Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


After a long day of driving across Washington, I arrived at the home of my good friends Sherrie and Tom.

Way back when, Sherrie was underwriting manager at a general agency I worked at, and Tom was an auditor who was always in and out of the office.

They live in a suburb of Spokane, WA – a wonderful neighborhood – acreage instead of lots.

Sherrie is a walker – each morning, she and “Bear” (Baron Bruno Bon Noir) a black standard poodle takes a trail somewhere in Riverside Park. Or, they choose to walk along the bridal paths that separate all the lots.

Bear is wonderful – so regal and elegant. His walk is so fluid. His vet is amazed at his muscle mass – all because they walk each and every morning.

Riverside Park is massive – miles and miles of parks and trails and campgrounds and picnic areas along the Spokane River. Too many trails to count. One was the Centennial Trail – nearly 40 miles from Spokane to the Idaho border. Paved – no motor vehicles!

Riverside Park

The Pitcher of Pitcher and Bowl (Handle on the left, spout on the right)

The Bowl of Pitcher and Bowl

No longer swinging bridge

The river from the bridge

Another trail we took was the Bowl and Pitcher area – where I plan to camp for a night or two a couple weeks from now when I make another sweep through Washington. There used to be a swinging bridge there, built by the CCC during the Great Depression - but it has been replaced in recent years by a much more stable bridge.

One morning while walking along the river, we saw an Osprey attack a Blue Heron – really went after him, from high in the sky, clear down to the water. Don’t know what the Heron said, but he really pissed off that Osprey.

Sherrie told me that sometimes Canadian Geese “sublet” Osprey nests. They lay their eggs in Osprey nests, then seem to know when the Landlord will return, and push their young out of the nest – Yep – Just push them out. The babies flop to the ground, then Mom flies down and marches the kids to the nearest water to teach them how to fly.

Basalt Rock

Dry Bed of Deep Creek

Upper Trail Area


Spokane River

On one of the trails, we cut off along Deep Creek – a dry creek bed at the time we were there – leading in, through, under and over huge basalt rocks left from prehistoric volcanoes and floods.

This is called the “Main Wall’ You may be able to see all the climbing “Gizmos” left by previous climbers. A young couple approached the wall from the other direction – planning a day of climbing. We would have stayed to walk, but they were waiting for a friend who had not even left home yet.

The first of July, Washington enacted a new tax – on bottled water, gum and candy – but wait…. There’s more. For example, a Kit-Kat is not taxable because it is more cookie than candy – can you imagine the nightmare that is for the retailer?

For the quilters out there: Debbie Mumm’s studio is in Spokane – but I haven’t been able to find out if it is open to the public yet.

Sherrie and Tom do not have wireless – so I resorted to spending hours and hours at the local Starbucks. It takes anywhere from 2-12 minutes to upload 5 photos. Now that I am putting in more photos, it seems to take forever!

Returning from a trip to Wal-Mart – out of the corner of my eye I caught the word “Quilt”! Screech!!!! What a nice shop. I spent about an hour there!

I went shopping around and found some really neat stuff - for instance – a French language course at Costco – I think that will be great to listen to on the long-long drive from Great Falls to Wausau. I found Dr. Scholls shoes with rocker soles at Wal-mart for $30; I found a battery operated cell phone charger – really cool – I was shopping for one for the cigarette lighter, but this would be better. Then I found a splitter for the cig. Lighter – so now, I can plug in my GPS and my CD playerat the same time .

The only thing I bought was the splitter – cause there is no sales tax in Montana – I’ll wait to get other stuff there. (course when I got to Montana – I couldn’t find the shoes or the cell phone charger)

I never did find Spokandy - Jack decided I didn't need to go to a candy store, so he just kept telling me he didn't recognize the address!!!

Before I left Spokane, Tom thoroughly checked out Madame. All the fluids, air filters, spark plugs – I think he was amazed that Madame is in such great shape. I also washed her, and Tom started to wax her – but I knew I wouldn’t get that chore finished – then I remembered that I have a buffer in storage in Virginia. So, she’ll have to wait til then to get beautiful.

Until next time
Bear Hugs


1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you are still walking and eatting well...wish I could say the same. This heat is just killing me. I dont want ot walk, row, work in the garden....nothing!!

    So you have left Spokane and are headed ......where? Or at least where do you think you are going...unless something catches your attention and you make a detour!

    I'm here trying to get a bit of weaving done....not much....just a bit! I hope to catch up with Bets...she wants to go to knots Island and get some peaches, but since her car has no AC...she really doesnt want to leacve home! I agree...we will let you be our "adventure girl"
    Stay well, stay safe....Holly