Friday, July 12, 2019

Washington's Magnificent Cascade Mountains

We cannot believe our eyes !!

We traveled over Highway 20 from east to west on the North Cascades Highway on our way to the city of Anacortes (north of Seattle) for a week. We pulled over at the Washington Pass Overlook and got blown away !

 
The road up to where we are standing is in the bottom left.











Down the road about 20 miles we pulled over again to the Diablo Dam Overlook...another amazing site.




This explains why the lake is such a vibrant blue-green color.


Going up to the Summit(s) was easy but coming down.....eeey gads! First off, we're about 33,000 pounds and we tow a Ram 1500 pickup truck behind us so we pick up speed rather quickly on the downhills. Then, every other turn was a 35 mph or 30 mph or 25 mph....which meant LOTS of braking. By the time we got done, we had spent over 5 1/2 hours to go 148 miles! Talk about exhausted.

But, it was sure a gorgeous road.....now...we get to do it in reverse in a week!




The obligatory Cute Photo of Katie...this time in our kayak while paddling around a mountain lake. We bought her a life vest of her own...and a SPF white shirt to protect her from the sun.


See you next entry!

steve/kim/katie


Monday, July 1, 2019

Gorgeous, Gorgeous Eastern Washington !

What beautiful, amazing countryside. We cannot believe how green and lovely it all looks. We find ourselves pulling over (sometimes without a turnout. "You watch behind me to make sure no cars are coming, while I jump out and take a photo")


.
Green, green, green



...at sunset...so golden

This would make a nice painting

There is a terrific, informative train depot in Dayon, which is about 17 miles from our spot. Besides having historic displays inside, it has a very nice statue outside showing a train man, checking the time on his watch. Kind of looks like Tom Hanks in The Polar Express, don't you think?

Love the cute dog peeking around the corner.


Tom Hanks...right?

Of course, we stopped to try out the local fare. Ended up at a Brew Pub that served HUGE portions of food.

Kim's been having a yen for Nachos !

German Chili Hot Dog for me...had to eat it with a knife and fork!

Me...me ....me...me...

...always so much more to share but... next time.

steve/kim/katie


Monday, June 24, 2019

Baker City, Oregon

Two major things we did while in Baker City, Oregon. One, the Baker City Heritage Museum and Two, the Sumpter Valley Dredge. I know...doesn't sound that exciting huh? Not like THE GRAND CANYON. But, we love museums....so much history, and the Dredge turned out to be a pretty cool site. Plus, the 30 mile road leading up to it through the mountains and pine trees was gorgeous.



Cedar Waxwing

Lake Phillip...a man made lake that backs up the Powder River.


So...we finally got to this HUGE dredge and walked around and through it.

You can get somewhat of a perspective of how large it is from the man in the foreground.




You can see how the front would scoop up the dirt, rock and gold, sort it out inside and spit the large boulders out the back.

Inside, the dredge would sort out the too-large rocks and eventually come down to sand and there would be the gold.

72 buckets, each weighing one ton

...and this is where the "tailings" were discarded. You can see the piles just beyond the water.


They built three of these and cannibalized the first two to make this third one.

Here's what's left of Dredge #1

...and what's left of Dredge #2

Here's a blurb about the dredges...

For decades the massive gold mining machine tore up a patch of eastern Oregon, extracting millions of dollars worth of gold. But today it stands as a relic of the past, maintained to show tourists another face of the gold rush. 

If you stop by the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge State Heritage Area, found about 30 miles west of Baker City in the tiny town of Sumpter, you can take a tour through the big dredge, where old, rusted pulleys hang from the ceiling and twisted braids of cable still run through the floorboards.

Standing several stories tall and 120 feet long, with 72 buckets weighing one ton each, the massive piece of equipment took three people to operate, with a crew of 17 to manage a host of other duties, from maintenance to bookkeeping.
 
The dredge worked by using its long arm of giant buckets like teeth on a chainsaw to dig up the earth and feed it into the machine to be processed. The gold was retained and the waste – known as tailings – was spewed out the back. The whole operation took place in a shallow pond of water, which moved with the machine as it crawled across the land.

Three dredges were built in Sumpter between 1913 and 1954, each working at a rate of more than seven yards of earth per minute. Between them, the dredges traveled more than eight miles and mined as much as $12 million in gold – at today’s prices, the gold would be worth nearly $455 million.

The first two dredges built in Sumpter were constructed in 1912 and 1915 by the Powder River Gold Dredging Company, and operated simultaneously until 1923 when the company shut down. In 1934, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt raised the price of gold from $20 to $35 an ounce, the Sumpter Valley Dredging Company built a third dredge on the spot that was bigger and more efficient than its predecessors.

That machine sits at the state park site today, where it operated all day, almost every day, for 20 years. While the dredge mined a fortune, by the 1950s the operation had become unprofitable, and in 1954 it shut down for good. The dredge was abandoned, and over the next two decades it quickly began to deteriorate. 

https://expo.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/02/94d550a70d2384/giant-gold-mining-machine-now-a-tourist-attraction-in-eastern-oregon-.html



...and here's what the 7 miles looked liked after the years of dredging....
Dredge is in the upper left corner

Close up of the dredging aftermath.

It was a pretty impressive sight for us to see. Glad we went. One of those serendipity, off-the beaten-path places that can be seen when travelling.



Oh...stopped for dinner afterwards....

Look at the size of this Kobe beef 3/4 pound burger!


Thanks for following....

steve/kim/katie

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

New Summer Trip

We are heading out for a short trip around Washington as that's a state we've not been in very much.
First stop though, is Baker City, Oregon where we will visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, the Snake River and a great breakfast place on the main street.

This is a neat city...so colorful and historic with many old old buildings.

...from our breakfast table...

This couple is getting married today...they're checking on their arrangements...I think.

We like to sit outside so Katie can be with us. Delicious food! and HUGE.

See the gator?

Many downtown buildings were made from volcanic tuff.

Yikes !

If you can read the signs, they read Acme Private Investigator, Acme Couples Counseling and Acme Attorney. Acme gets it coming and going !

We also headed out to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center where they had a few horses for sale. Two of them in the pen were untrained and wild.
View looking west from the Center. The valley was totally flooded from the Powder River run off when the Oregon Trail people arrived so they had to stick to the lower foothills.

These are two of the untrained, untouched wild horses for sale.

Kim got to feed the horse and had a ball asking questions about how to raise a horse. No, we're NOT getting one!
In back of me are the Oregon Trail wagon ruts

These are the ruts made by hundreds of wagons as they came through here over 150 years ago! Most of these emigrants WALKED the entire 2,000 mile journey next to the wagons !!!

Oh...our RV site...

Nice shady spot for the afternoon sun.

Can't forget our little cutie, Katie, laying on the covers in the morning.



We spend several days in Baker City so we'll post another one tomorrow with the rest of this trip.



Here's where we are so far....



Nice to be back on the road.

steve/kim/katie