Archive for November, 2010

Hover Park/A Bend in the River (Part 1)

02 Nov

I am splitting this up into 2 parts because while this is all the same area, there are 2 distinct areas in question.  This part deals with Hover park.

Hover park is a public park located to the east of Finley.  There are several ways to get there, but the best way is to get on Meals road and follow it out until Toothaker road. You can either take Toothaker until it turns into hover road to access a good offroading trail, or you can cross the tracks into the main part of the park at Cushman Road.  This will lead you to a railroad crossing next to the river.  This is an unmarked crossing.  So BE CAREFUL WHEN CROSSING.  That is the main line for BNSF and there are trains that go through there all the time.  Do not attempt to out run a train because you will not make it.  Also do not hang around the tracks because that is railroad property and if you are caught that is a federal offense.  And yes that area has been heavily patrolled by not only local police, but BNSF police also.  And don’t let the BNSF police car fool you.  This is a federal police officer for the FRA, and yes they are armed.  Not only that, they are commissioned state patrol and local police.  These are real police with real jurisdiction. So stay off and away from the rail.

That said, once you get on the other side, you will be on property owned by Kennewick General Hospital.  There is no dumping, and as far as I know, no shooting allowed on the property.  The property stops just on the other side of the rail.  The other side of the fence is owned by a farmer. This farm is privately owned, and they do not allow trespassers to my knowledge.  Although in part 2 I will be showing you a farm that does allow public access.

Hover is a park that used to be the town of Hover that suffered the same fate as Aisnworth.  (See “Ainsoworth”). In fact, if you look straight across the river, you wil be looking at the Ainsowrth townsite. There is not much left of the city though, just a few small foundations.  The park is a field of cheat grass, and wild wheat and rye.  The roads are also unmaintained, and dip and dive.  So bring the truck.  It’s nothing 4 wheel drive can’t handle though. There are places to explore, and trails to walk in a beautiful riverside landscape.  Also bring a fishing pole, because there are all sorts of good spots to fish.

All of the roads are open to public access out there, but there are some that have trees covering them, so be careful.  Also over on the southeast side of the park on the other side of the tracks are several roads that kind of wind around and don’t really go anywhere.  Bring the Jeep for this one.  And be ready to lock it in 4 wheel drive.  Some of the roads are pretty hairy.  But they make for good off-roading.  There are some that lead to the other side of a fence.  Do not go beyond the fence, it’s private property.

When you’re out there, you will see where people have come and dumped things in holes and everywhere else.  Don’t sink to their level and add to the the garbage.  Go to the dump and get rid of your garbage there.

If you wanna place to go to see some amazing views of the river, and see something new, Hover is the place to go.  It’s great if you wanna go fishing and hiking.  You may find though that the park is a popular place to be.  But for good reason.  It’s beautiful there.

Geocache’s Near


Ainsworth Townsite

02 Nov

The Columbia River holds many stories of the past.  If it could talk it would have a lot to say.  This particular story is about the demise of an entire city.  Ainsworth is it’s name, and it’s located outside of Burbank along the river edge.  The abandoned townsite lay hidden to the highway by over-grown trees.  The site sits in the fish and wildlife reserve off of Highway 12.  You can get to it by taking the road that heads toward the river at the intersection just before the Boise Cascade paper plant.

You will have to cross an unmarked train crossing.  BE CAREFUL! This is still in use.  If you see a train on the track do not try to beat it to the crossing because it’s moving faster than you think and it’s not going to stop for you.  Trains can take up to a mile to completely stop and can weigh thousands of tons.  It’s just best to wait for the train to go by rather than risking getting hit because you don’t know just how fast it’s moving.

Once you’re across the tracks you will come to an intersection.  Take that left and you will end up at the beginning of the townsite.  Once there you will find a few foundations and an abandoned building.  Most of the roads you will be on are the original roads from the town.   If you look closely you can see the pavement and even the curb of the old street.

Be careful where you drive because the river is right there and without knowing it, you could walk right into the river.  Also there is a spot that looks like you could drive out into the river in a truck a little ways.  Don’t try it.  You will only get stuck.  That is very thick mud.

Ainsworth sits forgotten by changing times in a picturesque landscape along the river and offers some incredible views of the river.  Sunsets happen to make this place look even more beautiful.  Various forms of wildlife can be found there.  Everything ranging from deer to geese, to all of the other river-side creatures that roam the columbia.  Of course with wildlife comes a danger of having an unpleasant encounter with an unfriendly animal, so be aware.  Being next to the river there will be beavers, otters, skunks, porcupines, and other critters.

But the wildlife isn’t the only thing to see there.  Once you get to the townsite you are taken back to a time when this was a thriving city.  The foundations belong to the former post office and stores that were there.  The abandoned building is the old school house.  It was originally 2 stories, but all that remains is the basement.  The rest of the school was taken down.  What’s left are the walls that were there at one point without any form of roof other than the trees growing above it.

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