New roads & new sites!

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2014

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Where I stayed
Steamboat Rock State Park

Flag of United States  , Washington
Friday, August 26, 2011

I think I am at my happiest when we are traveling 'new' roads and exploring new areas.  We knew we needed to get back to Chewelah to pickup the items we left off there prior to crossing into Canada back in May.  A check of the map quickly revealed a route that would take us east through areas that we had longed wished to visit. 

Our travels would take us east along Highway 2.  Not only would we be traveling a new roadway we would also avoid the worst of the Interstate 5 traffic around Seattle - a win-win situation!  The early part of the drive was as scenic as anything we traveled 'north' of the border.  In fact, our travels would take us through the North Cascade mountains and along the Wenatchee river - simply stunning scenery!

We would spend three nights at the Thousand Trails park outside of Leavenworth.  This gave us time to not only explore Leavenworth but to also get in a round of golf - the first Ken has played since mid-May.  Our short visit to this area has convinced us that we need to return for a longer stay at some later time. 

From Leavenworth we continued east on Highway 2 and after about 20 miles the scenery changed - dramatically!!  We would travel on to Steamboat Rock State Park, located about 12 miles outside of Grand Coulee.  We had three days here as well.  This gave us time to soak up the stunning scenery at our campground along with a day to visit the 'dam'. 

Grand Coulee Dam was built between 1933-1942 with a third power plant added in 1974.  It is the largest power producing dam in North America and ranks amongst the top 10 largest concrete structures in the world!  The dam contains 12 million cubic yards of give you an idea of how much concrete that is you could make a four foot wide by four inch deep sidewalk wrap around the equator of the world TWICE!!  That is over 50,000 miles on concrete! 

The dam backs up the waters of the Columbia river creating Lake Roosevelt which is 151 miles long!  It reaches to within a couple of miles of the Canadian border.  Besides generating power the waters from Lake Roosevelt are pumped 'out and over' into Banks Lake.  In fact,  the over 800 billion gallons of water that are pumped annually into Banks lake are used for irrigation and recreation purposes! 

We had a great day at the 'dam' - taking in the exhibits & movies at the visitor center along with the free dam tour. We stayed for the 9:30 laser light show - also free - which is played nightly during the summer off the face of the dam.  My folks, who have always wanted to 'see the show' drove out and joined us for the day - so now they, and we, can take it off our 'bucket lists'! 

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