Category Archives: Rabbit Shoots Things: Like Photographs

I love photography and altering photographs. You can find my work in this category

5 prairie house

Road Photos

I kind of love taking pictures that are informal and catch the feeling of a trip, like old photos you see in a junk store and wonder who took them and why? I just got back from a trip home to Colorado from Washington State, racking up over 3000 miles through what I fondly refer to as the Great Wide Open, thank you Tom Petty.

1 dog is my copilot

Dog is my copilot

A lot of people think the high sky empty spaces of Eastern Oregon, Southern Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Montana and basically all the western states, are empty and boring. Kind of like having to fly over the desert to get to Oz, aka the West coast, something to get past as fast as you can.

Into the great wide open

Into the great wide open

As a child visiting Indiana every summer to see my grandparents, getting through the Mojave desert from our Southern California home was kind of like that. Hot, terrifying and it was the DESERT. This was in the days when cars went slower and didn’t have air conditioning. We usually traveled at night those first few days, and it was mysterious and scary and included swimming at midnight in a Phoenix motel pool where the water was as warm as bath water.

Leaving Oz

Leaving Oz

Travel is so different now, you don’t see overheated cars on top of passes or cars in the desert with those canvas camel bags draped over the radiator. Now travelling through the empty is a pleasure and it isn’t empty either.

Eastern Oregon wind turbines

Eastern Oregon wind turbines

These places have tall skies and room to breathe and they are fascinating and filled with patterns and people if you know how to look. Growing up in my own version of the empty bright spaces in Southern California, I learned to love the arid almost desert east of Los Angeles and west of Palm Springs. I learned early to admire the shapes of the earth, the way brown hills look like giant paws and plowed fields look like quilting blocks. I’ve never lost my love of landscape.4 oregon wind

I finally decided to do it differently. I wanted to see the world as a road tripper not a photographer and catch the ephemeral out of the window of my truck as we went flying by or pulled over on a highway shoulder with cars whizzing by, or just cruising down two lane black top back roads where I found all these fantastical wind turbines.

Somewhere in Eastern Colorado

Somewhere in Eastern Colorado

10 wyoming snow fence

Wyoming Drift Fence

I started looking at a lot of the pictures I ‘snapped’ and the commonality was that I was looking for juxtaposition between man made and aggressive nature. These are places you have to be tough and fight to live, too much snow, too much heat, too much wind and so much beauty.

Stop for Wyoming

Stop for Wyoming

I have lots of other shots of more pastoral places but I think these dreamy post cards shots and old photo treatments are perfect to express the idea that we can only borrow the land, its not ours to keep.

Maggie, dog of the West

Maggie, dog of the West

Boo Who?


This is the 14 year old me.

The year is 1962 and it is Halloween, my last year of trick or treating according to my horrible mother. I  am about to cross the magic line into that place where grown ups look askance at your size and give you the worst piece of candy in the bowl and ask, “Aren’t you a little old for this?” Mind you, this was back in the day when we still locked up our garbage cans and put everything away for fear of pranksters with mayhem on their minds. I longed to live in the days when kids put outhouses on the school roof and played other elaborate jokes on unsuspecting adults. The best we could ever come up with was soaping all the gas station pump windows in town, pretty puny.

Spookiness, this is in Colorado and perfect for halloween don’t you think?

Halloween 1962 was my grandparents 48th wedding anniversary. Who gets married on Halloween? They lived next door to our big white Victorian house in a brick bungalow right across the driveway. My grandad Floyd had been living in twilight for about five years after a diabetic stroke left him unable to move or communicate.

My grandad always had a cigar and my grandma always looked put upon. I think she was born wearing a hair net and sensible shoes.

My grandmother was his main caregiver and I can only imagine now how hard that must have been for her. At the age of 14, none of this even dawned on me. I used to go into the bedroom and read to him, I worried that he was lonely in a room where the only window was high up in the wall. I liked to think he could hear me as I read the Reader’s Digest aloud and carried on one-way conversations.

My grandmother was a cook who worked in her profession until she was 85. I have good cooking genes.

Before his stroke, my grandfather was a terrible grump who yelled at everyone. He had a cigar in his hand at all times, sometimes I wondered if he slept with it. I was never afraid of him, as his only granddaughter I was the princess and I remember very well how patient he was with me, teaching me to tie my shoelaces and my doll’s bonnet strings. It was probably because he was sick of tying my shoes for me but it made me happy then and it does now.

A black wreath hung on the door. This door is actually in Philly but its much cooler than my grandparents’ door.

Halloween afternoon, 1962, after 48 years of marriage, my grandfather died. I remember being sent to go call the doctor when he passed. My mother ordered a black wreath from the florist in town and when it came she hung it on the door so everyone would know not to knock and trick or treat there.

My mother decided I couldn’t go trick or treating. I had to be the responsible dragon at the gate, keeping the hordes of kids from thumping on grandma’s door. Rats. I remember being devastated because I was already facing the end of my candy-gathering years and here the last one was yanked right out from under me.

I had a set of beautiful gold angel wings but I more closely resembled a devil under that white gown.

I had my costume ready and everything. For some odd reason, I had landed the role of the angel in the Chritmas play when I was twelve and we were still living in Colorado. No one was further from angelic, but I ate that role up. My dad had made me a set of cool gold cardboard angel wings with little gold glass balls all the way around the edges. My mom had made my white wide-sleeved angel gown from old bedsheets. They were always white back then. I even had a gold halo that was cleverly mounted on a circle like a tiara. It sat on my head allowing my halo on a wire to float above me.

Yes, I was a sneaky snake that year and proud of it. Photo taken at RC Ridge in Olympia, Halloween spooky perfection.

No! They couldn’t take it away from me! Yes. They could and they did. For about five minutes. It took me that long to realize I could sew a pocket into the bottom of my wide-winged sleeve and cleverly drop it off over a kids bag of candy with some snappy patter. I figured it would take me about two seconds to scoop up a nice fat fistful of candy from every victim’s hoard bag and drop it in my giant sleeve pocket.

Angels have been inspiring me since 1962, I love taking photos of them. I wonder if Halloween is why?

I was sent out at dark to park in my grandmother’s driveway on one of her metal chairs. I still wish I had those chairs. I loved those chairs, I see chairs like them now and they bring back so many memories of granma on the porch. This night it was just me in the driveway with a flashlight and a bowl of cheap jelly beans. My mother was nothing if not frugal. We gave out the kind of candy kids throw away, orange circus peanuts and black gumdrops.  The Whitman’s Sampler she hoarded in her lingerie drawer, ‘hidden’ from us kids and we knew better than to touch her chocolate so Halloween was our chance for a chocolate fix.

My granma’s chairs were like these although I found these deep in Oklahoma. Memories.

The whole thing went off without a hitch. The whole town was trick or treating and bringing their candy to me. Bwah ha ha ha!  I had a pillowcase full of candy and I didn’t have to walk a step to get it. I felt like Donald Trump that night. I did excercise some restraint and I didn’t pillage little kids who had just started their rounds but the big kids who practically had to put wheels on their candy bags were fair game.

As Garfield put it, “Candy, candy, candy!”

Luckily for the neighborhood’s candy stash I had discovered the wonder of boys by the next Halloween and my my angelic/devilish trickery was a one time event. Still, I wonder if it would still work….hmmm….somewhere I have a witch costume…

Happy Halloween!



Is it Dark in Here or is that Just Art?

The first backyard martyr, the accidentally murdered St Squirrel

I am bemused today. The gallery that handles my work returned 3 pieces to me yesterday. I am not upset, I understand why completely. The 3 pieces were from the series “Backyard Martyrs” and they are deeply satirical and very dark, but not at first glance. I love Matter Gallery, Jo is super supportive of her artists and in a funny way, I think I just made my first real statement with my art.

The gun that threw viewers for a loop in Saint Squirrel

The series takes a look at the animals we love to hate–with a vengeance–when they come in our yards and destroy OUR gardens, OUR yards and OUR space. It was originally sparked when I accidentally killed a squirrel last year. Honest, I shot at it with a pellet gun to scare it, not commit homicidal mayhem on the squirrels that were absolutely destroying my bird feeders. Sara Jessica Parker’s character on Sex in the City summed it up, “You can’t make friends with a squirrel.Squirrels are just rats with cuter outfits”. They may be cute but they are rodents and they are not fun to have around when they are destroying flower beds and bird feeders. Yes. Its what they are programmed to do but I would prefer they did it somewhere else, along with 90% of the gardening and bird feeding population.

Yes. Rats with cuter outfits

Mea Culpa people. I started out to make an altar to honor the squirrel as he was martyred in the line of duty, but this devolved into something darker when I started really thinking about it. Backyard Martyrs.

The raccoon I love to hate

Among the martyrs: I have a raccoon visitor I loathe because it destroys our pond just for fun. We had koi once upon a time. They were eaten, but the stupid animal still thinks we’ll be repopulating the buffet real soon. I have contemplated killing it because raccoons are gnarly and truly evil but its so cute with those little hands. Have you seen their teeth? They are vermin infested burglars who are saved by their human-like hand-paws.

Imagined mayhem for the raccoon

Crows. I love crows thanks in part to my old friend Carl Cook who passed away a few years back. Carl loved crows and convinced me to slow down and take a look at them too. I do however hate them in the spring, when the whole damn family is talking to each other at the top of their lungs at 7:00 a.m. Crow babies have horrible voices. They sound like old ladies who swallowed a kazoo and a bullhorn at the same time.

The crow, another backyard martyr

Among the cast of characters are the deer who ate the neighbors raspberries and roses–in the middle of town. Go figure. There is a mole that I have been trying to murder for years. I am waiting for my house to topple into his tunnel system which is more extensive than the French Metro by now. Cats. I love cats, I just don’t love my neighbor’s cats. They are proud that their cats are bird killers–in my yard. They also poop in my flower beds indiscriminately. I don’t love them. I would like to spray paint them purple and send them home.

I love the wings on this piece

So, Backyard Martyrs is a series that takes a look at the American obsession with anthromorphizing critters we also loathe. Yin Yang. How many cute raccoons, moles, mice, cats and birds has Disney given us? We persist in saying ahhhh….cute.

The bottom of Saint Crow is hammered spoons with crow words

I myself am guilty of being a rabbit devotee although they can be yard and crop destroyers bigtime. This from the girl who shot jackrabbits in her teenage years. I should have known I would kill that squirrel because I have always been an excellent shot. What was I thinking?

Top of the raccon martyr with Froggy

I digress. It seems that people who saw these pieces were drawn to them by their bright Mexican colors and feel; and of course, the cute animals wearing crowns in the paintings mounted on tin panels. When viewers got closer feeling all warm and fuzzy, Good Heavens! A gun, squirrel poison, arrows! Folks were shocked and appalled at the potential for mayhem I laid right out there as part of the work. But I’ll bet most of them have actually tried to do harm to their own backyard martyrs. Its not all Bambi out there although for some reason we want to think it is.

Each piece has the latin name of the martyr. Crow has a bit more in English.How very Catholic of me.

The true weirdness. Here it is. Viewers were shocked and surprised at the mayhem portrayed, not even portrayed, just the potential for critter harm is depicted for the animals we love and hate. Yin Yang still going on. But, a metric F*** ton of people and the kids of these people play violent, bloody, do-as-much-harm-as-you- can video games. So why are these paintings/collage/sculptures so disturbing? Our culture provides instant access to violence and mayhem on television, in the movies, even in music. Yet the suggestion of shooting a charming squirrel who is actually, really truly doing harm is over the top? I would love to know what people think.

Or was it the poison bottle that says “Why Not?” on the squirrel piece

This culture of ours is truly odd. I make dark art that is also fabulously bright and funny at the same and it is too disturbing for people. Dance floors in clubs are crowded with people doing moves that 25 years ago would have had them arrested, seriously. There is no subject too taboo to talk about on the boob tube. Women in clothing that leaves nothing, nothing, to the imagination are all over the media. Violent porn is a mouse click away. At the same time there are at least three men running for public office in the USA who believe that there are degrees of rape and one of them had a daddy who told him some “girls are easy”. Check my favorite blog for details on this particular info.

Every Saint wears a crown as Saints should–and a halo.

So in conclusion, Americans are daft. We are the most open minded close minded, blind people on the planet. I’m satisfied. I finally made art that is too much to take for people who don’t think about more than the surface. I’d like to think that the people who were appalled are the same ones who buy art by the yard to hang over the couch.

I’m wondering how to explain these pieces to my grandchildren as they are in residence above my couch and I’m truly enjoying the work. That should be a fascinating discussion…

And by the way, this work is for sale at $200.00 per backyard martyr. $175.00 each for all three. Such a deal!


What I did on my summer vacation.

Bonneville Dam, on the mighty Columbia, that's Terry and a turbine screw. Firefly is in the background.

okay, who handles fish?
fish hatchery architecture

fish hatcher architecture

The annual voyage of the good vehicle whose name is Firefly is underway. I love traveling in a Mini Cooper Convertible. It goes fast, it handles well and you wouldn’t believe how much I can shove into this car along with two people. Its a scientific wonder, I have packed everything to spend two weeks camping–comfortably–in the Mini. My exposure to camping with the hubs and his buds on our motorcycles opened my eyes to what misery in a sleeping bag means. I choose to go the other way, Miniature does not mean miserable.

This year the dogs are home with our house sitter, who is also excavating a chunk of my yard for a new terrace. We are out in the world for two weeks which includes my conference speaking engagement in Salt Lake City at an educational conference and then on to Colorado for a few days with my son and his fabulous family. As always I am carrying a giant camera and a few lenses and I am sure I will take way too many photos before its all over.

A rainbow trout, aka looks like dinner in a pond at the Bonneville park, its a beautiful place to stop, wander and stretch your legs on the way down the dry valley.

I have decided this year to replicate those wonderful vacation photos from the 60s that are supersaturated and seem completely random in what they caught, but I love them. So this is Installment One of what I did on my summer vacation.

Three modes of transport, water, train and car. One shot, cool, no?

From the car, windmills and a barge way up the river.


Summr Sunshine, the name of a rose and my state of mind.


How perfect is the tag on this rose? I had to go play the song on my Ipod immediately.


You start seeing mills and silos as the land gets flatter and more farm friendly. this one is near Pendleton,OR.


I love windmills.very weird and wonderful from a moving car.


peekaboo windmills


farm country. I am crazy about the hard metal juxtaposition with the organic landscape.

More shiny metal things

like these a lot

falling down farm

Installment number one done.


Its that Cemetery Time of Year…

I have a love hate relationship with the autumn portion of the year. I hate that all my gardens are descending into the winter; the plants I have delighted in over the summer will soon be droopy frozen mush and dried out sticks. All the artist’s yard ornaments come in and get stowed for the winter, pipes get wrapped and the winter coats appear. The winter birds are coming back and its time to stock up on soot and seed for my feathered friends.

I love it too. The leaves are turning bright colors and the air has a snap to it. Indoor pursuits are suddenly delightful and so are lap rugs. This is the cemetery time of year.

My favorite cemetery is right here at home

Little Lambs can be found on children's headstones from long ago

Confession: I love cemeteries and cemetery angels. I don’t think they are creepy or melancholy. Sad sometimes, like when I am wandering among the graves and run into a swath of old fashioned lamb-on-top headstones and know those were all children who died long ago. If I read the dates I can extrapolate sometimes that there must have been a virulent illness that swept through the small city taking the oldest and the weakest both.

Cemetery Angel of Olympia

Still, the cemetery not too far from my house is a beautiful and peaceful place. I love to just wander around reading headstones and watching the squirrels and crows going about their squirrel and crow business.

The fall seems so mellow and quiet under the trees

The day of our friend John’s memorial service a few weeks ago, I had a small camera with me me. It was a beautiful sunny day for wandering and wondering. I wonder what it was like to live with some of these names?

And is this the real Colonel Mustard? Resting quietly with Flora Mary Mustard right here in Olympia.

Colonel Mustard and Mrs Mustard?

Make up your own caption for Waddle....

My Uncle Cecil and Aunt Beatrice  are buried here. My father’s uncle and aunt. Dad used to talk about his crazy logger relatives in the northwest. It was amazing to find out we landed up in the same town over 50 years later. Cecil was long gone before I came here, dying in the 60s, but I love that I have family roots.

And then there are the angels,

All over France and the USA, I take pictures of cemetery angels. For some reason I just love them,their eternal gentleness speaks to me. Its almost Hallowe’en. All hallows eve, I may just get my camera and make another visit, its that cemetery time of year you know.


canyon head

Nine Mile Canyon Photographs: Part Deux

That's Pam's head and hat and the arrow shows the relative size of a glyph.

In which we discover stage stops, climb cliffs and generally have our minds blown by the surroundings in Nine Mile Canyon Utah….

Lots of shots of pictographs and petroglyphs along with pictures of the valley. Harper is a town that grew up from nothing and went back the same way. The cool thing is that as a stage stop with a boarding house, eating place, post office, ‘hotel’ and store, Butch and Sundance were even visitors here. The old barns still exist and everything else is mostly foundations.

Throughout the canyons there were hallmarks of ranchers and farmers, dead metal, rusting ancient trucks and falling down buildings. The historical peoples built better 100o years ago I’m thinking….

Click on any thumbnail to see each image full size, use your back arrow to go back to the entry.



Petroglyphs, Paula and Pam: Nine Mile Canyon, Utah

Pam was stuck in the back seat for the first part of the trip into 9 Mile, but we spent lots of time outside too!Before we entered the canyon, our fearless blonde with a perfect manicure no less, aired down her own tires. What a woman!

May 28, 2011. Today the Prairie Dogs headed to Nine Mile Canyon, Utah, the world’s longest art gallery. The prairie dog posse, aka Paula, Pam and me, jumped off for Nine Mile in Pam’s jeep. It was exhilarating, astonishing and exhausting and I’d like to go back tomorrow. Guaranteed, you will be sick of this entry before I’m all done. I highly recommend sticking it out to the end though.

Before we entered the canyon, our fearless blonde with a perfect manicure no less, aired down her own tires. What a woman!

This may be one of your last chances to enjoy these petroglyphs. Sadly, massive deposits of natural gas have been discovered on the Tavaputs Plateau, and now gigantic 16 wheelers roll in and out on roads never meant for them as the Bill Barrett Corporation extracts the gas. They are throwing magnesium chloride down to keep the dust down and it is thought the chemicals will destroy the rock art if the dust doesn’t.

The first thing we saw in the canyons was a corral full of unhappy cows, all bawling their heads off. There have been ranchers in the canyons with cows for well over 100 years.

Right now, a big chunk of the canyon is on the radar of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They are the feds who try to to protect America’s most endangered places. Let’s hope the need for the gas doesn’t eclipse our need to preserve these astonishing images.

Photo Op! Me taking a picture of you taking a picture of me. Old sheepherder's cabin in the background behind Pam.

The ranchers who settled there because of the year round access to water destroyed all the signs of the Fremont and Anasazi people who lived in the canyon from AD 950-1250 at best guess. Their irrigation ditches and earthen lodges are long gone but there are still metates (grinding holes), granaries and the amazing petroglyphs and pictographs.

Some are chipped in and a few are painted on, along with the occaisonal white boy graffiti. the Utes were relative late comers and some of my favor petroglyphs were Ute. How do I know? No horses until after 1680, so if it had horsies, it was Ute.

Early idiot leaving his mark on the canyon walls.

The first graffiti from a not-native American was good old Charles Grosbeck back in 1867. I found this guy myself, from 1881. There are over 10,000 images chipped, incised, carved and painted into the sandstone walls at over 1000 sites through the 40 miles of canyons.

Nine Mile Road was  built by the black Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry of Fort Duchesne, Utah. This was the first major road from Ft Duchesne to Price, Utah. The valley had water, the magic ingredient. Not a lot, but enough for travelers and ranchers to make Nine Mile the main highway through some pretty dry land.

Ute carvings of a hunt. Horses don't show up until after 1680

A moment of definition before we proceed: Petroglyphs are carvings in rock faces that are incised, chipped or abraded. Pictographs are images that are painted on rock faces. Nine Mile has both, but pictographs are much rarer and more fragile.

You can still see traces of the early people in the canyons because their granaries, pit houses and a few shelters are still evident in spots in the canyon. We were so excited to spot a granary way the hell and gone high up on a cliff! We spent an hour trying to puzzle out how they got the corn into it and then back out.

An early Fremont granary still in existence high on a cliff.

And here it is close up.

We started hitting site after site and three women with three cameras spent more time out of the jeep than in it!

Medicene man and big horn sheep

Wonderful hunter with bow and arrow

The canyons were beautiful, walls, scenery and all, so much to see!

Nine Mile Canyon

I will continue this post as a photo essay–make sure to view Part Deux!


Surpassing Cuteness

That's MY tail you tiny twerp!

This last Sunday I got to meet my friend Tone’s new family members. Freckles is a rescue kitty who turns out to be an excellent mouser and Tuxedo is a tiny ball of kitty energy who already rules the roost. Tone’s shih tzu Bella is my Mushka’s sister and her 4 pound Bella Donna is my 8 pounder’s sister. Complicated familial stuff here.

I am Queen Bella and I wantz nothing to do with these kittehs and dogz.

We moved to the deck to enjoy the dlate afternoon sunbreaks and the herd traveled with us. Photo op! I love taking pix of cats and dogs and Freckles is about to make his debut as the ‘bad cat’ in the new ‘bad dog’ painting which will be called ‘My Toy’.  He’s perfect for the part, just enough attitude and very mellow when he’s not busy patrolling.

Freckles, "I has attitudes and I am the mightee hunter kitteh".

Tuxedo, Mr. Four Ounces of Purring Curiousity, he just got 'fixed' so she's stuck in the cone of shame for four more days.

Brother and Sister, same litter, Moose and Mini

I gives my sissy big sloppy kisses

Too cute sitting with entwined tails, Mish and Bella Donna


Freckles in the distance on patrol fascinates these two.


Misha wonders, " What exactly you is? You don't smell like nothing I ever met."


"Just to make sure, I gonna check both endz."


Freckles explains that its his tail and Tuxedo cops attitude, Belladonna wonders what will happen next!


I bored with that fat orange kitteh, I climb you now.

What that kitteh doing now?

Where dat orange kitteh go? He unner da porch!

We all playz til I passes out in my kitteh mommy's arms, Ize purring.


Rabbit Loves Lavender

Theda Bara is thinking purple thoughts with her kitty companion.

I adore lavender. I love the way it smells, the way it looks, I even love the way it cooks.

Shastas and lavenders, summer beauty

Lavender-lemon shortbread, lavender iced tea and lavender ice cream are all mahvelous dahling. Of course, if you go at it with a heavy hand you might as well nosh on a cake of soap taste-wise. It’s  about balance, like all the best things in life.

I love painting lavender and photographing lavender. My bucket list contains another visit to France, when the lavender is blooming in Grasse, but until I make it back I’m lucky to live in Washington State.

Purple Scent Lavender farm on a cool cloudy day.

Sequim is the lavender capital up here in Washington with its own festival in July. This year with our crappy weather the lavender didn’t cooperate and bloom in time so I’ll be going up after we get a few sunny days to wallow in purple smells and sights.

Meanwhile, I discovered a gorgeous little farm much closer to home this past weekend. Purple Scent Lavender Farm is breathtaking! It’s in Bremerton with an amazing view of Dyes Inlet, who could ask for more? Lavender And a water view.

Suzanne Powers, owner of farm and boutique is delightful and knows her stuff.  I wound up buying two Royal Velvet lavenders to replace the ones that got destroyed last winter and I can’t wait to see them in their full glory.

They served lovely lavender ice cream and even a very French seafood lunch. Sadly, after being on an MG rally in the Mini all day we missed that gorgeous meal.

Royal Velvet ready to plant


I did get to meet adorable scrappy Zoe and managed to get a few pictures of that happy bundle of energy. I had to paint her, I love doing dog pieces and this one is perfect!

Zoe on the farm

 Miss Zoe is done on recycled wood, I have gone green and almost all of my work is based on repurposed materials. The loft is full of blank canvases but wood seems to inspire me more than canvas does. The piece is around 18X24″ ( I have to measure it to frame it, what was I thinking?) and will retail for around $275.00 after framing.

Zoe is in good company, here’s a painting, on seflf-framing canvas, of  a lavender farm cat who charmed me last year.

Lavender Farm Cat

The next  ‘painting’ here is big, it’s in a beautiful frame  under glass. The piece is oil pastel is on Canson Paper, I knew I had to paint it when I saw this lonely little chair in this huge purple field. 




I took the photographs I worked from for this piece on the last trip I took with Terry on our bikes just before his accident. It’s hard  to believe that was five years ago now, and its nice to know he’s fine and riding again.

Chair in the lavender field

Except for Zoe, who is too new to be there yet, my work including exact sizes and prices can be found at

I’m off to plant my lavender and if you would like to visit Purple Scent Farm in Bremerton here is a link to their website which includes directions and hours, I highly recommend it for a relaxing afternoon.


Silver Streak Makes Some Miles: Oregon to Idaho

Chapter 2: Shakedown  and Signage

Roll on Columbia! Bonneville dam shows just how powerful the river is. I had to wait to enter the park because a huge fishing boat was going through the locks and the road to the park was closed.

The first day is always getting used to traveling, the shakedown what-did-I-forget phase? After about 200 miles I get used to driving and settle in to the adventure.

I love cruising along the Columbia River, some people think the drive is boring and Oregon is empty and dry but I beg to differ, with the river and the boats I am always entertained.  The Bonneville dam is  a great place to stop for a break, it’s in the perfect spot, about  two hours to Portland from Olympia and another hour or so to Bonneville, depending on weather, traffic and the number of cops spotted along the way.

Mini me, parked and out for a stroll through the fishery and park.

The Columbia River is a monster river and I am always amazed at seeing huge boats and barges way up river past the Cascade Locks and the big Bonneville dam. It’s very odd to see a grain silo in the middle of an empty expanse of prairie and then turn your head the other way and there’s a big old boat chugging by.

The engine is really noisy but all I can see on the other side of the salmon ponds is the very top of this enormous boat going by. Very odd to hear it and just see the wheelhouse.

The Columbia also has sturgeon, a sturgeon habitat and a famous fish named “Herman”. When I think of sturgeon, I think of caviar and lick my chops, but Herman is big enough so I’m not going to argue with him or his buddies in the tank about edibility.

Herman the sturgeon, these suckers are HUGE. They make hungry and they make me wonder how the hell you catch one?

The fish hatchery was in full swing getting salmon ready for their voyage out to sea and the poor harried rangers were herding both salmon and packs of rowdy kids ready for the end of the school year.

Salmon ready for the sea

Ranger overheard telling at least ten kids to stop touching things including this turbine prop, good luck with that Mr. Ranger!

The same pack of brats is still following Ranger Rick as he tries to restrain himself from throwing them into the fish ladder for the sturgeon to eat. I would have...

I watched over the world from my rooftop view being serenaded by this charming sparrow, soothing the savage beast and all that.

It semed to be a day of signs. Remember the movie with Tom Hanks and all the signs? Sleepless in Seattle? I can’t remember. The Universe kept sending signs to him and on this day it was sending me propitious signs too. Omens of a fair voyage, no doubt. Except for the one about biting squirrels, I still haven’t figured out what that one augured except don’t feed the damned squirrels.


Can I resist a beautiful Japanese iris? This sign is from Mother Nature!

The Universe sent me this stack of signs, okay, the gift shop had them on display but still, I'll take a sign when I can find it!

This sign says it all. Yes, I know its from a rose bush, but still...

The best sign of the day, POWER. I'll take it! Loved this shot.

I polished off my coffee and the Columbia and headed south on I-84 through Pendleton of Woolen Mills and Round Up fame, on to La Grande and past  Baker City. Baker City is adorable by the way, full of Victorian houses and cute shops, none of which got me to stop this time. I  kept on trucking or carring as it were, on to my goal for the night of Ontario, Oregon.  

By the time you hit Ontario you are hitting the Ugly Part of both Oregon and Southern Idaho. I’m pretty sure most of the south end of Idaho  along I-84 is seriously ugly and lives to be endured and gotten through as fast as possible. Yes, there are exceptions to seriously ugly including the Snake River canyon and the coolest “ghost town” on the planet, Silver City. It’s a nice drive south of Boise and a ways up into the mountains on a two lane dirt road, well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.

Before my day ended I discovered Ontario has the most insane road naming and numbering system in the world. Yes, every stree appears to be repeated and you can’t tell where you are even with a GPS. Not one but two East Fourth Streets, running two different directions. The same with every other street. EEEEEK! Luckily, I had been to the el cheapo but very clean motel I had booked before.  I recognized it when I made a loop in the general direction and spotted it to my right. I launched myself at that driveway like Shamu doing tricks for tuna. Mission accomplished.

Happy me, found the motel, got through the first day fine and now for some dinner.

 I unbungied, unraveled and unpacked the Fyr Fly 2, and slid down to Subway for a sandwich and in line, a story from a guy who had a Mini in Italy during the early 60’s. It was fun to listen to him talk about trying to get it into the country back in the day, but it was even more fun to get back to the motel and fall down for the night.

Next: On to Salt Lake  a surprisingly beautiful city.


A sign from Salt Lake City....