Vacation 2011 – Day 5

Day 5 began with a 6:30 AM (mountain time) phone call waking me out of a sound sleep. You know the kind, a loud annoying noise waking you with a start, heart pounding, and you don’t know where you are. By the time I got my bearings my phone stopped ringing. I sat there trying to decide whether to go back to sleep when my door opens slightly, then closes again. It was my dad. I decided to get up. An hour later we were pulling out of the drive and headed west.

We stopped a couple of hours later at a Subway for breakfast in Plains. Montana. For the four of us it cost $12, there is no sales tax in Montana and the combo was only $3. I couldn’t believe it. We took some pictures of a forest fire near Paradise, Montana, I know, tourists. We saw two helicopters pick up water out of the river and take off, that was pretty cool to watch.

It didn’t take long to drive across Idaho. At the Idaho / Washington line there was this huge, beautiful lake. The water was this dark blue.  I can’t remember how to spell the name so, here it is Courier d’ Alene. Of course, I was on the wrong side of the truck to take pictures. We fueled up west of Spokane, Washington for $3.77. The weather is amazing, much better than the 110 temperature back home. We also stopped at a rest area for a picnic. This seagull looking bird kept giving us the evil eyes. We fed him a little bit. I got some good pictures of him, too. There was an amazing view of a valley. There was wheat field after wheat field along rolling hills. It really was beautiful.

Later in the afternoon we happened upon the Columbia River Gorge. It was breathtaking. The river looked more like a big lake, the water dark blue, the gorge was huge. It made me feel very small maneuvering around the top. I took several pictures. I could have stayed there all day. We saw a lot more windmills and fruit orchards. The orchards were like a multi – shade of green carpet.

We stopped at a mountain identifier in the Klickitat Valley and were able to get glimpses of Mt. Ranier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helen’s. I tried to get pictures but it was too hazy and the wrong time of day. We were going to drive west at Yakima, Washington to get a closer look, but there was road construction and would have delayed us up to two hours. By the time we got there it would have been dark. There was also a sign that said Klickitat Valley was home of the famous Goldendale Hay. There is 35,000 acres of alfalfa and 25,000 acres of wheat in the valley. They are also known for quality sheep and cattle.

We went over a big pass and then crossed the Columbia River into Oregon. Like Oklahoma and Texas, a river divides the states of Oregon and Washington. We arrived in The Dalles around 8:30 Pacific / 10:30 Central time. We stayed there and ate a late dinner at a mexican restaurant. It was pretty good, too. I wish I could share all my pictures with you, but there just so many to choose from. So, you’ll just have to settle for the small sample I share and the descriptions I provide, or you just go see it for yourself. Trust me, the pictures don’t do this trip justice, the views are much better in person.

Until another day,



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