Keep Smiling

Keep Smiling

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Drive

Come and take a Sunday afternoon drive with us.    
First we head to our favorite orchard to buy apples. 

   They are just starting to pick this season's crop, 
so we’ll be back again as the variety of apples increases.

Here are the apple boxes waiting to be filled.

This is the old and dry apple wood, 
left from earlier pruning. 
This wood is what my husband Steve likes to use 
when he smokes pork and chicken.
Look at this sign we passed.
No we did not want to turn and go down that road.
These orchard people are very serious when it comes to their crops. 

Moving on down the road toward the town of Soap Lake, WA.

Believe it or not I did not enhance these photos of the lake.
I guess that I was taking them in the right light at the right time :)

Soap Lake is often called Washington’s health resort. 
The lake is meromictic, meaning the water is stratified 
into layers that do not mix with each other. 

The mineral-rich waters of the lake,
 therapeutic mud, and desert climate make it a popular place 
for visitors from Eastern Europe, 
who compare Soap Lake to the highly acclaimed Baden Springs in Germany.

 Originally built in 1905, the Inn at Soap Lake 
 started as a stable and blacksmith shop 
and was converted into a hotel in 1915.
Today it is a lovely bed and breakfast. 

 I tried to get a good photo of this stone house, 
but I was shooting into the sun.
These stone homes are no longer being allowed to be built.
So the few that are standing are memories of the past.

For its small size (population 1,542) it is a very artsy town. 
 It has a wonderful community theater, yarn and bead shops and many antique shops 
filled with everything from early pioneer relics, Native American artifacts, 
farm equipment dating from early pioneers, the great depression, 
and the modern 1950’s.  
 It also is the home of many artists and boasts of its modern art gallery 
with monthly showings and creative speakers.


The last five photos are all taken outside this old antique shop.
It is my very favorite in the area,
but now is closed and everything is being auctioned off.
As you can see, you can go online a bid until Sept 27th. 
Here are a few photos of the inside:

Back on the road and heading toward home.
We could have taken the main road that we always travel,
but we decided to take the back-roads as far as we could.

When we came across this old deserted railroad car we were glad that we did.

I would have loved to walk over there and get better photos,
but what you need to know about our desert area is that
we have a large rattle snake population. 
Therefore; I zoomed in as close as I could.
Something that you may not know about me,
is that I've been scared by garden snakes.
My old heart would burst if I came up on a rattle snake.

 Do you see the walking bridge down this path?
It is over a beautiful little creek, but with a huge snake population.
Maybe in the winter when they are all sleeping, 
we'll come back and walk this path.  
  There is so much beauty in this area,
but it is a rugged beauty.
Well, this is the end of our road trip.
We are only about 5 miles from home.

I hope you enjoyed seeing our desert. 
If it were not for the building of Grand Coulee Dam
and the irrigation canals that travel through it like life lines,
we would not have the farm land and the orchards that we do.

This has been my home for almost forty years now.
At first I hated it, and longed for trees, and the farms of the Midwestern states,
but through these years it has grown on me,
and I see so much beauty in this gorgeous area.
Next summer, I will have to get out and show you our fields of wheat.
They will steal your heart :)

Thanks so much for going on our Sunday drive with us.
Have a wonderful week.

Your blogging sister, 
Connie :) 

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  1. What a beautiful area. I hear ya about the snakes. I don't think I would walk far either.


    1. No, if I go for a hike around here it is late, late fall through early, early spring. Once it is warm enough for snakes to come out of hibernation, I stay off any desert trails :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, it is not your green meadows and shady lanes. It's cowboy country, LOL

  3. I've enjoyed your country drive Connie and love the rugged desert photos they are stunning. The pictures of the lake are just beautiful. It's so lovely to have an insight into where our blogging friends live. Thankyou for sharing this. Have a great week.
    Patricia x

    1. Hi Patricia, I am so happy that you visited today. Now you can see why I would love to go for walks with you. You have so many lovely wooded paths.

  4. Hey There Connie!!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!! Your comment put a Big smile on my face!! I recently started painting, and comments like yours are so happy and encouraging!!!

    I didn't realize you live in Washington State! Me, too! In fact, last year we were going to head towards Soap Lake but changed our plans due to fires around the areas we were taking for the road trip. (Ended up trying out Seaside, Oregon for the first time instead.)

    We have been as far as the Lake Chelan area! Love Chelan!! SO Beautiful. Leavenworth is another favorite of ours. We live in the North Bend area.

    Soap Lake is Stunning! Hopefully we can try again to check it out in person.

    Have a wonderful week. And thanks again for the smile.


    All these photos are wonderful. I love the town photos as well as that railroad car!! So cool. You have a great eye for photography!

    1. Hi Joan, what a lovely visit. If you are looking for sunshine, then we are the side of the state to be on. It is amazing how a state like ours has so many different climates and terrains. There is so much to see without ever leaving the state. This has been a sweet visit, I feel that I know you much better now. You made a great decision when you went to Seaside to avoid the forest fires. Seaside is a beautiful little coastal town :)

  5. Certainly loved going on a road trip with you....I am way over due for a road trip of some kind. The leaves are starting to turn here in Wisconsin...maybe a road trip is coming up soon.

    Soap Lake sounds like an interesting place to visit, so much history and those old trains, my goodness!!! Your pictures of Soap Lake are just gorgeous...the blues are so beautiful. Wonder if American Pickers got to go into that antique there are alot of gems in their :)

    1. Hi, I just went back into this post and added a link with some photos of the inside of the antique shop that is being auctioned, if you are interested. I don't know why I didn't think to do that before :) It's packed to the gills. We are still having weather in the 90's . . . we had a couple in the 70's and thought that our hot spell was over, but I guess not :) No fall color here, yet.

  6. I really enjoyed taking your Sunday drive with you to Soap Lake. It is such a beautiful blue - like a jewel in the desert! I love the soft desert colors and rolling landscape. The apple orchards are wonderful, too. I did not realize there were rattlesnakes in that area - it is good to know. The little town is very sweet with the stone houses and little shops and art galleries. Too bad about the antique shop going out of business. Thank you for the tour! Hugs xoxo Karen

    1. Hi Karen, it is a small town that almost died out, but with it's new interests in the arts, the town is going for a rebirth. I certainly hope they achieve their goal, Steve and I going over at least twice a year for their community theater, it has been a wonderful venture. There is a lot of talent in our area and this has been a great outlet for them to spread their wings :)

  7. One of the greatest views I know is a field of grain blowing in the wind like waves with an endless sky overhead. Thanks for sharing this trip. The lonely train car is haunting in its beauty. Wonderful photos.

    1. Hi Melanie, I know what you mean about the train car being haunting. I have gone back and looked at that photo many times. Wouldn't it be a great project to move to a pretty site and convert into a small home. Just think of the gypsy hide-a-way you could create with that, or even a lovely shop or small restaurant :)

  8. What a fun visit to your neck of the woods!!

    1. Hi Donna, I know that phrase well and use it a lot, but woods . . . I which we had one in our area, LOL.
      Thank you for stopping by, I always enjoy your visits.

  9. Hi Donna,
    Thank you so much for the virtual tour, I enjoyed it so much. Only wish I could have some of those delicious red apples. Thank you so very much for visiting me. Hugs...Lu

    1. HI Lu, the names not Donna, LOL . . . i think i did that once, too. I'm happy that you enjoyed your tour of our desert :) Come again :)

  10. Ooo those apples in the first pic look so delicious I want to eat them! I'd love to buy apples from the place where they grow, we have an apple tree in the garden but they're quite sour and too high for me to pick anyway! Thanks for sharing your trip here :) The blue of that lake is SINGING!xx

    1. Hi, it is great to see you here, thanks for the sweet visit.

  11. I could taste the crisp apples on that tree. Loved the photos and the tour of the lake and town. What? No pic of a snake?

    1. Hi Donna, believe it or not, I have actually been hiking and fainted at the sight of a snake :(

  12. Morning Connie, Oh how I loved my little trip with you! You know it's one of my FAVORITE things to do!! I was mesmerized by the little town with all it's artsy shops and the rustic buildings. Those stone houses are one-of-a-kind! We have a few around the outskirts of the greater Cincy area. It's a shame there isn't UNIQUE things much anymore being built like they use to! Codes, restrictions, gov. prevents most of that. Just think, when those unique buildings, houses are gone....they are gone forever. That train car in the field is beautiful to me....what a picture! (glad you know about rattlers....I would have went right thru the field!!) YIKES! Hey, you and Steve enjoy those apples......prayers and blessings~~~Roxie

    1. Hi Roxie, it is a shame that there are so many building restrictions. I can see it in close knit communities, because of fire codes and such, but why do they enforce them out in the country where the houses are far apart. There are so many field stones around here that it would be a cheap building material. I'm sure that is why many of the pioneers of this area used them. Thanks for stopping by, I always enjoy you company :)

  13. Connie, I loved all your pictures. I didn't know there were rattlesnakes there. Yikes...good thing you are careful.xoxo,Susie

    1. Snakes are not my friend. I do not walk any areas where I even think they might be present :)

  14. Hi I just found your blog from My Ranch Life. Your pictures are beautiful. I live in Bellingham, and my mother in law is actually in Soap Lake for a couple of weeks, what a small world! She goes a couple times a year to help with her Psoriasis, it really is an amazing lake. I went last year and caked on the mud, it is fun!I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    1. Hi, it is very nice to meet you. After posting this I thought how I should have added a few old photos of Soap Lake's hay days. It was once a huge natural health related area. I am surprised that in the towns new observance of the arts and bringing in more tourist, that there has not been a big new health spa go up. There is such a rebirth of healing energies and naturopathic and alternative medicine . . . that Soap lake would be a great place to do this.

  15. Haha upon further inspection of your picture of the Inn at Soap Lake, in the far right side of the picture, there is a little gray Chevy Malibu, that is my mother in laws!!! So crazy!

    1. Thank you so much for becoming my newest follower. I am always excited when I see a new face on my blog. Isn't that funny that your mother-in-laws car made it into blogland :)

  16. Oh i just love a good Sunday drive!! Something I did very often with my parents as a young girl. Thank you for all the beautiful images!

    1. Hi Donna, thank so much for visiting. It's fun to get out a take a Sunday drive, anytime I can get away from the TV on the weekend, it's a good thing.

  17. Hi Connie--Thanks for the comment you left me. ---- My grandma lived in Othello and we visited her back in 1989--we did a lot of driving through the countryside. Soap lake was one of our stops it was pretty cool. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

    1. Hi Allison, I am happy that our drive brought back pleasant memories :)

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed these photos and comments.

    1. Thank you . . . sometimes it is fun to tag along on someones little Sunday drive :) I am delighted that you joined me.

  19. Hi Connie,

    I so enjoyed this drive with you; I learned so much about your beautiful area! My goodness, so many different things to to see. First time I have ever heard of meromictic water and that B & B in Soap Lake is something else - straight out of a storybook! The last pictures of the dessert look a lot like some of the landscape here, in Crete, especially in the heat of the summer, when it doesn't rain for 6-7 months! Thanks so much for taking us along, such a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon!


    1. Hello Poppy, I am so glad that you enjoyed our little Sunday drive . . . it's nice to take time to get out and enjoy the beauty of the area. When I first moved to this desert, I had trouble finding any beauty in it, but it has grown on me through the years. I do like the desert best in the spring when the wild desert flowers are blooming. I did fine that you can not pick them for bouquets . . . because they are the homes to many tiny desert bugs, LOL. They have to be enjoyed from a distance :)