Chasing cherries

If I had to pick a favorite fruit it might be cherries.  Bing cherries.  I left Livermore just as the cherry season was ending and cherries were a little late up in Oregon, so I was able to get some there, too.  Then, as I pulled off the exit to my campground yesterday I was a sign advertising fresh cherries.  What luck! 

St. Regis cherries

St. Regis cherries

These were already washed and came with a napkin and plastic bag for the pits. 

Yes, I am in Montana already, despite all my talk last fall about Idaho’s appeal.  We made a short drive from the Portland area to Viento SP on the Columbia River Gorge, which was beautiful.

Columbia River Gorge, Viento SP by you.

Columbia River

The park wasn’t the greatest for sleeping though, since it was right along both the highway and some railroad tracks.  Fast-moving trains are frightening!  If they were to slip off the tracks, o the destruction!  So they woke me up constantly all night long.  Lucy too, I think, judging from her fatigue the next day.  Fortunately, we had a long drive from the Hood River area to Spokane, WA (during which I bought more cherries).  When we finally arrived at Riverside Park, right on the edges of Spokane, we took the last spot in the campground for the second time in a week.  When we arrived people kept warning me about the dog next door to us because he was “so mean.”  But he turned out to be a sweetheart!  He was a shepherd mix named Stud who had been a service dog for his owner’s diabetic and deaf wife, who had passed away 8 months ago.  It sounded like someone else had been taking care of him for a while and this guy (the grieving husband) had come camping with his dog trying to help both of them recover from her death.  I think people thought he was mean because when his owner is absent (bathroom, etc.) he gets really nervous (probably afraid he won’t return, like the wife didn’t return) and territorial.  Lucy LOVED him, and she doesn’t love many dogs.  Maybe it had something to do with his being an intact male and super dominant, so she didn’t have any questions about where she stood. 

Back to the park, it wasn’t obvious at first how much this place had to offer.  It’s just outside Spokane, so close that it only shows up on the inset map in the atlas.  It had great hiking trails and a cool “swinging bridge.”  The bridge was first built in the early 1900s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and was rebuilt in 1998 using the original plans.  After you cross the river from the campground you can either get on the Centennial Trail, which is a paved path running all the way into Idaho, or you can take the park hiking trails. 

Riverside SP Spokane 021 by you.

The swinging bridge

We stuck to the hiking trails. 

Riverside SP Spokane 025 by you.

Lucy taking a water break.  This was right before she chased the ducks.

After two nights at Riverside SP we moved on again, this time to the St. Regis Campground in Montana.  It’s a private campground, which I have been avoiding, but so nice.  It’s not too crowded even though this is a weekend, the sites are grassy (gravel is rough on Angus’ feet) and large and shady during part of the day; the staff helped me back in and then complimented me on my backing skills–hopefully I have acquired some by now; the bathrooms are spotlessly clean, amazingly clean.  They close three hours for cleaning instead of the usual one.  The neighbors are extremely friendly and lastnight I was invited for a chili dinner where about 15 people gathered to eat.  The chili was a white bean/chicken chili and was so delicious I wonder if the recipe is a secret or if I can get a copy.  It’s a slow cooker recipe too, so probably fairly easy. 

Today we are relaxing, having already been for walks and a run, and I have a couple chores to do.  I want to do some laundry, for example, and get some postcards….must run!  The store is open, probably briefly.


2 responses to “Chasing cherries

  1. Well I’m glad you (and Lucy) saw through the lonely dog’s mean veneer. Sounds like he needed some friends.

  2. Wow. You are amazing. I just read your note to my mother-in-law and gave her the details of your trip. She was ‘amazed’ at your abilities (as we all are)! Keep the stories coming. I think I found you a new job. You can travel the countryside sending reports on camping sites!

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