So, if you had two nephews playing in a PGA Jr. Golf Tournament down by the Snake River in Idaho, what would you do? That answer, obviously, is: Road Trip!

First, to back up just a bit, my sister Rebecca and brother Dennis and his wife Carol came up the first week of June so they could see Mom and BD. That gave us all yet another chance to be together…and to tease the bejesus out of each other….and them. Kim and Christian came up to make the event complete. Much hilarity ensued.

We had just half a moment to sneak away for an overnight on the boat to meet up again with David and Gyung Huntsman as they arrived in the San Juan Islands for two weeks of sailing. Wait, didn’t we just spend a week with them on a boat in San Diego? Yes. So what. This time they had their granddaughter Noelle with them. Noelle is Karin’s particular friend. Particular in that she knows Karin will make Key Lime Pie for her at the drop of a hat.

The pie was divine, and the little girl seemed to like it. So, well played Karin. Well played.

Rebecca was going to ride back to Idaho with Dennis, but he was delayed. So she came with us instead, finally testing out that table turned into a bed in the trailer. She says, “Meh.” Well, now we know.

We stopped again at Copperbelt Wines near Baker City to camp overnight. Again, it was excellent. And we got to meet more of the family behind this label. When we arrived they were all packed around a one-at-a-time bottling machine, putting labels on the wine and packing it into cases. This time Mom poured the wine for our tasting and we met Cody, the winemakers sister who also goes by “The Cheese Fairy” in her business in Baker City, Oregon. And she has the good stuff if you have a need.

Then on to Idaho….where our nephews Noah and Moses were playing golf on the PGA…junior…Tour.

Karin and Dan with our nephews Moses and Noah

The PGA tries to hook kids early. What sport doesn’t? They sponsor tournaments on regulation courses. Noah and Moses are both learning their dad Jared’s favorite sport. So on a sunny Friday morning they trooped out to the Rivers Edge Golf Club on the Snake River and put in 9 holes of Jr. Championship golf. A good walk, spoiled…indeed.

The difference in this tournament for the boys, and making the experience a little more authentic was….they had a gallery following them from hole to hole. Karin, Rebecca, our niece Ivy and I followed them around the course in golf carts, politely applauding and cheering good shots. We even had made those “Quiet Please” signs you hold up at PGA Tournaments to silence the crowd before someone swings.

Of course, we were the only crowd. So we mostly waved them at each other. 😉

Golf done, it was back up the hill the Corral Creek Ranch on the Camas Prairie for more fun and family gathering. Dennis and Carol did arrive from Oregon, and the Longstreets arrived from Michigan. Phil, Leah along with the kids, Michael, Emily and the new baby Madalyn are able to spend the whole summer, sometimes with our family, sometimes with his. Nice to be a professor at the University of Michigan and be able to teach remotely.

We were voluntold we were washing dished at the Senior Center for lunch, again. What can I say. My sister is free with my free time.

I’m joking, of course. I have time, they need dishwashers. It’s how you make life nice in a small town. It’s also the kind of place where when the 4H is washing cars to raise money for new horse halters…you get your car washed. It will be your nieces and their friends doing the washing, so you know who is going to benefit.

We also got to play with the Corgis again. No word yet on if Evie is pregnant with puppies yet, but we’re ever so hopeful that it will be soon. Mom needs her new dogs.

We also got to spend an afternoon with Uncle Clint. He was back in the valley for a few weeks visiting his friends. It’s so hard to see him now that he’s living back in Chattanooga with Amy, Anna and all their kids. You want to take any chance you get.

While we were in Idaho, again, it dawned on us….we come here all the time. It’s been twice already this year and we’ll be back at least three more times by the end of the year. Maybe it’s time to think about our own spot here. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Baseline Road runs East and West across Camas Valley about two miles north of the highway. Jake’s Corral Creek Ranch is just over 8 miles out that road from Fairfield. Joshua’s land is about 4 miles out from town. At about 5.1 miles from town is a little loop off Baseline Road called Bessie’s Loop. This is a small entrance to a group of 6 lots, each ten acres square. It’s what’s left of the family farm that Chris Ashmead, Jeff’s sister-in-law, grew up on. Nine years ago, Chris broke out the last of the land for her mother into a big piece of farm ground to sell off and the small lots to give to family members. They could build a home if they wanted, or sell if they want. So far 4 of the lots are sold, but Chris and Jeff’s brother Charlie still hold theirs, and their daughter Pam still owns one.

Well, Chris and Charlie have decided that their whole life, their home, their kids, grandkids are all up in Northern Idaho, and they are not going to be moving back to the Camas Prairie. So they are going to sell their lot. And their lot is the best lot. It’s the one in the center on the outside of the loop. It has a direct view of Soldier Mountain and the rest of the Sawtooth range. Zoning prevents the farmland beyond this lot from ever being broken up again, and it will always be farm. Nothing can ever be built on the land that would get in the way of the view.

So we’re buying it.

We’re not going to build anything right now as we have lots of travel and sailing to do. And then we have to take care of Mom and BD. But stay tuned. That will be a future chapter of Endless Song.

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