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.
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.
It’s still apple season in the Northwest. Cle Elum is in a mountain pass so it was a very foggy and misty morning.
The old train station here is actually in really great condition. Someone took quite a bit of time and care into maintaining the building.
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.
We continued on towards Frenchman Coulee. This shot is from a rest area near Vantage, WA. That’s the Columbia River down there!
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.
Out of the mist!
I was a crazy horse girl when I was younger. This still excited me of course.
The speech bubble on this horse cracked me up.
I needed to give this guy a hug.
I love the colors of the moss and lichen!
This is looking into the valley behind the horses and away from the Columbia River.
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.
The sage brush was mostly dead and brown, but you could still really really smell that wonderful sage smell.
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.
I do get really nervous standing near the edge. I’m not scared of heights, but that is one big ‘ol drop!
Eric made it to the top of hill! Do you see him near the top center of the photo?
After fun and photos in Frenchman Coulee we continued on to a coulee we’ve never explored before! Here is Potholes Coulee!
It was sadly cloudy most of the day. It was kind of a bummer.
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.
We zig zagged through the coulee and made it to Ancient Lake. We were not expecting to see a lake like this at all!
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!
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.
We hiked about 5 miles total through the coulee. The terrain is mostly flat so it was a super easy hike.
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.
The landscape is much more stunning when the sun is out! It looks larger and more impressive.
After Potholes Coulee we drove to George, Washington where we hopped back on the Interstate for the drive home. Central Washington never disappoints us!