2013 Tucson, AZ

We left Las Vegas on the 7th of January and stayed in Laughlin, NV.  It was windy and quite cold so we didn’t get to walk along the river or enjoy the area like we wanted to.

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Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort RV Park

January 9, 2013

On the way to Tucson, we stopped off in Phoenix and had lunch with John’s sister and brother-in-law –  Pat and Gib….it was her birthdayP1020554

TUCSON

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David-Monthan AFB FamCamp (Agave Gulch)

It was really nice here in Tucson when we first arrived, but it turned cold right away….28 at night and 45 in the day.  Good grief, why did we leave Las Vegas !!

We took a ride through the Saguaro National ParkP1020557

From the brochure:  “As one of the 397 units of the National Park System, this park protects and manages 91,440 acres of cherished natural and cultural resources, flanking both the east and west sides of the bustling urban area of Tucson.  Saguaro National Park was established in 1933 with the specific purpose of protecting and preserving one of the great icons of the American West: the saguaro cactus.  Saguaro tissue may be 85% water; a large plant may weight 8 tons or more !”P1020558

Further information:

Gila woodpeckers and gilded flickers make nest holes in the stems of saguaros.  The cactus quickly produces a thick material to heal and dry the wound.  This next-lining structure sometimes survives after the saguaro dies and rots and is called a saguaro “boot” because of its shape.  Woodpeckers build new nests each year, and older nests become homes for cactus wrens, elf owls, mice, snakes, spiders and other animals that appreciate the water-cooled cavities in the cactus. P1020560 Saguaros grow slowly.  In the most favorable conditions it may take 35 years for a plant to reach 6 feet; more commonly it takes 47 to 67 years.  Saguaros must start life under a tree or shrub to protect them from drying out and hide from herbivores.  Saguaros often outlive their “nurse” plants.  Saguaro branches always grow upward.  Occasionally frost or snow will freeze the tissue at the base of a limb and damage it, and the weight of the branch pulls it down.  If the branch survives, the growing tip will turn upward again.  Saguaros can grow to 50 feet tall and are the largest member of the cactus family in the United States (though not in the world).  Saguaros are fully protected by law, not only in Saguaro National park, but throughout Arizona.  The saguaro blossom is Arizona’s state flower.  In a 150-200 year lifetime, a saguaro might produce 40 million seeds.  Dispersal, rainfall, and other factors result in about one of these seeds living to maturity to replace the parent plant !P1020556

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Roadrunner

Tubac, Arizona — Where Art & History meet.  Tubac is southern Arizona’s growing artist colony!  P1020574Located in the Santa Cruz River Valley, Tubac, AZ has a 250-year-old Spanish history.  In 1752, Juan Bautista de Anza was appointed as the commandant to the Presidio at Tubac.  He was preceded by Father Kino, who built many missions along the Santa Cruz River.  Tubac is the perfect shoppers’ paradise with over eighty galleries and shops that feature hand-crafted items, sculpture, paintings, clothing and some of Southern Arizona’s best import shops.   Located just 40 minutes south of Tucson & 20 minutes from Nogales Plaza Road in Tubacin the Arizona high desert amid a lush cottonwood and mesquite forest. P1020579P1020578P1020577

San Xavier MissionP1020583

John’s brother Norm and his wife Sharon stopped by for a visit.  We drove through the west Saguaro Desert.P1020586P1020585

 

 

 

 

 

We saw a coyoteP1020584

John and I took a trolley ride through the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.  It had steep rock cliffs and a stream going through the botom.  Lots of saguaro and other cactus everywhere.  The canyon itself has been closed to private vehicle access since 1978. P1020588 P1020622 - Copy P1020624 P1020623

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We have enjoyed our stay in Tucson.  The last few days have been in the low 80’s !  We are leaving Wednesday and heading east to El Paso, Carlsbad Caverns, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.  Ultimately we will end up in New Orleans on February 6th for Mardi Gras celebrations.  We’ll stay there for one week.  I’ll update at that time —Stay tuned…….

Las Vegas

October 15, 2012

After we left Albuquerque, NM we drove over to Flagstaff, AZ and met up with John’s sister Pat, his brother-in-law Gib, and friends Ed and Sheila.  They stopped by to see our trailer, go to lunch and visit for a while.P1020254

October 16, 2010

We are now in Las Vegas, NV and have made the decision to stay for a while since the weather is sooo wonderful.  The fam camp here at Nellis Air Fotce Base is really nice with large RV sites, it’s well groomed and we have friendly neighbors.  Plus, it’s only six hours from Salt Lake and we can drive home for the holidays.P1020261P1020411I flew up to SLC to pick up my car and use it while staying in Las Vegas.  While there I caught the end of DJ’s football seasonP1020302P1020299

and got to see Alyssa in her first prom dress…along with her friendsP1020317P1020320

Kaylee

P1020291 Kaylee

Also got to see the grandkids cotumes and enjoy the trick-or-treaters.

November 9, 2012

Nellis had an air show that was really fun to watch.  I had never been to one before. It was awesome to watch the Thunderbirds.  They are based here at Nellis and practice all the time…… and are really NOISY.  They put on quite a show that includes a team of precision airmen doing their thing in unison.  I discovered my camera takes videos.  However, by the time I figured it out,my battery died.P1020347

P1020344P1020345P1020337One of the Thunderbird planesP1020364 P1020365 P1020366P1020403

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November 11, 2012

Between Mesquite and Las Vegas is a state park called Valley of Fire.                “History:  The Valley of Fire derives its name from the red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago.  Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape.  Other important rock form,ations include limestones, shales, and  conglomerates.  Prehistoric users of the Valley of Fire included the Basket Maker people and later the Anasazi Pueblo farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley.  The span of approximate occupation has been dated from 300 B.C.E. to 1150 C.E.  Their visits probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious cremeonies, although scarcity of water would have limited the length of their stay.  Fine examples of rock art left by these ancient peloples can be found at several sites within the park.”P1020388P1020389P1020394 P1020393 P1020392 P1020391 P1020390 P1020387 P1020386 P1020384 P1020383 P1020382 P1020381 P1020380

Hoover Dam is 30 miles from Las Vegas.  The dam still ranks as one of the world’s engineering marvels, 77 years after its dedication.  The huge steel and concrete structure sits wedged between the high, sheer cliffs of Black Canyon. It backs up the waters of the Colorado River into Lake mead, one of the world’s largest resevoirs.  The dam harnesses the river’s force to supply electrical power to many Western cities.  It stores the river’s flow to irrirgate rich agricultural areas and to supply drinking water to millions.DSC_0054 DSC_0056

THANKSGIVING — We had Thanksgiving dinner with Janeen and Sean at a small ‘pub’ called Off The Strip.  It was the best traditional dinner I’ve had anywhere….even at home.  It was awesome.

November 24, 2012

While in LV we saw Andrea Bocelli perform at the MGM Grand Garden ArenaP1020430P1020433

November 30, 2012
I drove back to SLC for Max’s funeral.  He was my x-husbands’ dad.  He lived 94 wonderful years and was just a genuine good guy.

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Max — What’s a Kindle

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and while I was there got to see DJ’s band Christmas ProgramP1020446

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December 2, 2012

Here is a picture of the Christmas tree I put up in our trailer.

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December 15, 2012

We went to a Manheim Steamroller concert at the Palazzio Hotel in LV.  We were disappointed to find out it wasn’t a concert put on by the original artists of Manheim Steamroller,buy it was their music performed by a group of young artists.  Ruby and Buzz went with us and they enjoyed it…and so did we….but it was not the “real” thing.P1020415

Light/water show at Sam’s Town Casino

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We are now back in SLC for the Holidays.  I was able to attend Kaylee’s school program.
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Christmas was fun.  We stayed with Brad and his family.  Christmas eve is when my family gets together.  We have a great turkey and ham dinner and then let the grandkids open their present from each other.  On Christmas day we were able to watch Derrick’s family and Brad’s family open their ‘Santa’ presents.  In the afternoon we visited with John’s kids, Kelly and Debbie and their families and his brother Norm.  Later in the week we were able to visit with his son Paul.

Christmas Eve at Brad's

Great pano view of Christmas eve at Brad’s

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Alan

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Derrick

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Bekka

 

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Alyssa — funky hat !

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Santa Brad

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Christmas morning at the B Rigby home

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Kaylee

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…and of course — Max

Las Vegas friends

John. Gayle, Jim, Ruby, Buzz, Margaret

We are packing up, saying goodbye to our new friends and leaving Las Vegas.

We are starting another chapter of our life and going on the road through the southern states where it is warmer.  We’re not sure how far we’ll get.  All we know if that we have to be back in SLC by the middle of April so we can get ready for our cruise to Germany.

So, happy trails to you……and us.   I’ll continue the blog with our travels for 2013.

Margaret

Balloon Fiesta – Albuquerque, NM

October 1-15, 2012
Here we are at our next home away from home – Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM:

Gated community with armed guard

It is chilly here, but not cold enough to turn on the furnace full time.  John turns it on first thing in the morning to take the chill off the trailer.  We have had a lot of wind.  One night we even had to pull in the end slide since it was rocking around so much.  Unfortunately there is a sandy field at the end of the RV camp and every time the wind comes up it blows the sand.  I have had to keep everything dusted….although the trailer is fairly tight.  The only time we had trouble was when the window at the end was open a tiny crack and before we discovered it, fine sand got onto the back of the couch and the window blind.

We have met up with a group of people that are part of an organization called SMART (Special Military Active-Retired Travel Club). There are chapters nationwide. Many of them put together ‘caravans’ and go places together. This current group has 20 rigs that met here in Albuquerque. Most of them are from the Maryland and Pennsylvania area. There is even a couple with this group that lives in Layton, UT.  They drove down to join the group. Come to find out, he and John worked together for years. The couple RV part time and will be going full time next year.

The group has a “wagon master” that puts everything together; travel schedule, places to see, restaurants to eat at, etc. They set a price and when you join them everything is included. They are all so friendly and everyone has the military in common. We have found there are other groups we could join that do the same thing and are not necessarily military affiliated. Some of them arrived in town early and stayed here at Kirkland AFB. After a few days they all moved over to the balloon festival RV camping area. The balloon park area turns into a little city during the festival. You cannot even imagine how many RV rigs there are at the park area….they are camped everywhere. Half, if not most of them, are dry camping….no electricity, water and sewer.  When we drove through the camp, we could see that they had set up temporary electricity lines on most of the rows.  If you needed water or dumping services, they have a truck that would go around and service people.

Balloon Fiesta
As more than 500 balloons rise into the blue sky over Albuquerque, it’s clear why this is said to be the word’s most photographed event.  The world’s largest, hot air ballooning festival draws over 800,000 attendees and balloonists from around the world.
Festivities include mass ascensions from Balloon Fiesta Park, accuracy contests and even illuminated “balloon glows” at night.
The Balloon Fiesta is on the north end of town and we are staying at the south end.  We didn’t see any balloons from our camp spot here on base and had to travel to the balloon park.
It’s hard not to go crazy taking pictures of all the balloons….it is so awesome:

 

 

In the evening they have an event they call night magic glow and then fireworks.

Places we visited while in Albuquerque:
Old Town
This community was founded in 1706.  Old Town follows the traditional Spanish pattern of a central plaza and church surrounded by homes and businesses.  Many of the historic homes are still standing and some have been renovated into today’s shops, galleries and restaurants.  There are hidden patios, winding brick paths, gardens and balconies.

!!!  LOL

Turquoise Trail
We drove up theTurquoise Trail to the Sandia Crest.  This is the highest point on the trail.  The summit has an elevation of 10,678.  The view was beautiful.

On the way up we stopped off at the Tinkertown Museum. TripAdvisor names Tinkertown as one of the top ten small museums in the USA. To read about it click on the link.  The pictures I took don’t do it justice.

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
VISIT THE MUSEUM
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History was established in 1969 as an intriguing place to learn the story of the Atomic Age, from early research of nuclear development through today’s peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Visitors can explore how nuclear science continues to influence our world. The museum strives to present, through permanent and changing exhibits and displays, the diverse applications of nuclear energy in the past, present and future along with the stories of the field’s pioneers.
Brief History
The creation of the Museum in 1969 was the result of a six-year effort to establish a museum to tell the story of the base and the development of nuclear weapons. The Museum was located on Kirkland Air Force Base. In 1973, the museum name was changed to National Atomic Museum to reflect the growing national and international audience and the fact that it was the only public museum that preserved the history of the nuclear industry. The Museum closed its doors at the Kirkland Air Force Base in New Mexico on September 11, 2001, due to heightened security measures at the Base. The National Atomic Museum was in its rented Old Town location from May 11, 2002 to February 7, 2009; the Museum re-opened in its current location in southeast Albuquerque in April 2009, when it was renamed The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.
The Museum’s mission is “to serve as America’s resource for nuclear history and science. The Museum presents exhibits and quality educational programs that convey the diversity of individuals and events that shape the historical and technical context of the nuclear age.”
Very interesting.  You need more than one afternoon to take it all in.

The Balloon Fiesta ends tomorrow.  Yesterday all the events were cancelled because of wind.  That’s the second time it’s been cancelled for wind.  If you ever plan to attend, plan to stay the whole week or more than a couple days.  You never know if bad weather would cause a day or two or th whole thing to be be cancelled.

Well that was a lot of fun and well worth going to see.  We are leaving in the morning for Flagstaff, AZ for two nights and then on to Las Vegas.

September 2012

September
We have been staying at Hillfield this month.  John and I both had doctor and dentist appointments.  We have spent time with the family and friends.
We went to DJ’s football games — he is #70

We went to a vouplr of Chase’s soccer games – he is #10

 
A little out of focus, but you get the general idea — Chase is on the left

and John went to a couple of Aiden’s soccer games  (no pictures).

Alyssa turned 16 on September 8th !!  I can’t believe it…..time goes by sooo fast.  We celebrated this momentous occasion with a family pool party at Brad’s.

 Brad, Derrick and Alyssa trying to figure out her new laptop.

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Even Max tried getting in on some of the pool action.

Alyssa and her best friends !!


Sunday we had some of John’s family over for a swim at Brad’s:

Aiden, John, Ethan and Paul




Kelly an Calab

Ethan
 

Cyrus

On the 18th, we drove the car over to Rapid City, South Dakota.  We decided to register our vehicles there to save money.  Also there is no state income tax.  South Dakota only requires a one-night stay and you are considered a resident. 
We drove over to America’s Mail Box Service and registered for a personal mail box. They take care of collecting whatever mail you have sent to them and then they forward it to wherever you are.   When we receive the registration on the truck and trailer, we will forward to them and they will license our vehicles in South Dakota. They also have a small hotel and RV park for people registering or going through the area.  (we did not stay there) 
We had to obtain a driver’s license and while we were there we registered to vote.  South Dakota, Texas and Florida are the only states that only require a one-night stay to become a resident.
While we were there we went over to Mount Rushmore.  What a sight to see !!
Per the brochure: “Mount Rushmore started as an idea to draw sightseers.  In 1923 state historian Doane Robinson suggested carving giant statues in South Dakota’s Black Hills.  Robinson wanted his sculptures to stand at the gateway to the West, where the Black Hills rise from the plains as a prelude to the Rockies.  Here, granite outcroppings resist erosion.  The memorial’s backers called in master sculptor Gutzon Borglum who was born in Idaho in 1867, was the son of Danish Mormons and studied art in Paris.  Mount Rushmore is at 5,725 feet of exposed granite that faces the southeast to receive direct sunlight for most of the day.  President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the memorial in 1927, commencing 14 years of work; only six years were spent on actual carving.  Money was the main problem.  The Washington head was dedicated in 1930, followed by Jefferson in 1936, Lincoln in 1937 and Roosevelt in 1939.  Borglum died in March 1941; the final dedication was not held until 50 years later.”

 

 Resident mountain goat

 
So I guess this is our home in South Dakota 

 
On our way home we stopped at Martin’s Cove . 
This is the tragic location of two handcart companies that left late in the summer over 150 years ago and experienced bad weather, exposure, and death (for many) in order to unite with the main body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley.
 

 
Last evening together with the family before we leave for the Winter:

Brad and Chase

Derrick and Bekka

 Kristin and Brad

 Me and John

 Steve and Sue

Alyssa and DJ

 
Goofy grandkids
Kaylee, Nicole and Chase – drinking root beer
I’ll miss all of you !!!
 
So goodbye for now.  We are on our way to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 

Canada back to USA

August 20 – 26, 2012
Going through customs back into the USA was interesting.  I wish I had taken a picture of the border facility you have to go through.  Four lanes going into Canada and four lanes going out of Canada.  Security people everywhere.  They asked for our passports, asked questions about money and firearms and then had us pull through so the trailer could be inspected.  They confiscated our fruit (2 apples and 2 tomatoes) and made a cursory look at the trailer.  We didn’t have to put out the slides.  The process took about 30 minutes and then we were on our way.

We drove from Kelowna, Canada to Clear Lake Military Recreational Site just outside of Spokane, WA.  Fairchild Air Force Based is located in Spokane.  John explained that many times the military will buy recreational sites for their personnel to use.  You have to show military ID to stay here.

 
 

Clear Lake is quite an active place.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, it seemed like a quiet little RV park on the edge of a lake.  However on Thursday someone had a picnic with a great big firetruck rubber thing the kids could climb on; horseshoe games going on, Frisbee, kids and people everywhere.  On Friday there was a formal military presentation going on at the large pavilion with a BBQ afterwards as well as another one going on at the opposite end with more rubber blow up rides for the kids.  On Saturday, the park was full of tents and trailers.  Lots of kids, parents and grandparents fishing from boats and the three boat docks.  Sunday there was a church service with a picnic afterward.  This place comes alive as the week goes on.  It’s been very interesting to watch.


On Wednesday we drove over to Coeur D’Alene, ID to look at the lake and surrounding area.

The town is typical of a resort area.  However, they had these beautiful hanging planters up and down the main street on both sides. 

At one end of the lake were some private beaches.  Here is a picture of my favorite one
 
On our way back to our campsite we stopped to see the Spokane Falls:

 

In the Spokane Park is this great big red wagon….look at how small the people are standing by it….
 

 For you JAZZ basketball fans, this is a picture of John Stockton’s Dad’s bar and grill in Spokane

 
We stayed in Boise on Monday night at the Air Nationl Guard Base. 
 
  
It was a quick one-night stay.  We took advantage of their free laundromat facilities and did three weeks worth of laundry!
 
We are now back at Hillfield Air Force Base and will stay here until the first of October.  We’ll be catching up with family and friends and then on the road again.

Canada

August 13-16, 2012

On Monday the 13th, we drove up to Magrath, Canada.  We stayed at the Covered Wagon RV Park.  All grassy with lots of shade trees….and yes we checked to make sure we would fit without scraping the roof line.  I would have stayed there a couple of days, but we had reservations in Lake Louise for Tuesday.
Magrath is where John’s Dad was born and raised.  Population 2,310; location – one hour east of Waterton Lakes National Park on Hwy 5; elevation – 3,199 ft; average temperature – 28 degrees in January, 78 degrees in July.  Nice little farming town.  John wandered through the cemetery, but could find no relatives by the name of Searle buried there.  Most of the countryside was acres and acres of wheat fields and huge silos.

Tuesday the 14th we headed for Lake Louise.  It took us about six hours and the scenery was spectacular.  Lots of glaciers, beautiful turquoise rivers and lakes.  We checked into the Lake Louise Campground and had a hard time finding a camp spot that would accommodate our long trailer.  The problem was that by the time we pulled in, the electrical outlet was too far away for the cord we have.  We could pull forward, but the door to the trailer would be in the trees and we would not be able to use the awning.  We tried three different spots before we found one that would work. 

The hookups in all the campsites was for 30 amp electricity.   Our trailer takes 50 amps to run the two air conditioners, microwave, hair dryer, electrical outlets and TV’s.  At 30 amps we are limited to two electrical items at any time.  Turning three electrical items on and we blow a fuse.  They do have bathrooms with showers in various locations for the public to use.   However, we hold a lot of water and so we are considered “self-contained” and therefore didn’t need to use the public amenities.  They had dump stations close to the camp ground to use whenever the fresh water, gray (sinks and showers) and black (toilet) storage tanks were full — or empty (water). 
On Wednesday we toured the Lake Louise and Moraine Lake area.
Lake Louise:

 

Why does a fresh water lake turn turquoise ?  Rock flour, or glacial flour, consists of clay-sized particles of rock, generated by glacial erosion or by artificial grinding to a similar size. Because the material is very small, it is suspended in river water making the water appear cloudy. If the river flows into a glacial lake, the lake may appear turquoise in color as a result. Examples of this are Lake Louise and Peyto Lake in Canada and Gjende lake in Norway.

Natural rock flour is typically formed during glacial migration, where the glacier grinds against rock beneath it, but is also produced by freeze thaw, where the act of water freezing and expanding in cracks helps break up rock formations. Although clay-sized, its particles are not clay minerals but typically ground up quartz and feldspar. Rock flour is carried out from the system via meltwater streams, where the particles travel in suspension. Rock flour particles can travel great distances either suspended in water or by the wind, in the latter case forming deposits called loess.

Fairmont Chateau on the shore of Lake Louise
Scenery on the way to Moraine Lake:

This is the most interesting peak. I took a picture of this sign to show you the elevation. It looks like the ground caved in on one side and jutted up into the air.

Moraine Lake:

Huge log jamb at this end of the lake.  People were walking over the logs and climbing the rocks on the other side

Bow Falls — Banff Hotel in the background

Banff, Canada

 Eating lunch on the second floor of Tony Roma’s Restaurant in Banff, Canada

We took a ride on the Banff Gondola
This was an 8-minute ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.  Elevation at the top was 7,486 feet.

Banff Hotel

This squirrel is the only wildlife we saw the whole time we were in Canada!!

Banff hot springs

Scenery on the way to Kelowna, Canada – our next stop

Holiday Park Resort, Kelowna, Canada

Kelowna is in Okanagan Valley aka Lake Country.  I took a picture of the area map so you could see that this whole area is surrounded by fresh-water recreational sites.  There are homes and boat docks along all the shores.  What a recreational paradise!


Ken – this picture is for you.  I couldn’t resist.  Remember when Dad had this type air conditioner in his car.  I do.  Dad drove to California with the three of us in the back seat and it dripped on me the whole time.

On our way to Spokane, WA, we passed the Grand Coulee Dam.  What a spectacular sight !  It’s huge

Grand Coulee is the largest dam in the Columbia River Basin and one of the largest in the world. Everything about the dam is large: it is 550 feet tall, measured from its foundation in solid granite, or approximately 350 feet from the downstream river surface to the top of the dam. It is 5,223 feet long, or 57 feet short of a mile.

Grand Coulee Dam is the largest concrete structure ever built. Several other dams in the world are larger, but they include earthen berms.  Grand Coulee is 450-500 feet thick at its base and 30 feet thick at the top, and it contains 11,975,521 cubic yards of concrete, three times as much as Hoover Dam.

Grand Coulee is located at river mile 596.6 in central Washington about 90 miles northwest of Spokane near the place where an ice floe dammed the river during the last Ice Age. The ice forced the river to rise from its historic channel and flow to the south, where it carved a giant canyon — the Grand Coulee. Eventually the ice retreated, and the river returned to its old channel

Grand Coulee impounds a reservoir, Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, named for the president who authorized construction of the dam, which began in 1933.  Lake Roosevelt backs up the river almost to the Canadian border, a distance of 151 miles.

Kalispell, MT

August 10, 11, 12, 2012
Friday night we went over to the Huckleberry Festival in Whitefish. It was a small music and art festival.  I bought glass fingernail files – very interesting concept and some cards.  If your birthday is coming up, expect a card from the Huckleberry Art Festival. 
We walked through the craft fair in 95 degree weather. We came up here to get out of the heat !! We later heard on the news that it was 104 in Ogden. Good grief, we are all burning up.

Saturday we toured the Kalispell area.  “Kalispell is about an hour’s drive from the Canadian border and a half-hour from the rugged grandeur of Glacier National Park.  Fifteen minutes south is Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.  The area’s economy is diverse, entrepreneur-oriented and reflects the region’s growth.  At more than 5,0000 square miles, Flathead County’s 90,000 rsidents have plenty of elbow room.  More than 80 percent of the county’s three million acres is protected by national parks, federal and state forests and private timber reserves.”

Later we drove up to Big Mountain ski resort.  We took the scenic lift up to the top.  What a spectacular view !  The highest elevation is 6,817 feet.  That’s amazing to me.  Snowbird is around 10,000 feet.

Seems like we are on top of the world

Monday we are heading to Banff, Canada.