5 Questions With The Bureau Of Reclamation At Grand Coulee Dam

5 Questions With The Bureau of Reclamation at Grand Coulee Dam

Grand Coulee Dam

One of the top vacation attractons in Eastern Washington is Grand Coulee Dam. This magnificent structure, one of the most impressive things humans have ever built, has been welcoming visitors for years. When you go there, you will find plenty of opportunities to learn and study about it, some great places to view it, and some truly fun experiences too.

The road trip to get to Grand Coulee Dam can be a lot of fun too, with some great attractions along the way including Dry Falls, Moses Coulee, Banks Lake, Soap Lake, Chief Joseph Dam, and Lake Lenore Caves.

We recently reached out to the Bureau of Reclamation at Grand Coulee Dam to see if they’d answer some questions about this top notch attraction and important part of the Pacific Northwest’s agriculture and electrical industries. Lucky for us, they said Yes!

1st Question
Grand Coulee Dam is obviously popular with locals and travelers alike. Do you have any idea how many people visit the dam each year?

Over the past five years, Grand Coulee Dam has had an average of 260,000 visitors per year.

2nd Question
How long has the famous laser light show been running at Grand Coulee Dam?

The original laser light show ran for 25 years from 1989 – 2013. In 2014, we began playing a new show.

3rd Question
Grand Coulee Dam is a huge structure. How long did it take and how much did it cost to build it?

The original dam was constructed from 1933 – 1941 at a cost of $300 million (in 1940’s dollars).

The Third Power Plant and forebay dam was added from 1967 -1975 at a cost of $700 million (in 1980’s dollars).

4th Question
Grand Coulee Dam is a great destination attraction and also an awesome place to stop at on a road trip through the area. What’s the best place there to have a picnic.

There are several places in the area to have a picnic, including Douglas Park, North Dam Park or Spring Canyon.

5th Question
My favorite question: Is there a little known fact about Grand Coulee Dam that may surprise some people?

There is enough concrete in Grand Coulee Dam to build a standard sidewalk around the equator twice.

A very special thank you to Lynne Brougher, the Public Affairs Specialist at the Grand Coulee Power Office!

Get more information on Grand Coulee Dam:
Website: Grand Coulee Dam

5 Questions With VisitPenticton.com!

5 Questions With VisitPenticton.Com

Penticton, British Columbia is a very quickly becoming more and more popular as a regional vacation getaway. It’s located not too far across the US-Canadian border from the North Central Washington area and, specifically, Okanogan County. Penticton sits on Highway 97 which is a major north-south route not only in British Columbia, but south through Washington, Oregon, and into California too. This helps make it easily reachable from the states. It’s also very easy to get to from the east and west within British Columbia too.

When you visit Penticton you are heading to an area known for outdoor recreation and beautiful scenery. This small community also offers some fun shopping experiences, great restaurants, and a nice list of things to do too. For example, if you’re a fan of wine and wineries, Penticton really has you taken care of there.

We reached out to the go-to Penticton travel resource recently for our “5 Questions With” series and VisitPenticton.com was gracious enough to help us out.

Five Questions With VisitPenticton.com

1st Question
The Pacific Northwest features some beautiful and interesting names that have survived centuries of translation. What is the meaning of the name “Penticton”?

Penticton, as translated by the local Salish Native Americans, means “a place to live forever” (the commonly accepted translation) or “a place to live year-round”.

2nd Question
Most communities have one or two local celebrations during the year. What are the best celebrations or festivals that vacationers can come and participate in while visiting Penticton?

Penticton is home to so many fantastic annual festival and events. Here are just a few.

Penticton Peach Festival – August 9-13, 2017
This year Penticton celebrates 70 years of Peachfest

Okanagan Fest of Ale – April 7-8, 2017

Pacific Northwestern Elvis Festival – June 22-25, 2017

Peach City Beach Cruise – June 23-25, 2017

Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival – September 8-10, 2017

Penticton Dragon Boat Festival – September 9-10, 2017

For a full list of events in Penticton, go to: Penticton Events

3rd Question
Penticton looks like a fun place to visit for people of all ages. In your opinion, what are the top three things that people shouldn’t miss out on experiencing when they go there?

*Floating ‘the channel’ between Okanagan and Skaha Lake. It’s one of the most popular activities in the summer here.

*Wine touring – with over 70 wineries within a 20 minute drive, it’s no wonder we are called Wine Country.

*Cycling/Mountain biking – whether it’s the Kettle Valley Railway or the many downhill mountain biking routes we have available.

4th Question
Possibly my favorite question, is there a little known fact or piece of trivia that most people don’t know about Penticton?

Penticton is one of two places in the world situated between two lakes

5th Question
Many travelers through our region are very interested in the local history of the area. What are a few of the top attractions in and around Penticton that a history buff would love to experience?

The S.S. Sicamous – The SS Sicamous is the largest surviving stern wheeler in Canada. The ship is now a museum, wedding venue and must-see tourist attraction. The lower deck hosts the original steam boiler, steam engines and a model of the Kettle Valley Railway (with working miniature trains!) The upper decks have been fully restored, and you can see the cabins, dining saloon and even the Captain’s wheel. Visits take up to an hour, and guided tours are available.

Once again, I’d like to thank VisitPenticton.com for helping us out by answering our pesky questions. You can check out all that Penticton has to offer and maybe even start the ball rolling on scheduling your own trip there by checking out their website below:

Twitter: @VisitPenticton
Facebook: VisitPenticton
Instagram: @VisitPenticton

5 Questions With The Coeur d’Alene Resort

‚ÄčThere are a few accommodations around the Pacific Northwest that both residents and visitors know by sight or name. The Coeur d’Alene Resort is just that type of spot. It features an amazing location, right on the shore of beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene, an incredible boardwalk and golf course, and so much more. Inside its walls, the Coeur d’Alene Resort offers the same level of top notch amenities and comforts.

With it being such a well known Northwest asset, I took the chance and reached out to the Coeur d’Alene Resort to see if they would take the time to answer some of our pesky questions. Thankfully, they agreed as I was able to touch base with the director of marketing at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Danielle Beaudine.

5 Questions With The Coeur d’Alene Resort

The Coeur d'Alene Resort

1st Question:
The Coeur d’Alene Resort is one of the most iconic lodging opportunities in the area. In what year did it first open?

The Coeur d’Alene Resort opened its doors in May of 1986.

2nd Question:
The Coeur d’Alene Resort features some distinctive architecture. How many hotel rooms are available in resort?

There are a variety of room types at The Resort, including Lakeview rooms with unique fireplaces, balconies and automated curtains. In total there are 338 rooms.

3rd Question:
Possibly my favorite question, is there a little known fact or piece of trivia that most people don’t know about the Coeur d’Alene Resort?

There is a wine cellar in the basement of Beverly’s restaurants on the 7th floor, you take a spiral staircase down to access it. There are FREE daily tours with a wine taster daily at 4pm. Beverly’s also has a secret room, called the Owners Dining Room. It is cantilevered out from the side of the Resort over lake Coeur d’Alene with incredible views and can be booked in advance for small special occasions.

4th Question:
One of the most visible outdoor attractions near the Coeur d’Alene Resort is the boardwalk that shelters the marina. Do you have any idea what the length of the boardwalk is there?

It is the World’s Longest Floating Boardwalk and is ¬ĺ mile in length.

5th Question:
What’s one of the most interesting things to see inside The Coeur d’Alene Resort?

There are a wide variety of amenities at The Resort depending on your preference! The Spa Coeur d’Alene has a $100,000 TAG Signature Shower with 18 shower heads, and an incredible two-story relaxation room with a full skylight ceiling. Dockside’s world famous Gooey sundaes are not to be missed for any special occasion! In the summer, Guests can take a complimentary ride on our custom wooden boats, the Eagle Boats, to our infinity pool & beach located around Tubbs Hill at The Resort Golf Course. For families, there’s a book based on Coeur d’Alene, called Mudgy & Millie, that gives you a walking tour with large bronze statues of the moose & mouse featured in the story!

Once again, I’d like to thank Danielle Beaudine and the Coeur d’Alene Resort for putting up with our questions!

The Coeur d’Alene Resort
Twitter: @CdAResort
Facebook: The Coeur d’Alene Resort on Facebook
Instagram: The Coeur d’Alene Resort on Instagram

5 Questions With North Cascades National Park

5 Questions With North Cascades NP

North Cascades National Park is one of the top attractions in the state of Washington. There’s a really good reason for this too as there is just so much to see there. If you love history, natural beauty, or just the opportunity to get away from it all, this is the place to go. You can walk back in time, see amazing engineering marvels, stare up at incredible mountain peaks, and so much more. When you visit there, bring your camera and your sense of wonder. Both will be fully occupied in North Cascades National Park.

I reached out to the fine people who take care of North Cascades National Park for the rest of us, and Visitor Services Assistant Charlie Kolb was more than generous with his time as he took a moment to answer our five questions.

5 Questions With North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park Visitors Center

1st Question:
Do you know about how many people visit North Cascades National Park every year?

Answer: North Cascades National Park is actually part of a three unit complex which also includes Ross Lake National Recreation Area and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Combined, these three units receive approximately 800,000 visitors per year.

2nd Question:
What would you say are the top three easily accessible spots in North Cascades National Park to enjoy a picnic at?

Answer: In the village of Newhalem near the Skagit River, Colonial Creek Campground on the shores of Diablo Lake, and above the lake at Diablo Lake overlook.

3rd Question:
Is there a piece of little known info or “fun fact” about North Cascades National Park that most people wouldn’t know?

Answer: That the American Pika (*Ochotona princeps*), which can be seen running around rock fields and talus slopes at higher elevations, is actually a species of rabbit, rather than a rodent like the Hoary Marmot (*Marmota caligata*). The primary difference is in their up incisors (front teeth) of which they have four rather than two.

4th Question:
What are other more popular spots?

Answer: Diablo Lake is another great place to visit as is the Diablo Lake Overlook, which is just past Colonial Creek Campground on Highway 20. There are some great hikes as well, that start outside the park boundary, like the Maple Pass Loop that offer views deep into the park that most people rarely see.

5th Question:
Park rangers are the backbone of every national park. Do you have an estimate of how many work in North Cascades National Park?

Answer: As of 2015 we had 71 year round employees, performing all the tasks that kept the park running and then hired 104 seasonal employees to help out during the busy season in the summer.

I’d like to send out a big thank you to the staff at North Cascades National Park, both for answering our pesky questions and for the great service they provide. If you’re looking for a great road trip possibility, I can’t recommend the North Cascades Highway enough. It’ll take you right through North Cascades National Park and give you more than enough to do and see.

North Cascades National Park
Twitter: @NCascadesNPS
Facebook: North Cascades NP on Facebook
Instagram: North Cascades NP on Instagram
YouTube: North Cascades NP on YouTube

5 Questions With Wenatchee’s Ohme Gardens

5 Questions With Ohme Gardens

Perched high on a bluff above Wenatchee is one of the Wenatchee area’s oldest tourist attractions: Ohme Gardens. This human made little corner of paradise has been attracting visitors for decades. It provides a refuge to explore and also allows you to look out over some amazing views. Add to that the fact that this is one true world class garden attraction. It features stunning viewpoints, intricately laid out trails, serene pools complete with waterfalls, and so much more. When you visit Ohme Gardens, you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t bring your camera!

Thankfully, Ohme Gardens stepped in and helped us out too by taking a moment to answer our five questions.

5 Questions With Ohme Gardens

ohme gardens wenatchee

1st Question:
Ohme Gardens has been one of Wenatchee’s top attractions for a very long time. In what year did the gardens get their start?

Answer: The Gardens were officially open to the public in 1939 and was only known from word of mouth. Then in the 1960’s several national magazines featured Ohme Gardens and ranked it among the leading gardens in America. After achieving this national prominence and popularity, other magazines and “coffee table” garden books included the Gardens making it well known and a “must see” when in the Wenatchee area.

2nd Question:
How many people visit Ohme Gardens in a given year?

Answer: 20-25,000 which includes event attendance in the six months we are open.

3rd Question:
The pools at Ohme Gardens are all man made and not natural to the area. How many total pools are there in the garden today?

Answer: Eight-all with waterfalls.

4th Question: At the time Ohme Gardens was started, who was the owner who developed it from a sage brush covered bluff to the beautiful gardens located there now? Who currently owns Ohme Gardens?

Answer: Herman and Ruth Ohme started the development which took 60 years and two generations of Ohme family to complete. The Ohme’s sold the Gardens in 1991 to the State of Washington so that it would remain open to the public into perpetuity. The State had Chelan County manage it for them until 2008 when the ownership was transferred to Chelan County. This public garden is self-supporting.

5th Question: Could you share one “fun fact” about Ohme Gardens that most people don’t know?

Answer: We have a gnome and fairies hidden throughout the Gardens. It’s fun to try and find them all.

A big thank you to Ohme Gardens for putting up with our questions. This really is a seriously beautiful place to see when you travel through the Wenatchee area. Stop there just once and you’ll see just why so many go back again and again.

Ohme Gardens
Twitter: @OhmeGardens
Facebook: Ohme Gardens on Facebook

5 Questions With The Oregon State Police

5 Questions With The Oregon State Police

This is the first entry in a new series at NWRoadtrips.com called “5 Questions With…” The goal is to provide some fun info from Pacific Northwest leaders in travel related industries. A big thank you to our first participants, the Oregon State Police.

Any traveler, whether going on a road trip or not, owes a lot of thanks to the brave law enforcement officers who help make the highways and communities they visit safer. The Oregon State Police are a unique law enforcement branch that really does contribute to making the world around them a better place. They also know a great deal about being safe out on the road.

We contacted the public information office of the Oregon State Police and they unsurprisingly swung into action to participate in:

5 Questions With The Oregon State Police

Oregon State Police

1st Question:
Oregon State Troopers provide a valuable service to everyone out on the highways but this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their surroundings too. What’s the most beautiful stretch of highway to patrol in the state?

Oregon has so many beautiful places to drive. From the coast all the way east over the Blue mountains. It is difficult to say which is most beautiful.

2nd Question:
Winter driving is often a challenge to commuters and travelers alike. What would be the number one tip you wish most drivers would understand when they head out on the highways in cold weather?

ODOT has shared the below list and I think that they are spot on… Also I recommend that folks check tripcheck.com for up to date weather conditions and travel with adequate winter tires.

-Be ready to use your chains. Be patient. Go slow.

-Expect a long commute that could last hours. You never know when weather or traffic incidents will cause the road to be closed for extended periods.

-Along with snow and slick conditions, expect visibility to be limited.

-Make sure your wipers, headlights, turn signals, heater, etc. are in good working order.

-Keep fuel tank full (in case you get stuck in road closure).

-Keep cell phone charged.

-Avoid following GPS navigation directions onto remote or unfamiliar roadways if detoured off of the main highway. Most routes not considered main highways are not maintained in winter conditions.

-Carry emergency supplies (water, food, warm clothes, flashlight, etc.)

-Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

-Use extra caution and keep safety in mind when installing tire chains along the side of the roadway. Other drivers may not be able to see you clearly.

-Drive according to conditions of the road, regardless of posted speed limits.

-Don’t abandon your vehicle, even in the shoulders. It could be towed at your expense.

-Keep a watch on weather conditions throughout the day in anticipation of the next snow storm which could make current road conditions worse.

3rd Question:
Who has jurisdiction on the bridges over the Columbia River that link Oregon with Washington?

Oregon certified Police Officers have jurisdiction up to the state line which is marked.

4th Question:
The Oregon State Police has a long and distinguished history. Is there a little known piece of info or “fun fact” that most people don’t know about the Oregon State Police.

This is a tough one to answer… We are one of the few State Agencies in the United States that are well rounded in law enforcement. Other words, we are not a highway patrol but a fully functional law enforcement agency.

The Oregon Blue Book has a ton of great fun facts about Oregon and I would refer you to that. http://bluebook.state.or.us/

5th Question:
What item would the average traveler be surprised to find out was present in nearly every Oregon State Police car they saw on the road?

Not sure about this one… The biggest surprise I get is that I have a mobile data terminal that is a tablet with fully functional internet. I am able to exit the vehicle with it and share real time information of weather and routes to travelers as they stand next to me.

Again, thanks to the public information office of the Oregon State Police for participating in our very first “5 Questions With…”. Some real good safety insight there.

Visit: The Oregon State Police Website