Day Two

Trip Start Aug 06, 2010
Trip End Aug 27, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Got out of the city on time this morning (10am), and heading SW towards Oregon.  Never thought that Washington was so flat.  It reminded me of driving through the Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan except that there is more wild sage growing all over and the scenery is more "bad land"ish.  Didn't really see any mountains till late this afternoon.

We stopped in Pasco, WA to fuel up and grab some supplies for a lunch on the road.  We hit the Safeway and bought our first bottle of wine in a grocery store.  It seemed really wierd, but it's something we could get used to!  ;)  We picked up the wine we had had at Dora and John's last night...for $6!!  That's something else we could get used to!  Still, it seemed wrong, somehow, to be able to pick up beer and wine along with all of your groceries.'s the pablum for baby and the wine for me!  :)  Nikki also explored the chocolates today...found out that while Kit Kats and Aeros are allergy friendly in Canada, they are NOT in the US.  I guess that solves the chocolate cravings!  They all had peanut warnings, and nary a peanut free Mars bars to be found.

After lunch we ended up driving parallel to the Columbia River, and never saw so many wind farms.  There must have been over 1000 of those propellers along the river for miles and miles.  And the irrigated farms along the highway looked sorely out of place with the desert-ish landscape around it.  Once we got out of the plains and into the mountains, the rock formations around the highway were very cool.  Reminded me of miniature versions of Castle Mountain.

I had a blast going through the old Highway #30 in Oregon.  If anyone has ever played GT 4 on the playstation and raced on the Nürburgring track, then you'll get the idea of what I was driving on today.  Suffice it to say that Nikki was holding on and trying not to get motion sickness.  Pretty sure that will be the last drive that I'll do like that with Nikki in that car. :) (Edited by Nikki to say that even though I was a little motion sick...I DID thoroughly enjoy the was gorgeous! Tight hairpin curves, sharp drop offs and plenty of trees arching over a narrow highway...beautiful!  It is called one of the prettiest drives in the US, and we can see why.)

The only downside to this drive was the fact that we weren't able to get a good look at Mt. Hood, the major dormant volcano in Oregon.  At 11, 261 feet, it is the highest point in Oregon, but it was covered in clouds today, and being in the Columbia Gorge on the Highway 30 obscured the view when we were close to it today.

After the driving through the scenic route, we ended up at a couple of cool waterfalls, and did a couple of small hikes up to get closer looks.  The one water fall (Multnomah) is about 600ft tall if you count the 2 falls into one.  The water almost doesn't make it to the bottom as it gets misted on the way down.  Pretty cool.

I think we spent a little too much time sight seeing, since the day was turning into night as we got into Eugene.  The hotel clerk suggested an Italian restaurant down the street that sounded good, and tasted even better.  Nikki and I are going to make an effort not to drink the usual wines we have at home (Italians and Auzzies), and explore more the regional wines.  We ended up with two different Pinot Noirs from the area.  They were fantastic, and went very well with dinner.  Nik had the pollo picatta and I had the Lamb (don't ask what the Italian translation is).  Fantastic.  No, better than that.  I love Italian food, and I haven't had a better Italian meal in a very long time, although the Crème Caramel was not as good as some brulées I have had.

This has been a pretty good day two of the adventure.
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