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July 2018


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Contents page 30


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7 moving to mexico

Peshastin artist couple decides another adventure, another country is just what they needed

10 eruption!

Wenatchee landscape photographer Marshall Mahler flies to Hawaii to capture dramatic photos of flowing lava

12 smelling rustled roses

Sometimes, the best roses are the ones you snip from abandoned homes and along back road byways

14 counting songbirds at dawn

Marilyn Sherling and her daughter, Amanda, spent a cold, uncomfortable night sleeping in the car in order to listen to songbirds in the early morning

16 summer fun from cary ordway Those dams are darn interesting

20 the container house revisited

Take a look how shipping containers came together to make a perfect getaway retreat

27 they built this city

Floor king Garry Sparks proved to be a city visionary

Art sketches n Wood artisan Thomas Howell, page 30 n Historical novelist Jane Nagler, page 33 Columns & Departments 6 A bird in the lens: The bright Bullock’s Oriole 19 Meet our native plants: Bitterroot has its benefits 24 Pet Tales: Bella is a beauty 25 Bonnie Orr: A taste of Cuba 26 June Darling: Take pride, be successful 28 The traveling doctor: Cruising the Rhine River 30-35 Arts & Entertainment & a Dan McConnell cartoon 36 History: Riches in the ditches 38 That’s life: Kamikaze robin July 2018 | The Good Life



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Year 12, Number 7 July 2018 The Good Life is published by NCW Good Life, LLC, dba The Good Life 10 First Street, Suite 108 Wenatchee, WA 98801 PHONE: (509) 888-6527 EMAIL: ONLINE: FACEBOOK: https://www. Editor/Publisher, Mike Cassidy Contributors, Dan Fitting, Cindy Rietveldt, Marshall Mahler, Susan Sampson, Marilyn Sherling, Cary Ordway, Susan Blair, Bruce McCammon, Jaana Hatton, Donna Cassidy, Bonnie Orr, Jim Brown, June Darling, Dan McConnell, Susan Lagsdin and Rod Molzahn Advertising: Lianne Taylor Bookkeeping and circulation, Donna Cassidy Proofing, Dianne Cornell Ad design, Clint Hollingsworth Video editor, Aaron Cassidy TO SUBSCRIBE: For $25, ($30 out of state address) you can have 12 issues of The Good Life mailed to you or a friend. Send payment to: The Good Life 10 First Street, Suite 108 Wenatchee, WA 98801 For circulation questions, email: BUY A COPY of The Good Life at Safeway stores, Walgreens, Mike’s Meats at Pybus, Rhubarb Market, Martin’s Market Place (Cashmere) and Dan’s Food Market (Leavenworth) ADVERTISING: For information about advertising in The Good Life, contact Lianne Taylor at (509) 6696556 or WRITE FOR THE GOOD LIFE: We welcome articles about people from Chelan and Douglas counties. Send your idea to Mike Cassidy at

The Good Life® is a registered trademark of NCW Good Life, LLC. Copyright 2018 by NCW Good Life, LLC.

Bending light, creating rays from the sun By Dan Fitting


took this image while heading up to Mission Ridge looking southeast towards Quincy. Sometimes sun flares and star bursts can ruin a shot but other times they can add an interesting element to enhance it. I like how the streaks of sun turned out in this instance. A sun flare from a light source is the result of light diffraction.

Diffraction is the slight bending of (light) waves around small obstacles and the spreading out of (light) waves past small openings. As light passes into your camera lens through a small opening, i.e. a small aperture, (like f22 rather than f5.6) or at a low focal length, (like 50mm lens rather than 150mm) it bends around the edges of the blades and creates the “streaks of light or star” look. The number of rays from each star burst is related to the number of aperture blades in your lens. The more blades your lens

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has, the more “sun flares” are possible. So if you want to switch up the look, experiment with different lenses as well as different apertures. To view more of Dan Fitting’s photos, visit

On the cover

Cindy Rietveldt presents her garden in her and husband Bill’s house in Mérida, with its beautiful bougainvillea, a couple of cactus and palms, a lime tree and a sour orange tree.

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July 2018


editor’s notes


What Real Estate Needs Can I Help You With?

Artist pair moves for an adventure A while back, Cindy Ri-

etveldt left a phone message saying: “Cancel our subscription to The Good Life, we’re moving out of the country.” What? I called her back and asked where and why she and her husband, Bill — two well-known local artists (we had a story about their giant puppets in the September 2016 issue) — were moving. “Mérida, in the Yucatán area of Mexico,” she said. And, as for the why, see her story on page 7. “It was hard to write and I know it’s too long even though I cut out paragraphs. There are so many other aspects of this story to talk about,” wrote Cindy. “Our experience here is mostly good but very complicated by unforeseen issues with our house and the manual labor required to make changes, the hard work (and enjoyment) of learning Spanish, the experience of starting to make art under a whole different set of circumstances... I could go on and on. Politics! We don’t even begin to understand local politics!” Now, we are not encouraging readers to cancel their subscriptions and move away — but we do promote the notion of never giving up on the idea of taking on a new adventure. Whether you ever make such a move or not, it’s fun imagining yourself packing up the car and the pets, and hitting the road for a new destination. Criminal behavior? Is that what The Good Life is endorsing now? It might appear that way, with our story about the joys of rus-

tling roses. Susan Sampson contacted us recently, asking: “Do you have any interest in looking at an essay about collecting antique varieties of roses from cuttings collected from abandoned lots and farmyard and the like? I do this as a hobby — I’ve populated my yard with them.” In her story, Susan uses such phrases as “steal a (rose) start” and “I drove the get-away car,” but perhaps tongue in cheek. In any event, the booty Susan made off with are thriving in her yard this summer. See her story and a few photos of the roses on pages 12 and 13.

You can live your dream — and make a living, too. Marshall Mahler was working for Parsons Photography when he decided to leave in 2007 and pursue a career as a fine art landscape photographer. These days, he makes his living pretty much by selling his prints at such places as Leavenworth’s Art in the Park. We caught up with him one Saturday at his Leavenworth booth and he said, “When I started, I just had a few dozen prints in a small space here. Now, I probably have 1,800 right here.” We would have talked more, but customers started coming in... and well, business is business. Marshall just returned from Hawaii where he rented a helicopter to photograph the erupting Kilauea volcano. See a few of his photos on pages 10 and 11. Steal an adventure wherever you can and enjoy The Good Life. — Mike July 2018 | The Good Life


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column a bird in the lens

Bullock’s Oriole: A gift of a photo I

By Bruce McCammon

saw my first Bullock’s Oriole several years ago while visiting the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge. A friend pointed to the bird perched in dense shrubs and identified it for me. I hurried to find a position to take a photo but failed. I left with nothing but a memory of this beautiBruce McCammon ful bird. is retired, colorI rememblind and enjoys ber it being photographing the bright yellow, birds in north censmaller than tral Washington. an American Robin and having a bright white patch on black wings. The good news is that Bullock’s Orioles frequent our area in the spring and summer allowing us to see them when we are out enjoying nature. This photo was taken about one mile up Number 2 Canyon Road in Wenatchee. My observations of them have always

been in rural areas or on the urban fringe. The Horan Natural Area in Wenatchee or along the Apple Capital Loop Trail are good places to see these beautiful birds. Details about this bird can be found on the Audubon website ( I think of this photo as a gift the bird gave to me. I had been sitting in my truck for about 20 minutes observing distant birds using mock orange and elderberry shrubs as perches as they foraged and sang to stake their areas and attract mates. My

binoculars were used more than my camera. Your chances of seeing wild birds increase if you stop and sit quietly for a few minutes. If you use a vehicle as a blind your chances of seeing nearby birds increase dramatically. This bright Bullock’s Oriole landed in the bush about 20 feet from my truck window. It posed for me for about a minute before flying off. That was a generous amount of time to take several photos showing many different poses. I prefer this image to the others because the bird’s head is

turned to create a dynamic pose. The catch light in the eye is something I always strive to capture since it adds life to the bird. The clean background helps to make the bird easily visible. I hope you get to see one of these great birds this season. Take a walk through the Horan area in Wenatchee, visit Porter’s Pond on the eastside Loop Trail, or hike our great trails. These birds will entertain and delight you if you are fortunate to see them. Go explore the outdoors and you’ll encounter Bullock’s Orioles and many other wonderful birds.

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July 2018

Artists move from Peshastin

to Mexico

Just retired yet prospects for the style of life couple wanted looked grim in the Northwest. But what about Mérida?


By Cindy Rietveldt

ow did we get to here? The short answer would be that on Monday, March 12, we loaded our cat and dog into our old reliable minivan, drove for nine days, and then pulled up in front of our new home in Mérida, Mexico where we unlocked the front door, walked in, and all four of us began to settle in to our new lives. But, of course it’s a much longer story with many parts and short stories that led us to make the decisions that brought us to this city of close to one million people on the Yucatan Peninsula that we had not even heard of until seven years ago. This was not the first time we had made a drastic life-changing move. The first one was in 1971 when I was 19 and Billy was 21. We had met in high school and married a week after I graduated, in June of 1970. A year later we were living in our little one-bedroom apartment with our new baby and we looked around and asked ourselves; “How did we get to here?” So, we loaded our six-weekold son, our two dogs and our cat into an old Volkswagen van and headed west with $250 to our names. Really. But this WAS 1971, gas was cheap, and we made it to Portland. We lived there for 15 years. Our next couple of moves were not such great distances. We were in Seattle for three years and then lived on Vashon Island for seven more before moving east of the mountains where Billy worked first as the director of the Museum and Pioneer Vil-

Bill Rietveldt and his wife, Cindy, offer a toast from their garden in Mérida.

It was a long, 12-day drive from Peshastin to Mérida, Mexico.

lage in Cashmere. We bought a house in Peshastin with a large basement, where I worked, and a clumsy garage that housed Billy’s art supplies and tools. We shopped a lot. For 22 years more things went in the door of that house than ever came out. And we were comfortJuly 2018 | The Good Life

able. And then Saundra Isabella Valencia invited a number of the artists she had met while working as director of Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth to visit her in her home in Mérida, Mexico. Bella hoped her restored house



could become a bed and breakfast for artists looking to get to know the Yucatan and we were to be her guinea pigs. Six of us took her up on it and in late November of 2011 we all flew to Mérida for two weeks. We were all intrigued. Was there a lot of art? Yes, we were promised world-class museums with free admission and numerous galleries to visit. Would there be many things to do? We were told there would be multiple dance events each week in the city parks and streets, ruins and cenotes to tour, beaches on the Gulf of Mexico just a municipal bus ride away and opportunities to see tropical birds and other wildlife on expertly guided trips to nature reserves. And we all had a wonderful time! We all danced, enjoying the opportunity to be outdoors for evenings of Latin music. We ate great food. Billy and I walked the crumbly streets and fell completely in love with the city. On one of our outings we met a woman from New England who was in Mérida for two weeks of an intensive language and culture program at a school called “Habla.” When we were back in Peshastin we did our research and returned the following winter for two weeks of Spanish study there ourselves. Why? We told ourselves and our instructors that it was for the experience and the opportunity to learn to better communicate with the Spanish speakers in our community in Washington. The reality was that we came home, got busy, and retained little of the Spanish we

}}} Continued on next page

MOVING TO MEXICO }}} Continued from previous page had learned. But we were more hooked on Mérida than ever. We came back again and again, visiting more of the Yucatan Peninsula and exploring more of this city each time. Should we move here? Why should we move at all? That remained the biggest question. We loved our friends and the Wenatchee Valley, and we could visit our son and his family in the Seattle area easily and frequently. We still enjoyed our cozy colorful Peshastin home, but we’d fallen out of love with the work entailed to maintain it and we were no longer inspired to vegetable garden. Billy retired from his job as Curator of Exhibits at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center and both he and I wanted our own good studio space. We could do a big expensive remodel; our lot was large enough to add the studios we both wanted. But we also liked the idea of being able to travel. If we depleted our savings by reworking our existing home, travel would be hard to justify. And we would still have all that yardwork. We did look for another place to buy. Nothing suited our needs for space and privacy or affordable price. Moving is hard work and we didn’t want to do it again in a few years if we felt the need to be near stores and medical facilities. Prospects for the style of life we wanted looked grim — in the Northwest. But what about Mérida? Mérida was established over 400 years ago when the conquering Spanish demolished the ancient stone structures they found and enslaved the local population, forcing them to build a new city on top of the

Allie rides in Bill’s lap during the long drive to Mérida.

ruins using materials from their old one. Much of what they built still stands and you can tell these earliest buildings by the immense size of the stones versus the small amount of mortar between them. Years of prosperity in the state of Yucatan, brought on by the worldwide need for the rope made from the henequen grown here, meant that people who enjoyed great wealth would build large ornate high-ceilinged homes and mansions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Added to this combination are the mid-century middle class houses, frequently with spaces to accommodate cars off the narrow streets and backed by patio areas and, often, with smaller “casitas” that housed the domestic help. The henequen industry went bust, moneyed people left the region and a large amount of the inner city fell into disrepair. But it remained the Yucatan’s largest city and cultural hub. A number of years ago foreigners, many from the United States


| The Good Life

We still enjoyed our cozy colorful Peshastin home, but we’d fallen out of love with the work entailed to maintain it and we were no longer inspired to vegetable garden. and Canada, began to buy and restore the crumbling buildings. So, we decided to make one trip here solely for the purpose of looking at houses. Billy contacted a highly recommended real estate agent and I made the reservations. Two weeks before our scheduled February departure last year Billy had a heart attack and required bypass surgery. When he felt well again he was even less inspired by home repair and yard work. We did our Mérida house hunt in late August and early September. We were looking for some-


July 2018

thing located within walking distance of the city’s cultural center that didn’t require months, or even years, of repair work and, most of all, had workspaces for both of us. We looked at 15 homes that had appeared to be possibilities from the photographs we had seen on the internet. Only one came close. It had probably been built in the 1950s and had a large sunny room at the very front that had been used for an office or small business, a perfect studio for Billy. There were two bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms — friends and family could come to visit. And, best of all, behind the house was a humble but very usable casita with its own covered patio and three rooms plus a bathroom. A perfect studio for me. We revisited the house with our agent. We returned on foot a couple of times during the day and at night to check out the neighborhood. The house was on a quiet residential block. It wasn’t a house from one of the city’s more inspired eras of architecture, but it had large rooms and was very airy and comfortable. But I wasn’t feeling well. I blamed it on a combination of something I’d eaten and the intense summer heat. Maybe Mérida wasn’t such a good idea after all. We went home without buying anything. It was hard, after planning and plotting for so long, to let our dream die. At this point we had thought of ourselves as people still capable of making life-altering decisions and realized we wanted to experience how such a move would change us. Neither of us talked about it very much but we weren’t very happy. One Friday in late October I finally asked Billy, “Are you still thinking about that house?” He was. We started to talk about Mérida again. By Monday Billy was contacting the real estate

A month is not enough time to advertise and wait patiently for the right people to come along to buy your things. agent and beginning to negotiate the purchase. We started telling people what we were doing — to a great mixture of reactions. Some were envious, but many were incredulous that two relatively old people without a working ability in Spanish between them would be planning to sell their home and move to a Mexican city more than 3,000 miles away. We felt like kids again. Sort of. I still wasn’t feeling very well. The short story is that I was misdiagnosed with a scary cancer. I did need surgery but I did not have any serious problems. However, Billy and I had both had frightening health issues within a year and we felt even more urgency about making changes in the way we were living than we had before. The holidays came and went, and our Leavenworth real estate agent encouraged us to put our home up for sale. We did. And the first person who came to look at it decided to buy. Suddenly, after slogging along with indecision and health problems for almost a year we had to move fast. We spent a month in chaos seriously getting rid of just about everything we owned. A month is not enough time to advertise and wait patiently for the right people to come along to buy your things. A month is barely enough time to rally everyone you know to come by and take just about anything they want. Well, not quite everything. We filled a giant dumpster — twice. And Billy carefully, lovingly, packed 27 boxes full of artwork,

Cindy and Bill Rietveldt with their giant raven puppet from the September 2016 issue of The Good Life. They made giant puppets for Salmon Festivals at the fish hatchery in Leavenworth and for the Wenatchee Valley Museum to use in the Apple Blossom Festival parades.

tools and kitchen equipment while I found a shipping company who said they could hold them until our paperwork in Mexico was completed and our possessions could enter the country. (If they arrive one day it will be included in a follow-up story.) Because we have two pets —a beautiful tortoiseshell cat named Allie and a mutt named Gladys — we decided to drive. We took our aging minivan to a mechanic and had it declared capable of surviving a 3,600mile drive. The large seat that fit across the very back joined the contents of the dumpster and we packed the car with clothes, pet food, dog and cat crates (we had heard that dogs frequently needed to be crated at the border), a litter box, our favorite coffee mugs and cereal bowls and my beloved sculpture stand. It’s made of cast iron, weighs a ton, is completely adjustable and supports as much clay as we’ve ever needed to make a giant puppet head. This is the only piece of “furniture” we brought with us. By the time dear friends Martha Flores, Rod Daut and July 2018 | The Good Life

Chris Radar threw us a going away party we had a hard time finding anything in the house to wear. We were moving to a hot humid city, remember? We’d saved only enough cold weather clothing to last us through the part of our drive when we would need them. That party! Twenty-three years in the beautiful Wenatchee Valley with so many people we love and still we were leaving. We knew how we had gotten to “here” but there was no way to easily explain to the friends who were saying they were going to miss us. We miss them too. Our departure on March 12 was largely “symbolic,” we didn’t pull out of the driveway until 4 in the afternoon. But the sun was shining down on us and we made it all the way to Pendleton and the first of our “pet friendly” hotels. We took photographs out of the windows of the car and made copious notes because it felt like the ride itself was going to be one of our great life adventures. A lot of it was beautiful, a little of it was tedious. But, all and all, things went relatively smoothly. On our fifth day of travel, we



crossed into Mexico at the Santa Teresa border crossing west of El Paso. It was just a little out of our way, but we’d read that it was uncrowded and the easiest place to enter Mexico. And we were so ready. We had every bit of documentation in hand, including health certificates from our Leavenworth vet for Gladys and Allie. It was a piece of cake. I started the process for my permanent residency status, Billy came through on a tourist visa because it’s the only way he could bring in the car, and nobody bothered about the pets except to tell us that Gladys was just so cute. Between Chihuahua and Leon, we looked at our mileage and realized we were over halfway to Mérida. Two days later, between Aguascalientes and Puebla our van crossed the 200,000-mile threshold on its odometer. We were driving through a lush green landscape of handtended agriculture. We saw horses pulling carts and plows and drove through mile after mile of nut trees. I write this, and it reads as though what we were seeing was somehow primitive when it was exactly the opposite. These fields and orchards are the result of an enormous amount of work done by very skilled laborers while there is not a piece of sophisticated equipment to be seen. We crossed magnificent mountains. Between Puebla and Villahermosa the main crop became sugarcane, miles and miles of sugarcane. Our last day found us driving back north along a sparsely inhabited coastline. We rode through Ciudad del Carmen and skirted Campeche as we headed inland. On March 22 — Billy’s 68th birthday by the way — we pulled up in front of our new home in Mérida, Mexico where we unlocked the front door, walked in, and all four of us began to settle into our new lives.

Flying above red hot lava A government chartered plane flies approximately 500 feet below Marshall’s chartered helicopter in close proximity to the active No. 8 Fissure spewing lava upwards of 250 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration put a Temporary Flight Restriction in place that restricts all non-emergency and non-government aircraft to 3,000 feet above ground level. Photos by Marshall R. Mahler

Local landscape and wildlife pho-

tographer Marshall R. Mahler recently traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii to capture fine art images of the current eruption of the Kilauea Volcano. Marshall set out on his journey with a goal of photographing the lava eruption via land, sea, and air. His attempt of photographing from land proved to be a challenge and eventually unsuccessful due to the closure and mandatory evacuations of many sections of the Lower East Rift Zone by local and state authorities. Phase two of the plan involved taking an open ocean boat (at the pre-dawn hour of 4 a.m.) from Hilo around Cape Kumukahi to the ocean entry zone where lava flows directly into the sea. He found moderate success there with one active flow. “Phase three proved the most successful, but involved taking images out of an open door of a chartered helicopter at the cool rate of $1,674 per hour,” he said. Marshall and his pilot were able to fly directly above Fissure No. 8 and the lava

river to capture images. “Photographing an active volcano comes with a certain set of challenges such as the constant vibration of the helicopter itself and avoiding photographing through the heat waves produced by the lava,” Marshall said. Piloting above an active volcano comes with challenges as well, such as avoiding the uprising thermals and staying clear of the ever changing volcanic steam and ash cloud. “Even at 3,000 feet above the actively erupting fissure, I could feel the intense heat rising off the lava,” he said. The eruption started on May 3 when several fissures opened up in the Leilani Estates subdivision south of Hilo and started spewing out lava. In all, 24 fissures opened up. Fissure No. 8 has been the most active and has created a lava river that has reached the sea at Kapoho Bay. Kapoho Bay no longer exists as the lava flow completely filled in the bay and beyond. Thus far, some 500 homes have been destroyed and residents from many more homes have been evacuated.

AT LEFT: Fissure No. 8 erupts with lava spewing 200 - 250 feet out of the ground forming a lava river that flows approximately 8 miles out to the Pacific Ocean. Just downhill from the fissure, the lava river has been clocked at an amazing 15 mph. Taken from an open door of a helicopter at 3,000 feet above the lava flow.


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July 2018

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A lava flow enters the Pacific Ocean creating hydrochloric acid steam called Laze as the lava interacts with the salt water. Extreme temperatures from the lava flow (2,200 F) causes the sea water to break down into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen combines with chlorine ions dissolved in the sea water forming hydrogen chloride gas (hydrochloric acid). This rising column of steam can also carry tiny volcanic glass shards.

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Susan Sampson sniffs the sweet perfume and spicy leaves of Common Moss.

Smelling rustled roses “S

By Susan Sampson

top and smell the roses,” the admonition goes. I do, probably overmuch. I’ve always been around a few roses. A thornless climber with large pink flowers covered the post that supported one end of my mother’s clothesline. A moss rose shrub completely covered with thorns guarded the pole at the other end. It was wicked to keep weeded. When I started my own garden, nurseries offered almost exclusively hybrid tea roses having only a few, largely bare canes, each topped with a single showy flower at a time. Only a few were perfumed, and some of those were horribly susceptible

Austrian Copper grows into deep hedges and lights up the spring landscape around Wenatchee.

to infections of powdery mildew and blackspot in our damp Pacific Northwest climate. One day I saw a magazine article that described roses that weren’t found in nurseries any more. Many had been brought by American pioneers from old European gardens and handed down through families and friends. I was intrigued. I wondered whether I could find any. That’s when I became a rose rustler. I began by searching the alleys in my Seattle neighborhood. Sure enough, there were climbers with stiff, upright canes clambering over the tops of old garages, dense rugosas with crinkly, mint-like leaves sending suckers underneath fences into


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Belle de Crecy, an old French rose. |

July 2018

The background is Harrison’s Yellow, which might be the Yellow Rose of Texas. It’s common in abandoned gardens in and around Wenatchee. Bottom left corner: That is a close-up of Common Moss, “so called for the moss-like frills that cover its bud. Top right, the 5-petaled white rose. This is a wild species, Rosa canina, the Dog Rose, named for its wicked hooked thorns that resemble a dog’s teeth. It was collected from the old railroad route between Renton and Maple Valley. the next yard, and ramblers with canes sprawling across the roadway, being run over by garbage trucks. If a plant were encroaching the right of way or were being run over, I felt justified in taking a cutting. I’d save that plant for posterity. My grandmother always said if you steal a start, it’s sure to grow. I drove the get-away car and recruited my sister to take a cutting from a red moss rose that I’d spotted growing in a ditch. Just as she was done harvesting my start, to tease her, I yelled “Hurry! Here they come!” She flew into the car and wrenched her back, but the cutting thrived. Soon my small urban yard was crowded with roses. My letter carrier left a note

that I’d have to cut them back, or he wouldn’t deliver mail to my porch any more. My yard was his shortcut to all the neighbors’ boxes, too, so I had to comply. When I had enough roses to cut bouquets, I’d bring them to work. They brought me new friends. An amateur master polevaulter, Chad Bollinger, came by my desk at Seattle City Hall to introduce himself and talk about roses. Later, when I opened my own business in a rental suite, the landlord provided a janitorial service of workers whom I’d never see. Like the shoemaker’s elves, they swept through at night, vacuuming and carrying out the trash. One morning I found a note from the janitor, July 2018 | The Good Life

Jenny Howard. Her hobby was growing old roses. We met at her back yard, where she named all her old European varieties, pronouncing their names in perfect French. Jenny and I each met Mike Darlow, who grew a few old roses and perennial flowers to sell, until he packed it in and moved to Hawaii. At last the internet arrived, and I could find old roses online. I moved again, to the high desert of north central Washington, where it’s too arid for blackspot. I’ve lost track of Chad, Jenny and Mike, but some of my rose friends are still with me. Climbing American Beauty still covers my fence. Common moss is so vigorous that I have to root-prune it with a shovel and prune with a hedge trimmer



to keep it in its place. My wild Rosa canina that followed the Cedar River railway, growing in clumps all the way from Seattle to Maple Valley, reaches nine feet high and screens out the view of a messy lot. Harrison’s Yellow, which might be “The Yellow Rose of Texas” followed me home from an abandoned farmyard. I could ramble on. I could tell you how early Jesuits in Asia collected wild species and how the Empress Josephine collected roses across the battle lines of French and British wars — but as I said, you’d think that I’d lingered a little too long, smelling the roses. Susan Rae Sampson, a U-Dub graduate, retired from law and moved to the Wenatchee area in 2009.

Counting songbirds at the crack of dawn

Count by listening: Amanda Sherling concentrates to hear the song of early rising birds among the sagebrush. Photo by Marilyn Sherling

By Marilyn Sherling There’s frost on the outside of my car this morning when I wake up at 4:30 a.m. It’s 34 degrees outside. Personally, I think there is plenty of room for one person to sleep in the back of my Subaru Forester. Just flip down the back seat, throw in a foam pad and your sleeping bag and climb in. No problem when the one person is short, like me. But, two full grown adults? Not so comfy. Especially, when one of them is tall like my daughter Amanda. So, what are Amanda and I doing up here in the middle of nowhere, sleeping in the back of my car in acres of sagebrush? We’re counting songbirds — Sagebrush obligate songbirds — for the Audubon Society. Amanda and I are both members of North Central Wash-

ington Audubon Society and we are volunteer participants in a multi-year study Audubon is conducting of songbirds who inhabit the sagebrush areas of Washington state. Normally a survey team does one survey each month in April, May and June. But, since our Audubon chapter is short handed this year, Amanda and I have agreed to try and do two surveys each month. We picked survey spots that were not too far apart in the hopes of getting them both done by the 9 a.m. deadline. So, that finds us sleeping in the car. Since our most distant survey spot is over 80 miles from where we live, we decided to drive up the night before and car camp. I had picked up Amanda at 5 p.m. the previous day and we headed up the east side of the Columbia River to Orondo, up Pine Canyon, and east on Highway 2. When we got to Moses Cou-


| The Good Life

lee, we took a left on the dirt road in the middle of the coulee and drove north seven miles to Jameson Lake where we planned to have dinner at Jack’s Resort before going on to our destination. That night we ate the dinner special — bacon-wrapped jumbo prawns with a great salad, delicious green beans, loaded potato and homemade rolls. They also had homemade pie. As we headed back to my car, Amanda said, “Did I pack my boots?” I confess that I haven’t seen them, and we discover that she has forgotten her hiking boots. All she is wearing on her feet are flip-flops — definitely not something to wear while scrambling through the sagebrush. What to do? We are 55 miles from home. Do we turn around, go back, get the boots and then head out again? I tell Amanda that she can wear my hiking boots and I will wear my tennis shoes, which re-


July 2018

ally is not the best footwear for sagebrush. Or course, my boots aren’t the best for her, either, since they are 2 1/2 sizes smaller than what she wears.

We get back on the road, and by the time the sun is setting, we feel like we are in the middle of nowhere, 20 miles up a dirt road. Actually, we are on a plateau on top of the western walls of Grand Coulee. We retire to the back of the car to sleep. Ha! Like I said, it’s great for one person. The next morning we wake to frost on the car and cold. Eventually we climb out, get our equipment (binoculars, GPS, sun hats, jackets and boots). If we weren’t conducting two surveys this morning, we would have taken our cameras, as well. But we are pressed for time this morning, and won’t really have

time to photograph any birds we might see. The truth of the matter is, sagebrush birds are very elusive. Most of our counting of birds is done by ear, listening to the songs and calls. Once in a while we get to actually see them. When Amanda and I first began with Audubon, we attended training classes where we learned to identify the target species by sight and by song. Our target species are the Sage Thrasher, Brewer’s Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow. There are usually many more species in the same habitat, and those are counted as well. We often see, Vesper Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Western Meadowlarks and Horned Larks. Identifying a bird by its song can be tricky when you are first learning this skill. The Sage Thrasher has a beautiful song that goes on and on and on and on. That’s one feature that helps to identify it. The Brewer’s Sparrow has a buzzy song and most of the time sounds like a Rainbird lawn sprinkler. When you hear the bird give a couple of notes and then sing tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh, just like the lawn sprinkler, you’ve got a Brewer’s Sparrow. Each month the site is surveyed by a different Audubon team. Audubon supplies a survey count sheet where the team records all birds seen and heard. There is one survey, called a Traveling Count, recorded for the walk from the parking spot to the survey site (which has been previously marked with a pole and colored streamer). The team notes the time the walk begins, the temperature, wind, weather, the distance to the spot and the time it took to reach the spot. We climb through the barbedwire fence and begin walking toward the site. It is a beautiful morning and we make note of species that we hear and see. It takes us 30 minutes to walk the third mile and find the flagged pole. We hear

and/or see five different species along the way. Once at the site, we wait two to three minutes for things to settle down and then we take the second count, called a Stationary Count. For this survey we also enter a sagebrush count — a number indicating presence of sagebrush within 100 meters of the site, 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 30-40, or greater than 40. This site is quite lush, so the count is greater than 40. We begin our 10-minute Stationary Count and again end up with five species. However, there is no Sage Thrasher or Horned Lark here, but we pick up a Sagebrush Sparrow and a Vesper Sparrow. Since this is the last survey (June) to be conducted this year, we pull up the stake to bring back to the Audubon chapter head, and head back to the car. We conduct another Traveling Count, conducted in the same way as the first. Amanda’s feet — squeezed into my boots — are screaming at her, and she is anxious to be done. On the way back we count six species. The Sagebrush Sparrow seems to have followed us out.

We finish here at 7:02 a.m., so we should be in good shape to meet our 9 a.m. deadline of finishing the second survey. We climb through the barbedwire fence, get into the car, and head south 10 miles to the second spot. Amanda can hardly wait to finish the second survey, so she can take off my boots. The parking spot for the second survey is just off of Highway 17. We park the car and begin our first Traveling Count. However, this spot is twice as far as the first, two thirds of a mile. Amanda is gritting her teeth. One of the side effects of wearing my boots (other than pain) is that my footprint is smaller, and she finds that her balance is affected. She has a harder time July 2018 | The Good Life

walking on the uneven ground. And, it is definitely uneven ground. We conduct these three survey counts in exactly the same way as the first site. However, this site has many more horned larks, 14 for the walk in. And, no Sagebrush Sparrow. They don’t show up as often as we would like. The final Traveling Count is completed. We get back to the car at exactly 9 a.m. This was a difficult walk, especially in boots 2 1/2 sizes too small. Amanda sits down in my car and removes my boots. I think you

could hear her exclamation of relief all the way to Wenatchee. Our final consensus is, even with the negatives of sleeping in the car and hiking in too small boots, this was still a great adventure. We love watching, listening to, and counting birds. We especially love getting out in nature. Next time, though, we won’t forget the boots. Marilyn Sherling is currently retired and enjoys anything outdoors. Amanda recently graduated from WVC. They both volunteer with Wenatchee River Institute and NCW Audubon.

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s ’ y a w d r O y r a C CENTRAL



Dam fun: Who knew power plants are cool By CARY ORDWAY

views of the full length of the powerhouse, the spillway, fish ladder, juvenile fish bypass, and the Columbia River. The center also has acres of grounds where you can picnic and enjoy the many flowers or chase the bunnies that call the property home.


es, they provide power, and yes, they provide big lakes for water skiing, fishing and boating. But did you know the Northwest’s hydroelectric dams also can be great getaways? All right, educational getaways, but nevertheless the dams have some darn interesting information to impart to both you and your kids. It’s a great family outing. Whether taking a short day trip in North Central Washington or heading to more distant destinations such as the Columbia Gorge, Wenatchee Valley residents have a lot of dam options. Wanapum Dam The most recent dam to offer visitor services is the Wanapum Dam, a Central Washington dam easily accessible if you’re traveling east and west on Interstate 90. The Grant County PUD opened a new visitor center in 2015. Among the new exhibits are some that show how the Columbia River has shaped Grant County over time. You can watch the formation of the Columbia Basin on video and try your hand at generating your own electricity. Recreation centers are highlighted at the center and will show you where and how you can take advantage of the water activities made possible by the dam.

Wells Dam

It’s a long way down when standing at the top of the Grand Coulee Dam spillway Cary Ordway is publisher of and host of Exploring the Northwest, heard at12:30 p.m.weekdays on KPQ 560 AM, Wenatchee. Central Washington Experience is made possible by the sponsors appearing in these articles. Email:; Twitter: @getawayguy

Wanapum Dam is about four miles south of the Interstate 90 bridge near Vantage. Admission to the visitor center is free. Rocky Reach Dam Rocky Reach Dam has quite an elaborate visitor center and tour. The dam’s visitor center is eight miles north of Wenatchee on Highway 97A.

elevator down to the fourth floor where they can enjoy a number of exhibits and observation points. Self-guided tours take visitors through the Museum of the Columbia, featuring a look back at the rich history of early life along the Columbia River. Balconies provide visitors with

A highlight of any visit is the opportunity for a close-up view of fish passing through the fishway. The fish viewing room allows visitors to watch salmon and other species continue their upstream migration to spawning areas. Guests can also walk along the forebay deck to the powerhouse and take an SUMMER 2018 | THE GOOD LIFE | Central Washington Experience |


If you’re headed north on vacation, a great stop in North Central Washington is the Wells Dam Overlook and Visitor Center near Pateros. This offers a panoramic view of the dam from a location just west of the dam off Highway 97. The overlook area includes vehicle parking, restrooms and a picnic shelter, while you can see exhibits of Native American pictographs and an original Wells Project turbine runner. The Wells Project Visitor Center is located just inside the hydrocombine and offers exhibits on the lifecycle of salmon as well as a description of the power

Young members get low Country Club rate

F Wanapum Dam has the newest visitor center

Northwest dams...

Visitor centers are fun travel stops (from page 16)

generation facilities. There are also geographic and historical exhibits focusing on this part of Washington. Grand Coulee Dam A tour of Grand Coulee Dam is an amazing experience and well worth the two-hour side trip northeast from Wenatchee whenever you get over to the east side of the mountains. When you take the 45-minute tour of Grand Coulee Dam you’ll be escorted by armed guard to the top of the spillway where you can look down at a wall of water much higher and much wider than Niagara Falls. The look down is breathtaking as you watch the water make its long journey to the river below -- if you’re afraid of heights, you might just want to stay in the tour bus. Grand Coulee Dam is not just any dam -- it once was

the world’s biggest dam and remains among the few dams in the world that can produce enough electricity to power 11 western states. It’s not as high as Hoover Dam, but it’s wider, and the visitor staffers at both dams enjoy a running competition to make their respective dam sound more impressive than the other. Once you get to Grand Coulee, there’s no mistaking just how important this piece of concrete is. It’s the world’s largest concrete structure and it holds back an incredible amount of water that is sucked down through turbines that are constantly spinning and humming. If you stop at the vantage point coming into Grand Coulee, you can look down at the dam alongside an information board that shows you how the dam dwarfs Niagara Falls and famous skyscrapers from around the world. Tours of the dam run hourly.

or a lot of people the term “country club” is a cliché, a catch-all term that conjures the image of wealth and exclusivity. The truth is, in Wenatchee that’s only half true.

of choices, from casual to elegant dining. A new fitness room also has been added to help work off those fine-dining calories.

The Wenatchee Golf and Country Club wants you to know that you don’t have to be wealthy to be a member of this particular country club -- especially if you’re a young wage-earner or family still making hard choices about where to spend your entertainment buck. The club has a new tiered dues system that greatly reduces the financial obligation for members under the age of 43. “We wanted the younger people to feel that, once they’ve experienced the atmosphere and excitement and pencil it out, this really works for them,” explained General Manager Rob Clark. “We built these categories for keeping members long-term.” All of this goes hand-in-hand with a $2.9 million renovation to the club that has brought resort-style amenities to the Wenatchee club. Among the additions have been a completely new restaurant/lounge area, new bar, new women’s cardroom to match the men’s and a new kitchen and menu that offers a much wider range

SUMMER 2018 | THE GOOD LIFE | Central Washington Experience |


Dues start at $108 per month for singles or families, a rate available to anyone under 30. The next category up is ages 30 to 36, with the rate $180 per month. At age 37 to 42, members pay $270 per month. From age 43 on up, the monthly dues are $360 for a family or $307 for a single. The club is betting that young families will run the numbers and realize that a membership offers significant value and can be more efficient overall than many other possible ways to spend their entertainment budget. Clark says it’s simply more bang for your buck. The old cliché about country clubs does hit the mark when it comes to exclusivity. Here in Wenatchee, that translates into such advantages as quick-andeasy tee times. If you get up in the morning and want to golf, chances are you’ll get a tee time that day. For more information on the Wenatchee Golf and Country Club, please visit www. or phone 509-884-7105.

Taste Treats

NCW Wine Trails Martin Scott Winery

Must-visit tasting rooms around NCW WineGirl Wines


ur winemaker Angela Jacobs is a chemist who played a little roller derby in her spare time. She produces wines with little manipulation to bring you intense flavors worth contemplating. There’s something for everyone from crisp Sauvignon Blanc to full-bodied Syrah Rosé to award-winning Malbec to a luscious Port-style wine. Stop in for a tasting, a trivia game, a rockin’ blues concert, or a barrel burning. Angela, Todd, Brooklyn, Kenai, Quincy and the rest of the crew cannot wait to meet you at our winery in Lake Chelan or our tasting room in Leavenworth. WineGirl Wines, where we strive not only to create story-worthy wines, but to know you by name. 222 E. Wapato Way, Manson. 509-2939679.

Siren Song Winery


olly and Kevin Brown believe everyone has a calling, a “Siren Song.” Their calling is to share the romance and beauty of hand crafted wines made in the old tradition. Holly and Kevin take you on a culinary food and

Malaga Springs Winery

A wine adventure at their Vineyard Estate and Winery in Lake Chelan, WA, where you’ll enjoy tastings on the terrace, picnics in the vineyard, pizza on the piazza, cooking classes, winemakers’ dinners, and a variety of culinary adventures. Siren Song is all about the “irresistible calling” to do the things you love with the one’s you love. The winery is at 635 S. Lakeshore Road, Chelan. Phone 509-888-4657. Tasting room reservations suggested for six or more.

Stemilt Creek Winery


temilt Creek Winery is truly a local tradition worth remembering. 100% of our red wines are barrel aged, estate wines. We routinely garner many awards with consistent high praise. Our vineyards are situated at 1,600 feet elevation within the Wenatchee foothills, ensuring the intensity of developing flavors–focused fruit underlying a predominantly earthy complexity. The best part is the rewarding experience you’ll encounter once you taste our wines. Then you’ll know why we say – Legacy Tradition Heritage. Our tasting rooms are located in downtown Wenatchee at 110 N Wenatchee Ave. and downtown Leavenworth at 617 Front St. Suite 4A.

s someone once said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” We don’t claim to be picture-perfect at Martin Scott Winery, but we are well-liked by shutter bugs from all over the Northwest. The view of the Columbia, with the backdrop of Mission Ridge gets lots of “clicks.” The wine selection “clicks” as well. Unusual varietals. Montepulciano, Counoise, and Tempranillo. Our VIP blends Cabernet and Syrah. Raven Ridge Red. Try the Rose’ of Sangiovese on the patio with Judi’s cheese plate selection. Pinot Gris goes well with sun and color splashes in the seasonal Dahlia garden. 3400 10th St SE, East Wenatchee, 509-886-4596.

Rocky Pond Winery


ooking for some local entertainment this summer? Rocky Pond Winery is kicking off summer with our Summer Concerts Series at the Pond. We will feature good food, great music and even greater wine. Tickets are available in the tasting room and on our website. Beat the lines and purchase advance tickets now. events/category/the-pond. Come and see these talented musical acts in our amazing concert setting. Rocky Pond Winery (The Pond) Sandy Shores Drive, Orondo, WA 509-888-6335. Chelan tasting room is at 212 E. Woodin Ave.

SUMMER 2018 | THE GOOD LIFE | Central Washington Experience |



hen Kathy and Al Mathews started looking around the Wenatchee area in 2000, they had no idea they would end up at 1700’ at the base of towering columnar basalt cliffs. After measuring the sun exposure and heat indices, they purchased the land and planted the first 1,000 grapes. They planted their nine favorite varieties and, as luck would have it, they all thrived. Because of that, the Malaga Springs wine list features a wide variety of choices. Come visit the gorgeous grounds of Malaga Springs and enjoy our wine and spectacular views. 3450 Cathedral Rock Road, Malaga WA. www.malagaspringswinery. com. 509-679-0152.

Rio Vista Wines


io Vista Wines, the Winery on the River, is a hidden jewel on the banks of the sparkling Columbia River and the only waterfront winery. You can visit by car, boat or float plane. Enjoy our deck or landscaped areas while savoring a glass of fine wine with places for everyone to enjoy including the kids. RIO VISTA at the CABIN is our new tasting room located in the quaint village of Manson. The Winery on the River is located at 24415 State Route 97 north of Chelan. Phone 509-682-9713. The Cabin Tasting room is at 224 E Wapato Way, Manson. Phone 509-687-1179.


column meet our native plants

Once past the taste, bitterroot has its benefits B

By Jaana Hatton

itterroot (Lewisia rediviva) grows on grasslands and forests. It grows on low elevations and high on the hills. It is a survivor. But, if you try to transplant bitterroot, it will most likely die. Bitterroot likes to take its time and grow from seed. This tiny perennial herb is about an inch tall and the flower is about the same in width. The flower, usually with 15 petals, can be Jaana Hatton is a white, pink, freelance writer or lavender. and a Wenatchee area resident since You can see 2013. She grew up bitterroot in free as a bird in bloom from the woodlands April through of Finland and July. continues to be enchanted by all How do we things living and know that wild. the root is bitter? The knowledge comes from the generations of people who have been munching on this herb. Bitterroot is quite beneficial, if a bit strong for most taste buds.

Photo by Susan Ballinger/Wenatchee Naturalist

It can be eaten boiled, dried or in powder form. The outer layer is the bitter part: the actual taproot is more palatable and contains many nutrients. Native tribes have been consuming bitterroot both for pleasure and medication. French trappers, no doubt, picked up on this and started utilizing the little powerhouse in the montiaceae family. You may have suspected by the Latin name (Lewisia rediviva) that Meriwether Lewis came across bitterroot during his ex-

July 2018 | The Good Life

pedition in 1805-1806. “Rediviva” means secondhand or re-used: your guess is as good as mine as to how this applies to bitterroot. What benefits does the plant have? There are so many I cannot list them all, but let’s look at some. The root has analgesic properties, and thus helps with pain, such as headaches and injuries. If you are prone to tension and nervousness, by all means, have a bit of bitterroot to take the edge off. The plant also helps with gas-



trointestinal issues. Many native tribes believe in chewing on the leaves or consuming some of the root to help their uncomfortable tummies. The plant is playfully called “Indian Tums.” The herb can also help diabetics to stabilize their blood sugar levels. As with any herbal remedy, it is not recommended that anyone go collecting bitterroot and add them to their pantry basics without consulting a doctor first. As with anything, moderation is always best.

The Carter’s container house is all set up for summer with BBQ, comfy Adirondacks and a couple of first-time visitors. Cut out steel panels were re-fashioned into doors that secure the mostly-glass exterior walls while the owners are away.

Container house revisited Story by Susan Lagsdin Photos by Donna Cassidy


reg Carter’s labor relations work puts him on the Seattle docks, so he’s intimately familiar with shipping containers. When builder Brandon Littrell of One Way Construction, knowing that, suggested the metal boxes for Greg’s and Rania’s vacation house on a 2-acre lot near Plain, Greg was intrigued. The timing of the project was equally serendipitous. The Carters always wanted a baby to complete their family, and they always wanted a getaway cabin near their favorite winter slopes at Stevens Pass.

Bentley the poodle, Rania, baby Estelle and Greg enjoy the (mostly) predictable sunshine in their close-to-Stevens Pass vacation home. Westside urban living is fine for work, but they chose this getaway spot for dryland pleasures.


| The Good Life


July 2018

The first seemed like a sad impossibility, and a few years ago they decided to go ahead with finding land and building a cabin, as a kind of recompense or trade-off for the lack of a child. It was a “we give up” gesture they hoped would be a fulfilling distraction. You can tell from the photos how fate smiled. They started to build a house. They got pregnant. In fall of 2017 the young couple followed through on both their vacation home project and the birth of their baby. Estelle was born October 1 and three weeks later their brand-new daughter spent her first weekend in the not-quite-finished house. We featured it in The Good

The ceiling of the open-plan kitchen and dining area shows the intricacies of welding together the stacked containers as well as scrolling and fitting drywall. The decision to paint all surfaces pure white surprised them with brightness in every room.

All of the walnut wood cabinetry in the kitchen, the entry hallway (prettier than a “mudroom”) and the upstairs rooms is the same style, same color. Rania was aiming for uniformity and simplicity throughout the interior spaces. July 2018 | The Good Life

The stairway to bedrooms and baths is faced with wood-look porcelain tiles, and closely-spaced and almost invisible cables provide security beneath the steel railings. Heated floors are cement on the first floor, artisan tiles on the second.

Life October 2017 just after the six 40-foot by 8-foot cargo containers had been cut and welded into place. Designed by Syndicate Smith architects in Leavenworth, the house yielded some good surprises, wished-for elements that turned out better than anticipated. One was light. “We’d planned the windows, but nobody knew how bright it would be in here,” said Greg. Rania’s choice of white walls and ceilings, in the whitest white you can buy in a can, was certainly a factor, but the tall, south-and-west facing main floor windows and French doors



contribute a lot to the surprising openness. Their weekend guest Derek said, “You walk in and entirely forget that you are inside what was a big dark metal box.” Not only a box, he marveled, but one that’s traveled to foreign ports for years on the high seas with unknowable cargo and considerable battering. The latter is part of the charm of the boxes that Rania hand-picked in Tacoma. Scrapes and gouges are badges of honor. “You can see there where a semi probably backed into the thing,” gestured Greg at a deep

}}} Continued on next page

A wall of windows shows a westward view of timber on the 2-acre lot. The cement patio faces a plot of land ripe for decisions. Native grasses? Extended patio? Gravel? Fencing? The couple hope to blend form and function as they did in the house.

container home revisited

}}} Continued from previous page

ripple on the corrugated interior. “Somebody suggested we buy them new from the manufacturer — but what’s the point?” From a budget and romance-ofthe-seas standpoint, there was none. The other new-house discovery was utility. The cabinetry? Holds everything. The small bedrooms? Just big enough. The floors? Easy sweeping. The deck? Open and protected. The carport? Perfect coverage. Skiing? 20 minutes away… or just out the door. Since their complete pillowsplumped, art-on-the-walls

One fine idea was the sleek carport sided by two small storage containers (20 feet long and 8 feet tall); the larger house components are 40 feet by 9.5 feet. The Carters are pleased that they don’t need to shovel their car out on skiing days.

move-in this March, they’ve discovered the wisdom of their choices: simple structure, utilitarian ingredients. At 1,600 square feet, the size of the whole structure is also just


| The Good Life

right for their life now. Rania said, “At first we played with Jenga blocks to get a feel for the exterior and wanted to get fancy… but we finally decided to stack them in their natural


July 2018

state like they’d be on a ship or a train car.” Ironically, she said when the six pieces were first delivered to the site in August of 2016, “It looked like a train derailed on our property.” The straightforward small-end entrance and a stairway that hugs the wall stole away very little square footage, and the one-container-sized deck upstairs is spacious and protected from weather. Like “using every part of the buffalo,” extra cutout metal pieces were fashioned into sliding exterior barn doors and awnings. After a few months of company, Greg and Rania realized someday they’d like to build a guesthouse. Their experience working with building professionals and the outcome of their dream “cabin” was so good that they’d like to buy a few more containers and try it again. A secondary structure will be eas-


Sold and erected by an independent locally owned builder.

Your building can be customized just the way you want! (509) 884-0555

4968 Contractors Drive East Wenatchee, WA 98802 The entrance view shows the shape of the home — basically six big metal boxes — and the ultimate forest green and black color choices. Constructivist and chic, boxy and somehow elegant, it’s a combo both owners and builders are proud of.

ier and quicker to build than the first, now that all concerned are familiar with the tricky parts. “The expense wasn’t so much of a problem for us,” said Rania (Stick-built and containers can cost the same, with careful planning.) “But the elapsed time the whole project took got a little discouraging.” The architect and builders started with the basic premise of premade metal boxes instead of a wood house. Sounds simple. But specialized foundation and welding requirements to meet code took complex re-engineering, and occasional design changes added some re-order and wait. It was worth every dollar, every extra day, the Carters agree. Now, enjoying the summer sunshine in their secure and stylish house, they anticipate years of vacations. They’ll learn the community. Visits from family and friends will be frequent and the

This photo from early September 2017 shows the stacked boxes in their raw form on the foundation, a secure shell. Early on, the decision was made not to disguise with siding but to celebrate the home’s commercial shipping origins.

house can serve as a permanent home in retirement. And Estelle, the good-luck baby with the cool new house in the mountains, might bring her July 2018 | The Good Life

own kids there… Greg and Rania are totally pleased with their decision to build a one-of-a kind house in the woods.




PET tales

Tells us a story about your pet. Submit pet & owner pictures to:


yra Brandt of Wenatchee was walking her dog, Bella along the Riverfront Park on a sunny day. Bella is a 7-year-old Golden Retriever. Bella was adopted from a family in Seattle.

“Bella loves everyone. She is a very loving dog. She is just one of the family,” said Kyra. Kyra said that Bella gets a walk every day and “she especially loves adventures and loves going to Mission Ridge. “And she’s pretty smart and good with kids.” And, as her name suggests, Bella is a beauty.

Sandi and Mike Miller of

East Wenatchee said that they walk their dogs every day for one hour. Luke is a 10 1/2 year old Bouvier that the couple got from a breeder in Oklahoma. Matty is a 12/1/2 year old mini Schnauzer that they got from a breeder in Alaska. “They are the best friends we’ve ever had, “ said Mike.


| The Good Life


July 2018



bonnie orr

Bring a taste of exotic Cuba to your table Cuba is a tantalizing des-

tination mostly because of its 60-year (1899-1959) reputation of a place where people travelled to be naughty. Famous celebrities joined wealthy Americans who mixed with infamous mafia members especially during the Prohibition where rum was the best in the world. For the last 60 years, this island nation has been pretty much out-of-bounds for Americans. I think the reason to travel to Cuba today — and the reason I went in early May — is that Cuba is a gardener’s paradise. Not only is it lush and green all year long, but the landscape features many of our common houseplants in their native setting — and they don’t have to be coddled! Even better is the year-around supply of vegetables, both familiar ones and exotic ones. The fruit is universally exotic, delicious and tree ripened. The agricultural-based economy is still centered on sugar and tobacco. The Cuban cuisine features multiple vegetables and fruit. The most common meats are pork and chicken, and seafood is popular. Most of the dishes call for a much smaller percentage of meat or seafood than many American dishes. The beauty of the food is that the vegetables are fresh rather than frozen or canned. Tomatoes are included in nearly all main dishes. This simple dish incorporates into a stew two unexpected ingredients: capers and raisins. The stew is not cooked for very long in order to retain the flavor of the fresh tomatoes. The vinegar adds an accent. This means

that less salt is added to the dish.

23rd Parallel North Dinner

Then cook the vegetables to add to the beans.

30 minutes, serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion chopped 2 cloves garlic 1 red and one green bell pepper chopped 2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 pound plain ground pork 1 or 2 chopped hot peppers — your choice Two onions finely chopped 4 cloves minced garlic 3 tablespoons capers 1 cup raisins 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar Salt/ pepper In a large frying pan, add the chopped onion and garlic, cook until golden. Add the meat and the peppers. Cook until the meat is well-done. Drain off the excess fat. Create the flavor of Cuba right in your kitchen. Add the capers, raisins, vinegar and tomatoes. Cook until well blended — about 10 swarthy than the original Spanminutes ish Europeans —hence the name Serve with rice and beans. (Recipe for the dish. below.)

Moros y Cristianos This is a well-known Cuban dish made with rice and black beans. Its name comes from the Spanish people who settled in Cuba. Southern Spain had been a Muslim territory from the 8th Century until 1492 (think of Grenada and the Alhambra) when the Spanish reclaimed the country in a civil war and pushed out all the Moors. Because the Moors were from the Middle East their skin was more July 2018 | The Good Life

Cook the rice and beans ahead of time. 1 cup white rice 2 cups water 1 cup black beans 4 cups water salt Cook the rice in the 2 cups of water with a dash of salt until the rice has absorbed all the water — about 20 minutes. Cook the black beans in 4 cups of water by bringing them to a boil. Turn off the heat. Let sit for 1 hour. Then cook again for 30 minutes until the beans are tender. Drain the beans.



In a large sauce pan, heat the oil and add the onions and garlic. Cook until golden. Add the bell peppers and tomatoes. Cook until heated through. Add the black beans. To serve, heap one-half cup cooked rice on a plate. Make a well in the middle of the rice and fill it with the black bean mixture. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of sliced radishes.

In the same way that there is nothing as tasty as vegetables freshly harvested from the garden, there is nothing as sweet and tantalizing as tree-ripened sweet-fragranced tropical fruit. Although, we don’t have access to fresh tropical fruit, you can make a facsimile from the grocery store. This meal could be pleasantly closed with a fruit salad. Bonnie Orr — the dirt diva — cooks and gardens in East Wenatchee.


column moving up to the good life

june darling

Pride, done right, can fuel our successes Check through your memo-

ry of quotes on pride. Think about what your coaches, teachers, and ministers have told you. You’ll quickly notice that pride is a tricky topic. Is it a good thing or not? Some people, like famed Alabama head football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant claim pride is essential for success. “Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself,” he said. Then there’s the coach who, by the mere mention of his name, causes tears of deep admiration to spring to my daughter-inlaw’s eyes. UCLA’s iconic basketball coach John Wooden said, “Earn the right to be proud and confident.” Bear and Wooden. Pretty trustworthy sources. But wait. Both the ancient Greeks and the writer of the biblical book of Proverbs claim that pride is the road to demise. Many of us grew up quoting “pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” What’s the deal? Why do we have these two very different takes on pride? Do we need more pride or do we already suffer from having too much?

The need to feel pride is perhaps the biggest motivator on the planet... The answer, according to current research, is that there are two kinds of pride. One type of pride is of paramount importance to well-being, achievement, and motivation. The other type of pride is mostly detrimental. Eight years ago, I watched my two-year-old granddaughter, Sierra, complete (what was for her) an extremely difficult puzzle. When she put in the last piece, she hopped on both feet for at least two full minutes. Then, unbelievably, she tore the puzzle up and started doing it all over again. Whoa. What just happened there? The answer is. Pride. She felt the fulfilling, delight of pride. The pride Sierra felt was a specific type of pride researchers call authentic pride. Authentic pride is the deep satisfaction you feel (yes, “feel” — pride is an emotion) when you successfully overcome a difficult hurdle which matters to


| The Good Life

you. When we experience authentic pride, we also feel confident and fulfilled, like we have self-worth. Once you feel pride you’re often hooked for life. The need to feel pride is perhaps the biggest motivator on the planet according to some researchers like Dr. Jessica Tracy in her book, Pride: The Secret of Success. Bicyclist Lance Armstrong said that pride is what got him up at the crack of dawn as a kid and motivated him to ride for miles each day. Unfortunately, according to researchers and to Lance himself, that strong desire to feel pride led to Lance going over to the dark side. He took illegal performance enhancing drugs. People who know how good pride feels may cheat to get it. They get a thrill, but it’s the cheap thrill that comes not from achievement, but from feeling superior to others called hubristic pride. Eventually Lance was found out and stripped of his medals. Hubristic pride can lead to a fall and is clearly not good for relationships (it’s hard to love an egotistical, arrogant lout). To sum it up, the type of authentic pride we get after being productive and accomplishing something that has personal significance for us is essential for living the good life. But we do need to be careful. Authentic pride can mutate into arrogant, hubristic pride, which is about feeding the ego by acting superior to others. Wooden called his players back away from hubristic pride to authentic pride with quotes like, “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are


July 2018

capable of becoming.” This July, however, I’m not only thinking about personal pride. I’m thinking also about the importance of community and national pride. And just as there are good and bad forms of personal pride, so there are good and bad forms of pride in our country. Good patriotism is not haughty nor arrogant. Good patriotism motivates us to continue the hard work of solving complex problems, even when it involves personal sacrifice. We can be patriots of our own country and be citizens of the world as well. President Kennedy modeled that in his 1961 inaugural address: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” July is the perfect time to experience pride, to get hopping. Start by asking yourself big questions. What can you do for your community, your country, for the larger world? What ideals do you care about? What hard steps are you willing to take to feel authentically proud of yourself? How might we experience authentic pride and patriotism this month and move up to The Good Life? June Darling, Ph.D. can be contacted at; website: www.summitgroupresources. com. Her bio and many of her books can be found at junedarling.

The Floor Factory

Founder Garry Sparks proved to be a city visionary By CARY ORDWAY


enatchee’s old-timers will recall that Wenatchee Avenue was not always the attractive, inviting downtown shopping district that we enjoy today. It was four busy lanes of traffic and, boy, you better have done well on your parallel parking test because that was the only parking available. Fast forward to the late ‘80s and city fathers initiated a special project called Streetscape, which turned Wenatchee’s four-lane speedway into a charming shopping destination with only two lanes of traffic, trees, fancy crosswalks and nose-in parking. They had turned Aurora Avenue North into Mayberry RFD. One of the visionaries responsible for the upgrade was Garry Sparks, owner of the Floor Factory, which has been a fixture in Wenatchee since 1976. He and well-known local businessman Dave Gellatly were big forces behind the downtown improvements -- a renovation that eventually earned the city national recognition with the Great America Main Street award. Sparks and his wife Patti followed up with projects like buying and renovating the

Eagle Transfer and Storage Building, while building a local real estate portfolio that now includes the Floor Factory building, the Eagle building and various condos and homes. Local business leaders saw that he had the touch, so they made him president of the Wenatchee Downtown Association from 1990 to 1992. But his day job, all along, was running a very successful floor covering store. “I’ve never done anything else,” he admits. Sparks retired in 2008, turning the keys over to family members -- also now owners -- who had helped build the business and who each found a niche in the business they really enjoyed. Still involved in the business are his younger brother Jeff, Jeff’s wife, Vicki, and the Sparks’ daughter Robin Crawford. Other family members involved are brother Jay, son Tye and Jeff’s son-in-law, Chad Fasching. By the time Sparks retired, the Floor Factory was grossing several million dollars, a remarkable feat for any businessman but the interesting thing is that the business was successful almost from Day 1. While his wife Patti worked in local banks to shore up the family income, it wasn’t long before they were able to start

making payments to buy the Wenatchee Avenue building where the Floor Factory is located. Garry didn’t start out with the goal of owning a floor covering business. It was almost by happenstance that he got into it when a college friend that he met at Eastern University helped him get a parttime floor-covering job in Spokane. He ended up working for that company for six years before moving to Wenatchee in 1974 to work at another floor covering company. When that job didn’t work out, Garry and Patti started their own store and the rest, as they say, is history. Sparks attributes the store’s success to the personal service and knowledge that is evident when customers use the Floor Factory. The Big Box stores may be a little cheaper, Sparks says, but all they do is offer the customer a list of installers rather than doing the job in-house. Pointing to Floor Factory’s knowledge and expert advice, Sparks says a lot of people find the box stores are “not such a hot deal after all.” Consequently, the Floor Factory does a brisk business both with residential and commercial customers. Sparks is content to leave the

JULY 2018 | THE GOOD LIFE | They Built This City |


floor business operations to his family members and nowadays he has plenty of time to indulge one of his key passions: travel. Garry rattles off a long list of his travel destinationatoins -- three African photo safaris, Europe, Eastern Bloc countries, continents far and wide. It’s all worthy of a professional travel writer -- or at least someone who has made his own imprint on his home town and is now reaping the rewards. The Floor Factory is located at 13 South Wenatchee Avenue. Phone (509) 662-1421.



jim brown, m.d.

Cruising the River Rhine A ‘significant birthday’ spent on european river bordered by stunning history

were outstanding as we broke into groups of about 15, each with a guide, to see and explore highlights on our seven-day cruise. There was more than enough to keep us busy and engaged. There were daily talks about the countries we were visiting including Switzerland, France, Germany and the


ver the years Lynn and I have been fortunate to be able to do a lot of traveling in many countries around the globe. A few years ago we decided that those days were over for us due to our aging as well as the uncertainties of travel, worries about the constant news of terrorism, negotiating unfamiliar airports and negative news of air travel in general. Public television often showed advertisements of Viking River cruises in Europe that looked wonderful. A few The middle Rhine is castle country, left over from when medieval noblemen built soaring castles to oversee trade on the Rhine. months ago, watching one of these ads, I mentioned to exploring Dubrovnik on our Lynn that I only really rememNetherlands. taking a week long pastel art own. This is one of the most bered three of my birthdays, Lynn and I went four days workshop. We both wondered beautiful well-preserved cities in where we were and what we early to Basel, Switzerland, to what I would do with my time. were doing. explore that fabulous city on As it turned out, I rented a car Europe I had ever seen. After seeing the Viking TV ad, our own before we boarded our When I turned 50, a milestone for the week and every day took Lynn reminded me that I was of sorts, we were in Switzerland boat. off in a different direction on nearing a “really big milestone” staying in a small hotel in the If I ever decided to live in quiet, sparsely traveled counin May and suggested we sign mountains. When I went out Europe, I think it would be in try roads, taking photos, takup for the Viking River cruise on Basel. The buses and trams that the morning of my 50th in May, ing long walks, sitting in small the Rhine River, so we did. it had snowed and was cold. I went out from the city center village squares drinking coffee Viking’s goal is to exceed our asked the receptionist if there in about six different directions and watching the daily activities expectations, and they certainly were free, clean and enjoyable. was anywhere warm in the area. of these lovely villages. I had a She suggested that if we drove What a great way to see and get wonderful time that I will never did that. The staff and crew, from 11 different countries, were a feel for a city. south over a mountain pass we forget, as did Lynn in her workoutstanding in every way from would be in Italy and recomBecause of this tram system, shop. their friendliness, wonderful mended we stay at Lake Lugano. there were very few automobiles The third milestone birthday service, and providing outstand- in the city center. No matter We took her advice and had occurred in Montenegro. We several pleasantly warm days had signed up for a Road Scholar ing gourmet food for every meal where one lived in Basel, they in what seemed to be a 5 star eating delicious Italian meals on sailing tour of Croatia and the were close to a 10-15 minute restaurant onboard. that lovely lake. tram ride to the city. From the beautiful islands in the Adriatic There were about 150 passenSeveral years later on another Basel train station one could be Sea. We finished the sailing porgers on the ship, small enough “milestone” birthday year, I acin Paris in three hours. tion in Montenegro, a country companied Lynn to St. Remy-de- adjacent to the south of Croatia. to meet and make many new On the boat, I remember friends. The planned activities Provence, France, where she was fondly a talk we heard when we Our last few days were spent


| The Good Life


July 2018

In what is known as the “middle Rhine,” it is hard to take one’s eyes off the numerous castles and vineyards extending up the rugged hills... were in Cologne, Germany about how Germany recovered after World War II. Thanks to the Marshall Plan in which we offered Germany reconstruction aide, they were able to rebuild. The speaker said that most Germans are still very appreciative of that help. He also mentioned that all of the 420 universities in Germany are free, even for foreigners. There is no need for students to take out loans and be straddled with debt loads like is the case in our country. Their healthcare is universal with everyone covered. He mentioned on occasion we might see beggars in Cologne, and we had seen them infrequently. He said there is no reason for anyone to be homeless or to be begging as there was ample housing provided for them. He said, however, that their homeless housing had rules, and one of them is “No Drugs” so some addicts prefer homelessness and begging instead. New immigrants to Germany are given a passport. After eight years they can become a citizen if they have committed no crimes, have a job and speak German fluently. It certainly is a different and a more humane approach to immigrants than what we are familiar with here. Germans call their cherished Rhine River “old father Rhine.” The river starts in the Swiss Alps and flows 820 miles through several counties until it reaches

The Viking river ship makes a stop on the River Rhine.

Jim and Lynn at the windmills of Kinderdijk, Netherlands.

the North Sea. In what is known as the “middle Rhine,” it is hard to take one’s eyes off the numerous castles and vineyards extending up the rugged hills bordering the river. These vineyards date back 2,000 years when the Romans introduced viticulture there. The medieval noblemen built soaring castles to oversee trade on the Rhine, collecting tolls from the ships and defending their kingdoms from marauders and power seekers. They became July 2018 | The Good Life

very rich in the process. The Rhine has been and still is a major transporter of goods both inland and also toward the sea. It was pointed out that one of these frequent barges is able to carry more goods than 92 trucks and at a much lower cost per pound than either truck or rail. UNESCO declared the Upper Middle Rhine Valley a world heritage site in 2002, stating its outstanding universal value. Viking river cruises stop at



many UNESCO heritage sites, medieval villages and beautiful historical areas. On our last day in Amsterdam we had enough free time to take a “Hop on Hop Off” canal trip throughout this city of many canals. We hopped off to visit Amsterdam’s famous “Rijksmuseum” and were thrilled to see the fabulous paintings of the Dutch masters from the 1600s, including many paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer. I am sure for my artist wife, Lynn, this was one of the highlights of our trip. I, too, marveled at the detail that these painters were able to put into their very large oil paintings. It was something neither of us will ever forget. This was another wonderful experience that will be a highlight in my “significant birthday memory” bank. The question is, will we do this type of trip again? All I can say now is we aren’t ruling out another Viking river cruise in our future. I don’t have time to wait for another “milestone” year. Portugal’s Duoro River is looking very tempting to us. Jim Brown, M.D., is a retired gastroenterologist who has practiced for 38 years in the Wenatchee area. He is a former CEO of the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center.

Cozy condominiums for small birds are some of Thomas’s most popular items. He’s made 36- and 48-hole houses, certainly statement pieces for conscientious bird lovers, or just very cool yardscape ornaments.

Thomas Howell has his pick of comfortable, sturdy handmade furniture, like this live-edge bench or the southwest patterned reclaimed chair to the right. The size of the display in his yard fluctuates with seasonal sales bursts.

NOT ONLY BIRDHOUSES Wood artisan crafts plenty of nesting boxes, but he also makes and re-builds furniture: ‘I maybe dream about it... and then start building...’


ABOVE LEFT: Thomas has learned from long observation what backyard species prefer in their homes: some like almost-too-small openings, some prefer a wide-open door, some seem to like the front porch style shown here.

By Susan Lagsdin

iving far up the Skagit Valley, woodcrafter Thomas Howell’s young life was shaped by both artistry and necessity. “I’ve always been creative, since I was a child,” he said. On non-school days he’d eagerly wake up early, and, “I’d either be sketching pictures of the sun coming up over the hill — or I’d be out on the river fishing,


ABOVE RIGHT: A wide variety of wood types and sizes is available in his stash, so it’s easy for this creative builder to pick a theme or style and follow through. This small cabin duplex may appeal to very different neighbors.

maybe hunting rabbits,” the former from innate creativity, the latter because his dad couldn’t always bring home enough money for the next meal. After graduation he went straight to work, mostly outdoors, laboring for a lifetime with his strength and skill. | The Good Life


Now 63 and retired, Thomas figures he’s had 45 different jobs. He started in the woods thinning, woodcutting, working helicopter logging sites and removing “danger trees,” work he continues today on a smaller scale and which yields him usable wood for his myriad projects. (He said of the timber

July 2018

“Those sell out pretty quickly... I don’t have to load up a lot of pieces to take back home.” work, “I always cut alone — that means I’ve learned to stitch myself up, too,” referring to a chainsaw/leg mishap.) Thomas repaired and sold car tires as a teen, he’s brokered fish in Alaska, boating out to the tenders to negotiate salmon harvests and he’s guided trophy elk hunters into the Idaho wilderness. He’s sold antiques commercially. His latest career was in communication; he took jobs around the country splicing fiber optic cable and installing transformers. (“Those ‘bucket babies’ are wasting time. I just put my hooks on my boots and get up to the top of the pole…”) An independent streak and capacity for tough work remained with him after retirement. The compulsion to create beautiful objects with his hands stayed with him too. “I’m not an artist,” he said, “but I am an artisan.” When asked about his process, he momentarily drew a blank. Sketches? Diagrams? Graph paper? “No — I just think hard about a piece of wood — maybe dream about it — and then when I get up I go out and start building…” His pleasure seems to come from combining disparate elements — breeds of trees, shapes of furniture, icons and oddities that spring from his imagination. Distinctive found items stack up, destined to find their own artful soulmates somewhere in the shed or shop. Thomas’s front yard displays all manner of bird nesting boxes: multi-unit apartments with tiny round entrances for finches and sparrows, larger open-doored condos for robins and doves, ground-level cubbies for quail. Bird homes dominate the

yard, but it’s also peppered with benches and tables, a small wishing well planter, a few old refurbished chairs. He rolled up the door of a metal shed full of potential furniture. Massive blonde maple burls (one five-foot by fivefoot chunk perfect for a lodge coffee table) edge out slabs of scavenged wood, half-rounds of timbers, stacked poles, old wood he collected early on, new wood donated or discovered. Some pieces are exotics he’s purchased — Brazilian blood wood, zebra wood, purple heart, yellow heart (“You can’t get a nail in that stuff — you have to use a drill,” he said.) Thomas’s small house on a quiet side street above the river in East Wenatchee has become a slightly crowded showplace. Pointing to one large, complex nautical-themed cabinet with mirror, side drawers, shelves, inlaid wood and fish-shaped metal drawer pulls, he said, “A guy asked me — ‘what if you can’t sell that?’ ‘Well’, I said, ‘I guess I own a real fine piece of furniture, don’t I?’” He’s surrounded by his woodwork, but he’s not a hoarder. Most of the pieces go to his permanent booth at Spruce and Willow on Wenatchee Avenue or occasional parking lot displays near downtown. “Those sell out pretty quickly.” He said modestly, “I don’t have to load up a lot of pieces to take back home.” People who’ve known him for years donate raw materials and also keep an eye on his newest creations. And, because his artfully crowded lawn is near the Loop Trail, frequent bikers or dogwalkers, neighbors and passers-by, peruse his yard and then return, maybe heading home with a special item. It’s almost irresistible. Somewhere on that lawn is the perfect — what? Birdfeeder? Footstool? Chair? Bench? Yes. Undoubtedly. And if you can’t find it, just describe it. Thomas can probably dream one up for you. July 2018 | The Good Life

fun stuff what to do around here for the next month NCW BLUES JAM, every second and fourth Monday. 7 – 10 p.m. Riverside Pub. Homegrown Country Jam, every first and third Monday night, 7 to 10 p.m. Riverside Pub. Wenatchee Paddle Club, every Tuesday, 9 a.m. open paddle, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 a.m. masters crew rowing, Wednesdays, 6 p.m. novice kayak paddle group, Saturdays, 7 a.m. masters crew rowing. Info: Upper Valley Running Club Run, every Tuesday, 4:30 – 6 p.m. check in time. Maps available for a marked 3 mile trail route. Run or walk. Participate 10 or more times and earn a run club tech t-shirt. Check-in at the gravel lot across from O’Grady’s Pantry. Info: 1 million cups, every first Wednesday of the month. 8 a.m. sharp. Entrepreneurs discover solutions and thrive when they collaborate over a million cups of coffee. Come join this supportive, dynamic community and hear from two businesses that are between 1 – 5 years old. Discover how we can help move them forward in a positive environment, fueled by caffeine. Coffee provided by Mela Coffee Roasting. Wenatchee Valley Chamber office, 137 N. Wenatchee Ave. Wenatchee Farmers Market, every Wednesday, 3 – 7 p.m. every Saturday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and, Pybus Public Market. Weekly Club Runs, every Thursday check in between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Pybus Public Market south entrance. Either a 5k or 10k walk or run on the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail. Complete 10 weekly runs and receive a free shirt. Cost: free (other than a smile). 2 Left Feet, every Thursday, 7 – 9 p.m. 2 Left Feet is a loose organization of local dance enthusiasts who would like to see more dancing in the Wenatchee Valley. Beginner lesson at the top of the hour followed by carefree social dancing. No partner necessary to join in the fun. Dance style will be 1940s swing with a bit of salsa, blues, waltz or tango thrown in. Pybus Public Market. Cost: free. Info:



Leavenworth Community Farmers market, Thursdays 4 – 8 p.m. Offers everything from local eggs, meats, cheeses and breads to local produce, fruits, prepared foods, local crafts and more. Lions Club Park, Leavenworth. Info: Game Night, every 4th Friday. Board games, card games or any games you bring. Open to families and all ages. Hosted by Pacific Crest Church. Pybus Public Market. Cost: free. Info: pybuspublicmarket. org. Quincy Farmers Market, every first and third Saturday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lauzier Park. Info: social media. Jam at the Crow, 7 – 10 p.m. Every first Sunday. The Club Crow in Cashmere, 108 1/2 Cottage Ave. Cost: free. Village Art in the Park, Thursdays through Sundays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Outdoor village art show sponsored by local non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships for art education using a venue that supports amateur and professional artists. Downtown Leavenworth. Info: villageinthepark. org. Alpenfolk in the gazebo, 7/1, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The music and folklore of the Alps with authentic instruments, singing and yodeling. Downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free. Kerry Christensen Master Yodeler, 7/2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Kerry spent two years in Austria mastering the art of alpine yodeling. Later he used his yodeling skills at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center. Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce. Cost: free. Cashmere Valley Bank’s Breakfast for Heroes, 7/4, 7 – 10:30 a.m. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, juice and coffee. Pybus Public Market. Cost: $5. Proceeds go to support local area veteran’s programs. Vets eat for free. River Run, 7/4, 8 a.m. 5k and 10k will start and finish at Pybus Public Market. Register: runwenatchee. com. Cherry Pit Spit Contest, 7/4, noon – 2 p.m. Open to all ages.

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We want to know of fun and interesting local events. Send info to:

}}} Continued from previous page Read the rules – it’s worth it. Pybus Public Market. Info: 4th of July celebration, 7/4, all day. Live music and entertainment, meet and greet with local candidates and the Wenatchee Symphony performs with the fireworks show. Walla Walla Park, Wenatchee. Wenatchee Riverfront Railway train, 7/4, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Ride the mini train. 155 N Worthen, east end of the railroad pedestrian bridge. Cost: $2. Kinderfest, 7/4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Fun packed day for the whole family. Downtown Leavenworth. Free concert, 7/4, Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra will perform for free, Walla Walla Point Park. Manson Fireworks, 7/4, 9:30 – 10:30 p.m. One of the largest displays in the Northwest. Fireworks over Manson Bay Marina. Cost: free. Wine and Nine, 7/5, 19, 26, 4:30 p.m. Relax and let the stress of the day pour off your shoulders and into a glass of red or white wine. Socialize, network and receive a complimentary putting, chipping and golf swing tips from a pro. Stay after for great food and beverage special from Wild Huckleberry. Tee times at 4:30. Ladies only. Leavenworth Golf Course. Info: Concert in the Gardens, 7/5, 6:30 p.m. The Infinity Project performs live at Ohme Gardens. Info:

Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Concert in the Community, 7/5, 7 p.m. Live performance at Icicle Ridge Winery. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Lake Chelan Bach Fest, 7/5-14. Enjoy 21 free concerts during 10 musical filled days at local wineries, churches as well as Riverwalk Park Pavilion. Bring blankets and lawn chairs for a great family experience. Info: Waterville Days, 7/6-7 events include: *Fire Department Benefit Spaghetti Feed, 7/6, 5 -7 p.m. Pioneer Park. *Music in the Park, 7/6, 6 – 9 p.m. *Roller Car Show, 7/7, 8 a.m. *Thin Air 5k Run, 7/7, 9 a.m. *Quilt Show, 7/7, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. United Lutheran Church. *Parade, 7/7, 11 a.m. *Vendors and music, 7/7 all day at Pioneer Park. First Friday Events include: *Two Rivers Art Gallery, 7/6, 5 – 8 p.m. Featuring Paris and other Places, the paintings of Judy Elder. Wines by Goose Ridge Winery. Music by guitarist Paul Graves. Complimentary refreshments. 102 N Columbia, Wenatchee. Cost: free. Info: *Tumbleweed Bead Co., 7/6, 5-7 p.m. Refreshments served. 105 Palouse St. Cost: free. Info: *Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, 7/6, 5. – 8 p.m. Light refreshments. Info: *Robert Graves Gallery, 7/6, 5 – 7 p.m. Info: *Mela, 7/6, 5 – 8 p.m. 17 N. Wenatchee Ave. Cost: free. Beer Garden at the museum, 7/6, 7 – 9 p.m. Junk Belly per-

forms live at the parking lot at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. Beer and wine available for purchase. Cost: $1. Info: Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Concert I, 7/6, 7 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Sound of Music, 7/6, 7, 13, 14, 19, 21, 24, 25, 27, 8/1, 3, 7, 11, 15, 17, 22, 25, 29, 9/1, 2, 8 p.m. Live performance at the Ski Hill Amphitheater. Cost: $14, $25, $35. Info: Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Concert II, 7/7, 7 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Twilight Alphorn Serenades, 7/7, 8 p.m. and every Saturday through September. End your day with the soothing tones of the Leavenworth Alphorns. The evening serenade is followed by a brief demonstration with information and fun facts about this alpine folk instrument. Downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free.

Lake Reserve. Contact Susan Ballinger @ or 667-9708. Concert in the Gardens, 7/12, 6:30 p.m. Too Slim and the Taildraggers performs live at Ohme Gardens. Info: Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Concert in the Community, 7/12, 6:30 p.m. Live performance at the Grove at the Wenatchee Valley College. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Sip and Paint, 7/13, 4 – 5:30 p.m. All supplies provided for you to complete your own Tree of Life masterpiece. Acrylic painting on 12x12 canvas. Light fare provided and wine available for purchase. Music to follow the class, so bring a picnic dinner and make it an evening. Icicle Ridge Winery. Cost: $35. Info: Beer Garden at the museum, 7/13, 7 – 9 p.m. Jumper Flats performs live at the parking lot at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. Beer and wine available for purchase. Cost: $1. Info:

Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Young Artist Concert, 7/8, 1 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info:

Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Concert III, 7/13, 7 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info:

Citizen Science: eBird monitoring, 7/12, 6 – 11 a.m. Would you like to spend a weekday morning hiking, viewing wildlife, wildflowers, and snow-capped mountains, while being part of a small team collecting bird species data? Citizen Science Project are collaborations between scientists and volunteers that expand opportunities for scientific data collection and help answer real-world questions. Horse

Lions Club Community Breakfast, 7/14, 28, 8/11, 25, 9/8, 22, 29. 7:30 – 11 a.m. 10/6, 13, 8 – 11 a.m. All you can eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee and milk. Proceeds goes to projects: sight, hearing and diabetes health education and services, local food banks, college scholarships, scouts, youth sports, Special Olympics and other community projects. Cost: $7, $3.50

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The Valley’s Best Mix of Music + The Latest Local News Music The Whole Family Can Agree On! With the Biggest Hits of the 80’s, 90’s and today KOHO News you need, voices you trust, and music that keeps you moving 32

| The Good Life


July 2018

The Art Life


Family’s saga became historical fiction ... and a writer was born By Susan Lagsdin

Jane Nagler of East

Wenatchee is still a little dazzled by the fact that she is a published novelist. Her books tell stories that she’s harvested over the years from her pioneer ancestors, and the more she learns about her extended family, the more stories there are to tell. Growing up an only child on the Meador family ranch in the John Day River valley in Oregon, Jane was always aware of her history. Her many relatives (sprung from a few families with 10-plus children) provided her with stories of her great-grandparents’ westward travel and settling, plus a concoction of well-polished truths and timehoned suppositions. Prairie City, population 800 when Jane lived there, in the shadow of the Blue Mountains, was a perfect setting for a little girl to dream Western stories. As soon as she could read, Jane recalls, “I was always the kid who picked a new book with the picture of a covered wagon on the cover.” Now at 81 she’s the author of four linked novels under her pen name, Jae Carvel: By the River, Letters from the Little Red Box, Eddie: The Escape, and The Annie Martin Stories. The first was published in 2015, the latest this spring. The family saga became historical fiction, close enough to home to make name changes necessary, imaginative enough

that Jane could create new scenarios and bring in new characters. Growing up in rural Oregon in the 1950s wasn’t a catalyst for outof-the-box thinking. Expectations for girls, Jane said, were pretty much “get married and have children.” In her case, the more- A burst of resolve and creativity yielded (relatively new) writer Jane Nagler four books based on incidents and related artifacts from her own family’s westward-movement saga. evolved family ethic was “go to college, Jane finally published By she had plenty to say. Tentaget married and have children.” the River with Booktrope in tively at first, she published a She did both, achieving her March 2015, and the next three poem in golf magazine, wrote a teaching degree at the Unititles tumbled out more easfamily cookbook, then a (paid) versity of Oregon. She said, “I article in the Spokesman Review. ily. She does readings and sells don’t remember that I was ever her books locally, occasionally She wrote every assignment she prohibited from doing anything traveling back to her childhood gave her junior high English else; but being a doctor, for inhome in Oregon to deliver hard students. stance, would have been… more copies to stores and museums. About 10 years ago, Jane difficult.” A latecomer to internet marstarted to research her own She worked at teaching and keting, she’s also learned about family’s lively history. Her short raising four children throughpiece submitted to the first 2008 proofreading, editing and out her long and continuing Write On The River competition choosing cover illustrations as marriage to husband Skip, with well as Facebook promotion and homes first in Spokane and then started with the required three blogging. words, “On the river…” and she by 1989 in Wenatchee. She now sells her books on was off and running. Jane took her turn at a few art Amazon singly and as a boxed She entered NANOWRIMO forms. She had piano lessons (National Novel Writing Month), set: The Strawberry Mountain from age five until, as she said, a forced march of 50,000 words. Series: 1840-1942. “I realized I would never be a Buoyed by reader interest and Reading Nancy Turner’s These performer.” eager to learn more about her is my Words, the Diary of Sarah In a college art class, she Agnes Prine inspired her to keep family, Jane has already started learned the basics, but beto draft The Fighter. What relaon writing. moaned, “My paintings never tive in what scrape or entangleShe’s a continuing learner of looked like I wanted them to — ment in what Western scenario her craft and has participated the paint was in charge, and I will she fictionalize for our readfor years in a monthly writing wanted to be in control.” ing pleasure? group, which she said is, “One Then, a revelation: words. Wait for it. She’s spinning the of the most helpful things I have That was her art. story right now. ever experienced.” She could control words, and July 2018 | The Good Life





}}} Continued from page 32 kids 4-10, under 4 free, active military with ID free. Info: Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Concert IV, 7/14, 7 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Lake Chelan Boating Club Poker Run, 7/14. Registration 6 - 9 p.m. This year’s theme is The Jungle. Gather at the Lake Chelan Boating Club clubhouse for breakfast 8:30 a.m. and the Poker Run flag begins at 11:30 a.m. Boats return from their run up lake and back to turn in poker hands by 4 p.m. Lunch in Lucerne. Dinner 6:30 -8 p.m. and prizes at the Clubhouse. Info: Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Young Artist Concert, 7/15, 1 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Horse Lake Reserve eBird Monitoring Project, 7/12, 8/16, 9/20, 10/11, 11/8. Meet at 6 a.m. at the end of the pavement on Horse Lake Road to carpool up the gravel road. Walk a 5-mile route, stopping at 7 points to conduct 10-minute counts. All data is entered into eBird. Learn about bird use within the variety of habitats that include areas burned in 2015 wildfire. Info: or 6697820.

area, up the Wenatchee River valley to Lake Wenatchee. We’ll look at everything from the local bedrock to the fluvial (stream) processes at work on the Icicle and Wenatchee Rivers, to the glacial features from both the Icicle Creek and Lake Wenatchee Glaciers. We’ll see the Leavenworth fault, identify glacial moraines, discuss how streams change with time, and examine 90 million old igneous rocks and even older metamorphic rocks. Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. Cost: $45. Info: Walking tour of historic Railroads and mill, 7/14, 10 a.m. The railroad and mill walk will take you along the Wenatchee River to see where the mill and logging took place in the 1890s-1927. Upper valley Museum. Cost: $5. Info: Organic Garden Tour, 7/14, 28, 8/11, 25, 10 a.m. Stroll and enjoy two acres of certified organic fruits and vegetables, herbs and flowers. Learn about environmentally friendly gardening techniques and how to use natural fertilizers and regular crop rotation to improve soil and what insects maintain the health and sustainability of the garden. Sleeping Lady Resort. Cost: free. Info: Musikkapelle, 7/14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Live performance by the Bavarian Village town band. In the Gazebo downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free.

Disney’s Mulan Jr., 7/13, 1:30 p.m. 7/14, 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Live performance by local children. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Info:

Max Kylonen, 7/15, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Live performance of traditional Alpine songs and his own compositions on the button accordion. In the Gazebo downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free.

Lake Wenatchee Geology Tour, 7/14, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. This is a geologic tour in the Leavenworth

Sip and Paint, 7/15, 3 – 4:30 p.m. Supplies included to complete your campfire vinyl masterpiece with

step by step instruction. No experience necessary. Aprons provided. Sleeping Lady at the Grotto Bar and Wine Bar. Cost: $35. Info: Whitney West Special Needs Derby, 7/16, 8 a.m. – noon. The Cove on Fish Lake. Cost: free. Info: Advance Care Planning Workshop, 7/17, and every 3rd Tuesday of the month, noon - 1 p.m. Who will speak for you if you couldn’t speak for yourself to help future medical decisions? Gain an understanding of Advance Care Planning and the role of a Healthcare Agent. Get assistance in completing your own Advance Directive. Confluence Health Sleep Study Center, 1000 A Miller St.


The Festival Orchestra The Festival Chorus Festival String Quartet

Courtyard Concerts Noon Concerts Programs for Children Winery Concerts

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Evening of Jazz Free Pops Concert



July 2018

My Fair Lady, 7/18, 20, 26, 28, 8/2, 8, 10, 14, 18, 23, 28, 31, 8 p.m. Live performance. Leavenworth Hatchery Park State. Cost: $14, $25, $35. Info: leavenworthsummertheater. org. Mountain Home Preserve eBird Monitoring Project, 7/19, 8/30, 9/27, 10/18, 11/15. Meet 6 a.m. at the Safeway store in Leavenworth. Susan Ballinger will pick up carpoolers in Wenatchee at 5:30 a.m. at the Penny Road Park and Ride. Walk 2.2-mile route stopping at 5 points to conduct 10-minute counts. Info: susan@cdlandtrust. org or 667-7820. Concert in the Gardens, 7/19, 6:30 p.m. The Wenatchee Swingin’ Big Band performs live at Ohme Gardens. Info: Beer Garden at the museum, 7/20, 7 – 9 p.m. Jennan Oaks performs live at the parking lot at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. Beer and wine available for purchase. Cost: $1. Info: Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Concert V, 7/20, 7 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Hiking Challenge, 7/21, 7 – 9 a.m. Improve your health, be a part of a team, take home prizes and enter



We want to know of fun and interesting local events. Send info to:

to win one of any grand prizes at the end of hiking season. Jacobson Preserve. Info: Chelan Man, 7/21-22, 8 a.m. The swim takes place in the clear waters of Lake Chelan, the runs are on paved paths and roads and the bike legs are along Lake Chelan and the Columbia River. First timer triathlons, a sprint, Olympic and half triathlons, 10k and half marathon runs. Proceeds go to the arts and healthy lifestyle programs for area children. Info: Wenatchee Riverfront Railway train, 7/21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Ride the mini train. 155 N Worthen, east end of the railroad pedestrian bridge. Cost: $2. Native Plants of NCW, 7/21, 10 a.m. – noon. Appreciate the beauty and benefits of native plants, tour our native plant garden and help preserve our native ecosystems. From Chelan-Douglas Master Gardeners. Community Education Garden, 1100 N Western Ave. Cost: free. Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival: Young Artist Concert, 7/21, 1 p.m. Live performance at Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info:

Icicle Creek Chamber MUSIC: Final Festival Concert VI, 7/21, 7 p.m. Live performance at Snowy Owl Theater. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Bonnie Birch Trio, 7/22, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Accordion music at the gazebo. Downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free. Entrepreneurial Panel: Women Rule the World, 7/24, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Want to be an entrepreneur? Speakers Tricia McCullough of Augustedge, Vicky Scharlau of 501 Consultants, Julie Burdick of Julie Aynn Photography, Jen Staat of Elements Salon and Spa and Jessica Clay of Numerica Credit Union. Free for GWATA members or $15. Register: Sip and paint, 7/26, 5:30 – 7 p.m. All instruction and supplies provided to create big flowers terracotta pot masterpiece. Leavenworth Community Farmers Market. Cost: $40. Info: Concert in the Gardens, 7/26, 6:30 p.m. The Peter Rivera Band performs live at Ohme Gardens. Info: Karrie O’Neil, 7/27, 7 – 9 p.m. Live performance on the rail car. Pybus Public Market. Cost: free. Info: Beer Garden at the museum, 7/27, 7 – 9 p.m. Shi-Ann performs live at the parking lot at the

Camps for Kids

The YMCA has numerous camps. See their website at wenymca. org/daycamp.

Camp Fire USA: Camp Zanika Lache on Lake Wenatchee, one week sessions. Boating, fishing, rafting, arts and crafts, canoeing, high ropes course, low ropes course, cook outs, hiking kayaking and more. Grades 1 through 12. Register: The Wenatchee River Institute has numerous camps. See their website at The Wenatchee Museum and Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. Beer and wine available for purchase. Cost: $1. Info: Musikkapelle, 7/28, noon – 3 p.m. Live performance by the Bavarian Village town band. In the Gazebo downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free. Kids Makers day, 7/28, 3:30 – 8 p.m. Youths bring their homemade goods and services to the market. Leavenworth Community Farmers Market. Cost: free. Info: Music in the Meadow: Bruce Cockburn, 7/28, 7 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket and listen to one of Canada’s finest artist. Folk, jazz, rock and world beat is his style. The Meadow located next to Snowy

Cultural Center has numerous camps. See their website ssa/.

Quincy has numerous sport camps. See their website Advanced Youth Skills Camp, 7/16 -20, 9 a.m. – noon. And 1 4 p.m. Five day mountain bike camp. Build skills in high speed cornering, tackling drops and rolls downs and building confidence to bring to the trails. Kids ages 7 – 10. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Cost: $185. Info: Owl Theater. Cost: $32 advance or $35 at the gate. Info: Hillside House Concerts: Luke Bulla and Jared Tyler with Madeleine Vandel. 6/29, 30, 7 p.m. 444 Dempsey Rd. Cost: $40. Info: Little Women, 7/31, 8/4, 9, 16, 21, 24, 30, 8 p.m. Live performance. Ski Hill Amphitheater, Leavenworth. Cost: $14, $25 or $35. Info: ZZ top, 7/29, 7 p.m. Live performance. Town Toyota Center. Info: Concert in the Gardens, 8/2, 6:30 p.m. Invisible Touch – A Tribute to Phil Collins live performance at Ohme Gardens. Info: rlstickets. com.

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column those were the days

rod molzahn

Water for the land — riches from ditches Before white settlers arrived

Thomas bought an interest in the ditch and hired 20 Chinese miners to enlarge the intake and extend the ditch about five miles to his land and on to the Columbia.

in the Wenatchee Valley in the late 1800s, the P’squose people had called the valley home for, at least, 8,000 years. They relied on the valley and the surrounding hills for their food, moving with the seasons to dig roots, gather berries and fish and hunt. The white settlers wanted much more from the land. To get more they had to get water to the land. The Columbia River was of little help. It was wild and fast and wound through the bottom of the valley. Without pumps to move it, the Columbia water had to be carried up hill to houses and farms, sometimes by children with buckets. White settlers quickly began looking for other ways to deliver water to their lands. Waterwheels were tried along the Wenatchee River, tall wheels to use the river’s power to lift water up to the farmland. Every wheel that was built was destroyed by high water in the first spring after construction. Ditches proved to be a better solution. About 1868 “Dutch” John Galler became the first white settler in the Wenatchee Valley when he took a squatter’s claim on

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land near Three Lakes. He built a house for his family on the bluff overlooking the Columbia and planted a garden, vineyard and fruit trees. Galler found a spring on a hill above his farm, developed it and dug a ditch down to his gardens. Historian Bruce Mitchell called Galler the valley’s first “irrigationist.” A year or so later Jack Ingram and John McBride moved their trading post from Rock Island to the Wenatchee/Columbia Confluence. McBride soon claimed 160 acres of prime land below Saddle Rock. Using Indian labor he began constructing a ditch to bring water from Squilchuck Creek to his land. In 1871 McBride sold the land to a young couple S












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named Perkins. They lasted only a year but did more digging on the ditch before selling it all to Philip Miller. Miller completed the ditch with the help of more Indian labor. In 1880 Philip’s nephew, George Miller, came west to join him. With George’s help Philip was able to begin improving and enlarging the ditch. In 1889, after the arrival of more Miller men, the work on the “Miller Ditch” was completed. Philip Miller applied for and was granted the first right to 320 inches of water from Squilchuck Creek. By the end of 1883 the Stemilt Basin had its first settlers. Ira Canaday and a Mr. Lockwood each had claimed homesteads in the upper part of the basin and Al Thomas, a friend of Canaday, took land lower in the basin. Thomas left the area for a time and when he returned he found that Lockwood and Canaday had built a ditch less than a mile long to bring Stemilt Creek water to their lands. Thomas bought an interest in the ditch and hired 20 Chinese miners to enlarge the intake and extend the ditch about five miles to his land and on to the Columbia. Thomas had mining claims along the river that he had WENATCHEE VALLEY’S








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leased to the Chinese for two years in exchange for their labor on the ditch. They were promised water from the ditch for their sluice boxes for the two years of the lease. After that the ditch water would be sold to the increasing number of white settlers in the Basin. In 1884 a group of early settlers on the Wenatchee Flat including George Blair, Christopher Rickman and Tallman Tripp organized to form the Settler’s Ditch Company. They dug a second ditch from Squilchuck Creek parallel to the Miller Ditch with the take out point higher on the creek than that of the Miller Ditch. The Settler’s Ditch delivered water to lands above and below Western Avenue between Washington Street and Fifth Street. Over the next few years new homesteaders bought into the ditch. One of them was Z.A. Lanham who, with his wife, Clara, came to the valley in 1885. Lanham quickly realized that the water he got was not sufficient. Squilchuck Creek was small and the Settler’s Ditch was second in water rights to Philip Miller’s 320 inches. From mid summer through fall there was often no water left in the creek for the settlers. Lanham solved his problem by purchasing a quarter section of land with ample water on Wheeler Hill. He diverted the water through a ditch to his land in town facing Okanogan Avenue. In 1888 Charles Reed and Ed Allen constructed a second ditch from Stemilt Creek, near its headwaters, to their home-

Stevens owned a mercantile store... and paid for the extension with food... from his store to keep them digging. steads just down the Columbia from the present location of Malaga. Their water rights were, of course, second to the rights of the Lockwood/Canaday/Thomas ditch. 1891 saw the first efforts to draw water from the Wenatchee

River to irrigate land in the Monitor area. Jacob Shotwell and his son Harry dug a ditch and built flumes to take water from the Wenatchee River below Peshastin to Jacob’s 160 acres on the north bank of the Wenatchee just downstream from Monitor. They agreed to extend the ditch down to land owned by W.E. Stevens. Stevens owned a mercantile store in Old Town and paid for the extension with food for the Shotwells from his store to keep them digging. In 1896 Arthur Gunn joined the Shotwells to extend the ditch down to Burch Flats (Olds

Station) where Gunn had extensive land holdings. Because of Gunn’s friendship with J.J. Hill, a loan was arranged from the Great Northern Railroad, which Hill owned, to enlarge and extend the Shotwell Ditch and to construct a lateral from it to cross the Wenatchee River on a trestle bridge and deliver water to much of the northern part of the Wenatchee Flat. The work was completed in 1898. The Gunn/Shotwell Ditch still serves the valley and north Wenatchee. All of the early ditches were built with private money and

labor without government participation or support. This success prompted the people of the Wenatchee Valley to think even bigger and contemplate the building of a larger “Big Ditch” to irrigate all the Wenatchee Flat and, in time, to reach across the Columbia to East Wenatchee. Historian, actor and teacher Rod Molzahn can be reached at shake. His third history CD, Legends & Legacies Vol. III - Stories of Wenatchee and North Central Washington, is now available at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center and at other locations throughout the area.

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Kamikaze Robin


by Susan Blair

t is April. There is more daylight. The birds are busy. War has broken out on the north side of our house. The combatants are a robin and his reflection. He sees himself mirrored in the windows of our sitting room. Thanks to his elevated testosterone levels, he is looking for a mate and is intent on defending his territory, so he’s ready for action. He doesn’t realize this other is no other. He’s been throwing himself at his reflection for hours. For days. Poor robin! Why doesn’t he learn? Time after time he bashes that bird. Bird after bird. It must hurt. The windows are streaked with the oil and dirt from his, presumably, tired little body. Speaking of “tired,” we are tired of hearing the thump as he hits the glass yet again. In our empathy we feel some pain. I must do something to save this lunatic bird from himself — and us from him. I take a black marker and draw squiggles on sheets of white paper, then tape the paper to the window. I’m thinking this will eliminate his reflection so he’ll hold his fire. I listen, waiting. There is a pause in the thumping, and I am encouraged: has he left, finally? Has he given up, gone elsewhere to deal with a real rival? THWUMP. I hear it again. But it’s coming from the den, two rooms away. I investigate. Bloody hell! These windows are dirtier than the others and streaked with blood. War has been raging more viciously than I’d thought! That does it. Obviously, I need to cover the windows on the outside. Today I have a rendezvous with a ladder, several old bed-

This crazy fellow is aggressive, that’s for sure. Has a female robin been watching his show of strength? Is she impressed enough to become his mate? sheets and a roll of blue painter’s tape. My peace-keeping mission must produce a cease-fire. I hate that so many birds and other animals are killed because of pollution, machines and construction. This robin doesn’t need to die. No bird-suicide on my watch. On my windows. No. Thus armed, I head to the garage for the ladder. THWUMP. Are you kidding me? I look out the window — yep, this one’s streaked, too — and see the robin on a branch of the maple tree opposite. Does he see me, or another bird? I wave my arms and he flies away. For now. With a sigh I realize I have three windows to cover, not two. This crazy fellow is aggressive, that’s for sure. Has a female robin been watching his show of strength? Is she impressed enough to become his mate? I know this behavior is instinctive; survival of the fittest, and all that. I just hope this little dude survives his own behavior. I lug the ladder around the house, set it up and test its stability. The five steps I must climb in order to reach the top of the window might as well be 500. My dislike of heights kicks in even with this slight change in elevation, and I reflect that I could have waited for my hus-


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A robin — peaceful here, but capable of warring with a window. Photo by Bruce McCammon

band to come home so I could make him do this. I grit my teeth. I attach pieces of tape to the edge of a sheet and hang it up — or try to. The darned thing is heavy and doesn’t want to stay up. Another pair of hands would have come in, er, handy. But I persist, and ultimately manage to cover this and the next two windows. I wonder what the neighbors will think of my decorating skills. Inside once again I feel a bit claustrophobic in the “shuttered” den and sitting room, but the silence is delicious. Mentally I say to the robin: go, little fellow, eat worms and fly freely, and leave yourself alone. This poor dumb cluck causes me to reflect on my own behavior. I, too, have bashed my head against obstacles, real or imagined. I have hurtled through mental or emotional space, trying to beat back a situation — truly an exercise in futility. (Why, for example, did I keep


July 2018

trying to “fix” the people in my office? They were operating in life the only way they knew how to operate, with Susan Blair is a no reference poet and writer to me. What whose chapbook, a waste of What Remains of my time and a Life, was just published. As “Perri energy — the Poetry Fairy” which would she reads poems to have been elementary school better apkids. plied toward “fixing” myself.) Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply walk away. It was Albert Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Take that, crazy robin. Take that, crazy me. My thoughts also fly to Epictetus, the well-known Stoic of ancient Greece. He taught that in life there are a) those things within my power and under my control, and b) those things that are beyond it. To understand which is which, and then accept it, makes for much less stress in life. Less bashing, fewer headaches. Living in harmony with nature. What’s not to like about that? THWUMP. Either the wind was too strong or there wasn’t enough tape: the sheets have fallen down and the robin is battling himself again. With a groan I contemplate papering the windows on the outside. That’s one option, one which sounds like more work. Another option is to wait out this barrage of robin hormones, recognizing that this is normal and natural. I decide to let it go.

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July 2018 The Good Life  

Artist couple from Peshastin tell why they are moving to Mexico • Eruption! Chartering a ‘copter to fly over hot lava in Hawaii • Smelling r...

July 2018 The Good Life  

Artist couple from Peshastin tell why they are moving to Mexico • Eruption! Chartering a ‘copter to fly over hot lava in Hawaii • Smelling r...

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