Friday, August 1, 2014

Lincoln City to Nampa

We started out yesterday morning from the Chinook Winds Casino parking lot with cool 62 degrees temperature and headed east toward our destination in Sunset, Utah. We spent last night in Hermiston Oregon with temperature ranging from 88 in the afternoon to 62 at night. Today we are in Nampa, Idaho with 96 degrees and hoping for cooler before morning.

We started north on US 101 with moderate traffic and a few small hills, then turned east on Oregon 18 toward McMinnville. The drive to McMinnville was beautiful with tall trees, a lot of dark green colors and winding roads taking us into the sunshine and back into shadow as the sun wove around the trees -- putting sunglasses on, jerking sunglasses off for 30 miles. There were pedestrians walking in the shadows in the middle of nowhere. Go figure.

We passed the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde and the trees got fewer and fewer. We passed Farmer John’s in McMinnville with all the self-pick crop fields featuring strawberries, blueberries and watermelons; probably some other stuff too, but I did not recognize it.

As Oregon 18 changed Oregon 99W we approached Newberg and started bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic, all the way through Tigard and until we hit I-5 south of Portland. There was too much traffic and too many pedestrians for me to admire the scenery.

We got through Portland and made it to I-84 east following our normal journey along the Columbia River and through the Columbia River Gorge. As usual the river views are something to admire. The combinations of green shades, brown hues and dark brown to black rocks along the river were spectacular. It was overcast all day and my windshield was coated with sea mist and salt, so Kathi was not enthused about taking pictures while we drove. After The Dalles it was mostly brown and browner with sparse green on the way to Hermiston.

As we entered Hermiston we saw a business called Oregon Onion. On the way out of town we saw a truckload of onions moving east. I love to see agriculture on the move.

After Hermiston, I-84 East goes mostly south. We had more greens and still a lot of browns as we admired the scenery. We had some steep grades up to 4,100 feet and started seeing a lot of hay baled, rolled and still growing ready to be cut. A few farmers were in the fields mowing the hay. We began seeing a lot of black cows. We also passed several Greenwood Tree Farms along the way.

As we approached Idaho coming over the mountain tops, we saw some huge valleys with deep green colored trees, nested inside the various shades of browns and tans on the hillsides. After we entered Idaho, we started seeing a lot of corn and other crops we could not identify mixed in with the grass (hay) fields. Much lighter shades of green than we saw in the trees nearer the coast.


Five Hundred miles in two days is a lot further than I like to travel, so Kathi and I are worn out from the long drives and the heat. I thinking a shower and bed soon.

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