Great America Road Trip Day 2: Lake Easton to Riverside State Park

Daniel and I awoke this morning to an overcast sky. Clouds shrouded Lake Easton and droplets of fog filled the air. I shivered as I dug extra layers out of the Rialta to keep warm.

But the cloudy weather did not last. Shortly after hitting the road again, the clouds gave way to sunny skies. The landscape also changed from the forests and craggy mountains of Snoqualmie Pass to the dry windy deserts of Central Washington.

Cloudy Skies above Lake Easton. It’s hard to tell in this photo but the entire beach is filled with footprints from ducks.

Gingko Petrified Forest State Park

The highlight of the day was a visit to Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. Perched on the shoreline above the Columbia River, the park offers spectacular views of the entire Columbia River valley and beyond. The park also has a fascinating collection of petrified trees which were buried under volcanic ash millions of years ago.

Vantage Bridge over the Columbia River
Welcome to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Museum!
A collection of petrified wood at the State Park. These are actually as hard as rocks!
A collection of petroglyphs carved by the Wanapum tribe hundreds of years ago.
The Rialta in the parking lot with the Columbia River in the background.

Gingko Gem Shop

On our way to the Petrified Forest State Park, we passed a shop with a kitschy ensemble of dinosaurs statues out front. So, of course we had to stop. This was the Gingko Gem Shop, which apparently sells souvenirs along with a selection of petrified wood and various gems. I didn’t go inside and contented myself with admiring the kitschy menagerie from the outside.

Welcome to the Gingko Gem Shop!
Dinosaur statue in front of the Ginkgo Gem Shop
A menagerie of dinosaurs

Riverside State Park

We spent the rest of the afternoon driving across the state of Washington. It’s long, boring drive once you cross the Columbia River. In the evening, we set up camp at Riverside State Park near Spokane. The camp spots are a little crowded together but the view overlooking the Spokane River is lovely.

I got to drive today. Whee!
Our camp spot for the evening. It wasn’t very level so we got to use our leveling blocks for the first time.
Pedestrian suspension bridge over the Spokane River in Riverside State Park
Spokane River as viewed from the suspension bridge
Daniel with bridge
Katy with bridge
Taking photos of the basalt rocks from a scenic overlook

Where are we now?

We are in Riverside State Park near Spokane, WA

Date: Wednesday July 7, 2020
Great American Road Trip Status: Day 2

Starting Location: Lake Easton State Park, WA
Ending Location: Riverside State Park, WA
Miles Today: 205.4
Total Trip Mileage: 335.9

For more details on our vagabonding journey and our Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:


3 thoughts

    1. Thanks! Yes the Spokane River is lovely. I spent some time in the Spokane area as a child so I was excited to visit again.

  1. The petrified wood looks really cool. It’s kinda sad that all those petroglyphs were removed from their original locations. They could be just ancient graffiti, or they might have had significance to that location.

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