Monthly Archives: October 2012

Get Into Soap Lake

As you might imagine, Soap Lake is a body of water, but it is also a town of 1,500 in Eastern Washington. I’m pretty sure they all know each other, because while we enjoyed a tasty restaurant dinner there at Don’s everybody else in the eatery recognized each other and chatted with them.

Soap Lake and the newly installed sun dial sculpture.

 

Soap Lake was formed by a mammoth waterfall that eroded basalt rock into what is now Dry Falls. When the waters of the last big flood receded, it left the mineral-rich lake. More than 15 minerals fill the lake, some say giving it extraordinary healing powers. Soaking in the lake water and spreading the lake mud over hands, arms and faces to facilitate healing was done by indigenous people, settlers and is still done today.

A list of all the mineral Soap Lake contains.

The name, Soap Lake, seemed appropriate because of the foamy ridges that formed on the beach on windy days. Besides the lake itself, local spas offer a Soap Lake experience where you can soak in lake-filled tubs. (Although a broken pipe has stopped that temporarily, it will soon be fixed.)

From www.soaplakewa.com:  Some day, Soap Lake will be discovered by the rich and famous. They’ll build a fabulous resort and take advantage of this absolutely one-of-a-kind mineral lake. They’ll hear about Soap Lake and its remarkable history. They’ll swim in the water and lie in the sun and know they have found a place that nourishes their soul as well as their bodies. They’ll be drawn back year-after-year until they decide to stay for the rest of their lives.

If you aren’t rich or famous, visit soon, before the price goes up. If you are rich and famous, we’ve been waiting for you.

Notaras Lodge, a very fine place to stay.

Besides relaxing in the sun, Soap Lake has lots of activities throughout the year like Winterfest, the second weekend of December, with a juried art show, art sale, crafts and music. Lava Run to the Sun is a motorcycle rally in late July and the Soap Lake Box Derby takes place over Memorial Day Weekend.

“Outlaw Days” at Mary Olson Farm

When I bought tickets for “Outlaw Days,” I wasn’t sure what it was. But the tickets were only $5 each and I’d heard so much about the Mary Olson Farm in Auburn and the activities there, I thought I couldn’t miss.

You even get music with this interactive play.

Lo and behold, I stumbled onto a real gem. “Outlaw Days” turned out to be a play, but not in the usual sense of the word. Instead, when the scene changed in the production so did the audience and the actors. We followed the play around to different places on the farm and ended up inside the barn for the final act. I’m not sure what they call that kind of play or even if it has a name, but it sure was a fun experience.

The interactive theatre experience centered on a time in 1902 when the Olson family was taken hostage by the notorious outlaw Harry Tracy. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but the actors make you think it could have been. The acting was stellar and must have been difficult because almost all of them played multiple roles. So there were lots of quick costume and character changes.

 

The play continues this weekend and I urge anyone interested in history or dramatic arts to attend.

The Farm holds numerous events including overnight camping, summer camps for kids, group tours and special events like “Outlaw Days.” A project of the White River Valley Museum, the Farm originally operated as a subsistence farm. In 2011 it was restored to its current state and opened to the general public. The interior of the house is furnished just like an old farm house.