Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

Ginkgo Petrified Park and Wild Horse Wind Facility – Eastern Washington

on April 5, 2015

What a fun day in the sun!  I met a fellow “Washington Hikers and Climbers” member for the first time, and she, my husband, and I drove to the other side of the Cascade Mountains for a bit of desert wildflower and sunshine therapy 🙂  We started with quiche and cookies from the Cle Elum Bakery, yum!  Then drove to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park at Vantage, right on the Columbia River, and explored the bluffs above the river and took a lot of wildflower photos. It was a bluebird day and the sun felt wonderful.

Next we hiked an old deserted Jeep road for several miles, on the hunt for more wildflowers and bighorn sheep, which unfortunately we never saw.  More sunshine and vitamin D…

Finally we ended up at the PSE Wild Horse Wind Facility, where we had planned on a last short hike for wildflowers before heading home. We walked in the visitor center to get a hiking permit, completely unaware that a tour was about to start. We had hard hats and safety goggles handed to us and were asked to join in, and we had so much fun!  It was completely unexpected, and a wonderful bonus to our day. We got to see the inner workings of the huge wind turbines, and got to go inside one of the towers.  These guys are HUGE, and photos can’t even begin to explain what it’s like to stand next to one of these… the tower is 220 feet tall, each of the 3 blades is 128 feet long, and the “box” at the top is the size of a full-size bus. At full speed, the tips of the blades are traveling at 150 miles an hour.

We ended our day with a short hike in a beautiful area in the wind facility, again in search of more wildflowers. Then the long drive back home, totally tired out, and totally worth it.  Such a wonderful change of scenery!


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