Travel Journal: May 13 – 15, 2016

Locations: Eastern Washington Scablands, Palouse Falls, Wallula Gap, Two Sisters, Hat Rock, Pasco, Tricities, Maryhill Stonehenge

Real talk, this camping trip happened about a month and a half ago, but I was just so off my game, I’m only getting to it now. The details are fuzzy. In mid-May, Brie and I spent a weekend in eastern Washington’s Channeled Scablands. The Scablands were created by the Missoula Flood during the Ice Age, which began in western Montana, stretching down as far as Eugene, Oregon. The flood created massive coulees, waterfalls, canyons, basalt buttes and giant boulders that appear to be strewn about the land with no rhyme or reason. It’s an enchanting landscape, reminiscent of Ireland. Despite some misadventures, I loved this trip and I can’t wait to go back and see all of the things we didn’t have time for. Sometimes, shit goes wrong and it can suck in the moment, but it’s all adventure to me. Nature isn’t following any rules. It’s unpredictability is part of the magic. I will choose adventure again and again and again.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The first day was sunny, hot and gorgeous. The drive from Portland along my beloved Columbia River was perfect. Our first stop was Palouse Falls, a place I’ve wanted to go to for a long time and it did not disappoint.

We stayed in a campground as we tend to do when we’re not familiar with an area, as opposed to our preferred dispersed camping. The campground, Fishhook Park just outside of Pasco, was fine, hit all the marks, nothing special. The location was great for our adventures and it’s right on the Snake River.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

We had the windiest night of camping either of us has ever experienced. Poor Brie hardly slept, but I somehow slept like a baby. Ha! We woke up to a dismal, rainy day. Kind of a bummer. “A chance of showers” was actually constant showers. We weren’t going to let it keep us from our adventures, but it set a bit of a tone. (Psst! Feel free to skip this part because misadventures are sometimes kind of boring.) Our first stop was a dud. We had outdated information on a place called Staircase Rapids. Our book said it’s on private land, but the landowners allowed people to use a trail. Not the case. We pulled up to what was once the trailhead on a short dead end road. We were looking around for the trail when a huge truck came speeding right toward us, presumably the landowners, and scared the shit out of us so we got in our car and booked it. Next, we tried to find Little Palouse Falls. Foiled again. Our book made it sound like you could drive up to it, but you can’t. Thankfully, the rest of our plans were just scenic drives through Washtucna Coulee and Devils Canyon. Both were magnificent. Devils Canyon is not to be missed.

Devils Canyon

After driving around far more than we had wanted to, we decided to treat ourselves to a meal in town, which felt a little sacrilegious while camping. Turns out, Pasco is a mecca of fantastic Mexican businesses. We ate delicious Mexican food and had the best paletas.


It poured all evening and night, so we stayed bundled up in the tent playing games and reading. Knowing we have our stormy camping game locked down was some sweet satisfaction, but it was still kind of a downer.

Rainy tent lock down and innovative lighting ideas with this cutie.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

We packed up the tent with a quickness, made coffee and got the hell outta dodge. On the agenda: Wallula Gap then back to Portland. I can’t believe I didn’t know about the Wallula Gap before then. It’s like the eastern Columbia River Gorge turned all the way UP.


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