Oregon Trail: Day 9 – America’s Birthday

What better way to start America Day than with coffee in your cup and bacon and eggs in your belly. 
After breakfast a snafu thwarted our plans of hanging around a pool and barbecuing all day long. Instead we did a little research (asked the neighbors), packed up the cars with beach food, drink, and floatation devices, and headed about 40 miles west of Yakima on Highway 12. We were looking for a place to cool ourselves from the sweltering triple digit heat of Yakima by planting ourselves on Rimrock Lake. Rimrock is notorious for having steep rocky slopes and limited swimming spots but the neighbors gave us some tips about where to go.
They must have shared the same advice with everybody else in the Yakima Valley because every nook and cranny of lake access was full. We continued to drive Tieton Rd around the lake and eventually found a forest service road that from the GPS looked like it could reach the lake. We put the Pathfinder in 4WD and headed down the road…but it got narrower, steeper, and more rutted as we went until it because impassible. We turned around defeated. 

As we got back to the main road and were just about to head back and give up I spotted another lake (and forrest service road) on the GPS just down the road a bit. We decided to give it a try and to our surprise found ourselves at a nearly deserted Clear Lake where we were able to escape the heat of Yakima (temperature was about 93 at 3000 feet of elevation) and the crowds.

We spent our afternoon swimming, grilling and eating hot dogs, and catching a little sun before headed back to Yakima to grill up dinner for Julie’s extended family.      

We spent our evening making ribs, corn on the cob, grilled asparagus, and potato salad. It was hot outside but with some sprinklers on we were able to cool it enough to enjoy Julie’s mother’s green thumbed yard and decorate for the occasion.


After dinner we did some had some safe and sane fun with glow sticks in lieu of sparklers in the front yard after sunset. 

 Happy Birthday America! USA! Nothing makes you appreciate your freedom more than another Great American Road Trip and the 4th of July is a fitting way to draw another adventure to a close.

Categories: Great American Roadtrip | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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