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Lighthouse Soup Kitchen

August 23, 2013

Washington – Tuesday, August 13

I couldn’t find one of my maps this morning, and there happened to be a Triple A office right next door, so I went over there to get my map, and ended up running into someone who had worked with my brother-in-law for years quite a while ago – small world!

Wenatchee is the Apple Capital of the World, and I headed down to the river to walk on the Apple Capital Loop Trail, which runs on both sides of the Columbia River. It was a pretty trail, and we walked about 3 1/2 miles along the river. Then it was time to make my donation for the day. I had read about the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen in Wenatchee, which serves 3 meals a day Monday through Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. No questions are asked, and they welcome everyone, and there’s a donation box for those that can make a small contribution for their meal. I found the soup kitchen, and they were cleaning up after the noon meal. It was pleasant inside with lots of tables and chairs, a big kitchen area, and some people were still lingering after their meal. I talked briefly with one of the volunteers in the kitchen, and she told me there had been about 50 people for lunch, and since they never quite know how many people will show up, it’s a bit of a guessing game as to how much food to prepare! She also mentioned that homeless people can’t get the food stamps they might be entitled to because they don’t have a permanent address – and that’s another reason why they serve meals all week. The Lighthouse also offers religious guidance for those who need and want it. I put my donation in the box, and then headed back to the riverfront to walk a couple more miles on a different part of the trail before heading toward Spokane.

On the way out of town, we passed countless apple orchards, with lots of apples beginning to ripen on the trees. There were stacks and stacks of huge wooden crates out by the trees, ready for the picking season. And then, all of a sudden, I was in dry, sage-brushy hills and mountains, and nothing was growing! I kept going up and up, more than 2500 feet, and at the top of the climb, the land flattened out into rolling, prairie-like wheat fields – golden grain as far as the eye could see. It was such an unexpected surprise at that elevation. The wheat was ripe – and there were a lot of combines out doing the harvest. I drove through a number of tiny little towns, and some of them had abandoned buildings – hinting at former life in the town.

It was evening by the time we came out of the countryside and drove into Spokane. I still had 2 1/2 miles to walk, and I headed for Riverfront Park, which was a huge park by the Spokane River and was also the former site of Expo ’74. A few of the building and sculptures and things remain from the expo. There were lots of walking paths and bridges and the river tumbling through, and the streetlamps came on, and it was a nice spot to finish off the Washington walking.

And then my week in Washington was complete. In addition to some family time, I walked all 56 miles (15 of them with Christy), and made all 7 donations – Milk Money/Food4Tots, Gifts from the Heart Food Pantry, Bread and Roses Woomen’s Shelter, Pacific Northwest USO, Tools for School in Issaquah, Community Cupboard, and the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen.

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