Our drive today from Columbia Falls MT to Fairchild AFB in Spokane was around 4 hours via Hwy 93 on the West side of Flathead Lake to Hwy 28 and 135 to IH 90. Intermittent rain and clouds most of the way.
We will be at Fairchild for only 2 nights as we are anxious to see Hope and family in Redmond OR where we will stay until the 22nd of September before heading south for the winter in California and Nevada as we did last year.
Fairchild is home to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing assigned to the Air Mobility Command's Eighteenth Air Force. Our last visit here was in early 90's when son Darin took his survival training here. The 92nd wing also provides cargo airlift and aero medical evacuation missions.
The RV Park is very nice and quiet..a bargain at $20/nt with full hookups. The base itself is one of the quietest on which we have camped..seem to be little activity.
On Thursday we decided to drive to Moses Lake as John wanted to get some pictures of a now closed AF station which is now a community college and the airport. Not many buildings left, but at least the property has been put to good use.
We decided to drive up Hwy 17 to 155 and Grand Coulee Dam. We stopped in Soap Lake for lunch at the Weiner Cantina. One of the best and generous sandwiches we have had. The drive was very scenic and interesting..most unusual landscape passing Soap,Lenore,Sun and Banks Lakes. Soap Lake is known for its mystical healing qualities. Sun Lakes has some nice RV parks.
|Route Map for today|
|Campground Sun Lakes|
Stop at the Dry Falls/Sun Lakes Visitor Center for spectacular views and history of the area. Dry Falls was formed when massive glacial floods poured over the basalt cliffs some 14,000 years ago. Even though dry now, at one time the falls was five times wider and 2 1/2 times higher than Niagara Falls.
|Signage about Dry Falls|
|View from Dry Falls Visitor Center|
|Basalt Cliff Formation|
|Basalt Cliffs Hwy 17 WA|
We then passed Steamboat Rock, a huge basalt monolith rising some 700 feet above Banks Lake.
|Signage for Steamboat Rock|
Grand Coulee Dam was begun in 1933 and completed in 1942. This is one of 11 dams on the Columbia River in the US and generates more power than a million locomotives. Water irrigates more than 600,000 acres in the Columbia basin annually. We were disappointed that only a trickle of water was flowing today.
|Distant View of Grand Coulee|
|Grand Coulee Dam|
Our drive today took us IH90 to Hwy 395 to IH 84 and Hwy 97. A long 8 hour day, one of our longest. We stopped at the Mercantile just north of Pasco..a must if in the area on Hwy 395. Had lunch and got some homemade burritos for dinner tonight.
|Crossing Columbia into Oregon|
|John Day Dam|
|Columbia River Near Biggs OR Hwy 97|
After departing Redmond last of April, we finally arrived back. It was so good to see Hope,Shawn and grandsons. Their garden looks so good and met the new cattle additions..the cow is pregnant and due in December. Will miss the rabbit and pigs. Bought a supply of carrots to feed the horses, Katy and Rocky. Casey is making the Bounder her 2nd home. Grandsons have grown. We are happy to have a nice RV pad overlooking the mountains. John and Cade spend Saturday washing the filthy Bounder.
|Helping Papa Wash the Dirty Bounder|
|Great Job Cade|