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Summer Sizzler

July Road Trip - 2014

Apparently the spring trip to Vegas wasn't enough. Now I've decided to hit the road again to take in a bit of the BCA Tournament. I've booked myself into Tahiti Village for 6 nights for the period during team play. I'm not planning on playing - just cheerleading. Whether or not I stay in Vegas the whole time remains to be seen. If nothing else, since the hotel is already paid for, I can use it as a home base and travel from it each day. Other than the time booked in Vegas, I have no real touring plans. Come what may!

Travelling in the heat of the summer is going to be a new experience for me. I usually travel in the spring to escape the cold and it's always great to reach hot weather but just how "great" is it going to be in the heat in July?

2014 -Summer Sizzler Photo Album

Tuesday, July 15 - Calgary to Kalispell, Montana
Plans to leave yesterday flew out the window when I discovered a nail in my tire. Luckily I was able to get an appointment at Kal Tire for 8:30 am, but unluckily it didn't stop at a repair. They had to bring in a "sensor" and it was 3:00 pm before I picked up my car. I scrapped the idea of leaving until today. It's not going to make a difference on my timing. I have until Sunday to get to Vegas.
My intention to get away early and visit the quilt shops in Kalispell was a fantasy. Snoopy had different plans. She decided to hide and I had to wait two hours for her to surface. How she knew, I'll never know but it was after 11:00 when I finally got away.
Two Medicine Lake - Hwy 49 Montana

Highways today were Hwy 2 to the border, then hwy 89, hwy 49, hwy 2, hwy 40 and hwy 93 to Kalispell. To make up some time, I skipped the Going to the Sun Road and opted instead for Hwy 49 to East Glacier. Google Map

Despite my Snoopy delays, I managed to get to Glacier Quilts before closing. I bought a package of fat quarters then went to Famous Dave's for a BBQ supper. I'm staying at the Holiday Inn.

Wednesday, July 16 - Kalispell to Spokane, Washington
Highways today included Hwy 93 south from Kalispell, hwy 28, hwy 200, hwy 471, NF Road 9 (Coeur d'Alene River Road) to Kingston, and finally west on I-90 to Spokane. I made a short jaunt north on Hwy 95 in Coeur d'Alene to the Bear Paw Quilt Shop. Google Map
A lazy drive today. Actually, all in all, the whole day was pretty lazy. I stopped at the Quilt Gallery and Bearfoots Gallery on my way out of Kalispell and it was nearly 11:00 before I finished shopping. I planned on stopping in Spokane so knew I had lots of time. Both hwy 471 and NF Road 9 have"closed in winter" status. There was virtually no traffic along this route.
NF Road 9 from the state line to Prichard, Idaho passed through a large mining area. The mess the dredges left behind went for miles along the side of the road. The forest is trying desperately to reclaim the land.
Murray, Idaho - 1888

Murray, Idaho Ghost Town

In 1882, Spokane, Washington, had a population of just 800, and A.J. Prichard discovered gold on Prichard Creek. Word of this gold strike on a tributary of the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River spread like wildfire, and by 1885 more than 10,000 people had traveled to the gold fields in hopes of cashing in on the gold rush.

Murray established itself as the central city of what was the last great mining stampede in the Lower 48, and became the Cradle City of the Coeur d'Alene Mining District.

The area right in town, lately especially behind Kris Krisofferson’s Tavern, in the surface soil, you can find nuggets to 10 ounces. Along Prichard Creek and Eagle Creek, there was some very rich placer grounds of the 1880’s, revived in the 1930’s and intermittently worked today. The South Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River, had many rich lead silver lode mines, with a peak production in 1911. All streams in the area produce gold. Idaho Gold

Coeur d'Alene River Road

The Coeur d'Alene River Road was a beautiful drive. The whole road was campgrounds and cottages and there were hundreds of people tubing down the river. The slow moving river seemed to be easy enough for people of all ages to enjoy the float. There were lots of seniors. At 100° it looked very refreshing and relaxing.

Thursday, July 17 - Spokane to Redmond, Oregon
Highways were west on hwy2 to Tramm Road, then south on Waukon Road, hwy 231, and hwy 23 to I-90 west, south on hwy 395/I-82, west on hwy 30/I-84, and south on hwy 97 to Redmond, Oregon. Google Map
My highlight today was my visit to Buggy Barn Quilts west of Spokane. I picked up a Bird Brain Kit and a few yards of material for my stash - duh! like I need more material. By the time I finished shopping it was nearly noon before I started south.

I needed to make up a bit of time so travel today was "on the beaten trail" which really made for a frustrating day's drive. Not much to see (even if I could look around) and way too much traffic for my liking. Just a day's drive to get from A to B. I plan to visit Sisters tomorrow and then meander down the mountain roads for a couple of days.

Click for Large Map

Washington & Oregon Wildfires

The sky was heavy with smoke. There were points where my eyes were stinging. My entire route today followed wildfires, particularly down hwy 97. There are several fires burning stretching from Leavenworth right down to Klamath Falls. Hwy 2 through Wenatchee Forest was closed. The news reported "Oregon is Burning Up". Oregon declared a state of emergency.

Friday, July 18 - Redmond to Canyonville, Oregon
A strange route today. I wanted to go to Sisters to visit the main street shops. Highways today were hwy 126 west to Sisters, then hwy 20 back to Bend, hwy 97, hwy 138 and I-5 to Canyonville. Google Map
My original plan was to drive on Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway (hwy 46) through Mount Bachelor but after 3 tries and still not being able to find the road, I gave up and headed south on hwy 97. Once I turned west I thought I would visit Crater Lake again, but after enjoying a traffic free road for 20 miles, turning into a tourist trap didn't interest me.

Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway

The highway 138 portion of the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway follows the North Umpqua River. It is really a beautiful 100 mile drive and I was quite relaxed by the time I reached I-5. The road was designated a National Forest Scenic Byway on October 21, 1990. It was later named an Oregon State Scenic Byway on February 19, 1997, and a National Scenic Byway on June 13, 2002.

Saturday, July 19 - Canyonville to Bishop, California

Highways today were I-5 to Red Bluff, hwy 36 to Susanville and hwy 395 to Bishop. Google Map

I needed to pack on some miles so that I could be in Vegas tomorrow. Despite my hurry, I still took the scenic route. I woke early (well, early for me anyway). I was on the road by 8:00 am. The traffic was quite light all the way today. The major centres were the only busy areas.

Hwy 36 - Volcanic Legacy National Scenic Byway

The scenic route to Susanville was worth the extra time and miles. State Route 36 connects U.S. Route 101 in Humboldt County to U.S. Route 395 just east of Susanville in Lassen County. The portion of hwy 36 travelling past Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lake Almanor is part of the Volcanic Legacy National Scenic Byway.

Click for Large Map

Thunder & Lightning

Something quite extraordinary happened today - rain - and lots of it! From just before Reno all the way to Bishop there were Weather Alert interruptions on the radio warning of high winds, hail, lightning strikes, and flash floods. This is probably the first time I've witnessed this kind of weather in this area. It was quite spectacular. The Flash Flood Alert is in effect until 9:00 pm tonight.

Sunday, July 20 - Bishop to Las Vegas
Highways today were hwy 395, hwy 136, hwy 190 through Death Valley National Park, hwy 127 to State Line Road and Bell Vista Road to hwy 160 & Blue Diamond Road to Vegas. Coming into Vegas from the west on Blue Diamond Road was a definite plus. It connects with South Las Vegas Blvd. only a couple of blocks south of the hotel. I didn't have to deal with I-15 and the traffic to the strip coming from the north. Google Map

Death Valley National Park

I was beginning to think I would be witnessing a rare rain storm in Death Valley. When I left Bishop the whole sky south east was pitch black, still raining with lots of thunder and lightening. A very high wind rocked the car on the road.

The rain abruptly stopped at Lone Pine. When I turned east the temperature was 76°. By the time I reached Furnace Creek it was 107° - still not hotter than any other times I've been to Death Valley.

Father Crowley Vista

A landscape of dark lava flows and volcanic cinders abruptly gives way to Rainbow Canyon below this viewpoint. I'd forgotten just how steep and narrow the road was as it twists it's way down into the valley. I'd also forgotten that coming from the west, the drop off was mostly on my side of the road (or so it seems).

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are nearly surrounded by mountains on all sides. Due to their easy access from the road and the overall proximity of Death Valley to Hollywood, these dunes have been used to film sand dune scenes for several movies including films in the Star Wars series.

Old Harmony Borax Works

Although this borax refinery operated only from 1883 to 1888, it is important as the birthplace of the famous Twenty Mule Teams. Adobe ruins and an original wagon hint at the industrial activity that once was. Interpretive signs along the short, paved trail tell the story. Located one mile north of Furnace Creek on Hwy 190 west.

Inscription. On the marsh near this point borax was discovered in 1881 by Aaron Winters who later sold his holdings to W. T. Coleman of San Francisco. In 1882 Coleman built the Harmony Borax Works and commissioned his superintendent J. W. S. Perry, to design wagons and locate a suitable route to Mojave. The work of gathering the ore (called cottonball) was done by Chinese workmen. From this point processed borax was transported 165 miles by twenty mule team to the railroad until 1889. Historical Marker Database

Furnace Creek

The Visitor Center, Museum, and headquarters of the Death Valley National Park are located at Furnace Creek. Furnace Creek, population 24, has an elevation of 190 feet below sea level. The Park's major tourist facilities, including lodging, campgrounds, a golf course, restaurant, cafe, store, and gas station are located in Furnace Creek Village.

The highest ground temperature recorded was 201° F at Furnace Creek on July 15, 1972. The maximum air temperature for that day was 128° F.

Las Vegas

I arrived in Las Vegas early afternoon. My room was ready so I was able to check in early enough to avoid the crowds. I purchased show tickets for Shania and registered for the Luau. I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and wandering around the hotel. I've decided that I may have to put that damn bathing suit on again and hit the Lazy River.

July 21-25 - Las Vegas
Monday, July 21st
I decided to visit some quilt shops today that weren't too far from the hotel. Surprise! What didn't look very far on google was about 12 miles each way. No problem though. Vegas is so easy to get around. Everything is straight and at right angles. Weather was 105° by noon.

The Christmas Goose

I visited The Christmas Goose. By the time I left, I had registered in two classes, purchased everything I needed and pre-cut the material for one of the classes. My first class is tomorrow for the pattern Buttercup. The second class is Thursday for a Table Topper. The Christmas Goose

After getting myself set up at the Christmas Goose, I visited the Fabric Boutique then headed to the I-Hop for lunch, did some grocery shopping, and headed back to the hotel. I had dinner at Chili's then my evening was spent doing laundry.
Tuesday, July 22
Today was very unique. Starting with the Buttercup Pattern quilting class in the morning and ending with the Shania Twain concert in the evening, everything was just a bit out of the ordinary.  

Buttercup Quilt Class

I arrived at the Christmas Goose just after 10:00 in the morning for the first of two classes I registered in. Knowing that you are going to learn a new quilt block is interesting and intriguing but discovering that your teacher is the inventor of the pattern is pretty darn special. It was her time teaching a quilt class and I felt very privileged to be a part of it.

As it turns out Vic has created and published several quilt patterns. She should patent them but she already knows that. Having the talent and being able to create seems to be all the satisfaction she needs. She just wants to share. Vic says her passion is crafting, quilting and all things artsy - that someday she'll retire and live the dream...quilting, beading, writing patterns and going to sew-ins!! Zany Quilter

Shania: Still the One

Never before have I been to a concert when the announcer actually said they wanted us to basically "misbehave". Apparently, this concert was being recorded for promotional purposes and they really wanted the audience to be a bit rowdy. Then, to add to the strange rules, we were allowed to take pictures throughout the whole concert.

Eat your hearts out Shania fans. I was front row with a legal camera! And what a great concert it was. My seat was on stage left. I had the isle seat and a full view of the stage. It was fabulous and I took pictures like crazy. Unfortunately, Shania doesn't stand still so many of my pictures were motion blurred.

The show was non stop. The transition between sets was well orchestrated and kudos to Shania - she managed to get changed and back on stage in the time of one song. Shania sang every song I wanted to hear including my three favorites - Honey I'm Home, Any Man of Mine, and Rock this Country.

Most surprising was that she had two horses on stage during the show. With lights and cameras flashing, people dancing erratically all over the stage, the loud music and the crowd whistling, clapping an cheering, I was absolutely amazed that these two horses were truthfully the most relaxed animals in The Colosseum.

Wednesday, July 23rd
I spent today relaxing in the morning. I slept until after 10:00. About 3:00 in the afternoon I decided maybe I should head to the Rio and check out the pool tournament since it is the reason I'm even here. I managed to watch the games of a few teams that I know then headed to the Outback for dinner. I have to be up early tomorrow to take in the second quilt class that I registered for.
Thursday, July 24th

Table Top Quilt Class

Today I took the table top quilt class from Joyce. The pattern is cut on an angle so when sewn together it creates a chevron. I need to buy a special ruler for this quilt so will have to shop around on my way home. I did manage to get all my strips cut before the class was over so I can at least finish the quilt.

I spent the evening at the hotel. Supper was leftovers from the Outback yesterday. After supper I sat in the hot tub and relaxed poolside.
Friday, July 25th


I visited the Quiltique Sew Unique in Henderson this afternoon. I ended up buying four more of Vic's patterns. I hope I'll be able to figure them out without her beside me. I also bought three kits, one rooster style placemats, a wacky log cabin and a children's quilt. Some day I'll stop buying material and start sewing! Quiltique

Today is my last day in Vegas. Time to get organized, repack the car, and be ready to go in the morning. Somehow I got my reservation mixed up and to my surprise, at 3:00 pm I discovered I was supposed to have checked out this morning. They managed to let me extend my stay by one day but if I had known I certainly could have used the extra day to travel to Oatman then head home from there. By the time I found out thought it was too late. I had already overstayed my checkout time and stuck with the cost for the extra day.

I made one more visit to the Christmas Goose then headed back to the hotel. I did some laundry and hauled some things down to the car before calling it a day.

Saturday, July 26 - Las Vegas to Idaho Falls
Time to make tracks for home. Only one highway today I-15. I stopped at Idaho Falls Fairfield Inn for the night and went to the Olive Garden for dinner. Hopefully, I'll wake early enough to be home in time to pick up Snoopy. Regardless, I'll be home tomorrow night. Google Map

Sunday, July 27 - Idaho Falls to Calgary
I managed to get up early and on the road by 7:00. Straight up I-15 and I was home in time to pick up Snoopy. Google Map

Next - 2014 - Fall Fling


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