Sunday, July 24, 2016

On the Oregon Trail

Heading west on I-70 from Green River, we take a shortcut from Salina, northwest to join up with I-15 northbound at Scipio, cutting off some 120 miles or thereabouts where I-70 makes a significant southwest jog to meet I-15. Before reaching Salina we raced some bad weather to the rest area at mile marker 79 but the storm won. At least it wasn't a bad one!

The scenery is much the same most of the way ranging from valleys to mountains and back again. Some of the sights happen in various locations but I mustn't fail to mention that we saw cattle out grazing in the median and wind turbines from Kansas all through the west including this part of the trip from Utah through Idaho and Oregon.

This day we ended just short of the Utah/Idaho border in Snowville, Utah, where we stayed at an RV park named the Earp & James Hitching Post. It was a fairly ordinary place without much to recommend it one way or the other but it was convenient and the name unique! It did have pretty flowers in the grass.

We angled on I-84 all the way across Idaho and into Oregon, much of it along the same route so many pioneers followed into this countryside. Many paid the price and there are monuments and markers detailing some of the disasters that befell them.

Along the Snake River
This route follows along the Snake River and then the Columbia River. The Snake River is far too winding through the hills to stay close to but the Columbia flows smoothly not far from the interstate.

One of the things we found different in Oregon is that it is the law that a gas attendant must be the one to fill your tank. You are not allowed to do it yourself. A mixed blessing but I must admit it has been a very long time since I had an attendant do the tank. At one truck stop we even had the attendant wash our windshield which was home to a lot of bug splats by then. He didn't get everything but it was greatly improved and he was well tipped for his strenuous effort. We definitely appreciated it!

I wonder if any of the road trains we saw along the highway had their tanks filled. Maybe it is different for trucks? We saw many road trains, some with not just two but three trailers behind them like this UPS road train. They aren't kidding with that sign on the back that says "LONG LOAD" but I'm glad it wasn't me driving it!

We kept on westwards following the Columbia River and stopped to have a picnic lunch of bananas and bagels with cream cheese at a river front park. Note the Columbia River across the top of the picture, this was really a river FRONT park. The Rand McNally GPS in the foreground gives you our location at The Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon. We're resting our heads by taking the communications caps off for the meal when they are not needed. That's the mysterious jumble in the box to the right of the picture.

Soon we are back on our way following the Columbia with its dams and locks all the way to Portland.

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