There are always new places to travel, to explore, to learn the history of, and to take home memories. So, we headed south through our valley of vineyards and orchards, crossed into the USA and meandered southeast for several hours past more orchards which eventually blended into the desert.
Beyond Grand Coulee Dam lies Banks Lake and therein rises up Steamboat Rock, a basalt formation left from the forces of flooding during the last ice age.
The state park and campground is a beautiful green oasis at the base of this 1000 foot, flat-topped mountain that has been carved by water and eroded to expose colourful geological layers. From the campground a trail took us through gray-green sage brush with several varieties of desert blooms. Instinct and common sense should have kicked in sooner as the terrain of loose shale brought me to a stop about 3/4 to the top where I rested and enjoyed the view and looked up to those who ventured further. Of course, there is always the descent which I took slowly and carefully, often backwards with a step by step encouragement of my husband.
Back at the campground safe and sound, we enjoyed the luxury of a glass of wine over a fine dinner overlooking the lake where the setting sun was highlighting the colourful beauty of rock - minerals held together in this tower of strength.