Republic, Washington. Not a place I ever envisioned us vacationing. It’s a tiny town in the middle of nowhere (literally, nowhere), up in northeastern Washington about a half-hour from the Canadian border. A five-hour drive from home.
We went for fossils.
A friend mentioned the Stonerose Interpretive Center and Eocene Fossil Site. I told Brian about it and on a whim, we scheduled a mini-vacation to check it out. It was an interesting trip. The drive there was really cool. We passed the Grand Coulee Dam and drove through the Channeled Scablands. Both unexpected sights, in a good way. The Scablands are super cool. We watched a Nova documentary on them when we got back home. Talk about amazing natural occurrences.
We made it to Republic around 8pm Wednesday night. We stayed at a family-owned resort on Curlew Lake, where we rented a lakefront cabin that was stuck in the ’80s. It was cute and served its purpose, with two bedrooms, a full bathroom, kitchenette, and living space, but I never want to see orange shag carpet again. The porch was screened-in which was an added bonus. The negative was it was about five feet from a ledge to the lake. When I booked a lakefront cabin, I was thinking it’d be on the same level as the lake. Eh, it worked out. There was also no cell service or wifi in the cabin. Talk about living in the ’80s.
Thursday we left to dig for fossils after a morning stroll around the resort. It was fun; I’m glad we went. That said, it wasn’t what we thought it would be. The site is super tiny, right on a road. The website carefully has pictures that make it seem… a bit different. In the end it doesn’t matter, the kiddos spent about two hours digging and had a blast. They found some cool fossils and they were able to bring them home. Saige and Vaile didn’t last too long. I took them back to the van and drove around before parking and watching a show.
The dig site is a few blocks from the Interpretive Center. The way it works is you check in there, get your digging kit, head up to the site, and then go back to the Center to review your fossils. After fossil digging we hit the park across the street before heading back to the cabin for lunch and relaxing. This was the first time we stayed in a place with a kitchenette and we’ll never go back. After lunch, we went back to town and played at the park a bit more before driving north toward Canada to check out the Curlew Bridge. I’m exciting, I wanted to see a bridge, haha. It was originally built in 1908 and later restored. Ironically, I do not like driving across bridges. Which it’s even more ironic that we moved to Carnation, where we have to cross a river to leave. And even funnier, they county just closed the main bridge coming into town indefinitely for safety purposes. Apparently it may not be able to support it’s own weight. Lovely. The kiddos kept asking why we were driving to see a bridge. They were tired and wanted to head back to the cabin. Saige wanted to go home, “I go home!” every 10 minutes since we arrived the night before. She’s my kid.
Back at the cabin Thursday evening we had dinner. And then Blaise and Laine were able to put their fishing poles to use for the second time since getting them two years ago. Blaise was bored after about five minutes and started tossing rocks in the lake, which wasn’t exactly helpful for Laine whose attention span lasted a little longer. No fish were caught, thank goodness. I’m not exactly into the whole fishing thing, especially since none of us eat fish. Even tossing them back, that can’t be fun for the fish. After fishing came s’mores. Brian brought his fancy marshmallow roaster sticks. They rotate. It was a nice end to our day, hanging out at dusk around the fire. Baby was already asleep and missed out, but I don’t think she cares.
Friday we didn’t have any plans. Originally we were going to stay until Saturday but felt we managed to fit everything in Thursday. And with the cabin location not exactly being kiddo-friendly, and Saige asking to, “Go home,” every 10 minutes, we decided to call it a trip. I’m a homebody. I was on Saige’s side. We packed up and left mid-morning, driving home a different way. And of course, after leaving, Saige started saying, “Go back cabin.” She kept that up for about a week after we were back home.
It was good to be home.
Curlew Lake. Thursday morning stroll along Curlew Lake.
Fossil digging! Saige and Vaile lasted long enough to get pictures. The big kiddos lasted almost two hours. We started off having the site to ourselves and then a busload of school-aged kiddos came for a field trip. It worked well. Blaise, Mr. Social, made a few friends.
This is the entire fossil digging site.
The fossil finds. A few leaves, pine needles, and some worm tracks.
At the park.
Curlew Bridge. I thought it was cool.
We did drive across the sucker.
Fishers. Fishing on Curlew Lake.
Where we stayed.
A pit stop during the drive.
Grand Coulee Dam. An unexpected site on the drive.