Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Today was perfect!...Started the day with a 7 mile walk to the McNary Dam. Beautiful site watching the water pour out of the dam in the early morning light. Discovered an abandoned train tunnel and watched a pair of Osprey feed their young. They spied Jasmine and became very agitated. I decided retreat was best as they do have fairly long talons. Something I didn't want to deal with. After breakfast, we took a drive down Washington Hwy 14. A relaxing, enjoyable and scenic drive along the Columbia River towards Carbondale Wa. At Hwy 97 the bridge allows you to cross over the Columbia from Washington to Oregon. We discovered two RV parks here. One, a State Campground was very nice and the other private one not too shabby. An added bonus is that our coach would fit in either one. We also discovered peaches, apricots, strawberries and cherries in several orchards along the river. We stopped in their roadside store and stocked up on goodies. Here are today's pictures....

Jasmine and I discovered this abandoned railroad tunnel on our walk this morning to the dam. The railroad decided to move the line further north as this tunnel was too small to accommodate the larger engines and cargo.

 It appeared to be simply a mine at first as it didn't appear to be a tunnel. It is almost 1/4 mile long and curves to the left. A little spooky yet amazing at the same time. To think of the work necessary to carve this out of solid stone is nothing short of astounding.

If you look closely, you can see the mainliner coming just up the tracks from here. We didn't stay for long as this was right on a fairly long bridge.

One of the large ships moving toward Portland along the Columbia River Gorge.

They were unloading these trailers off the train cars and setting them on flatbed trucks to be hauled off for deliveries. That is one huge forklift. These containers are full.

One of the fun things we discovered  along the Columbia is wind surfing. While California has the paddleboards with sails, these guys had kites with cables attached to a ski and they sped back and forth across the River. Several did jumps and showed a lot of hang time as they were lifted out of the water.

To the right and the picture below are simply examples of the beauty of this countryside. Notice how little traffic here.

Washington Hwy 14 runs alongside the River with the railroad tracks between. The same thing applies on the Oregon side of the river only Interstate 84 runs along their side of the River with another set of railroad tracks between.

This is the bridge that connects Washington Hwy 14 with Oregon and Interstate 84. There are only a few crossings between Plymouth and Portland. Below this bridge are the two above mentioned RV parks and the orchards.

This is a picture of one of the dams and locks on the Columbia River. Sirens blare to announce the increased release of  water. Once released, the water froths up and sprays hundreds of feet in the air. It's awesome to see and very very powerful.

We discovered farms of many different types of crops. The Washington side of the River now boasts mainly grape vineyards and wineries. The Oregon side has corn, grains, feed stock and potatoes.

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