My Town Monday: March

It rains. And it rains. Soon, the weatherman tells us, the snow will be gone from our yards and gardens, slowly whittled away by pelting water that falls steadily from the bleak skies.

Spokane River in March, rain and melt

The river roils with energy, its power unleashed and clearly visible.

March River, strength and energy

The water pushes its way through town, tumbling toward the lower (but truly higher) falls where it hurtles over the edge and drops to a wider and more peaceful valley flow.

From above the falls, Spokane River

This is not the highest it has been in the past five years; there have been times when to stand on the suspension bridge meant getting soaked from the spray. However, more rain is expected over the next two days, with temperatures that will encourage continued snowmelt.

 

Downtown was quiet this afternoon compared to the noise of Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. We avoided the crowds and noise then (sorry, no parade pictures due to our 5th year of not going) but today SuperDad and I had a late lunch/early supper of corned beef sandwiches at the Irish pub. The taste was so rich and flavorful that I had to close my eyes and focus on each bite. As I write this, four hours have passed and I’m still smiling — this is what good food can do to a person.

The view across the street from the restaurant, however, is different story.

farewell to the old carrosel building

I’m not smiling over this scene, despite it being positive progress; this structure that was erected for Expo ’74 — and has housed the 1909 Looff Carrousel since 1975 — is being dismantled, torn down after 42 years. The carrousel itself, with its band organ and wonderful painted horses and other animals, is safely in storage (and/or being restored) during the time needed to take down the old building and put up a new one. The park feels achingly empty without the carrousel. I’ll have to wait another year to have that space filled once again.

MTM: from yard to park

Riverfront Park, clock tower

The iconic clock tower is all that is left of the railroad depot that originally dominated this piece of land. Burlington Northern donated the land for Expo 74 and the result is a lovely park that anchors various events in downtown Spokane.

This is what it looked like before it became a park:

DSCN5119

The former passenger depot, built in 1902

The former passenger depot, built in 1902

DSCN5123

The old rail yards became the location of Expo ’74. Now known as Riverfront Park, the Spokane River flows past meadows used for outdoor concerts, the opera house, the convention center, sculptures, walking and biking paths, and an historic 1909 Looff Carousel.

Expo '74 Site in 2009
Above photo found at https://flic.kr/p/6kNWCz

DSCN2782  Riverfront Park, for web

This is a “recipe” that was used by another city just 12 years later, when Vancouver, British Columbia, hosted Expo ’86. Old rail yards and run-down property were turned into a beautiful showplace for the city to enjoy long after the Exposition left town.
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**The photograph showing an Expo ’74 official program was found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/expomuseum/3505956193/in/set-72157617763182810
**All other photographs are my own, although obviously I took photos of old public images that were on display for all to see at Riverfront Park.  

MTM: Green Water and Guinness

DSCN2800, cropped and re-sized for web sharing GREEN

Today (just in case you live under a rock and didn’t already look around you) is/was St. Patrick’s Day. My grand idea was to go on a lunch date with SuperDad at my favorite Irish pub downtown, so for the past two days, I’ve been thinking Guinness, Guinness, Guinness! At noon we walked into the pub which was, of course, standing room only. For some inexplicable reason, I had not connected lunchtime with party time when it comes to Irish pubs. After all, the big parade was on Saturday and this was a work day, right? Someone should have reminded me that Limerick, Ireland is one of our sister cities.  Dreams of sitting down and eating lunch at the pub were, for today, dashed against the very bar we couldn’t get near enough to touch.

In his glass-half-full voice, my dh suggested we go to a different place just around the corner. Happily, they had plenty of available tables and advertisements of Guinness plastered on the door. We had a much quieter lunch (fish’n’chips, minus the chips, plus a salad) and a pint apiece. Our lunch date was saved. And even better, we agreed to go out for lunch at O’Doherty’s on a less festive day in the near future. They have excellent Reuben sandwiches and skilled builders when it comes to a proper pint of Guinness.

Since I was at a baby shower on Saturday, I won’t be able to show you the sights from the parade — and I neglected to take a picture of the shamrocks painted on the city streets and sidewalks. But I did note that the water looked rather green as it raced pell-mell, tumble-bumble over the lower falls.

DSCN2798 cropped, Lower Falls, Spokane River

No color added

The Upper Falls weren’t too shabby, either, although they didn’t look green to me:

This is actually only one part of the Upper Falls; the other half is to the left of the photo on the other side of those rocks that make a small island in the river.

This is actually only one part of the Upper Falls; the other half is to the left of the photo on the other side of those rocks that make a small island in the river.

I made a short video so you can listen to the roar of the water here:

St. Patrick’s Day at Riverfront Park  [please click on the link]

Raise the beverage of your choice and join me in saying: Sláinte!

My Town Monday: Water Recreation

The great thing about living where I do is the close proximity of recreational water activities.

kayaking

Kayaking with my husband, Oct. 2012

The main river runs right through town and there are parks alongside it in various places.

In The Good Ol' Summertime

In The Good Ol’ Summertime

Yesterday afternoon we were out at the lake house of some friends, enjoying paddle-boating, tubing, and general water play. Confession: aside from 30 minutes of paddle-boating, I stuck to sitting in the shade and enjoying the view… which was fabulous but I did not bring my camera with me.

Lake Coeur d’Alene

Luckily, I did bring my camera with me on Saturday when I drove out to the to the Boy Scout camp where EB is working this summer. Without 300 people running around, it was very peaceful.

"war canoes"

“war canoes”

And with the heat wave gone, our temperatures are back into the mid-80’s (around 30 C) with a pleasant breeze — in other words, pure perfection.

Lake Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene

I love living here!