Fascinating SE Washington

Well, for the most part, we are spending a month in isolation in a half-empty RV park in rural Columbia County in southeast Washington. How rural? The nearest gas station, grocery store, and laundry were anywhere from 20-30 miles away. As you will see from the next posting, we were closer to bald eagles, wild turkeys and mountain goats than to a human settlement of any kind.

We ventured forth on drives a few times, either for supplies or for an escape from the “house arrest” represented by a month-long stay at home order in a 300 square foot residence. What we found was a beautiful and fascinating area, with something interesting within a half hour in every direction.

To the east are the snow-capped Blue Mountains. Although the road was closed half way to the state park there, we saw some beautiful glimpses of mountains and wildlife. It turns out this area was the vacation destination for Ellen’s family early in her life, and she once attended a week-long summer camp here.

To the south are the endearing towns of Dayton and Waitsburg. Dayton is the home of the original “Jolly Green Giant” production facility, and houses the oldest active courthouse in the state, built in 1886. Waitsburg has a charming downtown with life size bronze statues on the main street commemorating the history of the town. It is also home to “Ten Ton Coffee,” a fabulous coffee shop with a walk-up window that became our only external treat during the month.

To the west, the Tucannon river empties into the Snake river. Northward up the river is Little Goose Dam. Southward takes you past Lyons Ferry to Palouse Falls State Park. Even though the park was closed, the drive is very scenic.

We came with little expectation except that this might be a good place to wait out the virus onslaught. We will leave brimming with happy memories of a fun corner of the state, one we hope to explore again.

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