Saturday, July 25, 2009
About 100 miles west of Spokane on Highway 2, turn south on Highway 17 which runs right down through the coulee. The first point of interest you will come to on this leg of the journey is the Dry Falls Overlook & Interpretive Center. This is a great place to introduce your kids to the concepts of climate cycles and the awesome power of nature. Another thing to marvel at here, is the beautiful rock masonry structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. There were some tremendous craftsmen on those crews.The Interpretive Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except holidays, and they have restrooms.
If spelunking in small caves isn't your cup of tea, I suggest renting the rowboat, check out the cave from the outside and then take the kids over to Seattle to the Burke Museum where they have made a full size mock up of the cave from plaster casts and have a nice educational display about it. Laurent's also has a miniature golf course, park, camping, cabins, and fishing opportunities. To learn more about the lava floods check out the USGS website.
The water is too alkaline to support piscine life, so leave your fishing pole in the car, lest you make a spectacle of yourself. (I have friends that "go fishing" there just to be funny). Brine shrimp and a few water bugs inhabit the water. Some of the locals will attempt to intrigue you with tales of a lake monster, but they are just pulling your leg.
Soap Lake boasts several gradually sloping beaches that make it very safe for little ones to play in the lake. And, because the water is so dense, it is virtually impossible to sink. You can float around all day with your head, hands and feet sticking out of the water (try that in normal water and you sink like a stone). When you come out, the minerals from the lake will dry in white water spots on your skin. There are showers on the developed beaches where you can rinse off if you like.
Another interesting thing about Soap Lake is: when the wind blows, the wave action on the shore actually whips up suds (see photo)! Soap Lake is at the south end of the Coulee Corridor at the junction of Highway 17 and Highway 28.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
For a unique museum experience, visit the Grant County Historical Museum and Village, a collection of buildings that have been furnished with fixtures from the mid- to late-1800's, when the building was in use. Children can sit at the desks in the one-room school; there is a country church, a log cabin, a complete authentic pioneer homestead, a print shop with press, a blacksmith shop with working forge and much much more. In addition they have a very nice assortment of antique farm equipment. Sheets blow in the breeze on the "solar clothes dryer" all summer long. The Village comes to life each June during the Sage and Sun Festival, with docents on hand to demonstrate old-timey stuff and answer questions.
Call ahead for hours and admission information. The Museum is located on the North end of Ephrata on Highway 28 (towards Soap Lake), at 742 Basin Street Northwest, Ephrata, WA 98823; 509-754-3334
Above, local children take a tour of the One Room School House at the Grant County Museum.