Thursday, January 5, 2017

September 19, 2016 - Spokane, WA

Char had plans for us to visit today.  The day was gorgeous, just perfect for our sightseeing.

Because there were more than 5 of us we were not able to ride with Char and friends, so we followed her in our Jeep.

It was a short drive from Char's home to the Riverside Park - Bowl and Pitcher Area.  It is on Aubrey L White Parkway.  There is an entrance fee to go in the park. After parking we walked up to the swinging bridge.  The bridge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  There are several unpaved and paved areas to explore to see different features.   Some trails were steeper than others. We went on an easy one.  The views of the valley, basalt rock formations and the Spokane River were awesome.  It will be a great place to find a good spot and have picnic there while enjoying the scenery.
A nice drive to Riverside Park - Bowl and Pitcher Area
The Swinging Bridge
Elaine and Laura reading the informative sign
"Should I walk across this bridge?", Elaine thought to herself 

Yes, the trail was very rocky!  Edith managed not
to fall (she has petraphobia)
Laura walking across the swinging bridge
Laura, Elaine and Lillian
Traveling Partners
Bowl and Pitcher Formations
From left: Char, Lillian, Laura and Elaine
As we were getting ready to leave the parking lot we were stopped by a lady in the car next to us and she handed Edith a small vase with beautiful pink roses.  She said she had no place for it in her car.  Edith was completely surprised, but thanked her for the flowers.
We moved to a spot not too far from the Riverside Park to get a better view of the Bowl and Pitcher formations.  

Char wanted us to see the unusual sculptures at Spokane Arena.  Then to the historic Flour Mill on W. Mallon.  It is on the north bank of the Spokane River, not too far from Spokane Arena.  The mill was put in operation in 1900 and continued to operate until 1972, when it closed it's doors. The mill was converted into a shopping center ahead of the 1974 EXPO.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Flour Mill Sign
Photo of the Flour Mill in Old Days
Inside the Flour Mill
Tobacco World
Hand carved Smoking Pipe
Look up closely and you will see that the wood beams are worn
away fromthe grain running against them for more than 70 years.
You can see the exposed nails
Colorful foliages were around on our way out of Spokane and to visit Arbor Crest Wine Cellars.
Arbor Crest Winery is about 12 miles east of Spokane downtown.  It is on N. Fruit Hill Road. It is one of the oldest wineries in the state of Washington.  It has been named as one of "50 Great Producers Every Wine Lover Should Know" by Wine Spectator.  It is a family owned winery that was established by the Mielke family in 1982. It is perched atop a cliff overlooking the Spokane Valley at 450'.  The winery is housed in the Cliff House, a historic estate.  

We wandered through the rock garden about while admiring the view and the flowers.  All of us went inside the tasting room for wine samples. 
From left: Laura, Char, Erwin, Elaine and Lillian
Horse carriage
Waiting in line for wine samples
Lillian, Laura and Elaine sampling wines
Elaine sampling wine
We went back to Spokane downtown and went to Steam Plant Square for supper.  It used to be a steam-operating facility, but was converted into restaurant, bar, brewery and event venue. The plant was in operation for 70 years before it was closed in December 1986. In 2001 the Steam Plant Square received the prestigious National Preservation Honor award.  They left all the old machinery, which some of them were turned into interesting decor.

Our dining experience was interesting; although we were not really satisfied with what we ordered.  
Most of the machinery and pieces were left intact
One of the original machinery pieces on display
View of the bar from the upper level
We were inside the smokestack
Edith's Street Tacos
Erwin's Country Fried Chicken Steak
On our way back to Char's place we were blessed to witness the sunset over the bridge. The last sunset in Spokane, WA before we leave for Montana tomorrow morning.
After we got back to Char's we were invited to have coffee with her and friends.  Erwin had a nice time chatting with Char's son, Darrell, about hunting and his experience living in Alaska. Elaine, Laura, Lillian and Edith shared their travel stories. 

We had a lovely time sightseeing and eating out with all our good friends today.

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