John checking the map while at a pit stop in Lake Easton State Park. The lake was so beautiful, we had to pull over and take a walk down to the shoreline for pics
Some of many neighbors in Steamboat Rock State Park.
Sissy posing on the bike with Banks Lake in the background
Here it is; Steamboat Rock on the shore of Banks Lake near Grand Coulee Dam
Scenic Route 158 along the shore of Banks Lake
It was Thursday morning and the sun was shining at Hoodsport, Washington. It was also time to pack up and begin heading east. I guess you could call it time to start our trek back home. But first, there were plenty of other places to visit and things to do, and one of them was Grand Coulee Dam in eastern Washington.
Wes and Phil had told John the best route to take through the mountains east of Seattle, so we headed out and were on our way about 1000. Late start you say? Of course, but remember the night before in Brady, Washington with our friends! We got a good night sleep however, and we felt great mostly because we were able to spend such an enjoyable evening with Wes, Karen, Phil and Kyrra.
After bypassing Seattle on the east side, we took I90 through the Cascade Mountain Range, the Snoqualmie National Forest and Snoqualmie Pass. The scenic drive through the ski resorts, forest, mountains and lakes were beautiful and the rig did fine going up and coming back down. And they said California had some long uphills! Washingtons´s uphill grades go on for miles at a time. But, what goes up must come down and we did with ease.
As we came down the backside of the mountains through Cle Elum and Ellensburg we began seeing rolling hills of wheat and corn everywhere. The wheat was so thick it reminded us of plush carpet. The folks living in the countryside there really know what life is about! We stumbled upon Lake Easton State park and made a pit stop to check the map and refuel the truck. Even though we had plenty of fuel already, John didn´t know how many stations were in eastern Washington so we played it safe. Lake Easton was gorgeous, and we walked down to the shoreline for pics. At the boat ramp, a female boater was taking her kayak out. We walked on the floating pier, saw beachgoers swimming along the bank, admired the crystal clear water and took several pics. Then, it was time to head east again.
We arrived in Electric City about 1630 and checked out one campground that wasn´t to our liking. Another RV Resort was nicer, but their laundry was not working (broken water main). Our 3rd choice was Steamboat Rock State Park which we´d passed already. We headed back west for about 10 miles, pulled into the entrance and prayed for an available spot. The ranger told us we could stay 1 night only because the park was full up the entire weekend. Well, after staying in the park, we now know why it was full: clean, large paved and level sites, green grass everywhere, roaming deer throughout, full hookups and spectacular views all around.
After getting settled and rolling the bike out, it was time for a bike ride to Grand Coulee Dam and the Laser Light Show. Craig and Judy (our camping neighbors) told us to arrive early because the parking lot filled up quickly. We made it in time; parking the bike right up front at the outdoor viewing area complete with seats along side of the mountain. We met Lou (from Montana) and her son and grandsons, and chatted with them until the show began at 2130. Laser lights were displayed on the falling waters over the dam, and a narration gave us the history of the dam itself. It was beautiful!
The ride back to our campsite in the dark was interesting to say the least. The 60 MPH speed limit made for a windy ride, but the winds were also swirling around as we cut through the cliffs of the gorge. Sissy almost lost it one time, but held on tight to the hunk of Harley Dude sitting between her legs (hah, hah). And, when we arrived at the park, deer were everywhere. Our lights highlighted the deer as they grazed on the green grass throughout the park. Even more spectacular were the stars in the sky. There were no clouds at all, and the darkness at the state park made for a wonderful view of the heavens.
Checkout time the next morning wasn´t until 1300, so we took advantage and hopped on the bike for a morning ride along Banks Lake back toward Sun Lakes State Park about 40 miles west along the shore highway. Stopping for pics all along the way made the ride well worth it. It was a little cool, but John opted to leave his leather jacket back at the trailer. The longer we were away, the warmer it got until finally reaching 83 degrees. Then, it was time to head back, pack up our stuff and check out before 1300.
Sissy made sandwiches for the road, but since it was almost time for lunch anyway, we ate one of them before leaving. We simply sat in the truck and enjoyed the scenery we were soon to leave. This was definitely a place we will return to, and our suggestion is for you to visit it as well. People tell us it is one of the most visited state parks in Washington, so if you decide to visit, make sure you have reservations!
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