The railroad and highway cross the mouth of the Methow River at Pateros, Washington.
North Central Washington has many beautiful corners worth exploring. Travel in one direction and you’ll find high mountain peaks, another you’ll find small towns and medium sized cities, still other areas will feature rolling hills dotted with farmland. The landscape you find when you travel to the Columbia River near Vantage is inviting and fun too.
In this portion of the region you’ll find a lot of sagebrush covered hills and high cliff walls along the river. For things to do, you’ll be within an easy drive of places like the Wild Horse Wind Farm, the Gorge Amphitheatre, Potholes State Park, Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams, Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, and more. There will also be award winning wineries in all directions too. You might even have fun exploring small towns like Kittitas, Vantage, George, Quincy, and Ephrata. Add to that all the incredible things you’ll be able to experience if you bring along your boat and it’s very easy to see just why this part of North Central Washington is so popular.
No great destination is complete though without an awesome place to stay. If you’re visiting the Vantage area along the Columbia River, one of the best options for an long weekend is found at this little Vacation Paradise located in Sunland Estates!
This popular vacation rental features everything you need to have the perfect getaway along the Columbia River. The property sleeps up to 10 people and features three bedrooms and three bathrooms. There is plenty of room inside too for all those people to not only have fun together, but also feel like they have some space of their own too. No one will feel cramped when it comes time to dining or sleeping.
One of the best attributes of this vacation paradise though is what is found outdoors though. People come from miles around to Eastern Washington for the warm weather. The backyard here though offers plenty of shade too for those times when you want some shelter from the sun. There’s outdoor seating for everyone so even meal time can be taken there. There’s also a large hot tub that can be the perfect ending to a day in North central Washington.
When you combine all there is to do and see in the surrounding area with how much fun you can have right there at your vacation rental, it’s easy to see how visiting Sunland Estates along the Columbia River could be one of the best getaways ever.
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Born in 1930
The town of Rock Island had been inhabited for years, going way back to when the North Central Washington region first started receiving settlers. It wasn’t incorporated officially until 1930.
What’s In A Name?
The first town started in the Rock Island vicinity was actually located two miles south and was named Hammond when it was platted in 1891. Four years later, based on development by the Great Northern Railroad, the town would be moved to its present site and renamed Rock Island.
Two Labor Booms
Rock Island saw its population boom twice due to major construction projects. The first was the building of the large steel railroad bridge across the Columbia River in the early 1890’s. The second was in the early 1930’s with the building of Rock Island Dam.
A State Park?
On old maps dating back before 1940, there was actually a Rock Island State Park listed. It was located southeast of the current town of Rock Island near Rock Island Dam.
The Wheat Chute
Rock Island founder James Keane built a large wheat chute that would carry wheat from the plateau up above down to the townsite where it could be loaded on wagons or rail cars. The trestles and wooden chutes making up this structure decayed, and in some cases burned, long ago.
Priest Rapids Dam is one of the many hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River that’s generating power for, and benefiting the residents of, Central Washington. This dam doesn’t get as much attention as some of the others, but it is very important nonetheless.
Here are five fun facts about Priest Rapids Dam.
WHEN WAS PRIEST RAPIDS DAM BUILT?
Construction on Priest Rapids Dam began in July of 1956. It first opened in 1959 but was not fully completed until 1961.
HOW FAR FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS PRIEST RAPIDS DAM
Priest Rapids Dam is located just over 397 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River.
HOW BIG IS PRIEST RAPIDS DAM?
Priest Rapids Dam is 178 feet tall. It measures 10,103 feet across from the west side of the river to the east side.
HOW MANY GENERATORS ARE LOCATED AT PRIEST RAPIDS DAM?
Priest Rapids Dam is a power producing dam and has 10 turbine generators in place to produce that power.
WHAT IS PRIEST RAPIDS LAKE?
Priest Rapids Lake is the name given to the water on the Columbia River that is backed up behind Priest Rapids Dam.
Alcoa’s Wenatchee Works plant played a large role in the development and growth of not only Wenatchee, but all of North Central Washington. It supplied materials for all kinds of industrial needs and also provide good paying jobs for thousands of local residents over the years. Recently, it was announced, that Alcoa was to idle its Wenatchee plant.
Here is a look at five fun facts about Alcoa Wenatchee Works:
Alcoa opened its Wenatchee Works plant in 1952. This is the same year that the Today Show debuted on NBC, Humphrey Bogart won his Best Actor Oscar for The African Queen, Bob Costas and Dan Aykroyd were born, and Elizabeth II is crowned Queen of England.
Alcoa Wenatchee Works entire land holdings cover 2,700 acres of land right along the shore of the Columbia River, just one and a half miles north of Rock Island Dam. The developed industrial part of the plant covers approximately 100 acres.
A Big Price Tag
The cost of building the Alcoa Wenatchee Works facility was $58 million.
The First After The Big One!
When Alcoa Wenatchee Works opened in 1952, it was the first smelter built in the Pacific Northwest after World War II.
Big Remodeling Job!
As a result of the building of Alcoa and the energy it required, Rock Island Dam, the first dam built on the Columbia River in the United States, saw its power production expanded.
The Beebe Bridge is somewhat of a historic crossing in North Central Washington. Even before the current bridge stood there, early settlers and the military were in need of crossing the Columbia River there at Chelan Falls. Here is a look at five fun facts about the Beebe Bridge.
-The Beebe Bridge is 1,040 feet long and the bridge deck is 26 feet wide.
-Construction began on the modern Beebe Bridge in 1959 and it opened in 1963.
-The Beebe Bridge gets its name from The Beebe Orchard Company which had built the original bridge at that location in 1919. The original bridge’s main purpose was to carry irrigation water from the west side of the river to the east but it later developed into a private toll bridge that operated until it was replaced with the new bridge in 1963. The old concrete towers of the original bridge are still visible.
-The construction of the piers for the modern Beebe Bridge was able to be done on dry land. The land surrounding the piers would later be covered by water backed up behind the newly build Rocky Reach Dam.
-Due to damage to the steel trusses and beams from a semi-truck collision on August 31, 2009, the Beebe Bridge was closed until repairs and safety inspections could be completed. It reopened on October 9, 2009. In the meantime, traffic in the area wanting to cross the river was detoured on U.S. 97 and U.S. 97A down to Wenatchee.