Today's solstice marks the official beginning of summer. Though scientists use the longest day of the year to start the season, everyone has their own unofficial way of kicking it off. It might be a Bloomsday run, a Memorial Day weekend at the lake, the last day of school or the first Spokane Indians home game (which is also tomorrow!).
No matter how you mark the beginning of summer, we can all agree by now that summer is here. And with the change in seasons comes another annual milestone: summer road trips! Though we’re not taking the long-haul family adventures of the past, more and more people in the United States are taking to the road in their RVs and campers for short summer trips.
We’re looking at you, Millenials. #homeiswhereyouparkit.
Lucky for us, Eastern Washington is blessed with some of the best road trip–range events and scenery in the country. So before you plan your summer outing, check out our ideas for activities and destinations in our region — with a bit of Catholic Charities sightseeing on the side.
Spend June in the Mountains
This summer, Ferry County is taking advantage of its mountain trails, unspoiled forest views and open road with Get Out Fest. At next weekend’s inaugural edition of the event, you can park your camper or RV at the fairgrounds and run a half marathon or ride the Kettle Crest mountain bike race.
But on your way out of town on 395, don’t forget to stop and check out how our Colville regional office is supporting rural life. Volunteers are a big part of our work in rural communities, and through the CAPA/PREPARES program, local parishes organize to help low-income parents get the support they need to raise loving families. The churches provide supplies and companionship for new families so every kid can get a strong start to life.
Visit the Vineyards in July
It’s no secret that Walla Walla is the place to go for great wine tasting. And if you visit from July 12–14, you can add great cinema to the list. This year’s third annual Walla Walla Movie Crush offers the chance to sip on your new wine find while enjoying short films.
While you’re there, you might notice a new building in town. The LOFT is where Catholic Charities Walla Walla staff are helping turn the tide of youth homelessness. As part of a state pilot project, this Hope Center provides a supportive and safe space for teens to repair relationships with their families and build stable lives based on their own goals and resources.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame in August
You don’t need an excuse to visit the Columbia River Valley this summer, but if you did, Pasco’s Tri-City Dust Devils are it. Pair a trip to the river with a visit to Gesa stadium to check out the team’s early August 7-game home stand against Vancouver and Boise.
As you head south on 395, take the turnoff on 26 between Cunningham and Hatton toward Othello to get an idea of how Catholic Charities supports immigrant communities. Desert Haven and Guadalupe Haven provide housing for seasonal farmworkers who would otherwise live in substandard group housing or struggle to afford an apartment.
Catholic Charities’ support for migrant communities continues in Pasco proper, where Bishop Topel Haven and Tepeyac Haven serve the same purpose. For families looking to make a more permanent move to the region, our Immigration Legal Services program provides affordable legal advice and representation. Our professional, affordable immigration services help our immigrant brothers and sisters live without fear and contribute to their families and communities.
So this summer, Catholic Charities encourages you to take the road less traveled and experience something new. To learn more about how Catholic Charities is mobilizing to support vulnerable communities, check out our website.