When You Take the Dairy Farmer off the Farm…

…He has a lot of fun! With Rosebud recently dried up (not making milk because she’s due to calve in a couple months), we headed across the state to visit family and friends and so Jay could judge some fairs~

We started out on Highway 20, with our first stop at Cinnamon Twisp Bakery for Quiche, Coffee, and a signature “Cinnamon Twisp” – We will definitely be back!

On the top of the scenic highway, we stopped to switch drivers and Jay got his picture taken:

Then we headed to Mount Vernon to shop for used books (found several Grace Livingston Hills at Easton’s Books) and ate at Calico Cupboard, splitting a sandwich:

Fresh roasted turkey grilled with Havarti cheese, cream cheese, cranberries, Dijon mustard and red onion.

We took back roads to LaConner, staying at historic Katy’s Inn . The Indian POW WOW drove us crazy – pounding and chanting until 10 pm. Note to self: Make sure there is no pow wow going on in any town we stay over in!

3 Tomato trellis
A cute tomato trellis idea we saw when walking the streets of LaConner


I’m not sure how we fit it in, but we bought dinner at Seed’s Bistro, a restaurant that promotes local foods. Jay had hand battered Fish and Chips, I had an Asian “Weed” Salad.

Breakfast at the inn with three other couples and the inn owner and her daughter brought about several conversations from Young Life to Education to Modern Dairy Farming. Breakfast lingered til almost 11am with all the conversation, so as we traveled north we were not very hungry … well, until we found ORGANIC BLUEBERRY ICE CREAM made locally by Lopez Island Creamery using Bow Hill Organic Blueberries.

Monday night we checked into a hotel and watched Rio Olympics while eating light snacks.

Tuesday morning saw us headed to Lynden for the Northwest Washington Fair:

First Jay judged 4-H Fitting and Showing –

Second up, FFA Fitting and Showing after a nice lunch and a stop at the Whatcom Dairy Women Ice Cream booth (of course!) –

Wednesday morning before dawn we headed to Moses Lake to the Grant County Fair:

4-H Fitting and Showing –

Then an impromptu Novice Open Class to entice some of the kids watching the show to participate … with the hope that next year they may want to show a dairy animal at the fair!

Thursday morning we traveled again – this time back to Lynden. I know, crazy. But Jay was invited to judge a show – for a 50th anniversary of a dairy club. Here’s the kicker – the participants in the show were all past dairy exhibitors of all ages! Jay judged three classes (Young folks, Middle Age, and the AARP group):

Ferndale FarmsteadWe also squeaked in a quick visit at a new creamery, Ferndale Farmstead. We thought the farm was open to customers but instead found out it was wholesale only. As often happens in life, we just happened to drive in as the owner was driving in and he came over to see what we needed. We ended up getting a tour of the facility and dairy and came home with Italian cheeses to taste!

Before heading home Friday morning we stopped in to see some friends at Pleasant Valley Dairy and brought home several cheeses – It’s so hard to find a good Gouda, so if you’ve got a craving for real Gouda, here’s the place to get it!

We stopped in to visit another (fellow dairy) friend at his work, WoodStone, and got a tour of a factory that makes stoves for pizza restaurants and more. Now we know how to properly cook a pizza!

Because of our delayed timing, Cinnamon Twisp Bakery and the coffee shop were both closed, so we headed on to Omak to eat at the Breadline Café and Bakery for the first time. We ate their food at a catered event (Okanogan Fiber Festival a couple years ago) and really wanted to try the restaurant. It did not fail.

Jay had the “Thanksgiving Anytime” dinner while Michelle tried the Florentine Crepes (with Ginger Carrots and Rosemary Potatoes). The meals also came with access to the “Bread Bar” which offered several freshly baked breads, herb butter (real butter!), and oil/vinegar. We took home a Bread Pudding with Raisins and Cream for dessert.

Just before dark, at the top of the hill past Tonasket on the road to Republic, we got some pictures of the stunning field of Sunflowers:

I’ll admit, I wasn’t overly excited about all the driving, but the trip ended up being tons of fun. We’ll have many fond memories to rehash all winter with anticipation of more dairy shows next year!

Coming down the hill from Republic towards Colville after dark, we nearly struck a Moose casually crossing the road. As often happens – we got our moose sighting! Sweet!

For all the fun, there’s nothing quite so nice as driving in to the ole homestead, seeing our animals and enjoying the peace and quiet.

Now, off to canning flavorful Organic Peaches from Crandall’s Riverview Orchard while drinking some freshly roasted Organic Espresso Blend coffee. 🙂


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