Pendleton Windleton

That is to say, there was a ton of wind in Pendleton. There may or may not have been some beer involved when brainstorming this title. Who’s to know?!

Let’s back up a bit, because the drive to Pendleton was actually quite the adventure. First, She Who Shall Not Be Named forgot to mail a package. A very important package. And obviously the local pack and ship shop was closed in Leavenworth on our travel day, so we drove on to the bigger neighboring city of Wenatchee, Washington to pack and ship our package. BUT Doug only had an email label that we didn’t get around to having printed. So, we paid $8 for a tiny box and bubble wrap at a small local shop (because they don’t print labels) and went to Office Depot to print the label. Lucky for us Office Depot was amazing and printed the label free of charge, taped the label to our package, and mailed it for us! I mean seriously! This little detour took 45 minutes (not including the drive to Wenatchee) and the entire kid nap. And y’all we rely on those kid naps to have an hour of peace during our two to three hour drives. The kicker, Wenatchee is 30 minutes from Leavenworth, so we were only 30 minutes into our slightly over two hour drive!

After we finally hit the road, with the kids fully rested and ready to be entertained, we journeyed to a Harvest Host location in Mattawa, Washington. The winery we stayed at was nice, though the town was super tiny. We saw a ton of apple orchards. We had no idea how commercial apple orchards were grown, it’s very interesting! We highly suggest googling images of commercial apple orchards in Washington, because we are terrible photo journalists and didn’t capture any good photos of it. Hint, it is not necessarily an apple  orchard full of large beautiful trees like you see in movies. Doug did capture two photos of an apple orchard, but it isn’t the kind we saw on our drive. You must use Google to fully understand.

Let’s get back on track, eh? While in the tiny town of Mattawa, we tasted some wine at the winery, then ventured to Ginko Petrified Forest State Park. But the wind was so strong (and oh so cold) that we didn’t stay too long. Basically, we stayed long enough to show the kids some cool petrified wood, some really amazing petroglyphs, and beautiful views of the Columbia River. Oh, and the kids saw a playground while we were driving, so Doug took them there the next day while Katie readied our home for another day of travel. If you didn’t know, this task basically includes sweeping, putting bikes in the playroom, putting our plant, the salt/pepper/olive oil, and dish soap in the sink, locking the garbage can (don’t ask how we learned this one), and moving a few things in the cupboard so that when we open them after traveling we don’t have a tower of bowls falling to the ground. All this is to say, Katie got to relax a little while the kids played with Doug at the playground.

The next day we drove to Pendleton, Oregon, and our home for the week was an RV park run by the local casino and resort. Our spot was great! We had a ton of grass and some great areas to explore. Plus the kids were able to play outside for a while, engaged in unstructured free play. Which is something that they have struggled to do since we hit the road, primarily because they are unfamiliar with their “backyard” and want mom or dad around for safety. But we just want to relax and drink coffee/tea/beer or sneak cookies while they play. Is that too much to ask? HA!

While in Pendleton, Katie took the kids to the local children’s museum. It is so great to explore these in each location because they each add elements of local culture and history. Plus, it is an indoor activity that got them out of the wind and colder temperatures.

We want to brag on our 4-year-old for a moment. This kid has wanted a trash grabber for a while. While in Pendleton, Katie bought him one one at a local hardware store and he was so excited he picked up every tiny piece of trash he found. And he shared it with his little brother, too. But later in the week, while on a walk without the trash grabber, he found a large plastic bag and wanted to pick it up. We have a rule that we don’t touch trash with our hands, so he got really upset and literally said something along the lines of, “we can’t leave it! I have to pick it up! I don’t want the animals to die!” Needless to say, after helping him calm down, Katie walked him to the car to retrieve the trash grabber and our reusable trash bag. They walked back to the littered bag and picked it up and a ton of other trash on the way back to the car. Because obviously leaving the almost microscopic pieces of paper on the ground was out of the question.

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Katie also took the kiddos on a walk along Pendleton’s Riverwalk and it was very beautiful with the fall colors. They saw a great blue heron, some ducks, and a ton of squirrels. They also found a tiny park with a giant rock, so obviously the kids got some help and climbed it.

The kids also enjoyed the casino resort swimming pool and buffet (cause they had ice cream…lucky for us they didn’t put together that it was all you can eat like the food!), and the nearby Tamástslikt Cultural Institute. They didn’t allow photography at the cultural institute, but we did buy a really neat illustrated book of Plains Indians stories from their gift shop. We love it!

We also enjoyed the local brewery quite a bit. I mean they had a play area for the kids, so you know, we went twice the week we were in town. Plus they had delicious beer and food!

Oh and the wind. Did we mention the strong wind!?? There were gusts in the 25-30MPH range. Which isn’t strong enough to knock our trailer over, but it is certainly enough to rock it a lot. It’s too bad the wind was during the day, the wind rocking may have been a soothing way to fall asleep. Maybe?

Oh and Hallie was living her best life. During the week we didn’t have any immediate neighbors and thus no one to make Hallie morph into bark-too-much-protector-dog. So she was completely content to lay out in the grass, smelling all the smells, while tethered to a tree.

Next stop Boise, Idaho for Halloween fun!

And the Totals Are:

Days on the road: 107

Miles towed: 2,212

Camp sites visited: 22

Breweries visited: 20

National Parks/Recreation Centers/Monuments visited: 5

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