimum of 80 acres before you can build a house.  While this is a wonderful plan to save our open spaces from development, some of us purchased property back when it was zoned for other use (or not zoned at all or some of the real old timers).  When we purchased ours it was designated Rural Residential and we could have split it into a total of five parcels.  Well, some land use advocates challenged the county's plan and our property reverted back to Exclusive Agriculture which prohibits us from any further development.  Along came a ballot measure passed by an overwhelming majority that says if you could develop it when you purchased it then you still can or you must be compensated for the financial loss.  Obviously the county cannot afford to compensate so they are allowing most to develop their land.  Unfortunately, one must go through a lengthy process to obtain approval.  With luck we should have an answer in a couple of months.  Realtor tells us they can get a pretty good sum for two additional lots.

We departed Madras this morning and traveled to the Portland area where we are camped at a county park along the Clackamas River south of the small town of Boring (what a name for a town).  Expect we will spend 5-6 days here and then on to visit our son and his family.

Prior to leaving Magone, our friends Eleanor and Glendon and I took a hike up to Strawberry Lake.  Caught a few 9-10" trout and had a great time.  Here are a few photos of Strawberry Lake:

And here are a few from the Magone area:

The Camp Pet

Strawberry Mountain (Strawberry Lake is just below the Mountain)

Magone Trout