A Coulee Ride on the Million Dollar MilePosted: July 29, 2012
The weather is just the way we like it. HOT. Spring Canyon on Lake Roosevelt was fabulous. How can you lose with a swimming hole fed by the Rocky Mountains held back by a huge dam. Very clear and very swimmable.
We had a visit to town on Saturday and took the side trip to the dam. Met one of the Elders of the Colville Tribe who was manning an info table in the visitor’s centre. The usual fooferah about the dam and it’s positive economic consequences are in stark contrast to the negative impact on the first nations folks in the valley. Whole towns were expropriated and flooded resulting in a huge change in the traditional fishery among other things. Regardless we took a photo of Roosevelt’s monument to the project. They’re very aware of the needs of the various ‘interest groups’ but there’s no getting around the original event was a catastrophe for some.
This morning we were on the road again by 6:00. In the cool morning air we cruised along Banks Lake marveling at the stunning geological history this valley displays. This area was changed forever by the ‘cataclysmic’ Missoula Floods 15,000 years ago. Banks Lake is a man-made agricultural reservoir 28 miles long. Our ride was out of this world. Because of the the landscape we cycled slowly to take in the colours, shapes, textures, sounds, aromas and earthly vibes. Unbelievable.
We arrived at the south end of the lake and Coulee City at 11:00 AM to a cool 35 deg. C. First stop City Campground. Not going any farther today. Tomorrow over to Lake Chelan. Oh, and the $1,000,000 Mile? It’s a stretch of road that cost that much when the road was built inn the 1940’s. It’s a cut through the basalt columns. Cool ride.