I wrote recently about how much we love small businesses and want to help them. And that’s true. We do our very best to help and support our small business members in their online marketing efforts and any other ways that fit our model. But I think it’s an important distinction to make, that Fiddler Online doesn’t just exist for small businesses, it also exists because of them. I want to tell you a little about our epic summer, then I’ll come back to this point.

It started with our trip up to Spokane, WA and Northern Idaho. Jill and I rode the Hiawatha trail and learned about the area’s history as Jill’s birthday gift to me. Riding a bike for 2 miles of train-tunnel through a mountain, and from Montana to Idaho, was an awesome experience by itself. The views and greenery, the trestle bridges, and the history just made it all that much better! Did you know it was still the wild west in 1910 along the Idaho-Montana border up there? We were told that 2 sister railroad/mining towns on each side of the border had the worst murder rates per-capita in the whole US around that time.

Next we camped and boated at Priest Lake, ID for Jill’s parent’s family reunion. I gotta say, I love Lake Powell (it’s in my blood… my Dad grew up in Page, AZ). But Priest Lake just might be better. Picture this: mountain lake surrounded by evergreens trees and sandy beaches, with crystal clear water that is warm! This ain’t your typical Idaho lake! It’s warm, I’m not kidding. Not warm like a hot-springs, but just cool enough to be refreshing on a hot summer day. Nothing like the “my joints no longer work” cold you experience in Payette or Redfish lake. And you can wade out shoulder-deep and look down and see your toes…. it’s that clear! Okay, I probably shouldn’t be telling everyone about Idaho’s best-kept secret. But I seriously can’t think of any reason not to love it, except maybe the drive to get there.

After that it was off to Portland and Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast for my parent’s family reunion. We had a great time there deep sea fishing, whale watching, digging for clams, watching Jaws and beautiful smoke-filtered sunsets over the ocean, seeing landmarks like the Devil’s punchbowl, and running from the tide. I’ve never been to the Oregon Coast before. I was very impressed and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. Normally I prefer water I can swim in (without a wetsuit). But there was lots of other interesting and fun things to do.

After that marathon of vacation-travel, we were tuckered out and I needed to catch up on some work. So we returned home to recover from our vacation. But it wasn’t long before it was time for our new annual tradition of white water rafting with friends (no kids allowed) on the Cabarton Run of the Payette River’s North Fork. I’ve done that many times over the years, and it just doesn’t get old. I love every moment of it. And having great friends to enjoy it with, makes it amazing.

Next was the eclipse! Let me just say right upfront, to everyone who was in 99% (or less) of eclipse obscuration, you were still in 100% NOT TOTALITY. I’m sorry to anyone I might offend. But if you weren’t in totality (or haven’t experienced it elsewhere) it wasn’t even close to the same experience. We drove up to the middle of nowhere outside of Huntington, OR, right in the center of the path of totality. We dry camped the night before. The moment when it went from 99.9% obscuration to totality, was just incredible! And totality was amazing to the point that words don’t even begin to describe it. The sun looked like something from a movie! White flames around a completely black ball. And the 360° “sunrise” effect was crazy. If you didn’t get to experience it, please put it on your bucket list and make sure you experience that sometime in your life! You won’t regret it.

There was much more to our summer, but these are the highlights. And I have lots of family and friends to thank for all these amazing experiences. But I wanted to make sure and thank all our Fiddler Online members! If it weren’t for each of you being the awesome small business owners (and employees) that you are, and being our website customers, I couldn’t have done all this. It’s only because you make my small business possible, that I’m able to do these kinds of things. There’s no way I would have gotten that much time off at most normal jobs. And because of the revenue you provide, I had the income to afford these adventures. It means a lot to me, and I just want to express my genuine appreciation. I’ll look back on this summer with fondness for the rest of my life. And I have all of our excellent members to thank for it. Thank you!

Here’s some pictures from our travels, to share the fun:

Tevya

Hi, I'm Tevya! I wrote this. I am the owner of WordXpress and also created Starfish Plugins. I love helping small businesses and WordPress professionals. My wife Jill, helps with the business and is the amazing CEO of our family (3.5 kids). When I'm not working, I like to play basketball, go boating, shoot targets, swim, serve in my church, play Ultimate, and have outdoor adventures as a family.