This weekend was our annual camping trip with my daughter’s preschool class. They are all 8 now, and most of them only see each other once a year for this trip, but they jump right back into playing like they haven’t missed a day.
Group camping means car camping, and that’s just fine with us. I’d always prefer to go off the beaten path and my husband would prefer to stay at home with his easy access to hot water, so a well-maintained state park is a decent compromise. This summer the group chose Lincoln Rock State Park, so named for a rock formation that vaguely resembles our 16th president.
See it? Kind of? In the shadowy outcropping? That’s OK.
Relative comfort of car camping aside, when we pulled into our site and the thermometer read 107ºF I was not so sure we were going to have a good trip. Later that evening, when the insane winds of the Columbia plateau picked up and blew all of our tents inside out and yet the temperature didn’t actually drop at all I was definitely feeling cranky (we’re cold and damp people, us Seattle folk). But by midnight, when it finally became cool enough to sleep… or maybe my body had just adjusted… I started to enjoy what Eastern Washington in summer has to offer.
A different environment than we’re used to, but lovely just the same.
Lincoln Rock was a great park for group camping. Lots of lawn to run around on, a perfectly chilly swim area, fantastic shave ices at the park store. We took a roam around the scrubby natural areas around in park looking for lizards and snakes (didn’t find any) and fragrant white sage (found a ton). Actually, all we really found in the sage brush was a hive of yellow jackets under a rock so… call that a win for finding some nature, I guess.
Of course we decided to cram a little real nature time into our trip, and took the only hike we could handle in the heat – Horan Natural Area at the nearby Wenatchee Confluence State Park. Horan is a quick trip – a 2 1/2 mile loop with barely any elevation gain through a shady riparian area by the Wenatchee River. We marveled at the alien looking seeds pods of showy milkweed, let dozens of butterflies flutter around us, and caught an osprey off-guard with his lunch. I’d love to revisit here in the spring when the wildflowers are blooming and the temps are more manageable.
This time, we mostly just enjoyed the company.
Places Visited: Lincoln Rock State Park, Horan Natural Area at Wenatchee Confluence State Park.
Species Observed: Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, California Quail, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Common Nighthawk, Northern Flicker, Western Wood-Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Stellar’s Jay, American Crow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, American Robin, Yellow Warbler, Brewer’s Blackbird, Purple Finch, Fox Squirrel.