Lake Chelan—Grand Coulee

October 3-9, 1982

Twenty-three eager members left Eugene in the fog, but as we drove we left it behind and had nice weather all the way to Mt. Rainier. Near the Park, we had a good lunch at the Gateway Inn. We were fortunate to have a moonlit night at Paradise Inn, and the next morning to have a clear view of the majestic mountain.

Monday, a few miles north of Yakima, there were some interesting Indian Rock paintings. There was time before dinner for browsing in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth. The highlight of dinner at the Edelweiss Restaurant was accordion music and folk songs by Virginia West’s niece, Joyce Drole and a friend.

We stayed at Campbell’s Lodge at Lake Chelan for two nights before and after the beautiful boat trip, on a sunny day, to Stehekin at the upper end of the lake. North Cascade Lodge was comfort able on a cold and rainy night. While there, we enjoyed a conducted trip to the old, one-room schoolhouse still in use, the Buckners’ (early settlers) apple orchard and Rainbow Falls.

A stop was made at the Brewster Senior Center to check up on the Fort Okanagan Interpretive Center which we later visited to view exhibits of that area’s first fur trading post built in 1811 by John Jacob Astor. A reporter for the Quad-City Herald Weekly at Brewster interviewed Virginia DeMers and took a picture of our group which appeared in the newspaper on October 14.

In Okanagan, the group had a very interesting tour of the computerized Starcrisp apple and pear warehouse and watched the hand packing of pears into boxes. On the way to Coulee Dam, the site of Chief Joseph’s grave was viewed in the cemetery at Nespelem.

Friday morning the bus took us to the Coulee Dam Visitor’s Center. In a small memorial park nearby, there was a bronze bust of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Near Coulee City, the Ranger at Dry Falls Interpretive Center explained the Dry Falls formation which was fantastic. During the last Ice Age, glaciers blocked the ancient Columbia River near the present site of Grand Coulee Dam. The river flooded the lava plateau to the south, carving a network of gashes, the largest of which is Grand Coulee. Dry Falls, the central feature of Grand Coulee, was once a 3½ mile wide cataract over which the old river plunged 400 feet. At our lunch stop, we enjoyed delicious home-made pie at the Ephrata House. In Ephrata Frances Newsom’s friend suggested that we visit Wanapum Dam south of Vantage. The attractive facility, built by an electric power cooperative, is one of eleven dams on the Columbia River.

A stop was made at the Ginkgo State Park at Vantage to see remnants of petrified trees: spruce, walnut, ginkgo and Douglas fir. Near the museum were excellent petroglyphs which had been moved to the site from the cliffs below before flood waters covered them. A well stocked rock shop, where several members purchased beautifully polished specimens, was a side trip on our way to Ellensburg.

The return trip on Saturday took us through Goldendale where we saw a lovely display of quilts at the Senior Center, then The Dalles, Hood River, Salem and on to Springfield where we had our farewell dinner at the King’s Table. Then on to Eugene to the S.E.H.S. parking lot at 6:30 p.m.

Walt Wicks, our skillful driver, was considerate and cooperative. He was familiar with many areas on our route and furnished information about them. Enjoying our trip were “Buck” and Grace Carter, Eldoris Cobban, Marian Hall, Vera Heidenreich, Jane Hilt, Virginia Horton, Beatrice LeFevre, Frances Newsom, Minnie McCracken, Daisie Niccolls, “Pat” and Janice Pattison, Frank and Maryelton Schutz, Lois Schreiner, Grace Smith, Myrtle Smith, Paula Vehrs, Freda and Harold Young, with co-leaders Virginia West and Virginia DeMers.


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