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Saturday, February 19, 2011


 Jaqueline belongs to a group called the `Wednesday Women` who for many years have taken turns to host a dinner party once a month for the strictly all women group. My stay coincided with a dinner hosted in Spokane and the golden rule of women only was broken in my honour.
Spokane is 80+ miles from Jaqueline's home in Pullman and the American way here in rural Washington State thinks nothing of driving 160 miles round trip for a dinner party. On this occasion however Jaqueline decided we would stay overnight at a hotel so that she could show me around Spokane before the dinner and the following day as well.
The first class hotel overlooked the Spokane River that flows 111 miles from Lake Coeur d`alene Idaho to Lake Roosevelt the Columbia River`s reservoir.

Spokane was originally the home of the Spokane Indians, Spokane translates to `children of the sun`, who were spread over 3 million acres, today they occupy just 154,000acres. They relied on the river for Salmon and the surrounding land for hunting Deer, Antelope and Elk.
View from hotel balcony.
Before the introduction of the white man's religions the Indians held the belief that there were three worlds, one on top of  another, with the middle world being earth. They believed a Superior Being ruled the upper world while the lower world was ruled by an evil person. The ruler of the above gave them rain and made food plentiful. The evil ruler was blamed for poor hunting, fishing, and crops.Sounds like Heaven, Earth and Hell.

In 1974 Spokane hosted a World Fair on the site of old railroad tracks. In the picture below can be seen the clock tower of the old Gt. Northern Railroad depot. It stands 155` and was built in 1902, the clock is wound by hand once a week, the 4 clock faces are each 9` in diameter
Behind the clock can be seen the U S pavilion from the World fair, it has a central steel column with 4 miles of steel cable forming the dome. Today it`s an outdoor Ice skating rink.

Art in Spokane riverside park.
After flowing through Riverside Park the Spokane River, having given pleasure to the City`s walkers and a haven for the Ducks and Geese gobbling up the bread fed to them by the children, has one last job before it leaves the City limits. Two dams, from a total of 7 along it`s length, will be negotiated to provide Hydro electricity.

The one pictured above is the lower falls built in 1890 and it produces 14.8 Megawatts of electricity enough for 11,000 homes.

The lower falls flow beneath the Monroe St. bridge, cable cars can be seen under the arch resting after a summer of carrying visitors over the falls from Riverside Park. I spy with my little eye something beginning with `J`.

The upper falls power plant below was built in 1922 and generates 10Megawatts. Water enters through an 18` diameter pipe and drives

a vertical generator. Jaq this is my blog, stop posing.

vertical Francis generator in the upper falls powerhouse

Now this is something not to often seen in the States, a roundabout. Just a quick google,  remember when we had to visit the library for

all our facts & figures, and it seems there are 2,500 in the USA-1st Nevada in 1990- 30.000 in France and 25,000 in the UK. I assume the UK figure doesn`t include those white painted blobs of tarmac that seem to be at every other junction on minor roads. The 1st in the UK was it seems in Letchworth Hertfordshire.

Electric cars seem to be big in the USA with California having over 450 roadside charging points in the San Francisco bay area and funding for the installation of 2700 home charge units  The one below in Spokane is one of 3 installed as an experiment, it`s a start, don`t laugh. The charging is paid for by the city council with the motorist paying for the parking space.

Try these links Tango   Nissan Leaf   Chevrolet Volt or if you want to build your own click here.

Jaqueline`s latest blog HERE. 

1 comment:

Les Biggs said...

Colin said...
Hi mate

Nice blog, very interesting, look forward to the next one.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday.


Sat Feb 19, 09:27:00 AM
Carol said...
Hi Les, Unfortunately for some reason I cannot post a comment on Jaqueline's blog - so would you pass this message on to her for me?

Hello Jaqueline,
Just read your last blog - and my reaction was - Wow! That is Love! I love to read your blogs following yours and Les' journey of getting to know each other, your writing certainly paints the picture.
Very best wishes to you both. x

Sat Feb 19, 10:17:00 AM
LES said...
Hi Colin,
Thanks very much. I really am enjoying myself.

Sun Feb 20, 03:12:00 AM
LES said...
Hi Carol,
Passed on your message to Jaq and here is her reply:
Thank you so much Carol! I'm really glad you are following along on our adventure. I've really enjoyed writing our story--but living it is a dream. He's here and I'm still pinching myself. It is grand to love and be loved so much.

Sun Feb 20, 03:22:00 AM
Carol said...

Sun Feb 20, 09:39:00 AM
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NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs