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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.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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25. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:47 PM GMT on August 12, 2014
joealaska has created a new entry.
24. Ylee
4:44 PM GMT on August 12, 2014
Maybe a red Rover would be a better tow vehicle?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
23. insideuk
9:46 AM GMT on August 12, 2014
Very sad to learn of the death of Robin Williams this morning. I was a huge fan of his (as well as that magic, much coveted, staircase from Mork and Mindy that I've mentioned before). From childhood he was one of those rare 'stars' that you could bank on to provide unmissable TV chat show moments. A mahoosive comic talent. An intelligent, articulate and thoughtful man who made me laugh until it hurt. And then a bit more.

The storm that was ex-Bertha had some welly left within her. These formally equatorial FISH storms have a unique character once they travel this far north, as unlike 'normal' bands of (unrelentingly wet and grey) low pressure systems, these have an odd alternating habit. You get a bout of exceedingly heavy rain, then a spell of bright sunshine, then severe winds gusting, then complete calm, then heavy cloud, then clear blue skies, then hail, then rain, then thunder and lightning, then severe winds again...and on it goes, with an ever changing and completely unpredictable nature.

Literally all four seasons on a spin cycle. You think its done but then it surprises you. Again. And again. It's still blowing a gale out there now...on occasion.

It certainly caused some flash flooding, a few trees came down. A gazillion campsite tents failed to keep their occupants dry. It spawned a tornado that did some serious damage to a relatively small area in Hull, a town on the north east coast of England. Bertha's eventual path crossed virtually the entire country, and even in northern Scotland it has closed many roads due to storm surge flooding in coastal areas, with landslips, trees down and roads collapsing inland. This would not have been a good week to be driving the remote tracks up there, but who goes away in mid August anyway?

Roll on October...

I'll be staying in a place elevated almost a whole foot above the beach, right on the shoreline. Very close to where the roads have been closed due to sea walls over-topping this week. Can't wait!

I watched the video Joseph.

I don't believe I've ever felt so sorry for a cars suspension system. I suspect Red Rover's namesake was much happier bouncing along on the rocky planet Mars.

I swear I could hear bolts coming loose.

No huge surprise.

The nut has been loose since the 4th of June.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. dotmom
10:26 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Need the commentary right with the video!
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21. joealaska
8:23 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
New video on YouTube...

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20. dotmom
6:35 PM GMT on August 10, 2014
Well Arbie, you have a point. but if one person has a misstep (misspedal?) he/she could take down a whole lot of people. I'm looking for a different sport! Horseshoes anyone?
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19. Arbie
3:42 PM GMT on August 10, 2014
Yea I don't know if I could ride like that. Although I suppose you get used to it just like driving a car in city traffic.
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18. dotmom
1:08 AM GMT on August 10, 2014
Arbie: I enjoyed the ride through Poland but I was afraid the whole time. The bikes were too close for comfort!!!
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17. Arbie
2:19 PM GMT on August 09, 2014
Wow, didn't know about those big fish out in Idaho. That would be kind of scary to come nose to nose with one of those while swimming in the river.

I found a really nice film by Euro sports showing the race UK was talking about. It's a 15 minute film that shows highlights, zooming around from close ups to countryside views, and includes some of the storm.

Link to Tour of Poland Stage 1
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16. insideuk
10:43 AM GMT on August 09, 2014
I'd call that a shark if I saw it.

Seems those big dams aren't helping the mahoosive fishies much. The reason the POWER BIOLOGISTS (a title which conjures up delightful images of superhero scientists in brightly coloured capes) have to go catch and tag the sturgeon is because whole populations have been landlocked by the hydroelectric work. The rising water levels destroy low water habitats used for breeding and changes feeding habits, as well as their behaviour. In 2008 a “sturgeon ball” formed as 60,000 fish gathered together beneath the Bonneville Dam.

One wonders, given their growth, if the power companies didn't just try and solve some issues by building a swim thru fish food diner? A DAM DECK that suddenly became very popular?

In Pitlochry, in Scotland, a hydroelectric company built a salmon ladder, consisting of 34 separate pools – each rising by 1.6ft. I've been there to watch the jumpy salmon climb their way past the dam during breeding season. I think the POWER BIOLOGISTS are going to have to create a method of safe passage for some mighty big fishies. I like the idea of a giant fishy escalator.

I'd travel to see that.

Or wait for Ylee to get the webcam up on his blog...

Ex- Hurricane Bertha continues to show every sign of beefing up and whacking into the British Isles around dawn on Sunday. Apparently the pressure readings are getting very close to the same as were found in the garden fence destroying St Judes day storm last year. Her track is still difficult to predict – we are being told that her ex-tropical moisture makes her unstable, and in turn deeply unpredictable. But the MET office have this morning chanced their hands at a forecast which showed her spinning directly across the midlands. She is certainly going to give me a VERY wet Sunday and a blustery few days – quite autumnal forecasts for early August.

Hope the dam deck stays down.
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15. DHaupt
7:48 AM GMT on August 09, 2014
White Sturgeon Wiki
The third largest sturgeon: record weight of nearly 1800 lbs.

Here's Jeremy Wade with a 300 lb. young adult.

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14. Ylee
4:58 AM GMT on August 09, 2014
I know some Sturgeons, but I don't think any of them weigh 450 pounds.... :' )
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13. cybersuze
9:39 PM GMT on August 08, 2014
You are correct, DHaupt, that one was caught and released! They are really cool fish, and tasty too! there's a cafe near Hagerman, Idaho that serves up a nice sturgeon sandwich (I believe from farmed fish). And their caviar is supposed to be tasty, but a bit pricey for me. I can just see UK wrestling that fish into a stockpot, or maybe setting it on the barbecue!
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12. dotmom
11:31 AM GMT on August 08, 2014
There's where the fire came from. That is one big campfire for cooking. Got out of hand!

God has chosen to rain on our parade today. Much rain this morning in the Louisville area causing a delay of play in the PGA. Lots of standing water on the fairways. When it stops raining, it is going to take a bit of time for everything to dry out before play resumes. Sure glad I am not out there volunteering today. A good day to sit in the easy chair and watch (I am off to play Bunco with the girls today) but that will come later.

As the old saying goes - Keep your powder dry!
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11. DHaupt
9:48 AM GMT on August 08, 2014
Read all about it: Idaho Power crews land giant sturgeon

I was certain that the fish was professionally caught and released unharmed. Jeremy Wade did a very nice episode of River Monsters about the White Sturgeon. They can grow much bigger than this one. This one was a little 75 year-old lady. She can easily double her size and age.
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10. insideuk
5:48 AM GMT on August 08, 2014
Well, a 450lb sturgeon would take some cooking...
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9. joealaska
3:36 AM GMT on August 08, 2014
Did the sturgeon cause the fire? Just does not make sense!!
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8. cybersuze
3:00 AM GMT on August 08, 2014
Just wan to let you know lots of news around Grangeville since you left -- some biologists caught something like a 450 lb,. 10 foot sturgeon near Hells Canyon, and there have been some wild fires creeping about. Read all about it at the Idaho Statesman.
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7. dotmom
4:48 PM GMT on August 07, 2014
UK: Oh yes, we do have random drug testing for our golfers (which I did not know before this year) because a young man - Dustin Johnson - has been suspended for - I believe 6 months - to get himself back together.

Sounds like the weather in Poland was something else - but for some of these young athletes - the show must go on - no matter. Hey, when your 22 - you can move mountains. The weather here in KY today is cooperating for the PGA at Valhalla. Tomorrow might be another story - some of that Polish weather might be coming our way! :( It is all a wait and see - sprinkles - we keep playing - lightening - time to head for the clubhouse!

Haven't had any calls needing our assistance with the ropes at Valhalla, but you might be right you know about the Tiger. He should have been on a short leash!!!
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6. insideuk
3:42 PM GMT on August 07, 2014
Last Sunday I was watching a cycle road race in Poland when a huge storm suddenly blew in, the winds started to gust causing several riders to crash. Then the golf ball sized hail began and thumped bruises into the near naked skinny men, in headwinds that brought them to near standstill whilst still pedalling hard. Next minute a huge tree blew down across most of the road right in front of the lead group. The tree lined street saw big hail damage which covered the road in sharp foliage debris that caused multiple tyre punctures, as well as huge pools of ice. Air temperatures went from 34c (93f) down to 16c (60f) within minutes.

The Polish crowds held firm in shorts and vest tops. Hard as nails they are.

The next 40km of race, all the way to the finish, saw the poor guys struggle to stay on their bikes on sharp cornered laps of greasy, wet city street surfaces. The smooth paved road became as slick as sheet ice and over half the competitors crashed – most sliding several yards across the road before coming to a stop. We are talking serious road rash. Some ended up underneath parked articulated trucks that had unbelievably been used as makeshift road closure barriers. I have never seen so much damage done to so many in such a short space of time. Crazy weather.

The next day a huge inflatable (race distance marker) bridge that spanned the entire 3 lanes of road decided to burst and flap around loosely just seconds before the entire group of cyclists reached it. They all hit the brakes in unison and stayed remarkably upright, despite all riding 2 inches apart. Simultaneously the Polish crowds jumped into action and wrestled the giant deflatable to the ground and ran with it. It was most fortunate that these brave volunteers all ran in the same direction. The alternative would have seen a hundred skinny near naked men on bicycles catapulted back from whence they came.

All right, I admit it.

Part of me was a little disappointed it didn't happen that way...

But now I read I may have the excitement of watching to see if Tiger snaps in two at the PGA tournament. I can hardly believe he is going to attempt it after apparently requiring 'a bone to be popped back into place' after Sundays tumble in the sand. What the hell have they dosed him up on?

Do they have doping tests at golf tournaments?

He could be almost as daft in the head as a pro road cyclist. They may have lots in common.

Though unlike in Poland with the deflatable bridge incident, in golf it appears you could get pinged backwards off a Dotmom/ JoeKY rope hold! Nice work! (if only Mrs Woods had paid you two to guard the players in the cocktail lounge, it could have all ended so differently for Tiger).

This weekend I have ex-hurricane Bertha bearing down upon me. She relaxed to a tropical storm and then an ex-tropical storm off Canada, but there is now a 30 to 40% chance that she will nose northwards into the Atlantic jet stream and form friendships with mean doped up cloudage that could turn nasty on a whim.

Bertha could turn into a mahoosive tree stripper by Sunday.

We shall see what track she takes. It could all yet be a damp squib.

Far more dangerous things can happen when you least expect it.


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5. Arbie
12:24 PM GMT on August 07, 2014
I vote stay and enjoy the number one place a short while.

I actually managed to see the end of the Bridgestone tournament while in Ohio, on TV, along with a number of Indians games.

Dotmom, I got the wundermail. It's not real easy to use. I just haven't gotten around to talking to the nieces yet. Will be funny if our extended families kind of know each other. Although Wadsworth is not that small. We'll see.

I'm curious to see what a sand green looks like.
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4. dotmom
2:44 AM GMT on August 07, 2014
Ylee, in response to your comment on the last blog: There was that one incident - no "quiet" sign, but JoeKY and I were "minding the ropes" and keeping people where they were supposed to be when this woman tried going under our taut rope. We jerked on it a couple of times and yelled that she couldn't do that. Someone close by said - oh, that is Jack Nicklauses' wife. Needless to say, we quickly apologized profusely and allowed her under the ropes to follow Jack. After he had teed off on that next hole, she came back and apologized to us for going under the rope and she understood we were just doing our job. She was super nice and it all made a nice memory.
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3. dotmom
1:24 AM GMT on August 07, 2014
Let's make it 2 and 0! I say stay! Watch the golf. Guess Tiger is going to try it!
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2. joealaska
1:09 AM GMT on August 07, 2014
Got it Cyber. 1 FOR. 0 AGAINST.

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1. cybersuze
12:38 AM GMT on August 07, 2014
I say, stay! You found something you like, nice hosts, and cat people to boot! Why not just relax for awhile! Enjoy the view, enjoy the golf.
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About joealaska

I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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