First, a few scenes from the Folk Life Festival
|Sunrise at Indian John Hill rest area|
|We picked up this spare wind turbine to keep Westly's battery charged|
|Van Kid is ready for|
|One of three Elk herds we saw along the road|
|Inspecting a carcass|
|Looking East toward the Columbia River Gorge|
The road became so rough, we had to turn back
|And it mostly was...|
While there, we signed up for a permit (yet another pass to add to our collection) to drive through the 10,000 acre property which covers rolling hills, valleys and piney woods. The wind turbines occupy a relatively small part of it with the remainder being open for recreation - mostly atv trail riding and hunting in season.
After leaving the wind farm, we continued on the Vantage Highway to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest. The forest, discovered in the 1920's during road construction, is considered one of the most unusual in the world. More than 50 species of trees have been found here, dating from 15.5 million years (give or take a few) ago. It's hard to imagine such a lush forest while standing there in the sand and sagebrush, but I suppose you should expect a few changes over that passage of time. The park construction was originally done in the charming manner of '30's era Civilian Conservation Corps. A small museum has a stunning display of petrified wood (the official Washington State gem) and petroglyphs made by the Wanapum tribe. Crossing the Columbia River requires returning to I-90 as the Vantage Highway just ends right in the river. There was an old bridge here that was disassembled in 1968 and used to cross the Snake River near Starbuck, Washington.
|Van Kid receives first aid after a mishap on the trail|
The cage we're sitting on covers a partially buried petrified Horse Chestnut log
Did I mention it was sunny and hot? Just what we were looking for!
|Grandfather Cuts Loose The Ponies|
No trip to Eastern Washington on I-90 would be complete without stopping here
|Radiant in the late afternoon sun|
|Van kid hangs out at Smokiam Park...|
|and does the jungle gym|
|Breakfast is ready!|
|Here's what we saw of the snake|
|The very pleasant Westy Family|
At one trail head, we parked next to a blue Westy, then later met it's people. Before their son was born, they spent most of a year visiting 41 states and 5 provinces, traveling over 26,000 miles in the van. They blogged extensively about the adventure here.
|Lake Lenore in the distance|
|Unusual rock formation on the shore of Lake Lenore|
Now thoroughly hot and dusty, we intended to take a swim in Lake Lenore, but the afternoon winds had freshened and the water was feeling rather cold. We waded knee-deep, then dried off on the warm rocks and ate clam chowder. Way too soon it was time to go West, back to Seattle to prepare for work, school, and get the garbage and recycle cans out to the curb.
As usual, the rain started in around Hyak.