While Louise and I were in Mexico, at the La Penita campground this last winter, we became friends of George and Liz. Well Liz plays a mean mandolin and played some wonderful bluegrass music for us every Tuesday night in one of La Penita’s establishments. As it became time for George and Liz to head back to British Columbia, Liz told us about some of the “Music Festivals” she would be playing in during the summer. One of these was going to be in Darrington, Washington. It just so happened that we were visiting with Bonnie and Doug up in Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is within an hour’s drive from Darrington and when you are foot-loose and looking for something different to do, it’s easy to get Doug and Bonnie excited and ready to head out for a weekend of camping and enjoying a Bluegrass concert. We pulled into the festival grounds early afternoon on Friday and were just blown away by how many campers that were already there. From the roadway in front, you could only see a couple of dozen rv’s, but once you got in, you found someone camping under and around every tree and open space in the 100 acre park. Not only were they camped there, but just about everyone was either passing a bow over a fiddle or bass,
strumming a mandolin or guitar, or singing out some incredible bluegrass music. With the setting for this festival
sitting at the base of “White Horse Mountain” and a full weekend of amazing music, we were bummed that Liz wasn’t able to make it…
One of the camping locations that we really enjoy going back to is on the banks of the Yakima River that runs through the Yakima River Valley. So after spending a couple of weeks at the Yakima Elks
(which is a great site to pull the coach into…) and enjoying Leslee’s family (Lena, Vinny, and Leslee) we went down to the river for another week. This is BLM land so our expenses topped out at $10 a night. On the second day, we drove off to see a waterfall that we read about last year in National Geographic. Palouse Falls is a waterfall that drops 183 feet and came to our attention when a kayaker decided to take the plunge off the top for a “World Record” and came out of the water wet and suffering a broken PADDLE. Well that lasted a whole 2 weeks… It seems that his record was broken twice in a month, with the standing record somewhere about 200+ feet. Well for those that haven’t had the pleasure of visiting “The Palouse” in the state of Washington, I should mention that most of it is land that is farmed on rolling hills that not too many years ago was nothing but sagebrush and rattlesnakes. The falls have been cut through solid rock over many centuries and seem to have come out of no-where coming from a small creek
that soon flows into the Columbia River some miles downstream. After spending about 1 ½ hours at the top of the falls, and a short hike, we continue our drive. We stopped off a very small town called Starbuck for a great lunch. The restaurant was one of those little “Mom and Pop” places, but this Mom and Pop want to sell out and retire. 7 days a week, 12 hours a day is getting “too much” for them so all we could do was wish them all the luck in finding a buyer for this out of the way eatery and continue on our way. Well with seeing and enjoying the Palouse Falls and having a great lunch at Mom and Pop’s, I saw one more thing that excited me…(although I didn’t get a picture of them), I saw my very first “Longhorn” steer. These horns were so HUGE that it was hard to imagine that they were real, but real they were. Next time I will have my camera.