watch your step 4/20 – 4/22 2018

Sometimes there are hazards with rving. Some hazards can lurk around for you while out driving.  Sometimes hazards are waiting for you at your destination. Sometimes though, those hazards are what makes things special.

This weekends outing would be at Frenchman Coulee, a little west of George Washington. The area offers dispersed camping and is free with a Discovery Pass from Washington State. We have stopped by here for a night while passing through. It is a perfect location for rest for the night on a drive to the other side of the state when we get a late start. This weekend would be the first time we have stayed specifically at this location for the weekend. I have wanted to explore more of the area for a long time. There are places to hike and sights to see. This weekend would get some of those wishes done.

We would be joined by friends this weekend. They would have their truck camper out as well. We arrived on Friday around 5 pm. They would be there already, waiting for us to arrive. We discussed where we wanted to camp and they were able to get the exact spot we liked.

Our spot for the weekend

Got our things set out and it was time to relax. See the waterfall in the background?

Plan was for Cody to sleep in the tent.

A view down the coulee.

The waterfall across the coulee from camp.

We had a very nice night. Time was spent sitting around the campfire and visiting. Some adult beverages were consumed as well.

Late into the night , winds started to build. Those winds never let up for about the next 15 hours. While there was no rain and temperatures were okay, the winds kind of sucked…or blew. Cody ended up coming into the camper to sleep as the tent was flapping too much. The tent was securely staked down but too noisy to get any sleep for him.

The next morning the sun brought a new light onto the day. As the sun rose it brought out new colors of the coulee. It really is a pretty sight. Even with the wind.

My morning view out the camper window.

We had a slow easy morning. I got some great pictures of our site near the cliffs edge, the hazard. Sure it was a huge drop off but the view was worth it. Just do not go for a midnight stroll without a flashlight.

Pretty colors.

We had a great view from camp.

I would be hosting a small geocache event at our camp site today. Just a simple meet and greet and for those that wanted, we would hike afterwards. We had a few people show up and we chatted about geocaching and other small talk. One of the cachers brought one of his signature caches for us to open. He makes these amazing birdhouse puzzle containers. After the visit 4 of us took of for a hike. One was my son Cody. We would hike down into the coulee to the waterfall. Yes, of course there were geocaches to find along the way. Along part of the hike we came across a rattlesnake. I made a very quick reverse movement and then the snake slithered off. After the 2 mile mark I was on my own for the next 2 miles. My son got a ride back to camp from Joanne and friend Sally. Our other friends had a car parked at that part of the hike. I really am glad I did the rest of the hike. The views were amazing. Sure, I got blown around a bit, especially with my big pack on but it was worth it.

The hike crew.

You can see the campers up on the cliff wall.

Cody at the waterfall.

That’s the campers on the cliff edge from the view of the waterfall.

A look down the coulee.

A look back at the waterfall.

Phlox flowers were in bloom.

There was a cache between the rocks here.

Cody with his pondering look.

Us four hikers.

The next few pictures are from the hike portion I did alone. There were people out and about on the hike. Lots of rock climbers come to this area to test their skills on the cliffs.

Hiking up to one of the ribs in the coulee.

Views on my hike up to the top. The Columbia river off in the distance.

Nearing the top. Climbers were climbing the cliff up ahead.

Really loved the endless views.

A view into another coulee.

I took a snack break here and gazed out to the views.

This area is very busy with climbers.

Last part of the hike is on the old Vantage highway to camp.

I returned to camp and was ready for a beer. Odd for me right? Sure. Our friends had been cooking up smoked macaroni and cheese and a brisket all day in the smoker. The winds actually stopped in time for us to eat our dinner outside. It was not long after dinner though and the winds began to blow again. That was around time to head inside and read and relax. It was a fun and good day.

The next morning there were no winds. I sat in a chair near the cliffs edge drinking my morning coffee and just looking out into the coulee.

My morning view.

Soon Joanne and Sally would join me.

For breakfast we did omelets in a bag. You simply put raw eggs and whatever else you want into a zip lock bag. Then you put them into the boiling water pot. Soon afterwards, breakfast. It was a fun way to do breakfast.

Fun way to do breakfast. Even had toast.

Making breakfast.

It was Sunday morning. It was also Earth day. In geocaching there is an event done called a CITO. That means cache in trash out. Well, we had planned a CITO for today at camp. We had a few fellow geocachers arrive for the event. We picked up trash for about an hour around the area. We ended up with two full large bags of trash. We took the trash and properly disposed of it later on our way home. This is a simple way of giving back.

Picking up trash.

I was surprised how much we found. It didn’t look that bad.

Many hands make light work.

Our CITO crew.

After the CITO it was time to head home. We made a couple stops to find a geocache along the way.

It was a great weekend even with the winds. Sure, it would have been better without the winds but that is just part of dealing with the elements. It could have always been worse of course. This was the first time we have actually spent a couple days here and explored. We have stopped for the night while passing by before. So happy to have spent more time here.

A geocache friend of ours took a picture over the weekend of our campers. Her view was from the other side of the coulee. I thought it was a neat shot.

Our campers parked for the weekend.

Thank you to those who could join us for the little meet and greet and for the CITO. Thank you to friends George and Sally for joining us this weekend. It was fun.

Hazards, sometimes that is what makes the trip.


watch your step 4/20 – 4/22 2018