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Old 10-30-2012, 12:18 AM   #267
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Driving through NE Oregon is mostly about a desert with brown hills. The brown mostly comes from dead cheat grass and it dominates the dark green sagebrush. Mostly it is rolling, high hills and some mountains that are green with conifers. Baker City, Wally's childhood home is in a green valley, probably irrigated, surrounded by brown hills. Outside of the few towns and cities it feels desolate.

We arrived in Richland for a short visit and parked overnight on the street without being arrested by the HOA police. Then today, Monday, back to I-84 and the drive along the Columbia Gorge. It is a canyon to me and brown hills on both sides of the river leave enough room on each side for a railroad, a highway and some small towns. There seem to be many dams, good for generating electricity and bad if you're a salmon trying to swim upstream to spawn.

Before we got to Hood River, the hills started to be covered with trees—broad leaf and conifers—and the Gorge feels more mellow and intimate. It gets wetter the further west we go. It rains off an on, but lets up as we travel west and the rain is replaced by broken clouds. The river, calmed by dams, flows slowly west, enormous for a western river.

We found a campground in Troutdale, about 15 miles east of Portland, Sandy Riverfront. It is not on the river, but is a pretty nice place. It has cable, but no news channels. When we want to watch reporters being thrown around by winds and water as the hurricane hits the northeast, no news channels! But some of the channels are HD and the extra channels do have a lot of news. NYC looked deserted and Battery Park was being flooded, though not by as much as they made it sound. A mess, but if I lived there and were young I'd be enjoying the wild weather. But I'm in Oregon and not young, so all I can hope for is the Big One—the 500 year earthquake off the northwest coast that some say is overdue and some day is 200 years away. We'll try not to stay in too many campgrounds right on the ocean. If we do and the Big One comes, we'll see if this thing floats.

After hooking up in Troutdale, we drove west along I-84 and returned on the Historic Columbia River Highway, US 30. There are about 7 big waterfalls along this route. It parallels the interstate and railroad, but is uphill and you can hardly see either, but can easily hear the big trucks and trains. The falls were ok, but I've seen a lot of waterfalls. Barb, having grown up in a city surrounded by high desert, is fascinated by them. US 30 is narrow, winding and cool in the way roads built by the WPA are. The bridges are designed in 1920's or 30's style and have held up for over 70 years or more. Visually it is remote from the world, but the sound of that world is hardly shut out by the roar of the waterfalls.

Tomorrow we go to Washougal, Wash., where there's a Pendleton Mill and store with factory seconds to check it out. Then to Gig Harbor to see the sights after hitting a Trader Joe's in Olympia and Griot's Garage in Tacoma. Forecast is for rain, heavy rain and more rain. We're definitely out of the desert after 3 days on the road.

Gene
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:57 AM   #268
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Hi, we stayed at a nice camp ground in Gig Harbor twice now. While there you might want to see the Flight Museum or the Boeing factory.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:30 AM   #269
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Bob,

We'll be at the the Gig Harbor RV Resort, only place in town, I think.

Rain, Day 4. Each day there has been more rain and today heavy, intermittent rain is forecast all the way north. What a novelty! It rains all day and it is heavy, not light sprinkles. How quaint! I know in a couple of days I'll be on the edge of rain insanity, but not so bad, so far. Perhaps when I start unhooking the hoses in the rain I'll feel different.

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:34 AM   #270
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Readin on the Cascadia Fault does make for a lense.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:30 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Bob,

We'll be at the the Gig Harbor RV Resort, only place in town, I think.

Rain, Day 4. Each day there has been more rain and today heavy, intermittent rain is forecast all the way north. What a novelty! It rains all day and it is heavy, not light sprinkles. How quaint! I know in a couple of days I'll be on the edge of rain insanity, but not so bad, so far. Perhaps when I start unhooking the hoses in the rain I'll feel different.

Gene
It took fifty years for the rain to finally drive me insane. So, I'm guessing you will survive.

I used to go fishing with my dad at La Push when I was a kid. I hope the town has improved. There used to be a sign as you left town that said "reduce speed to 50 MPH". The number of wrecked cars lying around in town probably explains the need for the sign. If it works out, spend at least a night at Ft Stevens State Park on the ocean west of Astoria. One of the nicest parks I've stayed in. In my opinion Oregon's state parks have the best camping of any state I've visited.

As you pass through Squirm, you will see the New Dungeness Lighthouse out on a sand spit. My grandfather was the Keeper therein the 1920s.

Ken
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:39 PM   #272
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Bob,

We'll be at the the Gig Harbor RV Resort, only place in town, I think.

Gene
Hi, in the upper part of the campground, it is more of a wooded area. In that area there is a lady living in an Argosy. I talk with her each time we stay there. If you walk up that way say Hi to her. I haven't met her husband yet; She says he's a airline pilot and out a lot.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:34 PM   #273
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Can't wait to see Gene's posts when he gets up to the REALLY WET part of Washington, that would be the NW coast up around La Push. There is a great dry ( pun intended) campground at Kalaloch and a pretty nice full hook-up park on the ocean on the left as you come down the hill into La Push.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:40 PM   #274
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It took fifty years for the rain to finally drive me insane. So, I'm guessing you will survive.

I used to go fishing with my dad at La Push when I was a kid. I hope the town has improved. There used to be a sign as you left town that said "reduce speed to 50 MPH". The number of wrecked cars lying around in town probably explains the need for the sign. If it works out, spend at least a night at Ft Stevens State Park on the ocean west of Astoria. One of the nicest parks I've stayed in. In my opinion Oregon's state parks have the best camping of any state I've visited.

As you pass through Squirm, you will see the New Dungeness Lighthouse out on a sand spit. My grandfather was the Keeper therein the 1920s.

Ken
I can't believe it. The ***** spell checker pulled a Jason on me. That should be Sequim.

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Old 10-30-2012, 06:36 PM   #275
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I agree; Oregon has the best-run State Parks in the Western States. WA State slimes money from the Parks into the general fund,wastes it, and then has the gaull to ask all of us when we re-new our plates to contibute to the "Parks Fund".
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:19 PM   #276
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Sequim.

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I can't believe it. The ***** spell checker pulled a Jason on me. That should be Sequim.

Ken
Hi, we pronounce this place, Sea Kwim. But the locals pronounce it as Skwim. I showed my wife your post where you called it Squirm!
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:39 PM   #277
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Hi, we pronounce this place, Sea Kwim. But the locals pronounce it as Skwim. I showed my wife your post where you called it Squirm!
I am guessing that it was a spell checker induced Freudian slip, Squirm is what I do anytime I have to pass through there. It is where my ex wife lives. That's pretty much the same as being haunted as far as I'm concerned.

Ken
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #278
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Some photos:

1. Along the Columbia Gorge on I-84. This is the eastern end where the hills are all brown.
2. One of the dams, can't remember which one.
3. Further west along the Gorge; now there are trees and a radio antenna.
4. Multnomah Falls behind the restaurant. There are a series of falls east of Portland and this one if the biggest, around 600'.

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Old 11-02-2012, 09:56 PM   #279
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And more:

1. Another photo of Multmonah Falls. A foot bridge crosses over the falls.
2. A view across the Columbia Gorge taken from US 30. US 30 parallels I-84 in places and provides access to the 7 waterfalls. I-84 and the railroad are hidden below in the trees. Can't see them, but sure can hear the trucks, autos and trains.
3. Things grow on trees around here. They look like gloves on the branches.
4. The biggest maple leaf we've ever seen; found near one of the falls.

Gene
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #280
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On Tuesday, we left Troutdale, Ore., we drove north towards Gig Harbor, Wash. Our first stop was the Pendleton mill and store in Washougal, Wash. They had coats and other items at half off plus another 15% off for seniors on Tuesdays, so I took advantage of it and left with 2 coats, one of which listed close to $400 and I paid about $130 for.

Outside the skies were grey and the rain was heavy. The 200 miles to Gig Harbor felt like 500, but we broke it up with stops at Griot’s in Tacoma and a Trader Joe’s in Olympia. Griot’s sell car care stuff—expensive, but good quality. On display, they have a number of Porsches and other cars I dream about including a Porsche coming out of the ground in front of an Art Deco building. All the money saved on bargains at Pendleton, disappeared at Griot’s.

Then north to the Tacoma Narrows, the strait where Galloping Gertie crashed into the water in 1940. Everyone has seen the film of the suspension bridge dancing in the wind with a car on it just before it gave way. The dog in the car was the only fatality. It’s hard not to think of that when crossing the newer bridge and wondering what it would be like to plunge 200’ down to the cold water with 3 ½ tons of Airstream behind you. However, the bridge held and we went on to the Gig Harbor RV Resort.

This place is not a resort, it is a campground like any other. The wifi is almost the worst we have ever found and the cable TV worked for an hour and then went really bad too. They blamed it on the “overcast” as if it is never overcast here. The sites we are in is ok and it is close to town. It continued to rain hard when we hooked up and we both got soaked.

Coming in, we met Dan Lehosky as he was leaving. He has been full timing here for 2 months. Dan grew up here and comes from a fishing and boatbuilding family. Later he stopped by and we talked for a while about life and Airstreams.

After sleeping late Wednesday, we went to the town museum. Impressive, pretty new building which says a lot of money has come in to this town in recent years. Museum was interesting too and tells the history of the area—it is mostly about fish and shipbuilding and how Americans settle an area. We drove around the harbor for a while and saw where all that money is coming from. Lots of McMansions have replaced the older, often Craftsman and Victorian houses. Gig Harbor has a very protected harbor and is an excellent mooring place. Coming from the desert, we are always surprised by all the trees, bushes and flowers on the west coast. It is beautiful and a lot softer than the desert. It is also humid and wet.

Dan met us for dinner Wed. evening and we went to a local hangout , the Tides Tavern, and talked about life, Airstreams and the Forum. It was good to meet Dan in person after corresponding with him on and off the Forum for some time. As a local, he is distressed with the changes since Gig Harbor has undergone since it was “discovered”. You can easily pick out the new which has transformed the village from a fishing and boat building town to a refuge for second home owners and commuters from Tacoma and further. Anyone who has lived in a place invaded can understand how someone who grew up there feels somewhat dispossessed. I’ve been on both sides of that experience and I learned it is better to live in a place that is growing than one which is dying (Buffalo for me).

Thursday we go to La Push, Wash., after driving around the Olympic Pen. I doubt we’ll have time to stop and see TinCrumpet’s American MH in Port Angeles as we want to get to La Push in the daylight. This was the area some of the vampire movies were filmed. We’ve never seen them. They have an RV park on the Pacific and that is the appeal for us. It is supposed to rain less tomorrow. The rain is still a novelty, but that is beginning to change.

Photos:

1. Griot's building and headquarters in Tacoma. The stuff is shipped from Indiana. Nice Art Deco building.
2. Bad parking job of a vintage Porsche.
3. Museum in Gig Harbor. Nice new buildings that shows how much new money has come into the town. Same woman and raincoat as in the 1st picture.
4. Gig Harbors harbor. Water as smooth as glass makes for a perfect mooring.

Gene
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