Summer Holiday – day 1

19 08 2015

So – full of the anticipation that road trips imbue one with, we headed off for a two week camping trip to Oregon. The general plan was to head down the middle of the state to Crater Lake, then head west to the coast and then make our way back north to civilisation Canada.

We chose to avoid the main I5 route as much as possible and opted to drift gently east as we approached Seattle. We stopped for lunch in a place called Cle Elum. I would be cruel to say it was a bit of a sleepy town, but it made Princeton, BC seem like New York. The reason we stopped there was to try and find the diner we’d visited on one of our very early visits to the States before we even emigrated. It was surprisingly easy to locate, and didn’t seem to have altered one jot in the intervening decade or so. The temperature was rising, and we were grateful for the air con in the restaurant. (I use the term loosely).

Cle Elum High Street

After lunch we headed south for the Oregon border and watched the car’s external temperature gauge steadily climb.

Hot, hot, hot...

Hot, hot, hot…

The scenery was primarily open grassland and as we approached the Columbia river for our first stop of the trip, we suddenly became surrounded by wind-farms generating power from the breeze. Some find them a bit of an eyesore, but personally I like the idea that an ancient technology to harness the power of nature has been updated to feed our lust for energy in a totally renewable way.

Washington wind collection

Washington wind collection

Not much longer and we were passing over the Columbia and into Oregon. Our brand new GPS (christened “Doris” for no particular reason) led us off up some windy track where we had a wonderful view down over the river… and our campsite off in the distance. Backtracking to the highway and using the old proven technology of reading the road-signs we were soon in the Memaloose State Park/campground near Mosier. This was our first visit to a US campsite, and it was pretty impressive. Lots of space (we had 2 tents); a tarmac base for the car; individual water taps (which we insisted on calling “holy spigots” after Rowan Atkinson’s character in Four Weddings and a Funeral) and even freight trains to remind us of Juniper Beach near Cache Creek. The weather was still pretty warm and we quickly settled in for our first evening of our trip… note the beer bottles on the table!

Settling in for the first night

Settling in for the first night

We could have gone further; we could have travelled quicker. But hey… we were on our summer holiday!

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