Saturday, August 8, 2009

The State of Washington - apples, desert and mountain passes

Tanya writes: I am an experiential learner. Cycling allows me to take in my surroundings and remember, through my experience, the world around me. Having never cycled Washington before I now know these things:
Northeastern Washington is a desert. Mountain passes lift you out of the heat of the desert floor. The waters from creeks are directed into pipes and held in mountain reservoirs. Canals and flumes then guide the water to the orchards of apples and cherries that line the desert floor. Rivers here cool your soul. Appreciate the warm wind when it's at your back.

Sampson's Journal reads: Aug.3 Today we had yogurt for breakfast. Then we went to the "Sanctuary". The Sanctuary is a place where the people recycled and they made their houses out of bottles and rocks. After that we went swimming at the river in the afternoon. Then we went back to Carin and Nakca's house and had dinner. Later we went to bed. We had a day off today.

Markos' Journal: (see photo above) Aug 6 This guy is going fishing today. I think he will catch a big one. He is putting his boat in the reservoir from the yellow trailer connected to the blue truck.

Tarn describes a lunch break: Aug 7 I saw one snake and Markos saw three snakes. They were at the river. Markos found a yellow one, and a red one, and a little one. Sampson found one too.

Recipe for Nature Nuggets (we created them completely effortlessly)
One bag of nut/fruit/chocolate mix from the bulk section of grocery (chocolate must be plain - no candy coating)
Place energy mix in pannier and cycle over the period of a hot day. Do not mess with the mix. Allow to cool overnight. After an hour of cycling the next morning take out and refuel with the contents of the bag. Mix will have become nugget shaped masses of dried fruit and nuts glued together with chocolate. Delicious!

Current rhythm of the day:
Wake just after six
Rick makes coffee, Tanya packs up tent stuff and Sampson, Markos and Tarn emerge from their tent, Sampson has packed up his bag (clothes, special things and reading/writing materials)
Sampson and Markos take down their tent, Tarn explores, helps make breakfast or writes/draws, Rick and Tanya have a cup of coffee
Reading/ independent time for boys, completed pack up by Rick and Tanya
On the road just after 8 am
2 and 1/2 hours cycling in the morning with a fruit/nut/water refuel about every 45 - 60 minutes
Lunch in some form of shade, often by a local watering hole with swimming/playing the main focus
Cycle to day's destination.
Cool down at local water option (reservoir, river, public pool)
Set up camp, write in journals

Lunch today: Fresh herb bread from the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery in Twisp, Washington. Sandwiches with tuna, Swiss cheese, sliced green apple, sweet yellow pepper, cilantro (some remained from last night's dinner of chicken catiatore) and mustard. Kids had peanut butter and honey bagels, sweet yellow pepper and green apple. Share a Chocolate Decadent Cupcake and a mini Raspberry/Rhubarb Pie. Swim in the river and cool off.

Life is rich. Work your body, relax your mind, and allow yourself to rejuvenate each day.


  1. Sounds as if you should have been a writer, Tanya. Your descriptions are wonderful. Glad to hear all is well. I "race" to the computer each day to see if there's anything new. LOVE the pictures. Love, Mom

  2. Hi Tanya and Rick,

    I'm thrilled to be reading of your adventures especially now that our trip to Mexico in our campervan has come to an end. I was having my neglected hair looked after at a salon just shortly after our return to Calgary and another woman in the salon started talking about your story! She heard you on CBC radio. I was like, Hey, I know those people! I Heard you on CBC today and was so glad to hear all is well. You totally have the right attitude- go for it.
    Try to hit Honeyman State park on your way through Oregon ( south of Portland). You can go sandboarding there - it's just like snowboarding but on sand! The kids will LOVE it.

    Keep up the good work on the blog- trust me, it will bring you solace once you return to Calgary. All the details are great for us reading even if you think it sounds ordinary or everyday to you.
    Look after each other and be well.

    Liz, Remy, Hollis and Bowen Tompkins


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