Day Trip to Frenchman Coulee and Potholes Coulee.

Yesterday Eric and I ventured to central Washington for the day! The plan was to explore Frenchman Coulee and Potholes Coulee. If you’ve followed this blog for at least a few months, you know by now that we love to geology of Washington. We actually left for the trip later than we usually do. We were out the door a little after 6am. Eric took the first shift driving since he usually does the navigating once we arrive in central WA.

The ‘ol car 66,666 miles while on I-90!

There is an old train station in Cle Elum, WA that we somehow never visited before.  I noticed a deer standing between two cabooses.  We didn’t know if it was real or not because it wasn’t moving.  Of course I thought it was weird that it was just staring at us.  It finally moved and ran after a doe standing nearby.

Check out that rack!

It’s still apple season in the Northwest.  Cle Elum is in a mountain pass so it was a very foggy and misty morning.

I’m sure the local deer are snacking on these apples.

The old train station here is actually in really great condition.  Someone took quite a bit of time and care into maintaining the building.

Cle Elum.

This is the old substation from the railroad that used to run through the area.  There are miles of rails-to-trails paths in this area too.

There was a fence around the substation or else we would have gone closer for some more exploration.

We continued on towards Frenchman Coulee.  This shot is from a rest area near Vantage, WA.  That’s the Columbia River down there!

It was around 9am when we were here and it was still incredibly foggy.

This is also at the rest stop.  You can hike up the hill to see the metal sculptures of horses if you have time.  I did a little research and this piece is apparently called “Grandfather cuts loose the ponies!”  These sculptures have been here for quite some time, but it seems as they the piece was never finished due to the lack of funding.  The horses were supposed to be running out of a huge basket that was tipped over.  That’s fun!  I love this piece as it is, but a giant basket wouldn’t hurt either.  We’ve always seen the horses when it was sunny so it was a wonderful contrast to have the fog there in the morning.

And up we went.

Out of the mist!

Some of the horses are life size and some are larger than life!

I was a crazy horse girl when I was younger.  This still excited me of course.

Giddy up!

The speech bubble on this horse cracked me up.

“Neyyy.”

I needed to give this guy a hug.

We noticed after the fact that this horse had a penis spray painted on it. Too bad it was a mare!

I love the colors of the moss and lichen!

The rocks in central Washington are lovely like this.

This is looking into the valley behind the horses and away from the Columbia River.

I think we’re lucky to live in a state with thick forest and deserts like this.

In Frenchman Coulee we noticed that the small waterfall coming over the cliff was actually pumping out quite a bit of water!  This was our first trip to the desert in November.  It was much wetter than we’re used to seeing the desert.

I love the little pops of orange and green in the fall landscape.

The sage brush was mostly dead and brown, but you could still really really smell that wonderful sage smell.

Note the waterfall in the background.

Eric wanted to hoof it up the hill behind us to get a particular shot of the coulee.  I wasn’t in the mood for that so I wandered around for a bit taking photos with my Canon, Polaroid Land camera, Diana mini, Savoy  and traditional Polaroid cameras.  Eric and I went to the desert armed with a ridiculous 13 cameras.  Only one of which was digital.

It’s a long way down!

I do get really nervous standing near the edge.  I’m not scared of heights, but that is one big ‘ol drop!

I think this is one of our top 3 favorite places in Washington.

Eric made it to the top of hill!  Do you see him near the top center of the photo?

I’m not quite sure how he made it up there, but I was too nervous for him to watch him make his way down.

After fun and photos in Frenchman Coulee we continued on to a coulee we’ve never explored before!  Here is Potholes Coulee!

Potholes Coulee is bigger than Frenchman Coulee.

It was sadly cloudy most of the day.  It was kind of a bummer.

Lucky for use it didn’t rain when we were in the desert. It sure looked like it could though!

We decided to walk on the trail back into the coulee.  We usually have too many miles to cover in a day that we don’t give ourselves the chance to do stuff like this.

The sun started to poke through the clouds and hit the back of the coulee.

We zig zagged through the coulee and made it to Ancient Lake.  We were not expecting to see a lake like this at all!

I didn’t bring my tripod with me so I just propped my camera up on a rock to snap a photo of us.

Ancient Lake was gorgeous!  The sun came out and gave way to some blue sky!  We agree that we want to come back here in the summer!  There was a group of people camping across the lake from us.  It would be super fun to camp here in the warm weather!

A wide angle lens would be wonderful right now!

I tried to take another photo of us and mostly succeeded.  Eric and I were oddly red, white and blue yesterday.  That was NOT planned!

The rock formations in this area are fascinating.  I love how the rocks in the center of the photo look like they were jammed and squished together.

When the sun came out it was actually really warm!

We hiked about 5 miles total through the coulee.  The terrain is mostly flat so it was a super easy hike.

I love to see the layers of rocks on the tall wall to the right of the photo.

This was the biggest waterfall that we saw on our walk.  There are a few larger ones but we didn’t hike back to those.

Do you see the little rainbow at the bottom of the waterfall?

The landscape is much more stunning when the sun is out!  It looks larger and more impressive.

Potholes Coulee was surprisingly impressive! I can’t wait to come back here to explore again.

After Potholes Coulee we drove to George, Washington where we hopped back on the Interstate for the drive home.  Central Washington never disappoints us!

George, Washington is the only town/state with a Presidents full name in the states! Thanks for following! Did you go on any fabulous adventures this weekend?

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