all bones

Washtucna, No Town for Old Dogs

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Washtucna, Washington, USA. We pulled over for coffee at the highway stop shop where they also offer a menu of hot dog dressings and sell antique dishes. Hot dogs on  a road trip? Let’s see if we can find an interesting locals diner in town instead.

The welcome sign at the edge of town invited us to cruise Main Street and shop local businesses. The whole town was closed, many buildings boarded up, something like a ghost town! We spotted Sonny’s, the only place open in town, and determined it was not the cafe-tavern for us. The only people we saw were the two coming out of the tavern, a driver watching wild turkeys from his car parked by a stream in a park, and one woman in bright pink pajama pants who stood on her porch and yelled at us to get off unmarked private property, a scrubby deserted lot across the highway from her home. We didn’t even see a dog. But we did find plenty of subjects to photograph before we ate hot dogs and hit the highway again.

We drove to the not-so-far end of town and made our way back to Highway 26. Looks like population 100 or maybe less. Stark! Washtucna has at least 5 tiny parks, put in so they could qualify for a grant. Nobody we talked to at the highway stop remembered anything else about the grant.

We toured town in gusty wind, and then ate our hot dogs in the parking lot of the Sunflower Park next to the highway. There, four signs warned us that dogs are not allowed so we kept the German Shepherds in the van. After lunch I photographed the four signs and more. When I walked through the little grassy area I discovered why dogs are banned. And possibly why there are no dogs to be seen in this ghostly town, except hot dogs.

Here is my photo tour of Washtucna. Click the first photo to start the slide show. Look for silos in the background, signs of the grain industry that thrived here almost a hundred years ago. Today I get hints of a setting for a horror or sci-fi tale, or maybe an unlikely romance story. Zombies…and dogs…lots of dogs…

To see my photo-journal of my autumn trip across the Pacific Northwest click this link.

For another town tour go to Aberdeen, Scotland with Rachel.

Show me your town or one you pass through on your travels. You can send me a link in comments. Happy trails!

10 thoughts on “Washtucna, No Town for Old Dogs”

  1. What a grim-looking place. Why are dogs banned? I don’t understand.

    Your pingback worked perfectly and is now in the comments on my blog post. One correction though: Aberdeen is in Scotland rather than Australia. I’m originally from Australia but am living in Scotland now 🙂


    1. Well that explains the Scottish dialect you put in. I love it. I will make the correction in my post. Yes, Washtucna was grim feeling. We often go to town on our road stops to get a sense of places in the places that we could otherwise pass by. I think dogs are banned from the Sunflower park so they don’t get into the bone piles. We wanted to photograph our dogs in front of a No Dogs sign, but chickened out. Glad the ping back works. Now I will relax about that learning curve.


      1. Andrew, thank you so much! This is the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a long time! Pretty entertaining, too. Fits right in with my observations. The creators must know about the place at the highway that sells (or sold) hot dogs. Thanks for making me laugh, I needed it.


  2. Love the photos and commentary. All pretty self-explanatory. Fall is my favorite time of year. I sure do miss maples, birches, beeches, Northern oak trees, elm and sassafrass, oh, and tulip trees. They get such spectacular colors in autumn. I actually saw a blue leaf once, long ago in New Hampshire.

    Liked by 1 person

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