A SHORT PACIFIC NORTHWEST LOOP June 3-5, 2003
Temperatures were to be high locally. So, on the spur of the moment, I chose to venture out for a road trip. What size it would be, I didn't yet know.
I quickly packed up, and left early Tuesday morning. Mt. Shasta was especially pretty. I took Interstate 5 all the way north to Portland, OR. I got there about the after-work, rush hour, and saw a terrible crash on I-405. I first sought to secure lodging, having a brochure advertising some $16 a night at the hostel. Not a real good deal anymore, since it was now $21 plus. I left to head for some good photos of the town. I cruised about, using my newly christened, enroute, I-Car--made to drive the Interstate! Did I get good mileage on the 602 mile drive!
I found my way to Washington Park, situated in the hills to the west of the town. There was a Japanese Garden, and tennis courts. A Rose Garden completed some of the interest here. I motored up to a lookout point, where I imagined I would get a good view of the town. There are so many bridges, and plenty of high-rises. I like this town!
Also visiting the Pittock Mansion, I obtained another vista of the city. I then motored across town to Tabor Park, where I hoped to view a good sunset. Instead, I had to content myself with the city lights winking on, in the dusk light.
Able to quickly secure a motel room, I had a good sleep.
Wednesday was forecast to have local, record highs. I motored east on Interstate 84 to come to Multnomah Falls Exit. This is variously said to be the 2nd to 5th highest falls in the nation, at some 620 feet. This is a beautiful falls, photographed lovingly by so many. Ironically, it is only a few hundred yards off the freeway! I took the trail to the top of the falls. The trail is paved, and fenced in parts. Good for my daily workout!
Motoring further east on I-84, I hiked a bit more at Starvation Creek State Park, and saw another couple falls. A trail goes to "Mt. Defiance." Another goal (6 miles to the top) for another day?
Among other things, I visited the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center, and the adjoining Wasco County Historical Museum, a magnificent effort built some 6 years ago. I stopped by the Dalles, to walk about the town. Continuing east, again, I made photo and walking stops in Pendleton, La Grande, and Baker City, OR. Most or all had historic sections.
I found some cheaper lodging in Baker, so I took it rather than drive in the night. I had three digital camera batteries to recharge, needing some 5 hours to do it.
Getting up early Thursday, I headed ever so eastward on I-84. Coming to Boise, ID, I made a short walking tour of the downtown area. I then motored into the hills to the southeast. I wanted, and got, an elevated photo view of the city.
That pretty much completed my goal of visiting the great cities of the Pacific West. Maybe now, I'll work on seeing smaller towns, like Spokane, Pocatello, and Great Falls.
Taking I-84 back west, I exited at Nampa, ID, to look for the shortcut route to U.S. 95 south. Finally finding it (the map I was given was worthless), I motored back into Southeastern Oregon. Passing through wide spots like Jordan Valley, and Rome, OR, then McDermitt, NV, I came to Winnemucca, NV. On Interstate 80, I throttled up to the posted speed, 75 mph. I was clear to go home.
With still faint light in the sky, I arrived into my driveway, after a long day of travel.
I had driven some 1,650 miles, using some 36 gallons, total, of regular. I did roughly 10 miles of hiking, or town walking, but with only some 1,000 feet of gain. I shot some 440 MB worth of digital images. This was almost 600 images worth, counting movie clips. I also shot 4 rolls of Kodachrome.
I have now seen, from a distance, at least, the Wallowa Mountains and the Steens Mountains. I will see them better, hopefully, whenever I get a partner to go back to climb the peaks there.
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