5. And we are off…

Kelly finished his last day of school on Friday, June 17th, after 36 year of teaching!  I wanted to honor him with a surprise retirement party at Champoeg State Park near Newberg OR.  I invited friends and family 8 months ago to the “surprise” event, but over time Kelly found out about the party anyway.  It was a wonderful day filled with great stories, a BBQ meal and photos.  Loren Hall, Frank Lewis and Darlene White spoke about Kelly with both admiration and shared about some of Kelly’s antics over the years.  Many others praised him and spoke about some of the ways Kelly has inspired them over the years.  We had about 55 guests that day!  Leo Rood was the head BBQ master, and Matt Forney, (Kelly’s nephew), took amazing pictures of the party.  Jeanene Hall and Tarie Berger were both big helps for me setting up and cleaning up.  There are so many people to thank that I will not remember to thank them all, so THANK YOU EVERYONE!  Kelly said, “It was the second best day of his life, after our wedding day.”  Here are some of the pictures Matt and I took of the day:  

A great park for reunions!  This park was the famous site of the meeting at”French Prairie” where Oregon established its government and was no longer part of the wild west, but a civilized state.  The town was destroyed by flood and was named for an Indian food root (like a carrot) by the Kalapuyan tribe.

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Almost all the gang.  A great time to be had by all.

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Relaxing around the camp site.

On Sunday, we went over to Rich and Charlene’s house for a high school graduation party for Crystal.  She is a very impressive girl!  She is smart, athletic and has a bright future!  We wish all the best!   


After the party we headed towards Seattle to meet Andrew, Becky and Gayle Morphis to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary.  We had a great dinner at Preservation Kitchen in Bothell, WA.  Great food and company, what more could you ask for! 

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Saying good bye is hard to do…


 Leaving Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell WA.  Next stop Grand Coulee.

This is where we stayed in Grand Coulee.  When I called the office they asked if this was Brooke.  I guess they don’t get a lot of visiting campers!  Most of the campers are semi-permanent workers on the dam or loggers that will be in the area a few weeks.  The host, Tim, even drove us (the only guests) to the dam to see the laser light show.  I would recommend this campground but we had the only spot that would accommodate the 54 feet of truck and trailer!

 Here is a shot just before sunset.  President Roosevelt started the dam as a project to keep people employed during the depression in 1933.  They built this dam for $60 million dollars and worked round the clock to finish ahead of schedule in 1942, and a little under budget.  Something this big now would take millions more and take years and years to complete!  The dam is one of the largest concrete structures in the world, containing 12 million yards of concrete!  It serves three purposes irrigation, power production and flood control.

On our way to Spokane.  This shot was taken out the window of our pick up!  The scenery was so beautiful!

For the next three days this campground will be home(in Coeur d’ Alene, ID).  All we had to do was look for the tall trees to find it.  This campground is only 3 miles from downtown and has a Home Depot, Costco and other businesses surrounding it.

Took a long bike ride to town and around the lake on part of the Centennial Trail.  This trail was created following the Expo 74. The Expo was the first environmentally themed world’s fair held in Spokane.  It is 37 miles long and the recreation trail was made just in time to celebrate the Washington and Idaho state centennials in 1989 and 1990.

Enjoying the 74 degree sunny day!  Next blog will continue our stay in Coeur d’ Alene as we go to Silverwood Theme Park the largest Theme Park in the Northwest.

I just wanted to say thanks to my son Cameron, for setting up this blog and giving me guidance on how to do it.  It has been fun and a great learning experience.  I love you Cameron.  More blogs to come….

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4. Last trip before the big one!

Oregon’s newest state park L.L. Stub Stewart State Park opened in Buxton in 2007.  This park is the perfect park for biking, hiking and horse back riding.  I had to book this popular state park 9 months in advance to secure one of two pull through sites in the campground, but they still had a few other RV sites and tent sites available for the weekend.  It is only 34 miles from Portland and has over 1800 acres to enjoy.  On Hilltop Day Use Area, you can see a beautiful view of the Coast Range below.  It also has 6 miles of bike trails and while we were there a huge group of bikers were practicing for a 100 mile race that they will participate in at Lake Tahoe.

We camped over the Memorial Day weekend and the park was pretty much full.   Kelly made friends with a really nice man who helped him with the satellite.  People who camp are usually just the friendliest people you could meet!

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Plan a trip to see this impressive State Park, even if you just go for the day!

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We hiked 5 miles that morning before it got to hot.

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This s the life for Kelly!   Hiking, biking and the outdoors!

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Our campsite was big and the campground was filling with activity with lots of children riding bikes going to park programs like “The Beaver”.  The guest speaker dressed up as a Beaver and even had a tail.  The kids seemed to love it.

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Mocha loves to camp and always stays in the sun!