Against all odds, we made it! Taking on this cross country trip as our first real long RV sojourn was a big challenge. But, we're here. We met Erin and her family in Coeur D' Alene, ID yesterday to begin a week of vacationing together. Fittingly, our first day together was July 4th, Independence Day. Being together was truly an act of freedom because COVID had kept us from seeing each other seeing each other in person for over a year and a half.
We explored downtown Coeur D'Alene including the waterfront area. There is a beautiful Marina and a series of parks on the lake. We followed a walking path along the water that led to terrific views of the city and the surrounding area. We had a great lunch, walked around town some more, then went home to get ready for our 4th of July dinner cookout at our campsite in the Tamarac RV park. The park is right in the middle of a busy suburban setting, but still has 50' high trees inside it. Look outside over the fence and there is a strip mall. But, look inside the park and you are camping in a forest.
In the darkest days of COVID, it didn't seem like this day would ever come again. It did though. We beat the virus. We beat the politicians and their lockdowns. We beat the 3500 miles that separated us. We set the goal of finding a way to once again be together with our daughter and her family and we did what we said we would do even though it took a lot of effort to get here. This is a great life milestone for Diane and me - one we will remember for a long, long time.
I've posted a new blog, "Goals," on the Looking For America tab that discusses the experience of reaching a long sought after goal. We will be in Coeur D'Alene for the next few days. Then, we travel together with Erin and Jeff and the kids south to the Columbia River Valley - Washington State's wine country, We will be posting the pictures of our time together in Coeur D' Alene in this section.
Thanks for riding with us!
Washington State is a tale of contrasts. The western, ocean side is verdant with moisture laden breezes sweeping across the ocean and showering the shores and windward side of the mountains with abundant rain. You can literally find rain forests on this end of the state.
By contrast, the Eastern side of the state is arid, almost desert like. In July, when we visited, the hills were brown and the region was in the grip of a record heat wave. The short brown grass, small cactus, and other scrubby short plants would look right at home in Tucson. This is most surprising because the Tri-City area of Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick Washington is also home to the Columbia River. The Sacagawea State Park and Museum are located on the peninsula that is the confluence point where the Columbia and Snake rivers merge together and then flow all the way to the Pacific ocean as the Columbia River. The narrow strips of land on the banks of the river are deep green and starkly contrast with the dry, desert brown of the adjoining hills in heat of summer.
Even though it is arid, southeast Washington is a rich agricultural area. Grapes, apples, cherries and wines from this region are exported across the US and to other countries. How? Look at a satellite map of the region and you see miles of green circles - irrigated fields. Like many other places in the West, life in eastern Washington state depends on access to “wet gold“- water.
During our time in southeast Washington, we visited Badger Mountain Organic Winery, the master gardener demonstration garden at Washington State University, the Sacagawea State Park and museum, went wading in the Columbia River, and had a sleepover and multiple cook outs with the kids. We hope you enjoy our pictures. Thanks for riding with us!
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