Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Waterless Rimrock Lake

As we drove home from Mt. Rainier on Highway 12 last month, we came across this sign and pulled over. We walked through the trees and this is what we saw.
We were stunned.  We thought we had left dry lake beds and low reservoirs behind when we moved up here from California, but the drought has strangled eastern Oregon and Washington, as well.  Washington received only half of its normal rainfall last year.  The Yakima Basin has been hit hard.  Crops have suffered and tens of millions of dollars have been lost.

Rimrock Lake, which is located about 40 miles west of Yakima, was formed by construction of the Tieton Dam on the Tieton River.  It is one of five reservoirs that provide water to the area.  Streamflows on the river have reached record low numbers so dam officials have held back the water and this is the result.  Normally, tents and rv's would be lining the lake, but the campgrounds were empty and the motels and restaurants were boarded up.

As we neared the dam, the lake appeared, but so did tree stumps rising above the water and long sloping banks of pebbles.  We were looking at a quiet, eerie landscape.

As I write this post, it is raining outside and it is supposed to rain all week.  And you know what?  I don't mind a bit.

Dear Mother Nature,

Bring it on!


  1. This is eerie. I am fascinated and freaked by towns being flooded by water for dams or the reemergence of buildings under the water. It's all very Planet of the Apes. Hahaha.

  2. Having lived through an eight year drought here in Australia I feel your pain! Xo Jazzy Jack