Five Fun Facts About Grants Pass, Oregon

Grants Pass sits in southern Oregon, right on Interstate 5 and very near the community of Medford. This is a fun community with some great activities. It’s also very near to some honest to goodness first class attractions too like Wildlife Safari, Oregon Caves National Monument, and Crater Lake. You could even take Highway 199 and head west to the Pacific Ocean!

It’s always nice to know more about a place before you visit. Here are five fun facts about Grants Pass, Oregon.

What’s In A Name?

Grants Pass post office was established in 1865 and was given its name to honor the success of future President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant’s success at Vicksburg during the Civil War.

Coffee, Anyone?

In 1992, two brothers joined together to run a small pushcart coffee business in downtown Grants Pass. That one pushcart would eventually grow to become the very well known drive-thru coffee chain, Dutch Brothers.

Old Newspaper

The Grants Pass Daily Courier, the main newspaper for Josephine County, was established way back in 1885.

Grants Pass Running Back

Dick James was born in Grants Pass and would go on to play football at the University of Oregon. He was then selected in the 8th round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played eight seasons with the Redskins and then one each with the Giants and Vikings. 2002 would see him named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins on the 70th anniversary of the team’s founding. He would also be so honored in 2012 as a member of the 80 Greatest Redskins. As of 2016, he still holds the NFL record for most career rushing touchdowns by a player born in Oregon.

Oldest and Best

Grants Pass is home to the state of Oregon’s longest running growers and crafters market.

Five Fun Facts About Rocky Reach Dam In Washington State

Rocky Reach Dam

Rocky Reach Dam sits just a few miles north of Wenatchee on the Columbia River. It’s a vital part of the hydroelectric dam network in the region. If you’re traveling through the area, stop there and enjoy the viewpoints, park, playground, and museum.

Here are five fun facts about Rocky Reach Dam.

From A Distance…

Rocky Reach Dam sits 215 river miles south of the Canadian border and 473 river miles above the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

Location, Location, Location

After the original survey work had been done, the original planned site of what would become Rocky Reach Dam was actually approximately one mile upriver of where the dam was eventually built.


Construction began on the Rocky Reach Dam project on October 2, 1956. Famous people who share October 2nd as their birthday with Rocky Reach Dam include Mahatma Gandhi, comedian Groucho Marx, comedian Bud Abbott, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, singer Don McLean, fashion designer Donna Karan, singer Sting, quarterback Mark Rypien, and talk show host Kelly Ripa.

Rocky Reach Dam… A TV Star

Rocky Reach Dam was featured in a 2009 episode of Dirty Jobs, hosted by Mike Rowe.

A New Lake

When water started backing up behind Rocky Reach Dam it formed a new reservoir known as Lake Entiat.

Five Fun Facts About The Hood Canal Bridge

Hood Canal Bridge

Hood Canal Bridge

The Hood Canal Bridge is a famous structure in the Pacific Northwest. It stretches for nearly a mile and a half and features a draw span in the middle that is opened periodically to allow watercraft to pass through it. This is a main travel feature to the region and handles much of the traffic going to or from the Olympic Peninsula.

If you’ve traveled across the Hood Canal Bridge you know it’s an extremely memorable experience. Want to know more about it? Here are five fun facts about the Hood Canal Bridge.

What’s In A Name?

Known to almost everyone as the Hood Canal Bridge, it does in fact have another name. The official name for the bridge is the William A. Bugge Bridge. Bugge was the director of the Department of Highways for 14 years, from 1949 to 1963.

The Longest Of Its Kind

The Hood Canal Bridge is the longest floating bridge over a saltwater tidal basin in the entire world.

The Timeline

The Hood Canal Bridge saw construction begin in 1958 and it was opened in 1961. 1979 saw a violent wind storm sink much of the western section of the bridge. That was rebuilt and reopened in 1982. Then from 2003 to 2009, an extensive project was undertaken to replace the eastern half of the bridge.

Open Sesame!

Washington State law requires the Department of Transportation to open the Hood Canal Bridge within one hour’s notice of a boat or ship requiring to pass that way.

The Toll Has Got To Go

When the Hood Canal Bridge had reopened in 1982, it had done so as a toll bridge. The tool booths were removed in 1985 after a court determined that the insurance funds used to partially rebuild the bridge constituted repayment of the original bonds used to fund the construction of the bridge.

WSDOT – Hood Canal Bridge

Five Fun Facts About Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon is an impressive chunk of land on the Washington-Idaho border that the Snake River cuts through. The canyon is deep and is popular with boaters, anglers, hikers, jetskiers, waterskiers, birdwatchers, and more. There are few points to access the water from and the dams located there are very interesting too.

Here is a look at five fun facts about Hells Canyon.

How Deep?

Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America. At its deepest, it is measured at 7,993 feet.

Missed It By That Much

Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, using the Salmon River, came extremely close to Hells Canyon during the Corps of Discovery’s journey west to the Pacific Ocean in 1806, but turned back before seeing the majestic deep canyons.

There’s Gold In That Thar Canyon!

Gold was discovered on the gravel river bars in Hells Canyon during the 1860s. Because of its inaccessibility and remoteness, most of the miners left soon after and the region was described as not being profitable.

Slow That River Up!

In 1955, the Federal Power Commission approved plans for three dams in Hells Canyon. The first to be completed was Brownlee Dam, then came Oxbow Dam, and finally Hells Canyon Dam.

A Whole Lotta Walkin!

In the entire Hells Cayon Wilderness Area there are approximately 360 miles of hiking trails.

Five Fun Facts About Richland, Washington

The city of Richland is one of the three that make up the Eastern Washington destination known as the Tri-Cities.  It sits right where the Columbia and Yakima rivers meet and is home to loads of great weather and fun things to do.  it’s also a very interesting place as well.

Here are five fun facts about Richland, Washington.

Two Sport Star

Gene Conley graduared from high school in Richland in 1948. He would go on to play in both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.

Columbia Point

Columbia Point is located in Richland and sits right at the point where the Yakima River flows into the Columbia River. Long before Richland was settled or named, this point had been home to a historic Native American village called Chemna.

What’s In A Name?

Richland was named for Nelson Rich, a local land developer and also a state legislator.

Street Names

With Richland having been a government and military town for so long, thanks to its placement near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and its close ties to the Army Corps of Engineers, many of its street names are named for famous engineers.

October 17, 1805

On October 17, 1805, the mouth of the Yakima River where Richland now sits was visited by Captain William Clark as part of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition.

Spend The Night In Richland

Looking for a place to spend the night when you visit Richland?
Check out: Hampton Inn Richland/Tri-Cities

Five Fun Facts About White Pass in Washington

White Pass, Washington

Travelers crossing the Central Cascade Mountains of Washington may drive on Highway 12 and eventually crest the range at White Pass. White Pass is south of Mt. Rainier, north of Goat Rocks, and located between the communities of Packwood and Yakima. It’s a very popular route for travelers and has a number of scenic sights to see on both sides. Here is a look at five fun facts about scenic White Pass.

Touched By Two Counties

White Pass not only separates Eastern Washington from Western Washington in the central part of the state, it also serves as the border for two counties. Yakima County in the east and Lewis County in the west meet at the top of White Pass.

Ski White Pass

The White Pass Ski Area, a popular Washington recreation site, was opened in January of 1953.

Highway 5?

Most drivers going over White Pass today, are driving on Highway 12 all the way from where it meets Interstate 5 in the west to where it meets Interstate 82 in the east, near Yakima. When this route across the Cascade Mountains was first established though in 1931, it was named State Road 5.

A Long And Winding Road

While locals think of Highway 12 as White Pass or even a major east-west route across the Cascade Mountains, it is so much more than that. Yes, it does cross the Cascades at White Pass, but it also starts at Aberdeen in the west and goes for almost 2,500 miles to the city of Detroit, Michigan in the east.

Twin Medalists

Twins Phil and Steve Mahre grew up skiing at White Pass and would go on to become Olympic medalists. Their father, Dave, was for many years the mountain manager of the White Pass Ski Area.

Five Fun Facts About Sumner, Washington

Sumner WA Bridge

Sumner, Washington is a city of about 10,000 people. It’s a suburb of Tacoma, located just east of Puyallup. It’s also right on the way to Mount Rainier which makes it a great place to stop for a meal, snack, or picnic.

Here is a look at five fun facts about Sumner, Washington.

The Southern Border

The Puyallup River is 45 miles long and gets its start from Mount Rainier and empties into Commencement Bay. Along the way, it forms the southern border of the city of Sumner.

What’s In A Name

Sumner was first platted in 1883 and was named for U.S. Senator Charles Sumner. Sumner was known for his staunch position against slavery during the Civil War era.

In The Path

Should nearby Mount Rainier erupt again, scientists predict a catastrophic lahar (mud flow) will hit Sumner, just after hitting the small town of Orting and just before hitting nearby Puyallup. This fact is featured in an episode of the television series Modern Marvels.

Original Names

When the area was first settled, what is now Sumner was originally known as Stuck Junction. It was then later renamed Franklin. The United States Postal Service was one of the driving factors in then changing it again to Sumner.

Yearly Festival

The big yearly get together in Sumner is the Daffodil Festival. The first Daffodil Festival was held on April 6, 1926.

Interested in more information about Sumner, Washington?
City of Sumner

Five Fun Facts About Dry Falls In Eastern Washington

Dry Falls Washington

Dry Falls is one of the most impressive natural sights to see in Eastern Washington, if not the entire Northwest. This is the site of an ancient waterfall that roared at the end of the last ice area, plummeting over 400 feet, and stretching for up to five times as long as Niagara Falls.

Here are five fun facts about this impressive and scenic natural wonder.

Kept Dry By A Dam

The Upper Grand Coulee is home to Banks Lake which is a man-made lake filled with water pumped up from Grand Coulee Dam. The southern end of Banks Lake is sealed off by a long earthen dam, Dry Falls Dam. This dam keeps the from the lake from continuing down and falling over the edge of Dry Falls.

No Speed Limit Signs

When Dry Falls was active at the end of the last ice age, it’s estimated that the water rushing down the Grand Coulee and spilling over the edge of the waterfall was traveling at approximately 65 miles per hour.

Lots o’ Lakes

Within the Dry Falls area, there are actually several small lakes. Some of the smallest may completely go dry during the end of summer. Some of these lakes include Dry Falls Lake, Green Lake, Park Lake, Red Alkali Lake, Perch Lake, Meadow Lake, Mirror Lake, Deep Lake, and Vic Meyers Lake.

15.5 Miles!

While the rim of the fomer waterfall that makes up the most dramatic scenery of Dry Falls is three and a half miles long, once you descend into the canyon floor area you will find 15.5 miles worth of hiking trails there to explore!

There’s Fish Down There!

In spite of it being located in a very dry area and surrounded by sagebrush and rock, the many lakes at Dry Falls not only contain fish but are popular local fishing destinations. Some of the many different types of fish caught there include Rainbow Trount, Brown Trout, Sunfish, Perch, Kokanee, Lake Trout, and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout.