Father’s Day at Cowiche Canyon

Cowiche Canyon Trail
Cowiche Canyon Trail

A quick 6am stop by Countryside Donut House (our favorite) and we were heading east to Yakima to visit our good friends Phil, Jessica, and Evan. We made good time arriving in Yakima around 9am. A quick bathroom break for everyone and off to Cowiche Canyon for a Father’s Day morning hike.

Before we go on, I want to give a little background about Phil and Jessica. We’ve known Phil since 2002 and Jessica a few years later. Phil and I use to fight fire together while at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Living in the small town of Mineral we often hung out together. Of course that was at our house because he always kept his house so dang cold. During the winter months Phil, Laura, and I would do evening runs in the forest and challenge each other to put in a good run. Phil was a returned Peace Corps volunteer that served in the Dominican Republic in the late 90’s. He often spoke highly of his service and encouraged us to try it someday. Well, as you know, we did try the Peace Corps and Phil was a major player in it. Every since leaving Lassen in 2004 we kept in touch via email and phone calls and a visit every so often. When we moved to the Seattle area he had just accepted a job in the Yakima area and he and Jessica moved from Seattle within a couple months of us arriving. We’ve always enjoyed their company and looked forward to this visit, especially to see their 1.5 year old son Evan who was now out and about like Autumn.

Our hike along Cowiche Canyon trail was pleasant. We stuck to the lowlands so that our little ones could manage easily. The trail followed Cowiche Creek, which was flowing quite well today, and offered an abundance of high desert vegetation. Autumn hung out on my back and took the views from the air while Ethan explored here and there looking for bugs, flowers, water, snakes, mountain goats, and more. Hiking in the morning was the way to go because the trail offers little shade and by the time we finished at 11:30am the temperature was in the low-70s (yes that is warm to us).

On our drive out of the canyon we saw a snake hanging out on the road. It was fully extended reaching a length of 3ft. or so and about 1″ wide. We stopped and got Ethan out of his car seat to observe the snake from the safety of the car. He looked at the snake for about 7 seconds and then told me “Okay Dad, let’s go, let’s go!” The size of the snake was a little intimidating for him (and me). It was a good find though and he was still talking about it this evening.

Ethan and Autumn in the sprinklers
Ethan and Autumn in the sprinklers

We followed the hike with a lunch stop at the Yakima Farmer’s Market in downtown Yakima. We first gulped down delicious homemade strawberry and mango-peach lemonades, then satisifed our hunger with pork soft tacos. They were seriously tasty!

We finished the afternoon off at Phil and Jessica’s home. We were served homemade chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream that hit the spot. The kids traded their hiking attire for swimsuits and headed for the backyard sprinkler. It was a great time watching them enjoy their first time running through a sprinkler. Autumn seemed to be in pure heaven and full of giggle after giggle.

Our 13-hour day ended around 7pm with a short dinner stop at Round Table Pizza in Issaquah. The kids did great and had a lot of fun with Evan. We’re thankful for such great hospitality from our friends and for making this a wonderful Father’s Day.

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