A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day Tripping with Rainy Day

Yakima Valley and Horse Heaven Hills
Every year about this time, a friend of Rainy Day's comes to visit for a few days. Primarily, it is so he can attend the local science fiction convention, RadCon, but he always spends a few extra days so we can go on day trips and take photographs. While Rainy Day loves to take pictures, and use the idiot settings on her camera, Jim is a real photographer and takes photographs to sell.

This year, we ventured to Fort Simcoe, on the Yakama Indian Reservation just outside of the town of White Swan. Ft. Simcoe was built in the late 1850s and in use for three years. In 1869 the military turned the fort over to the Yakama Indian Agency where it became an Indian school and the Yakama Indian Agency managed its affairs from Ft. Simcoe until the early 1900s.

The sign welcoming us
Washington State took over the site in 1956 and established a day-use park. Many of the original buildings are gone, or have been rebuilt, but some have been restored. In the summer, the Officers Quarters are open to the public. Each room has been furnished with furniture and accouterments that if not original to the Fort are true to the era. Unfortunately, about the time Rainy Day got to the Fort, she remembered it was probably closed. (She could, of course, have checked online before they left; however, she didn't think of it.) Sure enough, after a two-hour drive plus a few minutes, she pulled into the road leading to the parking lot, and parked. In the road.

One of the old canons in the parade ground. Barracks in background
The gate was shut with a great sign telling us the park was closed but visitors were welcome. Rainy Day hung her Discover Pass (now a requirement to visit Washington State Parks) properly on her car's rear view mirror and we walked around the gate and wandered the 200 or so acres of parkland.

Looking out from inside a blockhouse
The barracks and blockhouses were open, so we could go in them, the Officer's Quarters were closed, as was the Interpretive museum, and guardhouse/jail and the rest rooms. However, we could see enough to know we want to come back in the summer when the park is open. The winds were, and still are, blustery and strong, but they broke the overcast cloud blanket into small and interesting forms, to give us some great clouds shots, and wonderful lighting.

Looking west at the Cascade Foothills
Being in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, we saw several lenticular cloud formations, which are always fun. Unfortunately, the main cloud blanket still covered the mountains of the Cascades, so we could not see Mt. Rainier, or Mt. Adams, or any other of the great mountains.

For a good, and short article on the history of Fort Simcoe, click here.

Wikipedia also has some information about the fort.

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