The weather has been getting better and I’ve been longing to get back on the road. Smartz and I have two trips in the planning stages and a few other day/short weekend trips in the planning stages.
One is to Frenchmen Coulee. For my east coast friends, the Washington coulees were formed when a huge glacier lake in Montana broke, gushing water all over parts of Idaho, Washington and Oregon. This happened a few times as recent as 15,000 years ago.
The floods created huge canyons, potholes, and scablands. They also deposited huge boulders, called “glacial erratics,” all over the state. You can read more about it here.
Anyway, the first time I saw Frenchmen Coulee, I was awestruck. I had been in all of the lower 48 states and couldn’t remember a view so unexpected and amazing.
See, I was following an old highway alignment that led to an abandoned ferry launch. I just wanted to see where it went. We rounded a bend and before us was a deep gorge out of nowhere. It was the kind of view that simply demanded respect. We had seen other coulees and they were bigger and wider, but this was just unbelievable. Also, my camera died just as we entered it.
Smartz and I (along with others) have been there since, but never to really explore it. A few months ago, we discovered a rather weirdly assembled blog about the floods. The photos are great, but seem randomly placed. Most aren’t from Frenchmen Coulee, but thanks to the blog, we discovered that there’s much more to this coulee than first suspected, including sand dunes!
I’m assuming that the next free and warmish weekend, we’ll take a day or so and explore the crap out of this place.