Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Monday, June 08, 2009

June 8 - Kooskia, Idaho to Ginkgo State Park, WA

June 8 - Idaho to Ginkgo State Park, WA

Another amazing day traveling through our country. Route 12 out of Idaho leveled out a bit from the primitive river route into a roader, somewhat calmer river ride. Most small towns on this route are across bridges so you don't have to go through them if you don't want to. We did ride through Lenore and Spalding to get a taste of what village life would be so far from a big city. All the services are there of course plus a lot of people who waved hello. Saw this fellow at one of our stops.

Stopped for diesel and also had a conversation with a young couple hauling a large cattle carrier. They talked about ranch life and how they still try to get into Lewiston (a larger town) periodically but rush to get back to the ranch life. I know we forget what it takes to put that food we so take for granted onto our table. As we progressed west into Washington State, we passed miles of apple orchards, wheat fields, barley fields and cattle feeding yards. Lots of work we simply dismiss by putting our dollars into the grocery store hands. Thanks to all of you who are reading this who labor in those fields in whatever manner.

We passed into Washington State at Clarkston and fortunately found the local chamber of commerce for information. The two ladies there loaded us down with reams of local info but, for us, more importantly, current WA state books, guides to state parks, places not to miss AND they gave us the same thing for Oregon. It's a real treasure trove to look through in the evenings.

Once into Washington, we traveled Route 261 through rolling hills that stretched forever. Near Palouse Falls State Park, the hills are covered in planted crops in strips next to fields of sagebrush with pastures of beef cattle in between. We chose NOT to take the tiny path carved into the cliff to get closer to the falls but admired it from a distance. I know Farctic Ox and Wazoo would have been running down that trail!

Westward we rolled to Vantage, WA and Ginkgo/Wanapum State Park. At Ginkgo we were the only people there other than the interpretive ranger so got a personal tour of the petrified artifacts and a showing of a film on how petrification takes place. This whole area of WA, MT and ID was buried under many floods that occured when the Ice Age caused ice dams across the rivers. Eventually they broke flooding from MT to the Pacific. When the Columbia River was dammed for hydro use back in the 30s it formed Wanapum lake. A village was moved as were early Indian petroglyphs. These pictographs were moved to within the state park.

Short travel day today in mileage but pretty rich in history and culture. We are camped at Washington's Wanapum State Park with a view out over the lake and are next to a row of cedars. Very windy and lots of rattlesnake warning signs around but TCs are tight right? Right?

Tonight we'll sit with all the maps and see which direction we really want to head. Do we keep the original plan to go to Mount Rainier next and then Mount Saint Helens? or change course and go up into North Cascades National Park. Air card is working tonight as fast as our home internet so we can do closer research. Got to see what roads are open in North Cascades before heading that way. LOTS of extra driving but we won't be out this way again anytime soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne and Joe,

Great to hear that your trip is going so well and you are enjoying yourselves. Enjoyed your adventures and will look forward to future posts.
Continued safe travels!

Paula and Jerry