Sometimes you stumble upon something great because you notice beauty and ask, “Can we stay here?” That’s what happened when we headed up Highway 12 toward Mt. Rainier. This was our one transit night where we had no preset reservations. We thought about staying in a state park in Yakima, stopped to check it out even, but decided to roll the dice and keep moving. That turned out to have been a great call.
Yakima is a very big town in comparison to everything around it. We were surprised that the location of Yakima Sportsman State Park seemed to be right smack dab in the middle of everything. Really, it feels much more like a county park, with camping. Under that description, it is quite nice. It has little ponds and trails, and campsites with hookups, as well as some without. There are picnic areas, and it seems a little oasis for those who live in the town. For us, we felt we could do better, and it was early in the day, so we moved on.
Following Highway 12 west, we passed through some truly lovely countryside. Having left behind the golden hills of the eastern side of Washington, the flora and fauna began to come alive, following a peaceful little river right by the road. Coming off of a windy couple of days in the gorge, this area really spoke to me.
We were able to look up some info on the Forest Service campgrounds along the river, but there wasn’t a lot in terms of description. So, at the very next campground we came to, we pulled in to check it out. This was Windy Point, and it was blessedly calm. We found a perfect site, right by the river, and set up camp with hours to spare of daylight.
Sometimes traveling feels like work, and sometimes it feels like a vacation. This place satisfied the latter, and it was a divine respite. We both waded out in the clear, shallow river, which was not too cold. And we had time to spare to just sit by the water and listen. Bliss.
Dinner was Blue Apron pork tacos with a spicy slaw on the side. With a before dinner margarita and an after dinner glass of wine, I was pretty happy. Plus, we started binge watching “Outlander,” and that’s a fun show, with kilts (more on kilts to come later).
Perfect little stop along the way.
Total miles from Columbia Hills: 131.8, 15.6 mpg, 3 hours 28 min. Site 6. Enough cell service for texts, but not much else. No dump. Vault toilets. Water, but it tasted and smelled awful. Close to the road so you can hear cars, but they get drowned out if you’re right next to the river.