2016/5/28 – Monument Coulee IV / 豐碑深谷之四

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Umatilla Rock holding down the coulee
Umatilla Rock holding down the coulee

All photos from this trip can be found here.

Our fourth trip in this coulee, and the landscape continued to fascinate me. This time we spent our entire stay in eastern half of the coulee and made Green and Alkaline Lakes our destination.

It was the warmest it had ever been compared with our previous trips, and naturally most people headed to Sun/Perch Lakes to play in the water. A couple of hikers were just about to get back to the trailhead when we started walking. A big group of younger folks were taking turns running up to the notch at the coulee divide. Pups and I kept to ourselves and stayed as far away from the noise as possible.

The main trail ran all the way around Umatilla Rock, with many side paths going in various directions. Occasionally we’d get off the main trail and scrambled through thin brush. Bugs weren’t an issue until we got closer to the lakes, where all of a sudden mosquitoes were out in full force. Warmer temperatures and stagnant air flow at end of the coulee certainly weren’t helping in keeping the insects away from our faces.

Lake rims were muddy so I didn’t attempt to get a good look at Alkaline Lake surrounded by tall brush. It looked dried up from what I could see. After stopping by Green Lake, the pups immediately took off for the water to cool off and didn’t seem to mind the mud a least bit.

Views to opening of the coulee on the south was obstructed by a tiny hill next to the lake, but Umatilla Rock was still visible from where we were. Clouds started rolling in later in the afternoon and looked as though the rain would come down any minute.

While we were hanging out by the lake, a helicopter came into the area and circled around Umatilla Rock before landing next to the notch where the group of people was. And just as we were leaving the coulee half hour later, the helicopter got up and flew out. Hope nothing bad happened to anyone in the gorup.

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