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Southbound on Highway 97

Yakima Canyon Bridge

Dinner in Yakima, we didn’t try the bacon special.

Our Tieton (Tie-eh-ton) home, El Nido Cabin no. 6, lovely and comfortable, with everything it’s right place, to quote a favorite song. Tieton lies fifteen winding miles from Yakima, and worlds away, really. On the surface, it is agricultural, surrounded by miles of orchards, a smattering of vineyards, and idyllic rolling hills, baked and golden by summer heat.

What you might not know is that the town is also an incubator for small, artisan businesses, an enterprise called Mighty Tieton. There are artists, book binders, printers, and cheesemakers, to name a few, all working to infuse new life into this tiny town. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I discovered their endeavors and planned our journey after enjoying a bottle Tieton Cider Works hard cider, either, some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

The cabins are situated on seven acres of land, beautiful in its near wildness. Birds and other creatures chirp and rustle, while underfoot, the ground crunches with twigs, dead grass and eager Russian thistles. Here is a patch of choke cherries, long chains of dangling jewel fruit; there, a hedgerow of wild roses, electric colored hips glowing in soft afternoon light. And farm equipment, ancient and battered, but looking as if their caretaker has just stepped into the shade for a spell and will return any moment.

Making friends

We love this cider!

Picture takers at The Tasting Room, Wilridge Winery. It’s biodynamic and delicious!

A horse named Nell


For my nephew

Towering fruit crates

Ed Marquand, a kindly fellow with fabulous spectacles, is responsible for getting Mighty Tieton started, after getting two flat tires on a bike ride through the town. He runs Paper Hammer Studios and gave us a tour of their operations. With one fancy printer and an old-timey book binding machine alongside a hundred year old paper cutter nearly as large as my bathroom, it is a small operation. Fine books are made by hand and cheeky prints, too. We came home with a few treasures.

On the home stretch, with Mount Rainier from the east.

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Soda Lake

Alkali Lake

We’re our way to the Methow (Met-how) Valley now, cruising along near-deserted highway no. 17, with scores of miles between automobile sightings. It was that dreamy hour, early in the day, the heat not yet ripened, the wind scarcely a breath upon us.

Wheat and sagebrush under high clouds and faded blue sky:

East, West, North, and South.

Alone, but not lonely.

Full of love and awe.

The Rolling Huts, our modern home in the Methow, though I think they might need a bit of coaxing to actually roll. Perfectly situated for star gazing, and fortuitous timing for the beginning of the Perseid Meteor Shower, we laid in quiet witness of countless shooting stars, the slow descent of giant fire balls, zooming bright satellites, and our thick with dreamy stars Milky Way.

The wesola polana (happy meadow) and a couple of her visitors.

The Methow River and my favorite rock skipper.

More love.

Liberty Bell Mountain

Silver Star Mountain

The old-timey town of Winthrop. We saw no gun slingers or rabble-rousers, only like-minded tourists wilting in August heat.

A fellow looking much like a prospector made certain we did not miss this bridge and accompanying riparian entertainments (said with a hearty laugh and nod to Keeping Up Appearances). We were mighty grateful.

Deer Ears

Choke Cherry

A River Runs through it.

That smile!

Just down the road in Twisp, I met Jillian of The Noisy Plume! We had a tasty breakfast at the Glover Street Market (stop in for a smoothie or breakfast sandwich or waffle, then grab a bar or two of Molly’s Soap – you won’t regret it). As for the meeting, after the twitchy nervous-making beginning was melted and spent, there was much laughter and discovery and the baring of sweet souls. Happiness!

 Up Next – Tieton!

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More photos from in and around our digs. Meet Eduardo y Blanca. They run a terrific restaurant, El Cardon, which was about a two minute walk from our place and where we had dinner nearly every night.

Eduardo makes a mean margarita, and Blanca is a wizard in the postage-stamp kitchen. These are her rellenos. A mi me gusta!

Sunrise on the Sierra La Giganta

We saw so many butterflies. Happiness.

This is a hummingbird nest! Though I question the mama’s placement, exposed over pavement, her construction method was lovely. It was about the size of a hacky-sack, and, in moments of stillness, the sweetest of tiny chirps could be heard from the babies.

Sunset at LAX

On our way home…


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Hola! It’s time for our day trip to Mision San Javier, which lies about 30 km to the west of Loreto. It was actually meant to be a day on the water, with this first photo taken on the malecon waiting for our boat, but the sea was muy bravo, so we had to save our time with dolpins, whales, and sea lions for our next trip.

These are paintings made by the indigenous people of Baja before the missionaries arrived and their lives were forever changed.

The Calvary Cross that greets visitors to Mision San Javier and the tiny town (150 occupants) that bears its name.

A close cousin of a matilija poppy, I think.

Mision San Javier


Built with great care by indigenous people whose populations would be decimated by hard labor and European diseases.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

It is a beautiful building, one of the first with pane windows.

Meticulously cared for, it is still used for mass.

This olive tree was planted by the Jesuits over 300 years ago.

The Jesuits taught the locals how to make use of the springs to grow things like olives, oranges, mangoes, and some very famous onions. It was pretty wild to see such a bounty in a desert, truly an oasis.

In a place where it rarely rains and the average low temperature hovers around 50 degrees, it is common to see walls made entirely out of palm. I was awestruck.

Greg makes a friend, of course. He’s cool like that…

Gato tranquilo

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 Hola amigos!

Bienvenidos a Mexico and our home away from home in Loreto. It was a week of glorious sun with every possible moment spent out of doors. Lying in the sun. Reading. Knitting. Walking. Napping. Generally having a marvelous time. We partook of lots of delicious food, margaritas and beer, and encountered a bounty of gentle souls. Fellow travelers. American and Canadian ex-pats. Mexicans. Dogs. Cats.

It was a welcome diversion from the cold and grey of Portland, though the sun is shining here, for today, at least!

Have Bikini – Will Travel.

The above photos were taken in and around the development where we stayed. It is lovely and quiet and filled with some of the nicest people around.

My morning ritual – watching the sunrise.

The Sea of Cortez

Though it was not planned, Francisco became our driver during our stay. He was probably our age, but was very fatherly and protective of us. A sweetheart.

I am always dazzled by old architecture. Mision Loreto dates to the late 1600s.

25th October 1697

Come on people, feed this bird!

The Main Square

This fence is made with cactus.

Orlando’s – very good chile rellenos!

There’s more to come…



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