Leaving Idaho for a While

One of our last days in Idaho was spent riding bikes through Sandpoint. Sand Creek runs south into a little lagoon, adjacent to and culminating in Lake Pend Oreille. The large bridge in the photo below is filled with little shops, and is mainly to relieve tourists of excess currency. But very quaint.

The bike trail eventually heads over to the lake side, towards a very long bridge.

The bridge is a couple of miles of straight shot across this corner of the lake. It’s obvious the original bridge was deemed too old or small for the traffic load, so a new portion was created right next to it. So now all motorized vehicles travel on the western half, and the eastern half is just for pedestrians and pedal powered people. It’s a nice, level, paved ride, with a gorgeous view, and the added benefit of the noise and fumes of huge trucks zooming right beside you!

Here’s the “Shopping Bridge”

A pretty little marina is on the south side of town.

Back to Washington

We returned to Spokane to see our Daughter and her beautiful family… and work on their outbuilding, which is referred to as the “Shop”. It is a pole barn, very nicely built, but without any insulation or finish inside. I heroically (foolishly?) volunteered to finish the inside of the shop, if they bought the materials. Hopefully this will save them some bucks. The shop project consumed a lot of our time, but not so much that we couldn’t find time for a kayak jaunt on nearby Medical Lake. I have no idea where the name came from. The water was refreshing, but I wouldn’t have thought medicinal. (Tune in next week for details on the shop upgrade!)

Kids were playing on a little rocky island an easy swim from the shore.

We saw what looked like a stone bunker hidden in the steeper shoreline. Was this to protect the lake from foreign invasion in WWII?

The other side of the lake was popular for rock jumping. At least for one kid, who must have climbed up and jumped a dozen times while we watched from the water.

Here is a very short clip of the rock jumping kids…


Private Concert

The previous owner and builder of Loren and Karen’s home came by, and were treated to an impromptu concert, with the whole family contributing to the beautiful music!

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A little while later, we were on the road again – this time headed for Glacier National Park.

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We made our first stop in Kalispell, Montana.



Kids and grandkids spent the night in their tent.



The grandkids made breakfast for us all one morning!

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Glacier National Park

This is such a beautiful park that I think half the country was here to enjoy it!  Ok, the only crowded parts were parking areas.  Once you could leave your car, no place felt crowded.  But everywhere is gorgeous!  (I’ve put up far too many pictures, but if you persevere to the end, you may find a video recap of frozen fun in Glacier water.)



This is Redrocks… a great place to swim in recently melted snow!


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Driving to the Sun Road

Yes, that’s the real name of a VERY narrow road connecting the West and East sides of the park.  It was closed near the top, but you could still drive a lot of it.  When we were in the East side of Glacier a couple of decades ago, I saw the signs that said vehicles over 21 feet long, 8 feet wide, or 10 feet tall were not allowed on this road.  We were in a motorhome then, and like almost any motorhome, we were not able to drive it.  Since then I’ve always wondered how bad could it be… Maybe a good driver, on an uncrowded day?…  Well, I must admit, the Suburban felt like as big a vehicle as I’d ever want to take on that road!  Breathtakingly beautiful, breathtakingly narrow with steep drop-offs down 20,000 feet or so. (You realize I NEVER exaggerate!) You will see no pictures of the road itself, because I was hanging tightly onto the wheel!

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Logan Pass is as far as we could drive… but a pretty nice view!

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They had some cut-out animals at the Visitor Center, which didn’t seem to mind masked bipeds.

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Glacier is the only park that we share with Canada – the Canadian portion is called Wheaton.  We didn’t make it to Canada, but we got to see their striking flag flying.

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Hike to Avalanche Lake

A few mile hike to Avalanche Lake would be worth the trip even if there was no lake at the top!





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We saw an amazing demonstration of animal cooperation.  This spunky chipmunk found a bag of shelled peanuts on a bench near somebody’s backpack.  He tipped it over, and scattered peanuts everywhere.  Then this beautiful little deer came to feast on this bonus treat, and the chipmunk was happy to share.  They both came within 10 – 12 feet from people, and happily feasted away.


For some strange reason, the hike down was just as pretty as it was on the way up!


Another day ending in the park…

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Hungry Horse Dam

At 564 feet, this is the 10th deepest dam in the U.S.  It was built between 1948 and 1953.

The story has it that this area got the “Hungry Horse” name from two big strong work horses that wandered off and got caught in a huge blizzard in 1901.  A month later they were found in chest-deep snow, weak and emaciated.  They were slowly nursed back to health, and the area’s name memorializes these stout, but hungry, horses.

We drove up to see the dam, and caught a glimpse of Hungry Horse Reservoir, but the ticking clock forced us to turn back. I determined that we would visit this lake soon on our kayak… come back next week!

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Hungry Horse Reservoir

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NEWS FLASH! Masked bandits startled by uniformed bear in a Huckleberry Pie place!

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Campground in the Evening

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And Finally – here is the Highlight Video!







Quick Trip to Lincoln

Biking in Washington

This video is very short, and documents one of our last adventures in Kennewick before Karen and Loren moved to the Spokane area.  Besides being short, it has a very uplifting final shot!


Special Days in Lincoln

We flew (In a jet) to Lincoln to celebrate a few special days.

Becky and Kevin moved to Lincoln, Nebraska from Minneapolis a few weeks ago.  This was our first time to see their beautiful new home.  Again, you don’t get pictures.  Sorry.  But we love their new place and had fun helping them settle in.

Dayna’s birthday is the same as mine (She can’t be convinced that makes us the same age) and Cherryl’s is the following day.  We had 3 cakes!  The show-stopper was this one.  Dayna specified the design, colors, and even the tips to be used on the cake decorator!  As adorable as this cake is…

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…The drawing Dayna gave Becky is even cooler! Isn’t it awesome!?



Lincoln Zoo

A visit to the zoo with cousins too!  The animals didn’t seem to mind humans in masks.



Kids and cousins enjoyed climbing inside the huge whimsical elephant.



Watching the turtles get fed…



…turned Peter into a Ninja Turtle!



Peter coming out of his shell…




Brave Dayna!

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A little time on Union College Campus

Meeting friends at the clocktower is a tradition that we were able to continue, even though none of us are currently students at Union.




A great place to spend time with Jesus!!

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First Day of School!

Dayna and Peter are blessed to be going to a private Christian school, which is actually OPEN and doing classes in person.  Masks all day and MANY other concessions to virus-shunning, but they are happy to be in school!

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Rosarium Display Garden

In addition to having a huge nursery full of beautiful plants for sale, Rosarium has a couple of acres of fancy display garden.  If they are planning on this making you want to landscape your yard more extravagantly, it worked!  Except I don’t have a yard to upgrade!  This beautiful place is a nice walk away from our kid’s new home.

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Downtown Spokane Park

This huge red wagon is a slide dedicated to kids and exploration… It’s pretty cool and VERY large!

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Grandkids with “Garbage Goat”

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Ashlyn and Bryan created “Mahjong Man”

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I have a fair bit more that I planned on putting up this week, but we are in a beautiful place now with almost no internet, and hopefully miles from the nearest Starbucks!  So I will mark this as unfinished, and try to add the rest in a few days.

Spokane ‘Splorations

This was our home location while helping our kids move from Kennewick to Spokane.  A very pretty park – quiet, clean, green and HOT!

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Most of the move went as you’d expect moving to go… the movers did very well, and it was fun to hear them joking around with each other.  My grandson turned this from a grandfather clock to a grandson clock!

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After the movers packed everything up, we moved to the new house – on some mountain property outside of Spokane.  Here’s our home outside of theirs.

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For privacy reasons, you don’t get to see their home.  Blame it on COVID… everything else is blamed on that!

Below are pictures from a picnic in a park in town.


Bryan and Ashlyn made a fort in a depression in a secret location in their new yard. 😉


They have a neighbor who has built some really cool hot rods.

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Spokane Walking Tour

There are several walking tours of old Spokane, and we walked the east end of downtown.  As in lots of cities, there is an interesting juxtaposition of old and new.  See if you can guess when this building was erected!

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The City Ramp Garage, built in 1928, was Spokane’s first parking garage, and is a beauty of Art Deco design.


I believe this is a slightly newer parking garage…




The train station moved to this location in 1891, after a fire burned the previous 3 year old station.  In front of the station is a fascinating sculpture : “Bringing Home The Wishing Rock”. A huge stone, connected by heavy cables to pillars, all leaning in an apparent effort to drag the stone along.







This cute Italian Kitchen caught my eye… but not my dinner.  Blame that on COVID too.



The Davenport Hotel


Fire destroyed a lot of Spokane in 1889.  Young Lewis Davenport had been working in his uncle’s restaurant, and when the city burned down he opened “Davenport’s Waffle Foundry” in a tent.  He soon bought a block of the burned city, and built a real restaurant.  Then bought the building next door, and remodeled to made it look like all one structure.  On the second floor, he created the “Hall of the Doges”, a very opulent dance floor.

The current hotel was built in 1914, replacing most of the old structure, but saving the “Hall of the Doges”. The Davenport Hotel claims to be the first hotel in the country with air conditioning, a central vacuum system, pipe organ, and dividing doors in the ballrooms.  Maybe the first with ALL these attributes…

This is the “Hall of the Doges”, an elegant room that was the scene of high society soirees a century ago.



Here is a photo of the room in use many decades ago. (I did not take this photo…)



The Davenport Hotel Tower was the home of Spokane’s first commercially licensed radio station, with broadcasts starting in 1922. KHQ played music from many local groups, including one called “The Musicaladers”. The drummer from that group dropped out of college… and became somewhat famous as a singer. His name was Harry Crosby… better known later as “Bing”.

The grand lobby:



In the 1920’s, you could just say “Meet me at the fireplace”, and it was understood you’d see them at the beautiful fireplace in the Davenport’s lobby.  It is kept burning all year, in accordance with founder Davenport’s wishes to create an hospitable atmosphere.



I include a masked self portrait…




When you’d show up to meet at the fireplace, you’d be greeted by a friendly doorman.  I just got a cardboard guy with a mask.







On the Water in Washington


We were in Kennewick, Washington to help/watch our kids and grandkids move to the Spokane area.  In a week full of packing and working, I didn’t take many blog worthy photos…  But we did manage to sneak in a little fun!

Charbonneau Park

A hot afternoon in the water with family and friends – what could be more fun?


Flight to Spokane

While up at the “new” house in Spokane, we prepped the garage floor for a shiny protective coating.  It had to sit at least a day before we could paint the coating on… and we were driving back to Kennewick – about a 2.5 hour drive.  So Loren figured that was a good excuse to fly!  A couple days later we made a quick trip up, used the courtesy car Signature Aviation kindly lent us, put the magic coating on the garage floor, and scooted back down.  So if you like flying, here is a short clip of the flights.



Ashlyn’s Harp Recital

Ashlyn has accomplished something awesome – finished Suzuki Book One for harp!  This obviously demands a recital, and she should play all the songs of this repertoire.  She kindly let some friends and family members play with her on a few songs.  This recital took place in Washington State, under quite strict Covid rules, so it was held outside, in the back yard, with attending family groups properly social distancing.  It was a perfect day for it… please ignore the occasional car sounds in the background.



Click here for Ashlyn’s Harp Recital Highlights


The crowning event of the weekend was Ashlyn’s baptism!  She is publicly declaring her love of Jesus and commitment to serving Him.  The baptism took place in the Columbia River, adjacent to a nice park.  A great number of church members were there to celebrate with lots of heaven’s angels!




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An Interesting Sail

I was told we could go to a park and see the top half of a submarine!  I figured it would be buried halfway up the hull… but no, it’s just the “sail” of a submarine.  And not just any submarine – This is the USS Triton, the first sub to circle the earth submerged.  In April of 1960 she set off following the route Ferdinand Magellan used circumnavigating the globe 440 years earlier.  Converted to an attack sub in 1964, she was decommissioned in 1969, and eventually “beheaded” with her sail planted in this park in Richland, WA.  I wonder where her other parts ended up?

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Bryan and Ashlyn at the BMX track

The most exciting part of riding this bumpy track is “Catching Some Air!”  Here is conclusive proof both kids were very successful!  There is even evidence that Karen did a  lap or two!

We Ride The Hiawatha!

Tiny Campsite in  Bozeman, Montana

We spent a few days crossing Montana… and did fun things like get new tires on the Suburban, and a wiper arm adjusted which was a bit off after the motorhome’s new windshield installation.  We had forgotten how breathtakingly beautiful much of Montana is!

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On a morning run, I saw this beautiful blonde and had to take a shot!

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50,000 Silver dollars

This place was listed as having a free campground, ten sites with electric hookups.  We were a bit skeptical, but we got there about 5pm and got a nice site with power!

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The bar really seems to have 50,000 silver dollars on display!  Every wall covered with mounted coins.  We spent very little time with these two dummies.

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The best thing about the campground is the location was a perfect staging for our ride of the Hiawatha.  They even have water available – here we are filling up after a two day stay.

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Ride the Hiawatha

This trail follows an old rail line.  Fantastic scenery, lots of tunnels, even more super high trestles, and it’s all downhill!  At the bottom of the 15 mile ride, you can catch a bus back to the top.  My kind of ride!




Here is a little collage of most of the tunnels.  The ride starts with a 1.8 mile long tunnel… water drips from above, and therefore the trail is very muddy.  It is 44 degrees inside, so you emerge with numb fingers and if you don’t have fenders, you have a wide mud stripe up your back instead.  I mentioned the bus ride back to the top… It’s really not all the way to the top.  You have the privilege of riding back through the long tunnel to get back to your vehicle.




The first view exiting the tunnel is a small but beautiful waterfall.



I wondered if our funny little folding bikes would do well on this route, with so much of it gravel, but they did fine.

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Some of the trestles are extremely high!







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We packed a lunch, and we were very popular with the wildlife where we stopped.  This beautiful little deer wandered all around us, and didn’t seem at all afraid.



Here she seemed to stick out her tongue, then have a good laugh!


We were surrounded with the cutest little chipmunks… and maybe they got a bit of our lunch…





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I didn’t realize how muddy we’d gotten the bikes till we folded them up… A great time!!

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Savenac Nursery Historic District

We just happened to see the sign for this place near the 50,000 Silver $ camp.  We decided it looked like a good place for a morning run.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  There was a nursery here, founded in 1907.   It was severely damaged in the Great Fire of 1910,  and then rebuilt by the CCC in the 1930’s.  If you are not familiar with the CCC, look it up!  The Civilian Conservation Corps was a federal program to give work to young men in the 30’s and a bit into the 40’s.  It not only supported a lot of families, but it taught many men valuable trades, and created lots of beautiful buildings and bridges.  Many of these are in our National Parks, and the quality and style of the CCC structures is still a pleasure to see.

Here is all you see from the road…

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But on the grounds the view gets better…

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Here’s a monument to the men of the CCC, who designed this whole tree seedling nursery.

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This is the “Yellowstone Bridge”, a remnant of the Yellowstone Trail.  Built before the Lincoln Highway, the trail was to be a way for people from the east could get to Yellowstone by car instead of the train.  It was then extended west to lure tourists to the Pacific.  I think this bridge was built in 1913… not car worthy now, but still cool!



So the CCC laid out the plans for the buildings, roads and other infrastructure for this tree nursery.  At its peak production, it was sending millions of tree seedlings around the country annually.

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This foundation was for a three story tall “Extract the seeds from the pine cones” building.  There were apparently many levels like shelves, where pine cones were dried, then crushed, and seeds sorted out.

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Many of the seeds were then stored in this concrete vault.  Others went to be planted and nurtured into shippable seedlings.

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