Chelan, WA

We spent last night in one of our favorite places, Chelan, WA. We usually spend at least one night here on our way south, and one our way north. For years when we were working we would come to Chelan on summer long weekends. I really can’t tell you why, the city just has a certain small town on the lake appeal to us. We are now only four hours from home, although it will take us another three days to get there 🙂

This was the first travel day home were the sun wasn’t out in full force 😦

If we had stayed on Highway 97 yesterday we would have driven over the last high, possibly snowy, part of our trip home. After hubby checked the road reports and the weather the other night he decided we would take a different, lower route that followed a rail line. It added a half hour to our trip, so it was a three-hour drive instead of two and a half … we can live with that.

At Ellensburg, WA we turned east onto I-90 and at George, WA we turned off I-90 onto SR 281N. Shortly after we turned off the interstate we saw a sign that said “Crop Names in Fence Line Next 10 Miles”. How awesome! During our travels hubby and I have both said that we wished farmers would post what type of crop they were growing and someone finally listened to us. We were treated to fields of red beans, different types of hay, grain corn, field corn, turf grass (that was a very pretty manicured field!), and cherry and apple orchards.

I only took one picture, I was having to much fun trying to identify the fields before the sign came along.

In Quincy, WA we turned onto SR 28 and headed into Wenatchee. That part of the route was new to us but we figured we were okay when all the semis turned as well, and it turned out to be a great route.

I think it is now safe to say the only real snow we will see on our trip home was either in real shady spots on the side of the road or on the mountains. Well except for the snow we had in Carson City, NV, but fortunately that wasn’t a travel day and it was gone before we went to sleep that night.

Once we arrived in the valley near Wenatchee we started to see many fruit orchards and grape vineyards. The cool thing about that is we will continue to see them all the way home … yup we are getting close to home!

And here is something I didn’t know … Highway 97 is the longest continuous north-south highway in North America. It runs from Weed, CA to Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek. Hubby and I have travelled it from Prince George, BC to Weed, CA and will some day do the rest up to Alaska. I, however, have actually done the entire highway, because when I was a kid my parents took us on a road trip to Alaska, so I feel pretty special!

Until next time …

Another Great Travel Day

We left Bend, Oregon yesterday and headed north into Washington State. The next border we cross will the border between the US and Canada and we will be back in British Columbia and three hours from home 🙂

The weather was awesome once again, sunny dry roads, just what we want!

It was pretty to see the snow on the mountains in the distance and not on any of the roads.

Just south of the Oregon/Washington State line we came upon the Stateline Wind Farm. Both hubby and I find this wind farm much prettier than the wind farms you see in Palm Springs, California. The ones in Palm Springs are set in the desert amongst sand, rocks, and creosote bushes, a very grey/brownish background. The Stateline Wind Farms are set amongst fields of green grassland, and of course the grass is very green in the spring.

As we passed into Washington we could see the Maryhill Stonehenge sitting on the hill above the river.

The Maryhill Stonehenge is a replica of the Stonehenge in England and is a memorial to those who died in World War 1. It was commissioned by a businessman named Samuel Hill and dedicated on July 4, 1918. Constructed out of concrete the memorial was completed in 1929.

We pulled into Cabela’s in Yakima, WA in the late afternoon. This was the first time we have stayed in a Cabala’s parking lot. We checked in with the manager of the store and he was very happy to have us stay overnight as long as we parked near the back of the lot. The nice thing about Cabela’s is that they close at 8:00 p.m., and the surrounding area is all stores that close around the same time, so it was very quiet.

And amazingly it didn’t cost us a cent! We sure had fun browsing the store but we managed to come out with all our money intact 🙂

Until next time …

We Finished The Ale Trail :-)

I realized I never told you what you would get if you participate in the Bend Ale Trail. Once you have ten stamps you can visit the Bend Visitor Centre and receive your Silipint glass. The Silipint isn’t really a glass, it’s a soft-sided pint “glass” and we use ours when we take a drink to the hot tub. If you collect sixteen stamps you can get a Silipint “glass” and a bottle opener. The bottle opener wasn’t important to us, because we have cool ones from our youngest son’s wedding, so we went for the ten stamps, because we wanted two more Silipints for guests 🙂

 We received our last two stamps at Goodlife Brewing and Crux Brewing. We had a fun time at Goodlife Brewering and while Crux Brewing was okay, it wasn’t anything new.

From our seats at the bar at Goodlife Brewery we could see into the brewery and aside from the beer vats we noticed a distillery. When we asked the bartender about it she told us that Goodlife also distills Vodka and she offered us a taste. The vodka, which is distilled under the label Backdrop Vodka, was so good! It was smooth and easy to drink and honestly if enjoyed vodka straight up in a glass, over ice, we totally would have bought a bottle … but that’s not us. We did, however, wangle a look at their German purchased distillery, which really looked pretty cool, … and we also learned that the owner of Goodlife Brewery has won many awards for his Vodka.

Hubby likes this picture because he thinks the distillery looks like some sort of Star Wars Aliens.

 I had a couple of good questions on yesterday’s blog that I will try to give a concise answer to, however I am not a beer expert, so this is what I believe is true, based on what we have been told.

The first question was “What is a nitro beer”. Well a nitro beer is carbonated with about 70% nitrogen and 30% carbon dioxide, as opposed to a typical beer that is carbonated with 100% carbon dioxide; at least I believe it is 100% carbon dioxide.

Beer carbonated with nitrogen has a thick mouth feel. This effect is helped by a special piece of tap equipment known as a restrictor plate that forces the beer through tiny holes before it lands in the glass.  This process gives the beer the thick, rich, creamy head that you saw in yesterday’s picture of the Potato Stout.

The second question was “What is a growler”. A growler is a container used to take draft beer home with you. They come in 32oz or 64oz sizes and breweries will happily fill growlers from other breweries. Most craft breweries sell growlers and they all fill them at a very reasonable price and cheaper than buying their beer in a store. Beer in a growler will stay fresh for several days once opened, or longer if the growler is tightly sealed, remains unopened, and it’s kept chilled.

We generally carry two growlers with us, one is a Hydro Flask growler (a stainless steel growler similar to a thermos), the other was a glass growler … notice I said “was”. Yup that one fell out of our storage area after a particularly bumpy trip and is no longer with us 😦 fortunately it was empty. Our goal this trip was to pick up another Hydro Flask growler but most of them now have big handles on the side and will not fit into an RV fridge. We did finally find one at Boneyard Brewery the other day, which is why we had it filled with our favorite Boneyard beer.

Hopefully that answers your questions, but let me know if I am still confusing you, I do that a lot to people!

Until next time …

Bend, OR = Weight Gain + Money!

Before I start this blog I have to tell you I am still laughing about a comment Six Saturdays and A Sunday made on yesterday’s blog … “Snow is just another 4 letter word. Then again, so is Beer, so they’re not all bad.”  The back and forth didn’t stop there, but let’s move one.  Seriously Rod we are still laughing, thanks for those comments 🙂  And it is a perfect segway into today’s blog about beer!

We have begun the infamous Bend Ale Trail. Now the important things to know about the Ale Trail are … it is so much fun; no matter how hard you try you will gain weight; and you will spend money; … although Oregon is a no tax state and beer is relatively cheap, even craft beer, so in terms of fun versus money, it won’t be that expensive.

The City of Bend is full of craft breweries and to promote them they started the Bend Ale Trail, which is known as the largest beer trail in the west. You can participate using a pamphlet, that is available almost everywhere in Bend, or you can use the Bend Ale Trail app on your cell phone. Hubby uses the pamphlet and I use the cell phone app. Once you are at a participating brewery you can have your pamphlet stamped or press a button on the phone app that marks the brewery as visited. A purchase is not required and when you are using the cell phone app it is really easy, as long as you are close to the establishment you can press the button and you are good to go. If you are using the pamphlet you will need to go to the bar or hostess stand to get a stamp.

So far we have received eight stamps! We started with Silver Moon, Bend Brewery, and Deschutes Brewery the night we arrived. We have decided that the draw at Silver Moon is their Pumpkin Ale and of course it is out of season.

The rim is lined with brown sugar and pumpkin spices … yummy! To bad it’s not in season 😦

Bend Brewery is always entertaining and this time their best beer (according to us) was the Java Juice, a Nitro Cold Pressed Coffee Stout, the only drawback being that it is a Nitro beer so a Growler wasn’t an option.

We tried the Botanic Ale at Deschutes Brewery and really enjoyed it as well. The Botanic Ale is like drinking a beer Gin and Tonic! I could almost picture us on the beach, enjoying the sun and heat and a G&T (yup that is one of our pastimes) 🙂

So before I go on let’s get a few things sorted out. When I say we tried all these beers, we didn’t have a pint of each. We usually get a flight, of the beers that sound interesting, and share it. Once we reach the third brewery hubby starts tasting and I am left to take up the slack … yup he is driving because he likes it that way and I’m not complaining 🙂  We also have no problem not drinking any beer in the flight that we don’t like. And I should probably clear this up as well … I often say I am not a beer drinker … and I’m not. Well okay maybe I am, but I don’t like beer for the sake of drinking a beer. I like beer like I like red wine, it needs to have body, smell, and flavor, which is why I like craft beer. If we are somewhere and everyone is sharing a pitcher I will share as well, with a side of Clamato to give the beer some flavor. I have realized though, that I have to stop saying I’m not a beer lover in my blogs, because I do like some beers.

So on to the next few breweries … Yesterday we stopped at Craft Brewery which is also a favourite because of the atmosphere and the bartender (we have had her a few times and she is always top notch and very entertaining).

Craft Brewery had the cutest taster glasses, and they will give you as many free tastes as you want, which meant we could share a pint of the one we liked the most 🙂

Our favorite there was a Potato Stout … yup it was good, but again it was a Nitro beer so no growler of that 😦

The Mash Up Stout, it was really good!

Once we left Craft Brewery we stopped at Atlas Cider Company. It is not on the Ale Trail so no credit, but it is one of my favorites.

We did a flight of six ciders and ended up coming away with two sealed cans of the Apple Cider and the Apricot Cider. This is the first time we have seen the sealed cans and they are pretty cool. The cider will stay fizzy for up to ten day’s, which means we can bring it home and do samplings with our daughter and son-in-law.

Our next stop was Boneyard Brewery. It is in a residential area, and sure didn’t look like much of a brewery. We almost didn’t go in because of the feel and we could see a younger crowd spilling out the door, but we did go in and had so much fun … maybe we aren’t old! It was $7.00 to share a flight of nine beers and we found a beer we both really liked, so a growler was filled.

The biggest surprise of the day was the McMenamins Pub and Brewery.

This building was a Catholic schoolhouse in 1936 which is what got my attention the first time around. It is now a hotel and brewpub.

The last time we did the Ale Trail this pub was very snobby and didn’t want to serve us, this time they were very friendly and we had a great time. We originally stopped because we thought we would just go in, get a stamp, and move on but their patio out front had a few fires lit and looked appealing. Our favourite beer here was the Morning Foam Coffee Stout. We could totally see sitting in bed enjoying it as our morning coffee … yup that is so sad!   We thought this beer was a Nitrous beer similar to the one at Bend Brewery but it turned it didn’t use Nitrous so we could get a growler. As an added bonus they open at 7:00 a.m. so we can get our growler filled before we leave Bend on Monday, which will make it last until we get home … and on Monday’s growler fills are only $8.00!

We also visited Riverbend and Sunriver Brewing but they where both packed so we just collected our stamps and moved on, which was a good thing because we had had enough beer for one day!

And our day ended with a very nice sunset 🙂

Until next time …

Goodbye Snow :-)

Our plan yesterday was to drive to Klamath Falls and spend the night at Walmart. The snow from Thursday was gone, the skies were blue, the roads were clear and dry, and it was a very pretty drive through three states. We started along Highway 395 in Nevada.

Shortly after we crossed into California along Highway 395.

Once again I forgot we were heading into California and I stocked up on veggies before we left Nevada, but once again we were waved through the Agriculture Inspection Station. We have only had to stop once in all our years of travel, so I’m really not sure why they have these stations … or maybe we just look so trustworthy … okay it’s probably not that!

We came across a field with at least twenty deer grazing but they were on hubby’s side of the truck, and he just wasn’t willing to duck down below the window so that I could take the picture!

As we were motoring along we realized we would arrived in Klamath Falls around 3:00 p.m. and decided it was to early, and to nice out, to sit in a parking lot for the rest of the evening. It wasn’t a hard decision to take a new route, bypass Klamath Falls, and head on to Bend, OR.

By early afternoon we had crossed over into Oregon and continued to follow Highway 395 and Highway 31 up to Highway 97.

Summer Lake, home to the Summer Lake Hot Springs which must be pretty hot because you can see the steam for a long way!

I was getting bored and trying to be artistic 🙂

Once we hit Highway 97 we always feel like we are near home, because it’s a straight trip up the highway to Kelowna, B.C. and home 🙂

We will spend the next three nights in Bend where I’m sure there will be a few visits to some craft breweries 🙂

Until next time …

Yucky Day!

Before I get onto what happen yesterday let’s reminisce … remember the awesome shopping day we had on Wednesday?

The weather was beautiful and we were enjoying the signs of spring.

Well here is what happened on Thursday …

I really thought this year, because we were heading back so much later, that we would completely miss the snow. Apparently I was wrong! It snowed off and on most of the day, but in between the sun would come out and melt whatever was on the ground.

Today we are off to Klamath Falls, OR and will spend the night either at Walmart or a casino to the north of town.

Hopefully that’s the last we see of that yucky white stuff!

Until next time …

Carson City, NV

This year was an exception for us because we saw a lot of desert flowers and cacti blooming. Usually we don’t see any signs of spring flowers until we hit Carson City, NV, which is one of the reasons I like coming back this way.

Being the capital of Nevada, Carson City has an abundance of state buildings that are very pretty, especially in the spring.

We did our grocery shopping and then stopped at the Friggen Fox, which is now the Fox Brew Pub, for lunch (I liked the old name better :-)).

The day may have started off cool but once the sun came out it was warm, and it was a pretty view through the open door from the bar.

When we were in Henderson, Nevada we stopped at a Brew Pub for dinner and for a one-hour period they were giving away free beer from Lagunitas. Hubby and I aren’t one to pass up anything free so we gave it a try. Hubby wasn’t that fond of it but I didn’t mind it … and I’m not really a beer drinker. The beer has a real grapefruit aftertaste which reminded me a little of a Raddler that we can buy at home. When we had lunch yesterday they had the same beer on tap so I was able to try it again, and I liked it just as much … but not as much as the Chocolate Beer in Yuma and Lake Havasu 🙂

After lunch we walked along the main street and enjoyed the signs of spring.

I saw this semi in the space across the road from us at the RV Park. I think it is pretty cool and it totally got me in the mood to watch Tuesday’s episode of The Voice 🙂

Until next time …