Destination - Washington's Tri-Cities
Jeff Johnston: There’s literally no end to the fun places you can find to explore while you RV around this country of ours. Today’s quick stop is Washington’s Tri-Cities: Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. This area abounds in outdoor activities, history, and interesting things to see and do.
The Convention & Visitor Bureau is, of course, the best place to gather information on local attractions.
Michael Novakovich: So, the Tri-Cities is a wonderful place for RVers to come and visit, particularly if you’re into outdoor adventure. So, we’re sitting at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers. The Yakima River comes into the Columbia here, so our waterways are rich. We have 23 miles’ worth of paved trail that goes around our community along the Columbia River. It’s called the Sacagawea Heritage Trail. So whether you’re a runner or a walker, you like to ride bicycles, it’s perfect. Great banks for fishing. Do you wanna get out in the river? You can rent paddleboards here and kayaks, a good opportunity there, Jet Skis as well. We even have a riverboat. You can get out on Water2Wine Cruises and enjoy a great meal and enjoy some wine.
We have a number of RV spaces around our community, KOAs for instance. We have state parks down along the Snake River. There’s multiple places to park down there, camp, and fire up a grill and enjoy it. And then here within the Tri-Cities proper we have some campgrounds with great amenities, everything from swimming to general stores to playgrounds to nicely landscaped areas. So I think there’s probably a little bit of something in there for everyone to enjoy and from the RV lens.
Jeff: All around this part of the country, you see boulders like this strewn all over the landscape, looking like they don’t belong there. They’re just stickin’ up out of the middle of nowhere. In fact, they’re visitors. Back when the last glaciers covered this area and the last floods were shaping the basins up here, these guys came down with the glacier or the floods, hung around a little while. The glaciers went away, the floods disappeared, and these were deposited, and they’re called “erratics.” This one, for example, is made out of granite, which is definitely not one of the local stones. He probably came from, oh, somewhere up in Montana, I suppose. So this is just one of the interesting features that you can learn about here at the Reach Museum in Kennewick, Washington.
Natural history, Native American, and industrial history are all specialties here at the Reach Museum. Pauline Schafer: So, the Reach Museum, we’ve been open five years now. It really tells the stories of the Mid-Columbia Basin, and all the stories that we tell here are tied together by the Columbia River itself. Hanford history is a big part of the story of the Tri-Cities area, starting with World War II, but going all the way up through the present, as we talk about the Cold War and also the clean-up efforts at Hanford since the Cold War has ended. One of our galleries also gives a lot of information about the geologic past, all the way back to the lava flows 17 million years ago, the history of the river, which has been around for millions of years, the fossils you can find in the Ringold Formation, just across the river here at White Bluffs, and then also the peoples who have lived here for thousands and thousands of years, the plants and animals, wildlife that you’ll see here throughout the year, and then just the story of the Hanford Reach, the longest stretch of the Columbia River that’s undammed, stretching from McNary Dam to Priest Rapids Dam, nearly 60 river miles, and the efforts that have been– that have gone on to help preserve that as a national monument.
Jeff: When you’re ready to hunker down, there are top-notch campgrounds in the area, including Columbia Sun RV Resort.
Dave Schlotfeldt: Welcome to Columbia Sun RV Resort. We’re 145 sites on 25 acres. We have full hookups. We have 20, 30, and 50 amp at each site, water, sewer. Seventy-five sites are pull-through. We have large sites, very easy access for any rig, both large and small. We have a pool, outdoor pool, and spa. We also have a outdoor sports court and kids’ playground equipment. On the holidays, like Memorial Day and 4th of July and Labor Day, we do barbecues for all of our guests. Columbia Sun has something for every RVer here in the Tri-Cities, both large and small.