Army road, in the Quilomene Wildlife Area, was my next backroad adventure, camping with new and old friends. My buddy Dana and I have been in this general area before, by way of Perkins Road and Brushy Creek. Army road can be arrived at by taking Paint Creek Road northeast from the city of Kittitas.
After the winter run-off, Paint Creek Road is in decent enough shape for any 4×4. Army road, on the other hand, had some rough spots that should be just enough challenge for most anyone who enjoys heading into the back country. It’s recommended that this trail be done with multiple vehicles in case someone needs recovery or to call in the medevac. The first few miles run along the hilltop which affords amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge and the surrounding desert. Off to the east is all green farming land. To the south was a decent sized forest fire, at least 20 miles away.
There must have been a decent rainfall recently since we came across several very deep gullies that ran through the middle of the trail as well down the creek at the bottom of the ravine. These gullies put the vehicles at a steep sideways angle from time to time, which can be exciting when you are perched on the side of a precipitous ravine. There also was fresh rock fall in the middle of the trail that we had to traverse by going around to the outside, close to the edge of a steep cliff.
Once we got to the flat ground near where the creek entered the Columbia River the going becomes much easier. We scouted around for a good camp location in the heat of noon and finally settled on a small camp under some walnut trees, a perfect shady spot. We all slowly got around to pitching our tents and drank some well earned, cold brews.
As the night set in we stoked up the propane fire pit and watched as the stars slowly began to pop into view.
Managed to catch the International Space Station as it passed nearly overhead. It was visible for only two minutes and then quickly faded out. Gives the illusion in the photo that it is a meteorite.