We left our home in the camper van Sunday morning after I got off work. This is the first trip in the camper van for both Steve and Ryeleigh. Initially they were nervous, hanging out right next to us in the front of the van.
We headed over the North Cascades Highway. This is Diablo being enjoyed by lots of people.
And the views going over the pass.
This is a sign warning us of smoke over the roadway ahead.
Then we saw the first fire, the Delancy Fire.
Then we were stopped on the highway for about 1/2 hour for the firefighters to clear beside the roadway to try to prevent the spread of the Varden Fire (now the Cedar Creek fire). We could watch more of the aerial assault on the Delancy there.
Then we were let through and could see more of the Varden fire which was scary. Note the red sun in the second photo.
We came to our Winthrop Blues site where we normally are this time of year. Sad to see it empty again, but it is now being used to support fire fighters so that is certainly worthy.
We went to the Methow Valley Ciderhouse where we had planned to spend the night. It was way too hot, dusty and smokey to stay there, but we enjoyed smoked ribs and their cider on their porch. Steve became the greeter.
When I took photos of this sign, it changed colors in my phone although didn’t in reality. The red ones is ominous though.
Tom had quickly obtained a site at the Winthrop KOA to camp by the river.
We had a nice evening, but unfortunately first thing the next morning Steve drug me into a fence trying to get to a dog on the other side. I was cut badly between my right thumb and finger. The nearest medical facility that could help me was 1.5 hours away so we quickly packed up and headed down the road. By this point highway 20 was completely closed so there was no option of heading back west for medical care. I went to the Three Rivers Hospital Emergency Department. I received a vigorous cleaning of the wounds, lots of very painful lidocaine injections, a deep exploration of the large wound where he could see my muscles, tendons and joint and saw no damage there, and then 10 stitches. Here I am all wrapped up in the ED.
We had previously made reservations to camp at Alta Lake but were now way past that. Plus camping in hot weather wounded was not appealing. I was trying to save our anniversary trip so found a fancy appearing AirBNB near George so we booked that, ate some late lunch and headed that way.
And we made it. It wasn’t as big as I had thought from my quick read of the information, but it was perfectly lovely oasis in the hot desert.
There was a manmade “lake” out back that people were paddle boarding on. Ryeleigh enjoyed watching them.
We ended up watching the Home Run Derby and Celebrity Softball while relaxing on the sectional couch. After a very trying day, it seemed perfect.
We had a wonderful dinner with our pork chops grilled on the back patio by Tom. And we watched the sunset.
We all slept well, thanks to the air conditioning. The next morning Ryeleigh found that she liked the couch as well.
We took a walk out to the gorge cliffs that Tom had scoped out first on his trail bike Luther.
There were vineyards and a winery on the property.
I surveyed the developing bruising on my “good” hand.
The dogs and I stayed in the building while Tom did a wine tasting to try to find a nice wine for our anniversary dinner. He kept me updated with texts and photos as to his progress and the views there.
We had a lazy afternoon and watched the All Star game. I couldn’t handle Steve anymore so Tom had Steve walking duties the entire trip after my injury.
I made Whiskey Sours for our predinner cocktails.
And then we had an amazing anniversary dinner with our T-bone steaks and one of the bottles of wine Tom scored.
Then we had a nice sunset walk.
The next morning we gave up our air conditioning and travelled to our family’s cabin near Cliffdell. (Warning there is a yucky photo ahead you may want to quickly skip over).
Once there we attended to the prescribed bandage changing on my injured hand. I instantly became nauseous upon seeing my damaged hand. I ended up not being able to eat lunch until well into the afternoon. I have never had a reaction like that before.
My mother and stepfather were at the cabin as well. We enjoyed multiple dog walks down the road to nice spots on the river.
Tom took Luther out to explore and sent back this great photo.
We grilled ribs for dinner which were great and had another of the winery’s bottles with it.
My mom made dinner the next day and surprised us with a bottle of wine from Bonair Winery. We had originally planned to meet them there for our anniversary, but my injury and the heat canceled that. Well, they went anyway for a tasting and bought this for us. It was very nice.
We continued with our walks to the river with Tom handling Steve who did well.
For our last breakfast all together I made a German Apricot Crumb Cake with Cherries with fresh fruit from a Selah fruit stand..
It was good. During my convalescence at the cabin, I read transcript for a book (never published) written by my great grandfather who had built the cabin in 1927. The book was fascinating although there was too much politics in it (a lot of it directed against FDR). I managed to finish all ~~430 pages, between dog walks and playing with Ryeleigh.
Our last morning we had our closest encounter with deer. In fact, they kept coming toward us despite the dogs. We had to chase them away, but once we got the dogs safely in the cabin they kept coming back. I think they are too accustomed to people.
Tom wrote a nice entry in our cabin’s log book (since I can’t write now). He even included a drawing. He failed to mentioned that he took Luther almost all the way up to Edgar Rock as well.
One last dog walk before we left.
Ryeleigh had learned a new trick. If there was something she wanted to check out and not be pulled away, she would just lay down.
These are photos that Tom took during our time at the cabin, including some wild turkeys that he saw.
We headed out over Manastash Ridge, and I was able to see better the remains of the massive Burbank Creek Fire.
The dogs and our hulu girl seemed to enjoy the trip.
We headed to Ellensburg and stopped in one of Tom’s favorite places there due to their selection of ciders.
Then we headed up to our Boles trailer and enjoyed a nice dinner with my father, his female friend and the sunset.
The next day involved dog walks. Fortunately as there is no highway nearby, Steve could be off leash. Ryeleigh had proven the evening before that she could not. She had gotten out of her harness and took off. It was quite a long chase until she finally came back to us. It was quite scary. So here she is leashed with Mount Rainier in the background.
Steve enjoyed his walk but got quite dirty. Now he is a brown dog.
The next afternoon I walked the dogs with the moon out.
And i the evening we watched the virtual Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival. Here is Ruthie Foster,
and Larkin Poe.
It was a memorable vacation at the very least. Hopefully I will recover without significant injury, and it wlll only become memories of an interesting trip.
So on the way home, a tire gave out on our vintage camper van.
Tom replaced it with our spare with the assistance of a very nice lady (Allysa) in a hotel parking lot. We were back on the road and saw this Chevy II early 1960’s wagon.
We made it home. It is kind of a persistent vacation as the virtual Winthrop Blues is ongoing as we unpack.
Plus our last vacation dinner was organic chicken breast that Tom bought in Ellensburg. I decided to make Peanut Chicken with them. And it turned out great!
With vacation it certainly make us appreciate home more. Plus my bones are now warm, and I feel like experienced summer. How about you?