Since we generally don't dawdle too long at rest areas in the morning we were up and on the go fairly early Wednesday morning - we had a lot of miles to cover.
We weren't necessarily in a hurry, but since we have been over much of this ground before, admiring the view from the van we kept the peddle to the metal.
If I haven't mentioned before - we are real fans of Washington State. Each time we come through - either coming or going - we try to take roads we haven't driven before. Slow but sure we are seeing it all - and it is most beautiful.
This year's new to us was the I90 from Seattle area through Ellensburg and on to Vantage where we turned onto the 26 through to Othello.
Our driver for this voyage. I'm so glad we have Derek behind the wheel - driver extraordinaire - with the beautiful countryside behind.
I LOVE these mirror shots - my FIRST with the new van - a little different then with the single mirror of the truck. Plus a much larger mirror! You can still see the dark rain clouds from the night before - so glad we are driving AWAY from them.
No matter the route through Washington, every trip includes a drive by the HUGE windmills.
Crossing the Columbia River on I 90- just after the bridge we turn left onto the 26.
The Colmbia River - very wide at this point.
We decided to stop in Othello - a small agricultural community. The Greater Othello Chamber of Commerce provided us with wifi and directions to Walmart.
Back to travelling and back to Walmarts. We were in desperate need of a cable leash for Roofous.
A pretty common sight when we stop at a place with wifi - me on the iPad either researching, checking email or updating Facebook.
Following a quick lunch in Othello we headed east to catch the 17. At this point we have been on this route several times, although usually coming from the north, Soap Lake and Moses Lake.
As the navigator I'm glad to be retracing some well worn steps - I can sit back and enjoy the ride instead of fretting about where to go - where to turn - etc. The 17 takes us to Pasco and then easily onto the 12 east.
Pasco is one of the tri cities in Washington. We've yet to make a detour into the tri cities to look around but it is still one of our favourite places. I recommend a look at the link - it is a very beautiful area with a mild climate making for a great growing region.
As we travel along the 12, just before making a right onto the 730, we stopped at a recreation area/park. This is the first time we have stopped here - with the sun shining and all of us needing some fresh air it was a good time to stop.
Cassia couldn't wait to go for a walk.
Roofous + water = wet dog in the camper van!
If you are ever looking for a route south through Washington the drive along the Columbia River on 730 is a VERY good choice. It is a nice highway and runs right along the river. There are lots of pullouts for a break and a chance to get down to the river.
We took the 730 to the 207 taking us into Hermiston which we then took to I84 and headed east.
On to Pendleton.
Pendleton is another favourite place of ours to pass through. Another neat small city. Cowboy country.
On last years trip we passed through here both on our way down and our way up. Just east of Pendleton is the HUGE hill that we either have to climb or descend. As with last fall - it's UP.
Just east of Pendleton headed to the hill.
Great views though of the valley below.
Once to the top the landscape dramatically changes - from agriculture and grasslands to forest.
From here we continued east through La Grande and on to Baker City. Since we were losing and finally lost the sunlight there are no more pictures. Thankfully we pulled into Baker City just as the sun set.
Baker City is one of our favourite stealth camping spots which we found last year. Since we didn't have a lot of groceries on board we decided to treat ourselves to dinner. Knowing about Baker City's historic downtown we figured we could find a neat little place to eat. And we did!!
We had a GREAT time at the Barley Brown Brew Pub. Our waitress was great - we spoke with the Owner and we sampled one of their beers. We also had a MASSIVE plate of nachos and home cut fries. Since the place was packed we were thrilled that we had found THE place to eat when in Baker City.
One day I hope we manage to visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. I'm a BIG fan of westerns and particularly books about the Oregon Trail and pioneers headed west. Can't say why we didn't stop there this trip. Sigh..........
Next post..... our trip from Baker City to Nampa Idaho........
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: A book I really enjoyed about the Orgeon Trail is All Together In One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick, which I read on last years trip. The story - based on an actual 1852 Oregon Trail incident, chronicles the journey of a group of families to the west balancing both the highs and lows of such a feat.