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Spanish Peaks, Colorado

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lost Lake Residents

 As workampers we've mostly worked at regular campgrounds that cater to overnighters or short-term campers. Here at Lost Lake RV Resort the lots are for sale. The owners usually stay here in the summer and go elsewhere in the winter, though we've found that winter time is gorgeous, too, if you don't mind the rain!. This building is the Clubhouse, fully furnished for dinners, potlucks, etc. It sits right on the edge of the lake. You can see how big many of the Douglas Firs and Cedars are.

 Here is an example of an RV lot. The big 5th wheel is sheltered from the weather and the addition to the left is completely open on one side, allowing the campers to barbecue and to live in comfort, perhaps feeling like they are really "camping".

 A simpler version.

 Some owners have used paving stones to cover the ground around their dwellings and they've added landscaping other than the natural forest plants and trees to their lot. These folks have a regular log cabin with an RV "garage" next to it.

 This unoccupied lot either denotes that the owner is gone for the winter, or else it is prepared for sale. My guess is that it is already owned, since there is a little storage shed in the back. There are many lots in the park that have a much rougher look to them. They are waiting to be developed.

 What a gorgeous tree these two residents have between them! It looks like it is on fire!

 Some of the shelters just barely seem to fit in between the forest trees.

 This one is almost a forest mansion! Most of the lots do not have a view out between the trees, but there are a few on the edge of the park that might, if they're lucky, catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier on a clear day. Others can see a part of the lake below them. Of course, these lots are the most expensive!

 This cabin is right near the workamper area. It looks like the owner is gone for the season.
 I can remember the last time we were here five years ago I raked and raked many of these lots, which were full of branches fallen from the trees. Let there be a wind, and we are going to be doing it again, at least in the still unsold lots! Needless to say, there is a large burn pile on the outer edge of the park where the prevalent vegetation is the Scotch Broom.
 
This is an example of a very simple lot. All, or most, of the owners have landscaped their properties, some elaborately and some very basically. They are all beautiful. We feel very much at home here!




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost Lake Scenes

 It has been 5 years since we last worked, for a year, at Lost Lake RV Resort near Lacey, WA. The park is as beautiful as we remembered. This resort is not for overnight campers, but instead the lots are for sale for either RVs or for park models with a log cabin theme. In another post I will feature some of the prettiest of these lots. Today, as I was housekeeping, I used my trusty camera to capture some of the gorgeous scenery here. I love the vine maples, glowing red, a shrub we haven't seen for a long time, especially in our jobs out on the prairie!

 Yes, this is a restroom! It is sheltered by an umbrella-like maple of some unusual variety, simply one of the prettiest trees I've ever seen. The builders have cut a hole into the porch to allow the maple to grow unhindered.





 The yellow leaves look like stars sprinkled on the ground among the sword ferns, and on the porch and the steps leading to the restroom.





 The last time we were here I thought I'd discovered some redwood trees growing down by the lake. I researched and found that these three are indeed redwoods, probably brought here by a traveler. They are not native to this area at all. Judging from the size and height, they are quite old.

 Lost Lake, a jewel set in a circle of firs and cedars, alders and maples. It was a beautiful day for a clear reflection. The lake itself is small in size, but is filled with very large fish and overlooked by a resident eagle. Around the edges I saw colonies of pond lilies. I imagine they display some gorgeous flowers in the spring.

 This log cabin, an original building from the late 1800s, is now used as a library and sitting room. I don't know the history, but I intend to find out! It overlooks the shores and boat dock along Lost Lake.

 The maple tree hanging over the cabin, seen in the above picture to the left, is shedding some huge leaves. I was amazed by the size of them so I put down my glove for comparison.




 Here is another view of the ancient log cabin, seen from the exit road above. I love the setting, the abundant trees, and the sun and shade dappled surroundings. The forest here is dense and actually has many firs that I believe are old growth, never logged. It is strange to be inside the resort, surrounded by deep forest, quiet, lovely, peaceful, and then to go out the gate and be right off the incredibly busy I-5 corridor! What a contrast!

Home, sweet home for us for the next few months. The firs here in the workamper area are very tall but they let in enough sunlight on a bright day. The rainy season has set in — we are lulled to sleep and awakened again to the soothing sound of rain and fir cones dropping on our roof most mornings. We will love it here!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Travels

 I've been way too busy during our time in Wenatchee with visiting family and friends, and getting repairs on the 5th wheel and the car, too busy to do a blog post. So here is my attempt to share some of the beauty we've been seeing. It's an unusually colorful autumn here in the Wenatchee Valley and points west. Some years an early frost turns all the leaves brown and they fall off. Other years, the frost delays and we get to see incredible yellows, golds, reds, and oranges everywhere. This photo shows the brilliance of some of the trees in the Wenatchee River County Park, where we stayed for close to 2 weeks. That's our rig, nestled amidst the beauty.

 A walk by the Wenatchee River on a warm fall day yields a treasure.

 I've always loved this valley, west of Cashmere and heading towards Peshastin. This year even the apple and pear orchards are seeped in color, as the fruit is harvested and the leaves have turned.

 Our time in Wenatchee is over. Today we headed up Blewett Pass and were thrilled with the gorgeous colors, every bit as lovely as the scenes we saw in the Colorado Rockies last October. I know I shouldn't be taking pictures while driving behind the 5th wheel, but I couldn't resist!

 Here is another view, near the Blewett Pass summit.

Coming down safely from Blewett Pass we then started up Snoqualmie Pass. There is snow on them thar hills! The highway was dry, though, and we passed through quite a bit of construction near the summit, and, as always, lots of traffic. It was a beautiful drive, though bumpy in many places. We arrived at our final destination, the Lost Lake RV Resort near Lacey WA, safe and sound. I'll have photos of the resort and its pretty lake very soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Meant To Do It!

 Yes, I meant to write a blog post every day of our trip from Cheyenne to Wenatchee, but I didn't quite make it. I did post about Casper WY and about Custer's Last Stand, but I hardly even took any photos after that. We spent 6 days out and traveled just over 1200 miles. After Hardin MT our next stop was in Bozeman MT. We were particularly excited about this stay because we have a job here at the KOA for next summer. We met the managers and paid special attention to the facilities and the beauty of this park. We will love it here! The downtown is beautiful and picturesque and the surrounding mountains are awesome!

 One of our favorite parks is the KOA at Missoula MT. We worked here for 2 summers in 2009-2010. The park itself is big and beautiful, but an added perk to being here is that we still know and stay in touch with some of the folks who work here. It was a joy to see them and to go out to dinner at Applebee's with some of them.
Our 5th night out was spent at the Spokane KOA. I failed to take a photo of our rig in this very nice park. We met an interesting couple here when they brought their little boy over to see our kitties outside in their kitty tent. It turns out the man is a writer and a pastor, and they are living simply in their RV while he writes another book. We bought his latest published book and are enjoying it very much. It is "Keys to Your Future" by Dan Hayne.

 Sometimes when we come across Washington we stay a night in Ephrata so we can visit my sister and bro-in-law. This time we left our rig in the church parking lot next door to their apartment building and spent a couple of hours with them, including lunch. My sister is a health food aficionado. She put together this gorgeous salad with flowers and other more unusual greens from her garden. Yum! We really did enjoy this meal!

 Home at last! After we set up we grabbed a granddaughter and took her out to our park for a few hours. Here is Natalie by the Wenatchee River. We had not seen the kids and grandkids for 14 months, so they were sights for sore eyes.

 Love!

We've stayed in many, many RV parks in our 8 years as workampers, but we can truthfully say the Wenatchee River County Park is the most beautiful. Of course, it always helps that we seem to be here in September or October when we get to see the gorgeous poplars, locusts and other trees in full autumn glory, with the Wenatchee River flowing serenely by. The layout of this park is unique, too. The RV spaces are in a circle going out like spokes in a wheel. It makes each space seem farther away from the next one while still getting maximum use of the available ground. We love it here!

Well, we have a few more days to visit and share our love with our family and friends. We're also getting some much needed RV repairs, then when that's completed we're off again. We'll be crossing the Cascade Mountains over Snoqualmie Pass and journeying on to Lost Lake RV Resort near Olympia WA for our winter work. I'll post again soon!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

We traveled 228 miles on Monday between Casper WY and Hardin MT. I like the colorful red roads in Wyoming.

We found an adequate RV park in Hardin, with the intention of touring the site of Custer's Last Stand. Though we've been there at least a couple of times in past years, we wanted to go again. We were pleased to discover that they now have a memorial to the Indians, Lakota and Cheyenne, who died in this battle, as well as the Cavalry soldiers. This is one headstone, dedicated to a Cheyenne Indian named Limber Bones.

The memorial is a a large circle of stones with artwork, dedications and names on plaques inside the ring. We loved this metal sculpture looking out over the plains. One quote from Crazy Horse, a Lakota, said, 
"We did not ask you white men to come here. The Great Spirit gave us this country as a home. You had yours...We did not interfere with you...We do not want your civilization!"

Another new display, a tombstone for the faithful horses who were killed and buried at the site of the battle. So appropriate!

This is the memorial itself, with the names of all the 7th Cavalry soldiers who died here. A nearby plaque reads:
 "The remains of about 220 soldiers, scouts, and civilians are buried around the base of this memorial. The white marble headstones scattered over the battlefield denote where the slain troopers were found and originally buried. In 1881 they were reinterred in a single grave on this site. The officers' remains were removed in 1877 to various cemeteries throughout the country. General Custer was buried at West Point.

Gravestones are scattered throughout the area. This is where Custer fought, renamed Last Stand Hill, and it's just below the memorial in the photo above. Some of the other gravestones are at the site of the Reno-Benteen skirmishes, 5 miles away, with many others along the way. We watched a video inside the Visitor Center which showed the military strategies and what actually happened.

The area where all these battles took place is very beautiful at this time of year. The sun was right on the horizon to the west so I was surprised that some of my photos turned out fairly well. We are on the ridge looking down on the Little Bighorn River where all the Indian tribes were camped. We couldn't see the river from here because all the trees in the photo are along the banks of the winding river, hiding it from view from this angle. At the time of the Battle, June 25-26, 1876, the hills and prairie were green.

Here we are looking in the opposite direction, to the east. More gravesites are seen here, and all along the battle route. We are saddened by the bloodshed, but more saddened about how the Native Americans were treated by the "white man" who thought he had a right to take possession of the lands. Enough said!
 
After our tour, we ate some delicious Indian Fry Bread at the Custer Battlefield Trading Post, an excellent restaurant and store run by the Indians, probably the Crow, since the whole historical site is on the Crow Reservation. Our waiter told us he was part Crow, Cheyenne, Scottish and French! We ate at this restaurant about 12 years ago, and found it was just as wonderful now as then.