Posted by: mckenzie68 | April 27, 2010

Arrival at Rohne and Sheila’s … day 4

Today we woke to a 10 degree Celsius morning as we got ready to leave Walla Walla, Washington and head southwest along Highway 12 towards Oregon.  The weather did warm up to 16 as we went down into the Columbia River Gorge following the south side of the river as it wound lazily to Umatilla.  We took a straight shot south along 12 as it turned into interstate highway with the massive US Military Chemical Ordinance site at Umitilla.  It was amazing to see hundreds and hundreds of ammo and chemical bunkers neatly lined up row by row, protected by miles of fencing and men with guns!  We reached Interstate Highway 84 and as we headed west, we ran into an increasingly cold and heavy side wind!  Shades of things to come for sure, because as soon as we started our decent into the Colombia Gorge again, the wind increased to amazingly high levels causing both Rae and I to struggle constantly just to maintain our own lane.  The temperature increased slightly to about 14 degrees as we followed the canyon walls, all the while with our necks straining to prevent our heads from being whiplashed into oblivion!  The gorge was picturesque with Mount Hood beckoning and several dams hold back millions of gallons of Colombia emerald green water!  The sheer cliff face climbed hundreds of feet up, just meters off to our left reminding us that we were just a rockslide away from being a smeer on the road, but they did make for some very stunning waterfalls!  The heavy wind (yes that is what I remember most from this day) continued all the way to Portland where we took a turn towards Battle Ground, Washington.  It was such a relief to get out of the gorge, and once we got to close to our destination, we stopped for fuel and some snacks.  There wasn’t any picnic tables around, so we made ourselves at home on the grass in front of the pumps striking some playboy type poses…the pictures are below to prove it!  When it was time to go, I was able to find our way to our friends’ (Rohne & Shelia) homestead without the use of a GPS or directions!  An amazing feat considering that we had not been to their house since the fall of 2005.  It was exciting to see them and we quickly caught up.  Rohne is an accomplished engineer with an amazing ability to make pretty much anything, and he has built 3 kayaks from scratch to prove it!  Not only are those kayaks functional, but they are indeed works of art worthy of a master craftsman.  Shelia is an excellent horse woman, adventurer and motorcyclist in her own right.    It was an excellent night with laughter and chat until midnight at which point we could take no more and had crept into bed, weary and happy.


Bonneville Dam, Colombia River Gorge, Washington/OregonMt. Hood, Columbia River Gorge, Washington/Oregon

Grass oasis outside a gas station in Battle Ground, Washington


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