Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Grand Coulee

We stayed two nights at Early Winters campground enjoying the clear skies and the nearby towns of Mazama and the very touristy Winthrop.   I really couldn't understand why there were so many people in Winthrop - it seems to be in the exact middle of nowhere.

This is all part of the Upper Methow Valley.

While we were staying there, a small cottonwood tree fell with, what Ron says was, a mighty crash.  If he heard a tree fall in the woods and I didn't, what does that mean?

You can see it was rotten and just broke off at the base.

Although we knew we were going to run into more smoke crossing Washington, we also knew we couldn't stay forever.  I had to get one more smoke-free picture looking back.

Continuing along the eastern border of the Cascades, we could see the smoke from the multiple fires along Lake Chelan, one of which has been burning since June 29th.

The landscape became drier as we turned west.

And by the time we reached Grand Coulee Dam we were back in some smoke.

We found a spot in Spring Canyon campground and checked out the visitors center, but Ron really wanted to drive the 30 miles south to see Dry Falls.  "If they're dry, what's the point?" I asked.

Well, they are pretty impressive.  In short, during the last ice age, this area was flooded many times when ice dams broke and released torrents of water out of ancient Lake Missoula.  These now-dry falls are 3 1/2 miles wide and over 400 feet tall.  This is just part of the expanse - there's twice as much on the other side of that far point.

Looking down river.

The visitors center was very interesting and explained it all in detail, but here's a sign that I thought handled it well.  If you click on it, you should be able to read it.

And here's Ron standing on a rock tower that's just connected to the rest of the cliff by a man-made arch.

I always say I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling.  Since it didn't look too solid to me, I didn't go out on it.

Red sky at night, sailor's delight,
Red sky in morning, sailor's warning.
Red sky in daytime. . . it's smoke!

Most of the 30-mile drive between Coulee Dam and Dry Falls was along carved cliffs like these which were made prettier by the orange sun.


  1. I am with you...I think I was up in the Space Needle in Seattle about ten years ago, and there is a "GLASS FLOOR" in this one area...nope, not me...I don't care how thick it is, it is GLASS!

  2. Woody Guthrie sang a song called Grand Coulee Dam.

  3. There were so many people in Winthrop because there were celebrities in town...you two! ;c)

  4. Im not a big fan of heights either or airplanes! WOW on the dry falls, once the biggest in the world!--very cool

  5. Nice ditty you concocted there ;-)

  6. Like you I am afraid of falling, not heights. I was monkeying around on a cliff here in Maine last night but I never get closer than 5 feet from the edge and even then I'm moving slow and planting my feet wide apart. My theory then is if I lose my balance or stumble I probably won't go over the edge. Us clumsy people have to be prepared for our own ineptitude! I'm up early this morning so I'm going to get caught up on my "reading".