Enjoying Prospectors' Days

Spectators lined Clark Street for Prospectors' Day Photo by: Kelly West

During our time in Republic, dozens of locals have told us to come see what the Prospectors' Days celebration is all about.

This weekend, we did just that. Some of us came out to run (and place) in the 3.7-k and 10-k races. Others were there to shoot video of the parade. Sherri and I grabbed lunch downtown at the Sportsmen Roost, which has become one of our favorite spots to eat downtown. Kelly and Kate stopped by after shooting some photos and videos.

The K Diamond K Story

Steve Konz, on lunch break in Cle Elum, Wash. Photo by: Steve Davis

It was good to connect with my old friend I-90 again this past week for a short 322-mile trip over to Tacoma from Republic. (Three of us from SU drove out here from Syracuse two weeks ago, and the 2,500-mile journey has changed my perspective on words such as "short" and "long". My travel partners to Tacoma were K Diamond K patriarch Steve Konz and the ranch wrangler, Shelby Carradine. Our destination: Romancing the Spouse, an event in Tacoma for Ft. Lewis soldiers and families.

Carrying the burden

Photograph of quilts made by wives and widows of Vietnam veterans

Yesterday we visited with Danna Hughes of Vietnam Veterans Wives, a veterans organization in Republic. Being the widow of a Vietnam veteran, she shared the everyday struggles of veterans' wives.

Local help coming soon

Photo by: Steve Davis

Ron O'Halloran, who runs the Ferry County Hospital here in Republic, is all set to help the veterans in this community ... as soon as he's finished reviewing the 157-page contract the VA's sent him for signature.

He plopped it on the table between us this afternoon when I asked how long it would be before the facility would be certified to help the vets who live here. That would be a huge benefit; they wouldn't have to drive the 120 winding, up-and-down miles south to Spokane to see a doctor or counselor.

Pancakes, prayers for vets

Photo by: Steve Davis

After a pair of two-hour round-trips to Chesaw in as many days, Juliette and I were content with today's assignment, a Memorial Day pancake breakfast just a few miles down the road. It was a fundraiser for the Republic Volunteer Fire Department; the firefighters flipped elderberry pancakes and monitored frying eggs and ham where the firetrucks usually park.

K Diamond K Ranch

Photo by: David Miller

We made it to K Diamond K Ranch in Republic, WA. We were greeted by horses, long-horned cattle, goats, and even a peacock! We've gotten settled and explored Republic, and we are all energized and eager to begin delving into our stories in a few days.

Rick Francis and Wolf from Blackdog Foundation stopped by to give us some updates on veterans in the area, who they hope to connect us with very soon. We're eager to meet as many people as possible.

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