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Monday, June 11, 2012


Today started at 5:00 am with high clouds to the East and clear sky to the West.

Walked for nearly 6 hours - three hours toward the town of Creston, Washington, and three hours back to SPIA.

We then drove to Creston, where SPIA parked while I walked another 3 hours toward the town of Wilbur.

Davenport, Washington as I walked West on US 2.

EL RANCHITO Mexican Restaurant, where SPIA parked the night. I also enjoyed a light dinner which was very good.

Two major crops are planted in this part of the Columbia Basin:

Alfalfa - as seen above. This is the top quality feed stock one sees in bales and rolls; and,


Typical Ranch Home dotting the rolling hills of the Northern Columbia Basin.

Of some interest, may be how the Columbia Basin came to be:

In 1939, Grand Coulee Dam was completed. The next five or six years were spent laying out "Ranches" in the desert land - sand, sagebrush, and rattlesnakes - of an area approximately 100 miles square, stretching approximately from the Canada border to Oregon (North to South), and the Cascade Mountains to the Rocky Mountains (West to East). Irrigation canals were also built distributing Columbia River water into the far reaches of the desert.

Returning veterans of World War Two, were given the opportunity to put their name in the pot for a lottery chance to receive one of the "Ranches".

ID numbers of the "Ranches" were in one box...ID names of veterans in another.

First, a Ranch was drawn, followed by a veteran. The veteran received the Ranch drawn with a few stipulations:

1. He must move onto the land, work the land for five (?) years, after which he received clear title.

2. The Veteran received interest free loans and water - where available - power, and other support from the US Government.

Historical Note: My parent's company, Tri-City Freight Lines, Pasco, Washington, received from the US Government the first permit to service the Columbia Basin, hauling household goods and supplies.

I participated trucking into and out of the Columbia Basin until entering the US Air Force in 1952.

An early blooming cactus plant.

Blooms up close.

Walking the rolling hills in a stiff breeze gave a workout to some new muscles.

Rains in the past few days filled up a few depressions...locally often called "Pot Holes"

Returning to SPIA, we drove the 20 miles to the village of Creston, Washington. SPIA parked next to the above Grain Elevators while I walked another three hours toward the town of Wilbur, Washington, 8 miles distant.

Close up of healthy wheat...these stalks being about 1.5 feet high.

Cultivated field where Winter Wheat was recently harvested.

Roadside wild flowers in bloom.

This plant is actually about one foot high...could not see the image in the camera without lying on the ground.

Tufts of wild grass line many wheat fields along US 2.

Appears the roadside grasses are deliberately planted...such uniformity !

The distant mountains are about 30 miles away to the North...beyond Lake Roosevelt formed behind Grand Coulee Dam.

Canada is about 50 miles away...a bit beyond the distant hills.

Puffy clouds drifted overhead all day...ground temperatures about 70 F.

Please say HELLO to Dixie.

Dixie is the guard / house dog of Larry and Donna, who have kindly allowed SPIA to park in their front yard for the night.

Dixie and I hit it off...she later becoming my lap dog after I finished Donna's delicious Rhubarb Pie.

Ranch House of Larry and Donna. Larry has an extensive train drool over.

Please say HELLO to Larry and Donna.

Moving to Wilbur in 1993, Larry says all the rattlesnakes on their ranch have been eliminated...but they still populate the surrounding areas.

At daybreak - about 5:00 am, I will walk North on Highway 174 toward Grand Coulee Dam, 19 miles distant. Tomorrow should be an exciting day, as we should reach the Dam about noon time...plenty early to do some sight seeing and gathering photographs.

Historical Note:

I was 4 years old the first time I remember seeing Grand Coulee Dam. It still had scaffolding on the dam face. My Uncles took us for a ride on their Work Boat, contracted to provide "taxi" and work transportation across the Columbia River during the Depression Years it was being built.

My Great Uncles Tuttle's boat was later trucked to nearby Lake Chelan, where for nearly 50 years. known as the LADY OF THE LAKE, carried tourists, locals and freight to all corners of Lake Chelan...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be nice for you to publish your updated arrival date to the Peace Arch as there could be people who would like to greet you there for a job well done. I would like to be there but need a update as it's a 5 hour drive to get there.