I'm a single parent living and working in the small, university town of Ellensburg, Washington. I attended Central Washington University here for my undergrad studies, and went on to the University of Washington, School of Pharmacy. I'm leading my idyllic country life with my daughter, horses, dog, and barn cats. I wish everyone to love the life they have, as I do mine!
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“We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one. A daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away. You’ll dream about that box. It’ll never leave you. Big and little at the same time. Brand new and ancient. And the bluest blue ever. The Doctor and Amy Pond.”
The Twin Peaks Festival was recently held in North Bend, Washington the weekend of August 2-4, 2013. This was the 20th anniversary of the event. Sold out, with about two hundred people attending! The festival started in 1993, after two seasons of Twin Peaks, which first aired in 1990. It has achieved cult status with a defining impact on the careers of the actors.
The first season aired in 1990, the year I moved to Ellensburg. I don’t recall any television in Ellensburg at this time, certainly not for someone working to support her horse habit and riding every chance she got! I just recently completed watching Twin Peaks in its entirety and am completely mesmerized.
I’m not an expert, but Twin Peaks captures your attention with its film noir ambience, its stylish details enhanced by the episodic continuation that encourages the magnification of plot and character.
I missed the Festival, and I think I’m going to have to seriously consider attending next year! Get my donuts and cherry pie, along with a damn fine cup of coffee!
A few days following the festival, I took my own road trip and searched out some of the filming sites.
The Sheriff’s office has a new life now. You can still see the square spot on the sidewalk by the entry where the signage used to be.
The glass no longer exists in the reception area where Lucy Moran held court.
Ronette’s bridge crosses the Snoqualmie River, and it has morphed into part of a nature trail, nice and paved, not the railroad track it once supported. It is a favorite spot of local weekenders looking to stay cool on a hot day.
The Roadhouse is still the Roadhouse, now the Fall City Roadhouse, a great place to have Sunday Brunch or other eats!
The Great Northern Hotel is, of course, our own Salish Lodge and Spa used for exterior shots with the Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo used for interior scenes.
The base of Snoqualmie Falls was used for Maddie’s burial site.
The Double R Cafe is alive and well as Twede’s Cafe, and remains a mecca! Your timing will have to be impeccable for your spot in the diner. I like sitting at the bar for my pie and coffee.
Summer into fall is a great time to take advantage of local farmer’s markets. Does your community have one? We are fortunate here that all of our close by communities participate. Cle Elum on Saturday, Roslyn on Sunday, and even further afield to Yakima and Moses Lake.
We had a great day for it, the smokey haze from the Colockum Tarps Fire had receeded, the skies were blue with a slight breeze, beautiful!
There was a wide variety of goods and services, from eats and treats,
a great place to find organic and non-GMO products,
and even a wood fired pizza oven!
The whole family participates in this endeavor from The Canyon River Bakers Bakery. Same folks that have Lunchbox Cafe across from Safeway, try it out!
We have some unique things here!
Local photographer, Phil Klucking, has artistic imagery for your home, I found prints of some favorite barns! Check out his website: http://kluckingimages.com/
Street musicians serenade. . . .
to a wide audience, everyone enjoying themselves!
Something for everyone! People watching, dog walking, lunch munching, friends gathering, what do you go for? I’d love to know!
Sunday, August 12, 2012 6:30 a.m. Reporting from The Lodge, the Village
I cannot resist my early morning coffee, the lake is like glass, it is so still.
We are all returning with some sun, although without burns, and a few misquito bites, spider sightings, and bear countings, up to nine thus far!
The Village is quiet, reflection of late Saturday night for some. I hear a motorboat now, the day is starting. . .
Breakfast at the Lodge:
Meatlovers omelet, yogurt parfait for Alanna with a side of toast and hashbrowns. Hotcakes for Paula, coffee, of course.
Noon, all loaded, ready to cast off. Clear sailing, the lake a little choppy compared to the glass of this morning, earlier. The girls are singing, I love to see the interaction between them, the fun, and Paula’s smiles and giggles.
Stopped at a fruit stand after landing, on the way back, and another stop at Mineral Springs, the restaurant, for grilled ham and cheese and ice cream sundae, something for everyone all around so no one goes home hungry!
August 11, 2012 Reporting from our cabin at The Ranch
Ahhh. . . .
The kids are all snuggled still in their beds, the hearthfire is blazing, the coffee is hot! Blueberry hotcake is coming. . . . .time to wake those girls up! Blueberry pancake, egg over hard, coffee, coffee, coffee! Bacon and a little hashbrowns. Alanna with her omelet, Paula with her hotcakes, multi-grain, they grind everything here for them! Between here and the Stehekin Bakery, you are getting some good stuff!
OK, things are set with the girl’s raft trip today and dinner here. Should be fun and a great way of ending a wonderful vacation. Another night in the Village at the Lodge, and the fast boat, the Lady Express, back to Fields Landing.
Five days in the area – Alanna loved it, Paula ready for some adventure after a day off – she’ll feel better after her raft ride today. Got our souvenirs, except for Paula, oh, a stuffed pony!
Speaking of stuffed animal! For dinner, six ounce steak, blueberry pie, salad, baked potato, sesame bread, salmon and fixings for the girls.
What a day! Outdoor fun for all, ending up with a great supper at the Ranch, and a complementary bus ride back to town. Stargazing being held tonight by the post office in the Village. Alanna will go and enjoy the evening and see the Milky Way and the meteor shower. She also attended the Forest Service talk about Man Mimicking Nature.
It is the stillest night thus far, no breeze off the lake, but managing to be not quite so hot anyway.
Morning breakfast! Hotcakes with blueberries, eggs and omelets, french toast, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal, coffee off the hearth fire, LOVE IT!
I had egg, bacon, blueberry pancake, coffee, hashbrowns with a little gravy.
Stehekin Valley Ranch offers horseback riding into the mountains using sturdy, steady, and reliable Fjord horses. You have your choice of a longer, fourteen mile ride starting in the morning after breakfast. Pack up a lunch off the “adventure buffet” to take with you! Or you can have an afternoon ride up to Coon Lake, back in time for dinner!
Today, a day of relaxation for us until Alanna goes for her horseback ride at 2:30. I built in a day of downtime for myself. . . .r&r, vegging, also for Paula, may take a walk, but nothing for sure except feet up! Ahhh. . .i’m just going to sit today, listen to the leaves rustle, and the river flow. . . .The sun is up, bathing the meadow with light. A cool morning breeze to head off the heat of the day.
I hear a plane overhead, there are tours on the seaplanes to take you over the high ridges, as well as in and out of Stehekin, on our list for a future trip? Mmmmm, whatever they are cooking, mmmmm, it is drifting over our way! Lunch in an hour! Just a hair-in-a-ponytail, no makeup, relaxing kind of day!
Lunch! Hamburgers all around, fresh apple, lemonade.
I walked over to the stables with Alanna. She was assigned her friendly horse, and she spent a few minutes getting acquainted before getting some safety tips and mounting up. I waved her off on her adventure!
Back at The Ranch, Paula and I hang out, reading and napping. I dozed, listening to the buzz of flies and bees, usual summer companions!
The cowbell rings for dinner at 5:30 sharp! Barbeque chicken, cornbread slathered in butter, black beans, red potatoes with gravy, salad with coleslaw and all the fixings. Paula got in and out of the pie line with impeccable timing! Alanna and I are still waiting, then decided to jump in! Alana had half carrot cake and half strawberry rhubarb. I had chocolate raspberry double layer cake. Paula had chocolate cake!
Today is Friday night and the place is packed for dinner. I think many come from town, since the accommodations here are limited. It looks like everybody who got off the boat made it up here to The Ranch! Our host Cliff is always on hand to mingle and inform regarding the ins and outs of getting around and what’s happening between The Ranch and Stehekin Village. Laid back, with his cowboy rancher persona, he welcomes guests and helps to get them settled.
The family-style Friday night dinner wraps up! I am a stuffed animal! (and maybe a potato also!) A walk down to the river encourages my meal to settle . . .
9:00 p.m. Still some light, no mosquitos or Alanna’s repellent is working mightily. . . .it is such a beautiful evening, I can hear the Stehekin River. . . .we’ll continue the fun and adventure tomorrow!
The Ranch is a major draw in the community, bringing up folks for breakfast, they can then bicycle back, taking in the sights of Rainbow Falls, Stehekin Bakery, the old school house, the organic farm, to name a few.
Rafting the Stehekin River! Alanna and I had a little trepidation, but we both wanted to take advantage of a new experience. Plenty of chances to get wet the first half of the journey down to the lake. Nick, the guide, big personality, with a major in physics, deciding it was time to find the “real” job! We had a variety of personalities and backgrounds as our companions!
The float was a Class 2 until about halfway down, when it changed to a Class 1. At the mouth of the Lake, we were hooked up to each other and pulled into the Village dock by motorboat. We were then transported back to The Ranch, in time for dinner!
The sun has sank behind the mountain ridges. A few stragglers enjoying coffee and desert. Mosquitoes coming out, time for the jacket, the first of these critters I’ve seen! Horses are on their way in, nose to tail, while the pasture gets irrigated.
Tomorrow, a day of relaxation for Paula and myself. Alanna will ride on horseback to Coon Lake. Paula in the shower, Alanna with her favorite read. Squirrels darting, the peace and restfulness of being “out of touch” with the real world, what’s real anyway? What should be real?
The shuttle bus here to The Ranch was packed with a party of thirteen backpackers headed into the wilderness from Bridge Creek. This backpacking thing makes horse camping and riding look easy! I’ll stick with the horses!
People love to tell their stories, on the bus, over lunch; I came here to escape that and enjoy the solitude. No phones here, I hear the “over and out” of a two-way or short wave radio for the grocery order!
Lots of built in time to relax and get a little away on your own. . . .hammocks out behind the dining hall, cape cods on the cabin front decks, a quiet walk.
The mountains surrounding us are majestic pieces of rock. It amazes that the trees find somewhere to root and the water to grow and flourish! It reminds me of a previous horse camping trip on the north side of all this, in the Chelan-Sawtooth wilderness, a bunch of rock. In spite of the pristine beauty, everyone was “done riding” after three days, ready to go home, which some did pull out, the hardness of the trail reverberating up through the horse’s feet and legs into our own!
Mmmmm, dinner after a raft trip down the Stehekin River – but since I’m sitting here vegetating over coffee and blackberry pie from the Stehekin Bakery – parmesan chicken, stuffed eggplant, this yummy bread with poppy seeds in it, fragrant and crusty with a dollop of butter, ready to spread. Finish off with PIE topped with whipped cream!
Coffee, decaf, and hot water are simmering on the hearth in big, old fashioned coffee pots, grab the hot mitt, and pour out what you want – delicious! as is the smell of the logs on the fire. Bus your place, and have as much as you want! Sawdust on the floor, and outdoor patio seating. . . .ahhhhh. . . .I’m full!
A little after dinner stroll, the horses have been let out on pasture – they resume work tomorrow taking sightseers into the mountains.
Sitting on the cabin’s front deck, enjoying the evening breeze, folks who came up from the village for dinner are being taken back in the Ranch’s white schoolbus.
After eating, rafting, and relaxing, we retire to our cabin to dream of tomorrow’s adventures!
Captain’s Log August 9, 2012 Captain Terri on Vacation Trek
Ahhhh, a good night’s sleep – a ten hour catch-up! The coolness of the mountains, the down comforter and crisp sheets, all conspired to keep us in bed.
Breakfast of eggs and bacon and LOTS of coffee gave me my kickstart!
Waiting for the 11:15 shuttle to the Stehekin Valley Ranch, “The Ranch” as it is called. Nine miles further uplake, we’ll be there in time for lunch!
Wow, The Ranch is situated in a beautiful mountain clearing. In spite of the isolation, they have enough power for guests to have internet, just enough to check their email! Enough to allow Paula and Alanna to feel a little less isolated!
The dining hall has log tables, rustic architecture, and a generous chow line!
Lunch is beef minestrone soup with chunky vegetables from the home grown garden, barbeque chicken pizza with homemade crust, and huge peanut butter cookies with just the right amount of chewiness!
So peaceful! Somewhere the flow of a river can be heard. Escape to where you can hear yourself think. Let your mind wander where it may. Practice stillness and emptying of your mind.
A one lane dirt road through rugged and treed terrain to get here. The generosity of the Courtney family to share their piece of heaven with visitors who will come!
Still February, still winter! What’s better than soup in the crockpot, or simmering on the stove, flavoring the house with aromatherapy of the best kind! I like this for the combination of fresh, canned, and frozen ingredients. Makes for a quick fix!
Quick Minestrone Soup
From: The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
Prep: 9 minutes Cook: 25 minutes
2 cups diced zuchinni
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Two 16oz cans of fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
One 14.5 oz can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped (I use scissors)
One 16 oz can small red beans, drained
One 10 oz package frozen green beans, thawed
½ cup uncooked ditalini (any very small macaroni is fine)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Add pasta to broth mixture, and cook 10 minutes or until pasta is done, stirring occasionally. Stir in Parmesan cheese.