Father and Son US Roadtrip 2013 on BMW K1200LT

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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North Cascades National Park has tons of great hiking trails. I'd asked at the Visitor Center the day before for some recommendations for a good hike for a 6 year old and one of the suggestions was the 3.8 mile (7.6 miles round trip) hike from Diablo Dam to Ross Dam-

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A short ride with lots of vertical brought us to the Diablo Dam-
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Bright sunny day! Not a cloud in the sky!
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Diablo Lake Trailhead! Let's go!
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Kristhawee's got his bear bell and no, that's not a bottle of Crown Royale around his neck, it's a Crown Royale "sleeping bag" for his pet Chipmunk "Timo" ;)

Fantastic trail with lots of shade through dense forest-
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We cross ice cold crystal clear streams-
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Find a nice spot for a break and a snack-
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There are some challenging bits, like picking our way through this massive rock slide-
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The higher we go the better the views!
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Little guy is motoring along, but getting tired; there's a fair bit of vertical on this hike and it's quite warm in the bright sun-
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Take a break little guy, we've got all day :)
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Onwards!
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Watch your step, it's a LONG way down to the bottom of the gorge!
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A bit further and we catch our first glimpse of Ross Dam with Ross Lake behind it-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We've almost reached the end of the Diablo Lake Trail-
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Ross Dam is an impressive structure!
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Interesting footnote- Seattle gets close to 20% of it's electricity from these hydro dams and that's the primary reason why Boeing first set up shop in Seattle- cheap electricity!

Father and Son near on the Diablo Lake Trail, North Cascades National Park-
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We hiked down to the base of the dam where there's a pretty cool suspension bridge-
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With a bit of effort we managed to swing the bridge (probably a bit naughty, but there was no one about)
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Boat dock at the base of the Ross Dam-
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This looked like the perfect spot for a picnic ;)
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There had been a big landslide that blocked the Ross Dam access road and trail and they were in the process of cleaning it up-
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Kristhawee filled his hat with pinecones, then started chucking them at me! :mrgreen:
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It was getting late and it was about 4 miles back to the bike, so we headed back-
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This year I brought my MSR water filter and we ended up using it a lot. Much easier than carrying a lot of water, we'd simply refill our hydration packs as needed and there was never any difficulty finding water-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
On teh way back to our campground we stopped at the historic Seattle City Light company town of Newhalem to grab an ice cream and take in the sights-
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Kristhawee really dug this old steam engine, which, prior to the construction of Highway 20, was the only way to reach Newhalem!
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Kristhawee had a huge ice cream cone, then had me spin him on the merry go round in the town park. Probably not such a good idea!

Yeah, you guessed it, that was a waste of ice cream!
sick

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Haha! Poor kid! We chilled at Newhalem for a while until he was feeling better. Early evening and everyone else had already left-
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Back at camp Kristhawee was still feeling a bit green and went down for a nap-
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I built a fire and enjoyed the quiet relaxing silence of the forest.
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
On the way back to our campground we stopped at the historic Seattle City Light company town of Newhalem to grab an ice cream and take in the sights-
IMG_6142.jpg


Kristhawee really dug this old steam engine, which, prior to the construction of Highway 20, was the only way to reach Newhalem!
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Kristhawee had a huge ice cream cone, then had me spin him on the merry go round in the town park. Probably not such a good idea!

Yeah, you guessed it, that was a waste of ice cream!
sick

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Haha! Poor kid! We chilled at Newhalem for a while until he was feeling better. Early evening and everyone else had already left-
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Back at camp Kristhawee was still feeling a bit green and went down for a nap-
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I built a fire and enjoyed the quiet relaxing silence of the forest and a six pack of Scuttlebutt Porter
burp

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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
The following morning we rolled over to the General Store in New Halem and grabbed breakfast at their deli-
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Then we went back to the Visitor Center so that Kristhawee could complete his Junior Ranger workbook-
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Another ride on the Banana slug ;)
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And here's Kristhawee being sworn in as a North Cascades National Park Junior Ranger!
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A shiny new badge! Good job Kristhawee! I'm very proud of you!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Today we would ride east over the Cascades to the funky little western-themed town of Winthrop. Here's the Gorge Dam, the lowest of the three hydroelectric dams that make up the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project-
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A bit further on we pulled off at the Diablo Lake overlook to take in the amazing views-
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Starting to look like rain...
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I'd heard that Rainy Lake was a nice easy hike and very beautiful so we stopped just past the highest point of Highway 20 to stretch our legs with a short hike.

It's quite chilly up here at ~4900 feet
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Beautiful trail to Rainy Lake-
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Rainy Lake!
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Stunning!
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Father and Son at Rainy Lake, North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA
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I ask Kristhawee if he wants to go for a swim ;)
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It started to rain so we hustled back to the bike. Fortunately our riding jackets are waterproof, so the rain didn't really bother us.
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Rain pants on, let's go get some lunch in Winthrop!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We arrived in Wintrop in the late afternoon and enjoyed walking around this quirky little western themed town-
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In front of Sheri's Sweet Shop-
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Sheri's Sweet Shop had a big bucket of sidewalk chalk out front and Kristhawee went to work!
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Kristhawee loves to paint and draw- he'd have been happy to spend several hours here!
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We had dinner at Three Fingered Jacks, Washington's oldest Saloon!
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(^ not my pic)

Kristhawee was HUNGRY!
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Kristhawee made some more sidewalk art after dinner-
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Looked like we'd get some more rain so I had Kristhawee put his rain pants back on. Why sit on a bring old chair when you can sit on a saddle!
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Little guy talked me into buying him some cotton candy for dessert-
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I made him promise he would not spin!!!
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Rain was on and off, looked like it might stay dry for a bit and I wanted to get to the nearby Pearrygin State Park and set up camp before dark.
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
As soon as we left Winthrop it started to rain again and out popped one of the most vivid rainbows that I've ever seen!
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It was so big that there was no way I could get it all in one picture. Simply amazing!
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Pearrygin Lake is on the other side of that hill, pretty much right where that rainbow ends!

Pearrygin Lake State Park was very pleasant, though a bit damp from all the recent rain.
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A gorgeous sunset, but more clouds loomed on the horizon.
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We got the tent set up just in time before the next storm rolled through! We read some more of Jack London's Call of the Wild and Kristhawee fell asleep while I stayed up as the rain bucketed down and the lightening and thunder flashed and echoed across the hills and lake.
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My old tent was leaking in a few spots but we stayed mostly dry.
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Pearrygin Lake State Park, Washington, USA!
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Kristhawee has befriended some really nice kids the evening before and was eager to hang out with them again. Harrison was my son's age and he had a collection of Ninjago books and it was fun and heart warming watching these six year olds reading together. Kristhawee had told me on a couple occasions that he can't read yet, but as you see, it just takes an interesting book to give him the motivation.
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And here's Kristhawee showing off his shoe lace tying skills to Harrison :mrgreen:
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He's got it figured out! I'm very proud of him!
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I'd seen the evening before that Sheri's Sweet Shop in Winthrop bakes fresh Cinnamon rolls every morning and that sounded like just the thing for breakfast so we jumped on the Land Yacht for a short ride back in to town- Father and Son in Winthrop, Washington!
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The cinnamon rolls were just out of the oven and oh so good!
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Check out what I found in front of Sheri's Sweet Shop? Chiang Mai, only 7208 miles away!
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Kristhawee wanted to play with the sidewalk chalk again. Go for it!
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It was getting warm so we headed back to Pearrygin Lake to cool off!
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Come on in, the water's fine!
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Kristhawee had a great time playing with all the kids and their parents were super nice and invited us to join them for a BBQ lunch that really hit the spot!

Harrison and Kristhawee looking pensive after lunch-
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Back in the water!
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It can't be summer without dandelions! Make a wish and blow!
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Kristhawee didn't want to go, but finally I had to drag him away from his new friends and get him ready for our short ride to the quirky Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth a couple hours to the south-
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Time to hit the road! :happy1:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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38
We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon ride south to Leavenworth, following the eastern edge of the Cascade mountain range and the Columbia River.

Another beautiful day!
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Hang a right onto 97 south-
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Very little traffic and great views!

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The highway follows the Columbia River-
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Approaching one of the many Columbia River hydro dams-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
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Approaching the Azwell Dam-
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Wells Dam-
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Approaching Lake Chelan-
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Lake Chelan is a huge reservoir with the Cascades reflecting off the water, but the sun was getting low making it hard to get a decent pic of the lake-
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South of Chelan we continue to follow the Columbia River-
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Yet another hydro dam! The Columbia River must generate a heck of a lot of juice!
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We reached Leavenworth shortly before sunset and found a really nice tent site in a KOA. I needed to do laundry and Kristhawee loves the KOA's for their pools, hot tubs, play grounds and kids to play with. He collected pinecones while I set up camp-
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A very nice KOA- we had a nice tent spot under big trees near the very bottom of this pic:
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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38
We rode in to town and picked up some food and firewood, enjoyed a quick dinner at our camp site, then hiked down to the river where they were showing a kids movie, "Escape from Planet Earth" on a big screen outside.
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Sleeping bag, camping mattress and beer!
beerchug

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It was a cute movie and I'm glad we had the sleeping bag, because once the sun was down the temperature dropped fast! We enjoyed the bright stars as we hiked back to our tent and fell quickly asleep. Good night!
 

feejer

Ol'Timer
Feb 16, 2007
443
1
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TonyBKK;293444 wrote:
Yet another hydro dam! The Columbia River must generate a heck of a lot of juice!
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Surely does. Next time up try to get over to Grand Coulee Dam and take the tour. Largest hydro plant in the US. I was surprised to learn that these days it only operates at about 30% of capacity and mainly as a backup in response to demand peaks. Good insight by Roosevelt to build it when he did. They say without it, the rapid WW2 defense industry ramp-up would have been impossible. Bonneville Dam East of Portland does a nice tour also.
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Leavenworth, Washington!
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We rode in to the quirky Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth for breakfast-
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Every building in town is done up in "Bavarian" trim, from gas stations, to banks to hotels and even the McDonalds! I guess it must be a town ordinance? Looks kinda weird on a hot summer day but I image it might be kinda cute in the winter when the town is blanketed in snow.
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I was looking for the Wells Fargo Bank- it didn't look like any Wells Fargo I've ever seen!
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We headed up into the Wenatchee Wilderness via Icicle Road-
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The Icicle Road was a fun ride- a bit rough in spots and it gets smaller and smaller the further you go-
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Nice views!
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Eventually Icicle Road dwindles down to a steep dirt track-
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Crossing Icicle Creek
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This loose dirt road wasn't much fun on the heavy Land Yacht, but we made it to the Eightmile trailhead in one piece! :happy3:
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Almost there!
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Welcome to the Eightmile Lake Trail! Let's go hiking!! :mrgreen:
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
The trail to Eightmile Lake started out quite steep and we made slow but steady progress, stopping a lot to "smell the roses" as it were ;)
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These mountains experienced some big forest fires a few years back so there are large open areas full of wildflowers where young trees are beginning to grow back-
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A warm sunny day!
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In certain areas the plants are threatening to overrun the trail-
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Lots and lots of wildflowers!
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As we climb we reach groves of forest that survived the fires (though it's apparent this area was logged once upon a time)-
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It's nice to have some shade!
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We crossed lots of small alpine creeks and rivulets. Kristhawee is checking out some tadpoles and water bugs-
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More wildflowers
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Lots of vertical on this hike! Working our way up some steep switchbacks-
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C'mon Kristhawee! You can make it!!
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Entering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Okanogan - Wenatchee National Forests!
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New life springs from the ashes of the burnt forest-
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Beautiful rugged country- our destination is Eightmile Lake, a large alpine lake nested high in the mountains-
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Up and up we climb!
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We catch our first glimpse of "Little Eightmile Lake"!
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Little Eightmile- a beautiful spot to take a rest and enjoy a small picnic-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Kristhawee spots trout in the water and chides me for not having brought along fishing gear...
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Gorgeous spot, but we still have a little ways to go to reach Eightmile Lake.
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Up we go, leaving Little Eightmile Lake behind-
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As we climb I realize that "little" Eightmile isn't really so little-
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Kristhawee is getting tired and giving me a "look" :?
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I promise it's not much farther Kristhawee! And it will be worth it!!

Unconvinced perhaps, Kristhawee presses on-
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The steep trail follows Eightmile Creek- we can't be far now!
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I'm still getting "the look" ;)

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We made it!!! Eightmile Lake dead ahead!
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What a gorgeous spot! We went for a quick swim in the icy cold water- shocking cold!! Kristhawee talked me into jumping off a big rock-
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The funny little dude- I told that if I jumped he had to jump too, and he replied, "But dad, I'm just a little kid!!" :lol-sign:

(Photos by Kristhawee)
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Splat! Man that water was COLD!!! :shock:
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What did I tell you Kristhawee- worth the hike, wasn't it? :thumbup:
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Can't remember what we were talking about, but love the look he's giving me-
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Kristhawee at Eightmile Lake, Alpine Wilderness, Washington, USA!
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We hiked along the shore a ways and discovered some really nice camping spots... We should come back here some day and spend a night or two!
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We had a lot of food and I didn't particularly feel like carrying it all back down the mountain, so we stopped for another picnic :)
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Father and Son at Eightmile Lake, Alpine Wilderness, Washington, USA!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
A gorgeous spot but it's time to head back down the trail-
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Wildflowers and a funky beetle-
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More wildflowers-
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We make much better time going down than we did coming up, though the little guy is tired and does lag a bit-
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Cool bridge- don't fall in Kristhawee!
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We made it!! :clap:
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Riding back down Icicle Road to Leavenworth in the late afternoon sun-
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What a cute and quirky town. Are we in Canada? ;)
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We spent another night at the Leavenworth KOA and Kristhawee made full use of the facilities ;)

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Sure, he's 18,,, almost! ;)
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Tons of kids at this KOA and Kristhawee really enjoyed himself.
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Finally time to hit the road! Another beautiful day for a ride!!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We left Leavenworth in the early afternoon and are headed to Walla Walla on the Oregon border, but I know we can't make it before dark, so our destination today is the Gingko Petrified Forest State Park and Wanapum National Recreation Area on the Columbia River. We ride south on the 97 towards Ellensburg-
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The 97 is a fantastic road as it winds through the mountains in the Wenatchee National Forest-
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What a gorgeous day!
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I generally prefer to avoid the Interstates but we need to make some time if we're going to reach the Wanapum National Recreation Area before dark-
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Riding east on I-90 through wind farms with the sun at our back-
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16 miles to Ellensburg
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We stopped in Ellensburg for food and fuel and then hit the road again for the final push to the Columbia River.

More windfarms!
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Cruisin :happy3:
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The windmills are quite beautiful in the setting sun-
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We're almost at our destination- descending down into the Columbia River Valley-
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We made it to the Wanapum National Recreation Area campground just as the sun was setting. It was very very windy and the Ranger kindly directed us to a site that had a grove of trees that gave us some shelter from the gale. We snuggled up in the tent and read a few pages from the Call of the Wild before calling it a night (-_-)Zzzz
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from the Wanapum National Recreation Area on the Columbia River, Washington, USA!
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I was thankful that the wind died down and it was a beautiful morning!

We decided to explore the area a bit. Watch out for snakes!! :shock:
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Some posters let us know what kind of critters we might find here-
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We hiked down to the Columbia River- it's very wide and more like a lake at this point on account of the Wanapum dam that's just downriver.
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Kristhawee had fun collecting shells on the beach but wasn't in the mood to swim-
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We had the place all to ourselves!
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There's the I-90 bridge that will take us across the Columbia River on our way to Walla Walla-
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Kristhawee is eager to get to Walla Walla and see his little friend Perrin from last summer so I load up the bike and take a farewell shot-
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Kristhawee is fond of quoting his favorite Autobot, Optimus Prime- "Let's roll!" ;)
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We don't have far to go today, but it is getting very hot!
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Riding towards the I-90 bridge that will take us across the mighty Columbia River-
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We'll only travel a few miles on the Interstate today-
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East on I-90, another gorgeous day! :D
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We'll exit off the I-90 and follow the east bank of the Columbia River towards Mattawa-
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Highway 26 to Mattawa-
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Approaching the Wannapum Hydro Dam-
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I'd quite like to check this out but Kristhawee wants us to go straight to Walla Walla- he's really excited to see his buddy Perrin :mrgreen:
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I content myself with a drive by of the Wannapum Dam-
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Beautiful expansive views as we continue riding south and east- looks more like the Southwest than Washington, doesn't it?
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A cool old railroad bridge crosses the Columbia River south of the Wanapum Dam-
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Bikers love signs like these! :happy3:
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36 more miles from Othello, but we won't go that way :)
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Once we climb up and out of the Columbia River Valley the roads become straight and the views immense-
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On approach to Walla Walla, Washington! The town so nice they names it twice ;)
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We arrived in Walla Walla in the early afternoon. Perrin was still at pre-school. It was a hot afternoon and Kristhawee was keen to blow up Perrin's kiddy pool and cool off.
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It took a while to inflate but Kristhawee stuck with it!
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Don't worry Kristhawee, I won't post any embarrassing pictures of you ;)
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The water was shockingly cold!!
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What's that Kristhawee? You want me to splash you some more? ;)
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Don't feel too sorry for him- he gives as good as he gets! :mrgreen:
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But finally the water was just too cold for him ;)
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Let's get you warmed up and go pick up Perrin from pre-school-
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My goofy kid scammed a ride in Perrin's stroller ;)
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Fortunately Perrin didn't seem to mind ;)
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Good times!
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Bath time :)
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Story time :)
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Good night!!! (-_-)Zzzzz
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Walla Walla, Washington!
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Kristhawee and Perrin are Ready To Roll! ;)
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We've been invited to a big picnic / party put on by Erin's workplace. Let's go!

Kristhawee and Perrin picking dandelions :)
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There were some guys who made air powered rockets out of old soda bottles. These were a hit with kids and adults alike!
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I only had my Sony Experia for pics on this day and I was messing around with the exposure settings so I apologize for the poor quality of some of these pics...
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When the pressure reaches a certain point, it's time to launch!
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Perrin is up next- such a cute kid!
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Kristhawee comes back for another launch-
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Pull! We have lift off!
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These rockets travel quite far, powered only by air and water!
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Good job Kristhawee!
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Perrin's mom also had a go-
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Next it was time to check out the water slide!
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It was a warm day but the water was freezing. They probably should have put the slide in the sun...
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Kristhawee played on that slide until his lips were blue! Next it was time to take a swing at the wiffle ball!
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Go Perrin!
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Kristhawee's turn- batter up!
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A solid hit, but I should probably tell him to keep his eyes open!
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Soccer next-
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Then it was time to meet Sparkle the Clown :mrgreen:
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She was quite a character and held the kids' attention- I thought she was a bit freaky :lolno:

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I swear she couldn't have been more than 4 feet tall. She told the kids that every time she pops a balloon she gets shorter :lol-sign:

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The kids loved her-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
There was face painting but Kristhawee only did his arm-
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Serious affair, apparently ;)
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On the way back to Perrin's house after the picnic we hit a Big 5 sporting goods store and got Kristhawee a fishing pole. Of course the kids had to try it out back at Perrin's house :)
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Adults too!
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Watermelon!
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Ooops! Kristhawee caught a tree! ;)
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Love Walla Walla! Shame my friends are moving to Missouri. Walla Walla will always hold a place in our hearts.
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Tomorrow we ride to Oregon!!
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