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Allison & Chase Discover Family Skiing at White Pass!

By Wendy Thomas
Published: 02/20/24 Topics: Dog Friendly, Family, Interview, Mount Rainier WA, Packwood WA, Things To Do, Vacation Comments: 0

Allison, who works in inventory management, and Chase, who is active-duty military, are currently stationed in Port Orchard, Washington. They wanted to take a skiing vacation within Washington State. Theirs was a full house, with Allison, Chase, their two kids, two friends, and their dog, Magnolia.

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Packwood Properties: What made you choose Packwood and Cowlitz Manor House?

Allison: Chase is an avid skier, and we wanted to take a ski vacation to someplace new. We’d never been there, but he wanted to try the White Pass area, and the house looked beautiful and the location seemed to be amazing. Plus, it had a hot tub.

Packwood Properties: Did you use the hot tub at all?

Allison: Oh yes. The kids took skiing lessons, so after spending a day skiing, it was great. We used the gas fire pit upstairs as well, especially when the power went out!

Packwood Properties: Oh no! Sorry about that. I hope that turned out to be okay in the end?

Allison: It was. Packwood Properties kept us up to date about when the power would come back on. We had the gas stove inside and the gas fire pit outside, so we were fine until the power came back to the street in the evening.

Packwood Properties: What was your favorite thing about the house?

Allison: We loved the front porch facing the river. We spent most of our time there. And, of course, the hot tub after skiing. We used the fire pit quite a bit. Especially with the power out! We liked how close it was to the White Pass Skiing Area, only a half hour drive. The house was big enough for all six people plus Magnolia to spread out. It was beautiful. Just like the pictures showed.

Packwood Properties: I hope we’ll be able to host you again in the future.

Allison: It was one of the better Airbnbs we’ve stayed in. We will definitely stay here again, if available!

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Author: Wendy Thomas – Cowlitz Manor House, Cowlitz Manor House
Blog #: 0977 – 02/20/24

Sponsor: Cowlitz Manor House – Modern luxury with a rustic finish, surrounded by the finest examples of Western Washington's natural beauty: Welcome to the Cowlitz Manor House on the river! – (Link to Cowlitz Manor House)

Eloise Rocks Out at Hi-Tide Resort

By Wm. May
Published: 07/10/23 Topics: Art, Fishing, Hi-Tide Resort, Photography, Vacation Comments: 0

No one knows exactly how it all got started. Maybe it is a myth.

The dreamy story goes like this. Long ago a young guest brought along a painting set to the beach.

The plan was to create a Vincent Van Gogh worthy painting of the sundown just as the mythical magical but very real great green flash that winks when the sun disappears completely. And just for a second.

Her name was not recorded at the time, but for now we have come to call her "Eloise". There is no record of whether she successfully caught and depicted the momentous moment. But it is something that can be frequently be seen year round from the condos at Hi-Tide.

After wandering the beach, exploring the Moclips River and digging a full limit of Razor Clams , Eloise decided to use her leftover paint to leave a message and art on a small round river rock.

The portrait of her dog, who had accompanied her to HI-Tide, included the dog's name "Picasso" and these lovely words, "I love it here. I will be back."

She placed the rock gently into a flower bed just outside the entrance to the resort office. What happened next started slowly but has grown to become a must-do activity for visitors from all over the world.

Travelers journey to Moclips Beach, staying at our lovely Hi-Tide Resort , and enjoying the very same peace and quiet and stunning beauty of the North Beaches of Washington State.

Some stay for just a few days. Others stay for a week or two or longer. But before they leave, they can ask for paint and a brush with directions were to find a suitable rock on which to paint their message for posterity.

Today, the gardens of HI-Tide Resort are filled with painted rocks and messages of love and life. Better yet, most visitors return year after year. To paint a new rock or to touch-up those which have graced the gardens for decades.

You are invited to make your own memory here and rock out at Hi-Tide.

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Author: Wm. May – Rock Out at Hi-Tide Resort, Hi-Tide Resort
Blog #: 0940 – 07/10/23

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

Hi Tide Resort Nearby But Far From Seabrook

By Wm. May
Published: 06/11/23 Topics: Hi-Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA, Pacific Beach, Seabrook Resort, Wildlife Comments: 1

We love our neighbor to the south. Seabrook Resort has brought more visibility and new visitors to Washington State's North Beaches from Ocean Shores to Moclips.

Now with 500 new homes perched on a cliff to the south of the town of Pacific Beach, it boasts stores, restaurants, a town hall for weddings, and thousands of neighbors. Newspapers have extolled its virtues and praised the developers for this "New Urbanism"

We are not sure what that means, but praise of our beaches is nothing new. Over 118 years ago, Seattleites hopped trains to "Visit The Shore" at Moclips Beach. and to stave off the city's sweltering summer heat in our warm clime moderated by the refreshing Pacific Ocean.

Since the advent of the automobile, families have zipped to the North Beaches to jump the waves, dig razor clams, collect shells, make sand castles, and watch the sun sink slowly in the west. This is where folks come to getaway, to relax and to invigorate their souls.

At Seabrook, you can pay big money to rent a vacation home for a week or weekend. Or you can rent a moderately priced oceanfront condo at Hi-Tide Resort directly on Moclips' Moonstone beach. And there is a difference here...

From Seabrook town center you will get to trudge 2,000 steps and then descend 200 steep stair steps just to reach the sand, with the ocean another several hundred feet beyond that. While at Hi-Tide you only need to stroll a pleasant 99 steps directly through the level dunes to the ocean. (No steps.)

Of course, if you want to stretch your legs further, you can walk for miles down the coast. And never need go back up any stairs.

Most homes at Seabrook don't have a view, while every one of our condos looks directly out to the rolling surf. The few Seabrook homes that do have a peek-a-boo view may provide binoculars or telescopes, in hopes guests can catch a fleeting glance at seabirds and boats on the horizon.

But you won't need binoculars at Hi-Tide. You can sit on the deck, put your feet up, smell the salty air and marvel as thousands of seabirds swoop and soar directly overhead.

In some seasons there are actually millions of acrobatic Rock Sandpipers, Wandering tattlers, Surfbirds and Black Turnstones migrating from Arctic feedings grounds far to the south. They pass directly overhead and just off the shore.

We must admit Hi-Tide has no swanky restaurants and no tony stores. But if you just can't wait to spend lots of money, take the 8 minute drive to Seabrook. Then after blowing all your cash, zip right back to Hi-Tide to spend all day and all night listening to the ocean and the birds.

Maybe you'll even see that legendary green flash as the golden sun drops below the westerly horizon each evening.

So how about this for a plan - Make a short pit stop at Seabrook to jostle with all the tourists and spend all your money. But stay directly on Moclips Beach at Hi-Tide Resort to rest, relax and recreate.

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Author: Wm. May – Why Stay Anywhere Else, Hi-Tide Resort
Blog #: 0954 – 06/11/23

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

The Hampton Wines Scholarship

By Wm. May
Published: 04/11/23 Topics: Aberdeen Washington, Education, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0

A scholarship has been created for a man who taught thousands of music teachers far more than music. His dedicated and quality was a lucky fact for them all. Read more

Cranberry Farmers of Grayland Washington

By William Victor May
Published: 03/19/23 Topics: Agriculture, Breakwater Inn & Cottages, Grayland WA, Westport WA Comments: 0

The story of Grayland Cranberry Farming is well over a hundred years old, and the fields and berries are still a fascinating and beautiful addition to the coast of Washington State.

It was in the late 1880's, when a visitor from Massachusetts, Anthony Chabot, discovered native cranberries growing in bogs (Flooded fields) along the coast from Long Beach to Westport Washington, reminded him of Cape Cod where cultivation of the berries had been developed.

The first crop in Grayland, Washington was planted in 1912 by Ed Benn on his belief that the area's peat soil was idea for growing cranberries commercially. Some of those fields still exist all these years later.

Self Guided Cranberry Tour

To step back in time and see an agricultural phenomena little changed in over 100 years, you can take a self-guided driving tour of the cranberry fields. Proceed south from Grayland of Highway 105 then turning East inland on Cranberry Road.

Along the way you will find some of the 255 growers and their fields that are perfectly level because they are flooded regularly with water to nurture the plants.

There is even a "self-pick'" farm if you watch closely for the sign along the tour..

By 1939, the local population of industrious immigrants had laboriously built over 100 fields spread along what is now State Route 105. In that year they took time to celebrate and built the Grayland Community Hall to be the center of the small town.

You will drive right by it on the Cranberry tour. (It would be a wonderfully historic place to hold your family reunion or wedding reception.)

And for a comfortable ocean front resort, come stay at Breakwater Inn & Cottages

Just 2/10th of a mile south of the turn off to Cranberry Road, the Finnish community built a social hall that later became a dehydrating building for berries shipped oversees to servicemen.,

The goal was to keep soldier morale up during the war when stuck away from home at Thanksgiving.

In the 1950's, Julius Furford an entrepreneurial purchased the building and in 1957, invented the famous Furford picker, a unique picking machine designed to harvest the cranberry crop and prune the vines at the same time saving time and work on what was previously a labor intensive back-breaking job.

The Furford family turned their warehouse into the Grayland "Cranberry Museum" (Not to be confused with the similarly name Cranberry Museum of Long Beach located must further down the Washington Coast line.)

Ocean Spray Coopeative

Today, 99 percent of the grays in Grayland, are part of the Ocean Spray cooperative'a farmer-owned company of 700 families across North America. They grow over 220 billion berries a year.

The local Ocean Spray processing plant is 11 north of Grayland on Highway 105 at Markham, and on the road to Aberdeen Washington.

The plant does not offer tours, but another 1 miles north is the Westport Winery, Distillery and world famous Mermaid Museum.

Among their other great wines you will, of course, find Cranberry Wine made from the wonderful Grayland Fruit.

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Author: William Victor May – Cranberry Connisseur, Breakwater Inn & Cottages
Blog #: 0945 – 03/19/23

Sponsor: Breakwater – Visit Goldener Inn's new Breqkwater Inn & Cottages on the rustici coastof WashingtonState at Grayland, south of Wesstport. Stay in the newly renovated rooms and cottages on expansive beaches of WashingtonS tate..

Summer Songs at Hi-Tide Resort

By Wm. May
Published: 04/01/22 Topics: Hi-Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Music, Ocean Shores WA, Radio Comments: 1

https://Redstone.net/images/Blogs/866/BeachSong.jpg

Thinking of the beach brings up memories of the surf, sand, wildlife and, of course, the summer sun that bathes Moonstone Beach at Hi-Tide Resort in Moclips, Washington State. State.

Guests have been visiting our "directly on the beach" condos for many years, most returning year after year. Of course, we could tell you all about our comfy furniture, fully outfitted kitchens, private decks and views North, South and West (far west).

But maybe if we conjure up a few songs, you'll get the idea. The songs we play over and over again during all the fun times we have here.(Click on any song to listen.)

Surfin' USA - The Beach Boys

This tune was all over the radio in 1963 and ranked as the top song in Billboard rankings. It is the most recognized recording ever written by Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, although band member Mike Love says he co-wrote it.

Fifteen surfing hot spots are mentioned, most in California, with a nod to Australia's Narrabeen and, of course, to the grand daddy of them all - Hawaii's Waimea Bay.

Our Moonstone Beach at Moclips is not known for surfing, but that's OK because we get to keep the place to ourselves.

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy - George Gershwin

In 1934, Gershwin wrote this steamy song for his American opera, Porgy and Bess, with lyrics help from Dubose Heyward, the author of the novel on which the opera was based.

First recorded by Billie Holiday, who was to become an icon in musical history, Summertime has been recorded over 68,591 times, then a world record for cover tunes.

We don't suffer from the stifling 100 degree heat and 100 percent humidity that this song evokes, but we do find the living easy all summer at Hi-Tide. Warm breezes, warm sun, warm sand make it a comfortable place to hang out in the summer.

Hot Time Summer in the City - The Loving Spoonful

Written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone, this summer at Hi-Tide you may be glad you are enjoying the pleasant hot sunshine on Moclips Beach and not the sizzling city. The waves are friendly as you sit back and watch the sun sink into the ocean directly west from our condos

You might even seen the famous, green flash, just as the last bit of the sun disappears over the horizon.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

If you have never heard this "Iz" song, you are one of the few. Where have you been? With over one BILLION views/listens on YouTube, this medley of Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World make Bruddah Iz the top selling artist of all times on the world music charts.

Nothing could be better as you drift off to sleep in one of our Hi-Tide condos than to listen to the gentle ukulele strum and the stunning voice of Bruddah Iz, the hero of Hawaii.

And why Hawaii, when we are here on the coast of Washington State? Every ocean brings the same enchantment, the same relaxation and the same love of the world, including here on Moonstone Beach.

When you visit this summer, you just might hear other guests humming contently one of these songs as they settle into beach life. But don't wait long or we'll be full and then you would have to sing a sad song. And, of course, we wouldn't want that.

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Author: Wm. May – Summer Song Singer, Hi-Tide Resort
Blog #: 0866 – 04/01/22

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

Hi-Tide Resort One Million Visitors

By Wm. May
Published: 11/01/21 Topics: Fishing, Goldener Inns, Hi-Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA Comments: 1

Photo credit: Dan Ayres/WDFW

For decades, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed staying at Hi-Tide Resort on Moclips Beach on the Coast of Washington State.

They come from everywhere around the Northwest, from across the United States, and even from foreign countries.

Visitors love the clean, crisp air, the natural dunes, the river that wraps around the property, and walking the beach for mile after mile.

Families return year after year, settling into their favorite condo where they can watch the sunset, cook on the resort grills, play horseshoes, jump in the surf, and even cast a line to catch perch and other delicacies.

Little do people know that millions of other visitors seem to find the destination just as intriguing. They are native to the area and seem to be flourishing because, well, they are frisky, shall we say.

If you have never eaten one, know this - Razor clams are an eating delicacy that grows only in certain places in the world, and they are especially prolific there.

Razors live in intertidal and subtidal zones and are filter feeders with short siphons, so they live just beneath the surface to feed, like right here, just below the surface of Moclips Beach.

When low tides expose the bottom, the clams dig and burrow deeper into the sand with their strong muscular feet.

The clams are plentiful because females have 6-10 million eggs, of which less than 5% will survive. When ocean temperature reaches 55+ degrees, the clams release their sperm and eggs into the water.

Larvae that develop from the eggs are free-floating and called "veligers," carried by the current.

Over the course of 5-16 weeks (depending on water temperature), they develop a shell and settle to the seafloor as juveniles, but of those, 95% die of natural causes.

Razor Clams that survive burrow deeper and become harvestable when they reach 3.5 inches in one year and 4.5 inches in two. They can then begin to reproduce.

Dan Ayres, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager, says reports on Monday show more than 9,256 differs in the Moclips area took 160,896 clams, with 10,193 Copalis area diggers taking 193,327 clams.

On Long Beach alone, diggers went home with 428,861 clams. That means that together, over one million of our favorite bi-vales went home with visitors to be fried, canned, dumped into chowder, or made into sushi.

But don’t worry about diminishing the population. Razor clams propagate at an astonishing rate.

Shellfish harvest licenses are required in order to dig clams. These are available at any sporting goods store.

Law requires that clammers keep the first clams they dig (no putting back small clams). In most years, the limit is 15 clams, but through the end of 2021, it was increased to 20 when recent surveys who healthy populations.

Razor clams are very fragile and easily broken: each year thousands of clams are wasted when diggers return small or damaged clams to the sand.

The next time you are sitting on our condo deck at Hi-Tide Resort gazing out over the sand and sea, think of those millions of razor clams enjoying the ocean just as much as you are.

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Author: Wm. May – Clam Lover, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0828 – 11/01/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

Hi-Tide Guests Say the Nicest Things

By Chris Butcher
Published: 08/31/21 Topics: Goldener Inns, Hi-Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA Comments: 0

Whether they're a first-timer or a repeat guest, those who decide to book a stay at the Hi-Tide resort while visiting Moclips leave feeling like they've found a home-away-from-home.

Don't believe us? Here are a few of the verdicts from guests who had a wonderful stay.

New guests

"Thank you so much - We absolutely enjoyed our stay (This will be a yearly trip now!!!) Thank you, the room was very clean!" - Stayed in unit #9

"We had a Wonderful Stay. It FELT LIKE HOME." - Stayed in unit #12

"The room, BBQ grill, patio, parking, all home-like features! Thank You for making our Honeymoon enjoyable!" - Stayed in unit #21

Had a comfortable bed, a clean shower and a wonderful fireplace with complimentary logs, great!!! All the comforts of home!! - Stayed in unit #36

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Author: Chris Butcher – Web Content Admin, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0827 – 08/31/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

Walking from Moclips Beach to Ocean Shores

By Jerry Tuerk
Published: 07/25/21 Topics: Goldener Inns, Hi-Tide Resort, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA, Things To Do Comments: 0

Walking the beach is an age-old way to disconnect from the world. To walk and think and marvel at the power of the waves. But where to walk is the question.

Everyone who visits Moclips Beach on the coast of Washington State wants to know how far they can walk down the beach. The answer is all the way.

That means all the way to the Jetty in Ocean Shores and, believe it or not, that is a whopping 24 miles. But more realistically, a walk from Hi-Tide Resort South to Pacific Beach is a tidy 2.7 miles.

Along the way, you'll see the wide-open expanse sand, and surf and hopefully the sun too, especially in summer. Stay close to the water and the sand is firm and an easy stroll.

Gander at the marvelous beach houses and listen to the never-ending waves and seabirds. There won't be any crowds or hubbub. But there will be beauty, clean air, peace, and quiet.

Naturally, you can walk the whole round trip or just double back.

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Author: Jerry Tuerk – General Manager, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0821 – 07/25/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

T'was he Night Before 4th of July

By Wm. May
Published: 07/03/21 Topics: Fishing, Goldener Inns, Hi-Tide Resort, Holidays, Moclips Beach WA, Ocean Shores WA Comments: 0

It is late night July 3rd and all through the area, not a creature is stirring. Every pillow at Hi-Tide Resort has a head on it.

Children do not have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. They are dreaming of the shells they collected, the waves they jumped and the games they played today.

At dinner, every picnic table was filled with families devouring hamburgers and hot dogs hot from the barbecue, dollops of potato salad, and later followed by ‘s'mores stuffed with chocolate and mashed melted marsh mellows.

For moms and dads, grandparents and friends, beer was preferred. For some, it was fine wine. Cocktails for others. Children gulped fresh-squeezed lemonade as their libation of choice.

Kids and adults alike stayed up late ‘round the campfire spinning yarns and trying jokes. Campfire songs were sung, although no one knew all the words laughter erupted for no good reason. Smiles were everywhere.

Now it is late and every person here is dreaming of another dreamy day on Moclips Beach, or wading through the Moclips River, or playing horseshoes or just strolling through the dunes.

We can’t claim that jolly old Saint Nicholas will soon be here, but maybe Robert Gray, the namesake for our area, will appear for just a moment to proclaim "And to all a good night."

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Author: Wm. May, Hi Tide Resort
Blog #: 0819 – 07/03/21

Sponsor: Hi-Tide Resort – You can't get any closer to the beach than this. comfy, cozy, modern condos at Hi-Tide-Resort on Moclips Beach WA State. – Hi-Tide-Resort.com

It Is Time for Double Tips

By William May
Published: 02/26/21 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Gratitude, Health, Kindness Comments: 0

A new vacation rental landlord was appalled to find out that the management firm put "Housekeeper Tip Envelopes" into homes. She presumptuously concluded that the housekeepers were not paid sufficiently.

That reveals she hasn't the slightest idea of how to be in the hospitality industry. Certainly housekeepers appreciate tips, but tips are not really there for the money.

  • Tips show appreciation.
  • Tips show recognition of the hard work.
  • Tips show respect for undesirable work.
  • Tips are the price you pay to avoid the job.
  • Tips show you are a kind person.

Housekeeping is the kind of work that this privileged snotty rental owner can simply not imagine. Maybe if such owners went out, scrubbed floors, unclogged toilets, and pushed a vacuum until their hands grew callouses, maybe then they would see, or at least begin to feel what it's like to be disrespected.

During the Covid crisis, it has been reported that customers are tipping service personnel, like restaurant servers, delivery drivers, and dry cleaners, far lower than ever before. Of course, some consumers have less money available to leave tips, but for everyone else - shame on you.

People have lost jobs. Some have taken positions at lower wages. Some work part-time when full-time is what they need. That means now is the time to show more respect for service people, not less.

Double Tip

Without much forethought our family has been tipping higher than usual nowadays. But this ungrateful client gave us a brand new idea. Not only is it time to tip everyone well, maybe it's time to start a movement - it's time to tip everyone double.

Maybe it was always time to double tip everyone. Tip double! At minimum. Always!

The Best Reward

On the way home tonight we stopped for take-out at a drive-through fast food restaurant and tipped $20 on a $25 order. We also handed over giant smiles and a very big THANK YOUS.

The wonderful young clerk said, "Oh, that’s too much." To which we had to say, "Oh no, that’s just right."

But the best part of tipping double is that you will get more out of it than the recipient. Generosity always benefits the giver.

And now it can and should benefit us all double! Maybe next time we should make it triple. How about you?

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Author: William May
Blog #: 0809 – 02/26/21

Covid Changed Nothing

By William May
Published: 12/31/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments: 0

Let us not be irreverent.

Surely, Covid changed things, but it has seldom changed them wholly and unequivocally, no matter how abrupt that may sound. During wars, life continues. After a hurricane, the population digs out. And during the flu pandemic of 1919, folks wore masks for a time, many died, and the rest carried on - as rude as that sounds.

Some parts of life always have been, are now, and always will be. Now is a good time to make a list, so we do not forget when the next life-altering event takes place. Here are just a few.

No matter the weather, rain or shine, no matter the time of year, or the time of day, in the wonderful park that sits midway between our condo and our offices, in fact directly outside my window, if the field lights are on, those crazy soccer players are out there running in circles. Maybe there are even more of them now.

Growing up we did not have soccer. Football, basketball and baseball were king. If anyone played soccer, it was unknown to me. And, if they had called it "Football", we would have been very confused. Yes, their game revolved around kicking the ball with the foot, while ours had almost nothing to do with feet.

So, somehow in the hierarchy of United States, "sports football" as the rest of the world knows it, became soccer here. It was decades before soccer became visible in the states, eventually to become reluctantly popular.

Covid also forced many to stay home and watch television. Of course, the majority of Americans love their TV and spend an average of 21 hours a week glued to the telly.

But, never did we have to admit the addiction. Now none of us can avoid admitting - we were watching TV and, yes we further must admit, we kinda like it. OK, we really love our screen drug of choice. Unless, of course, we compare it to computer screens, at which we spend twice the time on average.

The idea that everyone in the country or the world get along or will agree on everything ignores history. It has never happened and it never will. Unfortunately, the same has been true during Covid. Politicians fight about who is the most right and the most wrong.

Protestors have and will bring forward grievances, justified, very justified or not. Their desire to be heard mirrors other times over the decades and centuries when groups of people felt compelled to bring forth their causes, regardless of other considerations, such as the needs of others, including the profound affect of global sickness.

Away from the light, away from the news on websites, radio, television or newspapers, more momentous events are taking place that also show how nothing has changed.

Men and women are so in love, that they find ways to get married. As now so can men and men, women and women. That had changed before the virus.

Students still yearn to learn, even though the place has changed to their homes, the teachers appear on screens instead of in front of blackboards, and recess means running around your own yard, instead of the school yard.

Parishioners still attend church to find the guidance that they have always required. Jews need the Sabbath. Muslim's need daily prayers. Hindu's pray in their homes. Atheists and agnostics feel none of those leanings and embrace their unchanged opinions.

Unfortunately, the people who lived rude, remain that way. Those who were addicted to working, rather than enjoying, never missed a beat. Those who worship money, attended that church religiously. Some figured how to prosper during times that were financially devastating for others.

But best of all, people who were kind, remain kind or their kindness became more visible. Humble people quietly stepped forward and served the universe - retail clerks, transit workers, care givers, medical staff and even those unfairly maligned who work at rest home facilities.

And, unfortunately, people have died and in larger numbers than ever, and far more frequently than is fair to be cut down before their time. Or they have suffered grievously at the hands of a devious, invisible devil, who causes death and destruction when its only goal is to live and grow.

And those kinds of germs have also not changed. They have been around forever and will be around again in the future. We were better prepared this time than last, and will be even better prepared next time.

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Author: William May, William May
Blog #: 0798 – 12/31/20

WilliamMay.com

Something Fishy at Diamond Belle Ranch Walker Lake

By Ron Lee
Published: 07/23/20 Topics: Comments: 1

Walker Lake

Like all private fly-fishing lakes, for years every spring Diamond Belle Ranch has planted new trout stock into our 44 acre Walker Laker, to supplement the big linkers that have often wintered over. And for years we corralled those new plants from a company called Trout Lodge due to their superior quality.

Some years Trout Lodge focused on egg production and they were unable to provided enough fish for all the very fish connoisseurs like us who wanted them. But this year we are jumping for joy to announce that the Trout Lodge plants are back this year and they are stellar rainbow trout.

Even though we were closed to fishing for a while in early spring due to the dang COVID restrictions, as we opened late spring, the fishing has been robust. The fish had lots of time to acclimate, and were ready to go!

In summer we close fishing to let those pesky trout thrive and grow. So we expect fall fishing to be HOT HOT HOT!!!

With the amount of natural feed in the lake, the new trout are growing like crazy and will be monsters come mid September when we open back up for fishing.

Visitors can choose to stay in our majestic Wauconda Lodge then pay a small half or full day fee to cast their lines. Or they can purchase a day pass if available depending on lodge occupancy.

Fishing is limited to 10 anglers per day, fly fishing catch and release, electric motor boats. We are open year round, with fishing in Spring and Fall. Call today to reserve your spot, space is limited.

You can learn more about Trout Lodge and their beautiful rainbow trout at TroutLodge.com

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Guest Ranch
Blog #: 0768 – 07/23/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

Peace during chaos

By Ron Lee
Published: 06/30/20 Topics: Comments: 0

As the period of stay home stay safe starts to ease a bit, it’s a good time to reflect on what it’s been like here at Diamond Belle Ranch.

For the most part, since we live fairly remotely, we generally only go to town once a week during normal times. So this really didn’t change much.

I guess the biggest difference was that we appreciated that we live in a place where we are extremely happy to stay home for longer periods of time without leaving the property.

Taking a walk around the lake or just sitting and watching the wildlife breathing deeply of the tranquility, these are the things that bring peace in a world of chaos.

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Guest Ranch
Blog #: 0765 – 06/30/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

Precious Gift of Nature

By Ron Lee
Published: 06/19/20 Topics: Guest Ranch, Wildlife Comments: 0

Our early morning visitors.

This lovely doe has twins almost yearly and generally brings them by for us to see. This year she brought them by as BRAND NEW babies! They were still wet even.

What a precious gift!

The Diamond Belle Guest Ranch sits in what might be called a shallow bowl. The hills of the Okanogan Highland isolate us from the South and North. To the West Mount Bonaparte towers above..

Pastures on the east, roll up gently so we are completely alone. No neighbors. No prying eyes. No one close.

National Forest public lands surround the ranch on all sides which means we are a haven for wildlife. Deer of course, but also an occasional Moose. Canadian Geeze and birds galore..

Guests come here for many reasons, peace and solitude, the crisp clean air, stunning sunlight and our warm majestic Wauconda Lodge.

But it is the critters they see that surprise them, the many and the types. You are likely to see some you have never seen before. But you must visit.

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Guest Ranch
Blog #: 0762 – 06/19/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

HelpBookMe Implements Version 3.0 or S2D2 Pricing System

By William May
Published: 06/03/20 Topics: Software, Sunspots Vacation Rentals, Vacation Rentals, Vortex VIP Comments: 0

Although the Vortex Organization first inserted yield management tools into their HelpBookMe lodging management system years ago, today they announced release of version 3.0 of tools referred to as S2D2 for "Seasonal, Strategic, Dynamic and Distributed".

Salman Arshad, chief engineer notes, "Artificial Intelligence pricing is based on the simple idea of Supply and Demand. But predicting supply and demand is a complicated undertaking because variables change frequently and quickly."

Yield Management, sometimes called "Dynamic Rates", increase or decrease based on the general economy, local and regional economic factors, the features and amenities of each property, local events and circumstances, prior day, week, month and quarter pricing, competitor rates and, even, the weather.

S2D2 rates are based on artificial intelligence that queries over 8 billion dollar points every evening, chooses the factors affecting every individual property, and then applies them to our geographic markets right down to the individual vacation rental home or lodging unit.

"Of course our pricing is based on sophisticated and ever changing algorithms, but we still apply manual review, oversight and, sometimes, intervention," said Kate Quinn, account manager at Vortex. "That is why our product name acknowledges all of those important factors."

"Studied" means constant inspection of what competitors are charging for similar and dis-similar properties. "Strategic" rates are set differently depending on time of the year, the season, and in accordance with local events.

"Dynamic" means that rates are adjusted regularly based on occupancy, advance notice and other factors. "Distributed" requires properties be widely advertised on every productive website and through conventional media to ensure that those who might demand the property know it exists.

You cannot have one of those elements without the others, otherwise the science of yield management would be incomplete. After extensive testing, results show that S2D2 version 3.0 can increase both occupancy and rates, resulting in more profit for property owners.

"It is counter-intuitive to recognize that S2D2 does not care what the day of the week is, what the season is or even if there are holidays." explained Arshad. "Instead, with constant calculation, the software foresees trends and adjusts rates to be at the sweet spot that fosters both occupancy and optimal rate."

Another reason yield management works so well is that, surprisingly, travelers have become accustomed to it and, in fact, learn to use variable rates to change their behavior. In other words, demand for lodging ebbs and flows based on rates.

The HelpBookMe technology and especially version 3.0 help charge the highest possible rate on the most popular dates. Modest rates are charged during shoulder seasons. And low rates are set for slow seasons to attract guests who would not otherwise consider booking.

Yield management shines during good economies, but quickly recognizes and reacts to negative events such as economic downturns, regional weather, and any happenings beyond anyone's control.

William May, a Vortex leader admits, ""Every owner loves the idea of high rates, but pride of ownership can be wounded when they look at lower seasonal rates. But once they see the growth in annual income, owners become quick converts to our S2D2 dynamic rates."

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Vortex Managers is a network of trained vacation rental management companies and provides its clients with the resources of giant lodging corporations without the cost or delay. HelpBookMe is a proprietary lodging management software system perfected with thousands of hours by expert engineers. For more information on Vortex, call <206-504-2744 or Email: Info@VortexManagers.com, or Website: www.VortexManagers.com

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Author: William May – Manager, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0746 – 06/03/20

If Jimi Hendricks, Prince, and Pavarotti Were Hawaiian

By Wm. May
Published: 05/18/20 Topics: Hawaii, Music, Self Improvement Comments: 0

Steven Tyler and Uncle Willie K
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler Sings With His Uncle

This blog is not about me. But a bit of background might help. I grew up playing all kinds of music from a young age, not necessarily playing well but playing none the less.

It started with a concert level pianist mother and a father with a soaring tenor voice. I picked up a trumpet in fourth grade, met the high school band instructor and play with him for 8 years through high school.

But first there were piano and trumpet lessons and concerts with the concert band, marching band, stage band, pep band, concert orchestra and even our own little school sponsored "Tijuana Brass" imitation band called - unbelievably in 1969- the Marijuana Brass.

A the age of 13 I happened to hear some new English group called the Beatles on the radio of our tiny neighborhood store Perini's. I was hooked and started a band, then another, playing with many great musicians while we all wanted to become famous and play on the Ed Sullivan TV show.

Or at least we wanted to be swooned over by girls in the way they swooned when watching the Beatles. In 1964, at the age of 13, somehow I talked some parent into driving my bandmates and I the 100 miles to attend a Beatles concerts at the Seattle Center Coliseum.

The Beatles played in the round and the stage slowly revolved so everyone could see them. The sound equipment quality was terrible. The girls screamed so loud we could not hear the music. But we could see the magic.

I played guitar and bass in numerous rock bands and made a living at it for some years, a small living. I partnered in a sound studio, a jingle company and an advertising agency. But eventually moved on to being a fan and not a performer. It was a good run.

In the Charles Cross's biography of Seattle's rock band "Heart", Ann and Nancy Wilson revealed they too attended one of the two times the Beatles played in Seattle.

As they walked out of the concert Nancy, the younger sister, asked , "Why are they all the girls screaming?"

To which Ann said, "They all want to marry the Beatles."

Said Nancy, "We don't want to marry the Beatles, we want to be the Beatles?

And the rest is Heart rock and roll history. They became famous. I did not.

As I said, this blog isn't about me, it is only to imply that I know a little about music and I know that I achieved journeyman status at best.. Years later I stumbled upon a musician who proved it.

Hearing Uncle Willie K music on the radio in Hawaii and then seeing him perform left me flabbergasted by his talent. His skill was astounding and his versatility beyond believing. You can love music and respect the musician at the same time.

Better than all of that, he had a kind of charisma I had never seen - sheer confidence and humor. He knew he could take an audience anywhere he wanted them to go. Including his rendition of "We are the world" completed with uncanny imitations of Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner. No body else can do that

Eric Gilliom, a versatile TV actor and Hawaiian music master, formed a "Hawaiian Super group" with Willie called Barefoot Natives. Before one show willie asked him what was the most money he had ever made doing a concert. When Eric said something like $10,000 willie sat down and said, "Let me see your $10,000 show tonight."

willie and Eric' sister the superlative Amy Hanaialii Gilliom became a couple and willie produce four award winning albums of their own brand of Hawaiian and other music. I loved the music before I knew who they were. As did every Hawaiian.

William Awihilima Kahaiali'I - willie K - grew up playing young at the knee of his father the nationally known and admired Manu Kahaiali'i. Willie was just one of 13 children, so his Dad played music 7 days a week to pay the bills, everything from jazz, blues and Hawaiian of course.

Maybe that is why he branched in so many musical directions. He idolized Jimi Hendricks and prince. That lead him to just about every other kind of music. He was famous for Christmas Carols, but also Salsa, Jazz and Reggae.

He was sought out and accompanied Mick Fleetwood of Fleet Mac, his solo chagrined Billy Idol of ZZ top, Prince praised him, Willy Nelson sang duets with him, but so did Alice Cooper. BB king invited him on stage, he sang with the Commodores and he laughed with comedian Jim Cary. Barack Obama played willie K loud during workouts. willie and Steven Tyler became best buddies.

Maybe they loved they guy because they felt a little like me - unworthy.

He was known through out the world for guitar and ukulele skills but 10 years ago at a local Hawaiian concert he baffled the audience when he dismissed the other musicians from stage, stood silent a long while and finally said, very somberly,

"I am very sad. Last week Pavarotti died. I think he and I were brothers. Tonight I will sing Nessum Dorma"

Afterward, 800 people sat silent and then jumped to their feet screaming "Hanna Hou" (encore). It was the start of many appearances with symphony's singing opera music. On a trip to Israel he brought Jewish congregations to tears by mastering the Israeli national nation.

In 2018, willie K announced that he had contracted a very aggressive cancer, but promised to keep performing as he always had, at every opportunity. His Maui Bluest fest continued each year. He took aggressive treatment but in the end he died quietly at his home May 18, 2020 surround by Ohana.

I didn’t know William Awihilima Kahaiali'I personally, and yet everyone who saw him perform knew him personally. The way it is with all great musicians and performers, they leave themselves, their skills, their personalities and souls on stage with all to see.

Upon hearing of willie's passing, Alice Cooper said it best, "Heaven will be in for one hell of a surprise. I can almost hear the thunderous applause."

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There are so many links because of the variety. Couldn't stop myself.

KHON TV

BILLY GIBBON ZZ TOP

HAWAIIAN

BARE FOOT NATIVES

HALLELUJAH

HAVA NAGILA

NATIONAL ANTHEM

STARTING OPERA

NESSUN DORMA

O HOLY NIGHT

SOUND CHECK

WE ARE THE WORLD

KHON TV

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Author: Wm. May – Music Fan
Blog #: 0757 – 05/18/20

How Dare They Go To Work

By William May
Published: 04/20/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments: 0

How Dare They Work. Corona Virus.

Really, who the hell do they think they are?

Awakening early every morning, or even in the middle of the night. After too little sleep and too much stress, trudging to a job they love, although they admit it is difficult to love right now. How dare they go to work?

They will often spend 12-hours shifts or much longer and for days on end. Not one day off, not a moment to spend on personal things. No time with family or friends. How do they dare do that to themselves?

Some are paid very well, some paid adequately and others earn far too little. Most will receive nothing extra for the insurmountable obstacles they confront. How do they dare to work at all when others would not?

And yet, they persevere and get up and go to a job they know will be very frustrating. They know it is also rewarding, but that it will not feel that way every day. They do not dare to think about relief, at least not yet.

At the job, they will toil hour after hour, often with no time to eat or take a break. Squeezing in a bathroom break is necessary, but even that feels like wasting time. They will be confronted with thing after thing to do. Work upon work. No rest for the weary.

There will be a non-stop demand to do the difficult, the impossible and even the frightening. They won't feel up to the task all the time, but they will step up to the tasks every time. How dare they do that to themselves?

They see weeks of challenge ahead, maybe months, maybe years. They refuse to look for the finish line, because every champion runner puts one foot ahead of the other knowing it’s the only way to finish. They think about quitting, but only rarely, because quitting would make it more difficult for others. They dare not let anyone down.

As the world begins to show its gratitude for these wonderful human beings, they will still feel inadequate, because the mission is so huge and for now seemingly impossible. How dare they believe they can make it better?

These people are not necessarily glib with their words. They have no time for pontificating. They have no time to complain. They do not seek glory or even recognition. They would not dare direct any attention to themselves.

Every one of them knows the risk of physical illness, mental duress, financial hardships and family stress. They know these things, so how do they continue on? Would anyone else dare?

They dare because the task is at hand. The challenge is now. They dare not wait. They dare not fail. They will not let that happen, no matter how long it takes and no matter the personal cost. How dare they believe they are life givers?

Doctors, nurses, caregivers, counselors, therapists, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, EMTs, first-responders, administrators, janitors and every employee at every hospital, all dare to come to work - and we must all be so grateful that they do.

These people dare because they are different than most of us. Very different. Most dreamt of their career as a calling. They have always known it would be difficult, but they never dared to think it would be like this. But they did know that they could and would act in ways the rest of us cannot promise. They dare to go to work because they saves lives.

Whether you believe in God or you do not, whether you can donate to their cause or not, whether you have suffered from illness or not, it is now time to give thanks that somehow there are people like them in the world.

It is time thank them for dedication that is immense, commitment that is astounding, and for courage that is unending. How dare they?

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Author: William May, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0743 – 04/20/20

Clean, Wipe, Soak, Scrub, Brush, Scour, Polish

By Ron Lee
Published: 04/18/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Housekeeping, Lodging Management Comments: 0

How to Clean and Sanitize Vacation Rental Homes

Since our first office opened in 1964, we have been rigorously cleaning and sanitizing properties for decades. This is nothing new to us. In fact, our homes are cleaned to a degree higher than most people have at home. It has always been our commitment to have every home safe and ready for guest arrival.

Get a Real Getaway

If you need a vacation, holiday escape, spring break, fresh air and time alone, vacation rentals are the best option. Bring kids or not. Bring the family or just your spouse. Most homes are free-standing, so you can avoid crowds. Even in our condos, the homes are open corridor, so there is no need to pass through common areas, like lobbies and dark hallways.

When Guests Depart

After guests depart, housekeepers arrive at every home to clean, wipe, soak, scrub, brush, scour, mop and polish bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, common spaces and even decks and patios, linens, towels and surfaces. Hot tubs are disinfected. This entire process - called "out Clean" - takes many hours. Then homes are spot checked by managers to ensure good work. When departing, all staff members use bleach rags, so that even the door knob and key-safe are sanitized. Wow!

Sanitation Cleaning Products

We use a variety of products to clean, disinfect and sanitize. All are approved for high health standards. We still use bleach for some areas because it is still the gold standard for killing every kind of bug. In fact, if you enter a home immediately after housekeepers depart, for a few minutes you may detect a slight cleaning smell. That is your assurance of sanitization.

Bathroom Super Scrub

Cleaning bathrooms is not a fun task, but we carefully clean all sinks, mirrors, toilets, drawers, bathtubs and shower enclosures until they sparkle. But they have also been sprayed and later wiped with disinfectant. Soiled and unsoiled towels are removed before cleaning starts to avoid cross contamination. This is a hands-and-knees job, but housekeepers pride themselves on meticulous cleaning.

Proper Wipe Downs

You might think that spraying and wiping surfaces with disinfectant is sufficient, but it is not. Instead, disinfectant must be left on surfaces for a period of time before it is wiped away. This gives time for the liquid to kill all the germs.

- Door knobs inside and outside.

- Window switches.

- Light switches and sockets.

- Lamp switches.

- Cupboard doors and surfaces.

- Table tops including night stands.

- Appliances - top and sides.

- Counter tops.

- Reachable walls.

- Outdoor furniture.

- Stairs and deck handrails.

- Toasters and coffee makers.

- TV and other remote controls.

- Stereos and computers.

- Door bells and key safes.

- Toys and board games.

- Pet toys and blankets.

- And more.

Vacuuming, Mopping, Sweeping

Are you ever tempted to do floors fast? By slowing down the process and covering every floor surface carefully, dirt, grime and germs are removed. We keep equipment new and well maintained to get the best results. Housekeepers are never limited to cleaning hours. Instead, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to do the job right.

Kitchens and Dining Rooms

Kitchens get splattered on, baked in and used heavily. It is a big job, but to get kitchens spic-and-span is essential, from the stove to oven to refrigerator, but also microwaves, cupboards, fans and light fixtures. Cleaned inside and out. You will notice we remove condiments, such as ketchup and mustard left from prior guests, because leaving open containers violates health standards. You'll have to bring your own, but you'll know they are new and fresh.

Hot Tubs and Spas

Every hot tub is completely disinfected after each booking by trained staff members. Sand or debris is removed, filters are inspected, and chemicals are adjusted. In addition, the hot tub cove, top and side surfaces are disinfected. If you arrive to a tub that is not yet fully heated, please wait because we had to empty and refill it. Takes time to reheat.

Towels and Linens

Washing and drying linens and towels is an obvious step, be we wall all of them, even if a bed does not appear to have been slept in. They are transported to the washer-dryer using rubber gloves and laundry bags, and they are returned to beds in baskets to avoid cross contamination. Along with quality detergent, additional disinfectant is added to all washing to ensure germs are eradicated.

Deep Cleans

In addition to our rigorous out-clean, homes receive deep cleans regularly to cover hard to access areas, including heating ducts, cupboard sides and ceilings, high surfaces, fans, carpets and more. This takes many hours, and ensures the cleanest possible property.

When Guests Depart

You may notice that we do NOT as guests to do laundry or to remove linens and towels to the laundry area. We do it all to ensure that every textile has been washed and cleaned properly without dragging it through the house.

Call Us Quick: 206-504-2744

If at any time during your stay, if you find any issue, call our 24-7-365 day phone number for assistance. If necessary, our staff will happily come to the property to ensure all is right. And if you want daily cleaning, we can arrange that too, for a small additional fee.

Avoid Crowds, Stay in a Private, Vacation Home!

Year round, in every season, and no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, vacation rentals offer a respite from the rate race, a chance to get away and to enjoy a sparkling clean, sanitized home.

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Author: Ron Lee, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0742 – 04/18/20

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Diamond Belle Bird Watchers Paradise

By Ron Lee
Published: 04/08/20 Topics: Comments: 0

This is the time of year when the birds really start coming in for a visit. The snow is working hard at melting off, and the lake ice is getting thinner by the day.

So far we've seen, Canada Geese, Blackbirds (both red winged and yellow headed), Black Capped Chickadees, Blue Birds, Robins, I believe Greater scaup ducks, and our ever present, eagles and ravens.

In the next week or two we should start seeing sparrows on their journey from Capistrano. We'll have many more ducks of several varieties, and the blackbirds will arrive in full force filling the air with the beautiful sounds of their mating calls!

This is always my favorite time of year when life and activity return to the ranch after a long winter's nap.

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0739 – 04/08/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

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