Category Archives: Places

Mountains Road Trip

Mineral, WA

Took a long drive today to view Mt. St. Helen’s and drive around much of Mount Rainer.

0712141512I have always wanted to see Mt. St. Helen’s but never had the chance. It’s stunning how much of the mountain is gone.

We took a bit of a gamble to drive up to see it. We found the right road, but there we’re no mileage markers.  The signs said how many miles to everything else in the area, but they never listed how many miles to the various viewpoints.  That’s the last time I forget to pack Jack–our GPS unit.

Mount Rainer is incredibly beautiful. The contrast of the glaciers and the rock make it so visually intriguing that I could just stare at it for hours. 0712141053 There was an interesting cloud formation on it today. I have no idea what caused the clouds to look like that. I just know it made for a great photo.

We saw 10,500 tourists in the park and one lone deer walking calmly through said tourists in the middle of one of the lodge’s parking lots.

Once we left the park, we saw about a half dozen elk on the main street in Packwood. 0712141358 Oh, and the best part of the day for Sophie? Playing in the snow with Roscoe, a Jack Russell Terrier. 😉 They had a blast and ran so fast I couldn’t get a picture of them.

Land of Plenty

Richland, WA

We drove through some amazing farm country today on our way from McCall, Idaho, to Richland, Washington.

It will never cease to amaze me how fertile some dirt is!

Along the drive we saw everything from blueberries to wine grapes…

The picture below is very near the Idaho-Washington border. Wheat and other grain fields as far as the eye can see…


Most of the farms use dry land farming, but a few of the bigger ones use pivots to irrigate.

What fascinated us was that they farmed right up to the highway’s edge.


The combines that harvest the grains are HUGE. We passed a trio on the highway outside of Pasco,  Washington.


We followed the combines for almost ten miles on a two lane road at their warp speed of 18 miles per hour.

I had to giggle at the other drivers who were frustrated. They were probably eating cookies made with flour harvested by a combine somewhere and never connected the cookie with the combine let alone the wheat field…

This Feels Weird…

McCall, ID

We are leaving Boise this morning, and we won’t be back for three months.

It feels very different leaving this time than it did three weeks ago.

By the time we come back, summer will be long gone and fall, my favorite season, will be in full bloom.


But more importantly, when we come back in October, we will be visitors and not residents.

We’ve gone through a lot of changes in the last eight years since we moved to Boise. It sometimes seemed like we spent more time on the drive to and from Fallon than we did exploring Idaho.

And because of all that happened both in Boise and in Fallon, it took us way too long to feel ‘home’ in Boise.

Now that we’re leaving, we are realizing how much we love it here.

When our wanderlust fades and we are ready to settle down again, we will happily come home to Boise.


PS Not my images…

The Ranch Run

Boise, ID

Got a bit nostalgic today about our old neighborhood today…

I called my favorite running trail The Ranch Run because it ended at remnants of an old ranch house. It was four miles from our house, and there were times I used to run and/or hike it a couple of times per week.

There was a wildfire on it today. Thankfully the crews got it out quickly, so not too much damage was done.


I love this picture because it shows most of the three mile trail along the water’s edge.

Sophie loved doing the Ranch Run! When she was young, she found every fresh dung dropping and would roll endlessly in the poop de jour… One day eau de deer, essence of elk the next, and her personal favorite of coyote cologne as often as possible.

Views + Visions

Sisters, Oregon

We drove over the McKenzie Pass near Sisters, Oregon, today.

It goes over a stunning lava field that covers over 20 square miles. At one point we were driving through walls of lava. The summit stands at 5325 feet, and it offers amazing views of both the fields and the surrounding mountain peaks.

McKenzie Pass

Granted the picture above doesn’t look like much, but just imagine lava as far as you can see… Still doesn’t look like much? Now envision it fiery hot and brilliant red as it was 1500 years ago!

There’s an observatory at the summit that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression and named after the job construction foreman Dee Wright.

It’s made from the lava rock and surprisingly detailed and precise.


Aside from the natural beauty of the observatory, what I liked most about it was the vision of the builders to realize what future visitors would want to know.

Built into the walls are view windows for each of the Cascade peaks with signs stating the name, elevation, and distance.

In essence they provided all of us visitors with the answers to our Google search…