Mileage today: 239 Total Mileage: 4,138 miles
Packing up again!! We have had a lovely time at the Timberline Lodge. Once in a lifetime to stay here, really. I would love to see it in the winter. They have an average snowfall of 21 feet!! I’ve seen the photos – it’s heaped up the walls and windows!
Anyway, we headed out and back up to i84 at Hood River. On the way we passed through mountain passes, conifer forests and then down to a valley full of fruit farms and vineyards. The weather was hot and sunny but there was a smoke haze up there.
A last drive along a long part of the Columbia river until we reached the junction with Or. 76. We had decided to take that route to Pendleton rather than the faster and more direct (and more busy) i84. It was a good choice. We drove the whole way on an excellent road, seeing maybe 3 or 4 cars the whole time. The scenery was spectacular in a stark, deserted sort of way. Hill after rolling hill of golden grassland punctuated by black basalt outcrops and sometimes topped with spines of eroded rock cliff. Sometimes there were large green patches where the irrigation machines were rolling across the land. Mostly these were cattle ranches where the cows were being moved from pasture to pasture.
The road wound and climbed around and over the hills, a bit sheer on some bends!!! Little creeks running in some places. Small farm after small farm after small farm. Of course they may stretch back for miles over the hills behind them…. We stopped and had our picnic of course and then continued on. Lovely drive.
Arrived in the cowboy town of Pendleton at around 330. We are here for the biggest rodeo in these parts. Unfortunately we can’t stay for the whole week, but we have got tickets for the Professional Bull Riders Finale tomorrow night and hopefully we can catch some of the other events too even if not the big days at the end of the week. It was the bull riding we really want to see. Excited for that. https://www.pendletonroundup.com/