I went online last night in order to check out a couple of places that we might want to see during our short time in Spokane. The one place that seemed to stick out in my research was Riverfront Park. Riverfront Park was built on the site of an old railroad yard in 1974 for the World’s Fair Expo. It sits right next to the Spokane Falls, for which the city was originally named. Riverfront Park has several attractions left over from the World’s Fair including, a carousel, amusement park rides and an IMAX theater. For only $13 each, we purchased an all day wristband, which allowed us access to all of the attractions at the park. It sounded good to us.
When I visited the park’s website, it mentioned a train ride. Naturally, when we arrived at the park, I headed right for it. Unfortunately, it was a train only in the sense of looks. In reality, it was a motorized tram that provided a 40 minute tour around the park. During the tour, our guide shared with us a lot of useful and interesting information about the history of Spokane and the park. It was during the tour that we learned of the city’s original name. The city was named Spokane Falls until its name was shortened to Spokane by the U.S. Map Service. Apparently, they mysteriously removed the word falls from the city’s name, but no one knows why.
After our train ride, we decided to ride some of the carnival type rides at the park. There was everything from a small roller coaster, to a “scrambler” and even a ferris wheel. The rides were nothing special, but provided some entertainment. The Ferris Wheel was one of the old types that scare me to death. Yes, I will go on the tallest roller coaster without fear, but a small ferris wheel brings me to near tears. (A bit of an exagerration, or is it?)
One of the neatest things about the park is the new SkyRide. It is a gondola cable car ride right over Spokane Falls. The entire ride took about twenty minutes and gave us a great vantage point of the falls. After the SkyRide, we rode the carousel, Shawn Reece went on a giant wagon slide and we even played minitiaure golf. While the IMAX was also included in our ticket, the theater was closed for repairs, so we were out of luck.
Including our picnic lunch, we ended up spending about four hours at Riverfront Park. My only complaint about the park is the fact that the city has obviously let it go a bit. The park could definitely use some TLC and hopefully the city will wake up to that fact. Other than that, we enjoyed ourselves tremendously and felt that we received great value for our money. If you are in Spokane, a visit to this relic is definitely recommended.
Following the park, we had a pleasant four hour drive through the state of Washington to Seattle. The scenery through much of the state is a mixture of desert and wheat fields. When we arrived in Seattle, it was nice to see greenery again! We are staying the night in Seattle, before driving up to Vancouver, British Columbia, to meet my cousin tomorrow around 2:30pm. He is going to show us around the city for a couple of days before we head back to the states.
The Coomer Family