Mile 943, Macabee Road, Washington State.
Driver: Mom & Dad. Returning home from Uncle Stevie’s 50th Birthday. Spring 2011.
Mile 212, Longmeier Road, Washington State.
Driver: Suzanne. Purpose: roadtrip. Summer 2011.
With the breakup of of the 2500 foot ice dam, the waters of Lake Missoula rushed across Idaho and Eastern Washington to the Pacific Ocean. The flood stripped away all the topsoil and created great ripples and channels across the Columbia Plateau.
Mile 161, Winchester Wasteway, Washington State.
Driver: Suzanne. Purpose: her first roadtrip as a driver. Summer 2011.
The Winchester Wasteway is a narrow ribbon of water in the desert that did not exist before Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project. Irrigation of crops through-out the Columbia Basin raised the water level filling many depressions to make lakes and ponds. Excess water runs off into the “wasteway,” a channelled scab in the middle of a nowhere.
Mile 157, Road I Northwest, Washington State.
Driver: Suzanne. Purpose: fun. Summer 2011.
The long straight stretch of highway from George to Ritzville through the Scablands is to me one of the most beautiful places on earth. As a kid I found it frustrating – it changed so little and took so long to get through (this was back in the 55 mph days). My entire focus was getting to Spokane to my grandparents’ house which was heaven filled with dachshunds, grandma’s cookies, and the bar in the basement, so this stretch seemed endless.
But now I love it. Especially when driving alone. I want to just see not talk. The rolling fields are beautiful whether green, gold, or brown and naked, it’s glorious in the sun and sublime in the rain. Going west it’s best in the early morning and going east it’s best to from afternoon to twilight.
And the name The Scablands. That cannot be beat.