Tuesday 17 Apr - Portland to Ellensburg
Blue skies! Yay. Left Portland at 7, with a quick stop at Multnomah Falls because no one is around. Some snaps, then onto the gorge.
Stopped at the Cascade Gorge Visitor Center in The Dalles--a really well-done museum--to wait out some passing showers, but there were some blue skies around!
Crossed north across the Columbia River, then headed to Catherine Creek and parked at the already busy trailhead, were a dozen cars were parked and I parked in the gravel-and-grass next to the gate. Some Forest Service work crew dude with a stache gave me grief. "Oh, hi--could you please move your car?" "Sure thing, guess I'm too close to the gate, sorry". "No, not at all, you're parking on the grass and we want to keep the area safe for plants, which are special." OK, so I moved the car from the gravelly grass to the grassy gravel eight feet away. They drove off in their van--and another Forest Service truck drove up. parked exactly where I previously parked. Can't win. I did slyly ask "Is that a parking space?" Woman driver said "I don't see why it isn't. It's obviously a space. You didn't park on the road which is a good thing. Have a great walk! I think Stache Man just wanted to impress his work crew or something.
Anyways, saw a lot of wildflowers, took pictures, too many pictures, it was too windy, so I just figured a few of them would be in focus. Really good place. Then decided to scoot midday north towards Ellensburg--maybe do a hike nearby in Yakima Canyon? Nah, just take a nap and write a little.
Wed 18 April - Ellensburg to Moses Lake
Just a few notes from this trip. Slow start to the morning, with a yummy omelette at the Wild Huckleberry cafe. I must think about putting sliced apples in omelettes.
Gingko Petrified Wood State Park was mildly interesting, I expected more wildflowers. Good for an hour.
Beezley Preserve (sp?) north of Quincy was great. Lots of new wildflowers, including some violets blooming around hedgehog cactus and wide open views. Spent almost two hours there.
Dry Falls was fantastic. Really enjoyed the view from the top, then headed down and did the loop around Umatilla Rock.
Stayed the night with friends in Moses Lake.
Thu 19 April - Moses Lake to Omak
A bright bright day. Perfect blue skies! Great for hiking!
After a cinammon roll at Bob's Cafe, I headed up towards Steamboat Rock State Park, encountering only a few road blocks.
Great little climb to the top, views everywhere.
Stopped at Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center. The scale of that thing is impressive. Maybe big huge federal governent programs can work for the people (though the salmon lost out on this one).
Onto Omak in the evening.