Sunday, September 03, 2006

Cascade Locks to Idaho

We had plans to drive all the way across Oregon and into Idaho in one day. Most of the trip was along the north of the state following the Interstate and the Columbia River. The first thing we did in the morning was check out the Bridge of the Gods. I had to see what that was about. It cost $1.50 each way with the trailer. One side is Oregon and the other Washington. We missed all the other sites in that area: trails and waterfalls to see on the next visit.

Although we started out on 84, part way through the trip we decided to make a detour and headed south for the John Jay Fossil Beds National Monument. This detour required meandering through some back roads, climbing over some mountain passes and traveling through National Forests. If I had really known what was ahead I would not have done this, but in making the decision, it seemed to fit in with our secondary theme of rocks and geology that we’d started in North Dakota.

When we got to the National Monument at around 5 PM, the visitor’s center was already closed. It was about 100 degrees there and it seemed that my allergies were starting to act up again. I was beginning to think that I was allergic to deserts, but maybe I had picked up a cold along he way. The green color of the fossil beds was impressive, but we didn’t stay too long in the heat.

After that, the drive seemed interminable and following our dinner in a small town at around 7 PM, I just didn’t know if we could make it to Mountain Home. We called telling them that we were going to be late, the time change not working in our favor and they told us that they lock up the bathrooms at 10 PM. Hunh? For that I was killing myself?

At about 11 PM, I gave up and pulled off the highway at an exit that had a camping sign. The Oasis, a small campground seemingly in the middle of nowhere and still about 2 hours away from Mt. Home, we stopped. The office was closed and I was about to fill and the form and leave my $20, when the manager came out to help me. This was the second night that we all slept together in the TAB. The night before coming back from Portland it was too late to set up the tent too. I found that it really wasn’t that bad and saved us a lot of time. We sleep head to toe to make more room for our pillows.

When we woke up the next morning, we saw the Snake River only about 20 feet from our camper. What a gorgeous spot they have there in eastern Oregon. Don’t hesitate to stop if you’re headed through. For $20 it’s the best deal we’ve gotten, and they have the cleanest rest rooms we’ve seen.

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