Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Wenatchee Youth Circus

These pictures are of my favorite performers in the Circus, namely, my granddaughters, so this blog post is from my perspective! We were able to attend the Wenatchee Youth Circus home performance, the only time during the summer that they perform in Wenatchee. (Click on the title to go to the web page for the Circus.) It coincided with our days off, so to our great joy we were able to make the 4 hour trip over to see them. We took hundreds of photos of all the acts. This first one is of Natalie, age 10. I like it because she is pensive, thinking over what she's about to do on the high wire while she sits by the practice wire.

 Here is Katy, dressed for her part in the Circus. She's a new member, so for now her main job is to look pretty, which she does wonderfully! She 'styles', which means she points gracefully to the other acts as they are going on, and she helps with the set-up and take-down, also. Katy says she aspires to become a 'fire-eater', truly a breath-taking act to watch.

 The Wenatchee Youth Circus has been in existence for nearly 60 years, and here is the founder, Guppo the Clown, now 84, also known as Paul Pugh. He has done a fantastic job training the kids and keeping the group together each year as one big family, even though the faces change from year to year. The kids all are held to high standards and are given lots of love along with the discipline it takes to do these awesome circus acts. Their team work is inspiring.

 Natalie with her face painted for her part in the clown act.

 This high wire act is called 'the wheelbarrow'. That's Nat hanging below, looking as if she's touching the hills above East Wenatchee. It is truly a heart-pounding experience to watch this, as well as the other high wire stunts Nat does. She walks the wire with no fear! Mr. Keith and I may not get to see another performance this year, but next summer the Circus will be on the road again, thrilling audiences throughout Washington! Hopefully we will close enough that we can go, too.

And last, my favorite mother-daughter photo, taken after Nat descended from the high wire. It's priceless. All the parents of the circus kids are equally dedicated to the excellence of the Wenatchee Youth Circus.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


 I'd never been canoeing before in my life, but since using the canoes at this campground is one of the perks of working here, we decided to do it. I've always had a trepidation about being out on a big body of water, but I conquered my fear and off we went. Mr. Keith wanted to go out on the main part of the Lake, so we did, real scary for me. Hey, Mr. Keith, I wanna go back now!! The rest of our journey was going up Wolf Lodge Creek, a pretty substantial creek that feeds into Lake Coeur d'Alene right by our campground. It is a deep, calm creek. I sat in the front of the boat and "steered" with my paddle. I learned to paddle on the right if we wanted to go left, and on the left if we needed to go right. I only bumped us up against the reeds a couple of times! Mr. Keith was in the back with his paddle, helping to make up for my goofs.

 The light wasn't quite right for a great photo, but it was sure exciting to see these two eagles watching us, and watching for fish or other critters to swoop down upon. The creek and lagoon are a haven for birds and small animals.

I don't know what this strange edifice used to be. It's in ruins now. This was our turning around place. I will have sore muscles tomorrow, and maybe a little sunburn, but I survived my first canoe ride! We will do this again!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our End of Wolf Lodge Bay

 On a warm summer afternoon we set out on a walk to see if we could catch a glimpse of the Great Blue Heron who frequents the waters by our campground. The Lake Coeur d'Alene Camping Resort is at the very top end of the Lake at its eastern-most point, right off Wolf Lodge Bay, and next to I-90. In this view, looking towards the campground, you can see in the center of the photo a trailer and a motorhome on the hillside. They are the workampers' RVs, high above the rest of the campground. Our 5th wheel is too big to have gotten up there so we have a large spot amongst all the other campers. We miss out on the terrific view the other workers have, but I can't imagine getting up into that spot right on the cliff, let alone getting back down! 
(Click to enlarge.)

 Still looking towards the campground, hidden in the trees, we see what appears to be a beautiful stretch of green grass, but is actually reeds growing in the water. This is where we often see the Great Blue Heron standing watch, waiting for his dinner to swim by.

 I love the summer daisies all along the roads! They are so cheerful and pretty!

Back home, at the end of our walk, we stopped to visit with one of the workampers, Mike, who lives in the trailer up on the cliff seen in the first photo. He gets plenty of exercise coming to and going from work, so is happy to ride in the golf cart while on duty! We work with a great bunch of people here and are so happy to be in this beautiful part of our country!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pretty Sights at Long Lake

This past Saturday we repeated a fun visit with our closest friends who are staying at an RV park just west of Spokane. After a breakfast in Davenport WA we headed north of Reardon to highway 291, which winds around Long Lake. None of us had been on this road before, or seen or even heard of Long Lake. The Spokane River has a dam, the Long Lake Dam, between where the river comes out from Spokane and before it runs into Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia River, creating a very long lake, shaped like an upside down V. The countryside is beautiful, and there are many neighborhoods and resorts along the lake, the most notable one called TumTum.

At the dam we saw this bird, maybe a fledgling osprey or eagle. Being the very amateur bird-watcher that I am, I wasn't sure. He sat there and watched us watching him, as curious as we were! We were fairly sure he was just a youngster, not yet out of the nest.

 I wouldn't think of a thistle as being pretty, but these were. Look, but don't touch!

I love the simplicity and beauty of these wildflowers. They were growing all over in abundance, little circles of sunshine.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Friendly Weekend

 We were thrilled to be able to see our best friends, who are from Poulsbo, when they came to stay at an RV park near Spokane. We had not seen them for over a year. We drove into Spokane on Saturday to see the sights. Mr. Keith got out at one point to look over a cliff at the Spokane River, and I noticed on my iPad map program that at the bottom of this particular cliff was a street called "Wilson". Of course we had to go there, so after lots of ins and outs trying to get around various freeways and the river which were blocking the entrance to this street, we finally made it. It was a short, peaceful, shady street with the cliff on one side. We chanced upon this Wilson Woodchuck who ran away from our car and positioned himself on the cliff rocks to stare back at us.

In 1974 I attended the World's Fair with my mom and aunt and my kids. I still have fond memories of that exciting event. It's always fun to go to Riverfront Park now, where the Fair was, and tour the grounds, which are beautifully kept with the Spokane River as the centerpiece. We rode this little train and took a tour of the park. Our guide had lots of stories and information about when the Fair was there, and about what the city has done with the grounds since then.

 I remember this Pavilion, but not what was displayed inside. At the World's Fair it was covered with white canvas, but now is left with the 'skeleton' only, still an amazing sight. It's used to house amusement rides now. In this photo you can also see the old clock tower, built in 1901 as part of the Great Northern Railroad Depot. From the bridge in the photo we looked down on the raging Spokane Falls, truly an awesome sight. Seated in the little train I wasn't able to get as many photos as I'd have liked.

On Sunday we spent most of our day in Coeur d'Alene. The streets were jammed with tourists, most celebrating the 4th of July weekend. We walked the boardwalk, the longest floating boardwalk in the world, and enjoyed views of the gorgeous lake and the many boats, and we ate lunch at a table on the sidewalk, where we got up close and personal with the people passing by. What a great day it was for "people watching"! I imagine they were eyeing our buffalo burgers, as well! 
Away from the busy Coeur d'Alene streets, we took a drive along Fernan Lake, one of our favorites. This lake does not have houses and private property along the way, so we could really get a good look at the water, and at this parking area, the lilypads. The end of the lake is full of them. All in all, our 2 days were wonderful with our friends. We could only wish for more time!