The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Gone West 10

Gone West 10
The Colombia River to Curry Madras.

After the short break at the Maryhill museum of Modern Art (outside exhibits only) a couple of shots of the Columbia River and the towering Mt Hood in the distance we headed down the steep and winding road to the steel lattice bridge and across the Columbia River and once again into Oregon.
With a few exceptions we would be following the Highway 97 all the way through Oregon to the State Line with California. It is a far better route than the Interstate Highway 5, the 5 though more direct and quicker does not pass through the more scenic and idyllic parts of Oregon.

We were aiming for Madras, for no other reason but the name fascinated me and that Linda when asked what to put into the Satnav said “Curry”. The weather was hot and fine, we had, had only a little rain up in the Washington Rainforest (well if you can’t have it in a rainforest, then you can’t have it anywhere), other than that we had super sunny weather all the way.

We stopped at a small town (most towns along this route are small), for lunch, called Moro, we always try to select a small café, deli or diner to lunch at and were never disappointed, this is where the locals eat so what does them, does us. We will have sandwich or something light as we will normal either cook or go out to eat something more substantial when we reach our campsite. At this one you could even tinkle or whatever one does on an organ. I didn't hear anyone giving a lunchtime recital so may be they shot the last one and word got round.

Linda was the proud owner of a Safeway’s member card, this gave us money off and points (I don’t know what the points are for) at all Safeway supermarkets, their subsidiaries and certain a filling station, Linda gets a bit excited when she gets a dollar off! We will normally pop into a Safeway’s somewhere along our route and there seems to be a one in most in larger towns. We also need a constant supply of gas cartridges for our two cookers, we tend always to have two or three at hand, these are not available in all hardware stores but we have found them in two main ones (ACE and another) so will always pop in when we see a one. (Linda was given residency of the State of California by the kind lady in Safeway’s).
The Town of Moro
We had our Sandwich (half each), got petrol (gas) and moseyed on outa town,I'm picking up the lingo quite quick, Richard in San Francisco will be proud of me (he teaches English as a foreign language, so I fit quite nicely into that category). 

There was no Safeway’s in Moro and what I could see no other Supermarket. We didn’t find a one until we reached Shaniko about 80 miles (we use miles in the States) down the highway in the direction South. 

We passed through mainly agricultural and beef ranches, while to the East the mighty Cascade’s rolled by, dominated by Mounts Hood and Jefferson.

We eventually reached the town of Madras, (now renamed Curry), this was a somewhat larger town and as in most larger towns they have a brown sign directing would be campers in the direction of state campsites, we tried to use these as often as possible as they are indicated on maps, have a very good standard and the overnight price is very reasonable.

The site was actually not in town but seemed to be a little way out in what are called the Palisades, we followed the signs and took a turning going East (seemed about right), this route took us along a precipitous canyon far, far below was a mighty expanse of water. 

The road was in the main surfaced with macadam, but after what seemed an hour this petered out and a sign said dead end ahead, aha we said we sure don’t want to go to dead end or even be dead ended, so we retraced our tracks and got to the starting point, reread the sign and it certainly said State Park (but not State Park Campsite). 

At the top of the road on a corner of the Frazier and Jorden Peck, we had seen a small store (called Cove Corner Store) that sold all manner of paraphernalia to do with sailing, kayaking and water craft. 

We decided to ask inside, the owner was most helpful but was enthralled with Jucy, he had been to New Zealand and seen them there. He explained that we should carry on back down the road, passing the turn off we had taken earlier, down an incline and at the bottom we would find two State Park campsites, he also said that the first we would hit was the best, so we did as he suggested and found a wonderful campsite for the night (the crooked River Campsite). 

The area is known as Three Rivers, the rivers, Metolius, Deschutes and Crooked Rivers have been dammed at Round Butte (1964), this formed Lake Billy Chinook. Billy Chinook was an native tracker who guided the explorer John C. Fremont through the area in 1843.

Just to celebrate our arrival in Madras, set about making a chicken curry. 

As we ate our evening meal, the sun was setting across the canyon and mountains, it made a smashing backdrop.

As we were settling down to eat an electric camp site car stopped and The Warden in the car asked if we fancied coming to a talk and slide show about the Hubble Telescope and by the way he had collected a load of unused fire wood that the campers had left behind from the previous weekend. Now that is what I call right neighbourly! 

It was a very interesting talk by a very interesting chap, he had us all lying on our backs in the small amphitheatre star gazing. Though the main theme was the Hubble, he also pointed out stars and planets, satellites and galaxies, it was pitch black (this part of the world has very little light pollution) as we neared Lucy, a little bunny hopped out from under a bush and stood mesmerised in Linda's head light (I had her fitted before leaving Germany).

Next morning as normal I was up at 06:00, I am a creature of habit and 06:00 is the time that nature calls, so I get up and have a shower and be ready for the coming day. As I opened Jucy’s door, I saw right in front of me a herd of deer, they were quite happily munching away at the lush green grass provided free by the State Park. I had to pass through the herd on the way to the bathroom (toilet) and showers; they just eyed me and slowly moved away but still kept on munching. I showered etc and returned to Jucy, 

Linda was just getting the kettle on, we like our morning coffee. She headed off to the showers and on returning I suggested we go down to the River Marina and have breakfast, they had just opened when we got there, I caught some small lizards scurrying about in search of their breakfast.  

Out for  bit of early morning fishing

The Palisades launching and hiring Ramp

A Lizard on the outlook for a bit of breakfast

Boats for hire

The Rock Formation that gives the canyon its name " Palisades"

We ordered our breakfasts; I my bacon, egg in a muffin and Linda toast and Jam. We sat in the wonderful morning sun watching the anglers casting from their boats and boat being hired out to singles and groups. 

All very well but it was soon time to head off onto the Highway 97 and towards our destination for the day, Crater Lake.
We travelled along until we crossed a bridge spanning the Crooked River, I was interested in the railway bridge a little up River, there is a small park named after Peter Skene Ogden. Never having heard of him I was interested to know little more. He was a trapper for the Hudson Bay Fur Company and done much to open up this area to trade (mostly in furs). The railway bridge was constructed before the road bridge and was used to transport logging from the vast Oregon Forests, above and below the Turkey Vultures riding the thermal currents, in search of a bite to eat.
A Turkey Vulture trying to scare some rock doves into making a mistake.

The steel trellised railway bridge

Below the Crooked River
The Old and the New Bridges

Mt Hood through the railway bridge arches

Turkey Vultures in the thermals

We again hit the trail our next stop was at the great Lava Beds that straddles the highway, these were caused by massive volcanic action during an era about 7000 years ago that formed the Cascade Mountains and that are still rumbling on today.
Lava Scree

To the West the white topped mountains of the Cascades rose on the horizon, with such descriptive names as Three Fingered Jack, The Three Sisters, Mt Bachelor and the rest of the large mountains formed as the Pacific tectonic plate pushed itself under the American one.

At Beaver Marsh we hung a sharp right off the 97 onto the 138 and towards Crater lake, but that is for the next blog.

Gone West 9 towards the border again.

Gone West 9

Seattle over the Chinook pass to the Columbia River.

We pulled on the reins and gee’d Jucy into gear and headed out of town (city) in the direction of South (with a little touch of East) towards Mount Rainier; it is big enough that you really are unable to miss it, but you can take a wrong turning. We travelled out and then got onto the HW towards Ellensburg, WRONG DIRECTION JUCY! We readjusted the Satnav and so got onto the right road, towards Enumclaw and along HW 410. This was once a trading route the old Naches trail that brought goods over the Cascade Mountain range.

The HW 410 would take us onto the 97 and then right down to the state line crossing the Columbia River once again, but not before we travelled one of the most spectacular routes that we would encounter. The route is also a bikers paradise, with the boys on their Harley’s and leathers, following the course of the White River, so called because of its milky colour caused by the large amount of very fine ground down (by erosion) sediments and rock. 

The road leaves the river with its spectacular waterfalls and climbs up above the snow line to 5430 ft were it crosses the High Chinook pass, with Mount Rainier towering another 9000 ft above. 

We stopped at the top to take some photo's, have a wee in the toilets and Linda to cool her sweating palms.

Then road descends to follow the Americas and Naches Rivers, it was wonderful spectacular drive (at times Linda doesn't think so).

The White River

Just one of the many waterfalls along the route.

After we descended from the over 5000 ft pass we headed South through some nice scenery before turning south onto HW 97 and ended up for the night at Yakima Sportsman State Park.

It was getting late when we got in, but the well-kept camp ground was not overly full, we got a nice spot (a nice spot for us is being within easy distance of the showers and toilets). We got our "rig" set up ( I had heard the Americans calling their set ups "rigs" so that is what ours is) and I had a walk around the camp site, I thought I would just photograph a selection of the different camper styles. 
A full hook up, power (50 amp), sewage, fresh water and TV

Most have another car with them so they can go into town.

A trailer with pop-outs

A couple of twins, pop-outs both sides, awnings, BBQs, the works
One of the" Por Folk's" Models

A "Por Folks" trailer
Piggy Back Style

The Tenter's
The mother and baby tenters

It is amazing from the fully inclusive (we have even seen them with external TV under the awning), to the single pup tents (real campers), we sit comfortably at the lower end of the scale. 

I call us a tent on wheels.

There was also a lot of bird life on and around the site so they got a their mug-shots taken as well. The next morning the air was full of song,so I had a walk to the small lake that was part of the site and photographed some of the birds, water life and the environment around it. I love my morning walks before the rest of the campsite comes to life, peace and tranquillity.
A female American Robin collecting nesting material

Trying to attract a bride

He obviously has a one as he is collecting nest material

What you looking at?

Suspended animation

Morning tranquillity

A Bird in the hand???

Ink Caps raising their heads

A Beavers work is never done

The Lake

Coming into land!

A mother Duck and her brood
A mother water turtle and her brood

The eyes, the eyes coming out of the primordial deep!

We saddled up and we drove down the 97 to Wapato and popped into the Yakima Nations Museum, if you do happen down this way, please take the time to call in and read the sad story how they were robbed of 90% of their lands. We spent a good 30 minutes following the history of this proud Native American people. We also bought some small souvenir’s, I bought winter moccasin boots for my still unborn grandson, a pin for my hat and a couple of other things (space is limited for carrying larger souvenir’s).

The Library and Museum of the proud Yakima Nation.

Some of the artefacts that give lie to the term Nobel Savage, they are Nobel but certainly not savage!

I got the nice people in the shop to sit for a photo for me. I asked was he a chief, lady on the right said no way, that’s me, he is my husband, point taken.

We then got Jucy into gear and headed out of the wonderful Yakima museum and down the 97 passing through what is left of the Yakima lands until we hit the town of Maryhill Right above the mighty Columbia River, the Satnav insisted that we should pass it by and take the main highway across the Columbia River, but I was not going to be bossed about by another woman.