June 1, 2015 by Rob
After wrapping up at Wallace Falls on Day 15, we headed back to Wenatchee for dinner. Once again we had a few decisions to make, and thankfully on this trip, Megan has been more decisive on our route and acquisition plan than she typically is on her meal order choices. If you’ve never been to a restaurant with Megan, it takes 20 minutes to order… which is why we often seek out buffets, but I digress. So, Day 16 would have fallen on Friday, but we knew we needed to be back in Spokane to take a quick break from our parks adventure for another project on Saturday. Megan wisely made the call that we should beeline back to Spokane that night instead of trying to hit a few more parks on the way home the following day, leaving Friday for Megan to prepare for the shoot, and for me to get caught up on some laundry and media management. As such, Day 16 became Sunday.
As glad as we were to check in at home, being back on the road felt quite welcome! Our plan was to head for the farthest parks from Spokane and work our way back throughout the week, which had us aiming for the city of White Salmon. This made most of Day 16 a travel day, but we did sneak in one park along the way: Fort Simcoe.
One of the things I have always been inspired by – especially when I worked for Washington State Parks – is the variety of cultural and historical places the agency maintains. Each site has its own unique story and little piece of history, and Fort Simcoe is a great example.
Fort Simcoe was established by the military in the 1850s as a way to keep peace between settlers and native tribes. Sitting in an old oak grove watered by a natural spring, five of the original buildings still remain. Washington State Parks has done a great job recreating some of the lost structures, as well as placing markers for the buildings that are no longer represented. While this allows you to appreciate a sense of the landscape, it’s difficult to imagine what life was like there 160 years ago. The enlisted men were playing this new game called Poker, and perhaps the officers were waiting for news on the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
We enjoyed our afternoon at the park, but had to keep our visit short, staying just long enough to capture the photos and video we needed and then returning to the road. Another 80 miles or so along the way we would camp, preparing to capture four parks along the Columbia River for Day 17. So, the adventure continues…