Sunday, June 21, 2009

Exploring East Side of the Mountains 6/14/2009

The clouds lined our way as we headed to our Eastern Washington Adventure. At one point the fog was so thick we could have never guessed we are driving through the mountains if we didn't know the area.

Then we drove over Snoqualmie Pass and about 3 minutes later, the clouds started to break. Few more minutes later we saw little bit of blue color in the sky and after several more miles we drove into a reasonably nice day.

Our first stop was a Petrified Forest Interpretative trail near vantage. Whole 200 ft of elevation in about 3 miles with variety of caged petrified trees on display along the trail. It was a neat thing to see; however there was no reason to linger in the area too long as except for the trees which despite the nice variety of species looked one quite like the other in their petrified form, there was not much more to see and soon after we finished our loop, we headed few miles east to where our second trail started.

The beginning of this trail was promising. Nice path leading along Columbia River, offering beautiful views, going to backcountry of the state park. There were not many cars at the trailhead and it seemed we'll have this peaceful area to ourselves. Why there weren't many hikers around, we figured our relatively soon.

The nice path turned into a narrow trail shortly after we started which led us onto a cliffy bluff where it narrowed some more and offered little to hold on to. I was quite surprised I found this trail in regular hiking book. We decided to turn at a point where we only had about 3 feet wide path full of loose rock and roots to walk on and long way down if we slipped.

It was still rather early when we finished this unexpected scramble and decision was quickly made to head for Ancient Lakes. We stopped at a local restaurant for lunch and then were on our way to our next adventure.

I really like area of Ancient Lakes. It seems there's always something new to do every time I visit. This time we not only reached the waterfall, we also scrambled little scree slope to get to above it. From this top part the views were amazing and we spend long time chilling out before the though of the long drive home made us head back

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