2016/7/16 – Frenchman Coulee V / 法蘭區深谷之五

Frenchman Coulee west view

All photos from this trip can be found here.

Our original plan was foiled when weather didn’t look too promising around Stevens Pass. Pup and I had been to this coulee four other times in two different locations; this time we explored the north rim.
Parked at the pullout just past the intersection of Silica Road and Road 2.5 (interesting road name) on the left hand side and then we started walking westward toward the rim. It was sunny yet breezy when we started so it wasn’t too terribly hot. Surprised to not see any bugs flying around, except the annoying horseflies on a few occasions. It was nice to get a closer and a different look at some of the rock features we had seen before from down below. The climbing area across the coulee looked to be busy with the number of cars parked in the lot, and shouting of climbing commands could occasionally be heard.

At first I had planned on going down into the coulee from west end and walking to the small waterfall at head of the coulee. Since we had already been there three other times, I figured we’d do something different by roaming our way west to the river instead. As we got closer to the river bank the terrain became less rocky, and the Vantage Bridge could be seen in the distant south. But then it disappeared as the elevation gradually declined.

River wasn’t terribly busy, a few boats here and there during our one-hour stay. A couple of them had music blasted, but far away enough from us and the other boats to be noisy. The community of Wanapum could be seen to the north right before the river bend. After doing some research online, interesting that this riverfront community actually belongs to the city of Quincy, 20 miles to the northeast.

I love being on this side of the state when weather in the Cascades doesn’t cooperate. The smell of desert plants, the different bird species, and the seemingly endless skyline make me want to find a big rock and nap when the sun isn’t glaring. The thing I was mostly grateful for was the absence of snakes! After several run-ins with rattlesnakes (they warned us with the rattling, whew…) on the south rim by Echo Basin back in January, this time I was on absolute high alert.

For a faster return back to the car, we followed old tire tracks quarter of a mile north parallel to our inbound track.

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