Monday July 8th 2019
I was up on time this morning. Since it was a travel day I couldn’t afford the time to sleep in. I had the rig packed and ready for travel a little after 10am for the 175 mile drive toward Portland Oregon.
The first challenge of the trip was filling the gas tank. The station near the RV park was empty so I had easy access to the pumps. It soon became apparent why the station was empty. They were out of gas. Yesterday I scouted a side road that lead to a gas station at the next exit off the Interstate. When I got there I discovered my luck was improving. They had a separate RV Island at the back of the station and the price of gas was five cents cheaper than the first station at 2.899. I put in $169 worth of gas.
Today’s journey was through two widely different areas. The first part of the trip was through the rolling hills of desert brush and irrigated farm lands similar to the Tri Cities area I’ve been in for the last three weeks. The second part of the journey was through the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River is rarely out of sight from Interstate 84. The road hugs the south side of the gorge wall going up and down and around bends to stay with path through the mountains cut by the river. Occasionally the Interstate is even on a causeway in the middle of the river. It’s a very pretty drive, but I didn’t have many opportunities to enjoy the view. In addition to all the ups and downs with big curves, the wind was blowing hard. The river gorge is a perfect channel for the wind blowing east up the river. It was a bit of a fight to keep the RV in my lane when the gusts came through.
As the road gets further west onto the west side of the Cascade mountains, the terrain transitions from brown desert to green pine forests. In the forests the road seems more narrow and winding. My home for the next four nights is at the Cascade Locks KOA in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge. The campground is tucked into tall pines between the Interstate highway and the train tracks. The highway is far enough away that it can’t be heard, but I can’t say the same thing about the trains. The tracks are about 100 feet from my RV home. Eight long trains with three to four engines each have gone by in the first six hours I’ve been here. The train cars aren’t as disturbing as the whistle blasts before the train crosses the intersections on both sides of the campground. I’ll get used to it, but …