OUR LIFE ON WHEELS - Jerry and Suzy LeRoy travel blog

Kanaskat Palmer State Park, WA

Suzy at Flaming Geyser Flyers

Jerry meets with Dave Temby and the Flyers

Green River Gorge

Green River Gorge

We're visiting Suzy's Cousins Kevin and Sharon Gansneder

Kevin's backyard from the lake shore

Kevin and Sharon's son Tim visited us with his kids

Josh Gansneder with Sharon

Amanda Gansneder

Emily Gansneder

Our homesite on the driveway was verdant

Scenic US Highway 2 across the Cascade Range

Along the Skykomish River west of Stevens Pass

The Wenatchee River on Highway 2 east of Stevens Pass

Out of the Mud and into the Rally

Lake Sawyer - We had thought about visiting Mt. St. Helens but that would have been a 200-plus-mile round trip from our RV Park, and the weather report was suggesting a lack of visibility. Nearby were three Washington state parks that sounded promising. At Kanasket-Palmer Recreation Area we strolled down to the Green River and took a few photos. At Nolte State Park we picnicked beside Deep Lake (which is really only 100 feet deep at most). At Flaming Geyser Recreation Area we planned to see the Flaming Geyser. Upon learning that the "flaming geyser" was actually methane gas escaping from an abandoned 1200-foot-deep well, and may have had to be lit first before we could see it flaming, we opted out of the short hike.

The real find at Flaming Geyser developed as we entered the park and looked for a place to get a park brochure. We saw a group of cars and several people down the road to our left. What we found was the Flaming Geyser Flyers, a chapter of the Radio Control Aircraft Association. These folks fly small planes in a controlled area at the park, putting their craft through some sweeping turns, sharp climbs, and intricate maneuvers that the Blue Angels would envy. The RCAA has strict rules about safety, demonstrated by the fact that no one was flying a plane when we arrived. Some time earlier, one of the planes had lost its engine in midair. It literally fell from the plane, causing the craft and its engine to plummet to the ground. The rest of the group brought their planes in for a landing, and many headed out to help search for the missing engine. The plane's body was immediately visible after its crash, but the engine was hidden in the tall grass of the several-acre meadow. While the men were in the fly area, no planes would be flown. One of the instructors told us that breaking that rule could cost someone a prison sentence!

We took a lot of pictures, and spent quite a bit of time talking with Dave Temby and some of the other members. We returned an hour later and got to see one plane take off and fly for a while. What fun, and what serendipity for us! To see more of our photos, visit the club's website at http://www.FlamingGeyserFlyers.com. Click on Photo Gallery, then click Flyers Friends. But don't forget to come back here when you're done!

Earlier in the day we caught just a glimpse of Mount Rainier through a break in the clouds. What a magnificent mountain! Later during our travels that day, we crossed the Green River Gorge on a high one-lane bridge. The gorge is as deep as it is beautiful, but there was nowhere to park the car so we could walk onto the bridge to sightsee and take pictures. And there appeared to be nowhere else to even view the gorge, as the entire area was privately owned and menacingly posted to warn off trespassers. At the end of the day we returned. Suzy drove, and I climbed out as she waited for the green light to cross the bridge. As Suzy drove off, I marched to the middle of the span and snapped several shots. When she returned I was waiting for a ride home.

We had seen a hand-painted sign announcing a local high school production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Being avid little theater aficionados, we promptly purchased tickets for the final performance. After a prime rib dinner at a local restaurant, we drove to Kentlake High School and seated ourselves in their well-equipped theater. It was open seating, and we selected the second row behind the cross aisle. In front of us a man was checking his video camera, so we struck up a conversation. This man's daughter played Belle, the female lead, and her Dad was eager to talk. He filled us in on the school's theatrical background, described the many talents of the cast, and some of the challenges they faced in putting on this production. Our evening was delightfully enhanced by Greg Halvorson's enthusiasm, and by our willingness to open a conversation with a stranger.

Our next stop was at the home of Suzy's cousin Kevin Gansneder and his wife Sharon. Their home is one of several surrounding Echo Lake in Snohomish, WA. Kevin and Sharon had originally bought a cabin on the same location, later had it torn down and built their lovely home. We parked the motorhome on their circular driveway for two nights, revisiting good family relationships and cementing our friendship after too many years. We also met their son Tim and his three kids, Josh, Amanda and Emily.

Wednesday was moving day again, this time to a rally of the Winnebago-Itasca Travelers Club in Cashmere, WA. We crossed the Cascade Mountains over Stevens Pass (4,106 feet) in the midst of God's splendid scenery. There weren't many opportunities on this narrow, twisting highway to stop for photos, so we will carry the images of these craggy, cloud-topped and waterfall-necklaced mountains in our personal memory banks.

There had been quite a lot of rain, and the main parking area at the rally was mostly dirt and gravel. No problem, we weren't supposed to be in the main parking area anyway. We had arranged to park in the handicapped area, so had to detour through another gate to get there. This is where the problem occurred: we had to pause at the wrong moment, and ended up stuck in the mud. It took nearly two hours for our tow service to arrive, but we got out with only our pride slightly tarnished. So here we are having a great time with our friends Steve Franssen and Cheryl Belanger, who will move with us to our next site in Leavenworth, sharing this part of ... Our Life on Wheels.

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