Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Along the Columbia River

On the last post, we were camped at Castle Rock and were planning a day trip along the Columbia River to the ocean. That is exactly what we did. We spent the entire day driving along the Columbia until we reached the ocean. There was beautiful scenery, rather rain forestish in some places. We saw a turnoff to a covered bridge so we just HAD to see that.

When we reached the ocean, we walked up to a light house. It was quite hot so we only hiked as far as the lighthouse. We could see down to the beach which was not far below. You can see from the pictures how beautiful the area is.

The next day we left Castle Rock and drove east along the Columbia to a small place called White Salmon. It was about 100 F there and so we were melting.

From there we did a day trip to have a better look at Mount Hood and then also got a look at Mount Adams. The mountains here are so different from the Rockies with a peak here and then another one there. Of course these are volcanic mountains like Mount St Helens so the ones that haven't blown are peaked at the top and the ones that have blown have flatter tops.

Mount Hood Mount Adams from the fruit stand parking lot.

On the way back to White Salmon we dropped in at 2 large fruit stands, one that sold cherries, apples, apricots and lots of jams and another with berries (huge raspberries and blackberries) as well as pies and preserves. The berries were huge and delicious.

We also did a winery crawl and went to a number to the east of White Salmon on the north side of the Columbia. They are small cottage wineries. One was run by a fellow who looked like a hippie from the 60s and appeared to be living on the floor of the sales room because it was cool in there. (remember that outside it was 100+) At least he had a computer!

We decided to drive to the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland and Pasco) on the north side of the Columbia because the tol bridge that we crossed to get to White Salmon was SO narrow that Dalton though our mirrors would hit those of the semi coming in the opposite direction.

The countryside was very dry and one section had many windmills on the tops of the hills. It was visual pollution but I guess they are testing out the use of wind technology here.

Besure to enlarge this so you can see the windmills.

It was about 100 when we got to Richland. I contacted a friend of my brother Gordon. She is a scientist in the area. There is a nuclear industry here from back in WWII but she works in another type of lab. We were surprised at the extent of the nucear plans here (Hanford) since we only seem to hear about Los Alamos from WWII. The little museum here has a nice exhibit on it and tells about the thousands of people they fed and housed here, especially during the war. The requirements just to feed them were staggering.

On a little side trip, I dragged Dalton to a couple of quilt shops. The fabric is about half the price of that in Canada. We also made a trip to the grocery store.

Shortly after we got back to the RV, Gord's friend Helen arrived. She is a lovely lady and we felt as if we had known her for ages. Fortunately she has 4 dogs so when Casey decided that he liked her enough to sit in her lap, she didn't mind. We hope that we will see her again.

We spent quite a bit of Tuesday getting the RV washed and waxed. Alfa feels better now. We did get out to a couple of wineries, including one run by eccentric fellow who does European style wine. It wa wonderful wine, but your hygiene standards had to take a hit to eat the cheese and meat he had to go with it. I added to my lifetime's pound of dirt!

Today we drove to Yakima where it is a little cooler. It is still wine country but we are running out of storage space. Even the oven is full!!

We have a couple of day trips planned around the area so stay tuned.

PS Please excuse the small number of pictures. Each one takes several minutes to upload.

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