This week we’ve been enchanted by the rolling hills of farmland in eastern Washington and western Idaho.
While riding we have had the good fortune of seeing actual cowboys on horseback wrangling [very vocal] cows and a sheepdog practicing his herding skills. Sissy witnessed a mother goose nudge her goslings into the water for a family swim, and as we all watched their journey across the Snake River a beaver popped up and quickly slapped his tail in disapproval of our boisterous presence and dove underwater. We are convinced that most of the cows and horses we pass give us confused expressions, but whether that is because of our strange mode of transportation or our heavily accented attempts at their languages (much like Dory speaking whale in Finding Nemo) we do not know. An elderly farmer allowed us to camp in his orchard next to his sheep (which helped refine our bleating skills).
His story, the history of the farm itself, and the abbreviated lessons on the animals were fascinating. We tried to repay his kindness by utilizing our youthful joints to pick up all the old raspberry canes discarded in the rows, which proved to be no small task.
Otter is convinced he wants a farm when he is grown, but is trying to figure out how he will balance that with his desire to also be a fighter jet pilot and have a big family….
Some of the rolling hills were bigger than others. One ended up being our first summit, and was definitely our longest climb to date.
Everyone really came together to get us to the top and we reaped a 12-mile descent afterward. Our speedometer topped us out at 37 mph as we went down! The summits will only continue to get longer and higher as we enter the Rockies. Now that we are in Idaho, those mountain ascents are getting closer in view.
While the temperatures have returned to the cold that we experienced at the onset of this journey, we have largely been spared the rain that western Washington is still receiving. If only we had packed knit caps for everyone and the boys were better about keeping track of their gloves, since those supplies are now out of season in the retail world and impossible to find. We may take a cue from when Lewis and Clark were met with an early snowfall in the Rockies and wrap our hands and feet with rags for added warmth if this never-ending winter continues…. We should have heeded the Starks on Game of Thrones.
Since we are headed up in altitude and this winter is a long one, we stopped by CostCo to stock up on provisions. We might as well have been the yellow Volkswagen at IKEA. One older man in the parking lot told me, “Now I have seen everything.” Lucky for us, we haven’t.