Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Richland WA - Desert or Not?



I spent last summer in Richland, WA. For the record, this is not near Seattle! It is actually across the mountains in the eastern part of the state, where it is much more arid. From what I understand, it was originally desert but has been irrigated enough over the years to now be able to support plants (such as trees and grass). It is part of the Tri-Cities area, which also includes Pasco and Kennewick.

Hanford

There are many great reasons to go to Richland, besides working at PNNL (my reason for moving there). Many of the roads are extra wide so there is plenty of room for bikes, making it very easy to bike around town. There is also a fabulous (paved) bike path down the Columbia river that has just enough hills to make it interesting without being too tiring. Downtown there is a place that serves afternoon tea in a Victorian setting, there are craft fairs during the summer, and cherries are both very cheap and very tasty for most of the summer. Not to mention that there are many local wineries, at least one of which has a very delicious restaurant with homemade cheese (among other foods).

birds flying over the Columbia river

deer relaxing near the Columbia river

Richland is also fabulous for its wildlife. There are birds, deer, and coyotes (supposedly they were around PNNL in the evening but I never saw one) to name a few. In July I went on an afternoon river tour, where I saw most of the wildlife in the area. We also saw a few orchards and farms growing on the slopes near the river. The tour was fabulous as it started in the afternoon (bright sun) allowing us to see great scenery, and then ended around sunset, allowing us to see that same scenery become transformed into another beautiful setting.

sunset

In the summer it rarely rains in Richland; it rained twice while I was there, once was a light sprinkling and the other was actual rain for less than a day in August. Despite the incredibly hot temperatures, this makes the summer quite enjoyable as long as you believe in sunscreen, drinking water, and A/C. If you get a chance to go there, I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Tim said...

those are some great pictures!