Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Heading East

Apologies for disappearing for so long.  Finding Wi-fi is difficult because most our camping has truly been off-the-grid. And my Dell tablet doesn't work much of the time so I am left with blogging on my phone and this normally has me pulling my hair out.  But, I am anxious to tell you about our travels since the Olympic Peninsula!

On August 12, we returned to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Park, but this time we camped for over a week in the southern part of the park, near Snoqualmie Pass (still in Washington).  We were near the trailhead of the McClellan Butter trail.  Elevation was around 3750'. Beautiful mountain surroundings.

On the 17th we left for the town of Ellensburgh so Michael could get his wrist and hand checked again.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is suspected.  He is in a brace since.  Still has pain, so we will get it checked out again in Texas.  On this date we calculated our miles traveled at 6,707!

On August 18th, we discovered a potential free campsite in our campground book outside of Harrington WA.  Called Coffee Pot Lake, the area was situated among Basalt Rimrock cliffs and scrubland.  It was beautiful!  Upon arrival we found just 6 campsites and we were the only ones there.  The next night, Neil came to camp for three nights.  He had been evacuated from his home near one of several wildfires in the region.  We experienced smoke and fire smells, but we weren't in harm's way.  The smoke was really a haze that made for some intense sunrises and sunsets!

The sun was pleasantly warm and the abundant shade was delicious! The lake was close to 15' down, according to one fisherman.  No open fires were allowed due to the dry conditions.

We had porcupine and mule deer sightings and it turned out to be the birdiest place we had visited so far.  We had 48 species of birds including some real highlights: Pacific Wilson's warbler, California quail, white pelican, "Audubon" yellow-rumped warbler, black-billed Maggie's, Townsend's solitaire, Brewer's blackbirds, violet-green swallow, American red-starts, eared grebe, cinnamon teal, rock wren
and much more!

Three birders visited the lake and we all ended up birding together!  Jean, Buzz, and Chris were so nice to meet and they ended up coming a second day, so we really got to know oneanother.

We found a little brown bat sleeping on the inside of a trailer tire one morning!

On the 26th we left Coffee Pot Lake for Davenport to meet up with new friend, Chris.  He invited us to his home for breakfast and then took us around the area to bird.  Great looks at Swainson's hawk, but dipped on a target bird, sage thrasher.

From here we headed to Spokane, and Riverside State Park.  Next entry will start there!

Having trouble posting pics.   Will work on it!