Amazing!  She wouldn’t climb that tree but scurried up a rickety ladder into the cupola in hot pursuit of the complimentary wine and chocolate with nary a thought.  We discovered a while later that the bed was capable of some pretty weird noises which carried to our neighbors in adjoining cabooses (or is it “caboosi”?).  It’s been a lot of years since we were admonished by the management to keep our nocturnal activities down to a dull roar.  At my age THAT was the highlight of our stay and my Bride has already begun scheduling more of these impromptu road trips!

Until next time…Hugs, Zookie and Cassanova

Occasionally we happen upon something that stirs the imagination…

 Road Trip                                                                       July 13, 2012

Stonehenge, for example, on the banks of the Columbia River in Maryhill, Washington, was quite the surprise.  Unless you know where to look, the town of Maryhill is nearly impossible to locate on a map, and even after you arrive it is still a chore to locate the “town.”   Stonehenge, on the other hand, is pretty easily spotted as it stands alone on a hilltop overlooking the river and the dozen or so fruit stands which form the thriving metropolis of Maryhill, Washington.

Stonehenge was the brainchild of a Quaker pacifist named Sam Hill (as in, “What the Sam Hill is that thingy crawling up your back?”).  He visited the original Stonehenge while in England during World War 1 and was told that the structure was built and used as an altar for human sacrifice.  The thought that mankind was then engaged in another war and still sacrificing human lives to the God of War inspired him to build a replica as a memorial for those from Klickitat County who died in WW1.  It has since been speculated that Stonehenge is actually an ancient astronomical timepiece.

Having recently arrived at the Elks Lodge in Yakima, Washington and enduring a couple of days of triple digit temperatures, we threw some clothes in our backpack and headed out in the Jeep in search of cooler climes in the high country surrounding Mount Rainier National Park…

Although coming upon some unusual structure in a most unexpected place is always an appreciated treat…

If you look closely at the right side of the waterfall you will see the eternally vigilant face of an American Indian gazing upon the waters.

Mount Rainier is sporting a blanket of fresh snow and its 26 named glaciers seem to be holding their own in spite of the record temperatures at the lower elevations…

But mountains, though impressive, do not seem to capture the eye and imagination of my resident photographic journalist whose inspiration is more easily aroused by the smaller offerings of Mother Nature…

It is unfortunate that the relatively shallow root system of these large trees leave them susceptible to being felled by the winter storms which are common to this area and are accompanied by winds in excess of 60mph…

We happened upon this place in Elbe, Washington, a few miles west of the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park.  Although the name is kinda cute, the accommodations are awesome…

A primary requirement for any road trip is locating an unusual place to spend a night or two.  We really out-did ourselves this time…

I really tried to talk my Bride into shinnying a few feet up the tree to provide a better idea of just how large this behemoth is but she just wasn’t going for it.  She did, however, volunteer to stand inside the base of one that had fallen…

Road trip!!!  It may sound a bit peculiar coming from a couple of folks whose entire life is comprised of one never-ending road trip but, occasionally, we just like to shed what has become our norm…you know, lounging about in the afternoon with a chilled bottle of wine and a good book beneath a canopy of huge trees on a warm afternoon under the watchful eye of the local wildlife…

Mount Rainier National Park is also home to Douglas fir and Western Redcedar trees more than a thousand years old and nearly as large as the giant redwoods and sequoias found in California…

In times past we have stayed in everything from a pyramid to a yurt to a wine barrel and a host of Gold Rush era hotels with shared baths or beds supported by chains from the ceiling…but never in a caboose!  Though the interior was a bit Spartan, we did have our very own cupola…

And even Mount St. Helens has bounced back from the 1980 eruption and is sporting a pretty healthy snow pack and thousands of acres of new forest atop the lava covered debris…