We start the day early. We want to get our traveling in before it gets hot.
We are on Interstate 90. It is still desert. We do some climbing. I am thinking that this is good. The higher we climb the lower the Rockies will seem.
Oops. We start what feels like a free fall. Why are we going lower? I remember. We have to cross the Columbia River! Up the other side, we climb. I am getting tired of sagebrush. Where are all the apple trees?
Finally, we leave the Interstate for Route 283. We see farms. One has labels by the fields: Field Corn and Wheat. The fields are green because of irrigation. Turn the water off and this will revert to desert!
We turn north again onto Scenic Route 17. This is a great road. We pass Soap Lake. We stop and take pictures at Lenore Lake. We pass Parks Lake. We are in a canyon or “coulee.”
We stop at the Dry Falls State Park. It is a wonderful find. Unfortunately, the visitor center is closed due to an air conditioning problem. We gather information from the signs outside. It is amazing.
We arrive at Route 2 and cross over the Dry Falls Dam. This dam creates the Banks Lake that fills the Grand Coulee. We see a city park and check in.
I am still figuring this out. At the north end of the Grand Coulee is the Grand Coulee Dam that creates Roosevelt Lake. However, the Columbia River goes off to the west. (Or, does it split?) I am a little confused. We may have to do some exploring tomorrow.
We take a walk to Banks Lake. There is a beach area, picnic area and docks.
We come too close to a killdeer’s nest. She makes a lot of noise. She lands near us and I am sure she is injured. John explains that it is an act to get us to follow her away from the nest. It works. We follow her all the way to the dam.
Anglers are fishing off the bank. We see at least one fish caught. John will try his luck in the morning when it is a little cooler!
Campground: Town of Coulee City