Thursday, May 31, 2012

Final night in Washington

Touchet Valley 045

We are parked at a gravel turnout on US-12, adjacent to the Tucannon River and at the junction of Tucannon Road (map), a dozen miles north of the small town of Dayton, Washington. The Snake River is another ten miles to the north, and is navigable through this section all the way to Lewiston, Idaho -- we hope to return someday in the boat.

While walking around the area, we saw a wild turkey hen and her dozen chicks, sauntering through the tall grass. There were plenty of other birds here, making this a great view spot for the cats. In fact, Angel managed to slip out while I was grilling our steak dinner and climb the 20' tall rock face next to the bus. Once up there, she tired of being "Cat of the Wild" and cried piteously to be rescued. So much for animal instincts. We never let the cats roam outside without close supervision, and it is always alarming when one of them escapes. We heard coyotes later in the evening, long after I climbed the hill and unceremoniously dragged Angel back into the bus.

Yesterday we left the Tri-Cities Elks shortly after I posted here, stopping at the Safeway in Kennewick to provision. I also walked over to the Chase bank to deposit the surprise check we received in the mail, and to the Goodwill store to drop off our old coffeemaker and a few other items. It was past three by the time we rolled back across the Columbia into Pasco.

Continuing east from there brought us across the Snake near Sacajawea State Park before turning off US-12 onto Washington 124, which cuts a few miles off the route, bypassing Walla Walla. After a few miles, 124 follows the Touchet River, crossing it in several places, whereas the more major US-12 follows the Walla Walla river, which the Touchet joins south of the small town of Touchet. While the railroad follows the Snake through this part of Washington, no auto road does, and we will not rejoin the snake until a dozen miles west of Clarkston, Washington, across the border from Lewiston, Idaho.

This is a beautiful and uncrowded part of the state, unseen even by most Washingtonians. The first hour east of the Tri-Cities is mostly flat and agricultural, giving way to rolling hills after 124 and 12 merge at Waitsburg. East of here the road will become twistier and hillier as we approach the western slope of the Idaho Rockies. Tonight we should be somewhere in Idaho.

Photo of the Touchet River by CorrieRosetti, used under a Creative Commons license.

1 comment:

  1. Having grown up in Walla Walla I am familiar with the northern part of the county from Pasco to Waitsburg. That used to be mostly wheat fields and/or green peas. So much of it has been turned to wine country now that I probably wouldn't recognize it. Glad you enjoyed your trip over to the Tucannon. I'd highly recommend your travels take you over Lolo Pass to Missoula if your headed in that general direction. It's a twisty road but beautiful scenery. Bob C.


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!