Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

Mural at the Slagle City Park in Republic, WA


Now that's a big nugget that Hecla Mining Co. found here.

Chief Joseph Dam at Bridgeport, WA

Columbia River below the dam. This area is very arid but you...



When we stopped to look at the Grand Coulee Dam we saw...

Grand Coulee Dam. The darker part in the middle is the spillway...

The third power plant at the center of this photo was added...

Grand Coulee

Columbia River below the dam.


Switch yard where the output from the generators is routed onto the...

Lasers in the visitors center that project the laser show onto the...





(Ron Writing) After breakfast we left our nice “private” campground at Sherman Pass and continued west on scenic WA-20. At Tonasket, WA highway 20 joins with US-97 and heads south through the Okanogan River valley. All along this route there are many fruit orchards being irrigated with the river water. It looked like the harvest was underway as we saw pickers busy bringing in the fruit and huge stacks of large crates waiting to be filled near the fields.

At Fort Okanogan State Park we took WA-17 south along the Columbia River to Bridgeport, WA where we stopped at a viewpoint to see the Chief Joseph Dam. We’d never heard of this dam but it’s the second largest hydroelectric plant in the country.

We continued a short distance on WA-17 and then east on WA-174 to the Grand Coulee Dam. We stopped at a view point overlooking the dam itself and the town of Coulee Dam. We drove a short distance to the Grand Coulee RV Park in Grand Coulee where we are staying for the night ($26.90 with full hookups).

After getting Da Honu set-up and having dinner we drove over to the dam visitor center. The visitor center has many interesting exhibits and they show 3 movies about the geology, history, and building of the dam. We had time to look at some of the exhibits and one movie before it was time to go outside and watch the laser light show.

Every evening in the summer they open the floodgates to allow water to flow over the dam’s spillway creating a giant screen perhaps a half-mile long and several hundred feet tall. The lasers are projected onto this “screen” from the visitor center. There are speakers in the viewing area and the light and sound combine to make a pretty spectacular show. My attempts at capturing some of the show on photos didn’t work out very well. We would highly recommend both the visitor center and the laser show if you ever get to this area. Tomorrow we plan to go back to visitor center and also take a tour of the dam.

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