Grand Coulee Dam Camping

Cycling to the Grand Coulee Dam, we were surrounded by golden wheat fields. Farms stretched as far as we could see, just as they have since we left Spokane. We could see the long parallel rows where tractors had recently harvested the grain, it's stalks making interesting patterns in the fields. Although it was fairly flat, there were plenty of ups and downs as the terraine undulated, and we could often see long straight stretches of road in front of us.

I saw the road sign with the truck pointing downhill, but I thought it was overkill as the descent was fairly modest. Then suddenly, the road became twisty and huge cliffs rose all around me. The landscape changed entirely, with scruffy vegetation covering the rough mounds and the road plummeting down through what had become a canyon. Down, down, down it went. For six miles! Dread filled my thoughts as I pondered the reality that we'd probably have to climb back up from this abyss. So it was with great relief that I saw glimpses of Lake Roosevelt ahead of me. It was still a long way down, but at least I knew our destination lay at the bottom of this free fall.

We camped at Spring Canyon in the Roosevelt National Recreation area. It was a beautiful spot, right on the lake, surrounded by wilderness rather then the bustle of a town. We knew it was several miles to get to the dam, but what wasn't apparent on the map was just how hilly that distance would be! We were thankful that we no longer were loaded down with gear as we made our way over to explore Grand Coulee Dam.

Despite being surrounded by grand sights, my favorite part of the whole day was the evening. Heading down to the lake to see the beach area, I was drawn to the long docks at the boat launch. I plopped down at the end of the longest one and didn't move for the next hour. The sun still held its warmth, the air was still and it was so serene. I remained through sunset, feeling greater calm than I have yet on this whole trip. The outdoors is the best lodging ever. We really must do more camping.


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