Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dam Gorge-ous

Terrible play on words today... sometimes my best ain't that good.  Today started in the Columbia River Gorge (indeed gorgeous) and ended here in Coulee Dam, WA, within sight of the Grand Coulee Dam.

From the Best Western outside Portland, I made two more hotel reservations and a tour reservation, so I have plenty to do the next 2 days.  I left bright and early this morning (whatever day today is) and right outside my front door was the historic Columbia River Scenic Highway,  although right here it just looked like a somewhat busy suburban street.

At this point, I have to note that there was sausage and biscuits on the breakfast menu at the BW for the first time since we left Pennsylvania.  I LOVE sausage and biscuits, but with all the crap I've been eating, I forced myself to abstain.  I'm still proud of that 14 hours later.

Within minutes, I was through the tony little town of Troutdale and on the scenic route proper.  It was the first planned scenic road in the United States, and is considered a Top 5 drive.  Within the first few miles, I was in full agreement.  It's amazing how much diverse, beautiful scenery there is to see if you just find the time to do it.

I stopped to take a bunch of photos from high vistas and below waterfalls, and of course I had my GoPro on the handlebars running.  And the iPod humming as well.  And about 75 degrees.  About as good a start to a day as you can get (except your soul mate is 3,000 miles away.)

The gorge is a relatively short drive; around 40-50 miles.  Since I had a distant destination to get to, and the first leg took me until after 11, it was time to make time.  I crossed the Columbia into Washington, and began the long climb out.  The scenery from there was familiar, yet unique, with long, sweeping curves and hills set against a tan landscape of earth and dry vegetation.

I had the best Mexican I ever had in my life in Yakima (El Porton)

Once I got to the Lower Grand Coulee at Soap Lake, the scenery became VERY unique.  Unique enough for its own post.

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