Monday, May 2, 2011

Spokane, April 2011

Gregg took Friday off so that we could drive to Spokane and visit David and our cousin Kim & his wife, Mary. We took the 8:45 a.m. ferry and headed east on I-90.

There is a lot to see between here and Spokane…and in some places, not so much. I don’t think I’d like to settle down in this place:
A great portion of Washington State is agricultural land, so at different times of the year, crops are visible in various stages of growth. We saw potato fields, Timothy hay, alfalfa, peas and more. We saw high desert, mountains, rivers, lakes and saltwater (my favorite).

Kim & Mary graciously offered to host us in their home on the South Hill, so we had the fun of sitting up late into the night, talking, and having coffee together in the morning. Kim & Gregg have been very close all of their lives; they were born just a few weeks apart, to sisters who were best friends.

We met David on the G.U. campus on Friday afternoon, and took a walk with him. Then we ate dinner with Kim and Mary at the golf club where their wedding reception took place.
Gregg, David, Kim, Mary & me
Kim is about 6'5" tall (or thereabouts)!
Gregg, David and Kim played 18 holes on Saturday, while Mary and I took a long walk through the riverfront area of town. The river was very high due to snowmelt, and its power is awesome. I could have spent a lot of time staring at it, and feeling the vibrations from the water as it cascaded over Spokane's falls and sprayed white foam into the air. There are many bridges which criss-cross the river, offering varied viewpoints.

After our walk, we stopped at a great pub for an appetizer and beverage. That evening, Kim barbecued steaks for dinner.

Yesterday was the famous Bloomsday run in Spokane, so we avoided downtown and took a walk on the South Hill, enjoying the fabulous cottage architecture of the houses around Manito Park. There are also beautiful mansions on the other side of the hill, with mature gardens and deciduous trees all around. Our walk took us to a bluff overlooking a valley.
We took David and Kim out to brunch (Mary couldn’t join us, as she was participating in the Bloomsday run). After brunch, it was time to head home. We loaded our car with some of David’s gear, in order to make his move home easier (he has final exams this week, and will be coming home afterward).

Gregg and I stopped to take photos of the Columbia River Gorge (near the Gorge Amphitheatre, where we have attended many concerts over the years). It’s a breathtaking natural work of art.
During those concerts, the sun goes down behind the hills, and paints them - and the river - in pastel hues, before the sky darkens and the stars come out. It’s indescribably beautiful. Kim and Mary went to the Gorge with us on their first date. We heard James Taylor sing, and that was the beginning of their romance. Isn’t that a great story?

Windmills provide power around the farming/ranching city of Ellensburg, silhouetted against the Cascade Mountains.
Blue sky over Snoqualmie Pass and snow on the foothills.
It was a great weekend get-away. Now, it’s time to get back to work - Happy May to you!
Thank you, Kim & Mary!


Elizabeth said...

I feel like I got a way a bit, strolling with you and seeing the sights and beautiful nature of that area.

Thank you, Karen!

ChiTown Girl said...

Such beautiful pictures of beautiful sights and even more beautiful people!

Lynda said...

Hey Karen, I was at a James Taylor Concert at the Gorge around 17-19 -give-or-take-a-few years ago...
Glad you had such a nice weekend!

Mary Potts said...

such gorgeous pictures of stunning scenery
thanks for sharing

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love seeing this part of our world..since I have not traveled here in person. yet. You are a good travel narrator!
Your weekend looks lovely....I have always wanted to see a concert at the Gorge. I have seen them on TV.
I do love the James Taylor/first date story; so sweet.
David is already done with his first year of college! YOU survived, and with grace!!!!

Karen said...

I love a good travelogue--esp. for a place to which I've never been. My darling niece lives in Spokane, but I've still never been there.

I can't believe David's year is over. It seems yesterday that we were helping you say goodbye to him! Has he changed much? It seems mine were very different after the first year of college.

Wishing you a wonderful summer of travel and family and new memories.

AnnDeO said...

A great weekend. I miss excursions to Spokane (taken when we lived in Missoula and Lewiston, Idaho) Isn't it interesting to visit those college aged children? I love how you find walks and hikes in every area you visit - oh and good times with friends.