Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Grand Coulee, Part 2

Roll on, Columbia roll on. 

Roll on, Columbia roll on. 

Your power is turning our darkness to dawn.

Roll on, Columbia roll on. 

-Woody Guthrie

We left our campsite and raced up to Mason City for the tour of the Grand Coulee Dam. I look forward to visiting this park again as there is much to discover.

The tour was reasonable but the security on the dam makes the whole experience feel somewhat surreal. The presence of an armed guard sort of puts a chill on your holiday sightseeing adventure. On the positive side the hum of the turbines is soothing. The reception area is a relic from the 70's.

High above the dam the hillside is covered in high tension power lines and the over sized tubes that carry water, pumped up from the dam to fill the thirsty land on the other side of the hill. The water ends up in Moses lake to the south and feeds irrigation systems along the way.

We headed south to Dry Falls and Soap Lake and then west along the 90 and home. A circuitous route to be sure, next time we'll take the 20. Had to take this picture. Nothing like big neon letters in a hot barren landscape.

We stopped at Dry Falls along the way. Another spectacular area carved out by massive flows of ice and debris 15000 yrs ago. The pools are a result of the water from the dam, all deathly still but apparently fishable. Being from an area where there is plenty of moving water I find it hard to totally trust water this still. It was gorgeous though, in it's vastness. 

Looking south toward the interpretive center. The rock posts lining the canyon were lovely and lichen covered, made from the basalt which is plentiful.

View of the falls through the lookout gazebo.

Still bare trees and windmills at the rest stop on I-90. Although we took the wrong route home home, we'll know better next time, it was nice to show P the Columbia River as it cuts through Washington and there is a new sculptural piece on Iron Horse Ridge which was cool. I found PSE's 150 windmills pretty great too. Big art in a vast landscape.

1 comment:

Cupcake Murphy said...

I love this adventure.

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