Yesterday we officially kicked off the travel season! And by travel season I mean…OUR travel season. I think generally our travel season lasts longer than most. We picked up two of our friends and headed to central Washington. Jeff and Jamie had never seen the coulees in Washington so we were super excited to show them around!
Roama was up bright and early with us! Jeff and Jamie live in South Seattle. I kind of like that part of town. I think it has a small town feel with the perks of living in Seattle. I can’t say the same about Everett.
Everyone in the car seemed to think that these windmills are in one way or another scary. Or alien-like. I always like them though! I kind of think they look happy and not scary.
The day was really cloudy and grey as you can see. We had been checking the weather all week and it was supposed to be sunny in the morning. Lies!
The first stop of the day, aside from a pee break, was at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. We checked out some of the petrified wood strewn about and had another pee break. Pee breaks are essential!
At the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park there are some petroglyphs on display. And I only say, on display, because there used to be hundreds of these along the Columbia River…until the dam was built. These are the only ones that were saved. The rest of swimming with the fishes.
It’s really sad that most of these have essentially been destroyed.
I like the two folks at the bottom right side of the photo.
Crossing the Columbia.
We kept on driving, crossing the Columbia, and headed to Frenchman Coulee which is less than 10 minutes away from the state park.
Frenchman Coulee is littered with basalt columns. The basalt columns were formed from cooling lava.
This is always my favorite shot in Frenchman Coulee! You’ve probably seen it many times if you’ve followed me for at least the past year.
The waterfall was pushing out more water than usual! I assume it’s from snow melt. This land is a beautiful red color when the sun is out. It was still beautiful, but I do miss the red rocks.
Fantastic rock formations!
Most of the day was spent driving through various coulees, stopping to take in the view and take photos. Dry Falls was a major stop for the trip. Here we made some food and chatted with the park ranger.
Rice and Indian food was on the menu today!
And here is Dry Falls! The park ranger in the visitor center told us about a piece of wood that had recently been given to the visitor center. This piece of wood was found about 40 years ago when someone was digging, I assume with heavy machinery, into rock in the area. There was a pocket of water/mud that came out of the rock at one point. What happened was that many many years ago when lava flowed in the coulee, some lava covered an area of water creating this pocket. The piece of wood was found in the pocket of mud 40 years ago. The wood is estimated to be at least 100,000 years old. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND YEARS OLD! Holy moly! The park ranger had that piece of wood in a plastic bag. I felt weird asking him if I could photograph it because it wasn’t even in the official collection of Washington. It was kind of wonderful to see. I never thought we’d be so excited over old wood!
This little walkway hangs over the side of the coulee. Eric hates heights, but for some reason he didn’t mind this.
I love the different colors of lichen in this part of Washington.
Even though it was cloudy all day it hadn’t rained. We drove to an old section of Route 2 to pay our respects to our favorite old car.
The old section of Route 2 with Moses Coulee in the background.
Jeff and Jamie explored. Jamie returned with some animal bones she found.
Eric used the tripod to take some photos with his 1950 Kodak Duaflex II camera.
There are many shells from people who like to shoot things on the ground. We did see many cans though. Including a sardine can!
More great lichen!
I wanted a group shot of us! I set the timer and hoofed it to the group. Most of the photos were incredibly washed out, which I didn’t notice until today. Boo! And hiss! Also…the camera focused on the car and not us. Sorry everyone! We are a good looking group though. I warned everyone to watch out for tetanus.
And now a fun photo!
As we left Moses Coulee the sky started to clear and the sun came out. The beautiful Cascade Mountains are in the background.
One of many beaten down homesteads we saw during the day.
Route 2, the road you see there, would take us to Blewitt Pass, which would take us to I-90, which would take us home.
We stopped by an old section of road to snap a few more photos. That wonderful red rock made an appearance when the sun finally decided to show up.
I think we all had a great day! Eric and I rarely explore with others, but it was so much fun to have Jeff and Jamie along with us. The day was a success until we hit Snoqualmie Pass on I-90. I had checked the weather conditions in the pass before we got there since it’s still winter and all. The pass was dry and open. Eric was driving and it was already dark outside. And then it started to rain. Eric doesn’t like to drive in the dark or rain. I told him I would drive if he pulled over at the next rest stop. Before we pulled over it started to snow. Goodness! We found an exit and we switched spots. The snow had already covered the roads off the interstate. I pulled back onto the interstate and probably within a minute of me driving we had whiteout conditions. Seriously whiteout. I-90 is lacking in lane marking going through the pass. There are hardly lines painted and no reflectors. This is irritating and dangerous. I could not see where I was going. Eric noticed the concrete safety barrier coming close to us and told me to turn the wheel to the left. As it turns out we were going around a bend! Later Eric told me that the spot where I was driving towards the barrier was the spot on I-90 where there’s bridge hundreds of feet over water. More holy moly. For a long time I was only driving 40 mph with the hazard lights on. Cars were passing me, but I have no clue how they saw where they were going. I had such a tight grip on the steering wheel! When we made it back to Jeff and Jamie’s house I apologised for the scariest ride of their lives. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to drive in as well! Note to Washington Department of Transportation…GET BETTER LANE MARKINGS ON YER ROADS! Other than that little incident it was a great little day trip!