Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Motorcycle Monday – 3 Washington Rides

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Glowing trees north of Roslyn

I am out of motorcycle shape! In spite of late afternoon heat and tired backsides, we managed to enjoy 3 different motorcycle rides over the long weekend.

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Heading south on the Yakama Indian Reservation

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Mt. Adams

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Wild horses

1. Friday night, we helmeted up and rode south on Highway 97, turned right on Lateral A, and continued out to White Swan. I’ve always love this ride, having spent nearly 30 years living in the lower valley. At White Swan, we followed Signal Peak Road up to the end of the public road. The round trip was nearly 100 miles and gorgeous. We saw wild horses, but only 10 or so, less than normal; plus wild horse rib cages and assorted bits. A bald eagle perched on a bluff (we suspect dead bodies for tasty snacks were somewhere close, per the nose turning odors), and when we stopped to stretch, we were nearly swarmed by huge black bees. They seemed hungry and ready for fresh meat. Maybe they were a type of wasp instead. Mt. Adams beamed white amidst blue skies and fluffy clouds and the entire valley was in full production – orchards, vineyards, planted fields, cattle, and much more.

2. Saturday we took a longer ride, almost 200 miles, spanning most of the day. We drove north through the Yakima River Canyon, one of our favorite drives. Bald eagles, deer, bighorn sheep, and hordes of those two-legged campers, fishers, and recreating humans gave us company for the ride. In Ellensburg, we stopped for coffee. Then we followed Highway 10 to Cle Elum, barely hanging on when we encountered bridge repairs! The first one had us riding air, but after that we were prepared. We continued through Cle Elum, Roslyn, and Ronald, until we reached the end of the road and Salmon la Sac. The Cle Elum River was noisy and rolling due to snow melt. That did not deter campers from wading! Brr. On our return home, we stopped for lunch at The Brick (Roslyn) and searched out a rose-flavored dark chocolate treat at the Roslyn Candy Company. We backtracked a bit, looped along the Thorp Highway, and returned to the Yakima Valley returned through the canyon.

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Highway 241

3. Monday we were up and out early, due to expected high temps later in the day. We took the slow road – Yakima Valley Highway – towards the lower valley. This is such a pretty drive through orchards, farms, and small communities. We went as far south as Sunnyside, then took Highway 241 over the top of the hills to Highway 24, which led us back to Yakima. Along the Yakima River, I saw several cranes and a block of whirling pelicans. A stalking coyote was circling a herd of black cows who were grazing way out in the middle of nowhere. Yikes! I shook my finger at him, but I don’t think it helped. Babies were everywhere – foals, calves, lambs, kids. This ride was shorter than the other days, but a great outing.

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Heading into the Yakima River Canyon

Let’s talk about smell-o-vision. This is a real thing on motorcycles. What you see, or don’t see, you will smell. The good, the bad, the ugly. Mint, flowers, freshly cut hay, hops, dust, horses, fast food restaurants. The list of good-to-smell is unending. The bad? Think cow poop, skunks, diesel exhaust, asphalt, smoke, garbage. The ugly? Dead stuff. I know they are ugly because I can smell them and it is not pretty! While some road kill is evident alongside the road, others lurk mysteriously out of sight. But not out of nose.

What’s the trade-off for the icky smells? Wonderful fresh air, the joy of wind blowing along your body, and rolling scenery. It’s worth every smell and bug splatter.

Where did your journeys take you this weekend?

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Just us, goofing around 

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Coloring Books & Oranges

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Deal of the day: Coloring books!

This is a big deal. I know they’re all the rage right now, and are you not glad? We grew up with coloring books. Not the adult sort that is popular, but books featuring cartoon characters and now-iconic movie themes. Frosty, Rudolph, Tom and Jerry, Barbie…the list is quite long. And I’ve probably had at least one coloring book for each character.

Christmas and coloring books go hand in hand. Opening that freshly minted box of unbroken and pointy tipped crayons and deciding which picture to color in first – that was one of our growing up years Christmas traditions.

Our stockings always had an orange, an apple, and nuts. Add some assorted hard candies, never enough chocolate, small toys, coloring books, and crayons!  I’m not sure we had the coloring books and crayons every year, but often enough that I associate them with Christmas morning and full stockings!

I carried on the tradition for our two children when they were young. Coloring books, crayons, chocolate, and candies. For some reason, I dropped the fruit and nuts, though now at my mature age, I view them as synonymous with Christmas stockings.

During college (yes, waayyyy before adult coloring books hit the market), my college friends and residents of the dorm I lived in often sat in the hallways with coloring books and crayons, happily coloring, visiting, and enjoying much-needed stress relief.

As an adult, I still have coloring books. I recently found a lovely nature-themed adult coloring book. I also have a journaling Bible, complete with multiple illustrations ready for me to color.

And today, I purchased old-fashioned coloring books – Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa. I just need crayons,  apples, oranges, and nuts.

Because now I can pass along the coloring traditions to the grands.