On the road in Washington - 2008 . . .
during our travels in the Pacific Northwest

Updated: 11/30/08



We have been remarking as we traveled across this part of the country about the amount of irrigation required to grow crops. This photograph shows the result of using what is called a 'circle' type irrigator - a round field of crops. The land between the circles is covered with sagebrush.   

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Crossing the Columbia River on the road into Washington.

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The Army  Corp of Engineers Hood Park campground was very nice. We watched the river traffic whenever we were in camp.


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They have interesting rules to maintain the beautiful grass. Tents had to be moved every two days. You were advised to pay attention to 'wet' areas on a map and not pitch your tent there. Because, every night the sprinkler system WAS going to water the grass.


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The view from our campsite - the bridge over the Snake River and silos and tanks on Tank Farm Road.


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This guy ran his model boat on the river.


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This tug turned these barges 180 degrees.


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The park had a very nice marked swimming area. Friday before Labor Day, the staff worked for hours picking up seaweed along the campground. 


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The next morning two kids, probably brother and sister, had a seaweed fight. Remember the guy with the model boat - he tormented a dog for a while. The dog should have been hoarse from all the barking.


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Driving to the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam area, we passed through orchards ready for the harvest. 


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Ice Harbor Lock and Dam did not allow cameras inside. What a bummer!

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Two fish ladders permitted the fish to by-pass the dam.

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A Indian Memorial honoring the various Native Americans tribes in the area was located overlooking the dam. 


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a f0831wa_200 sacsp6_1.JPG (75794 bytes)The Sacajawea State Park was very well maintained. Plenty of water from both the Snake and Columbia rivers was used to keep the grass green.  


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The Snake River flows from the left, the  Columbia River flows from the right.
They flow together as the Columbia River under the train bridge in the center of the both photographs to the Pacific Ocean.


Outside the park we could see a wind farm. Inside the park we encountered a reenactment.


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The night before we left Hood Park, we finally had a nice sunset.





            Do you see the RV pulling a boat?


a a f0829wa_103 ripple crop_1.jpg (31216 bytes)a f0901wa_108 hprl rock_1.JPG (51458 bytes)The entire time we were at that park we observed a boat fender floating in the water near a 'ripple'. Depending on wave/wake action we would see a rock. It seemed like the day we left, the Army Corp of Engineers had lowered the Snake River.

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It caught this boater by surprise.

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Let's see . . . Do we pull or do we push?





a f0827wa don & nettie.jpg (14277 bytes)a f0872 nettie & taco rvt.jpg (16402 bytes)We were in the Kennewick/Pasco area to visit a couple we had met in Alaska in 2005. We kept  in touch occasionally by e-mail since our time in Alaska. When Hattie found out we were heading in their direction, she invited us to stop by. We enjoyed our day with Nettie and Don, reminiscing about Alaska and other topics. Many people you meet on the road you never see again - in this case, our paths crossed again. Maybe, they will cross again in Michigan.

Oh, we have to mention Taco - a stray Nettie picked up in Arizona. (He is a little spoiled.)



On the road again . . .


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This facility is located on the US Department of Energy Hanford Site. It was across the highway on the map is an area labeled the Hanford Reach National Monument. We understand that someplace near here, they developed the uranium for the  bomb dropped on Hiroshima. We are going to check with Don to verify it.


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We now pass the Columbia River frequently.

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We drove through a large area of fruit farms - apples, grapes, pears. This is the 'wine country' of Washington.

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The Columbia River certainly is beautiful and it has lots of dams along it.


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Don told us we would encounter 'ten mile hill' on our route. As with many hills, we are in the 'slow vehicles keep right' lane. No matter how fast we can ascend the hill, the cars go faster. 

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From the rest area at the top, we got our first look at  Mount Rainier.




Ah, going down the 'ten mile hill'  was a lot easier than going up.


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We had another stop. Mary Lou's cousin Sue also lived in Washington close to our route.


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a f0902wa _103_1.JPG (66236 bytes)Sue had found us a 'RVs only, no campfires' pull-off to park our HHII during our visit. It was reasonably close to their house. Considering the camp fee was 'zero', we could afford to drive to their house. We parked in a location where the solar panels would be in the sun most of the day. It was a great spot.

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a f0902wa _100_1.JPG (77661 bytes)a f0902wa _101_1.JPG (61001 bytes)a f0902wa _276 camp_1.JPG (45724 bytes) < This was the view beside our HHII . . .

and . . . the view when we opened the door. > 




Driving down the road, this is all people saw of our HHII.

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05a f0902wa _151 house frt_1.JPG (79574 bytes)a f0901wa_350 house_1.JPG (65817 bytes)Bill and Sue hand built their house in the mountains It is a dream come true.





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This is their backyard.                                                 



They have already experience two forest fires. The second one came too close. A pond now provides water in the event of a forest fire. They have a high pressure water pump, fire hose and 30 sprinkler heads surrounding the house and garage.


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Did we mention that Bill is an engineer and generates
 all of their electric needs from water on the property?


08a f0902wa _118 ml and sue_1.JPG (91497 bytes)The gals enjoyed each others company.

Fred and Bill had a lot to talk about as well.





a f0905wa_111 b&s dancing_1.JPG (36434 bytes)Our last night together, we reminiscenced about our favorite music - Sue and Bill really got into it.







On the road again for a side trip. Driving along or stopping for a view was always interesting.


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Fred found the sunlight on dead trees photogenic.


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One road is closed due to a landslide. 



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If we had rubber boots, we would have walked across most of Icicle Creek. Mary Lou is standing in a real shallow part.




This is what appears to be the prior creek bed - dry.                     This one mile road led to the landslide.

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A lesson for the day . . .


We learned an important lesson while here. Look for and read all signs. As we were preparing to get out of the truck, a young man walked up to the truck and said, "if you park here you will get a ticket". We thanked him and moved down the road a little. 

(We say 'look for' because the signs were parallel to the road, not facing you.)

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As we were walking back, he was placing $50 ($25 parking violation, $25 processing fee) tickets on three of the vehicles.




a f0903wa_131_1.JPG (50269 bytes)We returned down the road and drove through all of the campgrounds along Icicle Road. We seldom pass a campground without turning in. For what they offered, the rates seems high to us. Then, we remembered we were in a tourist area. Because there was no electricity, they used a solar panel to operate the drinking fountain pumps. 

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a f0905wa_107 chopping_1.JPG (61932 bytes)A guy in one campground was chopping wood until Fred got his camera ready. He said he was finished - a missed photo-op. A couple days later, we went back to the campground to put trash in the dumpster. This time he was caught chopping wood.






a f0903wa_160 leavenworth_1.JPG (31732 bytes)Leavenworth, Washington turned itself into a Bavarian village in the early 1960s to capitalize on its scenic setting. Even the McDonalds was decked out in Alpine attire.


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We had lunch at this place - the Reuben sandwich was delicious.


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a f0903wa_147 leavenworth may pole_1.JPG (46545 bytes)a f0903wa_153 leavenworth grinder_1.jpg (50833 bytes)They had a May Pole and an organ grinder. 


Unfortunately, his monkey was a stuffed toy just laying on his back on the cart. 






This second floor retailer suggest we needed exercise.

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This one had the chocolate flowing.   

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a f0903wa_157 leavenworth boy_1.JPG (40804 bytes)a f0903wa_158 leavenworth skateboard_1.JPG (40505 bytes)We stopped at the post office to buy postcard stamps. This boy was peering out the window watching the older boys skateboard up the curb and jump their bikes down the curb.

We updated our Web site while we were in the post office parking lot. While doing it, Fred peered out the truck window a couple times watching the boys. Soon, one of the young boys approached the truck and said, " Sorry sir. We can stop if you would like to back out of your spot".     How, polite and courteous.




a f0903wa_171_1.JPG (69666 bytes)We found a road in one of the local campgrounds that led to Stuart Lake. Anyone that knows us well would expect us to take it. When Michelle was young she used to call it 'getting lost'. Now with GPS, we are confident we will not 'get lost'. It was a beautiful 3.4 mile ride up the mountain to a trail head to Stuart Lake.

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This sign board was built as an Eagle Scout project.               



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It is always nice to get home from a day of sightseeing. Especially, when these views await you.


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The next day we headed for Seattle.





Stevens Pass . . . a climb up and then a faster descent on the other side.


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Along the way we saw this boulder biting a tree.




a a f0911 chehalis_101_1.JPG (41563 bytes)a a f0911 chehalis_103 barber_1.jpg (35627 bytes)We left Seattle and headed for a city park in Chehalis, WA. It was a nice kittle town. However, we had to ask three people before someone knew where the local barber shop was - it even had a barber pole.






By taking day trips from our campsite in Chehalis, we avoided towing the HHII to the attractions we wanted to see in the area. We wanted to see the Pacific Ocean, Mount Rainier National Park - 2008 and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument - 2008



One morning it was foggy when we got up. But, we could still see the small river running behind our campsite.

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How lucky we are. The truck camper two campsites from us is occupied by a couple and two children. Each morning she drives her husband to work and the children to school. Because of the seven day limit parking in this campground, they left for a day and returned for another seven days. We, of course, don't know any details but it appears to be a very unfortunate situation. 



We passed by the 'sculpture gardens' on I-5 several times.




a f0910wa wp_125 log truck_1.jpg (38505 bytes)a f0910wa wp_405 logging_1.JPG (37215 bytes)a f0909wa mr_140 lumber6_1.jpg (51978 bytes)On our ride to Mount Rainier logging truck traffic was heavy - going both directions.

Evidence of logging could be seen everywhere.




Then we saw where many of the were going. A big industry in Morton is lumber.


a f0909wa mr_531 lumber7_1.jpg (31659 bytes)After the logs are weighed and removed from the truck, the rear portion of the truck is stacked on the front part of the truck using this lift. The truck is then ready to go pick up more logs.

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From log to lumber - so many 2x4s.

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As we all know timber is a renewable resource. Driving down the road we saw many signs telling us about the timber in front of us. Some gave us the years the timber was planted, fertilized and/or trimmed. Others, like this one, show a 25 years plan.  

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Mossyrock Dam . . .


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Christmas tree farms were also popular in the area.


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Just a little trestle . . .

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It appears the proper name for this town is "Raymond on the Willapa". The waterway connects to the Pacific Ocean. 





Metal silhouette sculptures were positioned throughout the city.

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Heading north from Raymond toward Grayland the shoreline was beautiful. 




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We stopped here to take in the view slowly.


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We hoped we had not bothered this guy reading a book.

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The map showed a shoal just off shore causing the wave action.





Our destination was Westport, WA. Upon arrival, the first order of business was lunch. We ended up having lunch at a seafood and chowder shop. The seafood chowder was fantastic. Afterwards we walked some of the marina walkways.



a f0910wa wp_190 ship chehalis_1.JPG (36069 bytes)This plaque of a boat named Chehalis caught our eye. What came first, the 'chicken' or the 'egg'. In this case, we are sure the city is older than the boat.





Westport has a busy marina.





Is this boat pulling a trailer?








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The seagulls knew where and when to show up.  


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a f0910wa wp_216 rentals_1.JPG (44638 bytes)We choose not to rent a boat and pedal around the marina.     







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a f0910wa wp_236 condos_1.JPG (39982 bytes)A women we talked to in a gift shop at the end of the pier was not happy that developers had discovered their harbor. 






a f0910wa wp_219 traps_1.JPG (60415 bytes)The crab traps are round and have a metal frame. I guess the seagulls hoped they were not empty.




a f0910wa wp_237 fish bins_1.JPG (47694 bytes)These bins smelled so bad, it was difficult to walk near them. One woman held her nose and speeded up her gait to get away from them.






Can you saw "foggy"? How appropriate for a lighthouse. 


               a f0910wa wp_319 sp grays harbor light station_1.JPG (39423 bytes)   Grays Harbor Light Station



We were off to our first look at the Pacific Ocean.

We took a path off the asphalt sidewalk, and this is what we saw.




The Lighthouse Trail is a 1.5 mile asphalt sidewalk started in the state park and ended at the marina in town. 


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The fog did not stop us or another couple strolling along the shore.


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a f0910wa wp_301 pac ml feet_1.JPG (19549 bytes)a f0910wa wp_293 pac f foot_1.JPG (43912 bytes)Steve has been asking Mary Lou if she had been in the Pacific Ocean yet. 

Yes, we have Steve! Almost to the top of the soles of our foot wear.






This store had neat decorations.

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Some more warm and fuzzy signs . . .


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a f0910wa wp_328 crates_1.jpg (45721 bytes)The Grayland area has cranberry bogs. They don't look anything like the cranberry bog we see on a television advertisement. Mary Lou found out that once planted and carefully tended the vines will product fruit for many years. Vines 75 - 100 years old are not uncommon. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines. Growers flood the cranberry beds to harvest the berries. To read more, go to www.oregoncranberry.net.


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a f0910wa wp_331 coyote_1.JPG (46768 bytes) This carving was in a front yard.




We took a short drive on the beach.

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a f0910wa wp_375 shore_1.JPG (33519 bytes)On our return trip, we stopped by the shoreline we enjoyed so much on the way up.  





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The fog we experienced in Westport was approaching fast.


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Another look at Mount Rainier . . .





Something new, a popular tree plantation . . .


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We only had about 50 miles to drive on our last day in Washington before entering Oregon.



a f0914wa_119 logging on col_1.jpg (38187 bytes)a f0914wa_137 bridge to or_1.JPG (59890 bytes)As we approached the Columbia River a large logging operation was on both sides of the river.

Halfway across the bridge we were in Oregon.





 As we climbed the hill in Oregon along the Columbia River, we took advantage of a pull-off for our last look back at Washington.



Mary Lou pointed out that we could also see . . .



Mount Rainier                   and               Mount St. Helens



As we leave Washington, we remember the many Washington people who told us how much we would enjoy the Oregon coast line. We are looking forward to it.



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We will miss the road signs with
the silhouette of our first President.




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