Sunday, August 17, 2014

Scenic Drives: The Columbia and Eastern Washington

At the end of our stay at Champoeg State Park we were treated to a spectacular sunset over the Willamette.

Sometimes we take back roads.  Sometimes it's even on purpose.  Other times it could be that we are driving up I-205 and someone says that he knows where he is so the voice on the navigator should be silenced.  And then after we whiz past the I-84 exit we decide to take Hwy 14 which runs along the north side of the Columbia River in Washington.

It was a beautiful drive, and interesting to see familiar scenery from the other side.  

There is a series of five tunnels along the way as the cliffs drop directly into the river.

We stayed in a small somewhat less-than-glamorous RV park in Dallesport, WA for the weekend so that we could visit with Gary and Louise, who live in The Dalles.  It was hot, so both weekend days we took a drive in an air-conditioned car.  Sunday's trip included the Rowena loops with stops at the overlooks.

The Rowena Crest Overlook

Memaloose Island Overlook

Memaloose Island, an ancient native burial site.

Sculpture in Mosier by Jeff Stewart, who is a friend of Gary and Louise's.

We stopped for lunch at Rasmussen Farms out of Hood River.

Leaving the Columbia Gorge, we traveled on to Pullman, WA for one night at the city park there.  We were very glad to have an RV only 34' in length as I'm not sure we could have gotten anything larger in there.  Tuesday morning we went out to Denise Waiting's to get pictures of the Pilot x Zelly puppies, then three weeks old.  Leaving Denise's there must have been a bit of miscommunication.

Where we should have gone:

Where we went instead:

It was only a couple of hours longer, and we saw some quaint small towns.  And who knew that we were so close to Idaho when we were in Tekoa?

A large part of Eastern Washington is covered with wheat fields.

And broken-down barns.

And towns that time forgot.

Note the vintage of the car in the garage.

We did eventually get to Spokane.  Once there, we found more than one kind of smoke in the air.

Per the sign: Happy Hour is daily at 4:20.

More of our Spokane visit in another post.

After Spokane we had to head back to the Salem area for the week.  This time I managed to snap shots of a couple of the dams on the Columbia.

We had reservations for the night at Memaloose State Park between The Dalles and Hood River.  As we got close . . .

We found out that there had been a fire that week.  Fortunately they were down to mopping up the hot spots with buckets of water from helicopters.

A lovely park and we will stay again.  Hopefully next time it won't be so unbearably hot.

I took the above while walking the dogs Monday morning in back of our campsite.  Hard to beat that.

Roll on, Columbia.

Not my video (though I wish it was).  Enjoy.