wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Similkameen River

The Similkameen River flows east a long way from the mountains of E.C. Manning Park in British Columbia, to the *Okanagan fruit growing area in southern BC, where it turns south into the United States to  become the *Okanogan River south of Oroville, and from there to the mighty Columbia River which then flows west again to the Pacific while it forms the border between Oregon and Washington for much of the way between them.

*Okanagan (Canadian spelling)

*Okanogan (American spelling)

It can be a bit of a flood plain  in parts.

Does the river follow the highway, or does the highway follow the river?

 

Every time the highway bends,

And I’ve thought the river ends,

Then I see it once again,

Flowing past the rough terrain.

 

“Faithful follower, that you be,

Following me past rock and tree,

And you have so far to go.”

Says the river, “That I know.”

 

“I will twist and I will turn,

Shores of shrubbery and fern,

Gurgling over rocky places,

Where the little whitefish races.”

 

“Past the mountains and the streams,

Past the vineyards of my dreams,

I will hurry to the states,

Where the huge Columbia waits.”

 

“All together we will flow,

And we’ll put on quite a show.

At the western ocean shore,

You won’t know me anymore.”

 

“In the water system’s grasp,

Plunging in has made me gasp,

Sorry I’m not more specific,

But I’m in the great Pacific.”

 

 

 


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A New Route

Along this straight, and seemingly endless highway northwest of Spokane, Washington, we pulled into a rest stop where the Captain asked a trucker about Omak. It turns out we’ve been taking the long route for the last ten years.

 

Following the trucker’s advice, we traveled home via Grand Coulee Dam rather than via the smaller Coulee City at the south end of the reservoir created by the dam. The road winds down to where the Columbia River is dammed at Grand Coulee.

To the east of the dam is Roosevelt Lake (formed by the water that the Grand Coulee Dam has backed up).

Here we see the eastern side of the dam.

Here is the western side of it, with the water much lower.

Beyond the dam and the pretty town of Grand Coulee, the road continues on towards Omak, in the Okanogan fruit growing region of Washington State. The fall colours are a treat to see. BTW, did you know that in Canada we spell it Okanagan, while in the States it is spelled Okanogan?

We arrive in Omak in plenty of time to deal with a few trailer issues we would face.

It is very dry in this part of the state, except for the areas where water is provided by the Columbia River. We don’t mind that, as long as the temperatures are milder than in the places we’ve left behind.