Friday, April 21
Baker City to Wallace, ID
|Beautiful Elkhorns as we leave Baker Valley.|
We pull out around 7:30 and while Rick gets the tires all checked at Lew Schwab, I pull the Prius around to the garage and lock everything up. By the time we stop for drinks at Yorks, it is 8am before we are on the road. I take the first shift driving – the freeway part up to Milton Freewater. The Elkhorn Mts. are gorgeous to the west, the clouds shifting around constantly and revealing the peaks. The valley is green due to the abundance of recent rains!
|Big grain elevator outside Dayton WA|
We pull into Wallace RV at 3pm, set up, and then take a good walk around downtown historic Wallace. We even explore up the first level of steps on the hillside south of town where many of the old homes are located. Back to City Limits Brew Pub right next to the trailer park for dinner! You can’t beat the innovative food this place serves, plus Rick is always guaranteed some sort of craft beer.
I was hoping to get a call in to Liz this evening, but I have emergency service only on my phone. (And yes, boys, I DID try rebooting the phone! I’m learning!) Want to see how Mom made her move today to assisted living. No internet in the trailer, would have to walk down to the pub for that. And it’s chilly outside!
Quiet evening in the trailer and early to bed!
Saturday, April 22
HAPPY EARTH DAY & BIRTHDAY TO RUSTY and GRETCHEN!
Wallace, ID to Kalispell, MT
|Clark Fork near Paradise, MT.|
|Flathead Lake and Swan Mountains|
We went up the new 93 Alternate on the west side of town – smooth sailing! Much better than going through Main Street of Kalispell! Over to Walmart for a grocery trip and then to the RV Park. No one was in the office, so we were glad Kathy had told us our site number (really glad as no one was even here from the CAVs!) Hinkles returned shortly after our arrival. The afternoon was a
myriad of arrivals and
visitations as one by one folks arrived.
Only one group waiting until Sunday to come (with the exception of Rusty
who will arrive Monday or Tuesday).
|Rick is ready for|
the build to begin!
Rick and I enjoyed portebello mushrooms again for dinner, along with an ear of corn. Then over to Happy Hour in Hinkle RV (it was cool outside!) One couple, Gary and Karen, are new to CAVs so we were full of stories to introduce them to the experience. Headed back to trailer around 8pm.
Did get ahold of Liz mid-afternoon to get a Mom update. It was not good, but hopefully the next couple of weeks will allow things to settle down and she will adapt to a new living situation. She was at The Pearl for 6 weeks and adapted there, finally. The move was rough, however, due to mis-communication and Mom was transported without Liz – very confusing. Will keep in touch and keep prayers flowing!
Not much happening today. We are taking a Sabbath Day of REST! I need it! Group went to Sykes for breakfast – had a private room so that was nice as we could talk and hear each other. Then Gayle, Kathy, and I went with Diane to Costco, Lowes, and Dollar Tree! Listened to the rainfall. Organizational meeting at 4pm. Laid back day!!
Habitat Build Day 1
We did it! Inspite of rainfall early in the morning, rainfall during break, and rainfall during lunch, we got a full day of work in today!! All the Habitat staff was at the morning meeting, including meeting the new volunteer recruitment gal, Nicky. Vicki has taken over some of the development part of the job Katy B had in addition to family coordinator. Mary Davidson has been hired as the On Site Hostess – and she is loving that! Rick gave the opening devotion….I have to remember I am down for Wednesday.
|Cold and wet lunch.|
Once all the ChitChat was done it was almost 9am! Time to get busy…before the rain comes! Rick was working with a team to install some of the wood pressure treated along the foundation of the house, another crew started clearing the dirt away from the edge to install the metal skirting. Tom and Clint and Gayle worked to align the walls and square things up. I worked with a team of 5 to install the sheathing on the remaining framed walls for the first floor. Steve said he really wanted to get at least the front walls ready to go for stone work while I was here. Allison Ashley is excited for that as she wants to help with her stonework as well. We have aways to go. Maybe by latter part of next week!
|Moving a floor joist into place.|
|Rick, Mahrias, and Brie|
|Rick plays with Ben and Vida's newest!|
Rusty pulled into the campground around 7:15 – hungry as he hadn’t eaten any dinner. Rick made him a sandwich, I took pineapple, and Norrels and Hinkles both brought a small dish of leftover salads to him! Ask and you shall receive! He could use a good night’s sleep!
Habitat Build Day 2
|Scaffolding crew at work.|
Rick finished up his metal skirting around the foundation, while I got the final panels of sheathing up. Rusty joined our crew, while Steve took Kevin and Gary away for another job. Second half of the morning we worked to erect scaffolding in prep for the floor joists for the second floor.
|Happy Birthday, Rusty...a few days late!|
Topped off the evening with phone calls to Liz and Mac. The latter was with Mom at the time, so I got a chance to talk with her. She didn’t sound great, as her back is bothering her. Discouraging, to say the least. Walked the whole time I talked, so I got in my 10,000 steps today and plus some!
Habitat Build Day 3 – CANCELLED!
|Genia plants teacups for the shower.|
Rick and I stopped at Walmart enroute home, and then I crawled in bed to read for a little bit (having not slept very well the night before). At 10:15a I got a call from Diane (who was down at Genia’s trying to make apricot jam)…Can you come help us? Neither Genia, nor Diane, nor the friend present had ever made jam before!
|Genia with teacup, Diane and I with Jam!|
|Flathead Lake from BigFork and brewery.|
Evening spent in trailer, once again listening to the rainfall.
Rain Day #2
Well, Kathy came a knocking on the door at 6:45am to let us know “NO WORK TODAY!” It was pouring down rain at the time, so pretty much a no-brainer! Cold and windy. I wouldn’t have wanted to be working. Didn’t even get out of my jammies until 10:30, when I dressed so I could get my mail down to the mailbox before the postman came!
Mary Davidson’s daughter Breanna and three friends from a school group Girls on the Run had prepared our lunch (intended for yesterday). When we were cancelled yesterday, we promised we would come for lunch today no matter what. So, everyone headed over to the job site at 11:45 to have lunch in Mary’s garage! They got ‘out of school’ for the hour, so were pretty excited and giggly as only 3rd grade girls can be!
|Girls on the Run - our lunch time hosts!|
Happy Hour at the Neighbors trailer – the only other rig big enough to host 14 people. It was cozy, but we all squeezed in! A lively time….Gary Neighbors is almost as dry in humor as Carl. They were sitting together and both can tell a tall tale!!
Trailer is under 60 degrees tonight and we have had the little heater going all day long! Brrrr!
CAV Build Day 3
We worked today! HARD!! And the rain didn’t fall (ok, some light rain earlier, but it didn’t last long…), REALLY fall, until 3pm just as we were driving home! In fact, the weather was cool enough to not be hot, but not windy and biting cold. I actually shed down to just my two tshirts (long and short-sleeved) in the afternoon.
|Rick busy with joists and walls.|
And maybe the reason we weren’t cold was because both Rick and I were very physical for the day. Rick was up on the second floor joists most of the day, either helping to place the big joist beams or later to glue and hammer the tongue and grove plywood sheets into place.
I worked for awhile with the scaffolding crew, but then Karen N and I were pulled to move a stack of the flooring tongue-grove ¾” plywood. Heavy boards that took both of us to move one. We had to take 20 of them out to the front of the house and stack vertically (so Rick’s crew could later push them up into place). Then move the rest of the stack out of the way of the scaffolding to go up.
|My board moving partner, Karen.|
Happy Hour in Schaffer motorhome – the usual laughter and banter, sometimes a modicum of ‘serious’ talk, but not usually!
CAV Build Day 4
|Hauling another second story floor joist up|
|Building the stairwell early makes it easier|
to go between floors!
|Mahrias and I pose for our|
"Best Friends" photo
|Scribble from Rainbow picture Mary sent earlier in week.|
A Day of Rest
|Rick got giant pancakes|
|Beautiful views from behind the trailer.|
CAV Build Day 5
|Lunchtime hosts - WITH their tie dye!|
|An awesome truss hauling team!!|
We stopped at WalMart enroute home to print off some postcards. Happy Hour in the Hinkle rig, and by the time we all left a light rain was falling.
More calls/texts to Liz and Marg to figure out what was happening with Mom.
CAV Build Day 6
Not quite as cold this morning, but definitely more clouds in the sky. And it never warmed up quite as much because a wind started blowing. But Rick’s crew has nearly all the walls done, several in place. I worked on blocking between rafters, then putting OSB into the same spots. Later did a lot of hammering as we put the strip of OSB between the two stories. My arm was tired by the end of the day.
|Ashleys put their prints|
on garage floor.
|Putting up a wall!|
We were on our ‘own’ most of the day as Steve was with Genia for a doctor’s appointment and test. He had lunch with Genia and then came over to check on our progress. Pleased.
Evening skies cleared and the mountains are GORGEOUS to the east! Happy Hour in Neighbors RV. Maybe by tomorrow it will be warm enough to actually be outside and enjoy it!
Mom was to be discharged today back to Tanner Spring. I talked with Liz during morning break. Marg is now with her.
|Swan Mountains behind campground.|
CAV Build Day 7
|Yellowheaded blackbirds at Genias.|
|Walls continue to go up!|
Happy Hour outside!! Cool, but possible!
Thursday, May the Fourth Be With You!
CAV Build Day 8
|Rick and his ladders!|
|After sheathing, we took on painting!|
My team of ladies (Kathy, Arletta, and Karen N) finished the sheathing on the top floor outside, working off scaffolding 3 levels high. I was mostly on top, Karen on level 2, Kathy and Arletta handing stuff up to us. I had to get Carl to come and nail gun the last 6 nails on the very top. Then we installed another smaller piece of sheathing on that side, before moving to the east side for another full board way up there! (Got those top nails myself – it was a stretch!! Then added more levels to the scaffolding. Just before lunch we were off to paint the trim boards, setting up a drying station in the garage, covering the new floor, etc. Finished that up after lunch and had more scaffolding work to do! I climbed A LOT!!
|Heading down the back roads to Somers|
|Genia and Steve|
Home by 8 and early to bed!!
CAV Build Day 9
|Views from top of scaffolding|
|Our scaffolding handiwork.|
After lunch….we installed the second floor trusses for the roof – the last major job Steve had hoped to accomplish while we were there with a big crew. 5-6 of us on the ground, more on the back section of garage roof, and a whole team inside the second floor to actually nail it in place. The first two were double trusses, so HEAVY!! Once they were in place, the rest went fairly quickly.
|Rick and top half of truss crew.|
|Lisel, war paint, and tie dying!|
|Tie Dye crew!|
SHISH-KA-BOB time at the Kearneys! Jason and Angela had invited the whole CAV crew over. Knowing I was going to be ‘tied’ up, I had purchased a chocolate pudding cake for our contribution. The evening turned out to be beautiful – the light rain shower that swept through right before tie-dye clearing to blue skies for awhile. The Kearney kids were so openly glad to see us, with warm welcoming hugs. Rick and I stayed for an hour-half and then left to meet our last commitment of the day…
|Jason and Angela Kearney|
SOCCER! Mahrias Schultze had invited us earlier in the week to her soccer game. We got there just as the short game was beginning. Her team was definitely out-matched, but Mahrias ran hard and gave it her best. Hugs goodbye and ‘until we meet again’!
Whew. I was tired tonight. Rick is tired. Looking forward to a relaxing weekend.
|Trailer boo boo|
Dining Together and Departures
We only did three things today….breakfast with 4 other couples at the Buffalo Café in Whitefish and dinner together as a whole group. Laundry in between and dead time (yes!).
We weren’t going to go out to breakfast, which actually was late enough to be brunch, but when I heard it was the Buffalo Café, Rick and I decided YES! We can mess with the trailer details later. Excellent food as usual – Rick finally getting to order the Huckleberry French Toast Bake. I had what amounts to a veggie omelet served on top of hash browns.
|Kearneys at DeSotos|
Home to get an email and then phone call from Liz. Mom is VERY confused and not doing real well. I suspect our plans are going to change. L There are people on a waiting list for Libby that can take our place, as much as I want to go there.
Day of Rain and Rest
It rained most of the day until late afternoon. We did very little but relax, read, draw, and say goodbye to the Neighbours. I made a run to JoAnn’s to pick up a few craft supplies.
Happy Hour at 4 that lasted two hours and we didn’t even have appetizers! Then 7 of us went to Five Guys Burgers for dinner. Beautiful rainbow on the way home. Rusty joined us tonight, the first night he has ‘come out’ for HH or meals since he got sick last Tuesday.
Glacier NP Bike Ride
Three years ago, when Rick and I first came to the Flathead Valley affiliate in the spring, we discovered that the Road to the Sun opens to hiker and biker traffic long before it is officially open to automobiles. We didn’t have our bikes with us. The past two spring visits, we have taken our bikes in anticipation, but each year the Sun Road opened EARLY and we missed the biking opportunity. So…since we were coming in April-May this year, we KNEW the road would not open on us and we brought our bikes! Then the weather was so bad the last two weekends, there was no point! But today was forecast for definitely clearing, although it was quite cloudy in the am when we left. But today it must be as we leave for home tomorrow.
|Riding along McDonald Creek|
|Avalanche Creek area|
We rode just past Logan Creek and the bend in the road to head north to the Loop. Not far enough for views of the east side of Heaven’s Peak, but definitely far enough for full views of the Garden Wall, Mt. Oberlin, Mt. Clements and the twin peaks of Mt. Cannon. Absolutely awesome.
Up close along the road we were greeted with hundreds of trilliums in bloom. They were largely the only flowers we saw in abundance, but the showy white petals and leaves are so beautiful. Every creek and rivulet was running full with the spring melt. We gradually found more and more snow along the side of the road as we slowly gained elevation. The road is actually a very gentle grade for much of this distance. It steepens more as you approach The Loop and then? Well, then it’s not my kind of biking!!
There was more bike traffic on the road for a Monday than I expected, but then again, this was a day when the forecast was good which drew people out! We did encounter two groups that gave us bear warnings. The first group had actually SEEN the grizzly, the second just said ‘lots of bear activity’ up ahead. In each case, my heart rate goes up, but Rick graciously yelled ‘Yo, Bear!’ frequently and often. Noise is our best precaution as well as vigilance! We did NOT see any bears! (Thank you, God!)
|Lake McDonald and peaks from Apgar Village|
Final note – before leaving this morning for the park, we stopped at the RV office to discuss again the damage from the lawn mower. We were having trouble getting a quote back from Bish’s, but the one we got was for $800 to replace the back bed door unit (not the canvas cover). Ouch! The park was more than willing to cut us a check for $500 and not have to turn it in to insurance. We are too, as we will probably make the repairs ourselves! (Final, final note several days later. Rick pounded out the dent again – it looks passably good! I spent $10 on a vinyl patch kit and took care of the fabric part. It looks repaired, but it is serviceable!!)
Click HERE for a link to all our Bike Ride Photos!
Kalispell, MT to Baker City, OR
Heading home today rather than west toward Libby. Someday we’ll get that route along the Clark Fork and through Thompson Falls into our plans, but duty calls me home to go to Portland and help my sister. I am thrilled to have heard last night that Kevin and Karen Dickinson, who were on the waiting list for Libby, got the confirmation that they are IN, largely due to both Norrells and us pulling out. At least I know good folk are in our place! Rusty will head on over, as will Hinkles as well.
So…shortly after 6:30am we are on our way, stopping for a quick coffee, and using the new Alt 93 route to bypass the downtown area. The new highway has been wonderful this whole visit with easier access to the build site. Rick takes the first shift. It is a clear sunny morning with the snowy peaks rimming the eastern skyline for miles to the south.
The valley of Hot Springs is lush and green. Rick drives us to St. Regis where we gas and re-coffee. I take us from Montana to the edge of Idaho-Washington and our favorite gas station in PostFalls, ID with the Subway. We sandwich up and Rick drives us down through the hilly Palouse country of eastern Washington. The wheat fields are greener, but there are still more fallow fields than we expect for this time of year. A quick $5 of gas in Dayton, just to make sure we can get to Milton-Freewater. Gas in Dayton is 30 cents more expensive than across the border in Oregon. (We also discover it is 10 cents more than the next town over….log that info into our brains!)
I drive the final stretch home to Baker, from M-F down to I-84 and over the passes to Baker Valley. We are home by 4:15p, having gained an hour at the Montana-Idaho border. It is still a long 10+ hour day of 527 miles!! But I will have two days to ‘catch up’ at home before heading over to Portland for the weekend.
Total Miles: 1576
Trailer Miles: 1056
Total Expenses: $1343
Expenses per day: $70.68