Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dry Falls, Steamboat Rock, and the Grand Coulee Dam

About 90 minutes away from Leavenworth is an area of huge geological significance - Dry Falls.

This is the lookout you see from the highway, but you have to know where to turn in to get a really good view.

This board tells the story of Dry Falls. Click to enlarge it if you want to read it in its entirety. As glaciers were melting at the end of the ice age, it created a huge waterfall - bigger than any that has ever existed.

It looks like this now - totally dried up after thousands of years.

And you can see from the shape of the canyon that it would have looked something like this. According to Greg Plumb in "Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest," the waterfall plunged 400 feet over cliffs and totaled 3.5 miles in width. The discharge was 40 times mightier than Niagara Falls (for comparison's sake, Niagara Falls plunges 173 feet and is 2500 feet wide).

Though the waterfall lover in me wishes I could see what it looked like then,

It's still pretty awesome to see it now, and stand out on this overlook.

I loved these rolling ridges formed by crashing water,

and it was hard to tear myself away from the beautiful canyon the falls created.

Inside the visitor's center they have a fossilized skull of a saber toothed tiger.

Oh how I wish I could go back in time and see the waterfall when it was flowing!

We had a little bit extra time after we left Dry Falls, so we decided to drive up to the Grand Coulee Dam. We thought these curved parking spaces were a bit funky.

Apparently there's enough concrete in this dam to build a freeway from LA to New York!

The surrounding area is pretty, and at night in the summer they do a laser show across the dam. I want to come back for that sometime, but we couldn't stay since we were on a tight time frame. I actually had rehearsal at 12:45pm that day, and we left Leavenworth at around 7am. We went here and back really quick.

This pretty reservoir is called Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake.

We drove by Steamboat Rock on our way back to Leavenworth.

It really does look like a steamboat!

And many more pretty sights of the lake impressed us on our way home.

What's especially impressive is that I took these pictures from the car while Oscar was driving! I'm surprised they turned out so well.

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