On Sunday, September 1, 2013, we drove north and east on dam Washington Highway 262.
A state highway to be known as state route number 262 is established as follows:
Beginning at a junction with state route number 26 east of Royal City, thence northerly and easterly to a junction with state route number 17 west of Warden.
On Royal Slope east of Royal City, our highway begins at a junction with SR 26. Butterflies dance across the road to celebrate our royal visit. I am the king, after all.
Heading due north on an "east" highway feels normal to me now... Up through apple orchards we drive, alongside a waterfalling canal. The highway zig-zags through the high corn, then we climb the Frenchman Hills in earnest. Almost to the top of the ridge, we cross the highest canal and we get a glimpse of what this land once looked like. We crest in dry sagebrush, but we're quickly back into farmland. The highway loops eastward and down. Potholes Reservoir appears in the distance. We reach the halfway point of Highway 262, pictured above.
Nearing the reservoir, houses suddenly appear. At Potholes Reservoir State Park, we pause and choose a campsite. The shore is muddy and uninviting. On the road again, we drive slow past the fenced-in RV park, then we're on the O'Sullivan Dam. For more than three miles, we have blue water and white rocks on the left, with scablands of brown canyons down to the right. We leave the water behind and we're back in the desert. A couple miles to the end, we're back in the corn and trees of farms. Warden land. With Highway 262 complete, we quietly arrive at SR 17.
I think we'll need to go back to explore the canyons and small lakes south of the dam, but Potholes Reservoir has no draw on me anymore.