Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day and tales of an Army convoy

Location, Yakima, WA

Happy Fathers Day to any fathers who may read this.

We spent several hours yesterday in Sisters, OR.  Why is it called Sisters you may ask?  It is named after three mountain peaks located west of town. The peaks are called North, Middle, and South Sister or also called Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Sisters is located about 18 miles northwest of Bend, OR and is the MECCA for any quilters who live in the west as Paducah, KY is for those in the east. Next weekend is the big Quilt Show when about 1300 quilts are displayed around town. Don’t even think about coming unless you have had a reservation somewhere in the area for at least the last year.

As we approached the town we came across signs saying SLOW – EVENT AHEAD and traffic increased proportionally. What the heck… the Quilt Show isn’t until next weekend. The main cause was a PRCA sanctioned rodeo held a few miles before entering town. The streets in town were jammed as were the sidewalks. We found out later that they had just finished with a parade through town. As we slowly drove through Clyda spotted a quilt shop, our main reason for visiting, so I turned down a side street and found a place to park the truck in the lot of a closed store.
  Rodeo parking.

The main street had recently been paved and new sidewalks have been put in but not completed. They really make the town look spiffy.
  Side walks.

Clyda headed to the quilt shop while I decided to stay outside and sit on a bench. Bad idea, as the wind was cold, so I moved around the corner out of the wind and in the sun which was much better.

Quilt store.

Quilts painted on side of building.

Clyda eventually came out and we wandered the streets looking at touristy shops of which there are plenty. We ate lunch in a nice café with good food, in fact so good that I took half my meatloaf sandwich back to the RV and had it for dinner last night. 

Cinderellas Coach (a metal sculpture).

We also stopped at the town park where an art and craft show was set up. It didn’t take us long to peruse the whole event and we did not buy anything.

Today was moving day for all the RV’s at the Bend Elks Club as tomorrow the parking lot will be recoated. Most had left by 9 AM when we pulled out.

We had a leisurely drive north on Hwy 97 to Biggs which is on the Oregon side of the Columbia River where we pulled into a truck parking area behind a gas station to have lunch. As we pulled out of the lot I noticed an Army convoy coming from the east and as we crossed Hwy 84, the Columbia River highway, there was another convoy coming from the west. Highway 97 climbs a very steep hill on the Washington side and comes to a stop sign at Washington Highway 14. Part of the convoy was stopped at the stop sign while waiting for cross traffic. I put the truck into low gear so as to make the final climb to the stop sign then proceeded west about ¼ mile where Hwy 97 turns north again and climbs another steep hill. Of course the small convoy of army vehicles was ahead of us doing about 40 MPH. As we climbed I saw in my rear view mirror that all the rest of the convoy from Hwy 84 had now caught up to us along with a lot of cars and trucks. The convoy speed varied from 30 to 50 MPH but mainly traveled at 40 MPH. There are a few passing lanes but for the next hour or so I only managed to pass two of the Army vehicles. We traveled this way as a very long convoy of Army vehicles, cars, and trucks for 60 miles until we got to Toppenish, WA where the Army went one way and we went another.

Crossing the Columbia River at Biggs, OR

Our view for 60 miles.

Tonight we are camped at another Elks club in Selah, WA out side of Yakima but this time we are on grass under the trees with lots of room around us. It is also an Elks owned golf course and we are camped near the driving range. There are about 20 sites but only four are occupied. The weather has warmed up a little but still cool when the wind blows. 

Selah Elks Club camping.
 View of the camping sites