April 28, Seattle / Idaho

Riley and I are settled into the Lewis & Clark RV Park off Hwy 12 near Kamiah, Idaho. This is a beautiful area and we have signed up for a month's stay. The park was hosting a Bluegrass Festival over the weekend, so there were lots of folk here. Saturday night we went down to listen to the bands. They were good and we enjoyed listening. Only problem, it was cold. The players were complaining their hands weren't warm enough. By the end of the third set, I was shivering even though Riley had thought to bring a blanket to put over our laps, so we headed back to the rig. We did learn the difference between a rock band and a bluegrass band: a rock band plays all night without tuning and a bluegrass band tunes all night without playing. Also, the difference between a banjo and a trampoline: you take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline.

We had a good visit with Luke and Amy in Portland; Naomi was sweet as she could be. New babies are such fun. We enjoyed the kiddos all up the coast--Cleric, Ryin, Naomi, and Aubrey Jack. Luke and Amy seem to have their lives well balanced and well structured, a good environment for a child to grow up in. Luke now has an office job and misses working at home. Amy is not working, so Naomi gets plenty of time with her mom.

Luke, Naomi & Amy
Our time in Seattle was wintry. The skies were overcast (got sun maybe two days), rainy, and cold--one day it even snowed! Weather aside, we had a good visit. We got our doctor and dentist appointments done with no problems--yea! We visited Gaynell and Thad twice for a total of 7 days, and spent a week with Keith. We went up to the mountains with Keith and Riley spent one day cross-country skiing with him. They had a good time, while I had a good time staying warm in the RV. We had a short afternoon visit with Gabe & Jenefer and an evening with our former neighbor, Beth Lemm, who is now a neighbor of Keith's. We spent the last weekend with Roxanne. Unfortunately, she was ill and we didn't get to spend as much time with her as we would have liked. Happily, she was well on the mend when we left.

Joseph, Beth & Sarah
Keith is still at the same job, though he occasionally talks about doing contract work again someday. We're glad to see some stability in his life. His girlfriend Mandy and her kids are doing well, though we did not get to see the kids this visit. We stayed with him the week we went to the doctors, just moving into the house. We rearranged his downstairs to make this a bit more comfortable, but it was strange not to be in the RV.

Keith at Alpental ski area

Alpental Valley--note avalanche debris

Gabe and Jenefer have a new big house--it's very nice with lots of room for a growing family. Aubrey Jack is two and a real cutie pie.

Aubrey Jack

Gabe, Aubrey & Jenefer

Gaynell and Thad have a new water feature in their backyard. It is like a small waterfall and creek. The birds love it and so did we. Sitting in her backyard is always so relaxing, it is a pleasure to be there. They have also installed an awning that covers the area right behind the house, providing shade and shelter from rain when you still want to be outdoors. It's a nice addition. Alex came over one Sunday evening but Olivia was working so we didn't get to see her. Alex helped his parents some with their computers--it was a nice visit. They all play the same online computer game, which they have a lot of fun at.

Roxanne had done some remodeling to her house. Changing the house and yard must be in the Seattle air. Jo and Scott are living with her until Jo goes back to grad school at Western Washington University at the end of summer. They all seem happy with the situation, and it sure made it easy for us to visit with them.

After leaving Seattle, we traveled east to Gingko-Wanapum State Park on the Columbia River. We have stayed here before when the winds were high, and were glad they were not so this time. On the river we saw Horned Grebes--a life bird for us--and hundreds of Violet-green Swallows. Black flies and other small insects must have just been hatching as we saw thousands of swallows over the Yakima River and again over the Clearwater River where we are now. We also went through Pullman to visit WSU and Ferdinand's--the WSU dairy where they make Cougar Gold cheese. We picked up a couple of tins--yummy!--and were dismayed to find the price had almost doubled since we were buying them for Christmas presents some years ago.

Palouse River canyon

Palouse Falls

Today is a beautiful day and warm! We took a walk down by the river and throughly enjoyed being out. There are Belted Kingfishers and Common Loons, as well as ducks and Coots, on the river. Just across the highway from the park is a Nez Perce National Historic Park, "Heart of the Monster," that provides walking trails down along the river. This area is said to be the birthplace of the Nez Perce Tribe. The RV park is situated in the Clearwater River valley and is surrounded by tree-covered slopes. We took a motorcyle ride yesterday to do some exploring locally. We'll have no trouble finding beautiful places to hike in and visit while we are here. Highway 12 itself is a very scenic area going up into Montana through Lolo Pass.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

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