Washington

Washington: Day 7

Spokane, WashingtonIt’s nice to be spending two nights in the same location.  It means a leisurely morning where I don’t have to pack up everything and depart at a certain time.  After breakfast, I headed into downtown Spokane to wander through the Riverfront park where the (World’s Fair) took place.  I chanced immediately upon a giant Radio Flyer wagon with a sliding board for the handle, and several classes of students shrieking and playing upon it, watched by their class parents.  Several wooden blocks painted in fancy colors and letters where piled artfully around the grassy knoll where children could play upon them.  Beyond the knoll was the river, peacefully full of ducks, geese, sea gulls, and sculpture.  And towering over the scene was the clock tower that stood on a nearby island. 

I wandered over the bridge to examine the tower and the old Fair pavilion beyond it.  Then I headed out toward Canada Island, hoping to see the totem pole that stood thereon.  But I was sidetracked by the noise of white water, and went instead to the side of the bridge to see rapids that surely would have been classified as Level 5 on a white-water river.  And they were running through the heart of a city!!  Amazing.  I’d heard Spokane had a falls in the park, but I hadn’t expected this.  And it got better.  The rapids plunged downward, around a huge sentinel rock, and the upper falls were split by Canada Island.  As I watched, a rather stupid Canada goose got stuck in the rapidly flowing water and had to flap frantically for several seconds to get himself out of danger. 

Spokane FallsI headed down to the lower bridge to take pictures of the falls from a different angle (and to snap a shot of the totem pole).  And that’s when I realized that this was only the “upper falls”.  Which meant…  I turned around, and saw a suspiciously cut-off look to the water behind me!  Ah ha!  Perhaps it was time to take the sky-ride that advertised itself as going over the falls.  Boy was I glad I did.  The lower falls were even more spectacular than the upper, with a short and smooth upper drop followed by white water all the rest of the way down as the falls hit rocks and churned over rapids.  A massive rainbow arched over the roaring mass of water, right underneath the Monroe Bridge.  Gorgeous! 

According to legend, Coyote created the Spokane falls after he sought to take a bride from the local tribe and his suit was rejected.   In retaliation, the Trickster took some large rocks and threw them into the river, creating the falls, so that the salmon could no longer spawn all the way up to the village of the maiden who rejected him. 

I spend the afternoon hanging out by the pool and doing laundry, and in the evening went north to another local park along the river walk along the suspension bridge and admire the volcanic rock formations known as the bowl and pitcher.  Then I found a great hole-in-the-wall diner with fabulous food known only to the locals and had a wonderful meal before coming back to the hotel to edit a manuscript and fall into bed.  Another great day in Washington!

 

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