Posts Tagged With: ghost town

An autumn drive through central Washington!

Two tanks of gas, 17 hours of driving and 600 miles.

We left a little before 4am for our day trip to central Washington! Eric drove the first 2 hours of the trip…and I slept for most of that 2 hours!

We planned the trip so that we would begin exploring the areas we plotted out to explore when the sun came up! Here’s Dry Coulee!

The drive through Dry Coulee was on a mostly dirt road. Actually most of the roads we were on yesterday were dirt roads. We seriously put my Toyota Yaris to the test! I’ve taken that thing off roading through sage brush, on beaches and through sandy deserts in central WA!…and we’re not done yet!

Summer Falls State Park. We were the only people there which was rather peaceful! This was actually one of my favorite spots of the day! This was our first time here and I’d love to come back for a picnic in the summer!

Fall is here! In the Seattle area you’re mostly surrounded by pine trees so you don’t really have the fun leaf colors of fall! It was nice to see some yellow and red trees.

Old homestead.

Leaning barn. My camera was pulling out some wonderful blues in the sky!

Just a small broken down town.


We were driving on this old road when a truck came up behind me rather quickly. I’ll pulled over to let him go through. The kind men in the truck stopped…”Are you trackin’, or broken down, or lost?” “Nope…just driving around!”

An old schoolhouse. There are actually quite a few old homesteads, barns and schools in this part of the state. If you’re lucky enough to not be on the interstate you’re bound to see some!

The last golden field of summer.

Down there is the Columbia River.

After driving down that fun road to the Columbia River you had to take a small ferry to get to the other side! The ferry was free and could only haul about 6 cars at a time! How fun is that?!

There were 5 cars on the ferry when we took it. They go back and forth all day transporting cars. It was actually kind of fun to be on such a small ferry.

The water was calm and the sun was shining! We were lucky and had a sunny 70 degree day.

Bo’sn stown.

Columbia River.

There were only two cars waiting to take the ferry to the other side!

We had lunch at a nearby State Park. It was a great idea for us to buy a small camp stove for our travels. It’s nice to actually eat a meal (of Indian food!!) rather than just snack on food throughout the day.

One other couple was at the park with us, but again it was a quiet place to be.

There’s an overlook at the Coulee City Dam. There’s this weird structure there too.

Damn dam.

We drove through Barker Canyon to get to Banks Lake. Banks Lake exists because of the dam.

More fall leaves!

Eric with one of his many film cameras. Note Steamboat rock in the background.

Fun Barker Canyon sign!

And this is Barker Canyon!

We made a friend on the way out of the canyon.

Just munching on some prickly weeds!

That cow was mud bogging!

The desert is quite lovely this time of year! The dry grass is such a great color.

Most of the farm animalsĀ  we encounter on these backroads are on open ranges so we get very close to them because they are usually literally right on the road. They always seem to be curious of us and I’m always almost ready to dig some apples out of the snack bag for them.

If you look very closely you can see Eric standing in front of that huge rock!

Yeager rock!

Eric picked a flower for me!

We both take photos with vintage Polaroid Land cameras. Fuji makes film that works in them which is great!…but when you peal the exposed photo away from the negative you have two wet pieces of film that have to dry. This has been a problem until we figured out a solution for ourselves! We huge a line with some paper clips on it over the back seat of the car! This was out first time testing it out and it was a success!

This was probably the worst road we’ve every driven on. We were way far out in the desert when the road suddenly turned to sand. Yaris= ATV.

At the end of the road we were greeted by a better road and Moses Coulee!

You would expect this scenery in Arizona or Utah, but no, we’re in Washington!

Somewhere out there is the ghost town of Spencer. A few years ago Eric, our friend Calder, and an older gentleman that Eric is friends with, and myself hiked out there to find Spencer! We found it along with broken bottles, plates and pieces of an old stove!

And don’t think I’d forget to have at least one photo of our travel mascot!

A lovely old ad on an old barn!

We get dirty and we have a great time doing it! Happy and safe travels!

Categories: Travel, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Have Love Will Travel- Day 3

We left Twin Falls, ID early in the morning. We decided to take a drive through their downtown. This little VW parking lot beckoned us to stop.

Some dark clouds rolled in early. Very threatening they were!

When you travel on back roads and through small towns you find great buildings like this! Why don’t we make signs like this anymore?! Signs now are cheap and dull.

Utah welcomed us with some big dark clouds.

Make sure you gas up!!

We were going to be traveling on a 100 mile stretch of old railroad grade. The road is all dirt so we were super happy to see those dark rain clouds give way to blue sky and sun!

This is the beginning of the 100 miles of railroad grade.

Get in the car and let’s go!

You can drive on most of the old railroad grade except for a few areas that have been routed around some old and brittle train bridges and washes.

See the jackrabbit bounces away? That’s the first jackrabbit I’ve ever seen in real life!

Here’s the long gone town of Terrace.

Terrace is the most intact town on the 100 mile stretch. There’s not much here, but there’s more than other ghost towns along the railroad grade.

Horned toad!

The desert really does get THAT dry.

I spotted this piece of an old glass bottle near Terrace. The only text you can read on the bottle says “Utah.”

This is where we almost got stuck in the mud last year! We had to off road in the Yaris and push our way through some sage brush. This year it was quite a bit drier so no off roading was required!

Utah is famous for it’s arches. We even spotted a few on the back roads.

At the end of the dirt road is the Golden Spike National Monument. This is where the last spike was driven for the first transcontinental railroad in the US.


Near the Golden Spike is the Spiral Jetty. This was our third time visiting the lovely earthwork. The Spiral Jetty was designed by the artist, Robert Smithson…not to be confused with Robert Smith…although he’s wonderful too.

The Spiral Jetty sits in the Great Salt Lake. I love the pinkish water!

Eric and I hiked to the top where that sweet boy asked me to marry him! Note the jackalope in the lower right corner.

The Great Salt Lake can be nasty in some areas. People do swim in parts of the lake though. Next time we’re near Salt Lake City I must swim in it!

There’s the Spiral Jetty.

We drove a some more old railroad grade leaving the Golden Spike area.

We met our friend and host Mandy at Long Life Veggie House in Salt Lake City for some vegan Chinese food before heading to her house for the evening. To Fu World!

“It”s an entree? It”s a dessert? May be both!”

Every time we’ve visited SLC we’ve stopped here for food first thing. Tradition is nice!

SLC is tucked in the mountains with wonderful skies! SLC has some great old neon too! Probably the best neon I’ve seen in a town overall!

Categories: Have Love Will Travel, Idaho, Restaurants, Travel, Utah, Vegan Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three Days in John Day- part 1

We headed out early in the morning on Friday. Heading south on I-5 we said good morning to the Space Needle.

A few hours and a car nap later we arrive in Oregon. I wanted to make a pit stop in Portland…for vegan donuts.

I waited in line at Voodoo Donuts while Eric wandered off to take some photos.

Voodoo was hoppin’!

I walked out with three donuts…a raised chocolate, oreo with peanut butter and a sprinkled donut! These were good! There’s no doubt about that, but I do like Mighty O better. Sorry Portland. We have 100% vegan and organic donuts. These donuts also seemed much more like junk food to me than Mighty O. And yes I do realize I’m talking about donuts, but there was just a ton of stuff on top of the donuts. Donut problems.

After leaving Portland, we traveled on old Route 30 along the Columbia River. Along the way we spotted the Multnomah Falls. There actually wasn’t that much water falling, but the height of the falls made it rather impressive.

Old Route 30 and an old tunnel.

Oregon is lush!

There were a few scenic overlooks along the way. This was overlooking the Columbia River.

The wildflowers are blooming all over the Pacific Northwest!

This was another wonderful scenic overlook on old Route 30.

We were camping in John Day, Oregon for the weekend. Central Oregon has plenty of ghost towns and towns that are one inhabitant away from being a ghost town.

Shaniko, Oregon is one of those towns. It’s wonderful and quirky and sad that more people don’t visit this town! Shaniko is really trying to make it! Somehow it’s surviving.

The town was not hoppin’. Most of the stores were closed. There’s an hotel for sale if you’re interested!

I had to use the little cowgirl’s room.

I also had to stick my hand in the toilet to flush it.

This is my favorite store in Shaniko! They always have a yard sale. One of the signs out fronts says “We be open 7am.”

One of the things we wanted to see this weekend were the John Day Fossil Beds. There are a few locations for the beds. This was one we passed along the way. There are some great hiking trails here that we would love to explore one day when we make it back there!

Roama was of course along for the ride.

There are also painted hills in this part of Oregon! They are gorgeous!

The weather was so so for this part of the trip, but the sun made an appearance so we could take some photos!

We didn’t make it to camp until around 8pm! Did you know that six years ago on Memorial Day weekend was the first time that Eric and I went camping? Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of our weekend trip!

Categories: Oregon, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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