Thursday, August 30, 2012

US Hwy 30: Columbia River Gorge

West of Pendleton, US Highway 30 is captive to I-84 well into the Columbia River Gorge. Reaching the Columbia River is a powerful experience on a road trip like this, both as an accomplishment of miles and as a stunning change of scenery. The river and the gorge it has carved out over the millennia do not disappoint. They are also impossible to photograph -- especially when you are driving on a hazy day -- but perhaps this will give you the gist of it.

Through the gorge, US30 deviates from the interstate on occasion. Most are just brief detours through local towns, but a few are lengthier forays into the surrounding countryside. One was a steep, twisty climb that afforded this preposterously fantastic view, in which I was able to capture Darth and my road rig at their finest!

Hinting at more beauty to the west are glimpses of Mt. Hood rising in the distance. It's been a very long time since I've seen forests -- even trees! -- and snow-capped volcanic mountains. It gives me a profound sense of approaching "home" (to the extent that I have such a place anymore!)

Speaking of trees, I am very happily camped in a densely wooded lot with a full canopy of shade. Color me happy as I plan to stay here for the weekend and enjoy the area… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

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