My Birthday Trip! 700+ Miles in 36 hours…

SWMBO knows that I really don’t like the weather here in the western part of the “great” Northwest. We were talking the other day and boiled part of it down to me feeling “hemmed in” by all these trees. Don’t get me wrong, I like trees, but I grew up mostly in Southern California (LA), Greenville, Mississippi and points in-between. Places with large open skies and much better weather (to me) than we get up here. Las Vegas, Nv. Yuma, Az. Places like that.

So, every so often she takes me to the desert. For the past couple of years that’s been down Sisters, Oregon way. We go down a day early, get a good nights sleep; then I drop her off at the quilt show Saturday morning and I head out into the desert. Last year we went down 2 days early and both of us spent the day running around the desert. That’s when we saw the John Day Fossil Beds (most all of them) and got to see Saturn through the telescope up at the Pine Mountain Observatory.

Anywho, you probably get it that I like deserts and open skies.

So, SWMBO decided to take me on a trip for my 59th Birthday. Anywhere I wanted to go that we could drive to. Cool! Been wanting to see the Channeled Scablands in Eastern Washington.

We got up early Monday morning, my birthday, and got out of the house by 0930. Traffic was still a bit heavy but really not too bad. Hwy 16 to I-5 to Hwy 18 East to I-90 East. Pretty drive. Stopped at a rest stop and looked at the Windmill Farm across the highway. Snoqualmie Pass. Dropping down to Ellensburg and High Desert country. Beautiful! We stopped at the Wild Horse Monument off I-90 for awhile and I got some great pictures of SWMBO and the I-90 bridge. And the monument, of course.

Long story short: We drove to the Dry Falls National Park. Magnificant! Really hard to imagine the amount of water that was making all those cliffs you see as you drive the highway. And the noise that must have been generated! Definitely deafening.

Then we drove to the Coulee Dam. Nice!

Back down Hwy-17 to the Lenore Caves. Climbed the fairly easy path up the cliffs to the caves that Indians used to live in “way back when.” SWMBO did a great job getting around.

Getting to be late afternoon so we drove down Hwy 17 to Moses Lake and stayed at the Ameristay Inn. Spendy but nice room. I managed to make a contact on my Wouxun 144/444 handheld. Had a late dinner in the restaurant of the bowling alley/Casino next door.

Got up early the next morning and, after breakfast, headed out for the Palouse Falls. Got a bit disoriented and took the long way but saw a LOT of flat ground on the way. The Falls are Great! Excellent! You’re driving along and come to a big hole in the ground in which you find the Falls and a canyon leading outwards (South?). Wow!

Left there and found our way to Lower Crab Creek Road. About 50 miles of dirt/gravel road (with a 1 mile paved section through a small community) and drove along the edges of the mountains/hills. Lovely! Dusty but really nice. Almost hit a van hauling balls towards us from around a bend; but we both made it.

Got to the end of Lower Crab Creen Road, made a right heading up to I-90. Made a stop at the Waupana Overlook then headed on home. I figured I’d tired SWMBO out enough and subjected her to the heat enough and it was time to head back. Weather really cooled off when we started heading back up Snoqualmie Pass. Cloudy. You could see the rain in the distance. Some places with snow still on the mountain tops. Weather SWMBO likes.

Made it back home by 2130. Tired, Tanned and still enjoying the brief spate of warm weather, mountainous to flat land and large open skies. But, even with the absolutely magnificant sites we saw, the best part was spending a couple of days being with SWMBO. Seeing things together and just talking about whatever in-between. I still think it was neat that she climbed up to the Lake Lenore Caves.

All the pictures we took are in my gallery and some video on my YouTube site. If yer interested.

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