Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Company and Sights to See!

 We've only been at the Portland/Fairview RV Park for barely 2 weeks and have already been blessed with 2 sets of company, each for several days. John and Sue, fellow workampers, came in their 5th wheel to see the Columbia River Gorge, and us, too! We went to dinner at a quaint old restaurant at the beginning of the Old Columbia River Highway called "Tippy Canoe", and we took some photos out side where there a bunch of inflatable Halloween displays. We've worked with John and Sue, native Floridians, at the Denver East/Strasburg KOA and the Cheyenne KOA. They had never been to Washington or Oregon.

 This is the breathtaking view of the Gorge from the Vista House. The weather in the Pacific Northwest has been beautiful and sunny, great for sightseeing. An added bonus for us — fall colors! I was so thankful that on John and Sue's first visit here they got sunshine!

 A couple of days after John and Sue left, our close friends of many years came for a 2 day visit. Once again we drove up to the Vista House, built in 1918. It was incredibly windy on this day, so much so that we could barely stand up straight. The day and the view were both gorgeous.

 I had been past Multnomah Falls many times and had stopped at the Lodge, but had never climbed up to the bridge. We decided amongst us that today would be the day. Here Dawn, Ted and Keith and I are approaching the trail. Even though it is the autumn season and tourists are not so plentiful, there were still lots of people there.

 A closeup of the beautiful falls and the bridge. From Wikipedia,  "Multnomah Falls, 620 feet, is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. It is credited by a sign at the site of the falls, and by the United States Forest Service, as the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States." There are clear pools at the bottom of each tier inviting waders. I imagine that wading is not allowed, due to the very large numbers of tourists who come here.

 Mr. Keith stayed below so he could get a picture of the three of us on the bridge. The whole area is an awesome sight with moss covered cliffs, huge trees and clear streams. I read that the bridge was built in 1914. Had we continued on up the other side we'd have come out at the top of the falls. No one felt like attempting that much steeper climb today!

 Driving on, we had a little argument. I said there were no more falls and Mr. Keith said, yes, there were. Well, he won when we came upon this lovely spot, Horsetail Falls, right at the side of the highway. It's hard to be wrong, but so worth it when we got to see this beauty!

 Mr. Keith has a silly obsession — he likes to find "doodoos". Here he is yelling "doodoodooo" into this old restored tunnel. It was formerly part of the old highway. 

While Keith was investigating the tunnel, Ted climbed up to explore this cave in the side of the cliff. We had a wonderful day, full of fun, full of wonderful things to see. We won't soon forget our travels up the Columbia River Gorge!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wenatchee WA to Fairview OR

It is always with sadness that we leave Wenatchee and family and friends there. Here we are, looking at the mountains ahead towards Cashmere and Blewett Pass.

We can't keep up to the speed limit while climbing so here we needed to pull off to let the line of vehicles behind us go by. The morning was a little foggy on Blewett Pass, but the scenery was as beautiful as always with the fall colors beginning.

We made it through Ellensburg and headed up the hills between that university town and Yakima. That's quite a climb, too. If I remember correctly, Manashtash Ridge is about 2600 feet in elevation, rising quickly, but there are two lanes both sides.

Safely through Yakima and the Yakima Indian Reservation towns of Wapato and Toppenish, we are going on towards Goldendale.

Approaching Satus Pass we drove through miles of scorched and dead trees. It's always so sad to see the devastation caused by forest fires.

At a rest stop for lunch we were treated to this magnificent view of Mt. Adams. We also saw the tips of Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens from this vantage point, but Mt. Hood was hiding today.

On the road again — surprised to see that since our last trip through here several years ago, windmills have sprouted up all along the ridge leading down to the Columbia River. I love these huge windmills. They look so imposing and powerful, and somehow, friendly. We also saw large numbers of them marching up the ridges around Ellensburg.

Our first view of Oregon, the cliffs on the other side of the Columbia! We are ready to begin the steep incline down to river level at Biggs Junction.

I wanted to snap the sign saying "Welcome to Oregon", which I did, but I was disappointed that it doesn't show up in the photo unless it is enlarged. (Click to enlarge.) It's right above the 5th wheel.

The Columbia River Gorge is breathtaking, all along the way. I-84 runs right along the river the whole way till it reaches the metropolitan areas. We were getting excited, knowing our journey was almost over.

Home at last, at least for many months. Our site is pretty, right there on the end of the row. The Portland/Fairview RV Park is the largest in the Northwest and kept very nicely. We will like it here! There will be many day trips we can take from here as we explore this awesome part of the world, giving me lots more blogging material. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bozeman MT to Wenatchee WA

I am a little late putting up my blog posts. There is so much excitement and so much work travelling, setting up the rig, visiting people. Well, better late than never. This was our last day in Bozeman. We pulled into the Tire Factory to make sure all 12 tires on the 5th wheel and the truck were good to go.

Heading west from Bozeman, looking at the snow and wondering how Homestake Pass would be... there was snow right up to the road but none on the road.

This view is nearing Missoula. We've passed this way so many times. It is always beautiful.

Here we're getting closer to the ascent to Lookout Pass. There is a rainbow over us. You can barely see it in the picture. Clouds are looming and some rain has begun to fall.

Lookout Pass and the Idaho border! And a rainstorm. I know I shouldn't be taking photos while driving, but I sure like the view of my hubby pulling our house and all our earthly possessions down, or up, the road.

The rain stopped just short of the Washington border. This view isn't too spectacular, coming into Spokane Valley, but it's good to see the "Welcome to Washington" sign. Almost there!

We left the Freeway near George, passed through Quincy, and are heading down the slope to the Columbia. Now we're really getting close!

These beautiful cliffs with apple orchards at the bottom are just east of Rock Island. Wenatchee, here we come!

I can see Saddle Rock now, as we are coming into East Wenatchee.

To our surprise, there was not a single RV park with available spaces. It was October Fest in Leavenworth. So much for planning ahead! Fortunately, our friend Bob, who had put in a 50 amp hookup for us a few years ago, was happy to let us park by his First Fruits fruit stand and orchard. It's a lovely spot. We stayed there 6 nights.

Most of the apples in the area are harvested already, but not these Braeburns. We picked up a few that had fallen to the ground, but we know better than to pick the ones still on the trees. They were sure pretty to look at.

This pretty redhead, our granddaughter, is one of the reasons we always return to Wenatchee. Natalie spent 3 nights with us, which we loved. We walked down to the Columbia, just behind our parking spot.

And here she is with Grandpa. Unfortunately, I didn't get photos of the rest of the family. Silly me for forgetting my camera on most of our visits. 
To be continued...