In which I land at the Dalles Dam, the construction of which was horribly destructive.

Sniffle. I liked Lake Dimwit Flathead and Flood Control Dam #3, and sahiya's family is lovely. But ahead of me is a stop in Oregon to meet some of you all and home, where Mr Pedia awaits. I write to you from The Dalles, Oregon, site of a non-fictional depressingly destructive dam. Yay modern progress, giant things made out of concrete, and enormous cable towers squatting over the river. Hydroelectric power has a nasty cost.

Today's driving was some of the best yet. I spent very little of the day on the interslabs, and most of it on twisty rural roads winding through Idaho and the south eastern corner of Washington. Endless rolling hills of grain. I really didn't expect this. I was thinking it would all be forested, like the eastern parts of the Idaho panhandle were. The roads were excellent in all ways, though I do not approve of Washington's approach to speed limits. Montana's is best.

The final part of my drive was along the Columbia River Gorge, which was less pretty than I might have expected. The trivia about the sites the dam drowned put the capper on it.

And now I think I'll have a chat with Google Maps and plot a twisty non-slab route south to Eugene. If one exists.

PS: Have just seen the worst portmanteau name evar. For Spike/Fred. Guess. (If you know a worse one, please do share with us all in a comment. I wince in advance.)
  • Current Music: Vol De Nuit - Ferry Tayle In Spirit Of St Exupery Mix : Ferry Tayle, Tonks : Vol De Nuit
my plan!
US-197 south toward Dufur/Bend (85 miles)
this becomes US-26 / US-97 / Dalles California Highway (27 miles)
at Redmond, exit onto OR-126 west (20 miles)
turn left onto OR-242 (McKenzie Highway)
Eugene is about 50 miles away

ETA: Nope, 242 is closed. The route is to just stay on 126 the whole way. Sigh. McKenzie is allegedly "scenic".

Edited at 2009-08-10 04:34 am (UTC)
Re: my plan!
The valley *is* prettier, though 126 over the Cascades was quite nice. 197 south through the eastern part of the state was pretty bleak after a while. That section of the state is arid.
now I think I'll have a chat with Google Maps and plot a twisty non-slab route south to Eugene. If one exists.

Head down to Redmond and then over the Cascades on hwy 126 into Eugene. Pretty drive along the McKenzie River. You might like the 242 (Old McKenzie Hwy) out of Sisters. Haven't been that far up yet, but need to some day soon. Mom is out that way now, just east of Redmond.

Well, pre-Interstate, there were (and in fact, still are) two highways from Portland to Eugene, one on each side of the Willamette River, 99E on the East side and 99W on the West side. Don't know much about 99E, but 99W has some really pretty views--I know because I live about a mile away from it. By the way, if you take 99W, you must stop in McMinnville at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. It's a pretty good museum, and its claim to fame is that it's got Howard Hughes' Flying Boat, the Spruce Goose itself. Which is an amazing sight to see--I mean, just hearing the dimensions doesn't do it justice. It's not until you walk in the door and see all these major aircraft (the space stuff is in another building), with the Spruce Goose looming above them and making them look like childrens toys. It's just ... wow. Oh, and BTW, if you've got the time, I live just off 99W in Monmouth/Independence. I won't be here Tuesday in the middle of the day, but aside from that I'm free this week.
Frike? Sped? Either is pretty bad.

Washington is very annoying wrt speed limits, I agree, particularly if you are sporting CA license plates. For many years my father could not drive in WA, due to outstanding speeding tickets he refused to pay.
I only saw enforcement once, but the speed limits were 10mph below what Montana would have assigned the same roads. Pout. And your father is a character.

Boy, I say boggling, you're still driving? Sometimes, LJ brings home to me just how much bigger in scale the US is. You'd be in Moscow by now from here. Or Tashkent, or something.

And no good can come of mushing two one-syllable names together. So: Spinifred. Or Frilliam. What's not to love?
1200 miles from Minneapolis (where WriterCon was) to where I stayed with sahiya's family in Montana. Another 1200 miles from there to my home south of San Francisco in California. Though I'm taking the slow way home! I've mostly been on smaller rural roads through this part of the trip.

Only 550 miles from where wide_rider lives, in Oregon, to my house, though. I'll be home at last by tonight!