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silly_traveler
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Joined: 04 Jun 2006
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PostSat Apr 25, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Captain Jack and I drove all the way to Yakima today to check out this neat canyon.  There are lots of cool looking rocks and flowers along the way  up.gif  We parked at the west end and walked the entire length of the canyon, and did side trips up the Upland Trail & Wildridge Winery Trail.  According to the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy it is ~ 9.3 miles RT http://www.cowichecanyon.org/trails

TH
TH
potato chip rocks
potato chip rocks
rock with a face
rock with a face

We saved the wine tasting part last, for obvious reasons  lol.gif  dizzy.gif  it's a nice treat after a stroll  agree.gif  we tried everything they offered and ended up getting a glass of riesling each to enjoy on the patio.  They also sell beer and some snacks.

tasting room
tasting room
vineyard
vineyard

This is a great little hike for this time of year and the winery is a cool bonus  agree.gif  Fun trip and thanks to CJ for driving~!  I was a bit dizzy after the wine tasting  dizzy.gif

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♫ You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  And you're the one who will decide where you'll go.  Oh the places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss
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captain jack
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Location: Upper Fidalgo
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PostSat Apr 25, 2009 11:23 pm 
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S.T. wrote:
Captain Jack and I drove all the way to Yakima today to check out this neat canyon


lol.gif

Our conversation last Tuesday went something like this.

S.T.: " So, you wanna drive 170 miles so we can hike a 3 mile canyon? "  dizzy.gif

Me: "Yuh huh"

I hiked this canyon a few years ago.
I was recovering from a broken baby toe at the time, so it was slow going, with no sides trips up to the rim. This time, 100% functional, so we explored everything in detail, west to east and top to bottom.

We left no stone unturned.  clown.gif

I'm a bit of a rock fan.
Not so much the group kind as the skin your knees kind.
I've always been fascinated by rocks and geology.

Cowiche got rock.  agree.gif
Sculpture Garden
Sculpture Garden
Rock Art
Rock Art
Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant

I was still 35 mm when I went last time, so pictures were limited, this time I got pictures of all the rocks that I missed on my last trip.
There are these marvelous crumbly stacks of rocks alongside the trail.
Potato Chips
Potato Chips

They looked like a stack of Pringles.
Towering alongside these stacks is some massive vertical columns of basalt.
Basalt Columns
Basalt Columns

This is the view from the canyon overlook viewpoint, looking west, with the creek and trail winding down the canyon floor.
Cowiche creek, trail, and canyon
Cowiche creek, trail, and canyon

The sun warmed the sagebrush up, which made it very fragrant. I kept thinking I wanted roast chicken.  dizzy.gif
One thing I had never seen before was what appeared to be berries growing on the sagebrush plants. I was aware of flowers, but not fruit.
I wonder what these taste like ?
Sage berries
Sage berries

Flowers are coming in nicely, the next two or three weeks will be the peak for this area, so if you like wildflowers plan your trip here soon.
Purple kind
Purple kind
Grande purple kind
Grande purple kind
Pink and yellow hills
Pink and yellow hills

Silly was looking for this all day.
Lupine
Lupine

I found one plant on a hill near Phils place.

A hiker nears the east portal
A hiker nears the east portal

Phils little vineyard up on the plateau was a treat. He has a tremendous variety of grapes growing up there on 85 acres of perfect sandy soil.
Grapes and wildflowers
Grapes and wildflowers

He is particularily proud of his Wilridge Reisling, which is sweet and fruity and drinkable at any time. It would be a great summer wine to just sit and enjoy. We both savored a glass on the porch in the afternoon sun.
Wine tasting is open Thursday-Sunday.
Phils vineyard
Phils vineyard

We got lucky and just beat a busload of winetasters into the little cottage tasting room.

Weather was sunny and warm all afternoon, temperature at our turnaround point was 70.
Lots of birds out, no ticks sighted, and no snakes.

170 miles for a 3 mile canyon, heck ya.  cool.gif

I now have Jasper fur on my backpack, even though I have never hiked with said dog, or his mom or dad.  dizzy.gif
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silly_traveler
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Joined: 04 Jun 2006
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Location: kirkland
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PostSun Apr 26, 2009 9:09 am 
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captain jack wrote:

Our conversation last Tuesday went something like this.

S.T.: " So, you wanna drive 250 miles so we can hike a 3 mile canyon? "  dizzy.gif

Me: "Yuh huh"

But we ended up hiking 9 miles, so the drive is ok  agree.gif  shakehead.gif

I like your grapes and wildflowers pic, it's very nice!  up.gif

captain jack wrote:

I now have Jasper fur on my backpack, even though I have never hiked with said dog, or his mom or dad. dizzy.gif

I like to have Jasper fur in my back seats permanently  lol.gif  he is one cool dog  agree.gif

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♫ You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  And you're the one who will decide where you'll go.  Oh the places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss
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ree
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PostSun Apr 26, 2009 10:01 am 
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Very nice!  A hike and wine tasting sounds like a great day.
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captain jack
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Joined: 25 May 2004
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Location: Upper Fidalgo
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PostSun Apr 26, 2009 11:02 am 
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Two schools of thought on the wine tasting part Ree.

First, the canyon trail has two cross trails about half way in.
Picture the trails like a + sign.
If you start at the west end, do the south cross trail first, then continue to the east end, finishing with the north winery side trip last. This puts you only a 45 minutes or so from the car, mostly downhill.  hockeygrin.gif
All the samples they put out for us were very drinkable, I think I finished everything.

Second idea, because the wine is good, and they sell a variety by the bottle right there, is, take a nice baguette and some cheese with you, hike up to the vineyard, taste some wine, buy something yummy and enjoy at one of the numerous picturesque places along the trail.

Either way, its rare that you can hike a trail, then take a side trail up to a vineyard and scarf some grape juice, so I think it makes this place kind of special.
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Hikingqueen
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PostSun Apr 26, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Good to know they sell beer there!
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Jasper
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Joined: 13 Apr 2008
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PostSun Apr 26, 2009 7:49 pm 
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Sorry about the hair, but I can't help it.

Looks like a nice area. Apparently I was born up near Cowiche, but I don't remember much about my early puppyhood.

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