The days were already growing warmer when we stayed at Sun Lakes State Park last month. As we drove some of the backroads we discovered a number of small lakes that peppered the landscape like little jewels. The relief from the dry landscape was palpable. This is Deep Lake.
People fished and enjoyed the lakes in little inflatables as well as canoes and kayaks. The views were stunning.
We camped in and explored Sun Lakes State Park for a couple of days last month. While the region is a classic desert landscape – think sage and coyote bush – the park has many small lakes. A couple are within walking distance of the campgrounds. Others, which I’ll share tomorrow, are reached by unpaved backroads and are worth the drive.
This is a view from Sun Lakes State Park, just south of Dry Falls in Washington State’s Grand Coulee. I could name many places throughout the southwestern U.S. as well as desert regions of California where you could see scenery like this. Yet I was still in Washington. Pacific Northwesterners don’t have to travel great distances to get a desert fix.
This is a closer look at the basalt formations of this region. Although the Cascade Mountains to the west of here are a volcanic chain, the basalt flows that form this landscape originated east of here millions of years ago in an area around today’s Lewiston, WA. The area is rife with these basalt pillars. The lower more defined part of the pillars are called colonades. The upper portion is called an entablature. Each is a product of the speed at which the basalt cooled.