Sunday, April 23, 2017

Catfish Junction, Oregon to Soap Lake, Washington

Today it was time to get on the road again.  Yesterday was a quiet day.  We were both tired from the last couple of days travel and of course I needed to catch the blog up. 

> Mainmap

317 miles to go.

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Last night we spied this lonesome bull across the river grazing by himself.

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Evening picture.

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Up early this morning and on the road by 8am.  Here we are heading out onto I84.

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We’ll stop in Baker City for fuel before we head up over Cabbage Hill.

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Green here too.  I guess all that snow helped.

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There is lime here and where there is lime there is a cement plant. 

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Coming into Baker City.

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The cows are out on grass here.

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Just pretty right now.  The weather is cloudy, there is no rain and it isn’t windy….you can’t ask for more than that.

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Next up…La Grande and then Cabbage Hill.

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Coming into La Grande.

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Still a little snow along the edge of the road as we head in.

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Down along the river and then up we go.

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Blue Mountain Summit.

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Down again before we go up again.   No wind and no rain….yeah!

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They must have had a fire up here.

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We’re up top on Cabbage Hill and starting to head down.   A week or so ago friends Colin/Contessa and Croft/Norma came through here in high wind, rain and snow.  Colin/Contessa kept going when they got down to Pendleton but Croft and Norma stopped at the Wild Horse Casino….no fun at all.

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Eric remarked that the more times we do this the less stressfull it is.   Well….unless the weather is hideous. 

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Pretty up here today.

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It is a long way down.

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The wide open valley around Pendleton.

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Pendleton city centre and the Pendleton Woolen mill.

A quick stop for fuel in Pendleton and onward. 

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We leave I84 at Stanfield and take our own personal route along Edwards Road to Punkin Centre Road, Diagonal Road and then head along the Columbia River Highway to Pasco where we will head north on 395.  We prefer this route along the Columbia to the one right through the tri cities.

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This is a small paved farm road.

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We see some Bison!

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We are on South Edwards Road.

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Right on Punkin Ctr. Rd. and then left back onto Edwards Road.

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Next up some Galloway cattle.  Distinctive by their centre band of white.  This is a breed you will likely never see.

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Right on the Columbia Highway (730)

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It’s 12:30 and we need to find a place to stop and have lunch.

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Walla Walla onions I would guess.

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Found a pull off and it’s a lovely place to eat.

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23 miles to the turn off at Pasco.

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The grass on the rocks looks like velvet….just amazing.

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Lovely drive along the river.

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I’ll bet that’s where those onions came from.

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Fruit trees are in bloom.

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Stinky pulp mill on the Columbia.

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Bridge over the Snake River. 

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That is one huge pile of grain.

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Exit 14….that’s us.

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Next fuel stop….Moses Lake.  It was along this stretch of highway that we had the closest call to a head-on collison in all winter’s travels.  Eric was laying on the horn….there was traffic approaching in the oncoming lane and a small car was right beside us attempting to pass where there was no room.   At the last minute he squeaked in with about six inches to spare…..what the hell is wrong with people?  You just want to follow them and drag them out of the car and beat the hell out of them!   There….I feel better now!  P.S. we were going 57 miles an hour in a 60 mile an hour zone.

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Green and pretty here too.

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Othello where we stop at the WalMart when we head south.  Today we have lots of time so we’ll carry on to Soap Lake.

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Huge feed lot or dairy and boy does it smell.  Right across the way is a golf course and RV park.   No thanks!

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Moses Lake.

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Just before Soap Lake and it looks like they are farming rocks.

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Coming into Soap Lake.

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Neat old building in Soap Lake.

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At the far end of the lake is the Soap Lake Resort and RV park.

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Or as it is now called Smokiam RV Resort.  The name was picked a couple of years ago by the new owner and he was in the process of upgrading the park and putting in a bunch of huge teepees.  So how did this go.  Well it looks better kept but it is still an old RV park.

When we pulled in the park host said “ Hi kids, how’s it going?”  He then proceeded to tell us that the summer rate was $65 a night but that he’d convinced the owner to leave the winter rate of $40 until the end of April and that we’d get a 10% discount for being Canadian.  Also Passport America was only good until the 1st of April.  What a bunch of blah…blah.  If you’re going to charge $36 bucks a night just say so and don’t give me a big hustle speech.  We’ve stayed there numerous times for $16. Eric would have said no thanks but I beat him to it ….” No thanks!” and away we went.  Could have gone back into town to the RV park on the water but in the end we went north and parked along side the next small lake and boondocked.  Now don’t get me wrong….I am not cheap and Eric couldn’t believe I would actually say no and leave but….I don’t like a hustle!!   So since Eric had always wanted to try boondocking here it all turned out fine. 

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Heading north to find a place to park.

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How about right here…..just fine with me.  Lots of people fishing but since we are up high there was only one other rig here.

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Parked next to the road which will quiet down over night.  We have a portable propane fireplace that takes no power, water in our tanks and a generator so all is well.

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A good day’s travel and now it’s time for some beer, a bowl of chili that I had made and frozen and then bed.  All is well.