Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dams and All That

Chief Joseph Dam overlook.
Bridgeport State Park is a very nice small park located on the Columbia River, just outside of Bridgeport, Washington. This park is about 152 miles from Post Falls and takes about 3.5 hours via US 2 W and WA-174 W. We have driven most of the roads on previous trips and so our trip over to the park was a nice drive; uneventful but pleasant.

Grant and Jacquie at Grand Coulee overlook.
We arrived around 1:00 PM and set up in our site, #1. Within an hour Grant and Jacquie arrived and once again we were together for a bit of an adventure. We spent the first evening talking and laughing, ate dinner and then played several games of Skip Bo.

The next morning we loaded into Stinky Jeep and drove past Chief Joseph Dam. The weather was clear and very hot. You might say it was a hot dam day. 

The city of Grand Coulee and the dam.
At the Chief Joseph Dam information pull-out we read the signs at the overlook. It was interesting to read about how the dam was constructed. On to Grand Coulee, where we drove to the overlook and took some photos. 

We took some time to explore the dam visitor center where we watched a movie and explored.  It was very interesting and we learned quite a bit about the history of the lands around Coulee City and the building of the dam.

Creating rivers.
Part of our day's plan was to visit the dam and then drive down to Steamboat Rock and hike to the top of the basalt cliffs. Once we parked at Steamboat and started our hike, we noted the time and how hot it was and decided it might be in our best interest to cancel our climb and go try a different hike. The Northrup Canyon hike had potential to be in the shade part of the hike, so we drove there.

Northrup Canyon was about six miles back in the direction of Electric City We hiked the upper trail for about a three-mile round trip. The climb was in the shade all the way to an area of switch backs and we made that point our turn around. The hike gave us some great vistas looking back at Steamboat Rock and Banks Lake.

By the time we got back to the Jeep we were all famished and so we drove into Grand Coulee to the Pepper Jack Bar and Grill. We chose this place to eat based on several things. One, it was a Bar and Grill; two it was old, and three it was for sale.  How can you go wrong? We had a very good meal. Everyone got their fill of flavorful restaurant food, served by a nice lady in an air-conditioned old Bar and Grill.

Before and after our Steamboat Rock hike.
It was rather late when we drove back to the park so we decided not to have our planned meal and changed to an easier-to-prepare selection. After dinner, we played Skip Bo and of course, I started smarting off about the US beating Canada in the Skip Bo Championship. Everyone ignored me, but I could feel that the competition was elevated. We went to bed with the series tied 3 games to 3.
Tons of old cans from the dam builders camps.
View from the Northrup Canyon hike.

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