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Bozeman to Little Bighorn Battlefield

Spent 4 days in Bozeman with beautiful weather, but decided we should keep on track with our trek to Connie’s 50th HS reunion in Cheyenne.

We got on our way from Bozeman to Garryowen, on Wednesday July 25, but had to make a quick quilt store stop at Big Timber. A cute little shop called Little Timber. Wouldn’t you know, Connie found a piece of fabric “just right” for one of her projects. Yay! We found Big Timber to be delightfully welcoming with a small town footprint.

Arrived around around 2:30pm, parked and setup at 7th Ranch RV Camp, just south of Garryowen and the Little Bighorn National Park. The first picture here looks north toward the battlefield and the Little Bighorn river. A delightful location with full hookups. They even offered us a free ice cream treat when we checked in. We didn’t want to insult them, so we accepted.

Thursday, we drove the short 7 miles from our site to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (Custer’s Last Stand) arriving soon after they opened the gates. Free to old folks (62) with the America the Beautiful National Park Senior Pass. They are $80 now, but were only $10 when we got ours. Sorry youngsters. Next to the visitor center is Custer National Cemetery. Custer’s Last Stand site is on the hill just beyond the visitor center.

We watched a very informative 45 minute video in the visitor center, then caught the ranger talk on the south side overlook. The Ranger, actually a volunteer, dramatically spoke for around 30 minutes about the battle field and a step by step review of what took place that June 25, 1876, along with the events that led up to it, as well as afterward.

After the ranger talk, we walked the Deep Ravine pathway from the visitor center toward the Little Bighorn river. Much of the battle that the indians call “The battle of Greasy Grass” took place in this area, as well as some of the surrounding area.

The 249 marble stones mark the place where each soldier originally died and were buried in shallow graves. Our nations only battlefield where markers are found where soldiers fell. In 1999, with input from stories handed down from Lakota and Cheyenne families, the park service began placing red granite markers where the 60 plus indians fell. A difficult task since their bodies were taken away by the tribes after the battle.

Last Stand Hill Monument has the remains of about 220 soldiers buried around the base of the memorial. In 1877 the remains of 11 officers and 2 civilians were moved to various cemeteries throughout the country. Lt Colonel Custer was buried at West Point. Custer had been a general during the civil war, but assumed his regular army rank after the war. In 1881, the other soldiers were relocated from their original grave where they fell and re-interned in a single grave below the monument.

We opted to take the Absaalooke Tour bus for further explanation of the battle. A young Crow Indian was our narrator as we traveled along the battlefield road to the Reno-Benteen Battlefield Monument. In June 1876 there were an estimated 7000 Sitting Bull led Lakota, Cheyenne, and some Arapaho gathered in their village on the Little Big Horn River, 1500-2000 were warriors. By order of President US Grant, the 7th Calvary was determined to push the indians back to their reservation. Custer’s men all perished by the warriors determined to live as they had before, but battalions led by Major Reno and Captain Benteen had gathered together after initial fighting and retreated to a location along Sharpshooter Ridge. They conducted the shallow grave burials after the battle. We had passed the Little Big Horn National Monument many times as we drove by on I-90, but glad we stopped this time. An incredible history and site to see. Plan to stop if in the area.

Seeley Lake to Bozeman

Tuesday July 17. After spending a couple enjoyable nights, and breakfast with our hosts, we said goodby to Tom and Peggy and pulled away around 9:30am. Should have been a good travel day with a beautiful drive and relatively short trip to Helena. But our truck powered down about half way with an “Engine Power Reduced” dash warning. We could still drive, but only about 20 MPH in first gear. We pulled over while we contemplated what to do as there was zero cell service. After about 15 minutes, we decided to limp down the road a 1000 yards to a level spot and more off the highway. When making the move, the engine started running normal, so we were cautiously on our way again.

We found the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds in Helena and set up on our reserved spot. Electric only, but quiet…except for the train whistle that sounded erratically through the day and night. Ed got the truck in to Helena Ford to check the reduced power issue. They were very responsive and discovered the computer needed to be updated. Yeah! They took care of it under our power train warranty.

Later, old friend Lyla came by and took us to the Lewis and Clark Brewery in Helena. Very impressive! We all had one of their beers and then wandered over to the Suds Hut for chicken dinner. We had eaten there several times when we lived in Helena in the early 80s.

Wednesday, we met Lyla and some friends at Women’s park for Helena’s Alive at Five music in the park night. Wonderful weather and a fun night. Pictured are Ed, Mark (Lyla’s new acquaintance), Lyla, Vickie, Larry, and Gina. Connie took the picture of course. Ed worked with Gina and Lyla while he was with US West in the early 80’s. We stayed four days in Helena and had a great time. Getting back to this city we loved was a grand experience.

Friday was a free day for us. We drove out to Canyon Ferry Lake on the Missouri River. It is the 3rd largest body of water in Montana which is just 50 miles downstream from Missouri headwaters; Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison come together at Three Forks to become the Missouri. A fantastic recreational area, especially if you have a boat.

Saturday July 21. Left our Helena friends behind and headed for a four night stay at Sunrise Campground RV Park in Bozeman. We stopped at Wheat as a rest stop….but couldn’t resist getting one of their rolls. So big we shared half, and took the other half to share later. A recommended stop as you travel I90 around Three Forks.

We got parked and set up at Sunshine Campground on the east edge of Bozeman then headed downtown to Crazy Days, which included so much shopping, stores had their wares displayed on the sidewalk. We managed to look a lot, but got out unscathed.

The White Dog Brewery and Bozeman Spirits Distillery are downtown too.  We both tried the New England Hazy IPA and kept it cold by setting the glass in the ice tray. Pretty clever. We came back Monday to fill our growler at White Dog and purchase the Distillery’s 1889 bottle of whiskey, 1889 the year Montana became a state.

Of course our stopover wouldn’t be complete without searching out the local quilt store. Connie loved looking around Main Street Quilts, but disappointed that they are no longer a Bernina dealer. Although they did have a couple machines setting out.

We spent our last day exploring the beautiful Bozeman area, including a drive up Bridger Canyon to Bridger Bowl. We have fond memories of skiing there with friends and family when we lived in Helena.

 

 

Time to Head South

Wednesday July 11, 2018; Pulled out of Banff, Alberta and drove CA93 through Kootenay National Park in British Columbia to overnight at a Boondockers Welcome place in Canal Flats, BC. Our time at Jasper and Banff National Parks in Canada was fantastic to say the least. It was sad to leave the majesty of it all.

We discovered that Canal Flats is a village of less than 1000 and that they don’t have pizza delivery…or pizza at all. But they do boast that they are the source of the Columbia River. Read about that HERE.

Thursday July 12. Next stop after Canal Flats is a Harvest Host location at Glacier Sun Winery in Kalispell, Montana. We were very pleased crossing back to the USA from Canada. Again, just a couple questions at the Roosville border, like did you enjoy Canada; then “Welcome back to Miles per Hour.” Staying at Glacier Sun was nice, and convenient with the Apple Barrel, a small fruit and country market with local items and gift shop next to the winery. Our parking area, however, was dusty, and noisy from the traffic on Montana highway 2. The dusty parking lot should improve when it is paved for the new Sacred Waters Brewery that’s going in next to the Apple Barrel.

We loved walking around downtown Kalispell. We spent a little time at the 50th annual Arts in the Park weekend event in Depot Park. It was great fun looking at the incredible work these artist do. We recalled that it was this same Arts in the Park event that we visited back in 2010;  Connie went with when Ed when he drove for Grace Coach Lines on a charter bus trip . Connie had purchased a set of ceramic dishes from potter Bob Markle. The potter here told us Bob had passed away about 2 years ago.

Ed was amazed with this creative artist’s very interesting exhibition. Creations made from arranging various common pieces together to form a display. Expand the picture to view the horse head made with harness hames.

Wherever we go, our journey wouldn’t be complete without a stop at a local brewery . Other than people and beautiful sites, breweries and quilt stores seem to be the targets of our travels. We had a great time walking around Whitefish, stopping at the Great Northern Brewery for refreshments.

Saturday July 14: The beautiful drive along Flathead lake from Kalispell to Polson went by fast. With 160 miles of shoreline, Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Polson is on the south end of the lake. Miracle of America Museum in Polson was our next Harvest Host site. And an interesting site it is. The Miracle of America Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of one of the largest collections of American history. Gil & Joanne Mangels founded the Museum in 1981.The collection contains thousands of artifacts scattered throughout dozens of buildings and is open year round.

Wow! Driving a 100 miles around the south end of Flathead Lake and through Cherry orchards, we came to Tom and Peggy’s home on the 6th green at Double Arrow Golf Course in Seeley Lake. Peggy is an old friend from our life with the phone company. Tom also worked with various phone and contract companies. We hadn’t seen Peggy since we retired in Denver back in 2000, so it was wonderful seeing her and catching up with her life with Tom for the past 18 years. They have a beautiful home and were so gracious to us. They offered us electric and water hookups, which we accepted, of course.

The weather was beautiful during our 2 night stay. It beckoned us to take a walk along the golf course to the lodge.

Tom drove us around the Seeley area. The girls had a blast shopping at the super nice Deer Country quilt store.

Exploring Banff and Nearby Places

We explored Banff a little Monday night after arriving. Found the Banff Avenue Brewery, 2nd story in the building with all the flags. Banff is very very busy with lots of people and vehicles. Very difficult to find parking, especially with our big dually. Fun little town though, reminding us a bit of a Breckenridge or Aspen kind of town.

Tuesday July 10 we backtracked 35 miles north on CA1 to Lake Louise. Immediately after exiting the highway, we could tell how busy it all was when we saw a Banff National Park employee directing traffic at the intersection. We wanted to visit Lake Moraine, but no room in their small parking lot and the road was barricaded.

We did find parking at Lake Louise, just as a vehicle was pulling out. Several parking lots, but all were full. You can get an idea of the crowd in this picture. That’s the Chateau Lake Louise Hotel in the background. We were afraid to ask the cost of a room.

The Lake is truly beautiful, especially with the glacier hovering picturesque above.

Having had enough of crowded areas, we backtracked again, 15 miles south past Banff on CA1 to Canmore. This entire National Park area is so breathtaking, passing by huge rock formations along the highway that seemed to dominate the landscape.

Surprise! Canmore is busy too, but they do have a very nice quilt shop, Sugar Pine. Visiting the shop delighted Connie and helped satisfy her long hiatus from quilting. And we were blessed with a little rain. High today around 60°.

After the quilt fix, we walked down 8th Avenue  a couple blocks and just happened on to the Grizzly Paw Brewery.  It too was busy, but we found seats near the bar and ordered a glass of Grizzly Paw’s own; Connie had a Sleeping Buffalo Stout, while Ed had an Evolution IPA. After another full day. We were delighted to get back “home.”

 

Jasper to Banff

We have been doing quite well parking without hookups (boondocking), but not a lot of sun at Whistler Campground for our solar panels because of all the trees. Ed got this Champion 3400 watt dual fuel generator for just such situations. So we got a chance to try it. It worked wonderfully well plugged in to the 30amp outlet Ed installed in front of the trailer. We can also tap in to our RV propane tank if needed.


Another ingenious idea we learned from Lauren (our traveling nurse friend) is to keep house plants in the shower, especially when it has a skylight. Makes for a great solarium for Connie’s precious house plants, and keeps them stable while traveling.

It was certainly a beautiful drive along the Icefields Parkway on CA93 toward Banff. We departed Whistler campground around 10:30am Monday July 9, 2018. Quite a bit of traffic, but manageable. Driving took Ed’s full attention so Connie stayed busy taking pictures as we traveled. We stopped at Strutfield Glacier pullout where we met a nice younger couple (pre-retirement age) from Idaho and agreed to snap each other’s pictures.

Columbia Icefield (glacier) is quite impressive as it gets closer to the road. There is a side road that gets even closer where sight seers can walk out to it.

Not too far down the road we pulled out again to get a picture of the Tangle Creek Falls.

We believe this to be the Snow dome. If it is not, it should be. There is a cloud behind so the snowcap almost looks like part of the cloud.

Yet a little farther down the road we had to slow down to let a mama Grizzly and her cubs cross the road. Snapped a picture from the window after they got across and back on their way. We also saw a boar Grizzly later, but didn’t get a picture. He was more in the wooded area and there was no place for us to pull over.

Pulled in to Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court site 220 at 3:30pm. The name implies trailer court, but it is really a very nice, yet unique, RV park. Over 600 spaces, all lined up in 3 block rows with pull through spaces on both sides. No need for the generator here, We have full hookups. Location is just a few blocks up a hill from downtown Banff. Beautiful setting. We’ll get more pictures Tuesday.

Click HERE to view a Google Maps route of our trip from here to Gillette, WY.

Jasper and Maligne Lake

Sunday July 8, 2018. We decided we’d spend our day by driving Maligne Road to Maligne Lake, about 25 miles up the Maligne River. Guess it was a Maligned day. But first…we stopped by the Bear’s Claw bakery and Coffee shop in Jasper to get a cup of coffer for the trip. Yeah right…couldn’t resist the strawberry/Rhubarb muffin, so we split one. Gotta watch the intake you know.

We were taken by the Jasper Community Garden across the street from the bakery and on the street where we parked. Nice job Jasperites.

Just like driving CA93A Saturday , we were again taken in by the majestic views. This is Medicine Lake, about half way to Maligne Lake. The lower landscape still show a lot of burned area from a large 2015 wildfire. Idiot Ed climbed up on the rocks shown in the first picture to get a better view for the Medicine Lake picture. He got black char on his clothes from the climb, but got the picture. After driving on around the bend, there was a pullout for a much better view!

Difficult to tell the majesty and depth of the mountains with a cell camera, or probably any camera, but from the road, this rocky peak was impressive. Ed nicknamed it Mt Rushmore Wannabe as it looked perfect for the faces of historical Canadian forefathers, waiting to be carved into the granite.

Again, can’t really tell how dramatically steep this mount looked from where Ed is standing, pointing, no…I won’t be climbing this one.

We saw three Caribou on the drive to the lake. They stood very still. Surprised that caribou can be spotted so far south.

Made it to Maligne Lake. Three parking lots and spaces all along the road were taken and the area was swarming with site seers. We stopped long enough to get this picture.

We stopped on the way back at this pullout because it had a toilet. Found this group of bighorn sheep strolling around, oblivious to all the cars pulling in. They were quite straggly. None of them had a full rack.

Jasper and Athabasca

We left Valemount at 10:15am Saturday July 7, drove up CA5 the 13 miles until we headed west on CA16 47 miles through Jasper National Park entrance and to the village of Jasper. It had rained on and off through the night and it was quite gloomy when we left. It started to clear off a bit by the time we crossed over to the province of Alberta and the park entrance. $C39 for a 2 day pass.

We pulled into the village of Jasper and found it full of RVs and people. A little uncomfortable pulling our 38′ trailer, so decided to just go down CA93 a couple miles to our camp site at Whistler Campground for the next couple nights. A bit challenging backing into 30GG without tagging a tree, but got set up fine about 2pm (changed to MDT when we crossed the Alberta province border). No hookups and not a lot of sunshine for the solar panels because of all the trees. We do have our Champion 3400 watt generator just in case.

After setting up, we drove back to explore Jasper. The day turned out to be quite beautiful. A little cloudy, but still lots of sunshine. Temp was cool, around 64°. What a great town to wander around. There are lots of shops and restaurants as Jasper is also a winter sports mecca. Found the Jasper Brewery of course. The sleeve (10 oz) of 6060 stout and the bacon burger hit the spot.

A lot of daylight left, so we ventured south, taking CA93A loop, a less traveled road on the east side of the Athabasca River. Beautiful drive with snow capped mountain peaks around every bend.

We drove along the Athabasca glacier fed river, lending itself to incredible views of God’s creation. So many mountain peaks it was hard for us to identify them for certainty. Thinking this one must be Mt Edith Cavell (11,033′).

Athabasca Falls is located just before CA93A loop joins back with CA93. Spectacular views joined with the roaring sound of the water purging through the rocks was absolutely breath taking.  The observation area was swarming with other tourists, all appeared as amazed of the beauty as we were. It appeared to us that most people were from other countries. Perhaps Europe, Asia, Middle East, and India. Many rental class C RVs parked in the parking area and along the road. Including Adventurer, CanaDream, CruiseCanada, as well as private RVs. Jasper is a wonderful destination for vacationers. God is good.

Salmon Arm to Valemount British Columbia

Here is a picture from a Visitor Center Brochure that shows our route from Washington to Salmon Arm on CA97; then CA1 to Kamloops,  and CA5 to Valemount. Over the next few days we’ll take CA16 east to Jasper and down to Banff.

 

 

 

 

 

British Columbia is so incredibly beautiful. Wonderful drive up from Salmon Arm to Valemount. Pulled in to Irvins RV park around 3:30pm Wednesday and enjoyed having full hooks ups. A chance to drain tanks, refresh our fresh water tank, do laundry, and run the AC a bit. Haven’t really needed AC, but just ran one for an hour or so.

After showers and getting ready, we drove down the road to explore Valemount. First, we headed for fuel (diesel). Wow! $1.379 per LITER. Almost 200 liters for $270C. But US $ is a bit stronger, so after all the calculations, the Visa charge was $211US. A little better, but still a little over $4.19/gal compared to cost per gallon in the US.

We saw billboards on the way in to town for “Fresh Craft Beer” so had to check out Three Ranges brewery. We tried the “Tail Slap IPA”. Pretty good, but not quite up to Arizona Wilderness, or BRI (Beer Research Institute in Gilbert).

Before leaving for more exploring Thursday, we decided to try this Swiss Bakery we heard about tucked away in Valemount. Quite quaint. A cup of pretty good coffee and sharing a cinnamon pastry was just what we needed to get our morning started.

After asking for information at the Valemount Visitor Center, we decided to drive the 30 minutes to Mt Robson Provincial Park toward Jasper. We stopped to view Mt Terry Fox (the 8694′ snow capped peak on the right side of the picture). Interesting story on Terry Fox. He was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$750 million has been raised in his name, as of January 2018.

Geez. Mt Robson (12,972′) looks a lot like Denali and Rainier…clouded over. But it is still quite spectacular. We got a couple shots on our way to the Mt. Robson Provincial Park Visitor Center. The center is very nice. Somewhat crowded. Most of the visitors we heard inside were speaking another language.

Overlander Falls on the Fraser River is just up the CA16 from the visitor center and called us to try a short trek to check it out.  The falls are named for the Overlanders expedition of 1862. A group of some 175 men and 1 woman from Ontario that traveled across the prairies and through the Rocky Mountains, intending to reach the Barkerville or Cariboo goldfields.

Having a little energy left from the Overlanders Falls hike (really a simple hike), we made one last stop for the day for another short hike at Rearguard Falls. The sign reads that this is the farthest point that salmon migrate up the Fraser River to spawn, about 1,260 km (783 mi) from the ocean.  The Fraser flows into the Pacific at Vancouver BC. It is an awesome river, we think comparable to the mighty Columbia in the US. We were very impressed with the board walk and railing the park installed. Made it a lot easier to get down to where we could almost touch the water going over the falls. We could feel the spray.

Next, on to Whistler and Jasper National Park.

Washington to Salmon Arm British Columbia Canada

We left Bonair Winery mid-morning Monday, July 2 and drove the 100+ miles to Wenatchee. We enjoyed all the agriculture along the way. Lots of Cherry orchards, vineyards, and hops. Shirley told us the this area grows more hops than anywhere in the country. Yes…future IPAs.

After fueling at a Fred Meyer, because we had a $1/gal off up to 35 gallons, we drove to “Sleepy Hollow”, our Boondockers Welcome location for the night.

Jack and Shirley greeted us like family and invited us to share happy hour with them around 5pm. Now we’re talking great hosts!

We arrived around 2pm on a beautiful Washington day. Our hosts are located a short walk from the Wenatchee River so we were able to get out for a little stroll to enjoy it. The river joins the Columbia a short distance down.

Jack is a retired welder but still loves to weld up about anything that hasn’t been welded. One of his specialties is fabricating huge wind chimes, using high power electric transmission line insulators as clangers. He made so many he didn’t have a count of how many. We felt welcomed as soon as we pulled in when we saw Jack’s “Yea Trump” sign on the side of the garage. We were also invited to plug in to their 50amp outlet and use their very handy water spigot.

Tuesday July 3 was quite an interesting day. We left Wenatchee mid-morning with full intentions of staying at a Harvest Host winery in Oroville, just before the border crossing. It was an incredibly beautiful drive following the Columbia River most of the way. When it was time for a rest break we stopped at Wells Dam welcome park, a Douglas County Public Utility point of interest. Nice restrooms, a kiosk explaining the dam history, a walkway trail and an observation area.

As we traveled north we still had a lot of daylight ahead of us, so we decided to forego the Oroville winery stop and proceed on to our next destination. A unique Harvest Host market in Salmon Arm, BC that we have been looking forward to. We had been quite worried about what challenges we might encounter crossing the border with our “house” since they don’t allow, or were limiting certain food, plants, alcohol quantities, firearms and such. We were VERY pleased when we were welcomed to Canada after showing our passports, registrations and insurance papers….and answering just a few entry questions; like where we were going and for how long. Once in to British Columbia, we were surprised with all the traffic. Lots of stop and go though Kelowna. A much larger city (pop 125,000) than expected. Later, we realized the increased traffic was because July 1 is Canada Day and a week to vacation. There were lots of recreation places around Kelowna, primarily because it is on Okanagan lake. In addition, Ed thought DeMille’s market was just over the border in Osoyoos, but soon realized we had another 150 miles to travel from the border.

Another beautiful drive, this time along the Okanagan River in route to our next Harvest Host location; DeMille’s Farm Market in Salmon Arm, BC. Arrived around 5:30pm and parked in the large front parking lot for two nights. We passed miles and miles of irrigated agriculture on both sides of the river and hillsides. Many more cherry tree orchards. Seems like there was fruit stand every mile.

We were very welcomed by owner Brad. Connie was elated with the market and all they had to offer in the way of produce and fruit.

Walking around the grounds a bit, we could easily see why DeMille’s is called a “farm” market. Not to mention the fresh fruits and produce in the market, mostly provided from area farms. All and all it was a wonderful stop for us. The only negative was Canada Highway 1 next to us was quite busy, but not that annoying.

Salmon Arm seemed like an unusual name, but a local explained to us that Shuswap (shoe-swap) lake is in the shape of a huge letter “H”, and Salmon Arm is one of the arms.

Leaving Big Creek for Canada, via Washington

Pulled away from our Big Creek Hatchery site about 7am July 1. Got a chance to say so-long to Jessica and Travis. Bitter sweet as leaving was like leaving family.

Wednesday before we left, most of the techs and their families surprised us at the 10am break with a good-bye cake, some Tillamook ice cream, and a very nice don’t leave card.

 

Ross instructed Connie on proper fish feeding the week before we left. Click on the picture or attached video to view the 4 second video.

Retired tech Mike (was here when we volunteered in 2016) took 3 techs and Rob’s son Jaxson halibut fishing while we were there. They returned with their fish ready to fillet for the pan, or freezer, all in the same day. Jessica was kind enough to give us a couple generous fillets from her catch. We also enjoy some Spring Salmon (Chinook or King) that has been given to us. Yum yum,

Kayla and Ross hosted a crawdad boil the Sunday before we left. They trapped the crawdads in a slough a short distance from the hatchery. It was quite an event getting the live crawdads ready to drop in the pot. Click on the picture or view attached to see Kayla and Connie prepping them.

After leaving Big Creek on Sunday July 1, we drove US30 to Longview, then up I5 to US12 over White Pass Scenic Byway, and through the edge of Mt Rainier National Park to Yakima and Bonair Winery.

Stopped near the summit at a Mt Rainier View Point. And reminiscent of trying to catch a glimpse of Denali while we were in Alaska, it was clouded over too.

Got set up next to Bonair’s vineyards around 2pm. Fantastic! As members of Harvest Hosts, we are good to park here and no cost. The wine was NOT free however!

Mt Rainier can be seen from here on a clear day, but not clear enough today. We did get a great view of snow covered Mt Adams which is a little closer. Rainier is over 14k’ and Adams a little over 12k’

Vineyard/winery owner Shirley was very gracious and served us a variety of their selections. Wonderful wine… and hospitality. Shirley and Gail planted their first vineyard back in 1980 and have been going strong ever since, starting the winery in 1988. They boast that this Rattlesnake Hills vineyard area is on the same latitude as Burgundy, France….noting that the California vineyards are on the same latitude as Baghdad, Iraq!

We  enjoyed walking around the grounds on such a perfect day in the low 70s. Later we walked down the peaceful country road along side huge cherry orchards. All agriculture in the area is irrigated with water from the Yakima river. Needed water as Shirley said their annual rainfall is only 6 inches.

Couldn’t resist buying Bonair’s  2013 Rattlesnake Hills Malbec (pink label), Touriga Port, and a Bung Dog Red for on the road.

Monday, we continue north a short distance to a Boondocker’s Welcome location in East Wenatchee. Another no-cost night, then one more winery before crossing into British Columbia Canada.