Tag Archives: travel

The rest of the trip

It’s been a busy week, but there was more going on during our trip than Spocon. We drove up to Spokane the day before. It was a lovely day for a drive, offering opportunities for pictures like this:


And this:


Lots more cool views than pictures. In the Spocon post, I talked about waterfall pictures. We took a long walk from the hotel (Fairfield) along the river and walked from the Upper Falls to the Lower Falls and I found these stunning shots along the way.


And many more.

Sunday, after my last panel and all the goodbyes, we hopped in the car and drove from Spokane to Enterprise. We had not driven the road between Spokane and Lewiston, so we enjoyed new views. One of the con attendees was puzzled that it would take so long to drive a short distance (4 1/2 hours for around 175 miles), at least until she pulled up the map on her iPhone and saw the various snaky grades…down the hill into Lewiston, then up the hill from Asotin. But it’s past Antone that things really get wild.

It’s called Rattlesnake Grade. DH and I have not traveled it for over thirty years, and we only did it once together. But we both had memories of a long, winding grade both up and down a steep canyon. We’d completely forgotten about all the plateau country on the Washington side before we got there. And, before we descended into the Rattlesnake, we spotted a pair of wild turkeys–tom and hen–scratching gravel at the edge of the highway. Cool.

The Rattlesnake takes thirteen miles to descend to the bottom of the canyon and the Grand Ronde River. Then it goes a short distance straight up the bottom of a creek before climbing the canyon wall. We stopped for pix before climbing.


And yes, people do travel this road regularly in winter, with ice, snow, and below zero temps. It is our shortest route to Spokane. Otherwise we have to go west through Elgin and Milton-Freewater to reach Lewiston and then head up.

On the top, near Flora, I had to slam on the brakes because a set of gangling wild turkey poults skittered across the road and, being young and fledglings and somewhat on the foolish side, they weren’t really eager to move for some big stupid stinky metal thing. That was still cool.

We stopped at Joseph Canyon Overlook. We’ve not been there for ages–I think it was after the fires of 1986. This is also the area where the upcoming Andrews Ranch (better title forthcoming!) is set.


And then we reached Enterprise and Farpoint, to discover that despite what we thought, the contractor had installed all of the windows. Even better, he had been able to get a full greenhouse window into the kitchen window (he had thought he couldn’t get one that would be big enough).


I am soooo happy about this. The window shelf is glass instead of wire like the one in the Woodstock house. I can haz planz.

And because it’s required, a mountain view.


Other stuff happened, mostly pleasant. And then we were off to home and another week in the life. But my, this was such a pleasant five day trip in many ways.

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Back from Miscon

For a while there, I wasn’t certain that Miscon was going to happen, what with the complications of DS’s surgery and work stuff imploding around me.  But I got an airplane ticket instead of driving, DH stayed home with recuperating DS, and all worked out for the best.

This was a big year for Miscon.  Writer Guest of Honor was George R.R. Martin, which meant this little con in Missoula, Montana, exploded to be about 1500 attendees.  It worked out well and pleasantly so, nonetheless.   I know that Justin Barba and CthulhuBob as well as the rest of the fantastic Miscon staff worked their rears off (well, they still are, Monday’s the last day of Miscon).

Miscon is usually a bit of a relaxicon for me; a chance to unwind a little bit and anticipate the changes from school schedule to summer schedule.  There’s usually a pretty decent mix of small press writers and larger press writers and at least one opportunity for a dinner with other writers.  The SCA has a strong presence with sword-fighting demonstrations (this year they even brought a war horse) and classes.  Sunday afternoon there’s a BBQ on Ruby’s back lawn (Ruby’s is the con hotel and a very pleasant one setting, with the back lawn bordered by a lovely little creek).

I had some very fun and well-attended panels.  Several, like the Psychology of Evil panel, played to a packed room.  What really stood out was the interaction between the panel and the audience.  I don’t feel like the panelists dominated any of the panels I was on, but we had good interactions and participation from the audience.  Additionally I ended up chatting with several folks after each panel which was great.

Both Friday and Saturday night I ended up sitting in the coffee shop at Ruby’s and talking with friends into late hours.  We discovered a worthy competitor to The Eye of Argon in the purple prose category and had fun with the Corgi Attention Tribute Extraction Service.  And I met new friends as well as old friends.  Always good.

All in all, a pleasant and relaxing con.  I’m recharged and ready to get to work on writing now rather than waiting for two and a half weeks until school’s out.  Sweet.

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Back from San Francisco

Wow.  We finished the year with a whirlwind trip to San Francisco to watch Furthur and meet up with some friends.  Our hotel decoration was interesting, in a 50’s Atomic styling, complete with the colors.  Oh, and a chair from The Prisoner.

Americania hotel chair

Besides the music stuff, we walked around downtown and had lunch with friends.  On Friday, the expedition was to Maiden Lane, Union Square, and Chinatown.  I had lunch with Ann Wilkes and her lovely sister-in-law in Chinatown, then walked back to the hotel.  Everyone complained about the rain but it seemed like mist to me.  With really big mist droplets.

On Saturday, we met K.W. and Geri Jeter for lunch and had a great time of it.  We walked down to the Ferry Building, with many stops for me to take pictures.

I’m not sure why, but for some reason this trip it was all about urban architecture shots for me. I’d catch a skyline here, a profile there, various and sundry interesting shapes, or light on the skin of the skyscrapers.  I found myself chasing light and contrasts and, well, I did get some good shots…

Overall, it was a good and relaxing time.  I did some serious thinking about what I’m going to be doing, and I think I made some good choices.  We’ll see how things play out.

But the year-end summary is a different post entirely, and I’ve got stuff to be doing.

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