ARIZONA TO ALASKA

CUT BANK

By: joealaska, 5:02 PM GMT on August 26, 2014

The ride to Cut Bank was uneventful, which is a good thing. A direct route was not available. I drove along Flathead Lake for the first time, on the west side. My favorite road RT 93. Into Columbia Falls, then east on RT 2. Past Glacier Park (did that many years ago, will have to wait for a second visit for now). There were huge mountains all around, yet the road was not so much up and down. Suddenly we popped out of the trees in the high desert of Montana.

Coming into Cut Bank I was wondering if I made a good decision to stay a week. Especially driving through town into the RV Park. But it is all good. Mike the owner was great during his welcome routine. He made it clear he wanted me, and all of the guests, to have a good time.

The park is located up on a bluff (it is already windy here) overlooking Cut Bank Creek. The creek has cut a mini-canyon behind the RV park, and the river is about 50 feet below. It is more a river than a creek. Wild life includes marmots and the occasional mountain lion, especially right above the river on the banks. Guess where Dutchie has been hanging out? Marmots and lions are not good with kitties.

The camp sits above an overnight camp site of Lewis and Clark in 1806. Maybe 10 miles west of here there is a sign talking about CAMP DISAPPOINTMENT, named by Lewis and Clark due to that being the farthest north they would travel. Weather was a factor, with winter moving in. They also were looking for the headwaters of certain rivers, which would expand the area of the Louisiana Purchase. They were hoping they could expand northward, but the headwaters were to the west at that point.

Below the bluff I am on is RT 2 as it comes into town from the west. Not really a noise factor. Across RT 2 is a train trestle that goes over the river valley, rising a couple hundred feet or so. Many trains come though. I can still hear them, but they are much quieter than THOMPSON FALLS. The bluff is covered with odd rocks. I was told they are simply sandstone weathering away with wind and rain. A couple hundred feet from where I sit is a statue of Jesus and a cross that welcome people coming into town. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation borders the west edge of town.

One golf course is in sight from where I sit. Another is about 20 miles southwest, along I-15. Heading out to check out the general area.

Had a great sunset last night, as I have the perfect view for that.

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SPRAG POLE CAT FIGHT

By: joealaska, 6:56 PM GMT on August 23, 2014

The trains stopped rolling last night for some reason (whistle is blowing right now for another one coming thru) with no early morning horns until 10 AM. Now THAT is more like it. Too bad it is probably temporary. I have heard that many nicer RV parks have a train nearby, probably because it makes the land cost less. I know there is another train nearby in Cut Bank, but I am assured it is a whistle off in the distance versus one shoved down your throat.

A couple days ago I took a ride over Thompson Pass just west of here to see the famous SPRAG POLE INN and MUSEUM. It is in the small town of Murray, which I did not realize was across the border and back in Idaho. Thompson Pass was a bit disappointing, not like most mountain passes. You could do 60 mph on it most of the time, only a few sharp curves. All of it paved.

Murray was another old gold mine boom town that busted like most others. (Another train now going by…) A couple of bars, and maybe 20 houses. SPRAG POLE is an additional pole used to support awnings during the winter that become overloaded with snow. Just stick it between the roof and ground when it is obvious it is needed. I went inside and there was one table occupied by a couple of people.

I sat down and was ready for some lunch, as one of the camp hosts had told me the food was good. The other table finished up and left, so I was the only one there. Still, it took a few minutes before they came and took my order. I ordered a half rack of ribs, after the waitress could not actually recommend any thing specific. "It's ALL good!" It was OK, kinda warm. I watched a preseason NFL game REPLAY they had going, until they turned it off and put on some country music. I was watching the game, but they just turned it off without asking me if I was watching. Preseason NFL? Not real exciting, but it was the first sports I had seen in a while.

Yesterday I drove 20 miles east to PLAINS, Montana, where I played my 691st golf course, Wild Horse. Nine hole course, played it twice. High tension power lines went across the course, and the lines were in play on most of the holes. I hit one of the lines on #8. The rule is, anything hitting wires or towers MUST be re-played with no penalty, even if you liked the result. With me, the shot was looking good until it hit the wire. Still, I had a few good shots. Had a conversation with a ground keeper who was asking me where I was from and what was I seeing as I traveled. He wanted to watch me hit, which I hate, as I will always screw up the shot. Which I did. Old Unreliable.

Last night we had some Dutchie action. It was around 9 or 9:30, just having gotten dark. It was just about time to get her inside for the night, but she was still out under the RV. Suddenly the quiet was shattered with her famous cat screams. She was in a fight with something, I could hear them rolling around and banging into things. Then it moved to under my car. I was out in a second, yelling and making noise to scare WHATEVER away. It worked, something about the size of a cat ran off into the night.

Dutchie was back inside in a few seconds, and I saw she was bleeding from her back right paw. I cleaned her up best as I could. She wanted to do it herself. I wanted to get a close look and feel. It seemed minor, but bled for a while. She wanted to go back out in about an hour, but it was NO. She usually does that, wanting a late walk outside. But when I say NO she gives up pretty quick and goes to sleep. This morning I checked her out. It was bleeding a little, probably from her licking at it. But it looks OK, and I do not see much of a limp, if any at all.

Normally she is out most of the morning and afternoon. Today she went out for a short while, but is now favoring the inside life. She just went back into the bedroom and is curled up on my pillow. Normally this indicates a long nap.

Today I plan on taking a forest road up to the top of a nearby mountain hopefully where there are some views.

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THOMPSON FALLS, MONTANA

By: joealaska, 2:36 AM GMT on August 21, 2014

Monday morning I was getting ready to leave Metaline. The day before I noted there was a camper parked behind me. This had not been the case since I arrived. So now I had to move the RV to get the tow dolly accessible. Not a big deal, and it was done.

Then Tori came up and I wanted to thank her for the nice experience. A great camping experience. Easy, no pressure attitude. No page of rules. They have been there for many years, and I met several campers who were always returning often with groups. Seems like a nice business.

But I finally (OK, had to pull out the BIG ROAD MAP for Tori, and that took some time) got on the road. I headed south to Newport, then turned east to Sandpoint. I was on RT 2 for a while. Then I headed southeast on RT 200. It started out bad with road construction. Stop and sit road construction. Locals making u-turns road construction. When it finally got moving the speed limit was 45 mph for many miles, due to possible road construction at any moment.

But the scenery was spectacular. Water off to my right turned from the omnipresent river turned to a huge lake or reservoir, at some point called Lake Pend Oreille with some big islands here and there. Bigger than I expected, wide expanses of water and a few boats. Finally the road opened up, with a 70 mph limit. I hung around 60 or just under.

The only other issue was a few hundred bikers riding along RT 200, which has very little off of the actual lane to ride on. So I was always having to go into the other lane to go around, only to find another pack a quarter mile down the road. And REPEAT. This was a surprisingly busy road, so as I was trying to pass there was usually some car or cars coming the other direction very fast.

But generally it was all good.

Now I am in Birdland RV in Thompson Falls, Montana. Still a smaller town, but not like the recent places I have been. It is very nice here, with nice campsites separated by 75 by 50 foot areas of natural forest. Perfect for Dutchie.

Then there are the trains. I read somewhere there were around 4 trains during the day and a couple at night. More like a dozen in 24 hours FLASH BAZBO. There are a couple at night, around midnight, then that 5:03 AM bad boy. They hit the horns at the closest possible position to my ear. Still, it is not that bad, unless I was working and needing quality ZZZs.

Yesterday I went to play my 690th golf course played. Rivers Bend. I could walk to it. Nine holes carved out of 100 foot tall pines. Nice condition. Small yet sloping greens. Buncha deer. I checked weather radar before I left, just to do it. It looked fine out the window. The radar showed nothing except a couple widely scattered small storms.

When I got there a guy I did not know asked me what I knew about those clouds coming over the mountain. I told him I checked radar recently and we are GO. He went ahead of me, and all was well for three holes. At that point I heard thunder coming from THOSE clouds, and I saw rainfall coming from the clouds still off in the distance. I called up to him (and his wife) that I saw rain coming. He said he would play one more hole and make a decision. That hole took him to the farthest point from the clubhouse.

He went on, and I followed. The squall front came through and wind was whipping. I was on the tee and decided to hit one more shot and see what happened. I striped a nice drive for the first time of the day, then the air horns were blasting. The lady in the pro shop was warning golfers of lightning. She blasted the horn again. No problem, as I was just a hundred yards away from the clubhouse, versus that guy and his wife now about 600 yards out. I even was able to ride out and grab my ball and return to the safety of the clubhouse, just as the rain came. And it came in SHEETS, along with a lot of lightning and thunder.

I waited with a lot of other folk as the rain slowly stopped. But the course was saturated, and I took the offer of the rain check. I could return and play nine. I did that today, and played pretty badly.

Right now I am outside with the iMac and Dutchie as the sun goes down. Last night the rain returned. A nice storm came in late night night and lasted most of the night. One of the local guys said the rain is unusual, but that is mainly what I have seen since I got here.

I have been watching a guy and lady set up there camp near me. It is a pickup truck that has a platform above the trucks bed and cabin, on stilts. On that platform is a typical tent. It is about 8 feet off the ground, and looks like it belongs ON the ground. Will post pictures.

Debating about driving 2 hours to Spokane and getting a TV setup, or hold off. Labor Day is approaching, need to make some plans. This place right now is perfect, except for no TV for a month…

The sandals are staying.

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AGAIN WITH THE MONTANA

By: joealaska, 5:45 PM GMT on August 19, 2014

Still having trouble uploading photos. There is a new page that starts OK and then it just stops. I found a way around it, but I have to load a photo, get out, get back in, and load another. So not a lot of photos lately.

Sunday was the first day in a few that looked sunny and warm. Bruce my buddy had been concerned about cold water temperatures. I may die 30 different ways, but I do not see drowning as one. Still, Bruce knocked on my screen door and said KAY? I responded YAK.

Even though I had charcoal burning, we were on our way in 45 minutes. We headed for SULLIVAN LAKE a few miles away. He had a friend who had a couple kayaks tied up on shore. We got them untied and stumbled on slick rock and 3 feet of water on shore to get to a much shallow stretch where we could get in. We took it slow and steady, as it was obvious stability was not a high priority with these boats. I got in with no problem, even though I could see one bad move would be an issue. Suddenly I was headed out on the open water of a lake maybe one mile wide by 5 miles long. We were not slowed down by any of that training crap…

We stayed near shore, but maybe a few hundred feet or so. It was overcast and dead cam at first. The paddling was easy, but it took a while to keep a straight course. I did feel it was a constant job in maintaining balance. I could see someone rolling over with little cause.

But it was lazy ride today. I could get a little speed going and coast for 30 seconds. The water was crystal clear and I could see the bottom 30 feet below. Along one stretch of beach we saw about 10 golf balls down below us. What crazy person would do this?

We crossed the entire lake at its northern tip, where the swimming beaches were. Then we came back. The wind did pick up a bit, and the smooth surface was made choppy.

It lasted less than two hours, but I was happy. Oh, I did have my cell phone in my pockets, and they were wet right away. I heard some frantic beeping at one point, and it was a job getting my phone out of wet tight short pants pockets. That balancing thing and all. But she seems to have made it OK, after 2 days of drying out. The inside screen did not come back until a day later. Will test it later today by calling home.

A couple days ago I was talking to HARRY, a nice guy camping out next to me. He and his wife are up there in years, and he is looking pretty frail. Cannot hear very good either. His wife seems to be picking up the slack. Setting up an RV is not rocket science, but there is some physical work involved.

I was talking to him and babbling on about something, and he is facing me and my RV is behind me. In my mid sentence his eyes bugged out and he yells THAT CAT WENT THROUGH YOUR DOOR! He did not know about Dutchie, so I am sure he was surprised to see her break into LEGGS. The scree door has a handle that works from both sides via a port in the screening. It is about 10" by 10" with a sliding hatch door that can be closed to keep out the bugs, or opened to use the handle from the other side. Often this hatch is just left open, and Dutchie has LEARNED. Early in the trip she figured how to get out through it. From the inside steps leading out the door, she just hops out having to go up about 2 feet, through the hatch on the fly, then dropping down to the ground about 4 feet. I still have not seen her actually do it. Must be impressive. To come back in she just climbs up the screen and wiggles in. Which is what HARRY saw. I have learned to shut that hatch all the time now. I still catch Dutchie on one side of that door or another checking to see if HER DOOR is open up top.

Poor Harry.

We are in Thompson Falls, Montana now. Another great campsite. More later, looking at playing course #690 today, BLUE SLIDE.

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KAYAKIN' POTENTIAL

By: joealaska, 12:52 AM GMT on August 15, 2014

Monday I will leave Metaline and head south to RT 2 EAST. Into Idaho and Sandpoint. I catch RT 200 and meander southeast into Montana. On the way I pass PONDERAY, ID which is the phonetic spelling of PEND OREILLE. I like it. It will take about 3.5 hours to get to THOMPSON FALLS, Montana, where I have booked a week for camping. Still in the mountains and high trees, but close to the wide open spaces that I want to see. That will be the next stop.

Bruce, the RV camp owner, has buddied up to me a bit. He probably is not used to single guys coming through, and he wants me to see the good stuff. Today he came up and asked if I wanted to play golf at the little course here in town that has the sand greens. I said OK, but we soon had to call it off as rain moved in. Steady rain for the first time in a long time, and it lasted most of the day. Then it stopped late afternoon and the sun is out - beautiful!

Yesterday he suggested we take a ride up to Washington Rock. I had been driving by it every day since I arrived. It is an impressive hunk of rock right by the road between Metaline and Metaline Falls. Right by the river. It has a name, but there are many other rock cliffs around here I am sure un-named. As Bruce drove up the main road he told me his son had rappelled down the cliff with a small crowd watching from below. Including mom. Now that son is on a submarine based out of Hawaii. We pulled off into what looked like a field, but there was a small road that appeared at the edge of the trees. It was a very primitive road, 4 wheel only. Up a steep hill where we parked and had to walk a bit. Suddenly we popped out on the bluff with wide open views of the two nearby towns and the river. I took a couple pictures, but Bruce said we should still walk to the "top." Oh yeah. It was a fairly flat spot that had a rounded lip down to HELL. Best view by far of the area.

Bruce told me about Metaline and surrounding areas being the site for most filming of the movie THE POSTMAN, starring Kevin Costner and musician / actor for a day Tom Petty. It has been some years since it was filmed. The majority of the production folk stayed at this very RV park I am in. The stars had there own big trailers somewhere else nearby. Bruce had a chance to meet the big stars. The RV park was busy for a couple months with pre-production crews, then production crews, then cleanup people coming in to remove all the staging that was done. The movie is a bit obscure, but I did see it and it was pretty good. Now I want to watch it again to try to catch the local stuff used. Boundary Dam, about 12 miles north on the border, was used for a lot of the filming. Many old buildings in Metaline Falls also were there. Check it out.

Later in the day I went north to the border and checked out Boundary Dam for the 2nd time. I went to the lookout above the dam that gives a different perspective. The only view was a bit restricted. The other time I drove to the dam itself, but from that angle it is hard to see. I still plan on seeing the inside of the dam via a tour.

A couple days ago I was driving south toward Ione when I saw a motorcycle coming toward me and driving erratically. He seemed to be swerving as he was looking under his bike for something. I went on around a curve and saw a lump off to the side of the road. It was a small deer, and I was going by it started to move a bit. It was off the main road, and I kept going not sure what to do. What could I? Besides, it was a narrow curving road where there was nowhere to easily pull over. But I wanted to do something. I went on a couple miles and bought a part I needed for the RV, then came back. If the deer was still there I would at least try to get it further away from the road. But it was gone. I guess it was grazed by that motorcycle and was stunned.

Bruce is talking up kayaking tomorrow on the river. He knows someone who has a couple which we could borrow. Could be interesting.

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MCILROY AND MAGGOTS

By: joealaska, 5:47 PM GMT on August 12, 2014

I spent most of the weekend watching The PGA tournament from Louisville. Rory Mcilroy (not ROY MCAVOY, who was in Tin Cup) proved he is the best in golf, winning 3 in a row including 2 majors. Still, Tiger got a lot of headlines. I cannot believe he is still a probable player in The Ryder Cup. OK, enough golf chat.

Almost. Yesterday I played The Mine Nine, AKA Pend Oreille Golf Course, for a second time. The first time I did not know how to handle the sand greens. Then it occurred to me I do not know how to handle the grassy ones either. So I relaxed and did better. Yes, they are slower than grass, but not that much. It was very hot yesterday, and nine holes was enough for me. Earlier in the day I drove 10 miles south to IONE and tried to play SERENDIPITY GOLF COURSE. I thought it would be wide open, after going by Saturday and seeing NOBODY playing. WRONG. Maybe 4 groups on the 9 hole layout, with a FIVESOME just going out. So I went back to Metaline Falls and hit the short 9. It costs two dollars. You put the cash in an envelope and put it in the slot. Honor system.

I think this is probably the best campground I have been to on this trip. The owners are very good, Tory and Bruce. While there are a few signs posted here and there, there are not the full page of fine print I have seen elsewhere. More laid back here. On Saturday, Bruce asked me if I wanted to take a ride on his weekly dump run. There is no garbage pick up here, so Bruce has a small trailer parked where we throw our bagged trash in for disposal. He drives down to Ione where there is a station he can get rid of the trash. I went with him, prepared to lend a hand unloading. But he did not need it, pulling out a big rake which he used to drag the junk out. I just sat back and watched, then we went by the local car wash where he power washed the whole trailer until it was maggotless.

I have taken both routes north that take you to the Canadian Border. The second route goes to Boundary Dam on The Pend Oreille River. South of Metaline is Box Canyon Dam, which I posted a photo recently. The river moves very slowly, and is pretty shallow. Perfect for lazy float trips.

Last night it actually rained. Later today, and on through the next few days, there is a good chance of thunderstorms coming through. Fire danger is HIGH now, with the lightning expected to start more fires. Washington has been burning for a while now. There is a big fire just south of Lewiston, Idaho along the Snake River. Then another fire north of Keller where I drove through a week ago continues to burn. There was smoke here a couple days.

Monday I head on out again, tentative plans are to find somewhere in Montana between Missoula and Kalispell. Needing to get back to wide open vistas.

Nanu Nanu.

Updated: 6:16 PM GMT on August 12, 2014

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METALINE, WASHINGTON

By: joealaska, 9:21 PM GMT on August 06, 2014

Sunday was my last day in Grand Coulee. I went back to Wilbur and played 9 holes to use my rain check I got from the day before. The storm that came through Saturday did some major damage near Spokane. Big trees knocked down on buildings north of town. But Sunday was very nice. The guy at the golf course told me I could play 18 if I wanted, but the place was pretty crowded and I stopped after 9. I went back and took one more look around town and the dam. I walked across the bridge that offered a perfect view of Grand Coulee Dam. Every 20 feet or so there was a historical photo of work being done on the dam, very interesting. Coming back there were many displays of the geology that was encountered as the dam was built. Finally I went up to the lookout built up on the mountain above the dam, which offered the best views of the general area.

Next morning the cats and I hit the road. We backtracked once more thru Wilbur, and east on RT 2 towards Spokane. But at Creston we headed north along Lake Roosevelt, which used to be The Columbia River. I thought there would be many views of the lake during the ride, but of the 150 miles or so, only 20 miles or so were in sight of the water. There were sections of the road that were narrow and winding, up and down. It was 45-50 mph the whole way, at the most. At one point they were striping the road, and a truck made us go very slow behind it to allow the paint to dry. I guess that is why my right tires are white in the treads, and parts of the tow dolly and mud flaps are splashed white. Huh.

At Kettle Falls we cut east to downtown TIGER, then north for a few miles. METALINE. On The Pend Oreille ("pond erAY") River. Very small town. One quick market that sells gas and a few snack foods. The Border Patrol Office. A few houses, and that is about it. Head north and there is a sign "Metaline Falls 1/2 MI."

Metaline Falls is much bigger, but still tiny. There is a food store there and it is OK. There is also a golf course. I saw the sign and went to check it out, but could not find it. I did hear about it. It is 9 holes and has sand greens. Sand greens are cheap and usually seen in small small towns. I have never played on them, but probably will today. I also drove 14 miles north to the border crossing, just to see what was there. Not much. Some forest roads looked inviting. Then I headed back and took the road to Sullivan Lake. Further down I hit the road I came in near Ione. I went by the other golf course in the area, which was outside of Ione. A 9 hole executive course, which means a shorter course with only Par 3s and Par 4s. No 5s. But it looked pretty nice. The owner was there andI talked to her. She said her husband built the course then died soon after. I will return.

The campground is pretty nice, one of the best if not #1. The owner I have met is very nice. A cat person with a couple cats also. She is aware Dutchie is cruising. Today I saw when Dutchie and her main outdoor cat finally met. Dutchie was digging at a small hole in the owners garage door and did not see the other cat walking up. I saw it all happening. The other cat approached along a wall that completely hid her until just as she came to Dutchie around the corner. Dutchie looked back and that cat was right in her face. So Dutchie immediately rolled back on her back and posed. That will usually do it, I guess. But I broke it up and Dutchie bravely ran back to Leggs. The territory has been re-established, and Dutchie knows to stay closer to home. We will see.

Meanwhile, I am considering staying a second week already. It is warm here, not hot. Breezy today. Nice. Some permanent residents here, and just me right now. Grass everywhere, plenty of room for everyone. QUIET. No busy roads.

And I have TV, which means I can see some of the PGA tournament in Louisville the next 4 days.

Life is good.

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WILBUR

By: joealaska, 4:59 AM GMT on August 04, 2014

Yesterday I drove SE to metro WILBUR where the Big Bend Golf Club exists. The typical small town course was just 9 holes. But it was in good shape and had some nice greens. The young guy at the counter was pretty cool and we chatted a while. He seemed to be treating me very well, something I notice right away.

He told me the course was fairly open. A twosome had just teed off as I came in. Counter Guy told me there was another threesome ahead of us all, and that the twosome would be catching them soon. If I knew how informal the course was, and the specific layout, I would have just started on #7, right there by the clubhouse. The one problem with 9 hole courses is, IF you want to play 18, after you finish 9 holes, you go back and start again. OK. Most decent 9 hole courses have 2 different sets of tees. So when you play the "back" nine, the holes are different, with different yardage and usually a bit different shape. Sometimes a par 4 becomes a par 5. This place had that, too.

But when you finish #9 and ride up to the #1 / #10 tee area, there are 3 groups ahead. 2 playing their BACK nine, and one starting as #1. It does not matter, either way I am waiting. One course I know in Louisville gave priority to the groups coming through on their 2nd nine. There could be 6 balls in the rack and here we come on #10 and walk ahead of them all. It usually brought a snide comment or three, but in a couple hours those same A-holes would be coming down to #10 themselves…

BUT! I hit off #1 seeing that TWOSOMES had already run into THREESOME on #3. Bad news. Counter Guy thought they were fairly well ahead, in fact not so. I will say right now as a golfer, slow play sucks. It happens in many ways. I hate it, but you have to live with it. Or quit the game. Right now, I have NOWHERE I gotta be. I got time. I can deal with slow play more now than ever. But still there are points that are reached.

When there is nobody behind me, I have no problem at all. If I see the group is just ahead of me, I finish the ball I am playing. Then I pull out 3 more balls and throw them all off to a far corner of the green, and try to hit some long putts. I practice. I may go back a hundred yards and a hit a few shots at the flag. WHATEVER. YET, I keep up with the group ahead. Pushing them, actually.

Then there are THE EXCEPTIONS. Yesterday it was couple playing their Sunday game no matter what. And they caught up with another similar couple, plus one of their DADs. When they caught up with them on #2 they all knew each other and joined together.

The dreaded FIVESOME. ILLEGAL on most courses, maybe except some private places. Normally a single like myself just plays through as the mob of 5 waits. But not me. After doing so for many years, I am tired of screwing up just to hurry through. I am in no hurry, but now I am playing through another group?

Normally I try not to play through, I take FOREVER to play a hole. But now another groups shows up behind me, and I cannot screw around any more. This is no fun for me. WAIT WAIT WAIT, now HIT! So, if the group ahead is the only issue, I just drive around them and skip a hole. I miss a hole, but I can re-play that hole if I have a potential club record. Has not happened yet.

SO… yesterday I saw the fivesome ahead. I screwed around. Finally another group came from behind and I was pushed. The 5 ahead were pretty bad. I watched them, and they were in a fog. There was no sense of moving ahead.

That was when I noticed the clouds.

At first the sky got a deeper blue, then grayish. Clouds grew in the distance. HEY, I was in no hurry. But then I saw the wall of dust coming in. Been there, done that in Arizona. I knew time was short, and I drove through the fivesome and went ahead. I do not know if they even noticed. And I started playing better. OH, I still had bad shots, JUDAS! But I recovered.

The dust cloud kept coming. I knew there was a bit of time. I heard thunder. Never did see lightning.

The dust was a minute away when I teed off on #7, right by the clubhouse and hitting back out. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I blasted one down the middle (one of my couple of good drives of the round), and followed that up with another big hit to within 50 yards of the green on the par 5. As I hung over that short third shot the dust wall came through. Heavy at first, but it dropped off. Windy and dusty, but golfable. You just have to adapt.

I also knew the rain was coming. But right now it was dry and crazy. Mostly crazy with a good right to left wind. I tried to calm down and get balanced on the #8 Par 3. A tough hole WITHOUT the crosswind. A couple of balls later I quit and moved on. There were raindrops. No need to finish a potential record score.

It died down a hair, and I got a part of #18 in. Just when I arrived at the clubhouse the big rain hit. The guy who talked to me asked if all was OK, but the storm was kicking and I said NO PROBLEM.

I drove home in a good old fashioned hard rain. 20 miles. It stopped just when I got back. I called the course and asked if they took care of rain checks, free golf due to bad weather, He said YES.

Free golf today, Sunday. I was treated very well.

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METALINE MONDAY

By: joealaska, 7:53 PM GMT on August 02, 2014

So we made the trek from Palouse to Grand Coulee yesterday with no hitches. Just 148 miles. I ended up heading up to Spokane and heading west on I-90 / RT 2, the more standard route. It was the right decision. LEGGS is not great for the back roads. Besides a lot of curves and a narrow road, the first 45 minutes were on a road that made the RV do a lot of swaying left and right. Not fun going into a turn. If I took the route I originally considered, there would have been a lot more swaying.

It actually rained lightly a couple times on the way between Spokane and Grand Coulee. Even though I knew it was coming up, I passed the RV park just as I saw the sign. It was an adventure trying to turn around, dam and all. When I got back into it, it was a disappointment. Right by the road I came in on. It is very tight, with many permanent residents. (This usually means the neighborhood goes to hell.)

The hook ups are screwed up. Normally there is a standard set-up for a camp site layout. The plugs come out of all RVs in basically the same spot, rear left. The camp site should be ready for that common situation. Well, the site has all the hook-ups, just not where they oughta be. The only thing fine was the electric. Right in the correct spot. My water hoses 30 feet long and would not reach. I had to take down and move the RV 2 feet ahead, then reset the whole thing. The hose barely reaches. The coax cable for the TV is the worse. I have 25 feet, not even close. Went and bought a new cable of 50 feet.

The lady owner walks around like she is haunting the park. She won't look at you, hardly talks. But always there. Dutchie is in tight quarters. The road is right here, off the rear of my RV. There is a laundry room right in from of me, open to the public. It is a tight entry road for RVs coming in already, then the laundry folk need to park somewhere. Dutchie went out as usual. This morning when I picked her up she was full of chiggers. Took a while to cut them out, very deep in her fur.

Oh yeah, The Coulee Dam is not releasing water right now. Big Bummer. Last time I came through it was right after Christmas and the torrent coming out of that dam was awesome.

Hoping to play golf later today in WILBUR about 20 miles away.

So I made another search, and Monday I head to Metaline, Wa. Still in Washington, but CAREFUL. Step one way you are in British Columbia, step the other way, Idaho. I wanted north, and here it is.

Booked there for a week. Two golf courses nearby.

Updated: 9:22 PM GMT on August 06, 2014

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About joealaska

On June 4th I left Kentucky driving my RV known as Leggs. The trip is mostly unplanned, it will be interesting to see where I end up. Let's GO!