Boats, no planes, but lots of trains

Trip Start May 02, 2012
Trip End Jul 31, 2014

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Where I stayed
Maryhill State Park
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Washington
Monday, May 21, 2012

Saturday 19 May
Exploring Walla Walla today. This is a little town east of the Cascade Mountains and is a big wine- producing area, especially red wines. About 100 wine producers.

Went to the local Saturday Farmers Market, and especially liked their sweet onion sausages - sweet onions being a speciality of this area. They served them like a boerewors roll so thats probably why we went for that! Quite a nice place to be, with a local duo playing guitars and a blacksmith with an old-fashioned forge, plying his trade and putting on a show for the people... Lovely fresh home-grown veg for sale... And locals milling around.

Also visited Kirkman House - a museum showing how the wealthier people lived here in the late 1800's.

Sunday 20th May
Left Washington State and the Blue Mountain area. And into Oregon, via Pendleton. This town is a big tourist designation as it has a tour of the Pendleton Underground. I gather that the gist of it is that the Chinese workforce here long ago here were treated very badly and had to resort to all sorts of "underground" activities to keep themselves going e.g. Gambling/brothels. Now the tours of these places are so popular that you have to pre-book. We couldn't get in. Will have to research this further as these facts are all hearsay/ amazing what information one gathers at an RV park! Pendleton is also a wool producing area although we didn't see any sheep! A big wheat-growing area/ no fences and no animal grazing, not that we saw!

Then back into Washington State - along the Interstate 84 (This road is patrolled by air) and along the Columbia River.The Snake River flows into it... Lots of water/ lots of pivots/ Andy was in pivot heaven! Even a town called Irrigon on the way... There is a big Hydro electricity scheme from the McNary Dam and LOTS of huge wind turbines. I just loved them.. They are just so huge and turn so easily that they are almost like enormous works of art - very Alexander Calder - esque...! The Umatilla National Water Reserve is a large expanse of water and obviously is navigable for big vessels.. Saw barges... So now I understand why Portland, Oregon is a port even though it's not at the sea, and why places like The Dalles is also a port.
The area from Plymouth where we joined the Columbia River to Maryville (where we are now) was a stark, rocky area. From here on, the Columbia Gorge starts winding its way Westward to the Pacific and the soil and vegetation is rich, with fruit trees and beautiful trees. This is all part of the Oregon Trail, and this was the point where traders and travelers met.
So we are now camped along the Columbia River at the Maryville State Park under beautiful trees on lush green grass...We are on the Washington side and Oregon is on the other side of the river.
A huge RV has just pulled up next to us, and this is the routine: ( watching carefully!)
Hook up/ put up the stars and stripes flag ( must be as big as possible)/ take dogs for a toilet - on a leash and pick up necessary/ set up wire enclosure for dogs/ take out and display all your pot plants and hanging baskets/put out the carpet and chairs/ then hook up your gas barbecue/ push buttons for the pop out parts of the RV and push more buttons for the various awnings.... And you're done!oh forgot the bicycles that get put out and the car that you towed behind, gets parked... And then you switch off the loud cowboy music from the vehicle, take off your cowboy boots and relax with a Bud in front of your giant TV screen...
We are going to light our fire and sit around it tonight as its not often that you are allowed to do so....
There is lots of fishing going on here/ salmon and sturgeon (protected in the breeding season). This was the place where the Indians dried their salmon in the constant winds and sold them, and you can still buy dried salmon here. See from one of the information boards that this is one of the top board sailing areas in the world as the wind is constant through the gorge and can get up to 85mph, with swells of 3-8 feet... It is a bit windy, so wonder if a fire is a good idea... ! Fire lit and going well.... so well that it set off the smoke alarm in our camper!
Our night here was certainly very beautiful but very noisy... Long cargo trains powering through on both sides of our camp along the Columbia River all night...
Slideshow Report as Spam

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Carl & Tessa on

Hi Ann & Andy, thanks for you blog and all the photies. We envy your trip - hope you are enjoying your time in USA. No news yet of your parents. We are going to PE for 9 days ending at Shawari.

Justine on

Oh boy! I have just finished reading your blog and have I enjoyed it!! I go greener as you go along. Thanks for doing this so that we can enjoy the trip with you.

Mick on

What is a pivot? If one doesn't know it makes pivot heaven very mysterious!

Mum and Dad on

Your blogs are great, we are following your journey looking up the place names on our Phillips Atlas. and Imagining the beautiful scenery.
Thanks for your skype calls too Andrew.

siyaya on

Ag shame Mick! How can an Eastern Cape boy not know what a pivot is!! You've been in the States far too long... It's those large circular irrigation "ysters" that sprays water onto the lands.... Giving food for the skape and tollies.... You won't be missing much in heaven! When we were farming Andy always longed for a pivot.....

siyaya on

Love getting all the comments.... ��

siyaya on

The 2 little question mark things were happy faces that didn't come smiling!!!!!

Di on

When the kids were small Speeds used to tell them that the "pivots" where cow showers!

Di on

Oops spelling! Should be "were" sorry teacher!

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