1. Spokane is a city that I would not visit again. Somehow I thought it would be different. Like nice. And maybe mountain-y, and green. But it’s not. I feel sorry for that city since it looks like it last got fixed up in the 1970’s. Take a pass on that city. and I didn't bother to take any pictures there.
2. Coeur D’Alene, which is in Idaho, not Washington, is pronounced Core Dalaine. And it’s really a very cute town. I’m putting it on the Washington blog post because it’s right on the border with Washington and Idaho. And we did it on the day we went into Washington.
3. Eastern Washington is a desert. Really. I know you will find it hard to believe, but it’s true. It looked a lot like what I thought Montana would look like. It’s called a high desert. I looked it up. The Cascade Mountains block the clouds from crossing over them and so very little rain falls on the area east of the mountains. Crazy! The splotches on the photo are the dead bugs on the windshield.
4. And you know all those apples that Washington is famous for? And cherries? Well there’s a river, maybe you heard of it, called the Columbia River… this river is dammed up in many places, including Coulee Dam (more on that in a minute) and there are apple orchards all up and down the river valley of the Columbia. It’s pretty cool to see. Very much reminded me of Israel. It’s a HUGE operation. And the apple trees are growing in the desert. Being fed by the water from the dams that are bringing the water from the Columbia.
5. Did you read Boys in the Boat? One of my favorite books. Remember the part where Joe goes to work on the building project of the Grand Coulee Dam? Well we went there. To the dam. Remember when Daniel Brown describes the work Joe does hanging off the cliffs attached to a harness and banging away on the rocks with a jack hammer? In the visitor’s center at the Grand Coulee Dam they have a whole thing about the men who did that job. It was awesome to be there and see the immense size of the dam and remember the description of the work the men did from Boys in the Boat. I loved it.
6. One more thing about the Grand Coulee Dam: there were Native American tribes that were living along the river where the dam is and the center of their lives were catching the salmon that swam upstream to spawn every year. With the building of the dam, their way of life ended. So at the visitor’s center there is a movie that is a nostalgic look back on the lost livelihood of this Indian tribe. It is ironic that the US government Bureau of Reclamation is showing a movie about the people whose lives they ruined. The dam actually flooded their land, their homes, etc. and they all had to move away.