Saturday, August 21, 2021


 This summer has flown by. We only have a little more time left here in Spokane and we're already looking forward to our return visit next summer.     The oppressive heat has left us, but the smoke still comes and goes.   Even when the sky is beautiful and blue we  have reminders of the terrible wildfires destroying forests and homes, leaving animals adrift. 

A Chinook helicopter and heli bucket filled with water

One afternoon we went to Riverside State Park, just a short ride from our campground.   Our purpose was to take the short hike to see it's famous Bowl and Pitcher formation.

I eked my way out onto a narrow stone observation point to look down at the huge rocks in and beside the river.   

Please don't ask me why it's called "Bowl and Pitcher".    I've read the reasons and descriptions,  I understand the words, but I just don't see it.     Pretty impressive though....huge, rough boulders scattered in and around the clear water, ringed by large pines.    


Looking in the other direction we saw a long suspension bridge over the river, leading to more hikes and views on the other side.

If you know me, you'll know that "suspended over the river" are words that normally make me go in the other direction.   Or "you go and I'll watch".

We decided to take the short, rocky hike down to "look" at the bridge, Dave assured me that I wouldn't have to cross it, that he wouldn't cross it either, we would just look at it.

It was new and looked quite sturdy, even though the planks that made up it's decking weren't quite touching each other, probably giving one "views" of the rapids below.....

I walked out a few feet to take a couple pictures and it was OK.    I was able to keep my eyes away from the decking, the river under my feet.    It didn't wiggle and there was no one else around.   I'm always sure that someone will bump me over the side.

The views were beautiful and I soon found myself following Dave all the way across.   OK, he did hold my hand and talk to me all the while.    Good girl!

Next time I'll march right over it and see what is on the other shore!     On the way back to the Jeep, we found a much less rocky and strenuous path, phew.

Erin is away for a few days, visiting an old friend, so it was just the three of us left to do a little sightseeing.   

We ate a delicious breakfast/lunch (I guess that would be brunch, but if there is no mimosa involvement I hesitate to call it a proper brunch) at the little "all things airplane" themed cafe on the grounds of  the Historic Flight Museum on Felt's Field (Spokane's first airport).   Afterward we did the small Museum.

entering the museum, fully masked......

We didn't know what to expect, we've all been to many aircraft museums over the years and this one looked quite small.   We were immediately blown away!    The facility is spotless and well thought out.   Docents were readily available, but not hovering, and knew their stuff.   Informational placards placed throughout the displays gave us interesting, and often fascinating facts, not just names and dates.

The planes themselves were perfectly restored, with much attention to detail.    They were in pristine condition.

I was fascinated by the tiny details these plane's perfect conditon revealed.

We finished our day by stopping at  nearby Winescape Winery for a little whistle wetting.

a pleasant end to a pleasant day


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Cooking class!

 Who knew I could learn a thing or two after cooking regularly for 50+ years.....

We had such a good time tasting local wines at Wanderlust Delicato last week that Jesse and Erin suggested we all take one of their cooking classes.    It sounded like fun and something we've never, ever done before,  so we all signed up.     This Friday evenings class was entitled "Sauced Up. the five French mother sauces".     We're suckers for French food so it was right up our alley.

The "kitchen" is in back of the wine/cheese shop so whatever we needed was just "up front" !  The four of us shared one of their small  charcuterie plates for sustenance while we cooked.

The class was from 5:30 to 7:30 and it included a discussion of the sauces and then hands on making of each in small teams.    We (Jesse, Erin, Dave and I) were given Espanole Sauce, a basic brown sauce.  Basic in the sense that it can be  the base for many other more complicated sauces, but it's complex flavors stand on their own.   We would later use this sauce over Filet Mignon as part of the collective meal.     Dave took on the task of chopping the vegetables, Jesse sauteed the meat scraps and made the roux and Erin and I worked on getting all the ingredients measured, assembled and placed within reach of the actual preparation area as well as taking turns with the near constant stirring and ladling.      There was a decent amount of decent wine consumed, an important part of any good French cooking.

we weren't concerned about wearing masks with the intense exhaust fans moving the air

Other groups made different sauces, and then used those sauces in  dinner preparations for us all.   We had a Tomato sauce turned into a beautiful Ratatouille, a Veloute sauce turned into a wonderful Chicken Pot Pie topped with puff pastry, a Bechamel sauce made into tiny macaroni and cheese ramikins, a Hollandaise sauce drizzled over cooked asparagus and our Espanole sauce poured over  perfectly cooked Filet Mignons.

We had such a fun time cooking, laughing and watching each other prepare this feast and then eating til we could barely walk.    

We all look forward to taking another class there next summer.   

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Some of my pickings.....

 Here are a couple pictures of the "amber waves of grain" samples I pulled up along the drive to the other day's adventure.   I won't show you any shots of my dirty, sandaled feet as a result of collecting these, however.....

One is  most certainly wheat and one is definitely canola, but what variety are they?   One tall and drooping, one straight as an arrow and one short and fat.....any thoughts? is a totally gratuitous photo of Lewis for one of his fans....I know she only reads this blog to see him.....

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Not just eating.....

 If my last post was to be believed, all we've been doing here in Spokane is eating.    That's not entirely true.    We've been out exploring the area as much as the temperature and smoky air allows.  

Some days sighteseeing is absolutely not possible.   When the wind is right (whatever that means) a smoke plume blows in from fires far and wide, obliterating the scenery and making me cough.    Fortunately, it doesn't happen that often, but, on the other hand,  it's is rarely a completly clear day.    Makes for interesting sunsets.

I'm not complaining.    The area around us  is beautiful in all directions -  from towering pine and fir covered mountains, pretty small lakes and the everpresent Spokane River to rolling waves of amber grain that stretch as far as the eye can see.

view from a little hike in Turnbull Wildlife Refuge

musing on Hauser Lake

see her?

these babies were standing by their severely crippled/injured mother....

the tall structure is a very well used train track.....

it's piers are beautifully decorated (at least higher than local graffiti artists can reach)

I was fascinated by these beautiful the changing colors, the wind rippling through them, the feeling of being in the middle of a modern art museum.   The more I looked, the more I began to notice subtle differences in what was growing there.   At first, whizing by in the Jeep, they all looked the same.   When I started really paying attention, I noticed different crops in different fields, all shades of the same color.    So....we'd stop when we could and I'd race out into the edge of the field, grab a few stalks and get back into the Jeep.    We spent a while doing this until we had a good sample.   I'd show them to you, but they're in the Jeep and Dave is at Jesse's with it right now.  Maybe I'll remember to photograph the stalks later on.....if you're interested

lunch beside Roosevelt Lake 

see the Osprey nest on the peak of the bridge?


 the entrance to Two Rivers Resort at the confluence of the Columbia and Spokane Rivers

we took what looked like a maintenance road out to the point....

Dave stands at the point where the two huge rivers meet and blend

And, well yes, we have been doing more eating and drinking.   It's been such a long time since we've been able to go out and such a long time since we've been in an area with so many good places to dine that we may be overdueing it a bit.    Sometimes the need for a nap overtakes.....

But, we soldier on.   So many things to try, so little time!

wine tasting at Wanderlust Delicato

sampling the onion/cucumber "salad" take out from The Mango Tree

sweet Erin making Grilled Peach and Burrato Naan for us

brunch at Italia Trattoria

gone too soon.....