Beauty and futility at Fort Spokane

With a name like “Fort Spokane” you would expect this 136-year-old former U.S Army installation to be somewhere in the vicinity of its namesake. Then again, a lot of things about Washington aren’t always as they seem.

Yesterday’s history is today’s tourist attraction

The ability to entice visitors to your corner of Washington may lie in your area’s unique local history. Statistics show that more and more people are citing historical—whether it be natural, cultural or heritage tourism as the reason for their travel. You need to stay on the forefront of this emerging trend…but how? What is heritage tourism? The National Trust for Historic Preservation defines heritage tourism as “traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the

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Why James Glover deserves Spokane’s gratitude

A recent article by the Pacific Northwest Inlander calls into question whether or not Spokane pioneer and founding father, James Glover, is deserving of having a new plaza next to city hall named in his honor. Lisa Waananen Jones, who wrote the Inlander piece, “Facing History: The story that James Glover didn’t want you to know, and why it’s threatening his legacy,” did a competent job assembling the different parts of the story and deserves added props for doing

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Remembering Bud Holland. He flew B-52s.

Today is June 24, 2014. It was on this date twenty years ago that my next-door neighbor crashed one of the biggest, most powerful aircraft ever built into a nuclear storage facility, leaving his kids fatherless and his wife a widow. With more than 5,000 flight hours under his belt, U.S. Air Force Colonel Bud Holland took his last flight on this day in 1994.

Hidden history in Ferry County

It probably won’t be your first choice for a Washington state park family vacation. It might not even be in your top 100. However the Ranald MacDonald Grave Heritage Area definitely warrants a visit if you find yourself traveling near the U.S.-Canadian border in Ferry County. Ranald MacDonald’s gravesite is located in a Native American cemetery just off County Highway 501/Customs Road overlooking the Kettle River. Dubbed “the smallest state park in Washington,” it’s technically a satellite of Osoyoos

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Exotic hunting? Just head north

Washington has a special trait that it shares with only nine other U.S. states, and that is sharing a land border with Canada. While that sometimes leads to concerns about border security, it also forces the two countries – and states, specifically – to foster good working relationships with each other. This can be evidenced in Washington by the enhanced driver’s licence…a relatively new way to cross from the U.S. into Canada and back into Washington State without requring

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Around the state in 48 hours: Part 1

Everybody thought I was joking when I said I was taking a business trip from Olympia to Vancouver to Yakima to Spokane to Wenatchee to Everett to Bellevue to Tacoma and back to Olympia in two days. The itinerary I had laid out with Google Maps said it was a cinch and I’m the guy who enjoys driving around this beautiful state we call home. Well, I proved to everyone that it was possible…but I may now be paying

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Ascending Saint Helens, Part 1 of 4: Gaining in elevation

It was early February of this year when I decided I was going to climb Washington State’s Mt. Saint Helens and peer into the mile-wide crater of the active volcano. As a native Washingtonian, summiting every snowcapped peak in the state had been on my bucket list for longer than I can remember. Years ago, I asked my father – another native Washingtonian with a love for the outdoors – to join me in climbing Mt. Rainier. At 63,

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Easy week in eastern Washington, Part 2: Be nice or leave

One of the nicest things about going on a fishing trip is that you don’t have to get up early to do it. In fact, you can sleep in as long as you like – which is exactly what we did the morning our adventure began. After all, we weren’t on a schedule, the fish weren’t going anywhere and Linda Hartman makes some of the best hearty breakfasts I’ve ever had. Dad and Lyn have been doing this for

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Easy week in eastern Washington, Part 1: The roads less traveled

My father, Walt Ebel, and I began our second annual trip to the Colville Indian Reservation on a Monday in early June. Dad’s been doing this for decades; he visits his best friend, Lyn, and they spend a week on Twin Lakes at Hartman’s Log Cabin Resort near Inchelium. Last year I decided to finally accept their invitation and had such a good time I wanted to make it an annual part of my summer as well. I even

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