Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Catfish Junction, OR to Coulee City, WA

April 22, 2019

Up early yesterday morning as we had another 330 miles to drive.  We were out of the park and on the road by 7:30 am.  Heading for Coulee City, WA
You might wonder why I always show pictures of road signs.  Well...that way I know where we are in the day's blog.
Don't those mountains just look like velvet.
Nice and green here even though the trees are just getting their leaves.
We climb up out of Catfish Junction and the Snake River to head towards Baker City which is just up ahead.
Baker City area and there is lots of farming.  Again green grass and no leaves on the trees except for the willows which are always out first.
Big climb from Baker City to La Grande where we'll fuel up before heading up over Cabbage Hill and down into Pendleton.
A bit tight here as they have one lane closed.
Some sort of huge construction going on.  Maybe adding one more lane?
As we get higher up there are more and more coniferous trees and even a little snow still left between them.  It's about 11C at this point which is a good temperature for climbing hills.
We go up and this B train of hay goes up too.   That would be really heavy.  The concrete truck lane here is all striated and it was really throwing us around. 
Past La Grande and now coming down towards Pendleton.   It's a long way down with steep grades which we really pay attention to.  Eric lets the truck transmission do most of the work instead of the brakes.  The trucks were still flying past us. 
Big curves and we're going slow.  It is a huge climb going south and we overheated back in September.  No one likes Cabbage Hill!
Down below the green of Pendleton.

North of Pendleton and they are painting the center line.  They had the cones into the traveled lane and that forced everyone to drive on the crack between the traveled lane and the shoulder.  We just moved over like we were in Mexico! 
We left I 84 at Stanfield to take our little cut off to highway 730 along the Columbia River.
I mapped this out a number of years ago and although it's not a high speed road it's direct and really pretty. 
A country road.
Love the perspective.
Along the way you see....bison....
.....horses that are so full of grass they can't eat anymore....
......sheep.  These are either Suffolk or Hampshire neither of which are very good for wool but they have lots meat on them.
Belted Galloway cattle which I haven't seen anywhere but here.
Turn right on 730 to head up to Pasco and north. 
The Columbia is one big river.
A pretty drive with really interesting rock along the way.  We stopped on a pull off and had lunch even though it was only 11:30.  We'd made really good time to this point.  There was wind when we left Catfish Junction but by the time we were just south of Baker City it was gone. 
We'll get onto 12 to take us to 395 N at Pasco.
Looks kind of like an Easter Island Moai.
Late spring here too.  The grapes have no leaves and the apple trees are just starting to bloom.
Now for the fun part.  As we headed north on 395 to our exit where we get onto highway 17 there was a road sign that said"  Highway 17 closed... use highway 260"  Okay...well where the heck is highway 260?  We pulled off 395 at the highway 17 exit to regroup and there was a highway worker standing at the sign that said "highway 17 closed".  We asked what we were supposed to do and he said " That's what I'm here for."  Go 10 miles north to the Connell exit turn left and go 7 miles on highway 260 and when you hit highway 17 turn right.  Allrighty  that sounds good.  Then he said " So what do you think about Trump?"  Eric said " Why, what happened to him? Eric had seen a flag at half mast and thought that maybe somebody had shot him."  The guy said " Nothing... I just hate the lying sack of shit!"  He said " I ask everyone just to see what they'll say and see if I can get something going!"  We said " Well, we're Canadians and some of us agree with you!"  A bit of a surprise and a bit of a laugh for us.
Coming through Connell.  When I looked on the map later I saw that this wasn't a better route than highway 17 as we had to veer quite a bit to the east before we hit the Connell exit. 
This says turn right for Moses Lake ....that's us... even though the sign says 26 and not 17.  The roads in the USA have lots of different numbers on them.
We stopped in Othello for fuel.
Coming through Moses Lake.
Make sure you turn right!
We're still on Hwy 17 and just coming into Soap Lake.  We used to stay at the Soap Lake Resort that is now the Smokium Resort but....they jacked up the prices and now we don't.
We're right behind a trailer from Alberta.  I would assume that pops up!  We were stopped here for about 20 minutes for no apparent reason.  We followed a pilot car past the entrance to the Smokium  Resort which only had a couple of rigs in it and then we were on our way.  Not sure what they were doing but it wasn't apparent. 
So pretty along here.
The road has been repaved but it is really lumpy and bumpy. 
The water is high everywhere.
Looking down at Dry Falls as we pass by.
We turned right to go into Coulee City and the County RV park.
Over the dam.
We were into the park and completely set up by about 4pm.  A long day but an easy drive.  We are laying over and will head north for Kelowna on Wednesday.  By the way it's not cheap here either for what you get.  $35, the sites aren't level and ....they have pay showers which in our mind is just " chicken shit!"  If it was $20 I could see it but not at $35.  Oh well ....such is life!

Satellite TV hooked up, beer, dinner and bed.

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