Friday, June 26, 2009

Metaline Falls

This is a trip I've been wanting to make for about a decade now. I've never been to Northeast Washington, and not that many people have. Really, there isn't a great excuse for coming up here other than to fully explore the state. But it is gorgeous here. I've seen half a dozen deer and a huge black (dark brown?) moose, not to mention Wynne's family's two horses, two cats and two dogs.

This picture I took from Washington Rock. Metaline Falls is the small town on the left, and Metaline is the small town on the right. There are a couple of dams that keep the towns going, and the big concrete structure in Metaline Falls used to be a concrete factory that produced or manufactured concrete for all over. Seattle City Light maintains at least one of the dams, which is interesting to me because we're about 400 miles from Seattle, and my mom used to work for the company in Seattle.

The only reason I am up in this part of Washington is because Wynne grew up here, and needed another player for her Spokane Hoopfest team this year. My camping trip fell through, so I jumped at the opportunity, and suggested that we head over to Spokane early and hit Metaline Falls for a few days. We ventured to the Gardner Caverns today, too, and I snapped a few photos.

We got to the caverns about 30 minutes before a tour, and there is a half-mile trail to the Canadian border we decided to walk. I'm not sure what I expected, I guess maybe a sign, or possibly a booth with a guy there to check passports, but that did not make much sense in the middle of a forest. Turns out, there is a 20ft wide line cut through the forest at the 49th parallel. I asked the tour guide about this later, and he said it extends all the way from the Montana plains to the Pacific Coast, and is lined with sensors to detect people crossing. He said just last week a fugitive was on the loose and tripped a sensor at 4am crossing into Canada and they nabbed him.

We made it back in time for the cavern tour, which was pretty amazing. I'm always amazed by these naturally formed caves (minus the steel walkway and lighting). The tour guide was complemented by the guy staring at the camera, who was visiting and a geology major turned dentist. This particular cavern is home to a packrat, three bats, and the Pacific Northwest's largest column (a column is when a stalactite and stalagmite finally reach each other).

According to the guide, the column weighs 7.5k lbs and has been forming for the past 70,000 years, and is continuing to grow. Dad always mentions that I am growing old at a faster rate than he is, but I think this column might be growing old even slower than him! But I'm not 100% sure on that.

Wynne's young sister got me pretty good in the afternoon. She is a soon-to-be 4th grader, so she reminded me of the students I got to teach this Spring. She desperately wanted to toss the frisbee with me, so I obliged and we went outside to their pasture. They have a single-wire fence surrounding the pasture, and I asked Jewel if the wire was electric. She said, "Dad doesn't keep this part on."

I tapped the wire with my finger and ZAP! I jumped back and looked at her.

She was howling with laughter.

"I can't believe you fell for that! Ah hahahah!!!"

I couldn't help but laugh, outsmarted by a fourth grader... again. And probably not for the last time.

We ended the day with a picnic at Sullivan lake. We skipped rocks and ate burgers, which was a perfect way to end the day.

Tomorrow, we head back down to Spokane for the 20th annual hoopfest, which is the largest 3 on 3 basketball competition in the world. I can't wait, and I hope to take plenty of pictures so that when the November rains come in Seattle, and hopefully I'm bogged down in teaching work, I can remind myself of the fun to be had next summer.

Labels: ,


Blogger DrChako said...

Great photo essay. I guess I can forgive you for missing the second straight home game for this.

GL in the tourney.


8:20 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home