5 1/2 Months- Week 22

Sunday July 8 is SashBash week!!!

July 7–all 24 of us are in route to Breckenridge, Colorado. Sunday, we have an 8-bedroom house waiting for the Shasserre family onslaught. Craig, Nicole, Olivia, Evan, Ella have flown into Denver Saturday night and they are spending the night with Johnny O. an old soccer buddy of Craig’s. Brian, Emily, Fisher and Amaya have flown in from Seattle. They are spending the night in Denver with friends. Mark, Kelly, Rumi and Teo flew in Thursday and they have been with friends everyday since. Todd, Jessica, and Scarlett arrive in Denver late Saturday night. Kris, Kerry, Sienna and Sebastian are traveling from Mount Vernon, Washington by vintage VW van. They blew a tire on the way. So, they are camping near Salt Lake City Saturday night. They will have a long drive on Sunday. Brent and Dani left from Saint Louis today and they are driving a Subaru all the way without an overnight stop. We drove from Salt Lake City to Grand Junction, Colorado today. It’s been a wonderful day of R&R. We are happy to be spending the night in a nice Clarion. We had a brief swim and a pizza dinner.

 

Olivia turned age 20 the day we all arrived at Breckenridge. Craig, Kris and Sienna  have birthdays in July. So, we had continuous days to celebrate. The home cooked dinners for 24 went along flawlessly thanks to great cooks and great planning by all.

The house was magnificent….8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, huge 12 person hot tub, downstairs rec room included pool table, video games, shuffle board, foos-ball, and a theater room (great for watching the World Cup games).

Each morning certain people left the house for hiking destinations, shopping, or whatever. Some groups went to Vail, Colorado and some did not. Some did the eight mile hikes and some (like me) did the three miles hike. We all stayed active in family groups but still had space for ourselves.

This was such a special SashBash. Special because this week in Colorado was the last week of our 22 week journey. Special because our time with family was the first time everyone could be together in one place in the past 10 years. It was special, of course, because Sandy and I were celebrating 50 years of marriage and all of the kids made a commitment to be together.

Remember the game called Roses and Thorns? One night as I was quietly observing all of the wonderful personalities that make up this large family of twenty-four I thought to myself, our “Roses” are those who have come into the family one by one, i.e., Nicole, Emily, Jessica, Mark, Kris, and Dani. They have joined our children and created grandchildren that make this very large family such a blessing.

Sandy and I are so grateful. To our children and their spouses and significant others. And to our grandchildren. Thanks for being special people. Thanks for loving each other. Thanks for making Sashbash 2018 the best one ever!

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5 1/2 Months–Week 21

Crank up the Willie Nelson music…we are “On the Road Again.” Sunday morning July 1st, we skip Mary Anne’s Kitchen and drive right past Dad’s Diner, heading out of town on Commercial Ave. We drove around the round-about and stopped at the Bakery to get breakfast and coffee before heading east on Highway 20. We took Best Road to Highway 5. South on 5 toward Seattle. In a few hours we have crossed over Washington to Oregon.

As we are approaching Hood River I noticed the mileage meter was about to turn over 10,000 miles traveled. I pull over at a campgrounds at exactly 10,000 miles to get a photo. Out of no where a park volunteer pulls up behind us and offers to take this photo.

Sunday afternoon we roamed around Hood River for a few hours and had lunch. Then, we drove five miles to find our new AirBnb in Mosier, Oregon. I won’t give you all of the concise directions but suffice to say this was another adventure. Mosier has 430 people, one grocery store that closes at 5pm on Sunday. We showed up at 5:15pm. It has one restaurant. Vegetarians would like this place. It has few options for meat eaters. They will put some sausage on your pizza, if requested. I did request but they forgot. By the time I got to eat my pizza to go I noticed the mistake. So, I ate radish and cheese pizza.

Then, we drove up the mountain for three miles. At the  Rattlers Ridge drop off Sandy got nervous. When we arrived this place was better than advertised. We had a big two bedroom downstairs apartment with a fully equipped kitchen. They had a 46 inch TV so we enjoyed watching a movie Sunday night and a World Cup soccer match Monday morning. Brazil ousted Mexico.

Monday, July 2, we drove all around the Mount Hood area including a stop at the Timberline Lodge. Wow! This place was built in 1929 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. To our surprise, people were still snow skiing and snow boarding on Mount Hood. The temperature at 6000 feet was 40 degrees. The temp up higher on the Mountain was much colder. By the time we got back to Hood River the temperatures were in the 60’s and we watched wind surfers and wind boarders challenge the Columbia River in their wet suits and other gear.

 

 

July 3 we started the journey on a long drive along the Columbia River Gorge. We spent the day driving to Enterprise and Joseph, Oregon where we had intended to stay. But, we decided to push on via the Wallowa Mountain loop at 30 miles per hour. As we made our way through the scenic Hells Canyon some of the hair pin turns were at 15 miles per hour. There are no rails on these roads and mountain loop road #39 was the “road less traveled.” What a FUN, but tiring day.

Sandy tried to book a room for the night in Enterprise Oregon via Hotwire. She ended up booking us in Enterprise, Alabama before noticing the mistake. Then, she found a nice one bedroom in Richmond, Oregon through AirBnb for $75. The location was not the best–looked kinda creepy. So, we drove all the way to Baker City before pulling off the road to stay.

This is where we are staying for the next two nights in Boise, Idaho. This cute little Cassita is perfect for our lifestyle. It offers everything we need in the 400 sq. ft. space. Here is Sandy talking on the phone to one of her sisters. She likes to stay in touch with Saint Louis.

On the 5th we drove all around Boise sight seeing. I learned this–if your GPS talking lady tells you “stay on the route” you had better do it or else she will get pissed and make you drive around in circles until you run out of gas. Temperatures today were in the 90’s in Boise, so we are slowly making the adjustment to Midwest weather.

We drove from Boise, Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s more than a 250 mile drive. I believe there are more horses and cows to see in Idaho than people. The scenery is beautiful with one large ranch, or farm, or baron land after the next mile after mile. The highlight stop was Twin Falls where the Snake River rambles through right before you get to Rattlesnake Pass. We finally arrived in Salt Lake City at 3pm just as the temperatures reached 102 degrees.