The Flip Flop, Day 2: Along Washington’s “Knife Edge”

The last day of summer stirred, fresh but still very smoky, in East Wenatchee.  I had the pleasure of staying overnight with these fine folks.

After freshening up, breakfast, morning prayers and writing my Seattle post, I was off to see the condition of Wenatchee, in the ongoing struggle with relentless smoke.  It was not as thick as yesterday’s, but visibility was, as yet, not too good.  Nonetheless, I stopped at Riverside Park, for further prayer and reflection.  This could be any misty morning, along the Columbia River, but the smoke was palpable still. The air was a bit clearer when I got to Wenatchee’s centerpiece, Ohme Gardens, on the north side of town. There is a complete arrangement of nature here:  Great trees, flowers, rock, water, and manicured Victorian-style lawns.

Just outside Ohme Gardens is a stark reminder of Wenatchee’s location, at the divide between the green Cascades and the brown that covers much, but not all, of the Palouse.

The interplay between the Palouse and the Columbia River is much in evidence, in the area between Wenatchee and Quincy, the next sizable town to the east.

As I got past the bustling city of Yakima, I spotted Yakama Nation Cultural Center, in Wapato.  This fascinating culture would be well worth a trip north, in and of itself, one of these days.  Alas, the center was about to close when I got there.  The motels I checked nearby were far too pricey and there was no camping in evidence anywhere nearby, so I moved on.

I made a brief stop at Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, before continuing on to Goldendale.  This wetland is vital to sustaining the web of life in a largely dry area  north and east of the Cascades.

Next:  Goldendale, Columbia Gorge and on to Bend, OR.

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