Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Well, today was a travel day and an interesting one at that. We don't like Interstates so we found this little side road, which turns out was simply old Route 30 which is now Interstate 84. It goes up around what is known as Rowena Crest. A few curves on the way but very scenic and enjoyable. The top view was worth the trip. Have a look....

This was the old Hwy 30 before Interstate 84 was completed. It was built in the early 1900's. There are many turns and switchbacks but all of them very gentle. They were designed to flow with the terrain in the area.

Here is a view of the Columbia River Gorge as seen from the lookout point at the top of Rowena Crest. On the right way down in the valley you can see Interstate 84 as it follows the river path. It is a much shorter and faster route although not nearly as scenic or enjoyable. There was very little traffic as you can see in the above picture.

We found these petroglyphs at one of the State  Parks. A closer look revealed many of these rock engravings along one of the trails.

Just east of the Bonneville Lock and Dam, we discovered a very unique museum. It contains old cars, airplanes, motorcycles and military memorabilia. What makes this museum unique is that all the planes, cars and motorcycles are operable and are driven or flown on a regular basis.  Here's an old fire truck.

Continuing west, we arrived at the Bonneville Lock and Dam just as a boat was arriving to travel upstream. The lock was very interesting to watch. There is no charge for lock passage and it takes about 25 minutes to pass through this lock. Here the gates are just opening. I videotaped much of it but it's too large to post on these pages.

These are the backside of the gates in the above picture. They are over 100' tall. The channel itself is over 90' deep, 85' wide and 675' long. It takes about 15 minutes to fill completely. How much water does it take to fill?  220 million gallons...!

Here is the boat using the navigational lock. It looks small compared to the size of the lock. In this picture they are about 3/4s of the way to the top. Each line in the far wall represents about 10' in height.

Once at the top, you can now see how large this boat really was. Look at the woman holding the mooring line and the guy in the cockpit.  This couple was from the tri cities area coming home from a blues concert they had attended in Portland. It takes them four days to make the trip. Very nice people and we had a wonderful conversation with them as we watched the lock fill.

With the lock now full, the far gates open. The far gates are down under the large white crane on the left side of the picture. The vessel is now at level with the upstream flow and can safely pass.

These folks can now continue upstream. They will have to navigate four more locks before they can safely navigate up the Snake River and home.

Well, that's it for tonight. We made it to the Washington Coast. It's much cooler here than it was inland. We went from 94 degrees in The Dalles to 66 degrees on the coast. Josh spent almost two hours in the pool tonight and I spent almost 45 minutes in the spa. Rivers and lakes are nice but a pool at 84 degrees and a spa at 101 is perfect....we will sleep well tonight. I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

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