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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Moses Lake & Othello, Washington

The trip from Spokane to Othello was quite a surprise in that the terrain went from pretty green rolling hills, much like our home in NC, to desolate flat barren land that would make you think you were in the desert. I've never seen such a transition in terrain in such a short distance. About all we saw growing in the area was sagebrush and tumbleweeds, until getting to the area that is widely irrigated and is very fertile. This section of eastern Washington is widely known as the Columbia Valley or locally called the Columbia Basin or Plateau. This area is very dry and only receives 6 to 9 inches of rainfall annually. The region typically has a low humidity,  fertile soil and cool evening temperatures that make ideal growing conditions for many fruits and vegetables. The only missing ingredient is water which was introduced in the area in the last 60 or so years by the impoundment of the Columbia River at the Grand Coulee Dam, 70 miles to the north. The history of the Grand Coulee Dam is very interesting and intriguing and will be the subject of the next blog. The area around Moses Lake and Othello is very agriculture oriented with very large quantities of vegetables and many varieties of fruit. There are very large processing and packaging facilities here to prepare and ship the products to markets. In addition, we have seen large dairy farms with thousands of acres planted in grass, alfalfa and grains to produce feed for the livestock. There is a very large population of hispanic and migrant workers in the area.

I was told Washington has basically two totally different climates that are divided by the Sierra Mountains. The area east of the Sierra's is where we are. The area west of Seattle is the western side of the Sierra's, and is green with lots of vegetation with ample rainfall. That area will be our next destination.  

The park we are currently at is actually halfway between Moses Lake and Othello and is named Sundesert RV Park. This is a senior park with all residents or guests being required to be at least 55 years of age, which was no problem for our group of merry travelers! This park is very nice with lush green grass and beautiful willow trees. The park accepts Passport America, which is a discount RV membership group, and for $13/night is a great bargain.

Interstate 90 Between Spokane and Moses Lake. Dry barren land with no trees or vegetation.

Hard to believe that 20 miles east of this shot, the terrain was lush and green.

Large load of hay

The bales are  much larger than we're accustomed to seeing and are loaded and stacked by machines. I would estimate these bales to being the same size as a bale of cotton.

Recently mowed field. Notice the irrigation system, which are widepread throughout the area.

Processing and packaging facilities in Othello, Wa.

Noticed this McDonald's truck being loaded. I assumed it was french fries as potatoes are widespread in the area.

Storage buildings used to store potatoes and onions.

Onions were stored in these.

Beautiful Willow Trees in our park

Our site # 28

Pretty sunset at our campground.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Spokane, Washington

 We have been at the Wild Rose RV Park in Colbert, Wa for the last 3 days and have enjoyed every minute. We are here with our good friends, Al, Pat, John and Patsy. This is a wonderful park in that the management, staff and other guests made us feel right at home the moment we arrived. The park itself, is very attractive with lush green grass, beautiful flowers, pretty shrubbery and trees. There's a wheat field adjacent to the park that is ready for harvest, that is very picturesque as well. BUT........the big attraction of this park is their vegetable garden. The garden is for the guests to enjoy, which we have taken advantage of. Our last two dinners have come from the garden and will again tonight. There is just something about fresh vegetables that is so delicious. I would highly recommend this park to anyone traveling in this area, and for $27/night, it is a true bargain.  Colbert is about 10 miles north of Spokane.

We did sneak in a trip to an Indian Casino named Chewelah Casino about 30 miles north, but regret to report there were no winners in our group. We also did a tour of what is known as Green Bluff Orchards, which is an area where over 50 small locally owned orchards  are located on a scenic loop, that sell a variety of fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Somehow, we managed to get lost and missed a large part of the loop. But, all was not lost, as we did get a trip in to Camping World in Spokane for some much needed supplies.

Our journey continues tomorrow (Wednesday) with Al, Pat, Crickett and yours truly heading for SunDesert RV Park in Othello, Wa. where we will stay for 6 days and hit the road to Seattle after Labor Day. John and Patsy are heading on to Oregon. We hope to catch up with them again somewhere near Las Vegas. 

Entrance to Wild Rose RV park
Our Site # 22

Rear of our site

John digging Taters!

Big ones too!

The ladies thoroughly enjoyed the garden.

Pat with some beets.

Pumpkin patch.

The corn was especially delicious!
Wheat field adjacent to RV Park.
Isn't the wheat pretty!

Our first nights dinner from the garden which included corn, potatoes, tomatoes, egg plant, and cucumberrs. Can you say umumm, umumm good!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wallace, Idaho

There's a historic little mining town just east of our campground with lots of antique shops, breweries and restaurants that we decided to explore today. The town's name is Wallace, Idaho and is a diamond in the rough! It's widely known as "The Silver Capitol of the World" due to the extensive mining of silver in the area. Reportedly, there have been over one billion ounces of silver mined here since the 1800's, and is still being mined today. This town with a population of less than a thousand, is also well known for taking on big government in Washington, DC and winning.The Federal Highway Administration and The Idaho Transportation Department planned to route Interstate 90 right through the middle of Wallace which would mean the majority of the town would be bulldozed. A local business leader by the name of Harry Magnuson sued the FHA and the ITD alleging  they had failed to file an environmental impact study and a federal judge agreed, thus stopping the plan. Harry then secured placement of the entire town of Wallace on the National Register of Historic Places thus killing the plan to route I-90 through the town. As a result of Harry's efforts, a compromise was struck whereby the Interstate would be built overhead as a causeway or viaduct ,thereby preserving the entire town of Wallace. Photos of the causeway are below.

We are pulling out of Osburn, Idaho  tomorrow (Sunday)  headed for Wild Rose RV Park in Colbert, Washington. Colbert is near the town of Spokane, Washington. The owners of the park grow a vegetable garden for the guests to partake of, and we are definitely looking forward to that!

The upstairs of this building is the Masonic Lodge

Actual mining car used in one of the silver mines

Interesting Name

Zip Line company van with autographs of their clientele on the van.

Some really cool architecture in the old buidings

The I-90 Viaduct

Shoshone County Court House

The railway depot museum. Viaduct can be seen in the background.

Plaque honoring Harry Magnuson

Bordello Museum Sign

Bordello Museum. Hotel was next door.