Thursday, May 28, 2009

Postcards from Washington

Mt. Saint Helens and Spirit Lake, Washington 

Bonneville Dam, Columbia River

Cans of salmon, Washington state

Aerial view of Spokane, Washington

Lower falls at Spokane, Washington

I returned from my two week train/driving trip to Washington state on Sunday, and I'm just beginning to catch up on laundry, mail, cleaning and my rest.  I still haven't downloaded the zillion pictures I took from my digital camera.  I'm behind in my reading, my gardening, my art.  I had hoped to do sketching on the trip, but we seemed never to sit still for very long, except on the train from Columbus, WI to Spokane, WA.  I tried drawing a little in a Seattle park at the end of the vacation, but the magic of seeing someone doodling in a notebook just made me several friends in the park where I was working.  Looks like I'll be working from memory and photos once again.

The short version of the trip was that my sister-in-law invited me to join her on vacation, and agreed to let me track down some distant cousins and quiz them on family history.  In addition she agreed to let me experience the less touristy part of Washington east of the Cascade Mountain range.  We took the train to Spokane, had a cousin tour us around that city.  We rented a car and drove to Fairfield, where my maternal great-grandparents raised their family, and where many cousins are buried and some still live today.  We headed south toward the Tri-Cities area, where Grandma lived on a wheat ranch, and where the Hanford Nuclear Reservation stands.  We drove up the Columbia River gorge, and up to both Mt. Saint Helens and Mount Rainier.  Then we drove around the Olympic Peninsula, spending three days at lodges in the rain forest and along the Pacific Ocean.  We ended up in Seattle, where we boarded the train for the two day ride back home.  

It was wonderful - and exhausting.  We met good people, ate good food, and had a good time. We saw antelope, bison, moose, elk and mountain goats from the train, and lots of other fauna and flora closer up.  

I hope to write more specifically in the upcoming days, but this will serve as a beginning.


laura said...

Wow--sounds like a wonderful whirlwind. I look forward to seeing your pictures and the collages you'll make with these great old postcards!

Margaret Ann said...

Welcome home...what an adventure.