With a steaming cup of coffee in my hand, and a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, I sat on the deck of the Ranch House at Wind Mountain Ranch and watched the sun slowly come up in the distance. Puffs of purple and pink clouds dotted the sky as cool, fresh country air filled my lungs – and I couldn’t wait to get out for my first morning adventure. Since the boys were still sleeping, I laced up my running shoes and started up the nearby road that led to the trailhead for the Wind Mountain Trail. After a few miles of climbing and taking in the epic views, I decided to call it a morning and head back to the Ranch to hang with the boys and get ready for our day in Skamania.
To start our day off right, we chose to have a big, hearty breakfast at Skamania Lodge. We enjoyed a breathtaking view of the Columbia River while feeding Ryder his first meal of French Toast (he loved it of course)! The late morning sunshine took us outside where we checked out the tree houses, the Zipline, the High Ropes Course and even watched a few golfers teeing off.
Pretty soon, the road was calling our name once again, so we hopped in the Subaru and made the jaunt over to the Bonneville Dam Washington Shore Visitors Center. Inside, Ryder was in awe as he watched all of the fish swim by in the underwater viewing room. We then walked around the visitor center’s museum and read about some of the local fishing history before we headed off to Stevenson for lunch and a stroll around town.
Once in the downtown corridor of Stevenson, we couldn’t help but stop in at Bigfoot Coffee Roasters to show Ryder the wooden Sasquatch out front and to also grab some freshly roasted java to brew once we got back home. After checking out a few shops, the waterfront started calling our name so we walked down Russell Avenue and across the railroad tracks to Teo Park – to watch the kite boarders, the wind surfers and the float planes. Then a very delectable smell started wafting our way from Clark and Lewie’s, a cute little restaurant right next to the park. We ordered some food to go and had a picnic near the dock so that Andy and I could eat, relax and explore the park at our leisure with Ryder in tow.
With a bit of a drive ahead of us, we decided to load up and continue our journey east on the South Cascade Loop. And as Ryder finally got a nap in for the day, Andy and I enjoyed watching the landscapes slowly turn from lush, green landscapes to the desert beauty that is eastern Washington – sagebrush, tall grasses and those spectacular rocky walls and cliffs that are so breathtaking that they don’t even look real.
Once again, as we pulled into our last stop for the day, the golden light of an impending sunset welcomed us in. We parked our car, pulled Ryder out of his seat and walked over to the Maryhill Stonehenge. Perched on a beautiful hillside, overlooking the Columbia River, this astronomically aligned replica of the Stonehenge built in England was a marvel not only for Ryder, but for Andy and I as well. And as we stood next to it’s concrete megaliths and watched the sunset paint the sky over the Columbia beautiful colors of the rainbow once again, Andy and I looked at each other and smiled, because we knew that 10, 20, 30 years from now, these are the moments that we would remember. And although neither of us make millions, memories like these make us the richest parents in the world.