Friday, March 29, 2013

Steamboat Rock and Northrup Canyon

EWU had finals last week before their Spring break so Erik had a pretty relaxed work week. We took advantage of that and headed out to the desert Scablands of Central Washington to hike and camp in a unique area called Steamboat Rock State Park. It was gorgeous weather during the day with frigged temperatures at night but we kept a warm fire roaring and stayed warm in our nice sleeping bags at night.

The first day there he hiked up Steamboat Rock. "Steamboat Rock is a massive "island" of a rock mountain floating on the shore of Banks Lake. The durable rock was left behind through all of the Great Missoula Floods and was later nearly surrounded by the waters diverted by the Grand Coulee Dam. The top of the rock is a broad, flat plateau offering stunning views across the scablands of coulee country."It was a tough 20 min scramble to the top. But once up there it is relatively flat with incredible views of the "Cliffs of Insanity!" We saw deer and marmot up there and experienced every season of weather in a 2 hour period. The geology of this area is incredible. We couldn't get over the clear shimmering green water down below the sheer basalt cliffs. Well worth the sweat to the top.

Tate was hilarious in camp. She wanted so badly to crawl around in the grass and dirt to explore her surroundings but we had her bundled up in two warm suits so she could barely move. Since she couldn't feel anything with her hands she would put her cheek down on the ground to feel the texture. It was hilarious and sad at the same time. She was trying so hard! Erik the master of camp made us some incredible broccoli pasta for dinner and kept the fire warm. He did a lot of the work while I kept Tate happy. She did great even in the cold. When we got her in the warm tent before bed she went crazy being able to use her hands and crawl everywhere after being confined to a snow suit all day. The tent was a fun place to explore. Instead of putting her to bed we just let her climb all over us for a good hour. She was so hyper and happy to be moving it was so cute.

The next day we packed up camp and headed to Northrup Canyon. "Bald eagles, icons of the mossy forests and deep rivers of the Pacific Coast, flock to this desert canyon each winter, and their presence is reason to visit in winter." We met up with my hiking friends from the Inland Northwest Hikers club who had driven down for the day and cruised a good 8 miles through the canyon exploring the homestead, a waterfall, and two lakes. We were surprised by the thick forest tucked back in that desert canyon. 

It was such a beautiful and warm day with great company. We wanted to camp again that night, but Erik had to get back to chaperone the youth stake dance that night and we were both teaching lessons at church the next day, so we loaded up the wiggles and headed back to Cheney. She is such an outdoors baby! She could play outside all day, but put her in her car seat and that is a different story! We loved the park and decided it would be a blast to bring our family here again one day in the summer. It is a great lake with sandy beach areas and great boating, a fun swimming destination. One day we will come back! 

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