On my way to CDA
I’m on my way to Coeur d’Alene, ID for the Walking Adventures 25th Anniversary reunion tour. Since it’s pretty close to home, I decided to drive instead of flying. There are several different ways to go, but when I found out it was Felix Hernandez Bobblehead giveaway night at the Mariners’ game, I decided to drive to Seattle.
It rained all day, but just after I got settled in my seat at Safeco Field, the weather gods must have spoken because the roof started to open, revealing the beautiful skyline view of downtown Seattle. For those of you who don’t follow Major League Baseball, Felix is my personal favorite and one of the best pitchers in baseball. The Mariners lost but I felt like a winner!
Next morning the rain followed me out I-90 east until I crossed the mountains into the drier central and eastern parts of Washington.
My first stop along the way was at Ginkgo Petrified Forest state park, near Wanapum Dam recreation area on the Columbia River. The park is home to an array of different species of petrified trees. In the 30s Professor George Beck discovered a rare Ginkgo Biloba log here, and realized the importance of preserving the area. Most of the buildings and trails were built by Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression.
Across the river is one of the most visited public sculptures in Washington, Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies. This line of bronze wild horses was done by David Govedare, whose work we will see again on our walk in Spokane.
My next stop was the small town of Soap Lake, on the scenic highway that goes up to Grand Coulee dam. There is a chain of lakes along the highway, many with high mineral content and names like Alkali Lake and Medical Lake. Soap Lake has been extensively studied for the apparent healing qualities of its water and especially its mud. As you can see in the photos, the tradition is to cover yourself with the mineral rich, black mud and sit for a while while it hardens, then go back to the lake to wash it away. I have to admit my aching joints seemed to feel better when I left.
Late in the afternoon I arrived at my destination for the next few days, the Coeur d’Alene resort. WAI treated us to the fabulous Coeur d’Alene resort on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Here is Dan Friesen, the president of the company, welcoming us on the first night.