Monday, November 02, 2015

Mermaid Tour 2015 - R&R&B in Washington


Mermaid Tour 2015 - R&R&B in Washington

Leaving Sandy, OR I stopped in Gresham to get a good breakfast and do some laundry. At first I couldn't find a laundromat, but when I pulled into the restaurant, hey look! A laundry in the same little strip mall. Sweet. I think the place was called The Biscuit Cafe, but the biscuits were not great in my opinion. The omelet and potatoes were tasty. The guys working there were very nice, and seemed kind of intrigued when we chatted about where I was going. My waiter really was interested in getting his girlfriend on board with a travel adventure. Ah it did my heart good to inspire a youngster, if that's what happened there. 

Columbia River, east of Portland OR.

From there I headed east along the Columbia River Gorge, really a nice drive... until I had to turn north near the Dalles, on my way up through central Washington. Then I hit the vast and dead wasteland called the high desert. Not my favorite, but this was my second time through there and it was more interesting than I remembered. Lots of giant wind turbines, some rock formations, and bodies of water. Which amazes me... how a body of life giving water can be surrounded by mostly dead nothingness. Fascinating.

Hottest ugliest rest stop in WA, near Yakima.


Up near Ellensberg, where the beautiful lush forest comes back into view, I cut west a few miles and found some great camping near Cle Elum. There are a few campgrounds along the Cle Elum River, and I chose the least populated and (to me) the most beautiful. Looks like the river came right up to the camp spots at some point in the past, but now it's a huge grassy valley, you can see water far off in the distance. There was an especially aggressive squirrel there, who kept tying to steal my big bag of peanuts in the shell. That kid had guts! Otherwise a very relaxing couple of days

Leftover omelet tastes better outside.
.  
Super obnoxious squirrel.

On Thursday it was time to go set up my booth at show #2 on the Tour, the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues festival. It's just a few hours north of Cle Elum. This is a great 3 day camping festival in the mountains of north central WA. Beautiful setting, great music, fun people. I just wish they would quit having fire issues. Last year they were in the middle of evacuations, smoke, and all kinds of fire craziness. This year we managed to miss the fires, but they came anyway just a few weeks after we left. I really feel for those folks! So sad.

Winthrop has the most gorgeous sunsets!

My husband rode his motorcycle from Eureka to join me on Saturday, so we had 2 nights at the blues fest camping out. It was a fun time and the music was great. But for me it was a little too hot to really party and dance much, upper 90s to 100. Oof, this mermaid cannot hang. I did do epic sales though. Even in the highest horrible heat, those ladies continued to dance and shop. Bless them all.  

 
Happy customers looking cute.

After the festival (and a nice breakfast in Winthrop, which is an adorable little historic town by the way), we headed back down to Cle Elum. The temps would be cooler there, and I knew exactly where to go for some peaceful camping. We did spend the first night in a hotel, cleaning ourselves and resting after a long hot weekend. It felt so good, that we stayed a second night. Ah sweet vacation! Then we camped out for two nights in the same campground I hit on my way up, on the Cle Elum River


My husband really needed this vacation. He's pretty much a workaholic and very rarely will take time off. I seriously had to work on him for a YEAR to get him to commit to this trip. A  year. So to see him really smile and relax and just do nothing... ahhh it felt so good! We had almost a full week together, and then it was time to part ways. He headed down to Eureka to go back to work, and I headed east to start my journey to North Dakota.

This picture says it all, R&R accomplished.






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