Kate and I hadn’t seen one another since the early ’80’s; she can tell you the exact time and place in San Jose…and it was she, who found me. It’s quite an honor to be sought and found after so many years. This wasn’t the first time we’d been separated and reunited….  the first time was when we were three when my family moved t from the San Fernando Valley to Palm Springs. Kate and In became ” instant friends” as Kate reminded me in junior high school when my family moved back to the Valley. (Yes next time, Cathy we need you too to be there!)  It was great to talk and simply to see her.  Kate I will never forgot the greeting hug you gave me…now you are my treasure once again!


I want to add a phot0 edit here….  yes there are more pictures and pictures that make sense, but I’ve managed to scramble the photos….  I can’t locate a batch I edited several days ago. The numbers are not in order since I’ve filled one of the cards in my Sony and am now using the 2nd card….there are also photos in my Droid which I can’t transfer so when I return to Santa Barbara I’ll post some of the missing photos…. it is difficult to manage the two dogs and my big camera.  My new technique is to step on the leashes to take a shot without the shaking…Olympia likes to joust me just as the shutter is about to open. I need a smaller lighter camera when I have the dogs. My shoulders get tired!

I took off on Sat of Labor Day Weekend thinking I could whisk off to Leavenworth via scenic Hwy 2….. foolish thinking… scenic two-lane mountain road on a holiday? After an hour or so of 2 to 5 mph bumper grinding I ditched that idea reverting south through Snoqualmie to Hwy 90. The name had always intrigued me seeing it on the map–it’s the home of All Pets Go To Heaven and I’d loved the Snoqualmie Screen Saver with its “rhythmic, dancing patterns of colorful dots resemble the rainbow-colored mist rising”  from years ago. I didn’t have much time for exploration, the drive was long and tough with high winds and steep mountain curves, I was frayed but triumphant when I finally pulled into the 2nd to last spot at Icicle River RV ParkThe park guide helped me maneuver up-slope at an angle into the tight spot.I hated to leave for exploration but I did as soon as it cooled to a nice walking temperature. Leavenworth was just like Solvang near Santa Barbara, which was a disappointment. Even more of a disappointment was the unfavorable conditions for people with dogs. I could smell delicious food and gaze wistfully at displays of wine and cheeses, Danish pastries, full-blown restaurants but the city lacked any semblance of “parking” for one’s pooch. Not friendly to dogs, I decided as I struggled to get myself backed into the little RV spot. Another thing I noticed was that the RV parking was very skillfully hidden, I spent a half an hour chasing the RV parking signs in Leavenworth…I never did find the “prescribed” lot.

Walking the crowd

The town of Cashmere seemed cute and there was a lot of parking! The reason? The town was shutdown for Sunday in spite of the big holiday weekend. I was imagining what the shop owners were praying about in Church…  so much for breakfast. I bought some tomatoes and peaches at a food stand.

Wheat and the endless road...Yes this is Washington!

Washington flattens out in the middle…somehow this didn’t occur to me. No, Toto I hadn’t been flung to Kansas but to never-ending wheat fields. Of course all those cookies and loaves of bread I consume come from somewhere, but Washington?  ….. I hadn’t known. They are stunning. So orderly, golden in the summer, wafting and furrowed. Then the 150 mile road to the Grand Coulee Dam rises and dips cut from glaciers, studded with beauty and wildlife. And water, of course, glistening, beckoning….leave those silly cars and come float away with me.

A little "teaser" dam I spotted

At the summit is the dam built 1935 – 1942  in the Columbia River Basin…  it’s huge, as stated, one of the largest in the world. I’m not a fan of hydroelectric, damning our rivers inflicts hardship; reservoirs are not lakes… the entire water cycle is altered along with the life it supported, yet I stared at this massive hunk of concrete and connected power generators trying to compare the work of ancient civilizations with this creation of our civilization.

Let there be power

The town seemed deserted