Tag Archive: So much to see

ART. WOW ART… Part 1


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art  I’d almost forgotten what I’d been told and how I had to stop here, so glad I remembered! Approximately 500,000 visitors a year. 

General admission to Crystal Bridges is sponsored by Walmart. There is no cost to view Museum permanent collections. There may occasionally be a ticket fee to view special exhibitions. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy.

This museum is changing the shape, tone and nature of the Arkansas Ozarks. 

“Many press reports about the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, have mentioned the more than
$1.2 billion in 2010 contributions (including $800 million for endowment) provided last year by the Walton Family Foundation, for which the museum’s founder, Alice Walton, serves as a board member.Nov 28, 2011″ 

The grounds of the museum full of orchestrated delights. Pet friendly! Woof! 

120 acres of native Ozark forest which include natural springs, streams, geographical features, and a host of native plants and animals.

The Staff/Volunteers, absolutely talk to them: informative, welcoming and sweet. I arrived an hour before the museum was to open, thinking I’d take a quick look and depart, that’s when I learned the trails are perfect for your dog. The fellow watching over the entrance convinced me to go get my dogs out of the van so he could meet them and then get exploring on the trails. Was a day of light rain on and off, clouds and bursts of sun. I think we hiked every beautiful inch, didn’t get too wet either. 

LOVE. I learned during my visit how many West & East Coast people are relocating to this area.

The Gardens and Trails are full of American Art, like this guy.

Finally we spot bears that didn’t scare my dogs!

Inside The Way Of Color  Chamber

It was hard to leave these beautiful grounds to check out the interior but finally I put the dogs back up in the van and set out to see what was inside.

Here’s a fun video, walking in high speed!


St. Helens, Hood River, Mt Hood

Started this awhile ago… tonight I’m headed home; am in an RV Park near Ashland, OR. Went for a walk downtown, smelled all the great food. . . came “home” to make dinner only to find more of  my food had spoiled in spite of my best efforts, darn.

I’d gone back to staying in State Parks….  really love the lights out approach and with many of the kids back to school the State Parks seemed to be settling down. I fidgeted on the road, doing partial drives up one and back and then another and another…..  wound up in the upper campground at Castle Rock (Washington) side of Mount Hood…  I enjoyed that, lucked out with a double space in a clearing surrounded by tall thin pines, I went part way up the high road, then veered back and explored the lower road to the volcano but the visibility was almost nil and the driving hard mountain type so instead I tiptoed up the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side, then was struck by “intuition” and slide-slipped into Oregon for a rush up the Gorge on Hwy 84. That was a smart move. The smooth four lane highway was a joy to drive, along the way were sidetrips along the old “historic” highway. I took all of those! Waterfall hikes, resorts, the locks, the Bonneville Dam and of course lots of spectacular scenery. In searching for a campsite, my (not so) trusty GPS led me over a teensy weensy green metal draw bridge.  I NEVER want to do that bridge again in the LT. It’s very windy (gusty) and the LT does not track all that well. I had to do that bridge twice! Fine, it was only $0.75, one false move and you’re over the edge. It’s posted 25 mph but the cars push and cram trying to get you to move along. When I was on the other side I sampled the 2-lane narrow road that I would have taken (trying to make a U-turn) if not for my intuition. I wound up staying at a State Park flanked by the whistle-blowing freight train and the highway 7 miles South of Hood River on the Columbia. I loved the town in spite of their lack of RV accommodations. Apparently it was reborn after the demise of logging by California windsurfers. Indeed I saw lots of daring windsurfers. What would that be like, in that vast body of water zooming at top speed….what would Lewis and Clark have thought if they could have seen the future!!! My wind hands were getting pretty good at keeping the LT on the road.

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Hood River has been added as one of my favorite cities including the lush farmland as one starts to head east. I had a nice breakfast sitting with the dogs at a cafe then bought fresh peaches, tomatoes, blueberries and pear wine in the farmland. I didn’t feel the same about the forest in spite of dramatic views of Mount Hood. Maybe I was tired or already homesick for Hood River and the Columbia. Maybe it was the dark day and the dark woods. I decided not to camp in the woods…ah but I should have. I had trouble finding a place and wound up with a bad night at a crowded RV Park near where I’d started at Troutdale…  didn’t sleep well there as I had in the State Parks. I missed the dark night, the towering trees, the clamoring squirrels, the wind–blazing overhead lights and a laundry room can’t compare!

100° Snow

Okay back to the post I started last night…….

Before I tell about the wonderful visit I had with the president of the Lagotto Club, I have to tell of  Washington’s North Cascades. Truly beautiful even for a jaded Californian; as you climb the mountain the color green intensifies. It begins to seem unreal. The blue sky and azure lakes appear as if drawn by an illustrator with the saturation level tuned too high. I was seeing this with the right side of my head aching from jaw to throbbing eye singing in tune like a jealous lover as I awed at the amazing splendor around me.  At the summit of Highway 20, the North Cascades I stopped at the viewpoint punching the air conditioner to full blast. Cooled a bit, I ventured out for the view trail but was unable to make it. Mason and I rushed to get back  to our climate controlled world, Olympia, of course was gung-ho to go,  After the summit we stopped to see the snow–yes it was 100 degrees! I dumped snow on Olympia and me, Mason would have none of it so back to the LT for cool air so we could breathe. Wow, so this is how it feels to be getting older, or maybe I’m just out of shape or spoiled by Santa Barbara’s mild climate. I was spritzing water on myself and the dogs, yes even Mason and the bottom of his paws too, for once he didn’t complain.

Hairpin curves, byways, trail-heads…. drama, gorgeous vistas and summertime heat…Here’s some photos. Sorry the slide show had trouble so tired this… you have to click on each photo to see it and then click “back” on your web-browser….  not a very good feature (alas.)

All this was topped by one of the scariest nights I’d yet spent. The drive and previous night had been so wonderful I was determined to push on and find the perfect spot. Oh, if I had only listened to Mason!!! At the very first place I checked out, still glorious with the day was the Interpretative Center Campground for the Cascades. Mason’s eyes lit up…he said, “stop here Jamie, this is perfect, let’s stay here!” I very clearly heard him and saw the delight in his eyes and his tail; but no, it was not on the river, the trees were too dense, it was too dark, bla, bla, bla…. I rejected it and likewise for the next 4 RV parks (all perfectly fine but not the perfection I sought.) Now I was beyond tired and becoming irritable, where was my riverside oasis? No matter, I decided I’d stay at the next camp. LOL that turned out to be a dangerous decision. I spent the night at Eagles Nest in Concrete at the foot of the cascades. Apparently the place has been for sale for the last ten years. That’s where they wanted an extra $5 for a shower. when I asked why the fee was so steep, I was told it was because they had hot water. No fooling! I suppose they must believe most showers only come with cold water??? I took the trail down to the beach, the first time was so nice and a relief to be away from the derelict site so I tried again after dinner….mistake. A guy stopped his beat-up car, no cars were supposed to be in there, he leaned on it and pointed something at me. I didn’t hang around to find out what it was–later as I was trying to sleep I heard a woman scream, then 2 gun shots with a pause in-between coming from the beach. No Ms valiant here, I did look out my window to see if it bothered anyone else…nope… I laid on the floor for awhile. I never undressed or got in the covers that night… by 7 am I was on the road.

I stayed in this dive
oh no, i’m not crazy… sewer hose leaked like crazy tho

Had breakfast at a campground further afield…where I shoulda, coulda spend the night!

Couldn’t find Lake Shannon but found this! Had breakfast here.

A little peace in-between the gunshots and the police

Oh was I tired, and dirty and my head-jaw-eye ache was worse than ever. Barley awake, skittish and hot… I headed for Burlington to check it out. Some young guy in a big black pickup was playing stop and go.  After about the 4th or 5th run of this I passed him on the right at about 3 mph. Not good, a cop whizzed on his lights in full pursuit of the little RV from California. He put on his serious face, like I was the one shooting guns in the middle of the night. Of course the dogs thought it great fun and wanted to play, he didn’t seem amused. I was having serious trouble staying awake and my head was spinning.  He wanted all that paper work that was carefully buried away in hidden compartments in my motorhome….  he left me searching for my current insurance note…  I had shown hm the little slip my insurance company provides but it was from last year…Drat, where had I put it, I remembered folding it up and putting it my my wallet….  I was still looking for it and feeling very very hot and lightheaded with brain freeze… fortunately he didn’t ask what my name was I might not have remembered….. he came back with a deal. “Well, I’m not going to give you a ticket.” ….  all he was probably miffed to find no violations on my record and lo and behold I wasn’t wanted for any nefarious crimes, what a disappointment…”you should count yourself lucky” he said, ” since you can’t find your insurance slip, I’m gonna give you a non-moving citation, it’s something like a $100 filing fee.” I thought this guy was out of his mind. I definitely did not like Burlington. By this time I was only semi-conscious from the pain in my head, lack of sleep, and fear of the men in this region. I told him about the gunshots, thinking he might like some real crimes to occupy his time, “oh, they were probably just shooting coyotes,” he drawled…heck maybe he was shooting there last night. Then he answered my question about where I could rest, the place to go apparently was a gravel (unshaded) lot next to a place called Shrileys…. he’d seen some other RVs stowed there…it was probably illegal.

Looking for Lake Shannon

Are there any loons at Loon Lake?

Thank you Steve!!!!

Spent precious nights and days at Patrick’s house in the Washington woods. Thank you Patrick, Jane and Steve! Washed inside and outside of the LT…ahhhh, clean. Scrubbed the dogs, did laundry, washed my hair in soft water, (sans the cheating quarter game, which is akin to gambling but the stakes are minutes of hot water…. more on that later), slept in a dark cool room on a ‘just right’ inflatable bed. Found ice for my drinks and generous kindness from Steve. Olympia and Mason played chase me chase me games on the emerald lawn. Even watched the TV a bit. It was perfect except for one thing, I could not see the lake. I could walk there and catch glimpses through the neighbors yards but could not sit close to the water and count loons. Being the suspicious sort I began to wonder if, in fact, there were any loons…maybe all that nonsense about “private property” and folks “owning” the lake was a cover for the unhappy truth. According to the websites I found, the loon vacates in the presence of too much disturbance, such as jet skis and crowding by other species, including humans I’d think. …   Loon Lake is a thriving lakefront resort community, population of approximately 31,000, with its major economy coming from recreation, tourism, timber, agriculture, and mining. Lakefront homes and communities offer year round residency as well as vacation home rentals.

Since my view of the lake was so spotty, I’m going to say there are no loons left at all, of course the opposite could be true as well. In years past, a dear friend used to dream about Loon Lake, how it was filled with birds calling…  hmm???? I heard a train, cars on the highway, the wind and nice quiet. Maybe it’s the wrong time of year? The only loon at hand was the one hung in the kitchen.

The loons live on the kitchen wall! Every hour they let you know!

I’m generally behind on posting from where I am in actuality, it’s a nice reflection. I hadn’t considered that it could spoil the delicate timing of my trip. I was quite sad for several days to discover that my visit to Yellowstone fell into such turmoil. If it hadn’t been so hot, 90  to 100 degrees and over I could have lingered another week and half to correct the timing error. I would have liked that. Heat is not good to me; it feels good and then wham….headache, dizziness, shallow breathing, a sort of sudden incoherence overtakes me…. if I don’t run, and I can’t run, for air conditioning I know I will soon fall to the ground with a pounding pulse and swilling stars.   The heat is like a pressure compactor on my cells. I grew up in the desert, heat didn’t phase me, but apparently all that has changed. If I drink lots of fluids it helps a bit, mostly it means frequent trips to the bathroom…ergo the LT!  (And the LT”s air conditioner.)

My Mom reminded me of the 101 uses for a bandana, one of those uses is to get it really wet and drippy–don’t wring it out–and put it ’round your neck….that was amazing. When I did that my head came back. It was even better to start using the dog’s water sprayer on me. If I kept myself soaked I could be outside for a little longer.

Yellowstone did not happen. I can rationalize that National Parks are not a good place to bring pets. This is particularly true when you have two pets and there is only one of you.

An early stop on the lake tour














I took a day trip through Spokane, they have a “groovy” natural foods store, Huckleberry’s, that I enjoyed. Yummy Grilled Salmon Cesar Wrap from the bistro! The local neighborhood was a surprise; well foliaged gentle residential as opposed to the mishmash commercial main drag. The lake at Coeur d’Alene was smashing! Hey look at that I used the word, “smashing.” The drive was glorious but, of course, I became bored with gorgeous and three-quarters around I wanted out. Trusting my Garmin I blindly followed–people ask me if I get scared—hell yes I do! There I was with noting but a strange voice badly pronouncing the names of streets that were not posted as I  joggled the LT straight up on the loose gravel paths that led who knew where. The view was to die for, I skipped taking pictures or making sidetrips for fear of sinking the LT’s tires in quicksand.

I had a lot of fun, spritzing myself and learning lessons from Mason. For example, when I returned to Coeur d’Alene for a walk in the park, it was Mason who insisted we head to the wet grass for a laydown. It felt so good, my heart stopped pounding in it’s coolness. He would not budge until my pulse was back to normal. And it was Mason who sat on the edge of his seat as we drove back in the long dusk, telling me that I was doing fine and that If I couldn’t find the way in the dark he’d find it for me.

Spotted this on my drive into the hills

Having fun In the back yard

We have company

I stopped at AAA for new maps but I still use this one!

2,500 miles

I’ll never get caught up, I realize that now…. I mean I’m thinking of going to sleep because I’m tired but there is so much to post. A few days ago I was looking across an empty home parcel at a street in Canada… it was an odd sensation realizing I could simply walk across the lot and be in Canada but I couldn’t drive across it. The border patrol was cruising nearby but I mean, who would give up their car, of course it occurred to me that I could drive across the lot….. my GPS showed no street on the other side, only a thin red line and then nothing. If I walked across, or drove, would I then vanish even though I could clearly see streets and houses????  I was tempted to run across and see what would happen but was too lazy. The tourist info lady told me of a spot where one could stand with one foot in the US and the other in Canada and I’d gone there first, but it cost $10 to park in the nearly empty lot…  too high a price for me. Washington is like CA, you can’t park without paying even for 5 minutes. I might have paid a dollar or two so the dogs could experience what it felt like to be in a different country. Maybe the grass or the trees would smell different? I’m sure they would have told their doggy friends how they had been to Canada….  maybe we’ll go later.

My seafaring dog

My route went more or less from Gig Harbor to Sequim then back to Port Townsend where I spent the night at the marina–great place for walking–I liked it there. Sparkley…next time would enjoy actually going inside the museums and  halls. The next day we jumped on the ferry although I was told I needed a reservation there appeared to be plenty of space. I felt special driving my rig onto place with the others. Cost $22.50. The dogs were allowed to explore with me so we tried out the Titanic thing on the bow… I told Mason not to look down; as long as he didn’t know it was water we were crossing he was happy; Olympia, of course could feel the water in her bones; she was home.

Part of Anacortes from above

Anacortes smokestacks

The other view looking from the harbor at Anacortes - smoke stacks

Stayed in a nondescript RV park in Oak Harbor on Whiddbey Island, nice and quiet…. walked across the street to the State Park. Next day checked out Anacortes. I didn’t reach Fran’s cousin Johnny…I think that’s where he lives. Headed from there to Bellingham where I thought my friend lived…. it was a bit late so I decided to try her the next day and being tired I kept driving. Okay, so that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I was already badly missing the ocean. Before I knew it, I’d rejected several other stopping areas for the night, I was in one of the last spaces at  The Beachside RV Parkin Birch Bay near Blaine where the border is. The icy cold sea air agrees with me. The dogs and I walked for 2 hours relishing the long summer days.

Birch Bay in the morning

You see, why I’ll never get caught up, I keep moving. I could have spent a few days in Gig Harbor or Port Townsend or at Birch Bay… i could have spread out and unpacked a little, laid on the beach, opened my watercolors and dipped in my paint brush, could have read a book listening to the seabirds or chatted with my neighbors, but no, I had to keep moving on. I’m only staying a day, I kept telling the RV hostess when they check me in, a late arrival and an early exiter. Why? I’m not sure. I feel driven, as if there’s a goal, no, not a goal, as if there’s someplace I need to be.

Birch Bay... lovely... not many people when I was there

Washington weeds! Delicious 🙂

I don’t relax well, or at all. I just keep moving.

Kate and George in front of their home in Bellevue WA

I realized my mistake about where my childhood friend lived as I rushed back to Bellingham to find her address was NOT FOUND by my GPS….  Oops…  I had the wrong city. This meant I had to make a choice about visiting the president of the Lagotto Club who lived in Ferndale, very near my location at the time. I tried to reach her over several days but had been unsuccessful. I knew I had to try harder…I thought she was at home….  but then again how likely was that given all the dog activities available in the summer? I hope she will forgive me for not trying harder to reach her. I’m sure we will meet  some day. It was a long drive on I-5 back to Bellevue where my friend lived….and I was tired. It probably takes longer than 3 weeks to adapt to a different lifestyle. My days are very full, I’m doing something from the moment I wake up, usually around 7 am until midnight or later…soon I will have to catch up on my sleep!  It was wonderful to see Kate. Yes, Cathy I will post more about our visit…  but for now it was just great to see her and meet George, Patrick, Mocha, the cat and the new all-electric Nissan Leaf. She found me on the Internet after we lost touch some 30 years ago.  Also connected with a relative that I’d only recently learned about in Seattle…had a wonderful visit with him and his wife.

My (new) Cousin Paul on my paternal side

Nothing profound in this post….  just where I’ve been….  more insights and thoughts about traveling, connections, dogs, etc later…later after I get some sleep!!!!!….  It’s 11:52 PM!!!