Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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PNW Trip Stage 4: Spokane to Portland

We slept in slightly this morning and took our time getting going, including enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the Doubletree Hotel restaurant with Don and Jill Eastlake and Sally Woerhle. This means we were about an hour behind my planned schedule for this leg of the trip, but it wasn't that big a deal as we had no appointments to keep. The minvan started right up, and there were no more warning lights or hassles other than it continues to be more difficult to start after it has gotten warm. On this leg of the trip we did not have to resort to starter fluid to restart it after a stop, but this is going to continue to be a problem until I can get my mechanic to correct the underlying problems with the engine adjustment.

Because we weren't in a huge hurry today, we had the freedom to make a few diversions from the main route, including one that led to a fantastic view of the Columbia River Gorge from on high.

Lisa took over the driving after a rest stop at Biggs, Oregon, and took a scenic route of historic US-30 that wound its way up some hair-pin (and hair-raising) curves to the Rowena Crest, where we stopped (but left the motor running) while we took in the view.
Rowena Crest View
This is the breathtaking sight from Rowena Crest of the Columbia River with I-84 running alongside it.

Rowena Crest View
These are just a couple of the curves of old US-30 through which we drove to get to the crest.

Lyle WA from Rowena Crest
Across the river is Lyle, Washington. The signs at Rowena Crest say the town sits of a massive gravel bar formed during ice-age flooding of the Columbia.

Earlier in the day, during a stint where Lisa took the wheel along US-395 paralleling the BNSF railroad, I got some railfan photography.

BNSF Grainger
The timing was right for me to get this photo of a BNSF grain train passing us on US-395 between Ritzville and Pasco.

Oregon Trunk Bridge
Later in the day, on I-84, I took this photo of the Oregon Trunk (Celio) Railway Bridge carrying BNSF's ex-Spokane, Portland & Seattle Oregon Trunk line across the Columbia from Washington, eventually leading to Bend, Oregon and a junction at Chemult with the ex-SP Union Pacific lines.

Columbia River Geography
This view of the striking rock formations across the river in Washington from I-84 also shows the Union Pacific's ex-Oregon Short Line tracks in the foreground.

I have started a new Pacific Northwest album in my Flickr account into which I put all of today's photos.

We arrived in Portland around 6:30 PM, and rather than fight rush-hour traffic, we went straight to on of our favorite places to eat in Portland, the Hawthorne Fish House, where we restrained ourselves from ordering the largest platters of fish and only ordered the second-largest. By the time we were done with dinner, traffic had subsided sufficiently to make the trip on to the Holiday Inn in Gladstone a much easier trip.

Tomorrow morning, we'll skip the included breakfast at the HIX and have breakfast at Bob's Red Mill restaurant, another of our favorite Portland places.
Tags: "columbia river", oregon, trains, travel, washington

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