Friday, July 31, 2009

First to Find

Every week members of receive an email that contains a list of all the new caches in the area. It is fun to be the First to Find (FTF) a cache because many of the caches contain a special gift for the first person to locate the cache. Last night Susan and I went down to the Yakima Valley Museum in an attempt to be the first to find a cache that had been placed there just two days ago. We located the cache, but four people had already beat us to it.
This morning I decided to try again to be the FTF a cache hidden on the Cowiche Canyon trail. The name of the cache is 'Like Taking Candy From A Baby', which gives you some idea of how difficult the cache was to find. I was amazed that I was indeed the first to locate this cache which was placed on July 28. The First to Find "gift" in this cache was the Geocoin shown below.

The print on the coin is difficult to read even looking directly at the coin. The front of the coin reads Do You Dare and the back reads Earn Your Stripes. Now I will go online and log my find and see if there is any additional information about this particular coin.
It was fun to be the very first person to sign the log book and see the original contents of the cache.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Geocaches & Harry Potter

Susan and I went to see Harry Potter - The Half Blood Prince on Saturday. Even though it doesn't follow the book as closely as some of the other movies, we both liked it and are glad we went. Now, I need to read the Deathly Hallows again so I can remember what happens.
We also went geocaching this weekend and found all the caches we set out to find.
This area is past the new West Valley High School. There are some gorgeous homes out here. The cache was called Concrete Clue.
Next, we ended up in Gleed and located The Farm cache. Actually, it was two caches hidden in the same place by the same owner. Last week, we found a cache hidden very well in the parking lot of a local dentist office. We went back this weekend so I could take a picture of one of the cute signs on their building.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Travel Bug on its Way

I sent my Jeep Excursion on its mission this morning by placing it in a cache located off the Cowiche Canyon Trail. One of my goals is to travel to all 50 states. My only rule is that airports do not count. So far, I have made it to 42 states, but without my job, my travel opportunities have diminished. I have asked fellow geocachers to take my jeep to the remaining nine states on my list.

This is what my travel bug looks like. There is a laminated instruction card attached that provides details about the mission. The number on the tag allows people to go online and log where the jeep is being placed as it travels across the country - hopefully.

A picture from the Cowiche Canyon Trail.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sweet Onion Festival

On Saturday we went to Walla Walla, WA to see the 2009 Sweet Onion Festival. None of us had ever been to the festival so we thought it would be a good adventure. Our day began at Don's Donuts. We took Mom and Dad there on purpose because on Saturday, and Saturday only, they serve baked cinnamon rolls that are out of this world. Besides having wonderful bakery products, the little donut shop is really cute inside.

There are paintings all over the walls and on the floor of different sea creatures. As you can see from this picture, it is bright and colorful.

It wasn't the best weather for an outdoor festival. It was too hot to stay in the sun and watch people participate in the Onion Eating Contest, the Martial Arts Demonstration or any of the other scheduled events. We did buy wickless candles by Scentsy. The scented wax rests on a little plate at the top of the candle, which has a light bulb inside that melts the wax. They have larger candles that sit on the counter and smaller nightlight models. Susan and I bought one of each and Mom and Dad bought the nightlight size.

There were a number of booths selling food, which looked really good - especially the barbecue. We didn't buy anything to eat because there wasn't anyplace to sit down. We drove to a local Dairy Queen to eat lunch when we left the festival.

We ended the day by taking Mom and Dad to The Doghouse for dinner. They both like hot dogs, Mom especially, and this place makes FANTASTIC hot dogs in every combination possible.

We got to have fresh raspberries and ice cream for dinner which was the perfect end to a great day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chad Bault at Franklin Park

Mom and Dad arrived in Yakima yesterday and last evening we took a picnic lunch to Franklin Park for the Thursday evening performance in the Summer Concert Series. Chad Bault was the featured performer playing Folk Rock music with his band.

We took Toby with us last night. This was his first trip to the concert series. He was pretty excited at first, but he soon settled in and enjoyed the music with the rest of us.

Yakima Valley Community Band

On Wednesday evenings, in the summer, the Yakima Valley Community Band under the direction of Roger Finch delivers free concerts in parks around the valley. On July 15, the concert was held at Randall Park.
At the end of every performance the band plays God Bless America followed by a salute to the armed forces. People in the audience who served in the armed forces stand when their particular theme song is played. Following the salute to the armed forces, everyone stands for the Star Spangled Banner.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Water Main Break

Yesterday afternoon water began sprouting up under the asphalt right in front of our house. This morning the water company began working to find the location of the break.
Even though the windows are closed to cut down on the noise and the diesel smell, I still had to take Toby outside and show him what is happening so he would stop barking. Thank goodness he is happy now. While I was talking to the workers I learned that our street is on the list for new water pipes to be installed later this summer, so this won't be the last time the street will be torn up to work on the water main. I sure didn't have to go very far to get the picture for today.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Road Work

Our contractor began working on the road into our property on Friday, July 10. He is going to remove the grass, even out the slope and put new gravel down.

This is what the road looked like before work began.
The road has been leveled out and gravel is being spread.
I drove out to the property on Saturday and took this picture. It is sure a lot easier to drive onto our lot without the big ruts in the road.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sunset Concert Series

Last night we went to the first concert of the Sunset Concert Series at Franklin Park. The Coyote Ridge Bluegrass Wranglers performed for two hours to a very appreciative audience.

This concert was the first in a concert series consisting of six different groups performing at Franklin Park on Thursday evenings. The concert begins at 6:30PM and ends around 8:30PM.
The Allied Arts van was at the park during the concert. This van travels to different parks throughout the summer months, offering small craft projects that kids can make and take home. Last night the kids made flowers leis and headbands covered with a variety of paper creations. There were a lot of dogs that enjoyed the concert as well, either playing with other dogs, chasing Frisbees or just sitting with their owners.
Franklin Park is quite large and has a variety of activities available. This park sits right next to the Yakima Valley Museum, which offers historical displays focusing on the Yakima Valley - its natural history, Native American culture and early pioneer life. The Museum Soda Fountain, a working exhibit of a late 1930's soda fountain, was very busy last night selling Tillamook ice cream to people enjoying the concert.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Flowers on Sale

Most of the stores in Yakima have started reducing the price of their flowers. In some cases, we have been able to buy annuals for 50% off. We recently went to the Village Shoppe, a very unique store in town. I originally thought it was just a nursery because that is what you can see from the street. But inside, they have a large selection of very nice furniture and they even sell custom made draperies and flooring.

These pots really brighten up the flower bed in the front of the house.

At the Village Shoppe, we also bought our first diffuser with vanilla scented oil. It does smell really good, without the smoke from burning candles.

I am sad that our Fouth of July decorations have to come down this month. Oh well, Halloween is coming!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day Geocaches

We went Geocaching on July 4th in the Naches area. The first cache we found was located near Tim's Pond, shown below. There were several muggles in the area; some were fishing and some were tent camping but none of them were near where the cache was hidden so we didn't have to go into stealth mode.

This was an exciting cache because it contained a traveling geocoin. This travel coin started in
Germany and had already traveled 6,104 miles before we found it on Saturday. After logging it into the web site, we will put it into another cache so it can continue on its travels. The point of the cache is to educate people about the Trabant, the car shown below.
The next cache we found was located on Cleman Mountain, not too far from the winter sheep feeding station. I want to return next winter and feed the sheep.
I like the larger caches because it is fun to look at the items left behind by other people and we get to leave something as well. The small caches only allow you to sign your name and the date you were there. What's the fun in that?
When we were finished Geocaching, we went to lunch at the Peppermint Drive-in located in Union Gap. This is a throw back to the old style drive-in style restaurants from the 50's. This one still serves hard ice cream, homemade shakes and a large variety of breakfast and lunch items. Yum!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cascade Drum & Bugle Corps

Last night I went to West Valley High School to watch the Cascade Drum and Bugle Corps perform a dress rehearsal before leaving for their national tour. This group is among 20 groups that are ranked at the top, world class level of Drum Corp International in the United States.

Between the ages of 14-21 the musicians and performers come from all over the world. They will spend the summer touring the country and performing, ending up in Indianapolis to complete for the title of world champion.

The group travels with three motor coaches, two support vehicles and two semis that hold their equipment and a full service kitchen in which four meals a day are produced. Most of the kids
lose weight on the tour. Each participant pays $2,000, about half the cost, for the tour. The rest is covered through grants, donations, etc.

They practice and perform from 8 AM to 11PM, spending their evenings in buses and on gym floors. The wonderful sound isn't captured very well through the video, but you can listen to a short part of the performance below.