Spring came and Lewis and Clark headed home. Follow along as we travel a different road on the other side of the Columbia River, where many of their north shore camps were located.
The drive today began in Washougal, Washington and followed along the North Shore of the Columbia River. This drive is mostly a mountainous drive with turnouts every so often to overlook the Columbia River. The river below is where Lewis and Clark returned using their canoes, paddling up the river in the spring of 1806. Like they did in 1806 we are returning back east using the north shore on US 14.
South of Washougal are wonderful views of Mount Hood across the Columbia in the distance. We took a long walk last night on a trail beside the north shore after dinner in Washougal. It is a quaint little old town area full of interesting shops and restaurants.
Our day began as a foggy but by noon the fog cleared out and the skies were blue with some clouds but not many. The views were awesome, especially the ones from up high looking down on the river.
The Lewis and Clark expedition passed through here on their way east in early April of 1806. It was still blustery and cold. They mostly camped on the north side of the river, where we are driving today.
The drive is like driving through mountains, sometimes with the fir and spruce and then it opens up to sweeping views of the river. We are driving through the Cascade Mountains.
We stopped at the Bonneville Dam and took some pictures.
There were several small towns along the way. Stevenson looked like a very good place for a lunch stop but it was only 11 AM. Rats.
There was not much traffic, but I bet there’s a lot of traffic on weekends. The railroad tracks followed alongside.
The sun sparkles on the water like diamonds. Every time we go high the temperature drops and the wind chills.
Something about the silver-blue water with white caps and the green mountains on the other side. Awesome scenic beauty.
At Spring Creek State Park the sailboarders congregated and took advantage of the high winds through the gorge.
At noon we stopped to eat in the town of Blank where the terrain changed and became more desert-like. The lushness of the trees was now behind us.
When Louis and Clark came through here in 1805 headed to the Pacific ocean they also camped on the North Shore. There are several historical markers that mark the places where they camped as well in 1805.
East of Maryhill we are truly in the high desert. There are also lots of windmills. There is a winery, though near Maryhill.
There are other ways to see this area. There are cruise ships that run between Lewiston, Idaho and Astoria, Washington. Some of them are called Louis and Clark Cruises. We saw the paddle wheel cruise several times on the Columbia. The cruises begin at Clarkston, Idaho on the Snake River, travel the Snake River to the Columbia River, and then travel down the Columbia River to Astoria. Chuck and I thought about taking a cruise on the Columbia but could not work it into our schedule.
Across the river from Boardman on US 14 is the Château San Michele Vineyards. We stopped here before on another vacation, and they had a very nice tour of the vineyards and their operations as well as a good tasting room. The Château San Michele winery is west of Patterson, Washington.
The terrain east of Patterson, Washington becomes flatter and even more desert-like. The Columbia here seems more like a ribbon of the river instead of the broad Columbia that it has been further downstream. The road pulls away though, and at times you cannot see the river.
Then the terrain changes again, and there’s farming with corn, wheat, and sorghum. We finally passed back to the south shore to Oregon and stayed the night in Pendleton, Oregon. After dinner at a place called Roosters, which has good old fashion home food, such as a Yankee pot roast, we took a long walk through their downtown section.
This is an old Western town with a lot of statues celebrating their people and their history and information along the way about their round up which they have held for over 100 years. A roundup is when they go out and round up the cattle for sale, but the roundup here means a big rodeo now.
This is a great city area to take a walk at night. We felt perfectly safe. We stayed at the Oxford Suites. We’ve never stayed in this chain before, and it was quite nice.
The next morning we got up and made a stop at the Pendleton Woolen Mills Outlet and took their mill tour.
Now Chuck knew why I chose Pendleton to stay the night. He said, “well there goes our retirement.” I’ve loved these clothes since I was a young woman and couldn’t afford them. Here are a few examples of the type of clothes they make. Below is an example of their style.
They do men’s wear, too. These clothes are great for going out west or up north for snow skiing and other travel. They also make great Christmas gifts.
Here’s an example of what Chuck bought.
They have been in business since 1863 when they first produced woolen blankets with Native American designs, a product that they still make. The tour of their factory was very educational.
I bought a nice cardigan that has FSU and Georgia Tech colors on it. My cardigan is below.
But I didn’t realize how good the prices were especially on the blankets until I got back home and began looking for a new design that I saw on the floor of the mill. It was still in the raw fabric stage. Here’s one of their blankets, but I still haven’t seen the new design yet online.
The drive between Walla Walla and Clarkston, Washington was just as pretty the opposite direction passing through miles and miles and hill after hill of wheat fields with awesome views. Almost all the wheat has been cut and the wheat straw bailed and picked up by the semis. There are very few stacks left to be picked up.
State Road 12 passed around and through these hills. We passed back through the little towns.
As Floridians, we cannot imagine what winter is like living here.