Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Warm Weather - A Last Harrah

The weather has been running 10 to 20 degrees above the normal average the last two weeks.  With nothing on the must do list and a three day weekend I grab at the opportunity for another adventure alone in the wilderness.  The weather forecast promises a weekend promising temperatures near 70 degrees in the middle of Washington State (otherwise called the banana belt) so we will chase the sun on this last hurrah of summer.

We are leaving on Thursday afternoon after Hailey gets out of school and get a bit later start due to a little whoops while loading up the trailer.  (I bumped the trailer hitch and dumped it off the blocks)  After a neighbor showed me a trick using the blocks to get the trailer up high enough to get it back on the hitch we were off, a little frustrated but on our way just the same. Thanks Larry for you patient instructions and help!

Due to our late start we ended up setting up in a familiar camp with a premium view.  It was dark as we pulled in and setting up in the dark is a challenge I hope not to repeat anytime soon.  We did a minimum set up and retired early anxious to begin a three day weekend.

Morning was glorious and I explored our camp to discover what a premium site we snagged in out late nite arrival.  I also discovered that our winter prices had changed to off season prices so our senior rate qualified us for $2.50 per nite for our lake side view site. 

Best yet the campground was nearly deserted with only 4 to 5 campsites occupied each night.  Plenty of wide open spaces and quiet, quiet, quiet.

Happy to call Spring Canyon home for the weekend.

Early to bed means early to rise, at least for me..... Lots of morning coffee and time for a morning walk revealed a private beach off of a group camping site that I hadn't discovered before.

The group site might be a great place for a small vintage trailer gather, especially this time of year!

Lots of autumn views and scenery to enjoy in the quiet of the morning.

This view from the beach reveals the back side of Grand Coulee Dam. This view shows little of the enormity of the dam.  The road over the top of the dam is nearly a mile long and is shown at the top of the lake.  Contrast this picture with a picture from an earlier trip to the dam from the opposite side.

The peace and serenity from our beach view certainly hides the power hidden behind the wall of the dam.  Coffee and morning walk done, it's time to hit the road and see the sights as we head out for today's hike to Lenore Caves near the southern shores of the man made Banks Lake. 


The Lake Lenore Caves were formed during the
last Ice Age, when catastrophic floods raged across much of Eastern Washington.

These floods carved long and deep ravines or coulees, from solid basalt.

The effect of water freezing and thawing within the basalt formed cracks within the cracks allowing the torrential waters to pluck out rocks along the cracks forming large cracks that formed into caves.


Gravity continues to cause the rocks from the ceiling to fall to the floor in some caves the outer edge nearly rising up to the ceiling.  In the future some of these caves could barely be visible.

At least 5,000 years ago native people began using these caves as temporary shelters and a place to work.   During the spring and summer, Native Americans visited this area to collect plants, dig roots, fish and hunt.  After preparing the food and plant materials, they carried their loads back to permanent villages.  They often left behind mats, grinding stones food and supplies for their next visit.  These artifacts were removed from the caves and are on display in nearby museums.

Kids and dogs doing what they do best.....exploring every inch.

Standing guard high above and south of the caves

We stopped at the visitor center at Dry Falls on our return to our campsite.

 Since the end of the ice age, water no longer flows over edge of the once largest water fall on earth hence its name DRY FALLS. 

The cliffs witness to the tremendous power of the catastrophic floods that swept over Eastern Washington at the end of the last Ice Age.  Today Dry Falls Remains as one of the most spectacular Geologic wonders of the Ice Age.

And then of course there was the Ice Cream...... Some of the best we had this summer. 
Chocolate for Hailey, Huckleberry for Me!!

More hikes and more Geology to come!

~Happy Trails~




  1. Great photos and a great camping spot. Not bad for finding that site and setting up in the dark.

  2. Wow what a site! and the price can't be beat. I often feel overwhelmed, realizing what great outdoor adventures you share with Hailey and how much that will be a driving force in her young soul. Just amazing what you are sharing with her, more precious than anything money can buy. And, following your blog I am amazed how well you seem to know the whole WA area, ever thought about writing a travel book? Seems, you know the state well, know how to travel on a budget and write well and there is the added wealth of information about traveling with a teen. Just a thought.

  3. Boy that is some blue water. Love those caves, the dam not so much. How did you keep from having one scoop of chocolate and one of huckleberry? mmmmmmmm

  4. How wonderful to be able to get in another trip before winter. Yes the water is sooo blue it is really pretty.
    It's to bad it gets dark so early now.I'm sure you had a great time

  5. So glad you were able to get away for one more weekend. This looks like a beautiful spot. Love to try it out. Huckleberry would have been my choice too....my mouth is watering.

    Love all the history and info you include in your posts...thanks.

  6. Beautiful spot! I would have asked for half huckleberry, half chocolate - the spot where they meet would have been so yummy!

  7. I'd be curious what your friend's trick was to get the trailer back up where it needed to be. I've had that little bumping the hitch issue before. I ended up cranking the pole back inside the hitch as far as it would go and finding a very flat rock that I could squeeze under it and start cranking back down on. Definitely a beautiful place to camp!