Monday, July 9, 2012

We arrived at Melamoose State Park on the Oregon side of the Columbia. Did you know the Columbia River is 1200 miles long? The trip on Washington 14 was very relaxing and enjoyable. While it's only a two lane highway, it is much more relaxing than the hustle on Interstate 14. That said, there are several tense moments as you cruise this scenic and wonderful highway. Take a look..

One of the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe trains. These run on both sides of the river and while I don't have the exact number, there are many.

Notice how our tunnel is nice and concreted and the trains' looks like it was just hollowed out. BTW, vertical clearance is just 14' 6". Since we are 13' 1", I wasn't going to have to let any air out of the tires...

Like surfers in California, up here the big thing is kite boarding and sail boarding. Here's a bunch of sail boarders cruising across the Columbia. They were like gnats flitting back and forth. The Kite boarders were more interesting.

Since I have a fascination with trains, here's another shot of one of the Burlington Northern freight trains. This one was hauling what looked like coal.

Two interesting bridges need to be crossed. The Bridge of the gods and this one across to Hood River. This is an open steel truss bridge over one mile in length. It stands almost 63' above the river when down and almost 150' above when lifted. You can literally look under your vehicle and see the boats and water below. Oh! did I mention it is very narrow too....?

Here's another picture of Washington 14 with Mt. Hood still covered in snow in the distance. Notice there's not much traffic here. 

Our site at Memaloose State Park. It's an interesting park in that the entrance is through a rest area. Also, it can only be accessed by vehicles traveling westbound on Interstate 84. There is no eastbound exit. When you leave the park, you can only travel westbound until the next exit, about 2 miles west of the park. Even though the park sits on the shores of the Columbia, there are the train tracks that must be crossed to get to the River. BNSF has issued a "No Trespassing" warning to prevent crossing their tracks to access the river. Apparently some kids were crossing last year and one of the freights had to make an emergency stop to avoid them. Emergency stops increase the likelihood of a derailment so until there is a crossing added, there is no access to the River from this park.

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