This morning we left Pendelton, OR with the warm fuzzy feeling that only a full tank of gas can give you and headed toward Portland. We knew Oregon was known for their timber business but traveling along I-84 we noticed that they developed that business with privately owned tree farms. One farm that drew particular notice was the Green Tree Farm. Trees in groves of closely planted trees grouped in various stages of maturity continued along I-84 for over 10 miles and appeared to be at least as wide!
Another surprise was the extent of the size of the wind farms dotting both sides of the Columbia river. There were no less than 500 within our sight.
The Columbia river is both wide and powerful. It is often bordered by high cliff like landscape.
Trains travel north and south on both sides of the river. The seems to be a different long train every half hour or less, often time with two trains passing in the opposite direction. Prior to the Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe railroads merging, one company’s trains ran on the east side of the Columbia river and the other company’s on the west side.
The Columbia river is dammed in several locations. This is the John Day dam, a hydro electric dam. What we found interesting was that the hills above the dam was the home of hundreds of wind powered generators.
We often stop and stretch our legs. Denny was driving and I asked him to take a break, so he pulled over. There was a trail and Denny being the curious type wandered down the path to explore and discovered this unmarked waterfall.
The drive along the Columbia river gorge has unbelievable scenery. Mount Hood can be seen for miles. One of the stops Babs had planned was at a WWII memorial modeled and named after Stonehenge in Great Britain. It is located high above the Columbia river with beautiful vistas. These shots were taken while we explored the memorial.
Our next stop was the Bonneville Dam, another hydro-electric generating dam. The dam has 7 turbine powered generators.
One of the most interesting things at the dam is its fish ladders which help the fish safely traverse the dam, and the ladder viewing windows which are located below the water line.
We discovered that there is a person counting the fish, by size and species, going through the fish ladders. Talk about needing to get a life!
Leaving the Bonneville dam we had to traverse the Bridge of the Gods, high, narrow, “white knuckle” toll bridge.
Our last stop before heading to our revised nights destination of Oceanside, OR was the Multnomah waterfall.
Tomorrow we go to Mount Saint Helens.
Babs Says: I forgot to say that I could live out my days in Blackfoot, ID – the potato capital of the world. Had a problem tonight, so different that my usual one.