Friday, September 27, 2013


OK, not literally coast bound, but headed to the coast.

The Dalles, OR

Now, I really have no clue why it's named The Dalles as didn't really go to the museum (should've but didn't).

After leaving the tri-cities area, made my way to I-84.  Now, this may sound strange, but there is also an I-84 on the east coast (I lived off of it), but the one from the East doesn't seem to intersect with the one from the West.  There's an I-80 in the middle, and one or two others probably, it just seemed weird.

The Dalles is nestled in the Columbia River valley and quite enjoyed the little town.  I stayed at an Eagles club (2126), located real close to downtown.  It is a very nice club with great people and a large interior room.  They were gearing up for a blockbuster weekend as a state Eagles convention of sorts is there and all the RV spots were taken.  It was time for me to move on anyways.

Dam view with sky and hills
The town itself was quite nice.  Didn't look like there was much to do as it seemed like an offshoot of the farming community, and end of the Oregon trail by land.  Situated within a short walk of the Eagles club is a restaurant called Cousin's.  Now, not sure if am supposed to mention this, but on Wednesday nights, in the bar area, they have a $6 hamburger, which was pretty good.  Along with the burger get some fries and a beer!!!  I don't drink alcohol so opted for for a different libation, but that is one heck of a deal if ask me.

One attraction worth noting in the area, for the techies, is the Google Data center, where this blog is probably stored (no clue really).  It's right on the river and I walked about 1 mile (1/2 mile one way, then backtrack) and probably walked about 1/3 of the way around it.  Say HI to the CCTV camera's as they're all over the place, along with armed guards, so I heard.  They're gearing up for an expansion with another data center building or so.  Cheap electricity plus huge tax breaks make it inviting.  Would've given my left nut, or maybe both, to have gone in there and just gawk, am pretty sure though that they don't like general public to show up without an invitation.

Wall with American flag, sigh....
Flood Gate at The Dalles dam
Another attraction really enjoyed was The Dalles dam, which is where Google gets it's cheap power from, and seeing some of the Native American fishing rights areas.  It was real humbling to see the power of the water like that.  This year is also a huge year for the salmon run.  Some of the locals said it was up by about 60% (according to the TV).  I spent some time down by the dam just listening to water at the flood gate (where picture is taken from).  Felt and sounded real nice.

Organic Beef Brisquit sandwich
Sandwich from here, local and organic
Am ramping up the amount of organic and natural (really natural) foods I eat and try to get them at a local mom and pop store (instead of the big chains) and was surprised to find the one in town closed down... pooey.  So, I drove the scooter the 20 miles (or so) to Hood River and found a little organic store off the highway and had a green smoothie!!!  yummie.  Also got some chickpeas to make some blackened chickpeas eventually (had some awesome ones in Providence, RI some time back at AS220).  Was surprised Grocery Outlet has a surprising amount of Organic food too (like cereals and crackers and such).

Oregon Trail endpoint - read more before say OH NO!

I was told, by some locals, that this is the place where at least part of the overland portion of the Oregon Trail ended.  Apparently, and I haven't looked this up (shame on me), but from here the trail continued down the river on the water until it met the ocean, or wherever it officially ends.  Just regurgitating what was told.

As a side note, backed a Kickstarter project called Meriwether about the Oregon trail.  I wonder if this location (same or different name?) will be featured..  Will have to wait an dsee!

Dufur, OR

On a whim, and cause it was a nice, sunny, 70'ish degree day, decided to drive inland as saw a small town called Dufur on a map.  All I did was drive out, drive through town, and drive back, didn't even shut off scooter engine.  Was impressed by the little town in the middle of no place, it was a true farming town, but looked like there was mostly hay being grown.

There's not much to the town, saw the school, couple restaurants, a post office, and not much else besides a smattering of homes and other small businesses.  Even a real, honest to goodness seed store.  A thought went through my mind to stop in and ask if they had any GMO seed.  Didn't, but thought it.

The drive out was uneventful, rolling hills and plowed, lifeless fields.  It still sickens me about our sad state of farming (IMHO as always).  The rolling hills was quite nice actually, just wish there was life out there.  The farmers do their best still and no ill words for them.  Real hard working folk.

Portland, OR

Staying couple days here, dry camping (without hookups and using battery) to experience it.  Will also take this time to go through some more stuff and clean out what I don't need.
I 84 and Columbia River Valley on Oregon side

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