Sunday, July 17, 2016

Idaho to Washington, Back to Idado, then Washington Again, then Oregon, Parked in Washington

We have crossed state lines so many times, I am dizzy and confused.

Monday, July 4

We said our goodbye’s to Heath, Jennifer, Hunter, Taylor, and London. We hope to see them again some where on the road.

We wanted to notch two more waterfalls before parking, but we were foiled in every way. First the town of Bruhl was having a parade from 8 to noon. Must be a one-hellva-parade that is fours hours long. We were routed around the town and so we missed the information center where I hoped to get waterfall directions. We saw Thousand Springs from across the Snake, but photography was not feasible because of the really tacky RV park, bar and grill, etc. that blocked the views. We could see a dirt road on the other side of the river, but I could not locate a bridge in five miles that would get us there. We were not prepared and did not have the time to unhook and spend a hour or more figuring out how to get to the base of the many falls, after having lost an hour in the detour around Bruhl.

Anywho, from the picture you can see that water exits from lava tubes in the gorge wall and cascades over the basalt cliffs. Kinda cool. It’s not my picture and it was not flowing that much in July.

When I read the fine print on Dead Man Falls, I found that the stream is dammed and it only flows over the dam after a major rain storm. Being extremely dry, we passed on it. We parked and I am cooking meat sauce.

End of the waterfall quest. Tomorrow, we head north.

Tuesday July 5

Off at 8:30, west on I84 to Boise, then north on ID55 to Cascade. We parked at Horsethief Campground. No one else on our loop. We have a water view. Odd campground, there are 120 numbered spaces, only a few level enough for a motorhome, but it’s free. Thanks Idaho Fish and Game.

The south bound traffic on 55 was almost bumper-to-bumper for 30 miles. Guess they were coming home from a long fourth weekend.
The drive through the 30 mile long canyon with the Payette River crashing down was quite scenic. 

Wednesday, July 6

The day did not go as planed. I planned to stay near White Bird. I recalled it as being at the summit of the canyon the Salmon River carved. Wrong, it’s at the base of the grade at about 1,000 feet. Far too low for comfortable temps. So we climbed, went down, climbed again and then went down to Orofino. We had good memories of a COE campground on Dworshak Reservoir. Memory failed again. We wound up at a COE CG alright, but not the one we recalled. Getting to this one involved a steep 2,200 foot ascent on a windy road that really had KoKo huffing and puffing. Then we had to descend to the lake, 1,600 feet down. I went down in first gear with generous application of the brakes to stay at 25 around the many curves. But, after crossing the bridge, we found we were not there yet. We had to go back up 700 feet and then back down to the lake. There is not a straight stretch over a hundred yards long the entire 19 miles of the road. I was already exhausted since we started out at 8:30. We parked at 4 having gained an hour going to Pacific time. A really long 19 miles. Did I mention the logging trucks on the “crookedist” road in the states? It makes the Caliente to Bodfish road seem tame.

The campground is fine, typical COE. Very quiet. Full hookups for $10. The appeal is to fishermen. We have four bars of 1X, but the data connection is slow.

Idaho took over the COE campground we recalled. Idaho has a mystifying few structure. We were going to stay at one the other night, but they wanted $33. We parked across the street in a nice enough park for $25. Washington charges the most, but Idaho is close behind. 

We downloaded almost a terabyte of movies and TV shows before we left Montgomery and we have been watching something almost every night. Anything David Milch had a hand in writing is good to us. Such as Hill Street Blues and NYPD. This is our third time through The Soprano’s and we still miss some key lines. Sub titles would be helpful. Bosch is one of the new shows we enjoy. And the fourth season of Orange Is The New Black is out.

Thursday, July 7

We needed groceries, so we took the windy twisty road back to town and did laundry, groceries and had one fine lunch. I had Enchiladas in a mole sauce. Devine. Dorothy had some tasty burritos.

Friday, June 8

Our care package arrived, so we took the windy twisty road back to town, got the package and went back to same restaurant. A different cook or the cook was drunk, the food was only so-so.

Saturday, June 9

We rested.

Sunday, June 10

We took the windy twisty road back to Orofino and then north through a river canyon winding up in Colfax, ID. This is the home of large scale wheat and bean farming. The area yields twice the normal amount of wheat per acre. That means most of the homes are well tended. And the scenery of the rolling hills suits our eyes. The hills are steep and the machinery is tracked.

We saw the hills when they were solid green with wheat in 2013. This time 45 days later in the season, some fields were green, some were golden, some were mixed.

Monday, June 11

We spent the day driving a loop from Colfax to Moscow to Pullman and back to Colfax taking pictures and eating along the way. The BBQ place in Moscow was closed. Second choice was a Thai restaurant in Pullman we had enjoyed before. We let lunch settle while surfing at the library until it was time to go on the WSU campus and get a milk shake at Ferdinand’s.

Tuesday, June 12

Having taken a few pictures of the Palouse we headed south to the Wallawa Mountains for sentimental reasons. We were there on our first trip in 2006 and wanted to make a short return visit. 

The Palouse is on a plateau, about 2,400 feet. You lose 1,600 of that quickly descending to Lewiston on a continuous 8% grade. I counted four truck run-a-way exits with signs that there is no fine for using them! Does that mean that a trucker, in another state might say: I could not afford the fine, so I just crashed the truck into the school bus.

We re-provisioned at Costco and Walmart. Glenda went bananas when we crossed the Snake. She had us in the river, off the road and was twisting the display around like she was possessed. I followed 12W to Clarkston and she finally decided that Costco was indeed just a mile down the road. We have never had that behavior before.

We headed south on WA192, a dandy little road that goes gently up to 4,000 feet and then descends like a rocket to the Grande Rounde River. Having lost all that elevation you go back up again and finally slowly drop into the the Wallowa Valley at Enterprise, OR. Taking the road was another trip down memory lane.[Grande Rounde. Several pronunciations, some locals prefer something that sounds like Grond Rond]  [Wah la wa, long a in the middle syllable]

It was a really long day. Glenda forecast 2.5 hours. We left at 8 and parked at 4:30. We toyed with a dispersed site on a mesa north of Enterprise on the rim of a canyon. We wimped out because of no phone coverage. We are so addicted. The place we planned to park in Joseph was closed. We checked out a forest service place, but there was only one RV spot and it was of course taken. We wound up at the super popular state park for a mere $30. Within a hour I was ready to leave. People everywhere, a family spot. No fires, but plenty of smoke.

Wednesday July 13

We were away by 8. We stopped at the Forest Service office in Joseph and a cute ranger, Sara, advised on the place to go. We are parked along the Lostine River in a valley of the same name. Very quiet and few people. It’s the first FS CG we have seen in years - one not operated by a concessionaire. The nightly bill is $3. Every once in awhile a breeze brings in a cell phone signal. The aroma of pines, firs and spruce fills the air. Nothing like an Oregon forest. The Wallowa Mountains are on both sides on us in a narrow canyon The mountains are steep, steeper than the Siskiyou’s on the other side of Oregon.

Thursday, July 13

We parked at a casino near Pendleton. Tried to dry camp, but it was way too warm, so we moved to hookup section. We got the last place. We enjoyed the pool and stayed up way too late with our neighbors.

Friday, July 14

We are winging it this trip. No planing and it’s starting to cost us. We planned to stay at a private campground in Sunnyside but they were booked full for the entire weekend. The owner had no idea why, especially since it was full on a Sunday, usually the slowest day of the week. Dorothy found another place in nearby Prosser, but the tariff is $35, rather than $12. Actually, WA added three taxes to the $35 for additional $7.71. It costs more in a welfare state. Grumble.

When we checked in, we saw some friends walking to a wine tasting in town. I thought they were leaving Prosser today, but they are here through Tuesday. Small world. 

We spent way too much buying some chocolate covered cherries. We got produce at the Fiesta Market, cherries, cantaloupe, jicama, etc. The prices were not cheap, but they were the best we have seen. We were the only angelo’s in the place. Today was payday and there was a line half around the store of workers getting their pay checks cashed. They bring them from the vineyards to the store in busses.

Next stop was Taylor Cellars. They were out of the wine I enjoy,  but Dorothy was able to score two bottles. After a swim, we went to a wine tasting in the RV park.

Saturday, July 16 - Sunday, July 17

Eating, drinking, soaking in the pool and running our yaps. Still no idea where we will go next. Probably a lake south of the Columbia and paddle the yaks. We just can not get it up for Washington. It should be appealing to us as it’s next door to Oregon, but it’s another world to us.

In this type of park you meet the folks who never ever park without full hookups. They are also in a different world.

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