Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Walla Walla to Portland, Oregon

Most of our nights on the road have been spent with friends or in Airbnbs. Again we stayed in a lovely Airbnb and met this very friendly dog. The owner was very friendly as well and she told us a lot about Walla Walla. Apparently a lot of her customers are checking out WW as a potential city to live in. I can see why since it appears to be quite livable.

Our route would follow the Columbia River valley, but we planned to mostly stay on the north side of the river and not go on the freeway. You get sick of fighting trucks after a while.

Despite going through a car wash a few days ago our car was grubby and covered with pollen.

When we stopped for petrol we noticed that there were kids with signs pointing to a car wash.

So they set to work and they were raising money for their school.

This was the little village of  Touchet.

They grow wheat in this area.

Meanwhile the children's mothers were finishing off the car.

Marianne supervised.

So we set off again in a pristine car. I think the car was the cleanest since we bought it. Of course it did not take long for the windscreen to be covered with bugs again.

And yes, the car has been fun to drive during this long trip.

Here are some irrigated fields that clearly show the circular shape that you can see from the air.

More vineyards.

Eventually we came to the Columbia River. At this point it is quite wide as there is a dam a few miles downstream. Three years ago we visited the Grand Coolee Dam further upstream.

A really long train on the other side of the river. There are train tracks on both banks.

A sea sickness video of the train.

The back end of the train had another engine pushing.

The USA scenery sometimes has a 'larger than life' quality to it. This is one of those occasions.

I liked the pattern of the electricity poles.

I think this might be Mount St Helens.

The bridge to the north side of the river.

We headed back into Washington State.

Route 14 on the north side. We followed it almost to Portland. There was very little traffic and the road was very smooth.

Chateau St Michelle. I like their Riesling.

Weird house. The view from the windows would be amazing however.

Lots of windmills. 

Another train passed by.

Mount Hood made a brief appearance. It is just east of Portland.

Mount Hood again. It seemed to appear every time we went round another bend.

Another dam.

Mount Hood.

Probably Mt St Helens. There are four major peaks in the Cascade Range; Hood, St Helens, Rainier and Adams. Three years ago I was lucky enough to be flown around Mt Adams in a Piper Club replica.

Mount Hood kept appearing since we were driving towards it.

The Columbia Gorge is awe inspiring.

We passed through several short tunnels.


It was a Sunday and we had lunch at this small cafe. We each ordered a BLT sandwich which usually does not take long to prepare and I expected to be out of there in twenty to thirty minutes. It took closer to ninety. There was just one cook and one waitress. At least the waitress gave us a free bowl of ice-cream for dessert as a reward for not complaining.

Closer to Portland Route 14 became more crowded so we crossed over the Bridge of the Gods to the southern side of the river and got on the freeway.

There was a train passing underneath.

The toll was $1.

It was an a spectacular drive alongside the river. I think my father would have really enjoyed it because he really liked dams.

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