Tag Archives: Washington state

Fields Spring State Park

Fields Spring State Park is four miles south of Anatone, Washington (pop. 38). The Park’s vistas, pleasant walking trails, and clean rest rooms ensure our return visits at least once a year.

Red vine maple, an attractive accent along the trail. . .

 Fields Spring vista

Craig Mountain Panorama

A fallen fence provides scenic entropy.

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Filed under Photo Galleries, Photos, Places, Road Trips, Rural life, Seasons

Mixed Christmas blessings

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I aspired yesterday to blog from a remote location. I had my phone and my computer (I still have my DumbPhone so I need both), and the cord to transfer photos from phone to computer. My husband had his portable hot spot that would provide wireless Internet anywhere that has cell coverage. We were off to Palouse Falls State Park, with its spectacular box-canyon waterfall near Lyon’s Ferry, which is near Starbuck, which isn’t actually near anything. What lacks proximity to Palouse Falls is a cell tower.

While we were eating part of our lunch in the car before leaving the falls, my daughter called, with her exuberant imperative that we have a merry Christmas. My granddaughter was learning to roller skate on the kitchen floor! Could we Skype? My husband shook his head no; there was a cell signal, enough for a phone call, but too weak to access the Internet, or at least not at Skype speed. Rats.

Somehow, heading home often triggers stress over unresolved things at home, things that we can do nothing about until the following day anyway; they will nevertheless nag and claw today. Even hearing the thunder of dramatic Palouse Falls fails to drown out the stress of an incompetent (they sent half as much as my vet ordered) pharmacy 2000 miles away; toss in the techno-corporate mind of UPS, that thought my cat’s medicine was not on a delivery truck that my cat’s medicine was actually on–even a rare, mid-week road trip fails to dismember the grip in which these stressors hold me. My strength was no match. By the time we arrived home, the stressors had hacked their way past my somatic security.

It was the most severe migraine attack I have ever suffered at home from first throb to the end. I’ve had three others equally severe, vanquished by injections or IVs in hospital emergency rooms. I have been able to manage the other hundreds of others I’ve had at home.

I was not going to the emergency room for Christmas. I don’t need writing material that badly.

It was nonetheless a pleasant road trip. Three years ago, we had lunch at Snake River Grill, at the Lyon’s Ferry KOA. They took my dietary limits in stride and made me a grilled chicken breast with melted Swiss cheese and mushrooms that was delicious. The Grill was closed for Christmas, but we had food with us. We just needed to know the place still existed.

I must share the important discovery I made on our way home. The Lyon’s Ferry roadside rest stop’s ladies’ room has the luxuries of hand sanitizer and a purse hook. As a rest stop aficionado, I give the Lyon’s Ferry rest stop the award of my high regard.

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Filed under People, Places, & Things

Lower Granite Dam country


For our anniversary this year (our 17th), we decided to see Lower Granite Dam, one of the few dams we missed when we made our honeymoon road tour of most of the dams and courthouses in Washington.

Because it is springtime in Washington, the day was rainy, windy, and briskly cool. Cumulo-nimbus clouds, bright-green fields of winter wheat, newly harrowed hillsides of sprouted spring wheat, and the solemn windings of the Snake River and its exquisitely carved canyon, put all the beauty that called us to live out here, in a quietly spectacular stretch of country a little more than 50 miles from home.

Several routes to Lower Granite Dam were possible; Tramway Road, a primitive road with steep switchbacks, appeared from the topo map to afford the giddiest canyon scenery on the way down to the River. But when we saw the mud on the silty road, we declined to take it, in favor of keeping to the paved Kirby Mayview Road. Tramway looked pretty slick—we didn’t want to discover how slick–even with 4WD and all-season tires. I hate losing Audi wheel medallions. . . _

We stopped at the Almota Inn country store, where we chatted with the owners about the reasons why terrorists don’t settle around here. I bought some corn chips, my gluten-free solution on the road. I went through both of my thermoses of coffee. I wasn’t sure we would get to Pullman, the only Starbucks location anywhere near our route.

Little Granite has a complex system with dam, locks, and fish ladders. It is, of course, also a Federal installation, and Army Corps of Engineers security was understandably alert in the wake of the worst Boston massacre since 1770. We treated the security checkpoint as a human-to-human interaction, and so did the security officer. We crossed the dam, which enabled us to get to Pullman. The Safeway Starbucks was a welcome resource for my husband, who hadn’t packed a thermos.

I love the Snake River Canyon country. I think if we ever feel the need to downsize again, I’d like to be someplace around here— someplace where we’d need to mail order our Starbucks beans. But it’s not that time yet.

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Filed under People, Places, & Things, Photo Galleries