stillhowlyn's travels 2010 travel blog

Parking & hospitality can't be beat at John & Babs!

John on his tractor after wind blew the grape arbor over! die for!

I cannot adequately describe the taste & sweetness of these seedless Champagne...

The best & dearest..Babs & John!

Good friends, John & Babs, full-timers for many years, bought property & built a house 3 years ago here in Clarkston. They usually hangout most winters in Quartzsite, AZ, dear to the hearts of most of us RVers, where they actually have family. Their property also has two full hookup RV sites, a large barn/workshop, and a vegetable garden and grape arbor loaded with goodies for the taking. We have had a long-standing invitation to visit and are finally taking full advantage of the Sammartino hospitality.

Nestled at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in southeast Washington, Clarkston is the gateway to Hells Canyon. This deepest river gorge in North America hugs the borders of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho. You can let your senses run as wild as the landscape since the river flows free with no dam encumbrances. Just scenic vistas, world-class whitewater boating, spectacular mountain's all here. Vast reaches of remote wilderness for hiking or horseback riding. Diverse and abundant wildlife. Artifacts from prehistoric tribes and rustic remains of early miners and settlers...Well I did plagiarize a bit of the foregoing!

We booked a full day's trip through Beamers Jet Boats and settled in for the 200 miles, 10 hours, 3 states and over 800 photos that were forthcoming. We had always wanted to do the float trip which takes 4 days on the river with tent camping at night (and toilet issues) but don't have that urge anymore. Well, maybe the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon some day!

John and Babs fed us in grand style and we so enjoyed lively visits with 4 generations of their beautiful family. When we departed after 4 days, we were well-stocked with fresh and canned vegetables; shallots, scallions, 4 varieties of tomatoes, carrots and the most delicious baby lettuces and champagne grapes. Jars of pico de gallo, pickled beets and "tomolives" (spicy but good in martinis says Howard!).

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