For our anniversary this year (our 17th), we decided to see Lower Granite Dam, one of the few dams we missed when we made our honeymoon road tour of most of the dams and courthouses in Washington.
Because it is springtime in Washington, the day was rainy, windy, and briskly cool. Cumulo-nimbus clouds, bright-green fields of winter wheat, newly harrowed hillsides of sprouted spring wheat, and the solemn windings of the Snake River and its exquisitely carved canyon, put all the beauty that called us to live out here, in a quietly spectacular stretch of country a little more than 50 miles from home.
Several routes to Lower Granite Dam were possible; Tramway Road, a primitive road with steep switchbacks, appeared from the topo map to afford the giddiest canyon scenery on the way down to the River. But when we saw the mud on the silty road, we declined to take it, in favor of keeping to the paved Kirby Mayview Road. Tramway looked pretty slick—we didn’t want to discover how slick–even with 4WD and all-season tires. I hate losing Audi wheel medallions. . . _
We stopped at the Almota Inn country store, where we chatted with the owners about the reasons why terrorists don’t settle around here. I bought some corn chips, my gluten-free solution on the road. I went through both of my thermoses of coffee. I wasn’t sure we would get to Pullman, the only Starbucks location anywhere near our route.
Little Granite has a complex system with dam, locks, and fish ladders. It is, of course, also a Federal installation, and Army Corps of Engineers security was understandably alert in the wake of the worst Boston massacre since 1770. We treated the security checkpoint as a human-to-human interaction, and so did the security officer. We crossed the dam, which enabled us to get to Pullman. The Safeway Starbucks was a welcome resource for my husband, who hadn’t packed a thermos.
I love the Snake River Canyon country. I think if we ever feel the need to downsize again, I’d like to be someplace around here— someplace where we’d need to mail order our Starbucks beans. But it’s not that time yet.