Shannon here: Janalyn Voigt takes us on a tour of Columbia Riverfront in Washington state. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to be entered in last Monday’s drawing for Linda Shenton Matchett’s e-book. Deadline: May 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janalyn:
Imagine yourself driving on a well-maintained road with virgin forests on one side and shining water as far as the eye can see on the other. Picture wild estuaries, charming port towns, and freighters plying the waters offshore. Of course, you will want to explore such a romantic destination with someone you love, as I did.
My husband, John, and I fell in love with the Columbia riverfront during a side excursion on an anniversary trip. We brought home such glowing memories that we had to stop by the area on the way home from a family vacation. We finally dedicated an entire trip to the area to celebrate our anniversary last year. That journey solidified our decision to settle there one day. It is so unspoiled that I hesitate to mention it.
We decided to stay at the Twin Gables Inn in Skamakowa (Skah-MAH-ko-wah), since that was the primary location we were considering for a future home. The main draw to the bed-and-breakfast was being able to rent a vacation apartment. Also, I was intrigued by the optional meals made from wholesome farm fare, served with everything included down to beverages at one price per person. We did cook a couple of meals in our vacation apartment, which included a small kitchen. However, since we were celebrating, we booked both breakfast and dinner at the inn.
Since John and I first married, we have taken an anniversary trip each and every year. When money for a getaway was hard to come by in the beginning of our marriage, we considered skipping our trip. That idea was never popular with us, and we learned to stop posing it. We always worked it out so we can go. Each trip is an adventure and a chance to grow together as a couple that we simply don’t want to miss.
We left for Skamakowa late in the day, setting off in happy anticipation of a special time away. Our hosts were fine with us turning up late, so we didn’t worry about the time. I had been texting our hostess from my cell phone, and I figured if we couldn’t find the place, I could always reach her that way. It was ten at night by the time we arrived in the area. What we didn’t know was that it’s possible to drive right by Skamakowa on the main road, and that’s exactly what we did. When I tried to text our hostess, I discovered that I was in a no-service area. Although the entrance to the Twin Gables Inn is nicely marked with a gorgeous masonry entrance sign, you do need to find the building before you see it. We drove back and forth along the main road for about half an hour before the process of elimination led us to the correct door. I would suggest, if you visit this inn, to make sure you print out detailed instructions as to its location. Also, arriving in the daylight might help.
The inn itself was well worth the effort to find it. It has an interesting history, having been created by connecting two vintage mirror-image houses. Spacious, covered in cedar siding, and backing to a dock accessing a river channel, it is gorgeous. Our vacation apartment was beautifully appointed with a four-poster bed and antiques in the living room. There was also the kitchen I’ve mentioned, adequate heating, a roomy shower, and a large-screen television. The best part of the inn, however, was the hospitality of its hosts. Stevan and Kathleen Morgain went out of their way to accommodate us. Kathleen is a superb cook who takes obvious joy in serving others. We also liked the fact that Sunday was a church day for them. Coming across old-fashioned values in our modern times is wonderful.
On the first full day of our trip, John and I explored farmlands in Skamakowa, picturing ourselves living in the area. We also visited Puget Island, a rural community on an island in the Columbia River connected to the mainland by a bridge. In the charming town of Cathlamet there’s a charming ferry still running from back in the day. We didn’t take it today, but instead sampled homemade scones before setting off on a driving adventure into neighboring areas. We went as far as the Long Beach peninsula before heading back for an anniversary dinner of curried chicken.
Before returning home, we had to revisit the Julia Butler Hansen refuge for the Columbian white-tailed deer. We walked the boardwalk trail through the salt marsh, and watched wildlife along with ships plying the Columbia. This great river is the silent force that lends energy to the communities that line its shores.
About Janalyn: Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read classics to her as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with her own made-up tales. Her sixth-grade teacher noticed her love of storytelling and encouraged her to become a writer. Today Janalyn is a multi-genre author. Janalyn writes the kind of novels she likes to read – epic adventures brimming with romance, mystery, history, and whimsy. She is praised for her unpredictable plots and the lyrical, descriptive prose that transports readers into breathtaking storyworlds.
About the book – Stagecoach to Liberty
Can a desperate young woman trust the handsome Irish stranger who wants to free her from her captors?
Elsa Meier, a talented young Hessian girl who plays the hurdy-gurdy and dances, signs a contract to entertain miners in the Wild West. Elsa travels to America in the company of Miles and Alicia Peabody, the brother and sister who persuaded her mother to allow her to go. Elsa hopes for freedom and the chance to send money home to help her family. Instead she comes to the attention of a wealthy and unscrupulous man. On a stagecoach traveling into Montana Territory, Elsa conveys her peril to a handsome stranger with an Irish accent.
Con Walsh, on a quest to find out the truth about himself, stumbles into a dangerous situation involving a frightened young woman in need of rescue. Despite his own pressing troubles, he finds that her safety matters to him more than his own.
Set in Montana during its gold rush — a time troubled by outlaws, corruption and vigilante violence, Stagecoach to Liberty explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west. This story can stand alone or continue the saga that began with Hills of Nevermore and Cheyenne Sunrise.
Stagecoach to Liberty will challenge you to explore what true freedom means in your life.
Get your copy now! Stagecoach to Liberty – Amazon
Question for Readers: What are your favorite type of accommodations when you travel? Bed & Breakfast? Hotel? RV? Cabin? Tell us about your favorite place you’ve stayed.
Come back April 30th for Tina Radcliffe!