Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Erigeron
Frenchman Coulee June 2010 The Feathers
Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Ribes bush
Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Ribes fruit
Frenchman Coulee June 2010
Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Jordan
Rusty & I drove to Frenchman Coulee near Vantage, Washington after touring Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee on the last day of June 2010. We arrived in the very late afternoon. It was breezy & warm. The westering sun was bright. Frenchman Coulee is popular with rock climbers. We saw some of them there, as well as evidence of their degradation of the single row of basalt columns known as The Feathers. We passed through a narrow gap in The Feathers to pass from 1 basin of the coulee to another. The word coulee describes a flow of water in French. In this case the rock formations were sculpted by huge floods crashing into the Columbia River during the last ice age. Vantage receives a scant 8 inches of precipitation annually. Here we found the xeric plants of the shrub steppe. We saw Artemisia tridentata (sagebrush) Erigeron (fleabane) Eriogonum (wild buckwheat) & Ribes (currant). For me, Frenchman Coulee had an austere beauty. It is easily reached from Interstate 90 exit 143, left on Silica Road, left on Frontage Road. The feathers are plain to be seen from Frontage Road, very few miles from exit 143.