Leavenworth, Washington

DSC_0476_edited-1Last week, at least I think it was last week, my days are getting so jumbled up lately, we visited Leavenworth Washington, a quaint little Bavarian town in the mountains.  The town decided to become a Bavarian themed town after several key businesses left the area. The economy was suffering so they decided on a plan to save the town, and it worked.  People come from all over to see this unique town.

The town council has a special committee trained in Bavarian architecture and culture and any new businesses must have their signs, and new building plans approved by the committee.  It’s like being transported to another place.   In the winter, I’m told, they have a fabulous Christmas festival.


We walked around and enjoyed seeing all the little shops.




It was 95* outside the day we went, and one business was nice enough to have a water mister outside their shop that the younger kids enjoyed playing in.  It cooled them right off.


Our favorite shop was a beautiful Christmas shop.   They had so many beautiful Christmas decorations and ornaments.



All the shops and up and down the streets on the light posts were the most beautiful hanging baskets.  All the flowers were so pretty.


We ended our visit to Leavenworth with ice cream in the park and the little kids rolled down the grassy hill while the boys played Pokemon Go.  Yes, my kids have succumbed to the craze as well.


One thing that we have really enjoyed is face timing Shawn while we are out and about.  When we are doing something fun that I think he would like to see I face time him and he gets to enjoy it with us.  He watched the kids roll down the hill, and got to see a little of the town.  We have also called him from the beach several time and while we are roasting marshmallows.  It helps us, and hopefully him, not be so lonesome.

I try to post everyday on my Instagram.  My user name is:  KimberlyMLowry 


Camping On The Banks of The Columbia River


We’ve traveled 6,000 miles and been gone for 55 days.  Holy moly!!!!  Where has the time gone?  Time certainly does fly when you are having fun.  As I said in my last post, the first phase of your trip, visiting family, is over.  We left Tricia’s house in Moses Lake, Washington on Thursday and we stayed our first night in a 1000 Trails campground on the shores of the Columbia River, in Crescent Bar, Washington.  I bought a 1000 Trails membership and we wouldn’t be able to do this trip without it.  I was fortunate enough to get my membership when it was “buy one zone, get one zone free.”  so we can see the whole west coast.

Our first experience at 1000 Trails was great.  Everything was clean and well taken care of.  The pool, although small, was very nice and warm.  We had full hookups at our site and warm showers steps away from our door.  So far, I have been very happy I decided to get a membership.

We spent 4 nights at Crescent Bar, on the river.  While we were there we went swimming twice a day, explored the nearby little town,  went swimming in the river, and went to church on Sunday to a very friendly ward in Quincy, Washington.  My sister Tricia lives close enough that she and her family came to visit us, and went swimming with us at our pool, and we visited her on Sunday, one last time before we left on Monday.   All in all it was a great time.

As for our travels, this is the first time I remember ever being in eastern Washington.  My uncle was married in Spokane when I was 4 or 5.  I know that I flew up to Spokane with my mom and that we all drove back with my dad, but other than vaguely remembering being on the plane I have no remembrance of the trip at all.  I’ve also, been to the Seattle airport a million times, and Shawn and I even ventured into Seattle when we had a 10 hour layover once, but other than that I haven’t seen any of Washington.  Seeing the Columbia River for the first time was awesome.  I had no idea it was so big.  I really was shocked.  I was also surprised about how dry eastern Washington is, and also, how may fruit farms there are.  I thought the area would be much more urban than rural.  I think it’s beautiful and I am really enjoying seeing new sights and adventuring where I have never been.

We left our spot on the banks of the Columbia River yesterday, and are now enjoying the mountains of central Washington, more unexplored territory.  It is safe to say that I am thoroughly enjoying life on the road.   The only thing that would make it better would be to have Shawn with us.  I am missing him like crazy.







The first phase of our trip is over.  My sister Tricia and her family were the last family stop on this trip.  My parents may join us for a weekend in Oregon in August, but other than that our time visiting family is through, and it makes me so very sad.  We have had the most incredible time.  I have loved spending time with my parents, siblings, in-laws, and nieces and nephews, and it has been so wonderful for my kids to get reacquainted with everyone again.  All the cousins have grown up so much in the last 3 years, and it is so sad for me to think that we don’t know when we will see everyone again.

If we ended our trip now and headed back to Alaska tomorrow, I would say our trip has been a success and all the money and time spent to make it happen has been so incredibly worth it.  Building memories with those you love, is to me, the best thing you can do in this life.

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Some of my sister Melinda’s girls.


My sister Jennifer’s kids.


My sister Emily with my niece Livs (Olivia).


Shawn’s sister Lydia and her dog Barney.


Camdon with his cousin Beck.  They were best buds at Grandma’s house.


My mom, my brother Josh’s boys, and my sister-in-law Cordie and her kids


My sister Tricia’s boys.

I feel bad that I don’t have a picture of everyone we visited, but I hope you each know that we loved spending time with each and everyone of you.   I’m tempted to make the rounds again.  I have enough family that I could just spend a week at each persons house every 8 weeks!

Good-bye all!

 Thank you for letting us visit and eat you out of house and home.

 We love you and miss you all so much already.

Palouse Falls, Washington


We spent this past week at my sister Tricia’s house in Moses Lake, Washington, and last Saturday, we took a drive to Palouse Falls, about an hour and a half away.  The falls were beautiful, but we thought that was a long drive just to be able to gaze at them for a few minutes.  We noticed people at the head of the falls and at the bottom of the falls, so we decided to see if there were any trials we could take to get closer.


We found a trail that went up and over the hill next to us that allowed us to see the Snake River before it went over the falls.


There were people swimming and jumping off the smaller water falls so we decided to hike down to it where they were.



A special thank you to my brother-in-law Callin for carrying Camdon all the way down.



The rocks were slippery and jagged, so you had to be super careful when walking around.



It’s hard to see but there is a drop off with small waterfalls just past Jarom in the above picture.  The kids had fun swimming in the falls and jumping off the rocks into the pools below.



This calm area was filled with fish that we just stood and counted.  The kids were sad we didn’t have fishing poles.


I didn’t get any pictures of Logan jumping off of the small waterfalls into the pools, unfortunately.  I slipped on the rocks and got my camera wet, so I didn’t dare turn it on until it dried out, but we stayed all afternoon and had a great time.  We were so glad we did a little exploring to see what else was around.  We never did make it to the big falls though but that was okay.  We had fun.   Maybe next time we’ll hike to the bottom.

I did a bit of research on the big waterfall.  It is 198 feet high, and I found a video of a kayaker going over the falls to set a new world record.  You can watch the video here.  It makes me scared just to watch it.  AAAAaaauuuuuuhhhhhhhh.


Rafting the Payette River

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Shawn took the boys rafting while he was here visiting us.  They opted to raft the upper part of the South Fork of the Payette River in Idaho.  As you can see from the pictures it is a bit more exciting that the middle fork of the Payette River which is what we floated down in my last post.  Can you tell that Jarom and Logan are in the front and Shawn and the guide are in the back?

They decided to do the upper part of the river, because it has class 4-5 rapids instead of the lower part with 2-3 class rapids.  They invited me along, but I politely declined on behalf of my younger children who still need at least one parent alive to take care of them.

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Yep, that’s Shawn going in the water head first!

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They had a great time and said it wasn’t as scary as the pictures make it seem.  They did have to get out of the raft at one point though, and portage (walk) around some waterfalls.  Also, Shawn was not hurt when he went head first into the water, (pause for a special thank you to Jarom for pulling him back into the boat.)  Shawn said that as soon as he went into the water, the lines from the safety video they watched with the guides before setting out, came immediately to his mind, “You are responsible for saving yourself.”  And, I’m certainly glad he did just that by feeling his way out from under the boat and getting to where Jarom could pull him up.  There are kyakers following the raft and they along with the guides do the best they can to help rescue you, but they want you to do all you can to help yourself as well.

Photos courtesy of the rafting company.  The rafting company said I could go out with the camera crew and take pictures if I wanted to, which would have been fun, but I really didn’t have the right equipment and I didn’t want to leave the younger kids all day.  When I saw the pictures of Shawn going in the water I was glad I hadn’t been there to witness it first hand, I would have freaked out, especially since I wouldn’t have been able to help.

They all said it was a great experience, and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I, on the other hand, will stick to the middle fork.



Just Floating Along

I am getting so far behind on blogging!  Aaaahhhh.  What I’ve decided to do since I’m behind and getting farther behind by the day is to share what we have been doing recently and then insert past things here and there.  That way I’m not just getting further and further behind.

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Last week we spent the week with Shawn’s sister Lydia.  She lives in a lovely little valley in the mountains of Idaho.  Her house is on a hill surrounded by pine trees and you can watch the deer from the hammock while you rest outside.  It was so peaceful and relaxing.

Shawn’s mother grew up in this quiet little valley, and Shawn spent every summer until he was 16 here.  He spent him summers helping his grandfather, playing with cousins, haying, riding horses, swimming, and getting into mischief.  It was so fun to hear his stories as we drove around and saw all the sights of boyhood summer home.

One thing that he did every summer was float the river.  It’s a just the sort of river that begs to be floated on a hot, lazy summer afternoon, so that’s just what we did.  It took us about 2.5 hours to float the section we did.  A couple of the girl’s, (Katie and Mya) thought it was boring after having floated the much more exciting river in Lava Hot Springs the week before, but Camdon loved it and kept yelling, “This is awesome,” from the top of his lungs which was the exact opposite of what he was saying floating the Lava River.  I personally thought it was just right.

Today’s pictures are brought to you courtesy of Jarom and his waterproof camera.  Thanks, Jarom!

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Thanks for following along with us!


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