Trip #5,067 to Eastern Washington

Wheat Ripens on Top of the World

We've had a busy and wonderful 6 day trip careening around eastern and southern Washington State. And poked around Oregon a bit. Delightful.

We drove across Snoqualmie Pass to Yakima. Then the next day to Ellensburg, stopped at Ginkgo Petrified Forest, then across the flat land of central Washington to Spokane. From there we drove to Basin City to spend the late afternoon with my extended family. That was restorative: time with cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters and farm views lit up with golden evening light.

The next day we drove across the top of the Horse Heaven Hills. This year will be a bumper crop of hard red wheat and at the bottom, the fields were still green. At the top, deep cadmium yellow - that's the photo above.

I've painted several images of the Horse Heaven Hills - here, here and here. There are more to come. These hills have caught my imagination. To the north they border and define the Yakima River. This exposure is grass-covered, eroded and much of the year looks like folds of velvet. The back side (above) is a long, slow slope to the Columbia River. There are miles of wheat and where a little water can be found, wine grapes. It's hot and dry and at the top, you feel as if you're on top of the world.

We stopped at a winery for Syrah, Petit Verdot and a case of Rose, then met my sister and her husband in Dallesport, Washington. He manages a large orchard/fruit packing operation and we had a fascinating tour of the cherry plant. It was like Willy Wonka.

Bing Cherries mid-flight

We spent the night in their cabin off the White Salmon River with extensive views of Mt. Hood, orchards and a full moon. The next day we toured the pear and apple orchards, then my husband and I toured Skamania and Klickitat counties. That night we camped in the Columbia Gorge. Beautiful/windy. Then back home w/ a quick stop at Utrecht in Seattle on the way.