Every year my daughters and I take a week long trip to spend some quality time together. This is something we look forward to and we plan together. This year we decided to take on part of the Northwest Passage Trail (NWP). This summer we also invited a friend of mine and his daughter who is friends with our family.
Day 1: Ice Cream & Ghost Towns!
We left Bellingham, Wa on a Saturday to kick off our adventure and headed over the mountains on Hwy. 20 and what would be a long day of travel. We stopped near the top for a little leg stretch and a quick photo.
After legs were stretched and the kids shared some stories, we continued on. A quick stop in Winthrop is always a must for some ice cream and a bathroom break. From here we had a long stretch of road until we stopped in Oroville for fuel before leaving civilization.
The next area is one of my favorite in Washington. Molson! Open pastures, forests, lakes, streams, and gives me a "I could live here" vibe. There are great views on the way to Molson and when you arrive there is the Old Town portion that you can check out. The buildings are open and there is a lot of old equipment to walk around and look at.
After leaving Molson, the next destination was our first nights campsite, Lost Lake Campground. Very nice and quiet campground. Staff lives onsite and is very friendly. They even have free wood for you to use for your campfire.
Day 2: Lakes, Ghost Towns, & History!
We left camp late morning and being from this area I knew of a couple of small lakes to check out and a ghost town to get us started. We first went to Beaver & Beth Lake before making our way to the old town of Bodie. Bodie is not preserved like Molson and I am sure it will disappear at some point. It sits along side the road and the forest has begun to reclaim parts of it.
From Bodie we made our way north to the US/Canadian Border. Along the way we stopped at a little unknown spot for some history. The gravesite of Ranald MacDonald. He also has a monument in Astoria, Oregon to indicate his birthplace and another in Nagasaki, Japan.
We also came across this hill top that does not have a name on a map, but asking some family of mine that have lived in the area for generations, that is natural and not man made.
We spent most of the day in the mountains. Lots of views, not another soul on the route.
We spent the night at Boundary Dam Campground. This is a PSE site and is free to camp. There was boat launch, group areas, camper hookups, and bathrooms. Very clean campground right on the lake.
Day 3: Dams, Historical Military Base, and more Lake Camping. (we left the standard NWP route)
We started the day out and decided to stop at this little dam called Box Canyon Dam. Some neat info was available at the overlook about the history of it and of the area.
Our next stop was this abandon military listening site. This was one of the kids' favorite spots on the trip. They like the graffiti art and also thought it was cool that this location was a stationed military site long ago. We spent a lot of time here and didnt cover much ground on this day. We had to detour from our planned route due to COVID and ended up just outside Republic, Wa at Swan Lake. Huckleberries were ripe and the smores were delicious.
Day 4: Play Day (needed a day to relax and get some play time in)
Lake Roosevelt. This was our hangout and campsite. Got a lot of swimming in and some sun burns to go with it. I was surprised at how high the lake was. There were very few boats on the lake and we had the beach area to ourselves. Now this spot was also down a very long washboard road, so that may have contributed to the solitude.
Last Day: Energy!
We visited Grand Coulee Dam and the windfarms outside of Ellensburg. All in all, it was a great trip with lots of memories made. We learned a little history along the way and I was able to share some of my childhood spots that my dad took me to when I was their age. Third year of doing this and looking forward to next year.
***note*** Our route was approximately 1000 miles (2/3 pavement and 1/3 dirt). Previous years have been more dirt than pavement and even though it was pavement, it was a nice change of pace. We covered a lot of territory and were able to see a lot of different parts of the state.